Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Annals of Cleveland are now on line!!

Our colleagues over at the Case Western Reserve University Kevin Smith Library report that they have mounted a searchable digital edition of the Annals of Cleveland to their Digital Case web site. The Annals were a WPA project which abstracted articles from the city's newspapers, primarily between 1818 and 1876, but including some related series that I'm not sure if are included yet or not.

For more background information on the Annals, please visit our earlier site about its history.

This is great news and I compliment the folks at the CWRU/KSL and Digital Case for this effort. You might poke around Digital Case and note the other collections they have there.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CTS crane in Hilton Garden Inn

The old Cleveland Transit System repair shop on Carnegie, near Progressive Field, was incorporated into the new Hilton Garden Inn and serves as meeting rooms. I found it fun to look up one day and notice the Armington overhead crane still in place, along with some other historic remnants on the stairways and elevator. The Hilton sent me this description:

George Armington founded the Euclid Crane & Hoist Company in 1924. The company specialized in earth moving vehicles and equipment. One project was to design and build a crane for CTS (Cleveland Transit System). This crane, known as the Armington Crane, was built to service the electrical transformers inside what is now the Hilton Garden Inn Gateway Conference Center on Carnegie Avenue. These transformers operated the street car system for the city of Cleveland. There was a central control panel located on the second floor that monitored any transformer/electrical outages. The Armington Crane was built to lower and hoist the transformers for servicing. The crane is geared and can be operated by a single person and uses a hawser rope that will handle 15 tons of lift. Today the Armington Crane can be seen in the Armington room and is still operable and the name plate is gilded in gold with the “Armington” name.

Another funny little historical survival.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

The Beet Lady is Grandma Rose!

One of the iconic shots from the Cleveland Press Collection, one that we have used often in displays and our Cleveland Memory Project, is “The Beet Lady,” shown here. There’s something really charismatic about her and people always respond to this picture. But for the past decade since we came across it, we’ve known nothing more than what you see. Today, however, she has a name: Grandma Rose Thomas! There’s great joy around the library as a result of this discovery.

The news came as a result of the photo being run in Cleveland Magazine. Grandma Rose is now deceased, but a close family friend called to give them a report, which was passed on to us today.

Grandma Rose was a young widow from Lebanon who came to America in her 20s, about a century ago. Here she met her husband, Al, peddling sundries in Pennsylvania. They were poor and slept in barns at one point before moving to Cleveland. Here they were running a couple of produce stands at the West Side Market when this photo of Rose was taken in 1947. Her husband died young and Rose and their daughter Elizabeth lived in Parma, where Elizabeth worked as a secretary and Rose tended her garden and cooked. Rose died in 1975, at the age of 89.

The family friend saw this photo of Rose in Cleveland Memory some years ago and again when it appeared in a book about Cleveland. Then she showed it to Elizabeth, before she died. When it turned up again in Cleveland Magazine, she decided to tell them who the woman was. We are all very happy to put a name next to this remarkable face.

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