Dressed in Holiday Style

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Winter 2014-15: THE BUFFALO HISTORY MUSEUM Newsletter

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Page 1: Dressed in Holiday Style
Page 2: Dressed in Holiday Style


As far as simple pleasures go, I love opening my mailbox to discover holiday greetings. I especially treasure the homemade, handwritten, or handsomely original variety. Tucked away are a few of the special keepsakes, enduring in Brown family archives long after the tinsel comes down and the last cookie is eaten.

The Buffalo History Museum’s collection is filled with such messages from holidays, special occasions, and ordinary days gone by. The lovely looping script, stylized imagery and the old adages entice and charm enough to keep. A fine example of such keeping is found in our collection. In February 1958, Charles Bassett, the patriarch of the Bassett family of Buffalo, donated a unique collection of his family’s New Year’s greeting cards. In simple silhouette, one for each year (the collection spans four decades), the Bassett family is commemorated - dressed in holiday style.

Some are silly, others record note-worthy accomplishments, loved-ones lost are memorialized and new additions are celebrated. Found within the simple shadows of each card is a timeless American tale. Like the Bassett family, your friends at The Buffalo History Museum wish to share out glad tidings from an invigorating 2014.

Here are some highlights we enjoyed:

The memories and stories shared by TV icons Irv, Rick, and Tom and The Buffalo News authors, Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck during ourGiants of Buffalo events. Both nights sold-out, both talks entertained and informed entirely different audiences with real life riveting stories.

The Food Truck Rodeo crowds-over 500 in attendance at each- enjoyed free admission to the Museum, visits with friends and a variety of fabulous food offerings from a round-up of Buffalo’s choice food trucks in our spacious parking lot. We even had a fire truck with a fireman-led tour of the truck for kids with painted faces to enjoy! A record-breaking season of Party on the Portico brought sunshine, friends, and music to embellish our grand porch and sensational scenery. Next year marks our tenth season. We are already gearing up for that milestone with the faith that Mother Nature will continue to smile on us! The premiere exhibit of Tim Russert’s life and work, his former office at NBC News, was brought home directly from the Newseum in Washington, DC. The unprecedented local and national news coverage generated an exhilarating buzz that matched our own excitement in bringing our hometown hero’s legacy to the Museum. Electrical upgrades generously funded by the City of Buffalo. You will benefit from new lighting fixtures and our grand old building will have modern fire, security and PA systems. How poetic that more light would come our way as we look ahead. It was a delight to see so many old friends and make MANY new ones! We saw a 32 percent increase in museum attendance this year. Your membership and financial support of our museum means so much to us. (And if you are looking to give a gift of many fun memories, our membership is truly a great value… hint, hint…:)

We wish a festive season to our friends new and old. We look on to 2015 and the wonder it will hold.

- Melissa

The Buffalo History Museum is a private not-for-profit organization tax exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It receives operating support from the County of Erie, the City of Buffalo, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA, a state agency), and from members and friends. The Buffalo History Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Melissa Brown

Constance Caldwell

Jennifer Nichols

Robie Carmina, Rebecca Justinger,Kimberly Luangpakdy, Megan MacNeill,

Samantha Vandermeade, Cynthia Van Ness

Closed Mondays.Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.Thursday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday - 12:00 Noon - 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday - Saturday1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday, Monday, TuesdayExtended Library Hours: 2nd and 4th

Wednesday Evenings 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Members: FREEChildren Under 7: FREE

Veterans: FREEChildren (7-12): $2.50

Adults: $7 Students & Seniors : $5

Steven McCarville - PresidentPeter Ahrens - Vice President

Alisa A. Lukasiewicz - Vice PresidentMark L. Martin- Vice President

Heidi A. Raphael - Vice PresidentMark V. Taylor- Vice President

Catherine Schweitzer - Secretary Philip C. Kadet - Treasurer

Scott FisherKen Friedman

Carley Jean HillJohn L. Hurley, Jr.

Cassie IrishAllan Jamieson

Cheryl Lyles Vincent Mancuso

William J. O'DonnellKristin SaperstonMark SeversonGreg D. Tranter

Cover: "Christmas on Main Street, 1957", from the collection of The Buffalo History Museum.

Due to electrical updates, provided by the City of Buffalo’s near $1 million investment announced by Mayor Brown this past summer, The Buffalo History Museum will be closed for two weeks beginning December 31-January 14. The Museum Shop, Research Library and some exhibits, (Bflo Made, Neighbors, Community Gallery, Inside Tom Russert’s Office, John R. Oishei Native American and Pioneer Galleries), on the Museum’s three floors will resume regular Museum hours on January 15th. The Street of Shops artifacts were uninstalled in November for preparation of work to be done. As the project continues, The Street of Shops and The Rotary Train Gallery, in the lower level of the Museum will remain closed throughout the month of January. The Museum will not be wheelchair accessible during this time; however, potential guests requiring lower level access should call Alexis Greinert at 716.873.9644 ext. 318 to make future accommodations. Once completed, guests will enjoy the modern improvements to the Museum.

We apologize for any inconvenience; however, we welcome the progress. We know you will, too!

Electrical Updates And Technology Improvements Move Full Speed Ahead

Like this photo? You can purchase it at The Picture Store. Visit www.buffalohistorystore.org to see this photo and many more from the museum's collection. Turn to page 6 for a Picture Store coupon code!

In 1927, Charles Bassett and his wife Jean purchased their home at 278 Depew Avenue. Additions were made to the original home as their family increased in size. Just looking

through their collection of cards, one can imagine the busy household filled with the musings of seven children, four girls and three boys.

Page 3: Dressed in Holiday Style


Rebecca JustingerRegistrar

The Great Buffalo Doll Show of 1895 was held from December 13th-16th and was sponsored by the Buffalo Evening News. The Fitch Crèche of Buffalo, founded in 1881 by Maria Love as the first day care in the United States for the children of working women, along with Free Kindergartens, benefited from the sale of admissions to the event as well as the sales from a select group of dolls. The rest of the dolls, the ones that were not sold to raise money for those charities, were given away to needy children throughout Buffalo. The show featured hundreds of dolls, forming a variety of tableaus including maypole dances, football games, and a perfect recreation of the crèche’s nursery.

The doll that attracted the most attention was Madame Le Doll, an automaton imported from a doll show in Paris and the highlight of the Great Buffalo Doll Show. According to a journalist, Elizabeth Wade, from Harper’s Roundtable, who wrote about the show in January of 1896, “Mademoiselle could do wonderful things—for a doll. She turned her head, fanned herself, twirled her parasol…winked in a most coquettish manner,” all of which she can still do to this day. With a turn of her key, her right hand waves her fan, her left hand spins her parasol, and a concealed music box plays the “Brigan Air” from “Fra Diavolo.” There is a video on the museum’s Facebook page from last year of the doll working, on display in the State Court.

Madame La DollBisque/Molded Papier Mache/Metal/Leather/Wood/Hair/Velvet/Silk/Satin/LaceVichy, FranceCa. 1895

Samantha VandermeadeTBHM Collections Intern

When I came to The Buffalo History Museum for an internship with the Collections department in the Resource Center, one of my primary tasks consisted of cataloguing a collection of Fisher-Price toys from the 1960s through the 1990s.

The collection is a treasure trove of Fisher-Price at its best: Little People and lap desks, chime balls and a cash register, telescopes and a Toot-Toot steam engine. There’s a rainbow grand piano, a saxophone, and a xylo-drum. The oldest toy is a 1963 “Huffy Puffy Steam Engine” with a cheerful face on the engine and a caboose; the newest toy is the brightly colored saxophone, which chirps peppy notes and dispenses soap bubbles from its bell when played.

Aside from getting to revel in the nostalgia that accompanied cataloguing toys from my childhood, I was also lucky enough to interview one of Fisher-Price’s retired toy engineers. Fred Robjent worked as a Product Development Engineer from 1978 to 2005. After receiving his Associate’s degree in mechanical engineering and his Bachelor’s degree in agricultural mechanization, Mr. Robjent worked at a few smaller companies before joining the Fisher-Price team. Once hired, he went through a rigorous training program. He went on to work as an engineer for the company through its periods of massive growth, its time under Quaker Oats, and finally its purchase by Mattel.

Mr. Robjent helps Walter Mayer, our Director of Collections, with the upkeep and repair of an apostolic clock in the collection. When he heard we were doing a project on Fisher-Price artifacts, he brought a number of his own personal artifacts, vintage catalogs, and limited employee edition books to the Resource Center for me to use in my research. He was happy to shed light on the design process and share his knowledge of the specific artifacts in our collection.

Mr. Robjent personally worked on the iconic Fisher-Price roller skates. He designed and patented a mechanism that made the toy skates safer for preschoolers. If you had a pair of the skates in the early ‘90s, like I did, you might remember the yellow switch on the bottom of the skate that allowed parents to

choose from three settings. One stopped the wheels from moving at all, one stopped the skates from rolling backwards, and one allowed uninhibited skating. While Mr. Robjent has eight patents in his name, this was the one that seemed to make him most proud.

Fred Robjent spoke often of the company’s desire to make the toys as safe as possible. Fisher-Price set numerous safety standards in the toy industry that remain in place today. However, when asked what he loved most about working for Fisher-Price, Mr. Robjent said that it was the company’s family atmosphere he loved most.

You are invited to "our house" for the holidays!Many curious visitors are surprised to learn that this building, The Julia Boyer Reinstein Center was built in 1920 and used as both a residence

and music studio by Leonard Adams.IntrIgued? thIs year, M&t thIrd FrIday

presents holIday hIstory open house!Nostalgic decorations, holiday history,

and merriment for all to enjoy! FRidAy, deCeMBeR 19Th

hoLidAy CheeR houR! • 5-7 p.M. SATuRdAy, deCeMBeR 20Th

FAMiLy dAy wiTh SANTA • 12-3 p.m. SuNdAy, deCeMBeR 21ST

wiNTeR SoLSTiCe opeN houSe • 1-3 p.m.Visit www.buffalohistory.org

to learn all the holiday-fun details!

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1 32 4

5 6 7

1. Robert and Mary Ann Kresse with family2. Eileen and Raymond Massey3. Mary Roberts, Keith Stolzenburg, and Melissa Brown4. Sarah Augspurger and Molly Quackenbush5. The Buffalo Dolls: Donna Kerr Rusty Droz,

Carolyn Unitas-Roos6. County Executive Mark Poloncarz,

Congressman Brian Higgins, Councilmember Christopher Scanlon, NBC Correspondent Luke Russert, TBHM President Steve McCarville, TBHM Executive Director Melissa Brown, Mayor Byron Brown

7. Howard Heard, Anthony Greco, Rebecca Justinger, Jen Nichols, Alexis Greinert,

Walt Mayer, Kim Luangpakdy, Luke Russert, Robie Carmina, Melissa Brown,

Mary Louise Stanley, Constance Caldwell, Angela Keppel, Lori Robinson

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8. Adam March

9. Megan MacNeill

10. “Six Pack” painting by AJ Fries

11. Father Ronald Sams S.J. flanked by Canisius Alum

12. Mary Louise Stanley

13. Linda Ray, Kim Luangpakdy,

Melissa Brown, Lori Robinson

14. Richard Feltoe and Warren F. Glover

15. Patrick Kirwan

16. Abi Ecchevarria

17. The Julia Boyer Reinstein Center

undergoing repairs

8 9 10

11 1312 14

15 16 17

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Cynthia Van Ness, MLSDirector of Library & Archives

The Research Library has a handsome new online storefront offering custom reproductions of new and old Buffalo scenes from our collection. The Buffalo History Store (www.buffalohistorystore.org) offers museum-quality archival reproductions of favorite Buffalo buildings, parks, sports, street scenes, factories, the Pan-American Exposition, the waterfront, and more.

Larkin collectors will find full-color cover illustrations from their catalogs and stunning photographs of the late, lamented Administration Building by Frank Lloyd Wright. Sports fans will find an aerial view of Memorial Auditorium and Bisons games. Performing arts fans will find rarely-seen views of Puerto Rican musicians and African-American dancers. You can browse pictures sorted by category or search for a specific word or term.

Over 300 photographs, postcards, maps, advertising specimens, and illustrations can be customized to your specifications. You pick the size and finish, glossy or matte. Your reproduction, an unframed print on acid-free paper, will be delivered in about ten days. Your favorite picture framing store can then help you choose the perfect frame to match your home or office decor.

Unable to decide on an image? Order a gift certificate, an excellent present for Buffalo weddings, birthdays, housewarmings, and holidays. Perfect for that out-of-town student or homesick ex-pat!

Our e-commerce partner is The Digital Ark, Inc., a Rhode Island company that specializes in digital scanning and archiving for museums and libraries. Clients include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, New York University, Harvard Art Museums, and the Maine State Museum.

Because the back-end work was so extensive, this project has been underway for a few years. It opened for business in April. Library Technician Shane Stephenson tackled the project mid-stream, got it up and running, and manages all storefront operations. He selects and uploads a new batch of images every month. All revenues support collections care and museum operations.

Since meeting Heidi through our relationship with the Twentieth Century Club, she has become an invaluable asset to the Museum.

Before joining the Board, Ms. Raphael helped facilitate Marketing and Events Committee efforts at the Museum and inspired a new and unique program entitled “Giants of Buffalo” – a successful and

permanent program that celebrates Western New Yorkers who make extraordinary contributions in history. Heidi has fostered new collaborative relationships with Buffalo Broadcaster Hall of Fame, Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, and Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame while inviting and introducing leaders in the community to the Museum events and fundraisers.

As Vice President of Corporate Communication of Boston, MA based Greater Media, Inc, Heidi Raphael provides leadership overseeing all aspects of communications, branding, and marketing for one of the nation’s leading privately-held broadcast companies.

Ms. Raphael has nearly 25 years of experience and leadership in the radio industry and has been recognized among the 50 Most Influential Women in Radio by Radio Ink Magazine every year since 2006. In addition, she was named among the Top 25 Women to Watch in Sales and Marketing by the Alliance for Women in Media in 2009.

The media veteran began her career in Buffalo, New York. She joined Greater Media in 1996 as marketing director of WRIF-FM in Detroit, Michigan. She was subsequently promoted to director of group marketing, overseeing the combined marketing efforts for WRIF-FM, WCSX-FM and WMGC-FM in the Motor City. In January of 2005, Ms. Raphael was promoted to director of corporate communication for Greater Media, Inc., and she was later named vice president in February of 2008.

Ms. Raphael is also a leading voice in national radio and media issues. She recently served for the past six years as the official spokesperson of the national Mentoring and Inspiring Women (MIW) Radio Group, made up of the most influential women in the radio industry.

On a national level, Ms. Raphael is an elected board member of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and is a past elected member of the board of directors and the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM), both based in Washington, DC. In addition, she serves as a member of the board of directors of the National Library of American Broadcasting and as a trustee of NABPAC.

An avid philanthropist and active community member, Ms. Raphael is involved with a number of boards, including the board of trustees of Medaille College, located in Buffalo, New York and the board of governors at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ms. Raphael received a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Communications from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

On September 27th, we had a blast at the most anticipated wedding celebration of our most fabulous graphic artist and marketing assistant, Jennifer LaBella, now Ms. Jennifer Nichols. Jen has been with The Buffalo History Museum for close to three years. She is part of the Communication Team that keeps The Buffalo History Museum the ‘talk of the town’ with her cool Instagam shots, stylish designs, and this tasteful newsletter layout. We wish Jen and Chris all the very best!

Need a unique gift idea?

Need a unique gift idea?

Need a unique

Grab a museum membership or gift certificate to the

museum shop!

For more information stop in or call

716.873.9644 ext. 318

Grab a museum membership

10% off one order placed betweenDecember 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015

Redeemable only at www.buffalohistorystore.orgAt check-out, use coupon code: TBHM1415

(Discount does not apply to gift certificates)(Discount does not apply to gift certificates)

Page 7: Dressed in Holiday Style


Dates and times subject to change

2 TuesdayToddler Story Time: HOLIDAY, 10-11am

Members free, Museum admission. Storytelling, craft, mini museum tour.

10 Wednesday"The Life of the Common Solider," by Ford Best, lecture, 6-8pm

Members free, Museum admission. This is in collaboration with the Black Rock Riverside Good Neighbors Planning

Alliance and Historic Preservation Committee.

17 Wednesday Veteran’s History, 6-8pm

Betsy Loren Plumb, PhD Candidate, History Department UB, explores Western New York veterans’ history. Special

guests include veterans from different eras who will share their experiences of coming home after service and resuming civilian life.

19 Friday*M&T Third Fridays: Holiday History

Free admission from 10am-5pm, including Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave. 1-3pm: Free guided tours at main

Museum and Resource Center.*M&T Third Fridays: Holiday Cheer Hour!, 5-7pm

It’s the very first Julia Boyer Reinstein Center Open House Party and it's dressed in holiday style! Offering a rare look into this 1920s home and music studio. (Across TBHM lot) Cash

bar, hot drinks and free snacks.

20 SaturdayFamily Holiday History and Santa!, 12-3pm

Visit the Julia Boyer Reinstein Center at One Gingerbread Lane (aka One Museum Court, across the lot from TBHM) Stop across the way after or before your holiday shopping in

our charming gift shop to visit Santa and take a cookies and cocoa break! (TBHM is open 10- 5)

21 SundayHoliday History Open House, 1-3pm

Visit the the Julia Boyer Reinstein Center and learn its history (1920) while enjoying the Santa’s village set-up to dazzle kids of all

ages! Cocoa and cookies, too! (TBHM is open 12-5)

24 Wednesday - 25 Thursday Closed: Happy Holidays to all!

31 Wednesday Closed: Happy New Year!

1 - 14 Wednesday, Pardon our dust! Due to electrical updates, The Buffalo History

Museum will be closed for thirteen days beginning January 1-14th. The Museum Shop, Research

Library and some exhibits, (Bflo Made, Neighbors, Community Gallery, Inside Tom Russert’s Office, John R. Oishei Native American and Pioneer Galleries), on the Museum’s three floors will resume regular Museum

hours on Thursday, January 15th.

The Street of Shops and The Rotary Train Gallery, in the lower level of the Museum will remain closed

throughout the month of January.

16 Friday *M&T Third Fridays: Free admission from 10am-5pm,

including Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave. 1-3pm: Free guided tours at Museum and Resource Center.

*M&T Third Fridays: 200 Years of a Peaceful Border 1812 Commemorative Program, 6-8pm

18 Sunday Martin Luther King Celebration, 3-5pm

21 WednesdayExclusive Behind-the-Scene Tour

(459 Forest Ave - The Resource Center), 6-8pmWalt Mayer, TBHM Director of Collections, gives a

fascinating tour of The Buffalo History Museum collection. The emphasis will be on winter artifacts. Preceding the

behind-the-scene winter artifact tour is Spirit of the City: Imagining the Pan-American Exposition tour & talk.

Members $10. General $15. Tours are limited. Pre-registration is required and begins Dec 16. Call during

museum hours 873-9644 x301

3 TuesdayToddler Story Time: Valentine’s Day!, 10-11am Members free, Museum admission. Storytelling,

craft, mini museum tour.

7 Saturday Genealogy Workshop, 10am-Noon

Part I only: $10/person, Part I & Part II: $20 pre-registration required, limit 15 people. Director of the Research Library, Cynthia Van Ness will present a

Genealogy 101 lesson in the auditorium from 10am-11am (fee of $10, no registration required). Part II will allow 15 people

to begin their research in the Library.

11 Wednesday Valentines Crafts, 6-8pm

Come make valentines with your valentine! Learn about the history of the holiday, and how

Buffalonians of the past celebrated this day. Crafts forall ages and snacks with be provided.

15 SundayPresident Lincoln’s Birthday Celebration!, 12-2pm

A gun salute on the Portico fires off the longest running Lincoln ceremonial commemoration in the country. Civil War music, crafts, re-enactors, and a Gettysburg Address reading. Plus, a visit from Abe and Mary Todd. Free during the event.

20 Friday *M&T Third Fridays: Free admission from 10am-5pm,

including Resource Center at 459 Forest Ave. 1-3pm: Free guided tours at main Museum and Resource Center.

*M&T Third Fridays: “The Treaty of Ghent Ending the War of 1812,” by Douglas Kohler, 6pm


On the third Friday of every month, admission to The Buffalo History

Museum, Resource Center, and select events are free for everyone

from 10 a.m. – 5p.m.Check the website calendar for

more details on each event

Page 8: Dressed in Holiday Style



PERMIT No. 3626

Become a Member and save up to $330.00

• Free general admission to the museum and research library

• 10% discount on most shop items

• Special invitation to members - only exhibit openings

• Discount on special event tickets

• And more!


Make an impACT!

Evening Hours on Wednesday until 8 p.m. • Free Parking