Hit Songs of 1968 – #31

Do you remember “Fire” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown? It was a big hit for the group in 1968. But it was their only hit. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart it was at #2 for the week of Oct. 13 – 19. On the Record World magazine chart it was at #2 for 2 weeks (Oct. 13 – 26). It couldn’t reach #1 because The Beatles had a lock on the top spot with “Hey Jude.”

Arthur Brown was one of the first people to wear garish makeup like Alice Cooper would later use. Arthur also used to wear a helmet that he set on fire (see video). Once some of the methanol fuel dripped down off the helmet and set his head on fire. Fans had to  pour beer over him to put out the fire. On occasion he also stripped naked while performing.

The first part of “Fire” has been sampled and used by The Prodigy’s “Fire” (1991) and Death Grips’ “Lord of the Game” (2011).

Cemetery Pictures

In last week’s edition of City newspaper there were some pictures of big cemeteries around Rochester. There were pictures of White Haven Memorial Park, Mt. Hope Cem., Holy Sepulchre Cem., and Riverside Cem. The pictures look much better in their online edition than in the print edition. Go to Oct. 3, edition web page where you can view it online or download a PDF version. The pictures are on pages 8 – 13.

Ontario Beach Park – #31

On Jan. 1, 1916 the Village of Charlotte was no more. It had become part of the City of Rochester even though we still refer to the area as Charlotte. That annexation included the Park. The park didn’t completely know how it would effect them. They did have to stop selling tickets on teddy bears and dolls as it was deemed a lottery. The shooting gallery had to be closed on Sundays. The Hotel Ontario and other hotels in Charlotte could continue selling liquor on Sunday as they are within the definition of the Raines Law. That was a complicated law that said that people registered at a hotel could be served liquor on Sunday if they also were served food.

The only change of rides was that the name of the Old Mill was changed back to the Canals of Venice. It would change back to the Old Mill again in 1917. It was a water ride that was inside a building.

The Park knew that they couldn’t have the circus styled acts on Sunday but were not sure what they would have for entertainment on Sundays. For the first Sunday on May 28 they had extended band concerts in the afternoon and evening. The next Sunday they had an extended concert in the afternoon but a shorter concert in the evening followed by an open air movie. The movie was so popular that they soon added movies on Saturday evenings. On June 18th one of the movies was a “Lonesome Luke” comedy starring Harold Lloyd before he initiated his character with the round glasses. They started to add more musical performers to the Sunday concerts. On July 25th soprano Margaret Heveron sang “Love, Here Comes My Heart,” “Little Gray House in the West,” and “There’s A Long, Long Trail.” Ruth E. Meech, violinist. played “Lucia,” “Mother Machree, and “Reveries” by H. Vieuxtemps. Also Florence Monk sang “Mother’s Rosary,” “They Didn’t Believe Me,” and “Hello, How Are You?.” The last two songs were arranged by her father Joseph Monk who was the brother of the director of the band. Margaret Heveron would return for many Sunday concerts over the summer.

The circus style vaudeville acts continued being on the open air stage for Monday through Saturday. Oscar V. Babcock, who had been at the Park in some years previous, returned on July 4th doing his Death Trap Loop and Flying the Fume on his bicycle (see the blog post on Oscar). He was at the Park until July 22nd.

A large crowd of the Woodmen of the World (fraternal organization) helped to make the crowd at the Park on July 9th the largest Sunday crowd of the year. On July 12th 3,000 picnickers from Concordia Lutheran Church were at the Park. They brought with them 200 pounds of ham, 300 loaves of bread, and 100 quarts of milk. They played games and sports. Then on July 19th 4,000 people from Salem Evangelical Church attended a picnic at the Park. They had games for children and baseball for the adult men. They also paraded around the Park grounds.

The ad, above, tells about a contest that was given by Fleischmann’s Yeast for children. The top 7 kids that collect the most coupons from products made with the yeast would win a pony. There were fifty prizes in all. One of the consolation prizes was an Indian motorcycle. The list of all 50 winners and their prizes was in the July 13th issue of the Democrat & Chronicle. These are the top 10 winners:

  1. Oliver Schoenfeld, 22 Arlington St., won a pony, harness and cart.
  2. Joseph Francis Ryan, 76 Bartlett St., won a pony, harness and cart.
  3. George McCarthy, 57 Steward St, won a pony, harness and cart.
  4. Mary Liberman, 135 Baden St., won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  5. Leon Ehrmantraut, 32 Pennsylvania Ave., won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  6. Rich Newirth, 50 Hazelwood Terr., won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  7. Marion Townsend, 33 Pearl St, won a pony, saddle and bridle.
  8. Edward Dewart, 41 Alliance Ave., won an Indian motorcycle.
  9. Nathan Panzer, 130 Joseph Ave., won an Indian motorcycle.
  10. Coletta Bossert, 1015 Norton St., won a Victrola and records.

Miss May Neff

Every year there had been an Orphan’s Day at the Park. This year it was indefinitely postponed because of an epidemic of infantile paralysis (polio). The Rochester Automobile Club that hosted the day already had quantities of candy, popcorn, chewing gum, and peanuts. So they delivered the goodies to each institution instead of having the orphans come to the Park.

The August 21st issue of the Democrat & Chronicle had the picture of of Miss May Neff doing what they called “hydroplaning,” or what we now call water skiing. She was the daughter of Frank A. and Rose Neff of Rochester. She had won a swimming contest at Trout Lake in Seneca Park. She was also known as a diver. The caption for the picture says she is the first woman known to be skiing on Lake Ontario. She was being pulled by a motor boat owned by W. Stevens Hall of the Rochester Yacht Club. May died on Oct. 31st, at aged 22, after an illness of a week.


Old News – Sentry Safes

In 1930 John D. Brush, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Willard Punnet opened a small shop to manufacture safes. In 1943 Brush bought out his brother-in-law to become sole owner. IN this article from 1968 the company is moved into a a much larger plant on Linden Avenue in the Town of Pittsford. The company name was changed to Sentry Group in 1987. In 2014 the company was sold to Master Lock who decided in 2016 to close the plant and move manufacturing to Mexico.

Herald – Mail

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 1968

John D. Brush Opens Linden Avenue Plant

In the company’s first move since its founding on West Avenue 38 years ago, John D. Brush & Co., Inc., has opened its new plant and executive office at 900 Linden Avenue, Rochester. The new facilities were completed at a cost of more than $750,000. October 2, an open house reception was attended by a large number of guests who came to see the new manufacturing plant and offices and to congratulate John D. Brush, Sr., and his son John D. Brush, Jr., and Richard F. Brush on its successful completion.

The plant and executive offices together have more than 30,000 sq. ft. of floor space, three times the area of Brush’s former plant, providing increased production capacity for the manufacture of Sentry Safes and Brush’s other product lines, together with much needed storage space. The building is constructed of tilt-slab concrete on 17 acres of land, with space for future expansion up to 150,000 sq. ft.

The new plant includes a 400-ton Bliss press for drawing major steel safe parts, plus a large capacity automatic oven for drying the insulation of the completed safes. Four shipping docks are included, and there is provision for later installation of an overhead crane. A 5,000 cu. ft. exterior silo stores Vermiculite insulation material used in the safes. The plant has a fully automated insulating process, including an automatic batching operation by which the Vermiculite is mixed with sand and concrete.

The  executive office wing, comprising some 4,200 sq. ft. of the total area, is fully air conditioned and has both hot water and hot air air heating systems. Each office has individual heating and air conditioning controls. A continuous ceiling in the office area makes possible the repositioning of walls for revised office layout as needed. The exterior of the office wing features highly individual tilt0slab walls which are textured by a process involving the pouring of concrete on raked sand.

A newly developed Culter air chute system connects the office wing with the plant, using translucent polyethylene tubes. Both plant and offices are fully protected against fire by a modern sprinkler system. The plant is heated by an infra-red gas system.

Other usual features in the new plant include paint booths with hydraulic left mechanisms for raising and lowering during spray painting operations, and a recirculating system by which warm water from welding equipment may be used in the mixing of Vermiculite insulation. High intensity plant lighting is supplemented in some areas by domed skylights, providing an emergency light source in the event of a daytime power failure.

Some 14,000 sq. ft. of the plant floor is covered with 1/4″ steel plate, to handle the weight of the safes during assembly and shipping operation. Provision has also been made for a conveyor system to be installed at a later date, supplementing the present materiel handling by fork-lift trucks.

The company employs some 40 people, and expects to add others as production increases. A lunch room and showers are provided for all plant employees, and ther is a large off-street parking area for employees and visitors.

The building was designed by Ronald Sattelberg of the architectural firm of Parks, Morin, Hall, Brennan & Sattelberg. The builder was Waggaman & Collyer of Glens Falls, N.Y., specialist in tilt-slab construcion.