The most recent episode of Empire State Engagements features a conversation with Dr. Thomas J. Balcerski of Eastern Connecticut State University about his New York History journal article “‘The Little Spark of Manhood I Have Left’: Governor Thomas Melville and the Aged Seamen of Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” and his recent monograph Bosom Friends: The Intimate World of James Buchanan and William Rufus King (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). [Read more…] about Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island (Author Interview)
In the early morning hours of July 4, 1919, a fire alarm was sounded in the village of Corinth, Saratoga County. Many residents thought some kids were celebrating Independence Day a bit early, but when the International Paper Mill fire whistle sounded everyone knew it was real.
The popular German-American Club next to a creek on lower Pine Street was ablaze. [Read more…] about Corinth’s 1919 German–American Club Fire
The Irish American Heritage Museum has announced “Irish Involvement in American Labor,” a program with Terry Golway, PhD, set for Friday, May 7th. [Read more…] about Irish Involvement in American Labor (Virtual Talk)
The lumber products and hardware store, which has locations in Jay and Malone, NY and employs over 50 local people, has been in Jay Ward’s family for four generations. Ward, who will continue his leadership role as the company’s chief executive officer, completed a contract with his employee team that makes Ward Lumber the largest worker-owned cooperative in the region. [Read more…] about After 130 Years Adk Lumber Company Becomes Worker-Owned Co-Op
Author Mark Torres’ new book shines a light on a chapter of that history. Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood (History Press, 2021) tells the story of the migrant laborers who traveled to Long Island from the 1940s through the 1970s. The camps in which they lived were often little more than shacks and the plight of the migrants were a debated topic among journalists, officials, and the general public for years. [Read more…] about Long Island Migrant Labor Camps (Podcast)
Located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, Sackets Harbor boasts a stellar history in the War of 1812, but this lake port holds a wealth of other fascinating stories.
After the War of 1812, Sackets Harbor nearly became a thriving lake port, but both the emerging railroads and canal systems quickly excluded the tiny village from ever becoming a Buffalo or Cleveland-size port. [Read more…] about Dancing On Logs: Pulp Wood At Sackets Harbor
Pictures of street hawkers with their trade shouts recorded in captions of poetry or prose are known as “Cries.” They first appeared in Paris around 1500. This early creation of an urban iconography included socially marginal people such as vagrants, beggars, prostitutes, and others.
Fifty years later, these images were established as a stylistic category across Europe. Eventually, they would make their way to New York. [Read more…] about Urban Cries: Street Hawkers’ Shouts in New York & London
It’s at 1 Jackson Street. What I like to call the Fortress of Shoddy. [Read more…] about The Hudson River’s Fortress of Shoddy in Troy
In 1817, Hannah married Orlando Montague, a blacksmith. Keeping in mind that most people back then didn’t have a lot of clothing, hand washing was tedious and time consuming, especially with everything else a young wife was supposed to take care of.
Throughout most of the 19th century, the attire of most men included a white shirt with starched collar and a knotted tie or cravat. Styles changed, but the need for a good white shirt did not.
[Read more…] about Women’s Labor History: Detachable Fashions & Laundry Work
One of the most prosperous residents in the history of Ballston Spa, NY, was a “Paper Bag King” who once laid claim to the largest manila paper bag operation in the world, also located in Saratoga County.
George West, was born in the English village of Kentisbeare in 1822. He was the sixth of nine children, and as soon as he was old enough West followed in his father’s footsteps and began working at a local paper mill. [Read more…] about Saratoga County Mills Using Manila Hemp Were Home To ‘The Paper Bag King’