From Waco to Brooklyn…

February 8, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you ever been thinking one thing and a moment later your mind has completely carried you down several rabbit holes and back up into a field far away? As you try to retrace your steps, you are utterly amazed at how you ever ended up where you did. I find history to be much the same. I may begin my historical trek in a tiny town in the mountains of Northern Pennsylvania, but before long I find I’ve meandered to the center of New York City. Such is the journey I took this snowy afternoon.

Every day I drive past an old industrial complex in my mountain town Of Williamsport, PA.. The signage says, “Williamsport Wire Rope Company” and the factory yard is filled with enormous spools stacked about … a photographer’s fantasy for possible black and white images. This picturesque scene is what originally caught my attention on those many drives home. This particular day a rabbit trail led me to an exploration of what the wire cable produced in this factory would have been used for which quickly lead me to an engineer named John Augustus Roebling (1806 – 1869). John had owned the very first wire cable company, similar to the one in my town. Not satisfied to just produce these cables, his mind dreamt of the many, yet be discovered, uses those wires might  have … Voila ! … Suspension Bridges. As a suspension bridge designer and builder extraordinaire, he  was instrumental in creating the beautiful city of Pittsburgh which became known as “The City of Bridges”. From Pittsburgh to the Niagara River … from Waco to Brooklyn NY, this man took spools of wire cable and transformed each area he touched into a practical work of art. My rabbit trail reminds me that my local history can be the start of the very best future road trips. Whether your interests lie with new scientific discoveries, historical biographies or works of art, much of history can satisfy almost any inquisitive mind. I see a historical bridge excursion coming this spring… perhaps even from Waco to Brooklyn.

A Labor Day Weekend Tribute through rare newspapers…

August 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

What was originally intended as a means for honoring the hard-working common laborers who helped build the United States into a prosperous nation (please, no “You didn’t build that!” comments), is now more closely associated with the end of summer.  Families and friends join together in one final effort to squeeze the last drop of relaxation from their laborious efforts exerted through the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons.  Perhaps in the end this transition is well-suited to the intentions of the original proponents of the holiday… and much more has been gained than lost.

With appreciation for both the original and morphed sentiments of the holiday, the following links are intended to take you on a small trip back through the 19th and early 20th centuries, to view Labor Day through the eyes of those who have toiled before us.  Please enjoy…

Labor Day as seen through:

Harper’s Weekly Labor Day issue of 1913

Labor Day themed issues

Scientific American

And a number of categories available via the History’s Newsstand eBay Store:

Thanks again to all those who have given so much to help make the world a better place.  🙂