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Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

All Hands on Deck for the SS United States

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All Hands on Deck for the SS United States

Written by georgejmyersjr

06/07/2013 at 11:32 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.

Onion bottle seals…

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The only one I recall, and out of context, I found in a garden behind (north side) of the William Floyd Manor house, in Old Mastic, NY. It was stamped “William Lloyd”. William Floyd was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and an American General in Upstate New York where he is also interred. William Lloyd was a north shore Tory involved in some hostage negotiation and Stony Brook University has done some excavation there as I recall. The bottle seal was found and turned in by myself to Dana Linck, then of the Denver Service Center, US National Parks Service, now of “The Great Chain”. They were conducting the clearance excavations on the property prior to its opening to the public, mostly for safety concerns, recently then acquired or donated by his heirs I believe, whom I once met before, when the Suffolk County Archaeology Association asked me to construct some wooden screen grids to map the basement floor.

Prior to its becoming a part of the now Fire Island National Seashore a federal wilderness designation the first and only as of this date, in New York State, the county archaeologists were interested as the hearings progressed at the high school named after William Floyd nearby. An American Revolution story reports that the British Army cut all his trees down and boarded horses in his house. I am not sure if the “William Lloyd” seal in error or perhaps from them or him brought to the site. A wonderful surface find for me, a conundrum of problems for historians. I was fortunate to have worked there and at other Denver Service Center jobs.

Written by georgejmyersjr

09/14/2012 at 10:35 pm

Matt Inman, The Oatmeal Creator, Works To Save Nikola Tesla’s Old Laboratory With Fundraiser

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08:31 AM on 08/17/2012

The museum would be in the former Peerless Photo, Inc. site which was contaminated and mitigated of photo-chemicals. I’m not sure the tower site was kept, the base was shown in the press to be bulldozed when so cleaned or was in the past. The building was designed by the famous architect, Stanford White, who lived not very far away, nearby Stony Brook having built there a “world’s tallest”(?) windmill. He was a victim of gun violence and a moment of insanity. You might think given the breadth of White’s influence, White House, Washington Square Arch, Municipal building, to name a few, that the Tesla lab would be preserved for that additional historical significance. And it’s nearby the Brookhaven National Laboratory!

Huffington Post Science

Written by georgejmyersjr

08/18/2012 at 11:18 pm

Geopolitical arguments are better than conflicts

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Geopolitical arguments are better than conflicts. I work in archaeology and have seen base expansion, Fort Drum, NY to 7000 US Army 10th Mountain and support, formally from Camp Hale, CO, and have seen others “close” for example the US Navy leave and the US Air Guard is still there, what was in WWII, Warminster, now parkland, and Willow Grove Naval Air Station, now Horsham Air Guard. Next door a great aviation museum. It’s where autogyros and the first US Mail planes were built and many others. In terms of public safety, a good idea, according to my Snapple cap, 40% of the US population lives a 1 hour drive from Philadelphia, PA and those other areas, with jets, as close. When I think of the contrast of 1983 Army and today’s, I would gladly see more “forensic accounting” than forensics as our forces have modernized. That I think is what former US President, Columbia University president, and former US General Eisenhower meant of the then newly formed “military-industrial complex”. Future military base-closures inevitable Panetta warns

Written by georgejmyersjr

08/09/2012 at 9:01 am

Mass grave in London reveals how volcano caused global catastrophe

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Scientists search for the explosive source of a disaster that wiped out almost a third of Londoners in 1258

theguardian | The Observer

A more recent one caused the “18 hundred and froze to death” 1816 in the northeast US and I’ve read Northern Europe. “Mechanics” those then employed in shipbuilding in Setauket, NY (about 100?) had to wear their winter coats in July. Crops didn’t grow in “the year without summer” from the atmospheric dust from the volcano explosion in Indonesia, then too. I think “middlemen” ports like Baltimore, MD profited by shipping needed comestibles north. Not sure if however, there was such a large effect on the population as this dramatic archaeology research shows. US populations were quite lower. On Long Island, where it’s reported 10,000 cords of wood were cut for the War 1812, it might have had effect, a primary source of heat then, coal wouldn’t show up until 1840 or so, though early expeditions were organized as far back as the days of Oliver Cromwell in Huntington, NY to look for coal to fire brick.

Mass grave in London reveals how volcano caused global catastrophe

Written by georgejmyersjr

08/05/2012 at 9:10 am

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