invincible summer

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Third Issue - THE BUFFALO HISTORY MUSEUM Newsletter

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  • 2The Buffalo History Museum is a private not-for-profit organization tax exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It receives operating support from the County of Erie, the City of Buffalo, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA, a state agency), and from members and friends. The Buffalo History Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

    Melissa Brown

    Constance Caldwell

    Jennifer LaBella

    Robie Carmina, Cynthia Conides, Erin Fisher, Rebecca Justinger, Tara Lyons, Katherine Somerville, Cynthia Van Ness

    Closed Mondays.Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 8 p.m.Thursday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Sunday - 12:00 Noon - 5:00 p.m.

    Wednesday - Saturday1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday

    Members: FREEChildren Under 7: FREE

    Veterans: FREEChildren (7-12): $2.50

    Adults: $7 Students & Seniors : $5

    Henry J. Nowak - PresidentJoan Bukowski - Vice PresidentKen Friedman - Vice President

    John L. Hurley, Jr. - Vice PresidentAlisa A. Lukasiewicz - Vice PresidentSteven McCarville - Vice PresidentCatherine Schweitzer - Secretary

    Philip C. Kadet - Treasurer

    Peter Ahrens Scott Fisher

    Carley Jean HillAllan Jamieson

    Cheryl Lyles Vincent MancusoHeidi A. RaphaelKristin Saperston

    Mark SeversonMark V. Taylor

    Greg D. Tranter

    Cover: Canadian Crystal Beach, 1960s. Photo from the collection of The Buffalo History Museum.

    Summer is the season for making memories. Many of my fondest childhood memories conjure thoughts of my grandmothers and their homes.

    My dads mother, Gramma Rose, lived in a post-war home she and my grandfather built on Cherry Street in Lockport. Gramma

    Rose ALWAYS had chicken soup in the freezer, homemade strawberry jam in the fridge, nonpareil melt-away mints in the candy jar, Skippy no-salt added peanut butter in the pantry (yuck!), vanilla ice cream in the freezer and stock of ginger ale set for entertaining on her cobalt blue, enamel-top table. She ALWAYS had placemats on her table (my favorites were of Washington DC in bloom), freshly-pressed 100% cotton sheets topped with white chenille bedspreads on each of the twin beds, her statue of Mary circled with petunias and a shiny, new car in the driveway. The garage of her home featured two doors, one in the front and one in the back. In the summer, screen panels were set in place and the garage became the center of our activities. Summer entertainment features included: dining countless times at the enormous oak table, playing fort in the folding chairs and dancing to the albums dropped in the record player console.

    My moms mother, Gramma Bert, lived in the Ganshaw family homestead dating from the late 19th century. Gramma Bert ALWAYS had Uncle Walts pickles in the fridge, hard candies in the candy dish, Golden Grahams cereal in the pantry, served supper in the early afternoon, stored vanilla ice cream away in beige

    Tupperware and had a seemingly endless Tupperware pitcher of the most sugary lemonade. She ALWAYS had a seasonal tablecloth on the table, line-dried sheets on the beds, her flag pole circled with flowers for each season and what seemed-to-me a hotrod in the driveway. The garage of her home once served as the summer kitchen, broken linoleum tiles and rickety cabinets remained. In the summer, my Uncle Walt farmed the land and the garage became the center of our activities. Summer entertainment features included: organizing parades around the circular drive, playing cars while bouncing in the vintage stamped metal lawn chairs and manning the market.

    My passion for the past takes root in these memories. Working at the History Museum has strengthened my mindfulness of the presence of the past and each of our connections to it. Whatever the memory is- the stories we cherish make us feel, offer up character and return us to a place in our lives to which we physically cannot return. . .yesterday.

    So begins a new invincible summer of memory making. While the History Museum doesnt have a garage for entertaining, we do possess the most fantastic porch in Buffalo. Party on the Portico returns for an eighth season as part of our M&T sponsored Third Friday programming. The view, the music, our friends and our mission will combine to entertain more than 1,000 guests. Other summer entertainment features include: Segway tours with Buffalo Touring Company, Pan-Am walking tours, Food Truck Rodeo every third Wednesday and our first ever antique auto show on August 4th.

    Ill meet you on the porch.

    All my best,Melissa

    Coming Fall 2013War of 1812 Exhibit -

    By Fire and Sword: The War in the Niagara Theatre,

    1812- 1814

    New! Native American Gallery Community Gallery Openings

    Congrats to our Peoples Choice Winery winner:

    Leonard Oakes Estates Winery

    A close second went to:Black Willow Winery

  • 3Rebecca JustingerRegistrar

    The swimsuit has a long and varied history. In the early 1900s, women wore long gowns with bloomers underneath. These bathing gowns were weighted down by several heavy layers of material, occasionally with weights sewn into the hem so the material would not float. Fabrics were chosen for bathing suits that would not become transparent when wet. By the 1920s, swimsuits were mostly made out of wool for that very reason. Being so absorbent, swimsuits tended to become heavy and uncomfortable, not to mention itchy in the summer sun. This black wool swimsuit from our collection dates from the 1920s to the 1930s. Labeled Neptunes Daughter, this one-piece swimming suit with attached knickers was made by the Niagara Knitting Mills Corporation of New York, NY.

    By the 1930s and 40s, bathing suits were rapidly changing. Hemlines were shorter and more bare skin was showing. It was not until the late 40s and early 50s that one-piece bathing suits, or maillots, started to be produced in a variety of fabrics, moving away from wool. For comparison, we have a patterned swimsuit, from the 1960s to the 1970s. This brown, yellow, and black stripped acetate bathing suit, donated by Angela Georgi, was created by Rose Marie Reid of California. Made from a light-weight, stretchy fabric, one would imagine that this would have been much more comfortable to wear to the beach.

    For our first annual fundraiser Something Old, Something New, The Buffalo History Museum ran a Wedding Dress Story contest. Among the delightful stories and beautiful images we received, Michele Scotts entry was chosen for its connection to WWII. The dress and story were featured at our event and are now part of our permanent collection. Next year, we will present some of the bridal stories received in a staged reading by local actors.

    Cynthia Van Ness, MLSDirector of Library & Archives

    When Janet Reiff began volunteering in 2009, she was recently retired from the Darwin R. Barker Library in Fredonia, bringing needed and appreciated professional skills and experience to the research library. (We are always eager to hear from retired archivists & librarians who are considering volunteering.) Serving two mornings a week ever since, we estimate that Janet has contributed about 1200 hours to this organization.

    Those 1200 hours accomplished major projects that would not have been completed otherwise. It seems like the demand for vintage buffalo images is almost bottomless, so Janet worked on major picture collections. Her projects include identifying, sorting, rehousing, inventorying, and/or labeling:

    10 folders of black and white photographs of the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna.

    88 glass lantern slides by an unknown photographer, donated by Anna Liaros, depicting members of the Seneca Nation in Salamanca and Buffalo

    1 box of portraits from the William Westphal photographic studio on Broadway

    12 boxes of color photographs of Museum exhibits and events taken ca. 1990-2005

    And most notably, 8,000 negatives from the Hare Studio, plus a couple thousand prints. George Hare was a prominent commercial photographer in the 20th century. Janet also wrote catalog worksheets for these pictures, enabling us to list them in FRANK, our searchable online catalog. Janet now ranks as the world export on Mr. Hare.

    For these reasons, we named Janet volunteer of the year at our annual volunteer appreciation dinner in April. Congratulations, Janet!

    My mom [Mary Nigro] and dad were engaged back in 1946. My dad lived on the Westside of Buffalo and my mom grew up in a small town in Forestville, NY. They were to marry on September 20, 1947. Because my mom had been working and going to nursing school at Deaconess Hospital; she did not have money to buy a wedding dress. Her younger brother [Henry Valvo] had been in World War II and still had his old parachute. Mom took the parachute to a lady that knew how to sew and they designed a beautiful dress with small colored rosebuds on the front and a very long train. - Michele Scott

    The Research Library at the Buffalo History Museum is collecting pictures & papers from same-sex couples wed under New York States equal marriage law.

    This may be the first library in the US to collect wedding memorabilia from legally-married same-sex couples.

    Buffalo Gay Men Chorus alumni Delwyn Milander and Mark Meyer were the first couple to donate their wedding pictures & papers.

    Questions? Email: library@buffalohistory.org

    Bathing SuitNeptunes DaughterNiagara Knitting Mills CorporationWool1920s-1930s

    Bathing SuitRose Marie Reid of CaliforniaAcetate1960s-1970s

    Photo: Daniel Reiff

  • 41. Melissa Brown and Ali Eagan

    2. Lucille Gavin

    3. Guy Boleri

    4. Carol Ann Rice Raffery & Kara Rice Rafferty