Old News- Assault

This week’s old article is about an assault that was blamed on alcohol.

The ad is for Sapolio which was a national brand of soap. At one time it was one of the most advertised products in the US. While on top they decided to cut back on their advertising and within a few years were overtaken by other brands. By World War II the soap had virtually disappeared..


Thursday, Sept. 13, 1917

Man’s Scalp Ripped Open by Fellow Workman Who Yielded a Pitchfork

James Breen is in the Monroe county jail as the result of an assault on Rianza Hulburt with a pitchfork, Monday morning.

The men worked for Everett Brooks and were in  his barn at work, Sunday morning. It is said that Breen had brought down two quart bottles of whisky from the city, Saturday night, from which he had imbied freely and he was quarrelsome. He tried to boss Hulburt and when the latter objected, Breen knocked him down with a fork and prodded his head with the tines, ripping open a long gash, which later required a dozen stitches or more to close.

Chief Swift was notified and placed Breen under arrest. Hulburt was taken to Dr. Price for treatment. Breen came before Judge Lee, Monday morning, on a charge of assault in the second degree. He waived examination and was held for the grand jury..

Old News – New School

Pittsford had a new school on Lincoln Ave. in 1917. Even though the title of the article says it is a High School, it was used for all grades until 1953 when Sutherland High School was built. Then it served as just an elementary school until 1971. The building was then sold to the Town who now uses it as offices for the Department of Parks and Recreation.


Thursday, Sept. 6, 1917

Opening of Pittsford’s Ninety Thousand Dollar High School Building

Louis O. Forman was elected president of the board of education of the Pittsford High school, at a meeting of the board held Monday evening. He succeeds R. Edward Gaskin, who tendered his resignation. The board decided to open the new school building Monday, September 10th, for regular sessions, although work has not been entirely finished in some parts of the building.

Fire destroyed the old building on March 4, 1916, and since then the sessions have been held in the Town, Fire and Masonic halls, and session rooms of five village churches, under difficult conditions. A lot adjoining the former site was purchased at a cost of $2,000, an appropriation of $87,000 was made and now after work of nearly a year, the splendid new building is ready. It contains twenty-six room, that will be of service not only for school purposes, but also as a social center. They comprise a combined auditorium and gymnasium, office, library, eight grade rooms, the kindergarten, the high school assembly, five class rooms, two laboratories, two dressing rooms, kitchen and lunch room. There is a basement and first and second floors, besides a sub-basement, where the combined hot air and hot water plant is located. The entire structure is most modern and up to date in every detail.

The kindergarten is an innovation this year, responding to the sentiment of the community. Separate entrances, exits and playground are provided and the service of Miss Pearl Smith, a graduate of Oswego Normal, has been secured. She will be instructor in music for the school. The full requirements of the new physical and military training law will be met with the large gymnasium and Harold E. Ryan, LaCroose, Wis., will be in charge. The large lunch room and kitchen has been equipped through the efforts of the Parent Teacher Club at a cost of $250. It is expected that a course in home economics will develop from this provision, also provide now, for the large number of out of town pupils. Last year there were about seventy-five non-resident pupils, but the number this year cannot be estimated as most registrations are made on the opening of school.

In accordance with state requirements the nucleus of a good library has been promised with all new books. A state law makes this library a public one and anyone in the community is privileged to draw books. It will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays after the close of school.

Mr. Charles Benge just completed the school census, which shows 332 names of children between five and eighteen years of age, an increase of nine over last year, and fifty-one of these names are new.

Top Hit Songs of 1967 – #17

Album cover

The next song to go all the way to the top of the pop record charts in 1967 was really a country song. “Ode to Billie Joe” was written and performed by Bobbie Gentry (birth name: Roberta Lee Streeter). The song leaves a person wondering what really happened. What did Billie Joe and his girlfriend throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge and why did Billie Joe commit suicide? Gentry has always left it to each person’s imagination. The 1976 movie “Ode to Billy Joe” (note different spelling) has the suicide as being caused by the conflict between his love for Bobbie Lee Hartley and his emerging homosexuality. Even after the release of the movie, Gentry wouldn’t say if it was her intent or not.

“Ode to Billie Joe” was on the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Cash Box record chart for 4 weeks (Aug. 20 – Sept. 16). On Billboard’s Country Singles chart, the song only made it up to #17. Gentry won Grammy Awards for “Best New Artist” and “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” in 1968.

Bobbie Gentry had a night club act in Las Vegas which ran for many years. She wrote and arranged the music and also produced and choreographed that show. In 1974 she had a summer replacement show, The Bobbie Gentry Happiness Hour, on CBS TV. She retired from show business completely in the early 1980s.

Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #33

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about George Selden’s patent on the automobile. Selden only made 2 full size models of his auto, but that wasn’t until 1905, 20 years after the patent was finally filed. One of those models has ended up at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

In 1879 an event of far reaching importance to the automobile industry of the United States occured. George B. Selden, a Rochester lawyer, applied for a patent on an automobile which used an internal combustion engine. By cleverly delaying the application in the Patent Office, the patent was not issued until Nov. 5, 1895. In 1899 the Columbia and Electric Vehicle Company secured the exclusive rights to manufacture automobiles under the Selden patent. Later, in 1905, an association of licensed automobile manufacturers was formed. The members of which agreed to pay 1.25 percent on all cars made. This was later cut down, first to 1 percent, and later to 4/5 of 1 percent. At one time 90 percent of the cars were manufactured under the Selden patents on licenses. The largest auto manufacturers, the Ford, objected to paying this royalty and a trial lasting 8 years ensued. The first decision, in June 1909, favored Selden but the second decision in 1911. set aside the Selden patent and this left the automobile field free to anyone who wished to enter it. George B.Selden is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Old News – Annual Exposition

It is hard to believe that such a large exposition could be held at what is now Edgerton Park. It wouldn’t be big enough to hold a major local event now, let alone have places for everyone to park. Yet in 1917, they even had an airplane that landed there. This was the biggest show of the year in Rochester. One of the major events was the horse show at a time when the automobile was replacing the horse.


Thursday, Aug. 30, 1917

Rochester’s Big Exposition to Held During Labor Day Week

When the gates of Rochester’s tenth annual Industrial Exposition and Sixth Horse Show are swung open on the morning of Sept. 8 (Labor day), for a full week of incomparable attractions and the real enjoyment and pleasure that comes from seeing things worth while, it will be an invitation to the world — and particularly that part of it which is known as western New York — to come and see what the Flower City has done.

First and foremost at the exposition will be the Horse Show, the wonder place for all who visit the exposition.

“A Palace of Wonders” will be the Manufactures’ Building. In it will be placed some of the most remarkable working exhibits ever assembled for public view. A silk loom in full operation, showing the various steps and processes in the transformation of the cocoon of the silk worm into the fabric known as silk, will be one of the instructive exhibits. Another will be the making of boxes and packing cases entirely by machinery, from the sawing of the woodto the actual nailing together of the assembled parts. Another will be a broom factory. Pure food products in the making will be shown.

Then there will be the always attractive agricultural and horticultural exhibits, ore extensive and attractively arranged than ever before; the wonderful flower show that has been one of the most satisfying features of the last two expositions; the exhibits of famous paintings in the Fine Arts Building; the never tiresome zoo; the  poultry and livestock shows; a dog show, with all the popular breeds; interesting war-time displays by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Red Cross, brought to Rochester from Washington especially for the exposition.

One of the new and assuredly popular features of the 1917 exposition will be free dancing in the beautiful Peristyle. Here also and in the bandstand will be heard daily concerts by the Municipal Park Band, an organization of 125 pieces, including many of the best musicians and soloists in the country.

The automobile show will have a prominent place in this year’s setting. Free motion pictures of great educational value will be shown, along with government demonstrations along the lines of thrift and economy for which the whole country is now striving.

Probably one of the greatest single features of the exposition this year will be the Greater Midway. The management has spared no expense this year to get nothing but the best in the way of midway amusements, and free outdoor entertainments.

Jean Domenjos, a Swiss aviator of world-wide fame, will make flights from the exposition grounds each day, looping the loop, gliding through the clouds upside down, and demonstrating methods of modern aerial warfare from a Bieriot monoplane. The Great Barbari, considered to be the most wonderful sensationalist of two continents, will perform daily his loop of death, an entirely new and novel thriller.