Profiling: Joseph Dick

By Karen A., Visitor Host

Born in Jackson Township, Stark County, Ohio, on May 28th 1840, Joseph Dick was a machinist in Oshawa from 1863 util 1874, later becoming a proprietor of his own business, Dick’s Agricultural Works, located in Canton, Ohio. What’s really interesting about Joseph is his patent from 1869 for the “improvement in the velocipede, to be called ‘Joseph Dick, junior, lightening speed combined velocipede.’”

The velocipede was invented by French inventor Nicephore Niepce in 1818. It is described as a vehicle that is powered by man with two or more wheels and has pedals; this invention is now commonly known as the bicycle. Throughout the period of 1818 to 1880, many different improvements were made to the velocipede to make the machine faster, more productive and more comfortable for the rider.  To learn more about the functions of the velocipede visit http://www.bicyclehistory.net/bicycle-history/velocipede/.

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Various types of velocipedes; History of Bicycles, Image from: http://www.bicyclehistory.net/bicycle-history/velocipede/

Joseph’s improvement to the velocipede made the machine faster by altering the gears. In The Daily Kansas Tribune, from May 21st 1869, an article was written about Joseph’s invention. “The gear was arranged that with one motion of the foot the front wheel would make two revolutions; another brake will throw the machinery into gear, so that the foot will move twice to one revolution of the wheel- adapted for ascending hills; a third adaption will throw the cranks off the wheel, and thus the velocipede will roll down hill without the feet moving; a forth arrangement will convert the whole into an ordinary bicycle. When in full speed it can be driven a mile in two minutes.”

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Joseph Dick’s design for his velocipede 1869; Image from Critical Geographies of Cycling by Glen Norcliffe, 2015.

Joseph’s early life was spent going to school only four months of the year while the rest of the year he helped his father, Joseph Dick Senior, on the farm. At the age of seventeen Joseph began to learn the art of making models for inventors in Canton. In 1861, he was employed in an agricultural implement works in Canton for two years and then proceeded to help his father on the farm again for another eight months. In 1864 Joseph immigrated into Canada, settling in Oshawa.

Joseph was married to Rosanna McKitterick on May 14th 1866, in Oshawa. The couple had six children: Emma, William, Charles, Frank, Agnes and Laura. After working for the A.S. Whiting Manufacturing Co. for eleven years, Joseph moved back to Ohio and began his own factory. Dick’s Agricultural Works was rather successful employing up to seventy men in the busy season. Joseph was the inventor of all of his machinery and tested his goods before selling them. By 1900 the company reached its peach and had an annual business of over $100,000. Some of his other patents and successful products include: Dick’s Famous Patent Feed, Truck and Sack Holder, and his Famous Ensilage Cutting Machinery. Joseph lived the rest of his life in Canton, never returning to Oshawa, and passed away in 1924.

Joseph Dick Portrait

Portrait of Joseph Dick in his later years; Image from A History of Catholicity in Northern Ohio, Vol. 2, 1900.


For more information on Joseph Dick or the history of velocipede, please visit:

BicycleHistory.net

Critical Geographies of Cycling, Google eBook

A History of Catholicity in Northern Ohio vol.2, Archive.org

Ancestry.ca

A Portrait and Biological Record of Stark County, Archive.org

Student Museum Musings – Peter

By Peter M., Archives Assistant Student

A train halted a moment at the station and the traveler reached out, called a small boy, and said, “Son, here’s fifty cents.  Get me a twenty-five cent sandwich and get one for yourself.  Hurry up!”
Just as the train pulled out, the boy ran up to the window.  “Here’s your quarter, mister,” he shouted.  “They only had one sandwich.”
(GM War-Craftsman, June 1943)

This is one example of a joke I came across during my cataloguing of various documents here in the archives of the Oshawa Museum.  I am a student that has been working here over the summer for just over a month now.  I have always been fascinated by the stories that new artefacts or documents coming to us can tell, but one theme that has really caught my eye recently is jokes.  Most of the documents I found containing jokes range throughout the 1940s.  Some appeared in sections of official newsletters, while others were scribbled into the pages of students’ workbooks, as they were each encouraged to write a page full of all the jokes they could think of as a class exercise.

Johnny: (buying a ticket for New York).
Clerk: “Would you care to go by Buffalo?”
Johnny: “I don’t know.  I’ve never ridden one.”
(GM War-Craftsman, October 1943)

The majority of the jokes I came across were gathered from a collection of General Motors newsletters called the War-Craftsman.  The newsletters in the museum’s collection range from 1942-1946.  These newsletters were a way of keeping the public informed of the events and contributions conducted by GM and its employees during World War II.  There was a column present in nearly all of these newsletters titled “Gems of Comedy,” where numerous jokes were printed each month.  Much like the rest of the War-Craftsman, these jokes served to keep spirits up, and inspire the public to keep moving forward during such trying times in our history.

At a recent shipyard launching, the woman who was to christen the boat was quite nervous.
“Do you have any questions, lady?” asked the shipyard manager, just before the ceremony.
“Yes,” she replied meekly.  “How hard do I have to hit it to knock it into the water?”
(GM War-Craftsman, October 1943)

It is interesting to see how comedy has evolved through the ages.  The jokes that I present you with are but a small few of the many that I found.  Most of the jokes I did not understand, showing how some comedy doesn’t quite translate through the ages.  Several others admittedly had themes that would be considered highly inappropriate by today’s standards, but they do serve show how society has changed, now having any jokes in publications today strive to be politically correct, while also maintaining the lightheartedness that was enjoyed by Oshawa citizens over sixty years ago.

Reporter:  To what do you to attribute your great age?
Grandpa:  The fact that I was born so long ago.
(GM War-Craftsman, December 1945)

 

The Month That Was – August 1902

Ontario Reformer
Bullets in Their Brain
Edition 01 August 1902

PEOPLE WHO CARRY THEM AND FEEL NO ILL EFFECTS
Many Strange Things Found in the Brain – Some Curious Cases

The idea that the human brain is an organ so extremely delicate in its structure that it cannot bear the slightest physical hurt sometimes appears to receive a contradiction in the experience of people who have been met with peculiar injuries to the head. The history of brain surgery presents some remarkable facts in regard to the extent to which the thinking organ will sometimes resist the effects of external injury. It has been shown that in some cases quantities of its substance may be removed without appreciably diminishing the normal intelligence of the patient; while some have been known to carry the most extraordinary foreign substance embedded in their skulls for years.

Finds of the most singular kind have been made in the interior substances of the living human brain. The strangest things have been known to find entry there through accident or design. In one case it was the blade of a penknife that was carried about in the brain for half a lifetime without the patient being in the least aware of it: in another it was a penholder that had somehow found its way there and remained in its living hiding-place without apparently interfering with the thinking power of the organ: while only a week or so ago a piece of slate pencil was recovered from a boy’s brain after it had been hidden there for several years.

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Ontario Reformer
The McLaughlin Carriage Co.’s Employes [SIC] Excursion
Edition 22 August 1902

Saturday morning last the sun rose upon a cloudless sky, for the weather clerk had notice that on that day the employees of the McLaughlin Carriage Company were to run their excursion to Orillia. A special train had been chartered for the occasion and the extremely low rate of $1.95 was secured for the excursionists. Long before the hour set for departure the street corners along Simcoe and King streets were crowded with people waiting for cars to carry them to the station. About eight o’clock the train of eleven coaches drawn by two engines, started from Oshawa. The train was tastily decorated for the occasion by the Committes [SIC]. The service rendered by the railway was highly satisfactory, for the run was made in about three hours and a half, which was passed by the excursionists in pleasant conversation and in viewing the varied scenery of river, lake, hill, and harvest.

The Oshawa Citizen’s Band was in attendance to furnish music for the day and the baseball and lacrosse teams went along to play games.

When Orillia was reached part of people got off the train and formed a procession, headed by the band, which proceeded to the park, while the train carried the remainder direct to the Park. Here dinner was partaken of by those who had carried their blankets, the rest going to the hotels. In the afternoon a baseball game was played between the Oshawa team and a team from the employees of the Tudhope Carriage Co., of Orillia. The Oshawa players were to fast for Orillia and succeeded in scoring 22 runs to Orillia’s 6.  There was no programme of games as the lacrosse game on the oval called for 3 o’clock. Those who did not attend the lacrosse game spent the balance of the afternoon taking in the town or quietly resting in the park, which is beautifully situated on the shore of Lake Couchiching … The whole day was pleasantly spent by employer and employee and showed the harmony that exists in this great Oshawa industry. The return journey was commenced about 7 o’clock and by 11 o’clock all were safely at home save for a few who remained over Sunday. The Committee of Management carried out the whole program successfully and it is due to their untiring efforts that the 700 people who went to Orillia enjoyed as ideal holiday…

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Ontario Reformer
Oshawa-On-The-Lake
Edition 01 August 1902

A very severe thunderstorm, accompanied by rain and lightning stuck this camp on Saturday afternoon and raised great havoc. The large dining tent was blown down and the centre poles broken. The headquarters tent was also blown down and part of the contents of the canteen destroyed. One of the small tents was broken down and most of the bedding in the others was very wet afterwards. The occupants of the other tents, had to hang on to their tents for about half an hour or all would have been blown down. On Sunday afternoon another sudden storm came up, but as the officers had timely warning very little damage was done, excepting in the cook house where a large amount of bread was destroyed, almost depriving the boys of their next morning’s breakfast; no order could be got uptown, as the telephone lines were destroyed. However, the younger boys did not suffer any as Mr. Carey kindly offered them shelter in his barn, which was gratefully accepted. However, the younger boys did not suffer any as Mr. Carey kindly offered them shelter in his barn, which was gratefully accepted.

 

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Ontario Reformer
Excursion to Toronto
Edition 01 August 1902

Durham Old Boy’s Association of Toronto has invited all former and present residents of Durham County to be their guests in Yoronto [SIC], on Monday next, as a grand reunion picnic to e held on the beautiful grounds of Dr. John Hoskin, K.C. The Dale, Howard Street of Bloor. A free dinner will be served at12 o’clock, and a splendid program will follow. Cheap rates have been obtained on the Grand Trunk Railway, going by local train only, and returning by any train same day as follows: –

Darlington –   7:00 a.m.                  $1.25
Oshawa et. –  8:00 “                        $1.10
Whitby –         8:00 “                           $ 1.10
Pickering –      8:00 “                          $1.10

 

Ontario Reformer
Kawartha Lakes
Edition 01 August 1902

A Place to Spend a Happy Holiday

Before deciding on a place at which to spend the vacation this summer, it is well to take into consideration the many advantages of the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario, Canada. As a place for camping the region has no superior. For the most part, the shores of the lakes are untouched by man. Nature is seen in all her grand disorder, there being nowhere that artificially, which to the true lover of nature, often spoils landscape. Pure air and water, each of which in a factor in choosing a summering place are assured in that region. Transportation on the lakes is also amply provided by a steamboat line plying between Lakefield and Coboconk, a distance of 70 miles. There is an additional attraction for the angler, as the fishing in the lakes is very good. The gamey [muskellunge] and black basses are here to reward the sportsman.

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Ontario Reformer
Canadian Prosperity
Edition 01 August, 1902

Canada’s prosperity, at present, is unprecedented. The trade returns for the final year ending June 30th, 1902, exceeded four hundred million dollars – the exact figures being $414, 517, 368, while those of last year were $377, 689, 653, being an increase of $36, 826, 653 or 72 per cent over and above the trade of 1893, which was the last year during the life of the late government.

……..

In proportion to population, the trade of Canada is not considerable more than double the relative volume of trade of the United States. In 1901 the latter, with its seventy millions of people, had a total volume of exports and imports aggregating $2, 301, 937, 156, which proportionately, is not on half of Canada’s trade last year.

This is not due to any epidemic growth in any one line of progress, but the progress along all the avenues of trade. The agricultural increase last year was very remarkable, and the exports exceeded those of the year previous more than 50 per cent. Nor did the manufacturers’ exports fall off, but were ahead of the times in every [way].

 

Ontario Reformer
Ontario Malleable Iron Co. Employees Annual Picnic
Edition 01 August 1902

The employees of the Ontario Malleable Iron Co., with their families and friends, held their annual picnic at Oshawa-on-the-Lake last Saturday. The affair was a success and a day of delight to all who took part in it. When all had assembled the number was computed at between two and three thousand. The event was highly creditable to all concerned, evincing thorough and hearty harmony between employers and employees. The large crowd were accommodated to the utmost by the Street Railway Co. and Mr. Arthur Henry. An excellent program of sports and attractions was provided for the entertainments of all present. The weather, in the morning and afternoon was fine and warm, but towards evening a severe thunder and rain storm was disappointing to many who were just at supper the lawns.

The music furnished by the Oshawa Citizen’s Band afforded delight to listeners on the grounds in the afternoon, and during the evening in the pavilion where dancing was pleasantly indulged in.

Student Museum Musings – Lauren

By Lauren R., Summer Student

In my time as a co-op student, a volunteer, and now as a working summer student I have learned that at the museum you never know what to expect when you show up for work. When I started my summer position this year I honestly had no clue what I was in for; I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing and I had no clue what kind of projects I would be working on.

Despite this uncertainty, I was incredibly excited to start in my new position and I knew that no matter what I did I would love it (every project is exciting in its own way). This summer I got assigned a project that was even more exciting than I ever could have imagined! My summer project is to create a new audio tour for the houses! For this I will be looking at talking more about the families in the houses instead of just the houses  themselves. Also, I will be looking quite a bit at the heritage gardens of Henry House and adding this new information to the tour as it was not part of the original tour.

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Woolly Lamb’s Ear

The Henry House heritage gardens is home to an assortment of interesting (and strange) plants. The Henry House garden is designed to display what an everyday garden would have looked like, similar to what the Henry’s themselves would have had. It is split into different sections depending on what the use of the plant is. There is one garden dedicated to tea, another to dyes and the last to herbs and plants that can be used for medical and other practical purposes. In the practical garden there are eight sections: practical, protection, serious conditions, culinary, insect control, healing, cough control, and calming.

So far, out of the many plants that I have researched and looked at in the garden, I have found four that continue to catch my interest. The first two belong in the healing section of the garden. The first plant is Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium). This plant is used to reduce blood pressure and, if the fresh leaves are put into a poultice, it can stop bleeding from cuts and scrapes and things of that kind. Another plant that is found in this portion of the garden is Woolly Lamb’s Ear. This plant is really cool as it feels fuzzy and is soft to the touch. The way that the Henrys may have put this plant to use would have been as bandages to keep cuts clean and covered, the soft texture of these leaves being non-aggravating to injured skin.

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Valerian

Another plant, in the calming section, that I find interesting is Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis). This plant would have been used to help prevent nightmares and to reduce anxiety. However, if too much is taken (or if it is taken for too long) it can cause some adverse side effects such as hallucinations, abdominal pain and headaches.  The final plant that catches my eye, or rather my nose, in our garden is Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis).  This plant is part of the tea garden. Lemon Balm is an incredibly versatile plant. It can be used as an extract to add flavour to dishes, added to a relaxing bath, applied to help soothe insect bites, used to make soothing teas (for headaches and nausea), lessen depression, eczema and it can even help allergy sufferers. In addition to all of this, Lemon Balm can help clean and heal wounds as it acts as an antiviral substance and will starve the bacteria in the wound of oxygen thereby killing it.

 

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Lady Bug on Tea Plant

There are really some incredible plants in the Henry House garden. What is even more incredible is to think that all of these plants would have been used in some way by the Henry family in their everyday lives.

The Holodomor

By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist

On Monday, July 17th the Oshawa Museum will be hosting the Holodomor National Awareness Tour mobile classroom exhibit.  The state-of-the-art mobile classroom will be stopped in Lakeview Park to allow members of the community to learn more about this dark time in world history.

What is the Holodomor?  The word Holodomor refers to the genocide of Ukrainian citizens by forced starvation between 1932 and 1933. During this period, Ukrainian villages were forced to provide mass quantities of grain to the Soviet State.  The quotas were set so high that there was nothing left for those who lived in the villages.  When villages were no longer to meet the quotas, they were fined.  The fines took the form of confiscating meat and potatoes, leaving the villagers with nothing for themselves.  These policies resulted in the death of millions of Ukrainians as they were not   permitted to leave the country and were forced to remain to starve to death. It has been referred to as a “man-made famine” and is considered a response by Stalin to a growing democratic movement amongst Ukrainians.

It has been difficult to determine just how many Ukrainians died in the period between 1932 and 1933; however, estimates have placed the number at 3.3 million. Some scholars feel that number is low.

When the Holodomor National Awareness Tour stopped in Ottawa in November 2016, the Honourable Peter Kent noted that Canada became one of the first countries to officially recognize the Holodomor as genocide.  In May 2008 the Federal Government, along with the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, proclaimed the fourth Saturday of each November to be Holodomor Remembrance Day.  It has been a long struggle for Ukrainian Canadians to have this dark period in their history recognized and remembered. The mobile exhibit is part of the work being done by members of the Ukrainian community.

Oshawa is home to a large Ukrainian community. By the start of WWII the Ukrainian community in Oshawa had already been established for forty years.  Newspaper articles from 1928 note that there were more than 1000 Ukrainians living in Oshawa and had become an important part of the community as a whole. Census data collected in 1941 shows that that number had grown to over 1600. The largest influx of Ukrainian immigrants came after WWII, when many arrived in Oshawa as Displaced Persons.

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This exhibit highlights that history is filled with difficult stories to tell but that each story is important and can help us learn more about how the past has shaped our lives today.  Learn more about the Holodomor on Monday, July 17 when the Holodomor National Awareness Tour stops in Lakeview Park.

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