Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year! - January 1st MCMXI


Father Time of 1910 Passed His Last Moments Amid Tooting of Sirens, 
Screaming of Whistles and Multitude of Sounds 

Great Parties Bade Old Year Farewell
Everybody Was Happy And Annual Jollification Was Most Orderly In Years, 

Streets Filled With Noisy, Joyous Throng.

Buffalo Express January 1st. 1911
  Tottering painfully up the street with one foot dragging heavily after the other as if each step was his last, an old grey haired man made his way up Main Street a few moments before midnight.  His shoulders were bent beneath the cares an wary that were reflected upon his pallid, wrinkled face.  His emaciated form shook and swayed and collapsed in a heap.  A sympathetic crowd gathered around the old man and a cop pushed his way through the crowd to administer his wants.  The lights were dimmed and a transformation took place. There where the old man had lain was a bright little cherub, smiling optimistic.  It was the departure of the old Father Time of 1910 as the chimes rang, whistles blew and horns tooted.  His cycle was completed and in his place came the new baby, MCMXI. His arrival was the signal for an outburst of noise.  The Waterfront shrieked with sirens. Factory watchmen opened the whistles and they bellowed for the grand tidings of a new year.
  The crowds on the street did their utmost to create pandemonium. Every noise making implement was employed. Horns, clappers, metal spiders and countless other devices were used by the great throng. The streets were alive with people parading up and down the street on their noise-making trip.  They saw the old year out and the new year in, and it was an orderly crowd.  Here and there was a policman who gently tapped the boisterous ones on the shoulder and forced them to be quiet, while others who tried to use ticklers were warned the doors of the lockup would close behind them.  It was the most orderly departure of an old year ever recorded here. 
  In hotels there were gay parties that took part in the "Farewell to Nineteen-Ten." It was estimated that several thousand saw the old year go away over their dinner plates while they tooted horns or rang bells. Out in the street a detachment of soldiers from the 29th Infantry blew the bugle call during the evening and at midnight taps were sounded on 1910.  Mayor Fuhrmann was enjoying a dish of ice cream at the Iroquois as the year departed.
   Owing to New Years Day falling on the Sabbath, celebration of the holiday will be extended to tomorrow. Monday in fact will find many social events on the calendar, while cafes and hotels will offer to their guests specially prepared menu's. At all charitable and penal institutions an effort will be made to cheer the inmates with dinner, literary and musical entertainments.  The Salvation Army has made plans for an extensive celebration of the holiday. The success of the Boozers' convention was so pronounced last year that a new campaign was inaugurated at 10:30 o'clock last night at the Army headquarters, No. 13 East Mohawk Street.  At the Saturn Club, University Club, Twenty Century Club and Country Club open houses will prevail. The St. Patrick's Club will celebrate New Years Day as usual with "open house" tomorrow afternoon. There will be vocal and instrumental music during the afternoon. In the evening the annual New Years Dance will be held at St. Patrick's Hall.

Publication  by The Buffalo Express for New Years 1911

From The Roof of The Lenox Hotel - 140 North Street
From The Roof of The Lenox Hotel - 140 North Street
From The Roof of The Lenox Hotel - 140 North Street
Delaware Park Lake From the Porch of the Historical Society's Building
The Heart of Buffalo, Where Delaware, Genesee and Niagara Streets Cross
Gates Circle on a Sunday Morning: at the Head of Chapin Parkway
Autumn In Cazenovia Park: Church of Saint John The Evangelist in the Distance
Humboldt Park, Where Countless Picknickers
Gather in Summer and Skaters in Winter
Bidwell Parkway: One of The Miles of Shaded Approaches To Delaware Park

Near the Eastern Entrance to Delaware Park:  Jewett Avenue, Looking Toward Main Street
One of  the Interesting Sights at The Buffalo Zoo in
Delaware Park is the Herd of Buffalo
One of the Newer Homes of Buffalo: At The Corner Of Delaware and Summer Street
One of The Mansions That Decorate The Circle
(at the Head of Richmond Ave.)

In a Home Section of The West Side: Landscape Gardening in Dorchester Road
Humboldt Parkway: The Connecting Link between the Upper East Side and The West

Buffalo is a City of Homes: A View Across the Roofs Near St. Stanislaus Church

The Crowd Off For a Jolly Half Holiday Sailing Across Lake Erie To Crystal Beach
The Beauty of Labor--Some of The Workers on The City Potato Patches
The Harbor of Buffalo, Where You See Lake and River Craft of Every Kind
Watching Water Sports In The Outer Harbor: Spectators on the Sea Wall

The Buffalo History Gazette wishes all my readers a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year in 2021! Thank you so much for your readership.
Jerry M. Malloy - Editor

See:  Drying Up the New Year

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Miracle - Taylor Caldwell

Janet Reback
(Taylor Caldwell)
A True Christmas Story by Buffalo’s 
Taylor Caldwell in the 1920’s 
So famous and renowned is Taylor Caldwell, that it is difficult to visualize her as a wan, depressed, and frightened young mother; alone, jobless, nearly destitute, and having to face the bleakest Christmas of her life.  She had almost lost faith in God Himself.  
And then...
"My Christmas Miracle"

By Taylor Caldwell

For many of us, one Christmas stands out from all the others, the one when the meaning of the day shone clearest. Although I did not guess it, my own "truest" Christmas began on a rainy spring day in the bleakest year of my life. Recently divorced, I was in my 20s, had no job, and was on my way downtown to go the rounds of the employment offices. I had no umbrella, for my old one had fallen apart, and I could not afford another one. I sat down in the streetcar, and there against the seat was a beautiful silk umbrella with a silver handle inlaid with gold and flecks of bright enamel. I had never seen anything so lovely.
  I examined the handle and saw a name engraved among the golden scrolls. The usual procedure would have been to turn in the umbrella to the conductor, but on impulse, I decided to take it with me and find the owner myself. I got off the streetcar in a downpour and thankfully opened the umbrella to protect myself. Then I searched a telephone book for the name on the umbrella and found it. I called, and a lady answered. Yes, she said in surprise, that was her umbrella, which her parents, now dead, had given her for a birthday present. But, she added, it had been stolen from her locker at school (she was a teacher) more than a year before. She was so excited that I forgot I was looking for a job and went directly to her small house. She took the umbrella, and her eyes filled with tears.
  The teacher wanted to give me a reward, but--though $20 was all I had in the world--her happiness at retrieving this special possession was such that to have accepted money would have spoiled something. We talked for a while, and I must have given her my address. I don't remember.
   The next six months were wretched. I was able to obtain only temporary employment here and there, for a small salary, though this was what they now call the Roaring Twenties. But I put aside 25 or 50 cents when I could afford it for my little girl's Christmas presents. (It took me six months to save $8.) My last job ended the day before Christmas, my $30 rent was soon due, and I had $15 to my name--which Peggy and I would need for food. She was home from her convent boarding school and was excitedly looking forward to her gifts the next day, which I had already purchased. I had bought her a small tree, and we were going to decorate it that night.

   The stormy air was full of the sound of Christmas merriment as I walked from the streetcar to my small apartment. Bells rang and children shouted in the bitter dusk of the evening, and windows were lighted and everyone was running and laughing. But there would be no Christmas for me, I knew, no gifts, no remembrance whatsoever. As I struggled through the snowdrifts, I just about reached the lowest point in my life. Unless a miracle happened I would be homeless in January, foodless, jobless. I had prayed steadily for weeks, and there had been no answer but this coldness and darkness, this harsh air, this abandonment. God and men had completely forgotten me. I felt old as death, and as lonely. What was to become of us?

  I looked in my mailbox. There were only bills in it, a sheaf of them, and two white envelopes which I was sure contained more bills. I went up three dusty flights of stairs, and I cried, shivering in my thin coat. But I made myself smile so I could greet my little daughter with a pretense of happiness. She opened the door for me and threw herself in my arms, screaming joyously and demanding that we decorate the tree immediately.

  Peggy was not yet 6 years old, and had been alone all day while I worked. She had set our kitchen table for our evening meal, proudly, and put pans out and the three cans of food which would be our dinner. For some reason, when I looked at those pans and cans, I felt brokenhearted. We would have only hamburgers for our Christmas dinner tomorrow, and gelatin. I stood in the cold little kitchen, and misery overwhelmed me. For the first time in my life, I doubted the existence of God and His mercy, and the coldness in my heart was colder than ice.

  The doorbell rang, and Peggy ran fleetly to answer it, calling that it must be Santa Claus. Then I heard a man talking heartily to her and went to the door. He was a delivery man, and his arms were full of big parcels, and he was laughing at my child's frenzied joy and her dancing. "This is a mistake," I said, but he read the name on the parcels, and they were for me. When he had gone I could only stare at the boxes. Peggy and I sat on the floor and opened them. A huge doll, three times the size of the one I had bought for her. Gloves. Candy. A beautiful leather purse. Incredible! I looked for the name of the sender. It was the teacher, the address simply "California," where she had moved.
  Our dinner that night was the most delicious I had ever eaten. I could only pray in myself, "Thank you, Father." I forgot I had no money for the rent and only $15 in my purse and no job. My child and I ate and laughed together in happiness. Then we decorated the little tree and marveled at it. I put Peggy to bed and set up her gifts around the tree, and a sweet peace flooded me like a benediction. I had some hope again. I could even examine the sheaf of bills without cringing. Then I opened the two white envelopes. One contained a check for $30 from a company I had worked for briefly in the summer. It was, said a note, my "Christmas bonus." My rent!

The other envelope was an offer of a permanent position with the government--to begin two days after Christmas. I sat with the letter in my hand and the check on the table before me, and I think that was the most joyful moment of my life up to that time.
  The church bells began to ring. I hurriedly looked at my child, who was sleeping blissfully, and ran down to the street. Everywhere people were walking to church to celebrate the birth of the Savior. People smiled at me and I smiled back. The storm had stopped, the sky was pure and glittering with stars.
  "The Lord is born!" sang the bells to the crystal night and the laughing darkness. Someone began to sing, "Come, all ye faithful!" I joined in and sang with the strangers all about me.

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all!

Taylor Caldwell (Janet Reback)
And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.

Editors Note:  Janet Caldwell at the time this Christmas Story took place, lived at 86 Brayton St. in Buffalo. At later times in her life she lived at 782 Potomac Ave. and then later 129 Greenaway Rd. in Eggertsville to name a few.

Merry Christmas
Jerry Malloy

Also See:
"Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus"             

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Have a Safe & Happy Holiday Season!
Laura Virginia O'Hanlon
From "The New York Sun"
  Tuesday September 21 1897

    Is There a Santa Claus?
We take pleasure in answering at once 
And thus prominently the communication 
below, expressing at the same time our 
great gratification that its faithful author 
is numbered among the friends of THE SUN:

 -Dear Editor I am 8 years old.
   Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus

 " Papa said 'if you see it In THE SUN, It's so.'
 " Please tell me the truth; Is there a Santa Claus?
                         •Virginia O'Hanlon

 115 West Ninety-Fifth Street   -

 VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, VIRGINIA, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours Man is a mere insect, an ant in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

   Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

   Not believe In Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

   You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real?  Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever! A thousand years from now, VIRGINIA, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Francis Church

  What became of  Virginia O'Hanlon?

    Her letter and the response became famous, though this was not the extent of her life’s work. She earned a master’s degree from Columbia University as well as a PhD from Fordham University in New York City, and became a teacher and principal who worked for 43 years before retiring in 1959.
    A New York Times article published June 12, 1959, reports on a retirement dinner given to her — then with her married name, Laura Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas — at which a teacher named Mary Kasansky, who worked at the school where O’Hanlon Douglas was “junior principal,” read the editorial to the 30 guests.
    It noted that the school that she helped run consisted of “classes held in 10 hospitals and other institutions for chronically ill children” and that her “devotion and sensitivity to the needs of her pupils” were highly praised by administrators.
    She died May 13, 1971, at 81. Her New York City childhood home in Greenwich Village became the first home of the Studio School, which now has a scholarship in her name. The Web site says:
"In the tradition of a curious young girl, Virginia, who lived in the house that became our school, we celebrate the promise and fulfillment of every child. The Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship Fund will make it possible for more children to grow up to believe in themselves, and embrace the journey of learning. Virginia grew up to be an educator and advocate for children’s rights and believed that all children, regardless of social background, should have the same learning opportunities."

Who was Francis Church?

   Born on February 22, 1839, in Rochester, New York, newspaper editor and writer Francis Pharcellus Church wrote one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time. He penned a response to a young girl's query about the existence of Santa Claus in 1897 that remains popular to this day.
   Francis P. Church was the son of a reverend and the grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier. He graduated from Columbia College (Columbia University) in 1859. For a time, Church considered a career in law, but soon abandoned that idea for a life in media.   
   During the Civil War, Church worked as a war correspondent. He also worked with his brother, William Conant Church, on The Army and Navy Journal. The pair also established a literary publication called Galaxy Magazine in 1869. Contributors to Galaxy included Mark Twain and Henry James.
   By 1897, Francis P. Church was working for the New York Sun. That year he was asked to reply to a letter from an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon asking about Santa Claus. While he wrote many articles and editorials during his lifetime, Church will always be remembered best for his moving commentary on Santa Claus. He died on April 11, 1906, in his New York City home. For a few years, no one really new who wrote the editorial. Because of The Sun's policy of editorial anonymity, it wasn't revealed until after his death. 
   Over the years, Church's defense of Santa Claus has been reprinted numerous times in magazines and newspapers. It has also inspired several books, including the 2001 children's illustrated tale Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. The story of O'Hanlon's letter and Church's reply have formed the narrative for a number of films, most recently the 2009 television special, Yes, Virginia.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kenmore's Driving Force For The Physically Challenged

Genius of P.A. Dunn Boon to Handicapped
Courier Express February 21, 1965
                     By H. K. Smith
Mr. Dunn Holds His Single and Double
Shifts for Handicapped Drivers
  INVENTOR OF NOTE -- The varied inventions of Paul A. Dunn Jr. range from a jack for airplanes that is used on a Gemini spacecraft, to special equipment for the handicapped and for hospital patients. The Dunn Manual Drive Control enables a handicapped driver to operate the brakes and accelerator of his car with either his right or left hand. That is the invention for which Paul Dunn is internationally known. Recently he received enquiries concerning it from Ford Motor Co. of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
   HAVE A GOOD RECORD -- The portable control, costing less than $100, has made driving possible for thousands of handicapped men and women. Mr. Dunn has instructed several hundred in its use and reported the safety records 300 users are above average. Jefferson High School of Rochester has added this control to it's driver education equipment and currently is instructing 20 handicapped teenage students. "If normal drivers would use my manual control, accidents could be reduced," Mr. Dunn maintains. "By eliminating that fraction of a second required to move the foot from accelerator to brake, my control shortens by 22 ft. the space a car travels after the driver moves to stop it." 
Patent Drawing For Driving Controls
  REGULATES SPEED -- Also the Dunn Control can set the car's speed, (cruise control) thereby relieving the driver from keeping the foot on the accelerator. "This lessons driver fatigue, a recognized cause of accidents," Mr. Dunn said. For the Chronic Disease Research Institute and Meyer Memorial Hospital, Mr. Dunn has designed and invented equipment for the alleviation of pain and rehabilitation of the handicapped.  A patent is pending for his body support for relief and prevention of decubitus lesions and burns (bed sores). The basic pad is a circular pad covered with a washable material.
  PROVIDE SUPPORT -- An arm or leg can be thrust through a hole in the center to place the cushion where it is most needed.  Within the central aperture are tiny pyramids of material, firm enough to give support to the limb, yet pliable for comfort. This pad, and equipment to hold bent toes in position to make walking possible, were originated by Mr. Dunn during three years at Meyer Memorial Hospital. He was supervisor of planning and equipment for the pre-vocational evaluation center for the hospital. He deems his Dunnometer more than just an exerciser and tester for virtually any muscle in the body. "It's a gauge, that the patient can watch, has psychological value," he said. "It enables the patient, recovering from a stroke, to check the improvement of his muscles every day."
   MAN WITH IDEAS -- The long list of Dunn inventions includes a lift to transport a wheel chair and its occupant up or down a flight of stairs; several devices to facilitate amputees or persons with disabled hands; a bowling rack to roll the ball from the lap of a person in a wheelchair; a light, portable wheelchair driven by electric motor, the first fan type snow blower, and race cars with both front and rear wheel steering.  Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, Mr. Dunn designed a portable illuminating unit for the Kenmore Volunteer Fire Department of which he has been a member for 25 years. This was adapted for airport lighting during the war.
  Widely respected in the automotive field, Mr. Dunn was chosen to write the program of 9000 hours training in automobile mechanics for the returned veterans in New York State. He, himself, instructed 40 former GI's. He is listed in the Current Automotive Manufacturers Who's Who.
Patent Drawing For Dunn Airplane Jack
  NATIVE  BUFFALONIAN -- Born in this city, Mr. Dunn is the son of an able automotive engineer. His father, Paul Sr., built the first portable welder, and was the first in the United States to weld aluminum. Mr. Dunn is a graduate of School 59 and of old Technical High School.  He has taken additional courses in the engineering field. Two years ago he took a course in evaluation of the handicapped worker at the Institute for Crippled and Disabled of New York University.  
 LIVES IN  KENMORE -- In Kenmore, where the Dunns live, he is a leader in community activities. He developed Kenmore's first public playground at Elmwood and Mang, obtaining the land from the village and soliciting equipment and volunteer labor from citizens to add to the WPA work group.  A long-time baseball player, he is in demand as a coach for boys teams. He arranged for the first handicapped group from this city to take part in the Para Olympics, and accompanied the competitors to the sports contests on Long Island.
 RAN A GARAGE -- During World War II he organized the first Boys in Service Club in the United States to keep servicemen in touch with the hometown. He has been identified with the automotive field and aviation. At one time, he operated a collision repair garage manned by 35 mechanics. Last August, equipment designed for the handicapped by Mr. Dunn, was exhibited at the American Congress for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation meeting in Boston.
Dunn Developed Kenmore's 1st public Playground
 at Elmwood and Mang
   Mr. Dunn married Marion Dory of Buffalo. Their daughter Linda, is a high school teacher in Detroit. They have two sons, Paul Dunn III, a veteran of the Marines, is certified as a limb and brace maker by the NYU Institute and is a member of the Meyer Memorial Hospital staff. The younger son Victor, is a student at Bryant and Stratton Business School.

Also See:  Paul Dunn, So Others May Drive

The Museum of Disability History


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Paul A. Dunn: So Others May Drive

New Auto Design Gives the Legs a Day Off

Courier Express February 11, 1954

   What the style-wise motorist will be driving in 1954 is no longer a secret. All you have to do is look at the 125 cars at the Buffalo Auto Show this week at the Masten Avenue Armory. But what will the car of tomorrow be like?  This years model seems to have everything -- from cigarette lighters to radios, to power steering, electrically manipulated windows and push button seat control.  What other gadgets and comforts could anyone dream up?
Patent Drawing of Dunn's Invention
  A young Western New York inventor thinks he knows the answer. After 15 years of research and development, he is showing his product this week for the first time at any auto show. In an almost obscure corner on the north side of the armory, Paul A. Dunn Jr., 27 Columbia Dr. Kenmore, is exhibiting his Dunn Drive Control.  He thinks the gadget which sells, including installation, for a comparatively small amount, will become optional equipment with all makes of cars a few years hence.
   The gadget which can be operated with a single finger, makes the use of your legs in driving unnecessary. It operates both brake and gas pedals on cars with automatic shifts and also the clutch pedal on cars with conventional shift.
  "Why should we use our legs when we can drive with our hands"? asked Dunn. "On long drives our legs can get very tired from driving.  Also reaction tests have shown the hand is 20% quicker than the foot in reflex actions. That means, stopping a car with hand controls is much safer. Originally designed for physically handicapped persons, Dunn said most of his sales still are to amputees and paraplegics. The hand controls can be installed on any car in about 30 minutes and do not interfere if anyone else wants to drive the car by conventional method.  
  Dunn also manufactures portable controls. These make it possible for handicapped persons to install the equipment on rented cars when they are out of town. With the help of the controls, almost anyone who can sit in a wheel chair also can learn to provide himself with self-transportation in a car, Dunn said.
   25 years in Auto Business 
   A native of Buffalo, the 45 year old Dunn was graduated from School 59 and Technical High School.  He spent 25 years operating his own auto collision business before he started designing aids for the handicapped. The Driving controls, which do not mar the car and can be detached without leaving any marks, consists of a horizontal bar running out from the steering column. Attached to the bar are two "trombone slide" crisscrossed rods, one extending to the brake pedal, the other to the gas pedal. Pulling or pushing slightly on the bar, the driver can apply or take off pressure on either pedal simultaneously.