Trivia clue: It was a 19th century technology for announcing real-time election results in Glens Falls, NY.
Correct response: What is the stereopticon?
“The Rochester Clothing Company has made arrangements to exhibit the election returns tomorrow night on a canvas in front of their store,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on November 5th, 1888. “As the dispatches are received. W.W. Kennedy will transfer them in brief to his plates and reproduce them upon the canvass by means of his stereopticon.”
In other lighter side of politics anecdotes collected from Northern New York historic newspapers:
To paraphrase the New Testament: It is more blessed to give a kiss than to receive a vote.
“A candidate for office in Onondaga County fervently kissed several babies one day after a public meeting, with the hope that the oscillatory act might have the desired effect on the fathers’ vote, but the little ones were children that were brought from an orphan asylum by some of his opponents.”
The Post-Star reported on April 29th, 1947 that John Baker won first prize of a Guatemala stamp from the collection of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the stamp quiz at a meeting of the Glens Falls Stamp Club at the Glens Falls Y.M.C.A.
The Post-Star reported on July 6th, 1972 that President Richard Nixon named Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox as baseball’s greatest hitter and Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees as baseball’s best outfielder.
The Delaware & Hudson and Pennsylvania railroads offered a special round-trip excursion fare of $11.70 – the equivalent of $377 in 2022 dollars – from Glens Falls to Washington D.C. for the 1889 inauguration of President Benjamin Harrison and Vice President Levi Morton.
The shoe size of First Lady Frances Cleveland was kept a closely guarded secret, said the Pennsylvania Avenue shoe maker who fashioned her footwear. “The Knight of Crispin [a shoe workers labor union] while rejoicing in such patronage, says that life is almost made a burden to him by the persistent efforts of other women to discover what size she wears,” The Morning Star reported on March 11th, 1889.
- “’The funny fellow is around again,’ says the Troy Press. He says to you: ‘It’s too bad those fellows got four years,’ and when you innocently ask, ‘What fellows?’ he replies, ‘Harrison and Morton.’” – The Morning Star, January 30th, 1889.
- “Hon. W.M. Ewarts has uttered at least one short sentence. He consoled some disappointed candidates for cabinet positions with these words: ‘Remember gentlemen, this is an administration to swear by, not swear at.” – The Morning Star, May 28th, 1889.
Photo: A New York Times pressman checking a newspaper for defects in 1942.