Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You'll Love Erie circa 1982

A lot has changed since this You'll Love Erie tourist guide was published by the Erie Area Chamber of Commerce in 1982.

Erie County, PA has gained 6,000 people.
The Flagship Niagara is no longer propped up on State St.
The Civic Center replaced the Erie County Fieldhouse.
Mercyhurst is now a University.
The Erie Art Center is now the Erie Art Museum.
The Greyhound bus station moved to the bayfront.
Doctors Osteopathic Hospital closed.
The Geriatric Center is now Pleasant Ridge Manor.
The Erie Blades no longer exist.
The Erie Cardinals no longer exist.
Commodore Downs is gone.
The Erie International Airport is now Tom Ridge Field.
Villa Maria College merged with Gannon University.
Lou Tullio is no longer the Mayor of Erie.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

Great Lakes Naval Cruise 1978

Three U.S. Navy destroyers visited Erie in 1978 and I remember watching a sea of sailors dressed in white walking up State Street for shore leave. I had never seen so many men in uniform before, nor had I ever seen ships of that size.

The ships included the USS Robert A. Owens (DD-827), the USS Davis (DD-937) and the USS William C. Lawe (DD-763). The Davis, at 418 feet with a displacement of 4,000 tons, was the largest, followed by the Owens (390'6") and the Lawe (390'). The Owens, at 3,510 tons, was ten tons heavier than the Lawe.

"The transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway and operations in the Great Lakes provide the crew of these three U.S. Atlantic Fleet destroyers with superb training. To capitalize on these training opportunities, selected members of the Naval Reserve are assigned to the ships for two-week periods of active duty. This is the first cruise of Navy ships on the Great Lakes since 1963. The presence of these ships gives you a chance to view, first-hand, units of your Navy. The officers and men of the task unit welcome you aboard and are eager to answer your questions.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The SHY Club- Ronald vs. Peggy

The Erie County Motor Club, formed in 1912, published a neat magazine with items of local interest. The issue shown here is from May of 1952. 

"Fifty-two thousand five hundred pairs of shoes have crossed the threshold of the SHY Club at Sarah Hearn Memorial church since the club was founded February 8, 1945. 

Peggy Postgate and Ronald Sitter, the lively looking young people on our front cover, wear two of those pairs of shoes...SHY Club, under the adult direction of John Gillespie and Andy Peterson (who also direct Y-Astee Club at the YMCA) meets Friday evenings, and attracts about 150 junior high and early senior high age youngsters for pleasant, healthful fun. The club is jointly sponsored by the YMCA and Sarah Hearn church."

Enjoy more facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rad-O-Lite RELCO Emergency Lights

Old Time Erie - 1971 ad for RELCO.
Remember the white light at the top of the traffic lights in Erie, PA that would blink when triggered by an emergency vehicle? Police, fire and ambulances drivers could with on this system at major intersections. The only problem? It was very confusing to tourists passing through Erie who did not have this system in their town. Under ideal conditions, drivers would see the blinking white light, hear the sirens and pull over to the right side of the road, clearing a path for the police car or fire truck. This system was marketed by the Radio Emergency Light Co (RELCO) under the name Rad-O-Lite. The company was located at 3427 Sterrettania Road in Millcreek Twp.

This system no longer exists, but I wish there was something like it, especially at East 12th and East Avenue and East 12th and the Bayfront Connector. Too many close calls there for me.

Enjoy more historical facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Friday, April 12, 2013

Congested Traffic 12th and State

It's no wonder that traffic was so congested at the intersection of 12th and State Street in Erie, PA. There does not appear to be a traffic light!

Trolleys ran up and down State Street, and also made the turn at 12th Street to head east or west. 

There were multiple distractions with pedestrians, cars, trucks and trolleys sharing the road. The Erie Police Department had a post at 12th and State. It was the little white structure near the bottom left corner. 

The Commerce Building, shown on the right, was demolished in the eighties. The trolley tracks were either ripped out or paved over. A traffic light and cross walks make this intersection much safer for people who are shopping at retail stores or working at one of the businesses or banks downtown.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: Old Time Erie

Click below to see a postcard of the Commerce Building and 12th and State Street intersection from a different angle.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Industries in Erie PA in 1958

At one time, Erie was a manufacturing powerhouse with quality products known around the world, such as Hammermill paper. In its heyday, the Hammermill plant ran 24 hours a day. The logos shown above represent some of the industries and service providers that operated in Erie, PA in the spring of 1958. Security-Peoples Trust Company used this image in a magazine advertisement to promote pride in the community. It would be interesting to see what items each company made and if they are still in business.

It would be great if there was a Museum of Erie Industries with sample items and photos of the businesses, especially the ones on West 12th Street.

Enjoy more interesting historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Newspaper Carrier Tools of the Trade

One of my earliest jobs was delivering the Erie Daily Times, just like hundreds of other kids. I picked up my bundle at the firehouse on 23rd and Ash, counted the papers and inserted the ads in each one. Depending on the weather and the weight of the paper, I would put the papers in my canvas bag and then jump on my bike, walk or pull the sled behind me and head down to Slomski's Funeral Home on East 21st St. and start my rounds. My father drove me around on most Sundays because the papers were so heavy.

On Fridays and Saturdays I'd carry a money bag with change, a hole puncher and a hard-covered binder full of cards. I would line up the customer card and my card and punch the appropriate spot so we would each have a record of payment. The color of the card changed each year. 

The district manager (Dan) would meet us at the firehouse so we could pay our bill, part of which included a savings plan that did not pay interest. We got a long, skinny form that recorded our payment for the papers. A few years after I stopped delivering papers I started writing freelance for the Erie Times. I don't think there are any more youth carriers now that adults deliver the motor routes.

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Labor Unions in Erie PA in 1918

About one in every three wage earners belonged to a union in Erie, PA in 1918. It appears that most of the skilled tradesmen, including some whose jobs no longer exist in this region, were able to join a union if they so desired. Others would have signed up if there was a local in Erie that represented their profession or occupation. There were about 15,000 card-carrying members during World War I in Erie.

Labor unions included: Erie Central Labor Union, Erie Allied Printing Trades Council, Erie Building Trades Council, Bakery Workers, Journeymen Barbers, Bookbinders, Brewery Workers, Bricklayers, Bridges & Structural Iron, Bartenders, Carpenters, 

Electrical Workers No. 30, Electrical Workers No. 56, Electrical Workers No. 600, National Marine Engineers, Portable Engineers, Stationary Firemen, Locomotive Engineers, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, Switchmen, Railway Machinists

United Garment Workers, Lathers, Letter Carriers,  Machinists, Moving Picture Operators, Molders, Musicians, Painters, Plasterers, Plumbers, Postal Clerks, Printing Pressmen, Stage Employees, Stone Cutters, Tailors, Teamsters & Chauffeurs and Locomotive Engineers

Asbestos Workers, Cigarmakers, Carriage & Wagon Makers, Horseshoers, Iron, Steel & Tin Workers, Lithographers, I.L.A. Grain Handlers, Licensed Tagmen, Gill Net Fishermen, Fish Dressers, Pound Net Fishermen, Twine Stringers, Poster Artists, Street Railway Employees, Typographical and Milk Drivers.

Which union did your grandfather or great-grandfather belong to?

(Note: U.E. Local 506, the bargaining agent for workers at General Electric in Erie, is not on this list because it formed in 1937.)

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tribune Bicycle Blue Streak Ad 1899

Old Time Erie Tribune ad in Erie Dispatch, April 28, 1899.
The Tribune Bicycle was made in a factory at 1912 Liberty St. in Erie, PA during the late 1890s. 

The Black Manufacturing Co. had a retail store at 806 State St. in downtown Erie. According to this advertisement, Over 500 Erie residents owned the 1899 Tribune, the Wheel of Wheels.

The Blue Streak was one of the models of Tribune bikes. 

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com

View drawings of the old Black Mfg. Co. factory on Liberty St. between West 19th and West 20th Street here: http://oldtimeerie.blogspot.com/2012/10/tribune-bicycle-black-mfg-co-19th-and.html

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Holy Trinity Parochial School 1953

Holy Trinity Parochial School was located at 651 East 22nd Street in Erie, PA in a predominately Polish neighborhood. The school was designed by Ladislaus Zawadzki of Buffalo. The cornerstone was laid in the summer of 1909. Sister Mary Lucina, of the Felician order, was the first superior of the school. Holy Trinity School was remodeled in 1953. The school closed in 1997 and was later demolished and turned into a parking lot to provide more room for the annual Zabawa celebration. Learn about Zabawa here: http://oldtimeerie.blogspot.com/2012/08/zabawa-holy-trinity-polish-summerfest.html

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at: oldtimeerie.blogspot.com