Wilkinson Scrapbook Article – #16

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 the George Eastman memorial. That is on the west side of Lake Avenue just north of Ridge Road. It is outside the fence around Eastman Business Park (formerly Kodak Park) so you can stop at any time and visit Mr. Eastman.

The Eastman memorial stands at the Lake Avenue entrance to Kodak Park. Erected within the shadow of the immense manufacturing plant built by Mr. Eastman. The monument is reached by three broad flights of steps leading down sloping banks to a large circular plaza paved with Georgian rose marble. In the center of the plaza is a circular pedestal. A bronze urn, containing Mr. Eastman’s ashes, occupies a niche in the pedestal which is surrounded by a cylindrical block of pink Georgia marble, 8 feet high, on which are carved two figures in bas-relief. The figure on the west side is that of a man heating a retort over a flame, representing physical science; the one on the east side (shown above) is that of a woman holding aloft a torch, symbolizing aspiration. The inscription bears the words: “George Eastman 1854 – 1932.” He still lives. If you would seek his monument, look about you.

Old News Special – Geo. Washington’s Birthday

George Washington was born 285 years ago, today. Delegate to the Second Continental Congress from Virginia (1775), Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army (1775 – 1783) and President of the US  (1789 – 1797). He retired to his home at Mount Vernon.

The sculpture discussed in the old article is in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.


Thursday, Feb. 22, 1917

First Washington Statue by Houdon

In Washington’s diary for Oct. 3, 1785, he writes that about 11 o’clock, after they were in bed, Mr. Houdon and his three young men assistants arrived, coming by boat from Alexandria.

During the sculptor’s two weeks’ stay Washington sat for a bust that was modeled in clay, writing in his diary a full account of the method of mixing that plaster of paris and the making of the molds, a process in which he was greatly interested. He also submitted to the unpleasant operation of having a life mask made of his features in order to insure a perfect likeness. In the presence of Mr. Madison exact measurements of his figure were made and full details of his uniform were noted to enable the sculptor to complete his work.

The clay bust was then left by the sculptor at Mount Vernon, where it is one of the most highly valued of all Mount Vernon’s relics of the Father and His Country. But the life mask and molds of the bust Houdon himself took to Paris, not trusting them to the hands of his assistant, “for,” said he, “if they are lost in the ocean I am determined to perish with them.”

One day during his stay at Mount Vernon Washington was looking at some fine horses with a view to their purchase, but the high price asked by the groom in change so incensed him that the man was promptly sent away. Houdon, who witnessed the transaction saw with an artist’s eye in Washington’s pose and expression the very thing needed for his statue and made memorandum of it. On Oct. 19 Washington writes: “Mr. Houdon, having finished the business which brought him hither, went up Monday with his people, work and implements in my barge to Alexandria to take passage in the stage for Philadelphia next morning.”

The statue, according to agreement, was to be finished in three years, but was not completed until 1789. Jefferson saw the work as it progressed and was enthusiastic over the likeness and characteristics attitude that the sculpture had caught.——H. A. Ogden in St. Nicholas.

Old News – Odd Fire

One of the advantages of the new compact florescent light bulbs is that they are not as hot as old style light bulbs.


Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1917


Mrs. Ellen O’Ray of West avenue had an experience Monday evening that might have cost her her life or at least terrible injuries if prompt action had not been taken.

She had just returned from assisting in the care of Mrs. Fuller at Miss Benedict’s and was sitting in her room reading, with her back to the lamp. In her hair she wore a celluloid comb, and she was sitting so close to the lamp that all of a sudden, the heat caused the comb to start blazing, which set her hair on fire.

Mrs. O-Ray tried to put out the blaze by smothering it, with blankets, and partially succeeded, but did not get the fire entirely out until she made her way to the sink and held her head under the faucet of running water.

Dr. Fox was called and dressed her injuries. Much of the hair was burned from the back of the head, and the scalp blistered. In her fight with the flames two fingers were badly burned.

Old News – Women of NY Ready for War

President Woodrow Wilson won reelection in 1916 in part because he wanted to keep the US out of the war in Europe. Then on Feb. 3, 1917 President Wilson went before Congress to announce that the US was breaking relations with Germany. Congress would declare war on Germany on April 6th.

New York State voted against giving women the vote in 1916. Another referendum would come up in November 1917 and this time it passed by a substantial margin.

The US and the world were changing in 1917.


Thursday, Feb. 15, 1917

Governor Whitman Addresses State Suffrage Delegation.

In accepting the offer of national service made by the New York State Woman Suffrage party, Governor Charles S. Whitman spoke to the suffrage delegation in the executive chamber at Albany as follows:

“I am sure that your presence here, representing, as you do, a great body of the women of this State and nation, is prompted solely by a desire to render service that I think you are abundantly able to render, and by a desire to show your patriotism. I am more than glad to see you. Of course, I know you share the hope with me that an emergency which will require such service shall not arise. If it does, there will be no more valuable aid rendered than that which would be rendered by the loyal and patriotic women of the United Sates.”

Able to Render Effective Aid.

In commenting on the action of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party relative to the offer of service in the present war crisis, Mrs. Norman de R. Whitehouse, the state chairman, is quoted as follows:

“Our action is taken with the feeling that, being organized in every assembly district of New York State, we are in a position to render effective service to the State of New York and to our Nation in this time of need.>

In this State we are in a position to muster an organization composed of 5,000 officers and a half million women with offices in every one of the 150 assembly districts of the Empire Sate.”

Women of New York State.

In view of the present national crisis, it is interesting to note the important part the women of New York Stat are already taking in the industrial world. Any tabulation of our resources would of necessity include these industrious workers, In all, according to the 1910 census, there are 3,210,714 women over 15 years of age. Of these women only 1,793,558 are married and 1,498, 156 are unmarried or widowed. A large part of these 1,498,156 have to work in order to live, and many of them have children, or fathers and mothers, or sisters and brothers to support.

1941 Franklin Yearbook

I uploaded the 1941 yearbook for Benjamin Franklin High School in Rochester. The yearbooks that I did for Webster High School had less than 50 seniors per year. This yearbook has 739 seniors graduating. Some of this class was transferred over from the former Washington High School that was close at the end of the school year in 1940. 1400 students were transferred from Washington to Franklin.

This year book has lots of “best wishes” and autographs. Some people signed their autograph over the top of their picture. Not sure why anyone would do that.

The Rochester Public Library has yearbooks online for Franklin HS for the years 1933 to 1940. Go to their School Heritage Collection web page to see all that they have available.

The ladies’ hairstyle of that time was very distinctive. It only lasted a few years. I have photos of my mother and my aunt from that time and they also had this hairstyle.

Top Hit Songs of 1967 – #1

You may be asking why in mid February is this the first song to hit the top of the charts in 1967. The Monkees had the top hit record with I’m A Believer for the last week of 1966 and it remained on the top until Feb. 11th. If you want to hear that song go back to this blog post.

The Seekers are an Australian folk pop group originally formed in Melbourne in 1962. They were the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the UK and US. They broke up in 1968 when the lead singer, Judith Durham, left the group. They would reform for a time in the 1970s. Judith would join the group again in 1993 and they still occasionally perform together but mostly in Australia.

Georgy Girl was written by Tom Springfield (brother of Dusty Springfield) and Jim Dale, who was an actor in a couple of Disney films. It was the main song of the film “Georgy Girl” which was released in late 1966. That was about a homely but vivacious young woman who dodges the amorous attentions of her father’s middle-aged employer. The film starred Lynn Redgrave (as Georgy) and James Mason.

The song, Georgy Girl  was the on the top of the Cash Box record chart for the week of Feb.12 – 18. It never hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It did remain at #2 on that chart for the weeks of Jan. 29 – Feb. 11, 1967.


RootsTech Wrap-Up

RootsTech 2017 is over. If you missed any of the free online sessions, you can see them at any time. Go to the RootsTech home page, then scroll down and click on each day to see what is available. You don’t have to be in any hurry as they will be there for the next year.

Want to read what happened at RootsTech? Randy Seaver has this compilation of blog posts. Seeing as some blog writers might not be home from the conference as of yet, there may be more blog posts in the next couple of days. Randy will add those posts to his compendium.