Daily Archives: April 17, 2011

Bears in the news

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Bears in the news? Nothing new. The Cohoes Cataract, 1849, reported on a resolution of the trustees of the village of Cohoes:

“Complaint having been made that Wm. H. Bortell has a bear near his house which is not safely secured, therefore Resolved: That the police constable be, and he is hereby ordered to direct the said Bortell in the name of the village to secure the said bear or remove him so as children and passengers shall not be exposed any longer.”

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Mmmm . . . steam crackers . . .

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Greenbush Steam Cracker 1894.png

As I’ve said before, if you wanted to show that your product was the height of modernity in the 19th century, it had to be made by steam. Witness Fred Carr & Son’s Greenbush Steam Cracker and Biscuit Manufactory. It had previously been J. Whiting’s cracker factory, at Second Avenue and Washington in what is now Rensselaer. These weren’t your old-fashioned crackers, baked with coal or perhaps boiling vats of offal – these were STEAM crackers! An impressive variety, too – oyster crackers, milk biscuits, ginger snaps, graham crackers, soda wafers, saltines and more.

Frederick Carr’s home at 15 Second Ave., Rensselaer, still stands.

Imagine how ticked off Fred Carr and son must have been when Shredded Wheat started touting its electric baking process, using the power of Niagara Falls. Hey, steam was good enough for you people all these years, it should be good enough now!

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