Birds, Tomatoes, Vaudeville and More

During curators talks in May our staff will be discussing a wide variety of topics!

Hand colored, tintype portrait of Josephine Klippart and her mother, Emmeline Rahn Klippart.

Hand colored, tintype portrait of Josephine Klippart and her mother, Emmeline Rahn Klippart.


May 3
Tis Sweet to Be Remembered: Josephine Klippart, A Columbus Artist Who Got Her Starting Drawing Birds and Fish

Josephine Klippart was a Columbus artist who helped to create Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, an award-winning work published in 1886 that was the subject of Joy M. Kiser’s 2012 book, America’s Other Audubon. Join Betsy Butler, former special collections librarian at the Ohio Historical Society, to discover Josephine’s artistic accomplishments — particularly those related to nature — in the Society’s collection of manuscripts, photographs, printed material and objects associated with Josephine and her parents.

May 10
Cemetery Research for Your Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a traditional time for families to gather together, decorate cemeteries, and reminisce. In preparation for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, come find out what to do and see in a cemetery & how to collect information about your family history while you are there.

Annual catalog from 1897 for True Blue Seeds.

Annual catalog from 1897 for True Blue Seeds.


May 17
Livingston’s Tomatoes

It’s tomato planting time and many of us are looking forward to eating juicy, locally grown varieties. Did you know that Ohioan Alexander W. Livingston is responsible for the success of this plant in today’s home and commercial gardens? Join Circulation Coordinator Carla Zikursh to learn more about Livingston, his tomatoes and his legacy.

May 24
For the Immediate Relief of Our Sick and Wounded Soldiers”: Ohio’s Soldiers Aid Societies

During the Civil War, Ohio’s communities supported the Union war effort by organizing soldiers aid societies. These organizations raised money and supplies that were critical to the care of Ohio’s soldiers. State Archivist Fred Previts will share some of the letters, reports and photographs documenting the help provided by these societies.

May 31
On the Road with the Zints: Vaudeville Theater and Rural Ohio

The Zint family, from Wapakoneta, was one of the best known performing families in Ohio during the 1920s. Learn more about this family’s history and see some of their costumes, props, and accessories from their performing years.

Frederick Zint playing in the Zint Family Orchestra with his brothers and sisters.

Frederick Zint playing in the Zint Family Orchestra with his brothers and sisters.


The curators talks are part of a busy schedule of activities at the History Center in May. Check out our full calendar of programs.

If you go:

Day and Time: Saturdays in May at 2:00 PM

Location: Ohio History Center at I-71 and 17th Ave.

Cost: Free with Museum Admission

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Jerrie Mock’s Historic Flight

Jerrie Mock was the first woman to fly solo around the world.

Geraldine Fredritz Mock was born on November 22, 1925 in Newark, Ohio. Mock became interested in planes at the age of 7, when her father took her to the cockpit of a Ford Trimotor airplane. In 1943, Mock started at Ohio State University, studying aeronautical engineering. She left Ohio State in 1945 to marry Russell Mock.

Mock settled into a life as a housewife and mother to three children, but continued to pursue her interest in aviation. At 32, she earned her pilot’s license. A blog post from the National Air and Space Museum explained the origins of Mock’s groundbreaking flight, “She and her husband Russell loved to fly around the Midwest and but she longed to visit countries she had always dreamed of as a child. Russ suggested a world flight and Jerrie enthusiastically said why not?”[i] Sponsored by the Columbus Dispatch, Mock moved up her flight date when she heard another woman, Joan Merriman Smith, was also planning a trip around the world.

The "Spirit of Columbus", from the Ohio Historical Society collections, SC 202.

The “Spirit of Columbus”, from the Ohio Historical Society collections, SC 202.

On March 19, 1964, Mock took off from Columbus in her plane, the Spirit of Columbus, a Cessna 180. Mock’s trip around the world took twenty-nine days, eleven hours, and fifty-nine minutes, returning to Columbus on April 17, 1964; Mock flew 23,103 miles. During this flight, Mock set the round-the-world speed record for planes that weighed less than 3,858 pounds. In addition to aviation accomplishments, Mock was an ambassador of sorts, trading in her trademark pants in for a more formal skirt and jacket.

As a result of Mock’s historic flight, President Lyndon Baines Johnson awarded her the Federal Aviation Administration’s Exceptional Service Decoration. In 1975, Mock’s Cessna was donated to the National Air and Space Museum. The Federation Aeronautique Internationale honored her with the Louis Bleriot Medal, the organization’s highest honor. She was the first woman and also the first U.S. citizen to receive the medal.

Mock never flew the Spirit of Columbus after her historic flight, but continued to her aviation career, setting several more records. The Spirit of Columbus was donated to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Mock currently lives in Florida; when recently asked about her historic flight, Mock, 88, explained, ““You call it an accomplishment. I just call it having fun.” [ii]

Emily Lang, History Curator

Bibliography:

Cochrane , Dorothy. “Celebrating Jerrie Mock, the First Woman to Fly Around the World.” National Air and Space Museum. http://blog.nasm.si.edu/aviation/celebrating-jerrie-mock-the-first-woman-to-fly-around-the-world/ (accessed April 1, 2014).

Deitch, Linda. “Jerrie Mock’s Historic Flight Began 50 years Ago This Morning.” The Columbus Dispatch, March 19, 2014.

“50 Years Later, ‘Flying Housewife’, Mock Recalls Fun of Becoming First Woman Pilot to Fly Around the World .” TribLIVE.com. http://triblive.com/usworld/nation/5938383-74/mock-flight-pilot#axzz2yrkX0Bov (accessed April 14, 2014).

 

[i] Cochrane , Dorothy. “Celebrating Jerrie Mock, the First Woman to Fly Around the World.” National Air and Space Museum. http://blog.nasm.si.edu/aviation/celebrating-jerrie-mock-the-first-woman-to-fly-around-the-world/ (accessed April 1, 2014).

[ii] “50 Years Later, ‘Flying Housewife’, Mock Recalls Fun of Becoming First Woman Pilot to Fly Around the World .” TribLIVE.com. http://triblive.com/usworld/nation/5938383-74/mock-flight-pilot#axzz2yrkX0Bov (accessed April 14, 2014).

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Can You Pass the Test? Teacher Certification Exams in Ohio’s Historic Newspapers

In order to teach in Ohio public schools, teachers now and in the past are required to pass formal examinations that measure their competency and academic skills in a variety of areas.  During the early 20th century, the Greenville Journal, published in Darke County, Ohio, printed the questions included on the county examination for teachers seeking elementary school certificates.

Among the topics covered on these tests were: arithmetic, geography, grammar, literature, physiology, and United States history.  A couple of the articles referred to these questions as “Brain Puzzlers”, and I would have to agree—some of them are tough!  Here are just a few examples:

Arithmetic: “A piece of work costs for labor $233.75, the workmen receiving wages at the rate of $1.50 for a day of 9 hours.  What would the same work cost if wages were $1.40 a day of 8 hours?” (October 8, 1908, Image 8, col. 2).

Elementary Agriculture: “Name three kinds of corn and discuss each in such a way that they may be recognized by the description.  What kind of corn is raised chiefly in your section of the state?” (September 18, 1913, Image 1, col. 2).

Literature: “Trace in early American literature some influences of its English origin.” (February 7, 1907, Image 8, col. 2).

Physiology: “How does the knowledge of a scratch on the hand reach the brain?  Would knowledge of an injury to an internal organ locate so accurately the place and nature of the hurt?  Does the brain control the processes of the internal organs?” (January 13, 1916, Image 3, col. 1).

Would you have had what it takes to be a certified teacher in Darke County during the early 1900s?  Take one of these examinations and find out!  You can view them by visiting the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America website where select issues from the Greenville Journal are now online.  Either click on the links provided in this post, or you can search for other examinations.  Use the Advanced Search feature to limit your search by newspaper title to the Greenville Journal and search for teacher exam, teacher questions or teacher examination in the “…with all of the words” search box.  If you limit your search to just Ohio papers, you can also find teacher exams from other areas of the state, including Lorain County (Wellington Enterprise, December 16, 1896, Image 4, col. 3) and Washington County (Marietta Daily Leader, February 10, 1901, Image 8, col. 3-4).

The orthography section from the September 1915 teacher county certification exam (Greenville Journal, September 2, 1915, Image 3, col. 4).

The orthography section from the September 1915 teacher county certification exam (Greenville Journal, September 2, 1915, Image 3, col. 4).

The Greenville Journal is just one of Ohio’s most recent additions to Chronicling America.  It joins more than 1,300 other newspapers from all over the nation (that’s over 7.4 million pages!), including over 50 from Ohio, to chronicle United States history from 1836 to 1922.  All papers on the website are freely available and keyword searchable.  In addition to issues from the Greenville Journal (1907-1918), the following Ohio papers are also now online:

Chronicling America is brought to you by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress and state projects to provide enhanced access to United States newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.  National Endowment for the Humanities awards support state projects to select and digitize historically significant titles that are aggregated and permanently maintained by the Library of Congress at Chronicling America. As part of the project, the Ohio Historical Society contributed over 200,000 newspaper pages to the project between July 2008 and August 2012 and will contribute an additional 100,000 pages by the end of August 2014.  For more information about this project and resources for searching Chronicling America, please visit the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio Project Wiki or Ohio Digital Newspaper Program Website.

Jenni Salamon, Project Coordinator, NDNP-OH

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More Ohio Newspapers Added to Chronicling America!

The Library of Congress has added another 9,000 pages of historic Ohio newspapers to Chronicling America!

Through efforts by the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio, these papers that were once only available on microfilm are now digitized, full text searchable and freely available on the Library of Congress website.  They are filled to the brim with interesting and unique stories about our state and local history, and below are just a couple stories that I found while perusing some of the newspapers listed above.

A Jail Break in Kalida!

A $125 reward was offered to any person who could arrest and deliver three men who had escaped from the Putnam County Jail on December 1845.  Major Curtis, Nelson Curtis and William Holmes, imprisoned for murder and counterfeit, “made their escape by cutting through a wall two and a half feet thick, besides a two inch plank inside.”

story1

In the rest of this article, the Sheriff provides physical descriptions of the men and their clothing. Major Curtis is reported to have a “sinister countenance.” (Kalida Venture, December 30, 1845, Image 3, col. 4)

According to a separate article, their “escape was ingeniously planned,” and “the Sheriff is no way to blame—as the cells of the jail are above ground, with single walls, it is almost certain that a desperate villain will get out.” (Kalida Venture, December 30, 1845, Image 3, col. 1, 4).

Ravenna’s Shakespearean Fundraiser

In March 1891, the students of Ravenna High School presented the drama “The Shakespeare Water Cure” in order to raise money to purchase books for their school library.  This comedic performance featured characters from some of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays (Lady Macbeth, Romeo and Shylock, to name a few) gathered together “and engaged in their old tricks and intrigues” (Democratic Press, March 25, 1891, Image 3, col. 4-5).  The event raised $31.20 in net proceeds (approximately $840 in today’s money!) and “the stage of this fine hall was never graced by more talented amateurs” (Democratic Press, April 1, 1891, Image 3, col. 3).

story2

A review of the students’ performance. (Ravenna Democratic Press, April 1, 1891, Image 3, col. 3)

These stories join countless others from the over seven million newspaper pages and more than 1,200 newspapers from all over the nation, including over 50 from Ohio, that chronicle United States history from 1836 to 1922.

Visit Chronicling America now to search and browse through Ohio’s history as it was told by its local newspapers.  What stories will you find?

Chronicling America is brought to you by the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress and state projects to provide enhanced access to United States newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.  National Endowment for the Humanities awards support state projects to select and digitize historically significant titles that are aggregated and permanently maintained by the Library of Congress at Chronicling America. As part of the project, the Ohio Historical Society contributed over 200,000 newspaper pages to the project between July 2008 and August 2012 and will contribute an additional 100,000 pages by the end of August 2014.

Jenni Salamon, Project Coordinator, NDNP-OH

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Still Time to Vote in Ohio Memory Madness

Ohio Memory Madness Final Four voting has begun.

Who’s (I mean “what’s”) still in the running to become the 2014 Ohio Memory Madness Champion?

Defibrillator Prototype from the Dittrick Medical History Center vs. Dan Emmett Violin from the Ohio Historical Society

Dan Emmett Violin

Old Betsy Cannon from the Fort Stephenson Collection vs. Julia Chatfield Sculpture from the Ursulines of Brown County

Old Betsy Cannon
Final Four voting ends tomorrow, April 5 at 5pm, so get your vote in now before you forget (and share with your friends, family, Facebook, etc).

Click here and vote today!

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In April Learn More about Health and Wellness in History

During curators talks in April learn more about the dangers of severe weather, injuries to animals, the affect of the prehistoric diet on teeth and war gardens.

April 5
Blown Away: 40th Anniversary of the Xenia Tornado

On April 4, 1974 a forceful tornado devastated Xenia, Ohio.  Join archivist Tom Rieder to see photographs and other memorabilia documenting the storm’s destruction and the town’s efforts to rebuild.

Photograph tornado damage in Xenia, Ohio, 1974.

Photograph tornado damage in Xenia, Ohio, 1974.

April 12
That’s Gotta Hurt – Trauma and Pathology in Animal Bones

What can scientists learn about the life and health of wild animals by studying their bones? Join natural history curator David Dyer to see actual bone specimens and try to discover what happened to the animals – and if they survived.

April 19
Dental Health of Pre-Columbian Populations in Present-day Ohio

Join archaeology assistant Juli Six to learn about the dental health of Native Americans before European contact. The prehistoric diet caused abscessed teeth, generalized tooth decay, and severe attrition.

Pamphlet from the World War I era encouraging people to garden and preserve vegetables.

Pamphlet from the World War I era encouraging people to garden and preserve vegetables.

April 26
Every Garden a Munitions Plant: War Gardens in World War I and II

During the World Wars people the government encouraged planting gardens to avoid food shortages and promote health. Join curator Lisa Wood to see photographs, posters and other war garden memorabilia.

The curators talks are part of a busy schedule of activities at the History Center in March. Check out our full calendar of programs.

If you go:

Day and Time: Saturdays in March at 2:00 PM

Location: Ohio History Center at I-71 and 17th Ave.

Posted in archaeology, collections, Curators, Curators Talks, Natural History, Programs, World War II | 2 Comments

Birdie Schmidt Larrick: A Columbus Girl’s Unusual Adventures

Printed in the April 15, 1945 issue of the Columbus Citizen are five pictures under the heading “Camera Record of Columbus Girl’s Unusual Adventures.” That Columbus girl was Birdie Schmidt Larrick who during World War II became the only women serving in the Red Cross to have an American bomber named after her.

Birdie Schmidt Larrick, 1944.

Birdie Schmidt Larrick, 1944.

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Birdie graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in speech. Under the pseudonym of Irene Allen, she broadcasted feature news over WFJM in Youngstown, Ohio. In early December 1943 Birdie traveled to the Air Base in Wendling, England as Program Director of the American Red Cross (ARC) Aero Club. Stationed in Wendling was the 392nd Bombardment Group (BG), which moved to the base in August 1943 and was assigned to the 8th Air Force.

As Program Director, and later as Director, Birdie’s responsibilities included managing the Aero Club staff, organizing programs and events for the enlisted men and officers, managing the snack bar

Photograph of Birdie Schmidt Larrick and Helen Malsed. December 1944.

Photograph of Birdie Schmidt Larrick and Helen Malsed, December 1944.

and providing snacks, refreshments, and cigarettes to men returning from tours. Reading the reports Birdie kept for the Red Cross, it’s evident that she carried out each task with the intention to make hard situations feel a little more bearable. In her memoirs, “The Way It Was”, she writes how they used white sheets as tablecloths for a homey effect and made ice cream, just as good as the ice cream at home, with powdered milk and eggs.

White tablecloths and ice cream, although seemingly simple, were ways in which the Red Cross volunteers helped the soldiers morale. Birdie and the other Red Cross girls worked to create a community for the men at the base, and they managed this with few supplies and with some innovation. For example,

Portrait of Birdie Schmidt Larrick by Arthur Olsen, artist of the portrait on the Birdie Schmidt ARC B-24 Liberator.

Portrait of Birdie Schmidt Larrick by Arthur Olsen, artist of the portrait on the Birdie Schmidt ARC B-24 Liberator.

they found ways to heat the Aero Club with heavy pasteboard rings that came wrapped around bombs. More than this, they provided the soldiers with a safe place to talk.

Later the engineers, radio men, and gunners of the crews would come to the club and talk.Talk was not so much about flak and fighters but about the empty barracks in which they’d have to sleep. Sometimes I think that bothered them more than being shot at. What could we or I do? Just listen.[1]

In August 1944 a 392nd BG B-24 Liberator was named the “Birdie Schmidt ARC” after Birdie and a base defense tank was named “Helen’s Happy ARC Warriors,” after Helen Malsed who worked alongside Birdie as Program Director.

Birdie and the Crew at the christening of the “Birdie Schmidt ARC” August 1944. Back row left to right: Lt. Wise, Lt. Hoffman, Lt. Randall, Birdie, Lt. Gorton, Cpl. McNutt, S/Sgt. Goo. Front row left to right: T/Sgt. Boney, S/Sgt. Sanders, S/Sgt. Kamacho, S/Sgt. Dopson.

Birdie and the Crew at the christening of the “Birdie Schmidt ARC” August 1944. Back row left to right: Lt. Wise, Lt. Hoffman, Lt. Randall, Birdie, Lt. Gorton, Cpl. McNutt, S/Sgt. Goo. Front row left to right: T/Sgt. Boney, S/Sgt. Sanders, S/Sgt. Kamacho, S/Sgt. Dopson.

A portrait of Birdie’s face was painted on one side of the bomber and a Red Cross on the other.The bomber became as important as Birdie to the 392nd BG. Birdie writes of how they told her of every bullet hole the plane sustained. The day after it was christened, the Birdie Schmidt ARC flew a mission. Birdie writes in a letter to her parents that “it came back all shot up with a wounded left gunner” and when the crew went on leave after the mission they all “wore their flight jackets with my name plastered all over the back.”

Christening of the “Birdie Schmidt ARC”. Left to right: Birdie, Honorable Frances (mother of Princess Diana) and Mary Roche, their father Lord Fermoy, and Lt. Col. Lorin L. Johnson, the 392nd CO.

Christening of the “Birdie Schmidt ARC”. Left to right: Birdie, Honorable Frances (mother of Princess Diana) and Mary Roche, their father Lord Fermoy, and Lt. Col. Lorin L. Johnson, the 392nd CO.

Unfortunately, the ship went down in February 1945. Birdie herself went on to work for the ARC Cinemobile Unit in 1945 and performed for the 7th Army Special Service Shows in a production of “Charlie’s Aunt” at the Stadt Theater in Heidelberg, Germany. She returned home in November 1945, where she continued acting and later got a Master’s degree in education from the University of Central Florida and became a teacher.

Birdie Schmidt and Helen Malsed along with other actors at the Stadt Theater in Heidelberg, Germany. September, 1945.

Birdie Schmidt and Helen Malsed along with other actors at the Stadt Theater in Heidelberg, Germany. September, 1945.

 

 

Photographs displayed here are only a sample of what can be found in the Birdie Schmidt Larrick Collection. You can find more on Birdie’s unusual adventures on the Ohio Historical Society Online Collections Catalog and at the Ohio History Center.

 

 

Adria Seccareccia, Processing Assistant

Sources:

Birdie Schmidt Larrick Collection, MSS 1528. Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.

Larrick, Birdie Schmidt. “The Way It Was.” Columbus, Ohio, circa 1990s. Birdie Schmidt Collection, MSS 1528. Box 1, Folder 8. Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.

Obituary of Birdie Larrick, The Columbus Dispatch, April 2009. Accessed March 21, 2014 http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dispatch/obituary.aspx?n=birdie-larrick&pid=126721376

392nd BG Memorial Association. WWW.B24.NET. Accessed March 21, 2014. http://www.b24.net/index.html

 

[1] Larrick, Birdie Schmidt. “The Way It Was.” Columbus, Ohio, circa 1990s. Birdie Schmidt Collection, MSS 1528. Box 1, Folder 8. Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio. Also found online at http://www.b24.net/stories/birdie.html

[2] Letter, Birdie Schmidt Larrick to Parents, August 13, 1944. Birdie Schmidt Larrick Collection, MSS 1528. Box 1, Folder 3. Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.

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