Thursday, September 10, 2015

Remembering my ancestors

Happy Birthday!
  to Alexander G Swasey Sr. 


My great-great-great grandfather 

Birth 10 Sept 1784 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA 

Death 28 Oct 1861 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Last year I posted in his honor HERE.  And earlier I posted about him HERE.

These were my comments and some of my research about him and his family.


This year I will just add a newspaper article that was about him and his work as a wood carver.

Unfortunately the person who added this to Ancestry didn't give any data as to when or where it was published.  I'm pretty sure it was published in Newport RI.

My sleuthing feelings say it came out in the early 20th century because of the referral to "during the middle decades of the last century" referring to the wood carving having been on display at the Market on Pelham St (in Newport, RI).

A World's Fair in New York is where his carved eagle was being displayed.  That should give me a date.  Well, there were a lot of expositions of different interests in New York many times in the early twentieth century.  But we might go for the first big one, called a World's Fair, which is just an assumption.

That was the 1939-40 World's Fair, which had a lot to do with a forward thinking outlook, moving away from the depression years, and with the 60 foreign exhibits, showing the world that the US was doing pretty darn well.  It also was interrupted by the beginnings of the European conflict and two countries didn't even open their exhibits in 1940, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

I wonder if the Rhode Island unit of the New England pavalion was during that World's Fair...

The article also seems to have some sarcastic remarks about how the Swasey eagle replaced another "more modern" exhibit.  I wonder if that had anything to do with the beginnings of World War II...a patriotic symbol instead of some terns.


I'm joining Sepia Saturday with the connection (frail though it may be) that this post is also about something published in a newspaper.  Check out other posts over at Sepia Saturday HERE.





13 comments:

  1. Very interesting. Do you know what happened to the carved eagle after the fair, or where it is now?

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  2. I would like to know what happened to the carved eagle too. Enjoyable post, thank you.

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  3. It sounds like a splendid piece..so large. Your great, great, great grandfather sounds like a very talented
    and accomplished man.

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  4. Carving an eagle would be an impressive task worth seeing. I love anything made of wood. My letter opener is a carved wooden gum leaf. You wonder what tree it came from and what that tree could have seen in its lifetime.

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  5. I like finding articles like that but I wish people would date them.

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  6. The report was published in the 29 August 1964 edition of the Newport RI Daily News, so it was the more recent World's Fair in NYC. (I have a subscription to Newspapers.com) Perhaps Alexander's eagle is still preserved in a Newport museum? I've always admired the skill and art of woodcarvers from past times. It was once a craft that was regularly taught in trade schools.

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    1. Oh thanks so much Mike! And to think I even went to that World's Fair myself. Don't remember seeing it however!

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  7. It sounds like the eagle would be at Newport Historical Society somewhere. I think they loaned it didn't they?

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  8. It’s always exciting finding a family link in an old newspaper. There must be some way of finding the date of the article. I hope you succeed.

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  9. I think I found it Barb. My subsrcription to ‘Find My Past’ allows me to search US newspapers but won’t let me click on the search results to open up the individual clip.However, it does show some key words and indeed whole sentences which appear in your report, and it states it’s from the Newport Mercury and Weekly News. September 4 1964.

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    1. Great...Mike also found it there. I was actually a visitor at the 64 Worlds Fair! Whee.

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  10. Now we know where your artistic gene comes from.

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  11. Sure would like to see the eagle. Hopefully in time you'll find an image and be able to post it here.

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