Category Archives: Schenectady

Victor Rickard is Fashion Forward

Published by:

Carl Company Express We recently mentioned Schenectady’s aviation pioneer Victor A. Rickard, who not only managed the airport but gave flying demonstrations and lessons all over the area. But we missed that he was also involved in a fashion first, combining promotion for the nascent Schenectady Airport at Thomas Corners in Glenville with an air express shipment for the Carl Company department store. The Gazette reported on it on June 14, 1927:

Within three hours after exclusive summer fashions had been completed by leading New York designers they were on display in Schenectady late yesterday afternoon.

In this manner the Carl Company gave a tremendous impetus to the country-wide campaign to demonstrate the feasibility of commercial air transportation and play its part in the opening of the financial drive for the adequate equipment of the municipal airport at Thomas’ Corners.

The plane which made the trip was the Carl Company “Special Air Express” and the pilot was Victor A. Rickard, the local veteran birdman. Pilot Rickard was accompanied on the trip by F.E. Baldwin of the Gazette reportorial staff.

The “special” made its departure from Schenectady early yesterday and arrived at Fokker field on the outskirts of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., less than two hours later. Here the plane was held in readiness until the merchandise was speedily dispatched from New York to the airdrome. Leaving the designers shortly after 1 o’clock, the merchandise was placed aboard the plane shortly before 2 o’clock. Then with a roar of the propeller, a brief taxi over the Fokker field runways, the plane leaped away on its journey northward.

Notwithstanding that the trip up the Hudson was against a strong head wind the plane nosed into Port Schenectady shortly after 4 o’clock. The merchandise was immediately loaded into an automobile truck and taken to the Carl store. Within a half hour after the arrival here the fashions were on display in one of Carl Company’s windows. This s believed to be a precedent in regard to the speedy shipment of merchandise and its consequential display in northern New York. It also marked the initial air express shipment of merchandise to arrive at the local port.

Lest you think that the miracle of one-day delivery is something Amazon.com cooked up, consider that window dressing wasn’t the only thing that Rickard brought north that day.

“As the result of yesterday’s trip of the Carl Company air express there are two Schenectadians who will attest to the advantages of commercial aviation. William W. Patten, 1178 Glenwood boulevard, had placed with the Carl Company an order for a special golf ball. He wanted them in a hurry, and he obtained them in a hurry. They were in his hands in less than 11 minutes after the plane arrived at the Schenectady airport.

Yesterday morning Mrs. W.L. Fodder of 72 Union street placed with the Carl Company an order for hosiery of a special color. Special orders were telephoned to the manufacturers in New York and the goods were rushed to the Carl airplane at the Fokker field. As in the case of Mr. Patten, the hosiery was delivered to Mrs. Fodder in a similarly short time after the special express ship arrived.”

While they were at Fokker field, Rickard and Baldwin got to view the Fokker airplane manufacturing plant, including an army bomber then under construction that would carry six machine guns, four tons of bombs, and four passengers, at a cost of $125,000. (That’s about $1.76 million in today’s dollars (the new B-21 bomber is expected to cost $606 million, each).

Charles W. Carl, head of the Carl Company, said that he was convinced that commercial aviation in regard to the delivery of express merchandise was entirely feasible and “bound to play a prominent part in department store business.” He said that ordinary speedy delivery was 15-16 hours from New York.

General Electric had moving picture photographers on hand to capture the plane as it landed, along with its unloading. “These pictures will be shown at Proctor’s Theater within a few days, the date to be announced tomorrow.”

Schenectady’s Premier Aviator, Victor Rickard

Published by:

Victor Rickard in center

From Daily Gazette 1920s: From left are Harold Bowen, Johnnie Luke, John Clark, Victor Rickard, Slim Emerson, unidentified and Phil Lucas. The Gazette credited this to the White Studios

Sometimes we run across a name from local history and have to wonder how it’s possible that the person in question isn’t better known. And then we get vexed by trying to know them better, at the remove of a century or so. Such is the case of Victor Rickard.

While Albany had an airfield starting in 1909 (Quentin Roosevelt Field, on Westerlo Island land now occupied by the Port of Albany), Schenectady didn’t get into the air transport game until 1927, when there was a wave of airport building across the country and the tri-motor airplane brought the promise of safer routine travel. In April of 1927, $100,000 in stock was offered to purchase land and develop the airport at Thomas Corners; by July, it was enough of an airport that Charles Lindbergh visited. Other famous flyers like A.F. Hegenberger (first trans-Pacific flight to Hawaii) and Bert Acosta (“the bad boy of the air”) visited that year. It all happened pretty fast. And in every article one can find about the airport, one finds mention of local flyer Victor A. Rickard. In fact, he flew the first plane to land at the airport, June 1, 1927 (coming from a small runway off Route 5 near Amsterdam)

Aero Digest wrote in 1927: “Schenectady Airport is gradually taking the shape of a high-grade port. It is situated on the main highway north, with direct entrance from same, and but three miles from the heart of Schenectady’s business section. It covers 195 acres of land located above the lowland fog area of that particular vicinity and excellent soil, with good natural drainage . . . A flying school and a taxi service has been operated on the port since July by a local aviator, Victor Rickard.”

Originally from Middleburgh or East Cobleskill in Schoharie County, Victor Arthur Rickard attended Aviation Mechanics School at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois in 1920. The earliest local mention we find of him is actually from the New York Times, but datelined Schenectady, from June 24, 1923, with the headline: “Cheats Death Twice in Plane and River.” The cheater was not Rickard, but his parachuting passenger, John D. Smith of Chicago:

Smith attempted to descend by parachute from an airplane piloted at 2,000 feet by Victor Rickard, who directs a flying field near this city. The parachute, failing to open, caught in the landing gear of the plane, leaving Smith hanging some 15 feet below. His attempts to climb to the cock pit were futile and Rickard signaled that he would drop him in the Mohawk River. The aviator planed to a few feet above the water and Smith jumped. He could not swim, however, and sank, but was pulled ashore by L.W. Geweke, patron of a swimming school near by.

The next mention we find of him is in the Salem (Washington County) Press in 1925, in notes from Greenwich:

“Victor Rickard with his mechanic flew into town Friday morning with a new standard bi-plane and after circling about over the village alighted on the flat west of Elm avenue and announced that he was a teacher in a Schenectady aviation school and was ready to take up passengers on twelve-minute trips. Andrew Sallans was the first to venture and his enthusiasm was certainly good advertising, for the plane was busy the greater share of the time it remained here.”

Rickard lived on the Amsterdam Road in Glenville in 1925 (possibly near Barhydt Rd.). He was 23, a “commercial flyer,” and listed as a “friend” living in the home of Darwin Mott; with him was his wife, Elmira (“wife of friend”), who was 18. It appears they were married that year.  In 1930, they were renting (at $55 a month) at 11 North Ten Broeck Street in Scotia, a building that still stands as the “TenBroeck Apartments”; he was listed as “Aviator Schdy Airport.”

At first, Rickard flew from what we think was probably later known as Gay Valley Airport on the Amsterdam Road. A 1927 article in the Schenectady Gazette said that Rickard was “one of the best-known ‘birdmen’ in this section of the country. He has ben in the ‘flying game’ for 12 years and for the last six years has been engaged in commercial aviation. Pilot Rickard is accredited with close to 2,000 hours in the air.” He started flying out of the Thomas Corners airport in August of 1927, with a new Waco three-passenger cruiser plane, which was almost the first airplane ever stolen from a municipal airport in October, 1927 – someone fueled the plane, cut the ground ropes and removed the wheel blocks and motor cover. “A wing and the fuselage were damaged when someone stepped through them during the fueling process. This apparently blocked the flight plans.” He was soon named superintendent of the airport.

In 1928, he was noted for flying his “big Stinson cabin plane” from Glens Falls to Boston in less than two hours, “eliminating a train journey of 12 hours for Miss Anna Tarrant of the former city,” who needed medical treatment.

That was also the year that Victor Rickard and Christy Mathewson (son of that Christy Mathewson, a student engineer at General Electric’s research laboratory and a student flier) decided to mix the brave new world of flying with the brave new world of radio and produce what we hope were the first radio flying lessons.

“Schenectady’s airport is going on the air. Tomorrow night at 8 o’clock WGY will broadcast the first of a series of flying lessons from the airport with the airport surroundings, including the roar of the Waco, for realism. Seated in a comfortable chair, with a walking stick, umbrella or broom, the listener by following instructions closely may gain the rudiments of flying. The flying lessons are prepared in the form of playlets, running about a half hour … With Mathewson in the opening lessons will be Victor Rickard, manager of the airport and head of the Inter-Cities Transport Service, Philip Lucas, chief pilot and instructor, and William Luke, superintendent of the flying course in which 50 men are now enrolled … WGY engineers have made a temporary studio of the great flying field as it was considered necessary to get the actual plane motor sounds in establishing contact, taking off, throttling down, etc. A Ford motor also enters the radio picture by way of contrast … Frank Oliver, director of the WGY Players, has been engaged in directing the aviation players in their parts. The lessons will be continued for several weeks, offering practically an entire course for those interested. Thus Schenectady, one of the first cities in the country to have a fully equipped and modern airport, will have an important part in promoting air consciousness wherever WGY and sister short wave transmitters 2XAF and 2XAD are heard. Messers Rickard, Lucas and Luke, who have capered in the air, will send their voices by the same medium, at a much faster pace than they will ever fly, to remote corners of the world.”

Later on, in 1930, he flew with Lindbergh during one of Lindy’s visits, testing out a new compass. Rickard was noted in many local papers all over the state, offering lessons, and showing up with air circuses. In 1931, he headed a squadron of planes that would “swoop low over the city Memorial day morning to drop flowers upon paraders in the annual tribute paid by veterans and citizens to America’s war dead. Again, at the ceremonies in Crescent park and at Vale Cemetery the pilots will scatter petals down upon the graves bearing the bronze markers and small flags that betoken a military connection.” We last note him in 1935, when he joined F.H. Taylor Airways in Watertown as chief pilot. By the time he filled out a draft card in 1942, he was 40 years old and living in Mount Lebanon, PA. And that’s the last we know.

The Mohawk Overall Company

Published by:

Saw this old postcard posted on the “Schenectady History – Photos and Discussions” Facebook group the other day, and it set us to wondering why we had never heard of the Mohawk Overall Company. It turns out it wasn’t around very long.

The Mohawk Overall Company opened up in Schenectady in 1909, with a new plant on Dock Street (on land purchased from General Electric) and plans to employ 700 people. It advertised as far away as Utica, at least, looking for

“Experienced Stitchers on Power Machines in our model, new fireproof overall factory. Union factory. Good wages. 48 hours a week. Steady employment. Experienced stitchers will have their fare paid to Schenectady.”

The company was even advertising for salesmen in Chicago. But it started under a cloud – its principals were previously with the Hooker, Corser and Mitchell Company of Brattleboro, Vermont, then the largest manufacturers of overalls in the world. James Hooker, William Corser and possibly other of its officers departed with private information of the company, its client list, and a large number of its employees to set up in Schenectady. Eventually the Vermont company sued Mohawk (which had changed its name to Mohawk Clothing Company), and the case was noted in a number of newspapers. Mohawk lost and was ordered to discharge all salesmen, superintendents and leading employees of the company and to prevent them from doing business with 2000 customers of the Vermont company. The company went into receivership and was dismantled in 1915.

Its property, consisting of land and a three-story sandstone brick building on Dock street, along with machinery and equipment, was foreclosed and auctioned off for $34,000 in 1915 (it was estimated to be worth $70,000). Shortly thereafter, General Electric purchased the building for about $35,000. Originally talked about for use as a laboratory for the lighting department, GE said it intended to use the building in connection with the manufacture of war munitions. Whether that actually happened, we haven’t determined.

The building still stands today, home of the Visiting Nurse Service of Northeastern New York.

 

 

Schenectady’s Hershey Beverage Corporation

Published by:

Mohawk Club Ginger AleTime was when there were many, many local soda manufacturers. Yes, the national brands existed, but every city had a bottler or two that made up their own sodas. We ran across this ad and had to admit we hadn’t heard of Mohawk Club, or the Hershey Beverage Corporation.

An article in the Gazette from 1938 promised that “Ginger Ale is Bottled Sanitary” —

Mohawk Club Ginger Ale and kindred beverages are manufactured under most modern and most sanitary conditions. Nothing but the best ingredients that money can buy are used and used scientifically in a clean, scientifically-controlled laboratory. One hundred per cent American refined cane sugar, the most expensive extracts and flavors, filtered carbonated water mixed in the right proportions are used in the making of Mohawk Club beverages . . . The Mohawk Club Beverage Laboratory is in charge of a chemist skilled in the art of beverage making. He has at his command a laboratory consisting of the most up-to-the-minute equipment, immaculately kept at all times and checked and rechecked in an effort to produce as near as possible a 100 per cent pure beverage. The bottling machinery used is the finest and most up to date, having only recently been installed. The bottling plant is fully automatic, the bottle not being touched by human hands after it is once put on the machine. The bottle is washed and sterilized in a 3 per cent caustic solution (New York state only requires a 2 per cent solution). In this process the bottle is not sprayed with this solution but lies dormant in it for 27 minutes and comes out as chemically clean and scientifically sterile as is human possible to accomplish. Each bottle is machine brushed under pressure three different times. It is the only machine of its kind in Schenectady, being used for the manufacture of large bottle beverage.

Hershey sodaHershey was the manufacturer of Mohawk Club beverages and they distributed Saratoga Vichy. Their offices and plant were at 7 North Center Street in Schenectady, just north of Union Street. The building still stands, as a nice-looking apartment building, with the insignia of the John H. Stock Bottling Works. In addition to pale dry ginger ale, they made orange, Tom Collins mix, sarsaparilla, cherry, lime rickey, root beer, birch beer, cream soda, and lemon sour.

We find mention of Mohawk Club as early as 1922, and in 1931 it was referenced as being from the John H. Stock Bottling Works. By 1933, it was clearly made by the Hershey Beverage Corporation – whether they were a name change, a buyout of Stock, or something else, we’re unable to determine. As early as 1937, they were selling a “dietetic” ginger ale, “sweetened with Saccharine to meet the requirements of leading clinics.” It appears that they filed for bankruptcy in 1955.

The Library and the Law

Published by:

Schenectady Public LibrarySince we recently featured the old Schenectady Public Library, which sat at the corner of Union Street and Seward Place for nearly 66 years, thanks largely to the beneficence of Andrew Carnegie and Union College. A 1930 article in the Schenectady Gazette proclaimed that “Book Thieves Here Are Rare,” and went on to offer that the police were quick to help.

“The library is protected by educational and penal laws. Police justices have always been a great aid to members of the Schenectady library staff in cases of this nature. Book stores have agreed not to purchase volumes without examining them. Perforating stamps giving the name of the library are used. The thief noticing one on the title page usually tears that out. He does not notice, however, that certain pages of each book are also stamped. Pages 50,125 and 175 are favorites in the punching process . . .

The public is honest, however. Librarians are firm believers in that. Out of the half million loans from the city library each year, not more than five books are lost. That ratio is meager compared to the number of dishes broken annually by a housewife.”

Sick burn, library beat writer. The author went on to note that overdue books were, in fact, a problem, and that people could be forgetful. He indicated that western stories and detective mysteries were “preferred by people who are tired and don’t want to think. On the other hand, an unusually large call for the works of Thackeray, Cooper and Dickens is noted.” He also said that the library’s requests for books on useful arts was notably high, and that books on electrical and civil engineering, painting, carpentry, etc, were always in demand.

“Circulation figures at the library have been enormous this year but waiting lists on the new books are not as long . . . During the past week, between 1,000 and 1,500 books have been passed out daily by the assistants on duty. One of the five branch libraries in the city gave out 700 books in one day last week. The branch libraries are located at: Bellevue, Mont Pleasant, Woodlawn, Brandywine avenue at Becker, and, in the Pleasant Valley section, Craig street at Lincoln avenue.

“No person is refused permission to take books, no matter where he or she is from, the librarians stated. If people residing near one of the branches want a book not on hand there, the main library is called and the book delivered.”

Schenectady Public Library

Published by:

Schenectady Public LibraryStill in the Electric City, looking at lovely postcard views – here, the classic building that housed the Schenectady Public Library for nearly 66 years. Happily, legendary Schenectady Gazette reporter and chronicler of local history Larry Hart gave us the history of the Schenectady public library in commemorating the 75th anniversary of the system in 1969, which coincided with the opening of the new library that still stands at 99 Clinton Street. The lovely structure in this postcard, however, was the first permanent building housing a library, at Seward Place and Union Street.

Before that, there had been a free circulating library late in the 19th century operated by the YMCA in the old Van Horne Hall (part of the site of the Schenectady Savings and Loan Association Building on State Street just west of Erie Boulevard, which more recently held a First Niagara). There was also a subscription library operated for many years by George Clare in connection with his newsroom at 143 State Street, Hart reported. In 1894 a committee was formed, a public appeal for funds started, and a library association organized and chartered, which marked the start of the Schenectady library system. They leased rooms on the second floor of what was then the Fuller Building, later (and now) known as the Wedgeway Building, where there was a large reading room and closed stacks. The Lancaster School Library’s books were transferred to the new library and made up much of its collection of 2,468 volumes.

It wasn’t long before there was agitation for a more suitable library, with citizens pressing the City Council for a central library in 1900. The building you see above was completed in 1903 at a cost of $55,000, greatly aided, as so many city libraries were, by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, which donated $50,000, and by Union College, which offered the land on the northeast corner of its pasture. General Electric donated $15,000, and the City Council appropriated $5,000 annually for light, heat and general maintenance. The grand opening and dedication was held the night of Oct. 6, 1903. It remained a city institution until 1948, when the county took over, establishing the Schenectady County Public Library System. Annual circulation grew from about 50,000 volumes in 1903 to 22 times that by 1955, Hart reported. At that point, the library was clearly overcrowded and obsolete, barely fitting 100,000 volumes, and study of a new library building began in 1960. The next library was sited on an urban renewal site near City Hall in 1967, with groundbreaking following and about two years of construction.

When Larry Hart was writing, there had only been four directors in the 75-year history of the library, and one of them only very briefly. Henry G. Glen served from 1903 until 1940, followed by Harold L. Hamill who served from July 1940 through December 1941. Then came Bernice Hodges, director from 1941 through 1953, and E. Leonore White, who served from 1953 on.

After the library vacated this building, it was returned to Union College, and it now serves as a student residence named Webster House.

The Time Capsule in Schenectady’s City Hall

Published by:

Schenectady City HallThis is a postcard view of Schenectady’s City Hall, the classic Federalist hall designed by McKim, Mead & White and constructed 1931-1933. MMW won a competition among seven firms, three from Schenectady. Some elements of the design were actually prescribed by the city, which apparently wanted something that would complement the Post Office and would echo the legacy of Albany’s most prominent architectural figure, Philip Hooker: “Harvard brick and Vermont marble are proposed as the building materials for the external walls, and Vermont slate for the roof. The design has been developed in the manner of Philip Hooker, whose work represents such an important part of the early architectural heritage of this locality.” So the Gazette wrote on May 10, 1930, when the cornerstone was laid.

There’s a copper box behind the cornerstone, 10 inches wide, 14 inches long, and 8 inches deep. A committee of city officials and a number of clergymen was charged with deciding what would go in that box, and to judge by this report from the Gazette on April 24, 1930, they decided that everything should.

“The committee wishes to place in the copper box, which will be hermetically sealed, as many interesting souvenirs of the present day as the box will contain. A great many of the documents and articles proposed have connection with the city hall project. The committee has decided to place in the box the following articles, and more, should the space warrant it: Copies of stories which appeared in the “American City” magazine of August, 1929, and the “Architect” of June, 1929, both dealing with the architectural competition for the design of the new city hall; copies of the two daily newspapers of an issue as near the date of May 10 as the sealing of the box will allow; a general description of the movement for the new building and its final realization; photographs of the city hall plot as it appeared before the old buildings were razed; photographs of the old city hall and city hall annex; photographs of all the plans in the architectural competition; photographs of principal buildings of the city, such as Union College structures, schools, library, Elks’ clubhouse, banks, Hotel Van Curler, principal industries and postoffice [sic] building, as well as views of the great western gateway, Erie boulevard, State street, etc.; as many aeroplane views as may be accessible; a copy of The Atlas.

“A detailed map of the city in 1875 on which the buildings are sketched to detail; copy of the official common council manual which describes the city government, its history and present personnel; a copy of the 1930 municipal budget; historic sketches of the American Locomotive, General Electric and Mica Insulator Company plants; a book entitled “Schenectady and Great Western Gateway, Past and Present,” published by the chamber of commerce at the time of the bridge’s opening and which contains articles written by Dr. James H. Stoller, professor emeritus of geology of Union College; DeLancey W. Watkins, then president of the Schenectady County Historical Society; Postmaster Edwin G. Conde; Willis T. Hanson, jr., Dr. Charles Alexander Richmond, former president of Union College; George W. Featherstonhaugh, Frederick L. Bronner, former Mayor [T. Low] Barhydt, John W. Hammond and Myron F. Westover; the 1929 report of the chamber of commerce.

“A booklet published by the chamber of commerce entitled “A General Survey of Schenectady” and containing economic and industrial data; a 1,000-foot photophone reel, a production of the General Electric Company which details the steps in the movement for the new city hall, including such scenes as Mayor Fagal’s signing the ordinance providing for the construction of the new building, the board of estimate and apportionment at the session during which it approved the ordinance, with remarks by all the members; the board of aldermen leaving the old city hall after its last meeting in that building, and the police leaving the building preparatory to occupying their new headquarters, Smith and Clinton streets; and possibly the full contents of the copper box which was enclosed in the cornerstone of the old city hall.

“In choosing the articles to be enclosed in the cornerstone, the committee is being guided by the thought of what will be of the most interest to those who may open the box a century or more hence.”

It hasn’t been quite a century. Generally, time capsules don’t do too well, but there have been exceptions (like one in Boston that survived a century in beautiful condition), and I’d sure love to see that photophone reel.

State Street, just a few years later.

Published by:

Schenectady State Street from BridgeLast time, we looked up Schenectady’s State Street from the railroad bridge, probably sometime in the late ’30s or ’40s. This time, nearly the same view, sometime in the 1950s. Jay Jewelers is still on the corner on the left, but its loverly perpendicular sign over the street is gone. Here we can also see The Imperial.

If you look just past the Woolworth’s on the left, you can see a curved arrow sign. It points to a restaurant, the Home Foods Cafeteria, which was downstairs from the street and of whose very existence I doubted. My mother swore it was there, but it took a long time to find any evidence of it.

The trolley tracks down the center of the street are gone, as are the little traffic dividers, and buses predominate. . On the other side of the street, on the corner Hough Hotel building, we can see the sign for the store that most people associate with that building: the Planters Peanuts store. Beyond that, you can see the tall sign for Peggy’s Restaurant, and then Proctor’s Theater. The Richman’s sign is gone here. What are the white flags on the lamppost in dead center?

State Street, Schenectady

Published by:

State Street SchenectadyLet’s leave Albany for a while and look at the Electric City. Another view from the Tichnor Collection at Digitalcommonwealth.org, this time of Schenectady’s State Street, looking east from the railroad overpass, with Broadway/North Center Street crossing. This was likely late 1930s or early 1940s (car dating nerds, help us out). Immediately to the left, Jay Jewelry, which later moved west of the overpass. Just the other side of North Center Street was the F.W. Woolworth. The stores beyond that are a little hard to make out, but the taller one on the block was the Wallace Co. department store. If you squint, way up the left side of the street, you can see a sign for the Plaza Theater, which opened in 1931 and was demolished in 1964, a pretty short run for a house that some considered grander than Proctor’s.

On the right side, the corner building was the Hotel Hough, which appears at this time to have housed Rudolph Jewelers on the ground floor. The Hough survived (as a building) until relatively recently, and was demolished to make room for BowTie Cinemas.  The tall tower just beyond it was the home of Clark Witbeck hardware, which sold routine hardware but also was involved in railroad supplies. (Mr. Witbeck’s tomb in Vale Cemetery is an Egyptianate wonder.) Some of the smaller businesses are hard to pick out beyond that, but the Proctor’s theater sign is prominent. Past that, another sign, for Richman Brothers, a men’s and boy’s wear store.

Up the middle of the street, trolley tracks — though it looks like buses are running along them. There are islands in State Street, diverting traffic around the trackisings, in a layout that is surprisingly similar to how it looks today.

In rare good news, the vast majority of the buildings in this picture still stand today, though there have been some changes. The Woolworth’s looks dramatically different, as do the buildings just to the east of it,  and as we said, the Hough is gone, but the rest of this scene doesn’t look so different today. Click on the pic to see it large!

Albany, the booming bustling bee-hive!

Published by:

The November 1916 issue of “The Elevator Constructor,” the official organ of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (part of the American Federation of Labor), featured correspondence from Charles Nicholson of Albany’s Local No. 35. Brother Nicholson could barely contain his excitement at all the goings on in Albany and beyond – lots of elevator-driven goings on.

“Our old city is a booming, bustling bee-hive Tearing down and building up, tearing up and relaying is the slogan now in the building line and street repairing, and men, from a street laborer to a mechanic, are at a premium. Why, brother, if you haven’t been in the old town within the last five years you won’t know her. She is getting dressed up as a young bride …

Now for a little chat about the brothers here, and the proper thing to do is to start with our honorable president. Brother J. Scott. You have seen him in the picture of our delegates. It is that long, lanky, good-looking fellow towering over the others. He just loves to sink a plunger and pull it out again. He is installing a plunger dumb waiter in the Mohawk Hotel, in Schenectady, for the Otis Company …

Brother Geo. Reynolds is installing two traction machines in the Gas Company’s new building for the Otis Company …

Brother [A.H.] Anderson has just started a job for the Otis Company in the Ten Eyck Hotel Annex, which will be a fifteen-story building. The installation consists of four electric passenger, two electric dumb waiter and two sidewalk lifts …

Brother Nolf has just installed a push-button machine in the post office in Troy for the Otis Company, and is now installing another in the State National Bank in Albany. He just loves push-button machines …

Brother Muller is finishing the installation of an electric freight elevator in the Mohawk Hotel, in Schenectady. This job was started by Brother Boehme, who has since gone back to the big city. We send our good wishes to Brother Boehme …

Now, listen, all you brothers who know Brother Pete McCool. Pete has taken unto himself a better half. He fell in love with an Albany girl, and that settled Pete. We wish the brother and his wife all happiness and good luck in the years to come.”

In an earlier edition that year, the April issue, Brother Nicholson had told of installations of a traction machine in the General Electric Works in Schenectady, a passenger and a freight elevator for the A.B. See Company in a new eight-story apartment building (location not given), four elevators in the county court building.

By the way, Local No. 35 met at German Hall, 46 Beaver Street, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.