One of my favorite sources for historical content and context are diaries. Madeline L. Wells lived in Danielson, Connecticut, when she kept a diary that recently came into the collection here at CHS. She was about 22 in 1943 and kept a meticulous record of the major news stories of the day, all recorded in clear block print. For example, on Tuesday, April 20, 1943, she noted that Adolph Hitler’s 59th birthday was celebrated with “little enthusiasm” by the German people and that the British Army continued its advance toward Tunis. Only rarely do we get an idea of her personal activities. Continue reading
Tag Archives: ww2
A Connecticut “Monuments Man”
Over the past year there has been any number of news accounts concerning artwork apparently seized by the Nazis during their occupation of Europe in World War II. Adolph Hitler and Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering were particularly rapacious in this regard. Recently a large collection of paintings and other works believed to have been taken during the war turned up in a private German collection, sending investigators and attorneys scrambling to sort out the mess. Continue reading
Silent Glow does its part for the war effort
A very nervous potential donor walked in the door at CHS carrying a treasured scrapbook. He doubted if we would be interested, but took his chances. Well, I must have spent close to an hour with the donor oohing and aahing over this scrapbook. It was created by Rose Chorches Gold, an employee at Silent Glow Oil Burner Corporation of Hartford and the donor’s father’s cousin. Rose started the scrapbook in 1940 although some images date from 1937 and focused on the employees of the company.
Silent Glow produced oil burning kitchen stoves, furnaces, and portable styles of oil burners. An advertisement in the December 1, 1930 Lewiston (Maine) Journal claimed Silent Glow had created the market in range burners and were a leader in the industry in general. During World War II, the company president, R.M. Sherman, also head of the burner industry’s association, promoted conservation in a program entitled “Save for Defense”. Sherman cited the need for fuel conservation by adjusting burners to work more efficiently, keeping the temperatures lower, and installing insulation. (Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?) Rose has a number of articles from newspapers and magazines that illustrated Mr. Sherman’ role at a national level.
In addition to documenting Silent Glow’s leadership in the industry, Rose also kept track of those employees who were drafted or entered the service. In the picture below, she lists men who joined or were drafted into the Army and Marines. Other men who entered the military sent post cards or Rose cut out stories about them from the newspaper. So the list of men is not complete.
Rose’s scrapbook is a great snapshot of this company in the years leading up to the war and through to 1942. She includes employees at work and at play and in most instances has provided identification for people in the pictures. Some she cut out like paper dolls. One gets the feeling from the scrapbook that the company was like a big family. If you want to see this wonderful scrapbook, please ask for Ms 101680 when you come to the Research Center.