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Wednesday, July 27, 2016


What a fascinating page! Just take a few minutes and check out the variety to be found at this very popular downtown Trenton store. My mom spent many hours and dollars availing herself of the many bargain prices offered.


Every family has kept at least one and probably many more of Mom or Grandmom's classic recipes. My daughter Juliane saved the ingredients of my dear Judy's recipe for chili, and it was handed down to Judy from her Mom, Elizabeth Britton. Interestingly, Juliane's children will also probably carry on the family tradition and 70 or 80 years from now, those family recipes will still shine. Over in the Chambersburg area, today's descendants are known for saving "Nona's" recipe for "gravy" or sauce. Every nationality has carried on the tradition of saving family recipes. Mom Britton's recipe for stuffed capon was to die for, as was her Thanksgiving turkey stuffing recipe. .

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I had no way of knowing it back on March 17, 1952 when I went for a job interview with the Trenton Bearing Company at 1812 North Olden Avenue Extension that I was  entering a profession that would ultimately see America and the Trenton area lose industrial supremacy to foreign manufacturers who could produce products at prices far, far below those required by the American manufacturers. Indeed, I started as a delivery driver for the bearing company, making daily deliveries to the COUNTLESS industrial entities in the area at that time. Just to name a few: General Electric, C.V. Hill, Ternstedt Division of General Motors, Fairless Works Division of U.S. Steel Corp., L.A. Young Spring and Wire Co., Bayer Aspirin, and as indicated above, COUNTLESS other factories and businesses that required machine replacement parts. The graphic posted herewith was one of our MAJOR customers. I made daily trips to Ternstedt Division which ultimately became Fisher Body. They were a major source of income for our little bearing distributorship as was U.S. Steel Fairless Works in Morrisville, Vulcanized Rubber and Plastics also in Morrisville, along with other far flung industries such as Cold Spring Bleachery in Yardley, Warner Company and really, too many others to list in this posting. I ultimately became an inside telephone-counter salesman at the Trenton Bearing Co. along with my equally talented side kick, Bill Kuestner. Things went great until the imports began to arrive in the latter part of the 1950's. Datsun, Renault, Volkswagen, began to bring their autos into America with prices far below those of our American counterparts, all of whom had to price their vehicles far above the foreign competitors in order to offset the relatively high union worker's, and upper management wages. From then on it was DOWNHILL. I remember that U.S. Steel Fairless Works Purchasing agent let it be known that anything foreign would place a vendor on the "no bid" list. Indeed, I remember the day then salesman Charlie Brown returned from a sales call at Fairless and told us of the foreign boycott that extended to even our use of American only automobiles. Trenton and American never recovered from the true "Industrial Revolution" that occurred in post-war America, and today our heavy industry is only a memory.

Monday, July 25, 2016


This Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser washed out and faded photo took quite some time to enhance and restore to at least a legible specimen. This is an historic photo that will be looked upon in future generations who will be studying the history of Trenton's school system; especially the legendary high school system that began on Mercer Street in the 19th century. This photo is also being posted on various Trenton Facebook pages, but I fear it will not be legible enough to read the small print of the caption.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Many years ago, Kuser School Custodian and close friend George Scott called me and told me he had been following my many Kuser School columns as had many of the teachers at Kuser. He said he had a very large black trash bag that he was told to dispose of and he thought of me. How grateful I am that he did. In that bag were countless VINTAGE class photos, and other memorabilia from the glorious past of Kuser School. Unfortunately, there are some administrators who are more interested in "tidiness" than they are in preserving precious historical photos and documents. Ironically, I have returned the collection to Principal Roberto Kesting with the promise that they will be saved and preserved for future generations. I am assuming that they are now back in their rightful place in the historical files at Kuser. HOWEVER, there is one that I have opted to keep. It is the one class room instructional poster that I remember quite well. I am hearing the very stupid opinion from some quarters that "cursive" writing is now an unnecessary subject to cover in today's society with the advent of the computer and its ability to communicate via the written word replete with "spell checking." What an idiotic observation! Hand writing was near the top of the list for those of us who attended grammar school in the first half of the 20th century. I remember how we were instructed to sit up straight at our desk, feet planted firmly on the floor, and to assume the posture of the students in the photo. Summoning all the humility in my power, I am proud to say that my handwriting at the age of 82 is every bit as good as it was when I was a student. Indeed, my handwriting ability has even led to a number of folks requesting that I calligraphically label wedding name tags. (No, I no longer do that service.) I remember when there was a class known as "PENMANSHIP;" which we all were subjected to. I also remember that constant use of the pencil and later the "straight pen" left a physical "bump" on our middle finger from extensive use of our writing tools. No need to ask me my opinion on "Common Core." I prefer the antiquated disciplined and work hard ethic of learning taught by teachers whose hand writing was beyond splendid.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


This is a combination of a February 26, 1885 article on the "Union Library" which was once located where today's N.J. Bell Telephone building is on 20-22 East State Street. There were so many incredibly beautiful architectural structures in down town Trenton in the 19th and early 20th century, all of which gave up their beauty to "progress." The building was the headquarters of the WCTU
(Womens' Christian Temperance Union) and was one of the many local meeting places back in the 19th century and into the early 20th. The Trenton Free Public Library purchased most of the books and other memorabilia from the old Union Library and undoubtedly was one of the catalysts that began the incredible "Trentoniana" collection.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


I was pleasantly surprised that I am genealogically related to Joseph Borden for whom this bucolic town is named is directly related to my mother who was a member of the MOUNT family; pioneer settlers in Monmouth County in the area of Navesink and Locust. She nor I never knew that she was directly descended not only from the Borden family, but also John Adams, Conrwallis, and COUNTLESS historic personages from our historic past. Above is a full page scan of the town's history and I am working on page 2. It is a really cumbersome effort to scan these full "broad sheet" pages of the Trenton Times.

Monday, July 18, 2016


What an historic treasure! Here's the original "DAILY TRUE AMERICAN" engraving of the new Trenton High School which was to replace the old Mercer Street Trenton High School. As you can see by my re-formatted graphic, the old newspaper page has been resurrected, brightened up, color added and is now a qualifying digital piece of Trenton area history! This building was on the corner of Hamilton and Chestnut Avenue, and as can be seen in the True American engraving, was an architectural gem. Can you even begin to imagine walking the halls in that splendidly beautiful building? Can you imagine how great it would have been to save that splendid beautiful building? Dream on! The original page is shown below and you will agree that it was impossible to fit this within the boundaries of the computer screen. It is also my goal to make these historic graphics as appealing to the eye as possible. Here is the article and graphic before formatting:

Friday, July 15, 2016


Here's an excellent antique map of Robbinsville and indeed the whole township of WIndsor showing the many prominent old time names of residents. Robbinsville was a major potato shipping center back in the 19th century.


These LARGE graphics do not play well on Facebook, but here on they shine clear, legibly and brightly. This is about 90 percent of a full page dedicated to Hamilton's Rowan School as published in the Trenton Times during 1916 highlighting many of our local schools. The photo on the bottom, along with the Hamilton Library Local History graphic have been added as "fillers" and to complete the page. The very interesting mini articles by the various students adds a certain charm to the page.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


One thing I have found while researching the pork roll phenomenon, John Taylor wins hands down as to historic longevity. John Taylor's product goes back to England when a Taylor family member provided pork products to the royal family. That fact, along with the fact that John Taylor was direct descendant of the British Taylors, led to his setting up shop in Trenton. First in the mid 19th century in an austere establishment in the Academy Street area. In 1870 he moved into the expansive farm property shown in this exquisite engraving from the year 1875 which I find was at the foot of today's Perrine Avenue in Trenton. Little wonder that it was known far and wide back in the 19th century as "Taylor Ham." I have also learned that It was John Taylor who invented "pork roll in a bag.;" so popular in modern times.
Another very interesting and little known fact: Back in the 19th century, Sand Hills (today's Yardville) was a major pork shipping center receiving the products from neighboring pork farmers and sending them north or south from the Sand Hills railroad depot.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome the class of 1934 AND 1937, Pennington Grammar School. There are a number of familiar old family names in these photographs. See how many you recognize.

Monday, July 11, 2016


One of the treasures in my old time radio collection is a selection of world war two broadcasts of my childhood hero, Hop Harrigan. Announcer Glenn Riggs was famous for his nightly admonition on the 15 minute radio program as he proclaimed, "and remember, AMERICA NEED FLIERS!" This ad from my WWII folder coincides with the year that my older brother Len was flying daily missions over Nazi German cities in a B 24 Liberator.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


Once again, an incredibly interesting graphic has been assembled to bring back just a bit of the essence of the Mill Hill of the mid 19th century. My unbridled interest in this historic area of Trenton knows no bounds. Looking at that photo of Mr. Quintin's Washington Retreat, one can easily imagine a warm summer evening as well dressed ladies and gentlemen venture to this romantic spot for an ice cream treat and a relaxing evening of listening to the music of the "Trenton Brass Band." No "Hip Hop," "Rap" or noisy "Rock" here; just plain beautifully melodic music that is right at home in such a bucolic environment.