Thursday, December 19, 2019

A Greeting from Lockport

This Rotograph, number G 5632, is similar to the company's C 5630a, which I included in an earlier post about the Erie Canal. It shows a cascade of five locks on the canal in the aptly named Lockport, New York. Wheatlet, advertised at left, was a cereal manufactured by the Franklin Mills Co., which was based in Lockport.

The card was addressed to a Mr. Edwin W. Scott at 33 Elberon Place, Albany, New York, and the "Papa Will" referred to in the message was probably William M. Scott, a watchmaker who resided at that address in 1901 according to an Albany city directory. The Lester Greff (and Mary) mentioned may be the same couple who feature in legal documents regarding an ugly probate dispute adjudicated by the New York Supreme Court (Appellate Division, Third Department) in 1947. The decedent was Joseph Charles Greff of Albany, who had been judged "insane" and committed to the State Mental Institution, where he married a nurse. Lester Greff contended that his father had not been "of sound mind" at the time of his will, which established the wife, Ella Havens Greff, as his sole legatee.

If Edwin Scott was a relatively young child when this card was mailed, he may be the Edwin W. Scott whose automobile was struck by a trolley car in 1922, and who subsequently sued the trolley company (the United Traction Company) in a case heard before the same Appellate Division court. That Edwin Scott was twenty-two at the time of the accident, and thus would have been born around 1900.

The sender and date of mailing are unknown.


Michael Leddy said...

I love this kind of descent into the rabbit hole.

Chris said...

Me too. And I'm just scratching the surface. It amused me that I came across this just a few weeks after reading William Kennedy's Ironweed, which is set in Albany in roughly the same period (and includes an incident with the trolley company).

Unknown said...

Thank you for creating a wonderful resource in this site. I have a question regarding a Rotograph Co. postcard that was actually produced in what I will call "kodachrome". It's a high gloss print in all blue tones. Can you tell me what it is called?

Chris said...

That sounds like a cyanotype, which Rotograph produced a few of. An example is here:

There's more information here:

Unknown said...

That's exactly what it is - thanks so much. Sorry to hi-jack this post, but I wasn't seeing anywhere else to ask. Appreciate the quick response!