Did Grandpa Darling ride the first Ferris Wheel?

In 1893 Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition. There were many inventors and exhibits. Among them was engineer George Ferris who introduced the world to his soon-to-be iconic Ferris Wheel.

The Wheel stood 264 feet high and had a diameter of 250 feet. Each of the structure’s 36 cars could hold 60 to 65 people. Folks stood in long lines to pay 50 cents each to ride on the slowly spinning marvel.

My great-great grandfather was living in the city, in Little Italy. He was studying to become a dentist. My great grandmother was a toddler.

Oh, how I wish I could sit with them both and talk about their memories of this time.

ajh

Thankfully, the Troubles are over, mostly.

My interest stems partly from being a descendant of immigrants from Northern Ireland, Ulster Presbyterians.

ajh

I’ve been wondering about the name August, the Germanic form of Augustus. It is prominent among my maternal grandfather’s family.

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Augustus II the Strong (German: August II. der Starke) | His great physical strength earned him the nicknames the Strong, the Saxon Hercules and Iron-Hand.

My great grandfather was Albert August Fromke. His younger brother was August L. Fromke. Albert’s wife was Augusta Wilhelmina Lentz.

I am hoping to learn about why this was such a strong tradition in Germany. There is many a German prince with the name and a few princesses too.

There’s Augustus the Strong, born in Dresden and elected King of Poland. There’s Augustus the Third, son of Augustus the Strong who also became King of Poland.

Then, there’s Augustus the Younger. He had the largest collection of books and manuscripts north of the Alps. There is Augustus d’Este, a grandson of King George III of Great Britain.

It all goes back to Augustus, Elector of Saxony. And, of course, before him, there was Rome. The first Roman emperor is known as Augustus.

ajh

On the Hunt for Another

billy_dee_colt45_poster

I took one of these once and put it up in my apartment. It’s a great poster. I need to get another one. I wonder if any are on eBay. (Yes, yes, I know stealing is wrong. It was a big color copy of the original, from a laser printer, probably from Kinko’s, hanging outside a convenience store.)

ajh