Hosted by Digital Memory Media
Digital Memory Media will be offering a fundraising program that will provide the Mahwah Museum with an innovative and effective means to raise money, while also helping individuals preserve their personal memories. DMM will host this event on June 10, 2017 from 10-12 pm at the Museum, 201 Franklin Turnpike Mahwah, NJ. They will convert your personal collections of old photographs, 8mm and 16mm films, slides, video tapes and every other media type into digital formats that will last forever.
At the event, Digital Memory Media’s trained staff will accept new orders and answer questions. Orders can be tracked on DMM’s order tracking system. Original items are returned by courier directly to the patron along with DVD copies of their memories. All digital conversions are performed (in-house) at the safe and secure East Brunswick facility. The details on how this is all operates can be found on Digital Media Memory’s website, www.dmmem.com. If you would like to attend this event please bring your media to be converted with you to the museum on the day of the event. DMM will donate 20 percent of the revenue to the Mahwah Museum. Reservations are not required. Questions can be sent via the contact form on the Digital Memory media website, or by calling toll-free 800-380-9058 or 732-613-7170.
This event is hosted by Mahwah Museum, located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah NJ 07430. The Museum is currently featuring the new exhibits Mahwahs Herstory: The changing roles of women in Mahwah’s history, and Medicine in Mahwah. Permanent exhibits are Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends 1-4 pm. The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.; admission $5 for non-members, members and children are free.
For additional information about this event please click here.
Old media like this set of Birch family home movies are inaccessible in their current form.
Digitization is an amazing way of sharing historical resources, but did you know that it also serves as a means of preservation? Old photographs and newspapers deteriorate every year just from exposure to light, acids in the atmosphere, and handling. Audio-visual materials, like old 16mm film and videotapes are even more fragile and in some cases are unusable if you don’t have the proper playback equipment.
The Mahwah Museum is hosting an event on June 10, from 10am to 12 noon and invites you to bring you personal collection of photographs, 8mm and 16mm films, slides, videotapes and any other media that you may have. Consultants from Digital Memory Media will evaluate them and provide price quotes for digitizing them. Details on the process can be found at http://www.dmmem.com.
A screen shot from one of the Birch family films, ca. 1920.
For a sample of what Digital Memory Media can do, we had them digitize some 16mm films made by the Birch family around 1920. These films are in rough shape, they have a vinegary smell and we did not even know if the film could be played. We also asked them to digitize a 16mm film from a 1961 Mahwah-Ramsey high school football film which had been kept in tin cases. The results were impressive! The 90-year old Birch films show family vacations and tantalizing images of bygone days. The 56-year old football films show the high school marching band and extremely clear game footage. Imagine what they can do with your baby videos from the 1990s, or photographic slide collections from your childhood. You can view the digitized films at http://www.digifind-it.com/mahwah/videos.php
A screen shot from the 1961 Mahwah-Ramsey football game.
There are no reservations needed for this event and there is no commitment. If you do decide to have your family history materials digitized, Digital Memory Media will be taking orders at the event, and can take your films, photos and videos to their specialized facility in East Brunswick and deliver them back to you by courier.
For more information about this event please click here.
Digital Memory Media will donate 20% of all orders made at the event to the Mahwah Museum.
Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Showcase
On April 25, 2017 Mahwah Museum President John Edwards, Vice President Diane Adler, and Les Paul in Mahwah exhibit chairperson Charlie Carreras took part in the Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Showcase.
This event was a wonderful evening of networking as the MRCC celebrated all of the valuable work that the region’s non-profit groups provide to local communities. The Community Spirit Showcase spotlights over 40 regional non-profit organizations along with other businesses in our community.
We thank the Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce for this wonderful event and look forward to working with all of the great non-profits we networked with that night.
For more information about next year’s event and other upcoming MRCC events, please click here.
Photo Credit: Tom Grissom, Mahwah Museum Trustee.
The Mahwah Museum would like to extend a special congratulations to Mahwah resident Lauren Paolillo. Lauren is a recipient of the 2017 Bergen County Historic Preservation Award for her wonderful book “Mahwah Military Memories”.
Lauren was awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award last year, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. For her gold award project Lauren completed a two-hundred page book that compiled the stories and interviews of local veterans. Lauren completed all the research and interviews by herself.
After winning her award Lauren kindly donated copies of her book, Mahwah Military Memories, to the Township, the Mahwah Library and the Mahwah Museum.
Mahwah Military Memories is written in memory of Laurens grandfather.
The Mahwah Museum was delighted with the hard work, dedication and historical value of Laurens work. In January 2017 the Mahwah Museum nominated Lauren for the 2017 Bergen County Historic Preservation Award.
We are pleased to announce that Lauren has won this award, and will be presented with this award on May 4, 2017.
Again we offer our congratulations to Lauren, and wish her the best in this and all the other great things that she will accomplish in her life time.
**Please note: We cannot process credit or debit cards inside the museum.***
We are featuring two exhibits for the 2016-2017 season, “Mahwah’s Herstory” and “Medicine in Mahwah”.
The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah, NJ 07430.
Admission to the museum is $5, free for museum members.
The first exhibit, “Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History”, examines the role of women in Mahwah’s history, starting with its first settler, Blandina Bayard, and continuing through to 1960. It highlights women’s activities, including pioneering and farming, changing roles in the workforce, and women’s accomplishments in the arts, in charitable organizations and in social reforms.
Our second exhibit, “Medicine in Mahwah”, highlights the history of medicine in Mahwah. It examines the growth and development of the medical field with highlights on Mahwah’s practitioners, their methods, and instruments throughout various periods.
The Museum is open for the 2016-2017 season featuring, aside from our new exhibits, our permanent exhibits:
Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends ONLY 1-4 pm.
The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.; admission is $5 for non-members; members and children are free.
The Donald Cooper Model Railroad
The Museum’s Donald Cooper Railroad is an operating HO-Scale model railroad with many trains traveling between levels and on different routes. Centralized electronic switches allow the operator to control the entire layout from the DCC central control panels. The railroad yard is fully functional allowing operators to make up trains and dispatch them to their own destinations. The four-level high layout has three independent scenic modules that are constantly changing, as well as a trolley, a subway system, logging station, waterfall, roundhouse and turntable. We invite engineers of all ages to come and visit our ever-changing and growing railroad world. The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is open weekends ONLY October-June from 1-4 p.m. For information about joining the train crew, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 201-512-0099.
Les Paul in Mahwah
The Mahwah Museum has a small permanent exhibit featuring some Les Paul history which allows visitors to learn the essential facts of Les Paul’s life and career. It has sections on his inventions and innovations, a display of one-of-a-kind precious guitars made especially for Les, and a re-creation of the studio in which Les did his work. Learn how this creative genius transformed rock, country and jazz music. See how he and Mary Ford performed for their weekly radio show from their home in Mahwah.
The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from the New Jersey Historical Commission in the Department of State.
Any Youngs, Hagermans, Bodines out there?
The Mahwah Museum archives are processing a large collection of photographs from the Martha Young Kuklinski Collection which document the lives of J. Frank Young (1905-1960) and Henrietta Morriss Young (1909-1984) and their families, ranging 1910-1940s. There are also some older historical family photographs. Henrietta Morriss’ mother was Bessie Hagerman and she lived with Andrew Hagerman. The photos from this branch of the family are fairly well labeled. The photographs of the Youngs, who came from Tallman, often have no labels at all. J. Frank Young’s mother was Anne Jane Bodine and his father was John Franklin Young. His siblings were Alta, Freda, and John Young. If you can help up put names to faces, it would make this collection much more useful to researchers.
Edward Gorcyca, of West Mahwah, was another one of those inventors from American Brakeshoe. He was born in 1923 and served in the Navy from 1943-1945. He died in 1996 in San Diego, California.
I don’t know too much about Ed’s life or background. He was the second son of Myron (or Marion) and Anna Gorcyca who came to the U.S. from Poland in 1906. In 1940 Myron was a coremaker at American Brakeshoe and, according to an oral history taken in 1975 with his daughter, Jenny (who married Larry Nyland, one of our Mayors) the family also had a subsistence farm on Church Street. His brothers Ben and John were proteges of John Warhol and John was influential in persuading John to attend the University of Maryland. Ben was the long time chairman of the Board of Adjustment and John ran for the office of tax collector.
One of Gorcyca’s patents.
Between 1954 and 1965, Ed’s name appeared on five patents that were assigned to American Brakeshoe. They all related to improvement of journal boxes, which contained oiled packing materials to lubricate the bearings of railroad wheels. The picture shows a railroad employee inspecting the journal box on a wheel to make sure the packing was properly in place, because if it failed, the wheel bearings would burn out causing a “hotbox.” Until 1961, the primary inventor was a man named Llewellyn Hoyer, with Ed as a co-inventor. But the last two were in Ed’s name alone: for a clip to make keep the packing in place and a new dust guard that was easier to remove without disconnecting the entire journal box.
Theodore Havemeyer (Suzanne Meyer Stein Collection, Mahwah Museum)
Three generations of Havemeyers were inventors. As you know, Theodore A. Havemeyer came to Mahwah in 1879 and established Mountain Side Farm, much of which is Ramapo College. He died in 1897. Although Theodore had nine children only his sons, Henry O. Havemeyer and Frederick C. Havemeyer, continued a presence in Mahwah. Henry O. Havemeyer died in 1965 but his son, Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. continued to live here until his death in 1992. The house in which Henry Jr. lived became the home of the President of Ramapo College. Theodore, Henry O., and Henry O., Jr. were all inventors.
Theodore Havemeyer’s Sugar Mold Carriage patent
Theodore A. Havemeyer, born in 1839, had only a grammar school education but joined the family sugar business as a partner in 1861. He was the technological expert in the family and an early age had spent a year in Europe studying the sugar refining process. In 1862 he and a man named Schnitzpan patented a new and improved carriage for sugar molds. He was a partner in Havemeyers & Elder, which was an integral part of the Sugar Trust. In his later years in Mahwah he was a patron of many agricultural and scientific societies that were advancing the technology of agriculture. He was on the forefront of ensilage– to generate feed for his cows—the breeding of cows to improve milk production, and the breeding of fantail pigeons for show.
Henry O. Havemeyer (On loan from the Mahwah Library)
Theodore Havemeyer’s son, Henry O. Havemeyer, dropped out of Yale in 1897 after the death of his father and became an apprentice at the family sugar business. He returned to Yale and graduated as a proud member of the Class of 1900. The Ramsey Journal reported in 1906 that he had gotten a speeding ticket in his newfangled automobile. So it is appropriate that he was the inventor of a license plate holder that could be flipped over so that it had the plate of one state on one side and the plate of another state on the reverse. Henry O. Havemeyer was not merely a playboy, however. He was the president of the Eastern District Terminal in Brooklyn which had been spun off from the family’s sugar business. He became an officer and later the long time president of the Eastern District Terminal. The Eastern District Terminal was the gateway for all railroads coming from the west and seeking to be in Brooklyn or Long Island. It was also the only way in which refined and packaged sugar could get from the Domino refinery in Brooklyn to the west. They had to come through these yards and be moved by small locomotives like these. It would be up to Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. – who also worked for the company – to make some important advances.
Havemeyer House (Courtesy Dater Family Archives)
There were no tunnels under the Hudson River so railroad cars were barged or lightered over from the yards of Jersey City, Bayonne or Hoboken, to the Eastern District Terminal and then transferred to the industries or railroads in Brooklyn. To get one or more railroad cars across the river, there was a floating bridge connected to the tracks on the shore. The barge connected to the water side of the bridge. There were tracks on the barge to accept the car being transported. You can imagine how difficult it must have been to transfer a fully loaded railroad car from tracks on the bridge to the tracks on the rolling barge. There were constant mishaps and derailments. The invention of Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr., filed in 1925 when he was 22 years old, improves on the way that the rails on the bridge and barge could be aligned to make derailments rare. Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. lived in the house we today call the Havemeyer House and had a number of other inventions to improve railroad transportation.
Henry O. Havemeyer’s License plate design
(Thomas Dunn Collection)
Henry O. Havemeyer Jr.’s patent design
Fitzwilliam Sargent was called the “father of brake-shoe engineering” and he obtained multiple patents for improvement of railroad brake shoes. He was born in 1859 in Philadelphia and attended Lehigh University where he graduated in 1879 with a Civil Engineering degree. He came to Mahwah (then Hohokus Township) in 1902 as the chief engineer of the American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company.
After joining American Brake Shoe, he built a large home on 5 acres off Olney Road. The house had all the latest improvements of the day, including electric lights and steam heat.
In 1935 the Board of Directors of American Brakeshoe built an up-to-date testing facility to keep up with the progress of the railroad industry. The building was named the F.W. Sargent Laboratory Building and from the opening of the building to the date of his death at the age of 80 he went to work as often as possible. The picture below shows his first invention, which he had done before he came to Brakeshoe, of a machine for testing brakeshoes. During his career, he had many patents relating to the improvement of brakeshoes. His last patent was issued to him in 1934 at age 75. The invention created a system of reinforcing a brake shoe so that, if the body of the shoe broke, it could continue in service and not need to be replaced as quickly.
- Oweno Road home of Fitzwilliam Sargent.
- Sargent’s first invention
- F.W. Sargent Building
Photos from Fitzwilliam Sargent Greene, `A Tribute to the Life of Fitzwilliam Sargent” (Mahwah Museum Library, 2013.17.072)
Howard S. Avery at American Brakeshoe
Between 1949 and 1982 he was granted at least 10 patents for metallurgy, welding rods and railroad track improvements that were assigned to American Brakeshoe. One of his primary focuses early on was in creating an alloy for a heat resistant manganese steel and then in figuring out how to make it machinable so that it could be used in Brakeshoe Products. His experiments on welding rods led to improvements in the ultimate weld. He was a recycler because one of his inventions was to take industrial scrap, containing sintered tungsten carbide and then converting it into tungsten oxide which, in turn would allow the recovery of tungsten metal.
Mr. Avery was a very active member of the Mahwah Community. He was the president of the Board of Education when the high school was designed and the papers he has given to the Museum reflect his disciplined, thorough and rapier sharp mind. He was a long time Scout leader and he has given us rare Scouting magazines, Troop 50 records, a detail for a few years of the proceeds of the Boy Scout Paper Drive that ultimately led to the recycling center. He was the head of civil defense which was an outgrowth of his interest in amateur radio which he developed at Virginia Tech. His Virginia Tech experience in the rifle club carried over to Mahwah where he tutored people like John Edwards in riflery.
Diagram of Welding ____
In 1979 when the renovation of the high school was up for referendum, it was snowing hard. One of his neighbors called me and said that Mr. and Mrs. Avery wanted to vote, but were reluctant to go out. So I drove them to the polls. They were 2 of the 69 votes that provided the margin of victory.
Mrs. Avery died in 1985 at age 80 and Howard died in 1996 at age 90. He has given the Museum 25 boxes of materials about his life and interests in Mahwah. He also gave a large collection of his technical papers to Virginia Tech. That collection, incidentally, contains some folders with personal papers, particularly about scouting.
Images from the American Brakeshoe Collection, Mahwah Museum.