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  • Treasure of the Month
    the late 1910s graphophones emerged as a variation of the phonograph another sound reproduction device Both devices were audio machines in which sound vibrations made indentations onto a medium either tin or wax by speaking into a mouthpiece and then had a separate mechanism for playback In Galveston graphophones were used for personal entertaining group lessons and were even used to record religious sermons Corporations such as the American Graphophone Company North American Phonograph Company and the Columbia Phonograph Company continuously improved patented and marketed new products Inventors of early sound recorders like Thomas Edison Charles S Tainter and Alexander G Bell believed their machines would revolutionize office dictation and education In fact two stenographers to the Supreme Court Paul Cromelin and Edward Easton were the founders of the Columbia Phonograph Company but their efforts to transform the dictation industry were mostly unsuccessful One problem that arose from the race to build the next best product was the issue of compatibility In the early 1900s phonograph and graphophone records were not interchangeable and both Columbia and Edison introduced variations on the basic technology such as longer playing or larger diameter cylinders that did not work on older models To make matters worse new inventors flooded the market with even more variations of graphophones to cash in on the booming home entertainment market Local distributors then focused on a niche market for the machines amusements fairs and resorts Improvements to the phonograph and graphophone eventually culminated with the invention of the inexpensive home record player The Graphophone at the Rosenberg Library is a Columbia Type Q which was designed and patented by Thomas Macdonald in 1897 and first sold commercially two years later The Type Q was small light weight and with a 5 price tag was fairly affordable The single

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2011/08-graphophone/graphophone.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    these reasons officers carried handcuffs truncheons whistles and notebooks with them Imagine patrolling Galveston s streets at night without the glow of the streetlamps above Before battery powered flashlights officers carried bullseye or dark lanterns which used either sperm whale oil or later on kerosene to light the way The front of the lantern had a distinct convex glass lens which resembled an eye and a metal slide which could block light so that officers could shroud themselves in darkness Most lanterns were made of japanned tinned steel and had vents on the top to allow smoke to escape and protected the flame from wind Japanning is the term used to describe the process of protecting the lantern from the elements The tinned steel would be brushed with several coats of dark shellac before the lantern was baked in an oven This process left police lanterns nearly black in color and resistant to rust and heat The bullseye lantern on display was designed by Harry F Hughes of Brooklyn New York between the 1870s and 1890s The lantern is 8 high 4 wide at the base and has a 3 bullseye lens There are wire handles at the rear and on the side is a brass maker s plate Hughes Patent H Loveridge Co It also has a rear belt clip This particular lantern does not include a sheet metal curtain which could block out light Though designed by Hughes it was manufactured by Henry Loveridge and Co 1867 1927 in Wolverhampton England With a similar lantern design Hughes earned the last known patent issued for police lanterns in 1900 Police lanterns quickly became obsolete with the development of safer and easier to use battery powered flashlights Detective John Bowe Also on display is a set of Bean Patrolman police handcuffs The Bean handcuff company founded by E D Bean was a major force in the industry from the late nineteenth through the early twentieth century The Patrolman model was patented November 28 1882 and featured a unique release button that allowed a police officer to carry the cuffs closed but unlocked The cuffs while built using the Bean patent were actually manufactured by the armament firm Iver Johnson On some earlier models only the original Bean patent date appears on the side of the bow near the lock case even though they are manufactured in accordance with the Iver Johnson patent The set on display includes this particular patent date The remaining whistle nightstick and handcuffs on display once belonged to Officer John F Bowe 1866 1934 Born in Brooklyn New York in 1866 Bowe moved to Galveston when he was fourteen years old He held several jobs including Detective at the Buccaneer Hotel day driver of the patrol wagon jailer at the county jail City Detective and later served as Chief of Detectives Officer Bowe was also a volunteer fire fighter and a member of Live Oak Camp N 201 for the Woodmen of the World Police and

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2011/09-police/police.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    by a group of anonymous businessmen in St Louis called the Mysterious Order of the Veiled Prophets Like many aspects of America s past the story of how and why the parade began is highly contested According to the Mysterious Order of the Veiled Prophets the annual event sought to boost tourism increase civic engagement and patriotism in the community and reassert St Louis as the regions most important city Other interpretations argue that the parade represented an attempt by genteel patriarchs to reassert their control over society with displays of force and class solidarity Amidst faltering agricultural and mechanical fairs and the social upheaval of the Great Uprising an 1877 nationwide labor strike that brought the country to a virtual standstill Charles Slayback and his brother Alonzo brought together many of St Louis business and civic leaders to revive interest in harvest season events Drawing inspiration from the poet Thomas Moore s Veiled Prophet of Khorassan the founders of the Mysterious Order of the Veiled Prophets wanted the organization s members to remain anonymous so that the focus of the Order s good deeds would be on the organization as a whole and not any single member Later on secrecy would lead to controversy Groups excluded from the Mysterious Order began to accuse the organization of being a front group for anti labor anti Semitic and racist elements in St Louis society The Mysterious Order of the Veiled Prophets created an entire mythology around the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan adapted from their city s Mardi Gras Mystick Krewe of Comus The story held that the prophet was a powerful world traveler with super human traits who made his home in St Louis Held for the past 130 years the parade is one of the longest running in the United

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2011/10-invite/invite.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    scheme to invade Mexico with the help of efficient emigrants to reestablish the Mexican Constitution of 1824 The ever adventurous Allen agreed to help Mexia and captained the American schooner Mary Jane to transport the would be revolutionaries to Tampico The Tampico Expedition was disastrous for Mexia and his men Poor planning and communications between Mexia and local collaborators coupled with the arrival of additional Centralist troops to Tampico resulted in three immediate deaths and the capture and eventual execution of thirty one of the emigrants Mexia Allen and some of their coconspirators escaped capture and fled to Quintana at the mouth of the Brazos River arriving on December 1 1836 Upon entering Texas Allen and much of his band became cavalrymen in the Texas Revolution against Mexico They joined the Texas Army as it retreated from Gonzales and Allen served as acting major of the cavalry regulars under Lt Col Henry Millard At the deceive Battle of San Jacinto Allen distinguished himself not just as a first class fighting man but also as a warrior of conscience by stopping the massacre of defeated Mexican soldiers Allen soon left the service and moved to Galveston On March 14 1839 he was elected as the first mayor of the city On March 25 President of the Republic of Texas Mirabeau B Lamar appointed Allen as the Justice of the Peace for Galveston After the mayoral election in 1840 the city changed its charter to limit enfranchisement to white males over the age of twenty one who owned at least 500 in real estate cutting the pool of eligible voters in half and sparking a period of unrest in the city called the Charter War The new rules spelled political defeat for Allen and his supporters called old charterers They argued that Allen should be able to serve out his term but the city council disagreed and held another election Allen lost to John Walton but refused to recognize the results and he along with other old charterers continued to try to run the city resulting in two competing municipal governments To bolster his position and prevent the new government from functioning Allen took the city archives to his home at Ave K under the protection of two cannons The new charterers brought charges of larceny against the ex mayor for his refusal to relinquish the papers and a judge ruled in their favor However it took an armed posse to actually retrieve the papers from Allen The Charter War endured Allen to many Galvestonians He soon regained the position of Mayor in the 1841 election lost the following year and then served three consecutive terms from 1843 1845 After the bitter fighting between Allen and Walton there was no love lost between the two The mayoral election of 1843 saw them face off against each other again and Allen had a laugh at his adversary s expense He approached Walton and told him that it would be funny if they voted

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2011/11-allen/allen.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    last spike was driven into the ground on October 19 1911 The Interurban averaged 1 million passengers a year during its twenty five year service A one way ticket cost 1 25 a round trip was 2 To entice riders the Interurban offered specials for weekend trips hunters dog track goers and policemen The Galveston Houston Electric Railway Company also stirred interest with a monthly magazine called The Tangent It chronicled interesting tales from employees and patrons about the line and became so popular that a number of people subscribed to it Passengers could bring their dogs on board but lap dogs had to be kept on the passengers lap Hunters could check their guns and passengers were allowed to check luggage of up to 150 pounds In addition to passengers the Interurban also carried freight including agricultural goods dairy poultry oil and beer The Galveston Houston Electric Railway Company had very high standards for its employees Motormen and conductors were carefully selected and underwent specialized training Many of the company s policies such as refraining from drinking swearing smoking or gambling on duty might seem like common sense but represented the cutting edge of professionalism at the time Workers watches were inspected regularly to ensure that everyone kept the same time and the cars had headlights that could illuminate up to two thirds of a mile Safety was of the highest priority for the line as well Master mechanics regularly checked cars and had to approve them before they could leave the barns to return to service The Galveston Flyer won the Electric Traction magazine annual speed award in 1925 and 1926 It covered the 50 47 miles from downtown Houston to Galveston in an hour and fifteen minutes and had a top speed of sixty miles per hour Geography played an important part in its speed and allowed for a very fast trip thirty four miles of track were completely straight and the maximum grade it encountered was a short 3 grade bridge The Interurban was powered by two 1500 kilowatt 2300 volt 60 cycle alternators each driven by a horizontal Curtiss turbine Its main power plant on Clear Creek burned coal or oil and delivered 600 volts of electricity to the trolley lines The Interurban was able to weather the storm of 1915 although the Causeway was damaged causing the loss of service for a week and the Great Depression but by the mid 1920s ridership began to decline Ultimately the Interurban fell victim to a newer more personalized form of transportation the automobile The Galveston Houston Electric Railway Company invested heavily in busses and much of the railroad s right of way property was rich in oil On Halloween day 1936 the Galveston Daily News modestly noted Galveston s historic interurban line gave way last night to the march of time and ceased operation after 25 years of almost continuous service The replica on display is a Standard model similar to the ten cars purchased in

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2011/12-train/train.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    craftswomen this craft allowed artists to create detailed embroidered landscapes using woven strands of hair Through time weaving styles became more intricate and pearls jewels and other ornamentations were added Queen Victoria made the new craft for hair art fashionable when she presented a bracelet made from her own hair to the Empress Eugenie the beautiful wife of Napoleon III It was from then on that hair jewelry was an important commodity Spring fairs and markets attracted young ladies who traded locks of hair for ribbons combs and trinkets Because of its popularity and adaptation to all forms of craftwork working with hair became a popular pastime and even a status symbol in the Victorian era Most pieces of jewelry required long pieces of hair often twenty to twenty four inches long Watch chains and bracelets were plaited with the hair of several family members to be given as a gift and often had the most intricate and ingenious designs Leading women s magazines included instruction patterns for making brooches cuff links and bracelets at home Local wood turners also made special molds which were needed for spiral weavings found in earrings brooches and bracelet patterns Hair engagement and wedding rings had braids woven with the couple s hair set into the rings settings Hair postcards and valentines were popular as well Young women would send their photo and a lock of their hair in a locket to their sweethearts as sentimental mementos of their love Hair albums too containing collections of woven hair from past family members were honored heirlooms that were passed down through generations Each sample was paired with a tribute or poem in that person s honor Hair wreaths were crafted by many families and considered cherished works of art These wreaths were assembled in the

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2010/01-hair/hair.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    for historians botanists and anthropologists because the arrival of these non indigenous plants presents questions about Pre Colombian contact between distant lands and the western coast of South America Gourds may have arrived in the Americas when their seeds were carried to South America by churning ocean tides Another possibility is that they were introduced to the native inhabitants by various seafaring cultures Gourds may have also been brought across the Bering Strait by ancient nomadic groups An example of the significant of the origins of Peruvian gourds comes from an excavation that produced gourd fragments with illustrations of what is hypothesized to be the oldest identifiable religious icon found in the Americas In Peru most gourds are grown along the coastal landscape and are traded to artisans who live in mountain villages These artisans visually record the evolution of cultural life by carving illustrations of celebrations oral traditions beliefs and myths rituals weddings political events and scenes from everyday life Most artisans learned their craft from their elders often creating distinct decorative styles particular to specific villages or families Carving techniques include scratching on the outer shell fine line hatching or a combination of what is known as pyro engraving to create geometric drawings and iconographic scenes Pyro engraving or wood burning is the use of a heated buril a primitive carving tool against the surface of the gourd These illustrations require several steps to create First the green flesh from the harvested gourd is removed to expose the light colored hard shell The gourd is then cleaned and dried before the artist sketches a design on its surface with a pencil or similar utensil The designs are then etched into the gourd s surface to make the sketch three dimensional Pyro engraving further enhances the designs by creating

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2010/02-gourd/gourd.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    nearly 1 000 00 each This month s featured artifact was donated by Mr Floyd J Kavanaugh in 1936 Until the 1880s most cameras were designed for studio use and were mounted on stationary carts and stands Their design was large bulky and awkward The innovative design of the Anthony Novelette Camera in 1886 allowed the entire frame and bellows to revolve making the transition from portrait images to landscape view immensely more convenient The camera s compact build led to artistic advancements in field and studio photography as well as the budding art of the action shot The Novelette camera was the first camera to include the triplex shutter the flagship of the Prosch Manufacturing Company This shutter consisted of three slides with uninterrupted pass by movement that decreased vibration in the camera and allowed for better regularity of film slide exposure time The shutter also included an extra spring made of heavy gauge wire on the outside of the shutter When prompted this massive spring had enough power to trip the shutter lens as fast as 1 300 of a second Simply the triplex shutter allowed photographers to capture action shots outside of the studio and led to developments in documentary and field photography research The 1886 Novelette camera on display is made of mahogany with brass trimmings Known to camera enthusiasts as one of the more unique Anthony designs the Novelette has a stereoscopic round wooden face and was sold as a stereoscopic camera Known for its lightweight but sturdy build the Novelette camera was the preferred camera for action sequences Relatively rare today the Novelette brought photography out of the studios and into the field In the nineteenth century E H T Anthony Company of New York was the largest distributor supplier and manufacturer of photographic

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2010/03-camera/camera.htm (2016-04-26)
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