A Glance back


The Giberson family settled in Port Republic in 1637.

They were Dutch shipbuilders and sawyers. In 1680, the English made them swear allegiance to King Charles II and gave them very large land grants for their loyalty and valuable ship-producing skills.

During the American Revolution, families were divided in loyalty and literally fought against one another. The Loyalists fled to Nova Scotia while the Patriots stayed here.

The history of oil is vast in scope. More people have died over it than any item in history.

One of the first oil companies to form was the Vacuum Oil Company of New York. They boiled the raw petroleum to make a substance to soften leather for horse harnesses and tannery needs. The first use of oil for lamps was much cheaper and easier to come by than whale-produced products for the same purposes.

Kerosene, or "coal oil" as it was called, filled the need for a product to be ignited for light and fuel for small household heaters.

When the combustion engines came along they realized that these new inventions would run better on gasoline- that same substance they had a hard time disposing of in the production of kerosene and lubricating oils. And the rest is money-making history.

Standard Oil of New York became S.O.C.O.N.Y. or simply Socony Oil.

1931 is the year of my two Model "A' Fords and I think the greatest year for the massive 1930's automobiles.

In 1932 they start to lower and slant and divide windshields for streamlining.1931 SOCONY-VACUUM stock certificate - 
act. cert. for sale by www.scripophily.net valued at $199.95!
add to Mayor Gary's Wish List? ;c)

So being in love with 1931 antique autos and the merger of Vacuum Oil and Socony in 1931, I chose this time period for my garage.

1931 was also the year The Star Spangled Banner was adopted as the United States National Anthem with an act signed by President Hoover.

On May 31, President Hoover pressed a button in Washington, lighting up and officially dedicating The Empire State Building, then the world's tallest building.

All was not bright and shiny. In this same year, unemployment in America reached 8 million people. As a consequence, double-feature pictures are introduced, occupying the excess time of the masses of the jobless.

Cimarron won the Academy Award for Best Picture, while other movie trends emerge. Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr Jekyl & Mr. Hyde are all released in this year. As well as the definitive gangster film, The Public Enemy, starring James Cagney and Jean Harlow.

Meanwhile, real-life gangster, Al Capone, is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.

Songs of the day included - "Goodnight Sweetheart," by Guy Lumbardo, "Just One More Chance," by Bing Crosby, "Dream a Little Dream of Me," by Wayne King, and "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway.

One year before, The Lone Ranger and Donald Duck made their radio and screen debuts, respectively. They were followed in 1931 by Little Orphan Annie on radio and brand new comic strip - Dick Tracy.

America lost Thomas Edison, George Eastman, and Knute Rockne in the same year that gave us Clairol hair dye, Bisquick, Alka Seltzer and fiberglass.

Dupont invented synthetic rubber, Caterpillar, the diesel tractor, Schick, the dry electric razor, while Vladimir K. Zworykin, heading RCA's Electronic Research Laboratory in Camden, makes dramatic improvements to the iconoscope, an early form of a television-camera tube, which would soon silence the "Hi-Yo, Silver!"s until their reappearance in black-and-white flesh on TV sets across the nation.

Historic Videos:
Pictures speak a thousand words and moving pictures speak volumes. You can witness historic events of the times, and the people who influenced them, right here.  Get a "reel" feel for what times were like for Americans in the 1920s & '30s with archived footage of the same films shown in movie theatres to early 20th Century audiences.

Due to the nature of video and the large file sizes required, we will
cycle video segments.


Henry Ford and the Assembly Line



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