Red Ink and Rewrites Too

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Archive for October 2012

Errors and omission, red ink and rewrites

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FW: Archaeology reports: errors and omissions‏

From: Amanda Sutphin (ASutphin@lpc.nyc.gov) You moved this message to its current location.
Sent: Wed 4/13/11 3:09 PM
To: georgejmyersjr@hotmail.com
Cc: Emily Rich (erich@lpc.nyc.gov)

Thank you for your interest and comments.  We are now making a practice of putting all archaeological reports on-line and hope many people will now be able to review them.

Sincerely,

Amanda Sutphin, RPA
Director of Archaeology
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
Municipal Building, 9th Fl
1 Centre St
New York, NY 10007
(212) 669-7823

From: George Myers [mailto:georgejmyersjr@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 2:07 PM
To: Public InfoCc: Nancy.Stehling@aecom.com
Subject:Archaeology reports: errors and omissions

I am very glad to see the information presented online. It was one of the purposes I thought of the archaeology as stated in the aims of the first archaeology Sherene Baugher, PhD, i.e., to put the reports in all the public libraries in New York City. Unfortunately the reasons many gave against it I find some similarity with:

In ”ARCHAEOLOGICAL MONITORING AT THE OLD WEST FARMS SOLDIER CEMETERY, THE BRONX, NEW YORK” (LPC online as 1038.pdf)

It erroneously states my surname “Myers” as “Meyers” and that I have an M.A. I have a B.A. It also erroneously states therefore I was a “Project Archaeologist”. It also erroneously reports Nancy A. Stehling as having an “M.A.” She has a “M.S.” in Public Archaeology from RPI and is on the RPA. I’ve seen trouble before from people having M.A. added to their names, and though I was a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University years ago, now with a campus also in Manhattan, I gave that up to find more practical experience in NYC, not completing my essays for an M.A. though passing comprehensive exams.

Note: It was during the fieldwork for the new fence erected around two sides of this cemetery, with soldiers of 4 wars, 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American, WWI, along with others interred that noticed dead crows were called into a number provided by WNBC News for West Nile tracking in 1999. Those ravens nevermore. Today near the new Vidalia Park and once along the Bronx River a small block south of the Bronx Zoo. – 10/12/2012

I might also add that another report Ms. Stehling and I were the primary researchers and I a major writer of was the:

(LPC online as 501.pdf)

and there is no credit given at all. We were never provided the almost final or final copy and if you look at it it could have at minimum used a better proofing:

“Later it became Governor Peter Stuyvesant’s farm or bouwerie, where the street derived its name. He is buried near his farm in the Street Marks Church-in-the-Bowery at 10th Street and 2nd Avenue, the oldest continuing house of worship in the City.” p.6

There are other similar glaring errors we might have corrected though Parsons from Virginia. There is also problems with the bibliography, a book entry in the list of maps. I’m still not convinced the editor had our interest in mind, the primary research as to some of the specifics history of landmark evaluation left out, but seen in the bibliography i.e., General Von Steuben and the first National Guard; Kate Mullaney the first woman, sitting next to Susan B. Anthony in Germania Hall, voted to union management. She organized the detachable “white collar” cleaner workers in Troy, NY. Her house is on the US National Register of Historic Places today. Perhaps one or two signs or plaques would’ve been considered for where feminist Kate Millet also lived before the development.

Anyway those two I’ve had a chance to look over, and congratulate the LPC for putting these reports online.

George J. Myers, Jr.

Searchable database of reports online:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/forms/archaeology_reports.shtml

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Written by georgejmyersjr

10/11/2012 at 4:20 pm

Tesla’s Tower, Wardenclyffe

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I was pleased to hear the Tesla workshop at Wardenclyffe, near the shut Shoreham, NY nuclear plant and Brookhaven National Laboratory has been saved for a science museum. Designed by his friend the famous architect Stanford White, perhaps its might be listed in a national register of historic places too, as many of Stanford White’s are. Years ago, the Suffolk County Archaeology Association considered it as a problem while I was there in grad school. An engineering student showed me the remains of Stanford White’s windmill, (125′ tall?) diagrammed in Scientific American as I recall, on his north shore estate near Stony Brook, NY where he also designed a small church in the “shingle style”. The windmill tower burned in the early 1960s a landmark for those on the waters of the Long Island Sound for many years. Maybe he helped therefore to design Tesla’s Tower. All that remains of the windmill are the cast in Baltimore iron stanchions once anchoring it to the ground, bulldozed over the “cliff”.

Soapy Smith

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Histarch Subject: New Book by Cathy Spude

The University of Oklahoma Press has just published my new book, “That Fiend in Hell”: Soapy Smith in Legend. Soapy Smith’s story is well-known to people who like popular culture, and those who are familiar with Alaskan history. As an anthropologist, I show how his legend grew out of the myth of the American West to make him a character the likes of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and Wyatt Earp. That Fiend in Hell is an expose of how historic events are interpreted even at the time of their occurance within the social mileau of a culture’s understanding of their own value system. See http://www.oupress.com/ECommerce/Book/Detail/1686/that%20fiend%20in%20hell  for more information, or go to Amazon.com.
Catherine H. Spude, PhD

Congratulations! What a lot of work that must have been. I thought I heard of Soapy Smith perhaps in the stories of Colorado, of which “Myers Avenue: A Quick History of Cripple Creek’s Red Light District” by c) 1967 by Leland Feitz Library of Congress Catalog Card No 68-405 is one he might have been part of before leaving for Skagway, Alaska.

I enjoyed that summer 1980 out West through the ash of Mt. St. Helens on a Greyhound, a jet and then a small plane from Juneau to Skagway to work on Alaska’s first RR station and the Captain Moore Cabin. The airport there is better as seen in the recent Microsoft “Flight” a virtual Skagway geography along with the rest of Alaska and Hawaii.

I found this on Amazon and sent it to my Kindle, a scanned article from “Cassier’s Magazine” titled “Across the Chilkoot Pass by wire cable” from the Dyea tide and river side, found on microform in the Provincial Archives of British Columbia circa 1981 c) Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. The funicular, “powered by rope or cable” was planned to go from Sheep Camp to Crater Lake, in contract, then “since” extended to a point known as Canyon Camp connecting with a surface road “running through the Dyea Canyon, and along the Dyea river, to the head of the tidewater thus making an uninterrupted transportation between Dyea and Crater Lake” “Later on” its author states “the cable system will, undoubtedly, be extended to Lake Linderman, the head of lake navigation”. (William Hewitt b. 1853 http://archive.org/details/cihm_15214)

It has many diagrams and pictures of its construction and how it developed. It shows a similar funicular system was used in New York state on “a wire rope tramway used by the Solvay Process Company at Syracuse, N.Y shows both wooden and iron supports”. I had the opportunity to ponder the Solvay location before they took the plant down. Interestingly the Solvay process of soda ash is named after a French sociologist! It’s reported a large amount of dynamite used in WWI was made there in the Split Rock quarries, and if the chemical fire, which ran out of water to control it, had jumped the creek, it would have leveled Syracuse with the disputed force of a small “atomic bomb” if the dynamite stored in small wooden barrels had caught fire. Albert Einstein disputed that in a letter, a researcher of the Solvay Plant had. The line had been “used for carrying lime rock from the Split Rock quarries to the soda ash works, at Geddes.” There are some problems with the scan however in getting some of the distances and numbers.

The USS Constitution and others…

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This summer’s issue of “Sea History” published by the National Maritime Historical Society, located in Peekskill, NY has some interesting entries in “Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News” some in regards to the USS Constitution some to the RMS Titanic in its recent summer 2012 issue:

First the Battleship Iowa has officially been transferred from the US Navy to the Pacific Battleship Center, taken out of “mothballs” where its been since 2001 and will become a museum ship in San Pedro, California, where the women in the first row of Craig Ferguson’s show last night, the “Late Late Show” were introduced as from. They also received a dinner gift. Iowa’s Governor, Terry Branstad signed a bill promising $3 million toward the Iowa ship preservation.

Australian Billionaire Clive Palmer is having built a modern, true to form, replica of the RMS Titanic in a Chinese shipyard and plans to complete the original RMS Titanic ill-fated voyage and arrive in New York harbor someday. Improvements to Titanic II include: welds not rivets, a large bulbous shape of the bow to improve fuel efficiency, bow thrusters and an enlarged rudder like modern cruise ships. It will also have four smoke-stacks like Titanic which by the way in the original, only needed three, the fourth there for esthetics.

I’m to believe it or not, the third largest US Navy installation in the world is in the state of Indiana, which I’m giving to understand settles archaeology controversy simply by stating anything such as artifacts in the ground from before its statehood, belong to the state of Indiana. By the way National Archaeology Day is not too far off, October 20, 2012 celebrated in 50 states and other countries(?)…

About 40 trees from the Naval Support Activity Crane (Indiana) are being selected for upcoming dry dock repairs on the 1797 Navy frigate USS Constitution scheduled to begin in 2014.

The NSA Crane “has approximately 53,000 acres of land forested with white oak, the same species used in the original construction of the ship.”

It was during Tyrone Martin’s tenure as commander of Constitution in the 1970s that he had thousands of acreage at NSA Crane dedicated to “Constitution Grove,” to supply the historic warship with suitable timber for future restorations. The new timbers will be shipped to Boston in fall of 2014 and the restoration is expected to take about two years. (www.cnic.mnavy.mil/crane/; http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/)

It’s there reported that space enthusiast, Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com had mounted an expedition and has found the original five booster engines that had launched Apollo 11 into space and thus to the Moon in 1969, found off the coast of Florida. NASA retains ownership, the Smithsonian is the official repository and NASA is reviewing a recovery proposal by Bezos. Applause, applause to his efforts.

There’s also other news some not so spectacular. You can now visit the Holiday Inn Key Largo and take a canal or dinner cruise on the African Queen restored to appear as it did in the famous John Huston 1951 film of the same name, staring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Bogart’s son, Stephen Bogart helped the re-launching ceremony in April. Probably not the same Steve Bogart I went to Newfield High School with, a motorcycle enthusiast: 1967 Velocette, Kawasaki 500cc when they came out, and others, he borrowed my Kawasaki 650 in Washington, D.C. to take a ride around the reflecting pool in the May Day demonstration, while Ginni and I stood there dumbfounded. I was walking it around like a dog I guess. Guy who sold it to me, based-on a Japanese police bike, it was sold or his wife would have left him with the kids! Or she with them if he had another accident. But that as the man said is another Chautauqua.

A collection of historic flags from USS Constitution and a 3-pound cannonball once removed from the ship’s hull netted $784,500 at auction at Freeman’s Auctioneers and Appraisers in Philadelphia on 30 April.

Anyway, the National Maritime Historical Society is a wonderful source of information and sea history which for some people helps fill in the space between the ears and years. I am also glad it is in New York which has a long tradition of waterways, the Hudson River, the Erie and Champlain canals, etc. Maybe someone will provide an article on the southern US canals of Alabama and Mississippi, having once worked alongside the Tombigbee River which became a part of the Tennessee and connected to the Alabama barge canals across northern Mississippi not far from its interesting city, Columbus. In this blog I’ve stated that after Congressional debate, instead of an “Energy Island” for NYC, it was built. And I was fortunate to work on its archeology.

Written by georgejmyersjr

10/03/2012 at 2:02 pm

GPS – ESRI Portal? – Hello Melbourne

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Sorry this is so late. I have checked through ESRI for some of the GIS use in the field I’ve done with AECOM on a temp basis, that is I’m hired usually for the field part of archaeology testing which has required civilian GPS on Federal DoD land that is changing as bases are reevaluated or “closed”. I was just reading the FAA is in charge of disbursement in the civilian GPS and has been holding up some millions as of 2004 they were in charge of it. May change soon. I’ve worked a few places with Trimble units assisting. I have some older training in close-range photogrammetry (then in development by Rollei, pre-Windows, with an AutoCad “partner” Prometric Technologies of Canada, and archaeology firm of Grossman & Associates, Inc.) where we used it on an EPA National Priority Superfund site, “Marathon Battery” in historic Cold Spring, NY as a method of least contact recording. I’ve used early and later infrared transits (total station) and an early user of AutoCad in the 1980s-90s.

Thanks for asking, it helps to remember the past.

Written by georgejmyersjr

10/03/2012 at 7:31 am

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