Results matching “hoxsie”

The end of the Argus

Argus closeup.pngThe Editor and Publisher magazine edition of January 15, 1921, noted the sudden closing of The Argus, possibly Albany's oldest newspaper at the time.

Albany Argus Ends Career of 108 Years

Sold to Knickerbocker Press and Merged with Jan. 14 Issue -- Argus Staff Dropped on Two Days' Notice

Albany, N.Y., Jan. 12 -- Announcement was made today of the sale of the Argus to the Press Company, but the consideration has not been made public. The last issue of the Argus will appear Friday. The Argus editorial staff will not join the Knickerbocker Press and were given two days' notice that their services were no longer required.

The Argus Company will retain its entire printing plant for increased job and book printing.

The Argus was founded by Jesse buel in 1813, a judge of Common Pleas in Ulster county. He was backed byninety citizens, who styled themselves "Godfathers" of the paper. It was issued twice a week until 1824, when it became a daily and its name was changed to the Argus and Daily Gazette.

Calvert Comstock became publisher in 1855 and made it a Democratic organ of national fame and a supporter by Martin Van Buren, William L. Marcy, Silas Wright, John A. Dix and other party leaders.

The Argus building, pictured above, remains at Broadway and Beaver. The commercial printing operation, Argus Litho, eventually occupied a gigantic factory complex at 1031 Broadway that unfortunately is on Historic Albany Foundation's endangered historic resources list.

AlbanyIceCream.jpgA 1918 edition of "The Ice Cream Journal" contained this treatise on "Women in Our Industry," by C.D. Monroe of The Albany Ice Cream Company. It's a little hard to read without applying modern sensibilities, but just remember, 96 years ago, those were different times.

It was in June, 1918, that we started to employ women in the manufacturing department of the Albany Ice Cream Company's plant, at Albany. We had decided to make a new brick of ice cream. Within a short time the sales of this product had grown so large that we found it would be necessary to change our methods of wrapping, get more help, or stop taking orders. We had never thought of employing women in the manufacturing end of the plant, but now something must be done.


We advertised in the newspapers for women, and selected four, whom we instructed in the work of cutting and wrapping brick ice cream, and they started at the work. They made good, and our trouble and worry about help in this department was at an end. At first we furnished a man to bring the brick slabs from the hardening room, and after the package was complete, to return them to the cold room, but in a few days after the women became acquainted with the work they did this without any assistance from the men.

We were convinced that women were a valuable asset to our business, and so did not confine them to the brick department alone, but put them in the freezing and mixing departments, and we instructed them as to the proper time to draw off a batch of cream. We found they would watch the temperatures more carefully, get better results than the average man employe.

One woman who had been with us only a few days, was christened the "Truck Horse" by her companions - she would do anything a man could do. If the shipping department was rushed, it was a common occurrence to find her filling tubs with ice, or even assisting to load them on the wagons, and one day when we were short of drivers, she offered to take out a wholesale wagon.

Our factory women employes all report for work at 8 a.m., and work until 5 p.m., with one hour out for lunch. Since cold weather they have clubbed together and cooked their own lunch in the factory, and the men and women eat together and pay the expense on a pro rata basis.

The employing of women has most certainly had a decided effect for the better on the morals of the male help - where we would frequently hear swearing and loud talking, now that is all eliminated. The men have more respect for the women, and that fact, alone has proven to us that women in our industry have come to stay.

Previous to the shortage of help, we always employed men in our factory as porters, but, for the last year, women have been employed with entire satisfaction. They are much neater with their work, and more ambitious than men, and seem to take a personal pride in keeping the factory clean.

The question of salaries paid, depended almost entirely upon the employe herself. We usually started at $8.00 per week for six days' work, and as they became more efficient we advanced their wages accordingly, the average wage being about $12.00 per week.

In closing, I must not overlook the fact that most of us are using women in our industry as clerical help, telephone operators, and stenographers, and our experience has been that if you secure the services of reliable and competent women for office work, they discount the male help. One of our most important positions, I believe, and one where a great amount of good or damage is done, is that of switchboard operator. To be efficient, she must be thoroughly acquainted, not only with your business, but with your city and your customers - able to at all times make quick decisions and answer inquiries intelligently. A woman employe, with such qualifications, I do not believe you can replace with a man.

As regards the employment of women in the capacity of cashiers, or to settle with your drivers, I cannot call women a success in this position. It requires a man, one who is stern and democratic, especially to cash up with the class of drivers that most of us have.

My verdict is, that we shall continue to employ women in our brick department. Men, I believe, should be used in other departments, as the nature of the work is too laborious for women.


What-nots AND bric-a-brac

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.11.17 PM.pngI don't know anything about Adams of 91 and 93 North Pearl St., but in 1891 they were having a big sale on every kind of furniture, not to mention what-nots and bric-a-brac. You can hardly even find a bric-a-brac store these days.

Hoxsie exists...

He's just very, very busy. Consider this a week off.

hiramferguson.pngIt would appear that I have never before taken in the florid advertising stylings of Hiram Ferguson, designer, photographer, and engraver in wood, who worked out of the "Bank Building" at 448 Broadway. This is from the 1881 "Albany Hand-book."

Beware the Street Canary Vendor

whitesbirdstore.pngWhile we're on the subject of the 1881 "Albany Hand-book," let's note its peculiar entry regarding birds:

"The bird-stores of a city are always interesting places to visit, especially to those who are fond of the feathered songsters. There are usually some curious foreign birds on exhibition, and always good singers to be heard. The Hartz mountain canaries are sold from $2 to $3; parrots from $5 to $50; mocking birds from $5, for young ones, up to $20, and even $50. In buying, it is always best to go to some responsible dealer; the canaries hawked about the streets, and sold under price, are either females which never sing, or inferior stock of some kind. The only bird-store in Albany, is William R. White's, 44 Green st., an old established stand, where customers are honestly dealt with."

Lots of meat in this!

henry_l_smith.pngI really have no idea what Henry L. Smith & Bro. meant when they said there's "Lots of Meat in this!" They were referring, in 1891, to their sale on boys' skating coats or reefers, knee pants, and short-pants suits. "This will be a week for the boys."

Smith's place had previously been known as The Boston and Albany Clothing Store. "Mr. Smith has spent large sums of money in advertising, but has always been careful fully to redeem every promise made the public," says the 1881 Albany Hand-book.

(A reefer is a short, heavy, close-fitting coat. Short-pants suits are no relation to short pants-suits.)

Finding Ethelda Bleibtrey

More from the 1952 Knickerbocker News article on Waterford native and Olympic swimming medalist Ethelda Bleibtrey, which we started yesterday:

Although the younger generation may not have heard of Ethelda Bleibtrey, the preceding generation knew of the young lady's remarkable swimming exploits, though it may have forgotten about her down through the years . . .

It wasn't difficult locating her. Her father, the late John Edwin Bleibtrey was an undertaker in Waterford, and William Quandt was his brother-in-law. The Quandt Funeral Home in Waterford is the successor firm to Bleibtrey. From the Quandts, the search turned to Mrs. Victor Hess, 62 Second St., Waterford. She and Ethelda have been close friends since childhood and as a matter of fact, Ethelda visits her "adopted sister" regularly.

Mrs. Hess had the address and telephone number of Ethelda and the rest was easy.

"I certainly recall that parade," she declared in the telephone interview, referring to her triumphal return to her native town after the 1920 Olympics. "They presented me a trunk. It was a good one. I still have it."

Ethelda made many public appearances in the Capital District, including one at the present Mid-City Swimming Pool. She believes it was at the opening.

From 1919 to 1922, Ethelda Bleibtrey churned the waters in almost every country in the world. She did it at all distances, too. She was in the 50, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 800-yard events, and in the mile and other long-distance events. Helene Madison, the Seattle wizard, in 1932 broke all women's records, amassing the amazing total of 15 out of 16 championships. Ethelda at one time in her career held 20 championships.

One of her fondest recollections is that of an exhibition dive from the railing of a steamship in mid-Pacific, on a return trip from an exhibition tour in Australia.

After turning professional, Ethelda went on the stage in a swimming show, touring the famous Keith circuit. She appeared in tank shows in every state in the union. Since that time she has managed pools for many private clubs, including the Park Central Hotel in New York; the Montauk Surf and Cabana Club and the McFadden-Dauville near Miami.

Her daughter, Leilah McRoberts, by a previous marriage, now swimming instructor at Camp Lenore, Hinsdale, Mass., partly emulated her mother's famous career. She became Metropolitan Women's Swimming Champion in the New York area.

And her instructor?

"Who do you think?" Ethelda Bleibtrey replied.

The daughter, a graduate of New York University, majored in physical education.

"Records are like bubbles, they quickly disappear," said Ethelda. "But one of my swimming marks remains unbroken to this date - by a fluke."

She was referring to her 1920 Olympic record of four minutes, 34 seconds, in the 300 meters race. The time for the distance has been bettered many times since and was under the four-minute mark, but the 300 meters event has never been repeated in any Olympiad or international games since 1920. And in the record books it is stated that the best for that event is Ethelda's mark.

This gracious lady who led the aquacade of feminine water speedsters, has an explanation, but no excuse for the speedup in swimming records since her triumphal days.

"In the early days women were not pushed to the utmost for speed because of the lack of competition," she said. "Then, too, the distances in international competition were short races. American women had few rivals in other countries, but as the international competition, and the quality of competition increased, so did the speed."

The starting blocks today, and the excellent pools are additional factors also. Ethelda said her 1920 triumphs at Antwerp were in a moat, and the water for the most part was muddy.

The greatest contribution, in Ethelda's opinion, to the speed up in swimming competition was the introduction by Lou DeB. Hambley of the American six-beat double trudgeon American crawl.

Ethelda Bleibtrey Schlafke has never returned to another Olympic beyond her first and only. She is abundantly happy in her role of teacher, wife and mother. Her idea of a vacation is a quick trip by automobile up the Hudson Valley to the scenes of her childhood --- for a visit with Mrs. Hess; for a look at her Hudson River and, possibly a side trip to Saratoga Lake.

Saratoga Lake? Yes - that's where she first swam at the age of 6.




More on Ethelda Bleibtrey

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.56.58 PM.pngThe Knickerbocker News of July 30, 1952, had an article by Julius J. Heller reminding readers of the important career of championship swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Ethelda Bleibtrey, who was born in and grew up in Waterford.


When a slim, 16-year-old [sic: she was 18] girl plunged into the water at Antwerp, Belgium, in the 1920 Olympiad, the resulting splash not only put the name of Waterford on front pages throughout the world - it also marked the beginning of an era of women's prominence in international sports.

The swimmer was Ethelda Bleibtrey, a Waterford undertaker's platinum blonde, blue-eyed daughter, who became the first American girl - and one of the first women in the world - to gain international fame as a swimmer.

Ethelda's Olympic triumph, followed by more victories in the next two years when she toured the world in competition before turning professional, did much to promote athletic competition among the "weaker sex." Her followers included such feminine stars as Ethel Lackie, Martha Norelius, Helene Madison, Helen Meaney, Helen Wainwright - and the great Gertrude Ederle, who, six years later, conquered the English Channel.

Now 48 [sic: 50], and still championing women's sports, the former Ethelda Bleibtrey cherishes a vivid recollection of her triumphal reception in her native Waterford 32 years ago, with Mayor Lussier leading the Saratoga County community's 3,000 exulting citizens in a parade down Broad St.

Today she is Mrs. Albert P. Schlafke, residing in a modest home at 120 Belleterre Ave., E. Lindhurst, L.I., the wife of a compositor on a New York City newspaper. Her husband was an automobile racing driver until injuries forced him out of competition.

Mrs. Ethelda Bleibtrey Schlafke can be found every day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the pool of the Strathmore Vanderbilt Country Club, former Vanderbilt estate, at Manhasset, L.I. There she is the operator of the pool with a special devotion to teaching youngsters, although many adults are her pupils.

In the off-season, and whenever time permits, she is engaged in physio-therapy work among cerebral palsy and polio afflicted at St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson.

The platinum of Ethelda's hair hasn't turned to the matron gray. It is somewhat on the straw or yellowish side now. But the famous slim Bleibtrey figure is retained. Her energy is boundless; her swimming flawless.

More tomorrow.

Neat and Intelligent Plumbers

Westcottplumbers.png1900: Horace F. Westcott of 27 Howard St. in Albany. Neat and intelligent plumbers. Up to date! And, apparently, quite dapper.


And I'm reminded of this wonderful image that used to hang in the window of Farrell Bros. Plumbing on Delaware Avenue. The plumber protects the health of the nation!

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