Wednesday, November 2, 2016

1862 City of Rochester Nuisances Code

On November 11, 1862 the city council passed the following penal code related to nuisances within the city.  Some of the more critical ones relating to gongs, kites, bowling and ducks include:

Section 1: No person shall sound any gong in the street, or any alley, upon any side-walk, or upon any piazza, balcony steps or platform, adjoining any sidewalk or street in the city of Rochester, under a penalty of TEN DOLLARS for each offense.

Section 7: No person shall fly a kite within the said city under a penalty of TWO DOLLARS for each offense.

Section 11: It shall be lawful for any person to bathe or swim in the Genesee river, or in the Erie or Genesee Valley canals within the city of Rochester, provided such persons wear tights, pants or shirts.

Section 13: No person keeping an alley commonly called a nine-pin alley, bowling alley or billiard table, within the city shall, permit any game to be played thereon after ten o'clock in the evening, or before eight o'clock in the morning ; nor shall any such person suffer or permit any minor or apprentice to play at said alley or table at any time whatever, under penalty of FIVE DOLLARS for each offense.

Section 21: No owner or possessor of any goose or geese, ducks, or other fowls, shall suffer any such fowl to run or to be at large in any of the public streets, lanes, alleys, or squares within said city, under a penalty of TWENTY-FIVE CENTS for each fowl, etc., so running or being at large.

Section 29: No person shall, under the penalty of FIFTY DOLLARS for each offense, empty or deposit the contents of any tub or receptacle out of any privy, vault or cess pool into any street, alley, canal or public square, or into the river, except at places designated therefor by the Mayor or board of health.

The full code:



Sunday, August 21, 2016

1887 Ads from the Rochester Directory

A Collection of Ads in 19th Century Rochester

Ice Companies - fresh from the Genesee River...

 The ice may not be very good below the falls, but it's a great place for picnics and bowling...
The Glen House was another popular destination along the river.

 Reduced Priced Arms and Legs above the Reynolds Arcade...

After the civil war, while J.J. Bausch was building his new business with his partner Henry Lomb, first Bausch and Lomb, Opticians and by 1866 renamed the Vulcanite Optical Instrument Company - he sold his retail shop at Reynold Arcade to his little brother E.E. Baucsh who partnered whith Thomas Drainsfield.

Henry Strong was always on the lookout for the next great invention, first investing in E. F. Whoodbury's new buggy whip handle prior to helping young George Eastman launch his Dry Plate photography company in 1881.

John G. and Elizabeth Zweigle had been operating a sausage manufacturing business on Front Street since at least 1867.  Carl Wilhelm and Josehpine Zweigle's butcher shop on Joseph Avenue is credited as the founder of the current Zweigle's Sausage Company and was opened in 1880 - although no such buthcher appears in this 1887 directory.

Rochester offered a wide Selection of Lager Beer...
Becker Lager Beer 

Bartholomay Brewing 

  1. The Rochester Directory (1887), Volume 28
  2. Shilling, Donovan A (2011), A Photographic History of Bausch & Lomb, pg 16 
  1. Zweigles History - 
  2. Record of the Proceedings of the Common Council of the City of Rochester (1911), pg 262
  3. The New York State Business Directory and Gazetteer (1867),pg 745
       Henry Strong
  1. Linsday, David (2000), Henry Strong, Wizards of Photography,
  2. US Patent 60606, Improvement in Whips, Edmund F. Woodbury, December 18, 1866 
  3. STRONG ET AL. V. NOBLE ET AL. Circuit Court, S. D. New York. June 22, 1869 
See Also

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18

April 18,1981

The Rochester Redwings played in the longest game in professional baseball history at 33 innings against the Pawtucket Red Socks in Pawtucket. The game was suspended at 3:00 a.m. with the score standing at 2-2 after 32 innings. It was resumed on June 23 where, after one more inning, Pawtucket won in the bottom of the 33rd. In the game, future hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr. played for the Redwings against Wade Boggs for Pawtucket.

Sources and Further Reading:
  2. Wikipedia: Longest professional baseball game

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February 20

February 20, 1895: Frederick Douglas died in his home in Washington D.C. at the age of 78.  He had been participating that day in a meeting of the Women's National Council and was scheduled to speak later that evening at the nearby Hillside African Church.

(from the New York Times, Feb 21, 1895)

Sources and Further Reading:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 26

February 26, 1904: "Rochester's Greatest Fire" Starting before morning in a fuse of an elevator at the Rochester Dry Goods on East Main Street, a fire sweeps through nearly 2 acres of the city. Request for help in battling the blaze was made to Buffalo which sent 26 firemen and Syracuse which sent 30 firemen. The total damage was estimated at over $3 million.

Sources and Further Reading:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rochester's Worst Winters Storms

Rochester ranks among the top U.S. cities with the most annual snowfall at 92.3 inches, just below our neighbors Syracuse (#1 at 115.6 inches) and Buffalo (93.6 inches).   Rochester's official weather station was established in 1870, but the early settlers recorded several large storms in diaries for decades before that. Below are a list of the worst winter storms in Rochester History. 

Snow Storms (Post-1870)

1. Feb. 28-March 2, 1900: 43.5 inches

2. Feb. 27-March 3, 1984: 32.7 inches

3. Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, 1966: 28.8 inches

4. Feb. 5-7, 1978: 25.8 inches

5. Dec. 8-11, 1981: 25.4 inches

Snow Storms (Pre-1870)
  • Jan. 26-27,1839: 2.5-3.0 feet (diary of Edwin Scrantom)
  • Feb. 15, 1837: 2.5 feet (diary of Edwin Scrantom)
  • Feb. 2-7, 1845: 30 inches
  • Feb. 4-6, 1854: 30 inches

Top Snowfall in a Season: 1959-60 with 161.7 inches

Ice Storms
  • March 3-4, 1991: 1.5 inches of Freezing Rain, over 135,000 Rochester Area homes without power.
  • January 3-5. 1913: Over 1.1 inches of frozen rain.
  •  April 4-5, 2003: About 100,00 homes lost power.

  •  Coldest Day: -22 F on February 9, 1934 (the prior day, February 8 also holds a record for that day at -16 F)

References and Further Reading:
  1. "Top 101 cities with the highest snowfall in year",
  2. Golden Snowball Award 
  3. Rochester History, vol. XXVII, issue , January 1965
  4. "Rochester Historic Snowfalls", Democrat and Chronicle, March 12, 2014
  5. "Storm Up State Continues", New York Times, March 3, 1900
  6. "An Ice Storm Paralyzes Western and Northern New York", New York Times (March 5, 1991)  
  7. Ice Storm of 2003 Left Many Devastated, Democrat and Chronicle, April 5, 2013
  8. "A Meteorological of Ice Storm Impact Variables in the Rochester, N.Y. Area Including a Probability Analysis of Freezing Precipitation Return Periods for Significant Ice Storms", Mroz, Paul J., WOKR Weather Services, August 20, 1991
  9. NOAA Weather Records for Rochester, NY

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Season Food Conservation and Recycling during WWI

1918: Rochester was doing it share to help support the troops during WWI duringvthe Thanksgiving season.  This included recycling fruit pits and nut shells for their carbon for use in gas masks.  The U.S. Food administration also encouraged citizens to eat less on Thanksgiving to conserve food for the troops.

  1.  Simmon's Spice Mill Vol. XLI, No. 1, pp 1353 (1918)