Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Football All-Stars

Times-Union Sidelines Blog: Class D Football All-Stars
Rensselaer, the 2009 Class D champions, dominated the individual awards...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Library Book Signing Update

NOTE: The Railroads of Rensselaer FaceBook Site put out a notice saying that Ernie Mann wouldn't be signing books at today's ribbon cutting, as incorrectly stated in the Times-Union article. He will be at the Saturday Grand Opening, but he will only have books available for sale if they come in on time. You are welcome to bring books purchased elsewhere and he will sign them.

Apparently three separate employees at Border's claimed Ernie's book signing on Nov. 7 was "by far the biggest turnout for a local author we have ever seen." Border's sold out of their books in 4 minutes and Ernie's personal stash sold out in about 20 minutes more. Follow the FaceBook link at the top to see photos of the first book signing.

Library Article

Times-Union: Rensselaer gets a new library
City prepares for Monday ribbon-cutting for a bigger, better location

The city will soon have a new library in the old Family Dollar store with twice the space and more off-street parking.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 13, 1909: Hair Restorer

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].
Silver Threads among the Gold

Women and men get old very young nowdays. It seems as if there is something in the strenuous life we are all living that deprives the hair of its coloring matter and gives the hue of age to the brow of youth.

Use Nature's Hair Restorer and get back your youthful looks. All Ladies and Gentlemen use it. Don't be discouraged because you are real gray it will bring your hair back to its natural shade.

Travelling salesmen, men and women that are employed in stores must use it. Gray haired people are not wanted these days.

Nature's Hair Restorer is not a dye, just a harmless natural restorer. Call or Address.

Mrs. Kathleen Mowers
1551 Broadway Rensselaer N. Y.

This ad ran regularly in the 1909 Rensselaer Eagle. "Silver Threads Among The Gold" was a popular song about loving someone even though they're growing old and gray. Several intolerable recordings by sopranos are available online, but the best version I found was Harry Ellis's 1911 recording.

The "hue of age to the brow of youth" line also sounds like a quote. I doubt this was her reference, but "hue of age" was in John Trumbull's truly catty 1771 poem "Advice to Ladies of a Certain Age". Enjoy that one...

There was more than one "Nature's Hair Restorer" around back then, but it could have been "Henna D'Oreal" (1920 ad from Meyer Druggist). This concoction of henna and herbs was described in the Twenty Sixth Report of the New Hampshire Board of Health (1920) : "Contains copper as an essential ingredient, and therefore falls within the class of objectionable metallic hair dyes, although not so reprehensible as the lead preparations."

If you click on the B. Paul ad, you'll see it says to "Beware of inferior substitutes", which is ironic, as this product was a knock-off of L'Oreal Henne (see Federal Trade Commission v. Balme, 23 F.2d 615, 2nd Cir. 1928).
Federal Trade Commission v. Paul Balme, trading under the name and style of B. Paul. Charge : Using unfair methods of competition in the manufacture and sale of a hair dye, designated as “Henna D’Oreal,” which simulates the trade name and wrapping of a hair dye sold by F. L. Leben (Inc.), long and favorably known as “L’Oreal Henne,” and by falsely advertising his product as a new French coloring providing the only harmless coloring in the world, with the effect of misleading and deceiving the purchasing public... (Annual Report of the Federal Trade Commission - 1921)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Profile: Thomas Nardacci

The Business Review: 40 Under Forty: Thomas Nardacci

Thomas Nardacci, 34, founded Gramercy Communications four years ago because he saw a need in Tech Valley for a smaller public relations agency that is dedicated to client service.
His grandparents owned a butcher shop for 50 years on Broadway in Rensselaer. “They worked 365 days per year, and I learned the value of hard work from them..."

Doane Stuart Chapel Dedication

The Record: Video: Doane Stuart chapel ecumenical

The Doane Stuart School’s chapel, which was dedicated on Tuesday, has relics from several different religions including Christian, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Library Grand Opening Set

I was delighted to receive an e-mail with this sneak preview of the new Rensselaer Public Library. (Click to enlarge.)

Library Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting: Mon., Nov. 16th at 3 PM.

Open House: Sat., Nov. 21st, 11am-2pm.

Featuring local author Ernie Mann signing his newly p
ublished book "The Railroads of Rensselaer"

Music and Children's Activities, Refreshments Served

New Library:
676 East Street, Rensselaer, NY (the former Dollar Store by Amtrak). This location has parking and is handicapped accessible. Check out this PDF of their new floor plan. Watch the library's Events Page for information.

If you don't have a library card, this would be a great time to get one. Did you know you can search for a book online, save it in a wish list, and order it to be delivered to the library when it's available (and return it to any local library, regardless of where you picked it up)? You'll get an e-mail when the book arrives, and another just before it's due, and you can renew online. If you're in a hurry, you can even see which libraries have the title checked in, so you can drive right over to get it. Pretty slick!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rams Win Super Bowl

The Record: Rams roll to Class D title

Times-Union Sidelines: Rensselaer wins the the Class D Super Bowl

Stammel Leads Recount

The Record: After recount, Stammel winner in District 6
Stammel, a Republican, led Democratic challenger John Mooney by a mere four votes based on unofficial results released Tuesday evening. After absentee ballots were counted Friday, he is ahead by a count of 1,189 to 1,163.

November 13, 1909: Famed Poet

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].


Will Carleton, America's greatest living poet, author of "Over the Hills to the Poor House", will appear at the First Baptist church on Wednesday evening, Nov. 17. This will be Mr. Carleton's third appearance in Rensselaer. He always packs the house.

Home and public entertainments in 1909 included reading aloud, and "pioneer poet" Will Carleton's works were well known. He rose to fame with "Over the Hill to the Poor House", about an old woman abandoned by her married children, and "Betsey and I are Out", about a divorce. He also wrote "Converse With The Slain" to honor the Civil War dead on Decoration Day 1877.

Like many authors, Carleton toured extensively doing lectures. From Will Carleton: a biographical study by A. Elwood Corning:
Like all public lecturers Carleton's experiences were many and varied; some were humorous, some thrilling. Having returned from a Chautauqua trip to Illinois, in August, 1909, he writes of a series of adventures not down on the programme. "Was held up by a railroad wreck just ahead of me," he says, "then started for destination by automobile; gasoline stopped serving when stranded ten miles away from the city in which I was to lecture. Went into a farm-house to telephone ahead. A woman was making large cookies each about as wide as a saucer. I recollected all at once that I had had no dinner, so begged for some of the cookies and was told amiably, but inexorably, that I could have just one, as she was cooking for threshers. I tried hard to get another for the chauffeur, but failed. I divided with him, however, then went on again at about thirty miles per hour when we soon ran against an obstruction that came within an ace of making the machine turn a complete summersault. Finally proceeded again, reflecting how I might have lost my life and a two hundred and fifty dollar fee. Had just time to don a white vest and black coat and face several thousand people."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rams Still Winning

The Record: Rensselaer looks to repeat in Class D
The Rensselaer High School Rams just keep winning and winning — they are 16-0 against Section II Class D competition since 2008...

Times-Union: Rensselaer looking for repeat
Rams one win away from its eighth Section II title

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Upcoming Events

There are lots of events in Rensselaer over the next week. Scroll to the bottom of the blog for the calendar, and click on the events to see more details, click on "More Details" for links:

Sat., Nov. 7:
  • Open House, Rosewood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 11am-1pm
  • Book Signing, Railroads of Rensselaer, Borders at Crossgates, 2-4pm

Sun., Nov. 8
  • Breakfast Fundraiser for Fire Victims, Leonardo DaVinci, 320 Broadway, 8am-12pm
  • Veterans Service Parade, Rensselaer, 10-11am (unconfirmed - please comment if you have details)

Tue. Nov. 10
  • Doane Stuart Interfaith Chapel Dedication, 199 Washington Ave. (Business Attire), 5-7pm
  • Shine a Light on Lung Cancer - George Educ. Center, UAlbany E. Campus, 6-8pm
  • Sewer System Discussion - Bulmar Communications Bldg, HVCC, 7-8pm

Thur. Nov. 12
  • North End Neighborhood Assoc. Meeting, First Baptist Church, 1101 Washington Ave., 7-8:30 pm

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Democrats Win Rensselaer

The Record: Wrapup of Rensselaer County town races
Mayor: Daniel J. Dwyer
Common Council President: Harry Adalian
City Clerk: Maureen Nardacci
City Treasurer: Susan L. Lupian
Ward 1: Marion Webber
Ward 2: James D. VanVorst
Ward 3: Philip Elacqua
Ward 4: Gretchen Euvrard
Ward 5: Dominick M. Tagliento Jr.
Ward 6: Brian J. Stall
Ward 7: James F. Casey Jr.
Ward 8: Richard J. Mooney
Ward 9: Margaret M. VanDyke

Times-Union Local Politics: Down to the absentees in Rensselaer
The city of Rensselaer’s next representative on the Rensselaer County Legislature will be determined by the absentee ballots.

Take a look at the Alderperson votes by ward. I hope we take advantage of the 2010 Census to redistrict and combine some of these wards, which would lower our cost of government. Do you really think we need more than 5 or 6 wards?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Students Plant Trees

News 10 - WTEN: Rensselaer streets lined with new trees thanks to students [with video]
A large, white "X" marks the spot in Rensselaer's Riverfront Park where one of two dozen new trees is being planted across the city.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rudy's Closed to Overhaul Menu

Times-Union Table Hopping: V&R in Rensselaer temporarily closed for menu tweak

October 30, 1909 - New Reservoir

100 Years Ago: From The Rensselaer Eagle [NY 41 Rensselaer 93-32173].



Company is to be Congratulated on Having Such a Good Reservoir Built - Details of its Construction

The new reservoir of the Rensselaer Water Co. is so nearly completed that probably not later than a week from today it will be filled with water and the Third street tower will not be in use. The completion of the big reservoir which has a capacity of 6,000,000 gallons, is another one of the big pieces of work whch Messrs. Leahey & Shufelt, well known local contractors, have successfully consummated.

It is proposed to make the connection between the pipe line on Third street and the reservoir on Friday of next week, providing that everything goes all right and no untoward event prevents it. It is a day's work to make this connection and during that time it will be necessary to turn the water off from a portion of Third street. Possibly 15 houses will be shy on water for a few hours, but the pumps will be going direct to the mains for the one day in order to keep up the fire pressure.


Work on the reservoir was started in July and a big force of men went to work. The reservoir is oblong, on the top 308 feet by 258 feet. The bank has been raised two feet higher than the original plans called for. The reservoir is lined with concrete excepting for a space of two feet at the water line, where it is paved with big heavy stones. This is done so that the action of the ice will not bother the reservoir.

When the big reservoir is in use and the use of the tank has been abandoned the fire pressure at the lower levels in the city will be 115 pounds. This is regarded by hydraulic engineers as an excellent fire pressure service and there would be no difficulty in throwing a stream for a half dozen of them over any house in any section of the city. On the upper levels the fire pressure will be ample at all times.

It is not proposed to take down the old tower until next spring at any rate until the reservoir has proven satisfactory. It may be that there will be a leak in the reservoir and the pressure would be thus diminished. However, this is only a possibility and the contractors say that there could be no leak. The old tower will be maintained through the winter months to fall back on in case of necessity.