25 March 2012

I Can't Believe it's not Better...

...the post title, I mean. Anyway, here is one of a series of humorously sarcastic celebrity portraits that you can see at the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington.

19 March 2012

Spring Fashion Tips!

Here are some good fashion/presentation tips for all the ladies out there looking to make a splash at your next ball, dance, or other social event of the season:

15 March 2012

Another Sign of March Madness

11 March 2012

A Brief History of the Lunkenheimer Valve Company

In 1845 19-year old Frederick Lunkenheimer left Germany and emigrated to the U.S. This was a bit unusual since he was a skilled and well-trained metal worker and would have easily found good employment in Germany. After coming the the U.S., he worked in NYC for a while, including some work on Samuel Morse's telegraph. In 1851 he headed west down the Ohio River, first to St. Louis and then New Orleans. Things did not work out in New Orleans so he headed back up the river to NYC. 

Unfortunately, things got worse and someone robbed him and took all his money & belongings. He got off at Evansville and worked there for a few months and then came up to Cincinnati, where he began work at the Greenwood Works foundry. He worked there for several years, got married, had children, and in 1862 he started his own company which he called Cincinnati Brass Works. He manufactured parts for steamboats and military equipment (the Civil War was good for the metalwork business).

Lunkenheimer ran a profitable business that continued to grow and hire more employees. The company made a series of moves into bigger spaces and Lunkenheimer made parallel moves into bigger homes. His son, Edmund, got into the family business (which at some point was renamed "Lunkenheimer Valve Company") and as president of the company he really took it to the next level. He acquired many patents and was a forward-thinking businessman. He is the one who bought a parcel of land in Fairmount where the company eventually built the big factory in the photo above (reputedly the first one in Cincinnati made from reinforced concrete rather than brick).

The company continued to grow & profit thanks to the burgeoning automobile industry and later, the airplane industry. World War I brought record profits. After the war, however, the company lost major contracts and had to tighten up and restructure. It started a window-manufacturing division which provided the windows for Vernon Manor.

By 1921 Edmund's son Eshelby was now president of the company, which had expanded again to Carthage. Eshelby had an interest in flying and had a pilot's license. When Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight in 1927, the company promoted the fact that it made parts for Lindbergh's plane. 

Eshelby's enthusiasm for flying rubbed off on his father, who bought a parcel of land in Turkey Bottoms to use as a flying field. In 1927 he donated the land to the city which bought several hundred more acres to establish a proper airport. By this time the family had shortened its name to "Lunken" and that is how Lunken Airport got its name.

Over the next few decades the company struggled but remained profitable. WWII was good for business but having Eshelby at the helm was not the same as having Edmund at the helm. Family members were company officers and members of the board but over the years they retired and younger family members did not enter the business. In 1963 Eshelby's sons Homer and Edmund P., the last remaining Lunkenheimers in the company, left the company 101 years after their great-grandfather founded it.

The Lunkenheimer Valve Company officially came to an end in June 1968 when Condec bought out its shareholders in a hostile takeover.

07 March 2012

Cincinnati History Moment: "A Great Fuss"

"Cincinnati gentlemen were a bit slow about providing entertainment for the ladies during the long winter months. In 1804 and 1805, the ladies put fictitious dialogues in the Western Spy to spur the gentlemen into action. They threatened to organize balls and entertainments themselves. In the dialogue of 1805, one Susan, in approving the scheme to manage a series of assemblies, declared, "Indeed, we will then be able to boast of amusements, that no other little town like this, can." The ladies fully expected to shock the gentlemen into taking them to dances and to the theater all winter. The stratagem of the females created 'a great fuss.'"

-- Ophia D. Smith, The Early Theater of Cincinnati

06 March 2012


02 March 2012

Red, Whitish, and Blue

Love the holiday lights.