S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com HISTORY Page keywords = adirondack mountain north woods rail road Marion River Carry Raquette Blue Fulton Chain Utowanna Eagle lake museum National Railway Historical Association Chrysler SS Jaguar Mercedes Degnon BEDT Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Muttontown Fellowship aviation Long Island Dudgeon car auto steam Ultrasonic Industry ordnance Iroquois Rockaway Indian Native American Cullulloo Telawanna Shipwreck Kelly Marble Hill

Updated:   26 Oct 2019; 17:45  ET
[Page converted 04 Sep 2012
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/history.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/history.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's



U.S.Flag U.S.Flag 11 Sep 2001
Thanks to all who worked and died at the
World Trade Center and Pentagon
sites in Manhattan, Arlington, and Shanksville.
Our hearts go out to all who lost (or can't find) a friend or loved one.
No more need be said.

We were asked to wear RED, WHITE, and BLUE; I dug out my 1942 lapel pin:


Once again, we are witnesses to history.  I wore that pin all through World War II.  Being a good little schoolboy in a shirt, tie, and jacket, it appears on almost all my pictures from that period.  Here we go again!  When the emergencies fade, we become complacent and forget to remember the lessons of history.

Let me sadly add the valiant seven of the Columbia to this tribute (01 Feb 2003).

Previously (Apr 2000) unindexed, this page had so much on it that I added a Page Index as of 20 Apr 2000:

Page Index

Long Island (and related) Material (formerly on this page) moved to Long Island page 31 Oct 00 and to an even-newer Long Island Continuation Page 1 08 Nov 00:

On the main Long Island page:

Long Island (and related) Links (formerly on this page).
Long Island Studies Institute (formerly on this page).
Cullulloo Telawanna (last of the Rockaway Indians - formerly on this page).
Walt Whitman.

On the Long Island Continuation Page 0 (material moved 17 Mar 04):<>

Long Island (and related) Links
Long Island's Original Inhabitants (Native Americans/Indians).
    (Moved from the main LI page on 17 Mar 2004)
Culluloo Telawana (last of the Rockaway Indians).
    (Moved from the main LI page on 17 Mar 2004)
Inisfada - St. Ignatius Retreat House.
    (Moved from LI continuation page 1 on 17 Mar 2004)   rev (26 Oct 2019)
Gould Gatehouse.
Bella Vista Auto Enthusiasts Hangout.
Glen Head.
Nassau Brick Works.

On the Long Island Continuation Page 1:

1906 Hyde Map of Long Island
Long Island's Original East End.
Rock Hall.
Lord's Woods.
Inisfada - St. Ignacius Retreat House.
    (Moved from this page to LI continuation page 0 on 17 Mar 2004)   rev (26 Oct 2019)
Long Island Questions.

On the Long Island Continuation Page 2:

Suydam Homestead (Suydam House and Barn Museum).
Oyster Bay - village, town, ship.
Sea Cliff

  General Historical Material (still on this History page):

Native American Land Claims.
Old Glory - the derivation of the American Flag.
Manhattan in the Bronx?
Rivers (Hudson) vs. Estuaries (East, North, Harlem)
Ration Stamps, Books, and Coupons.

HISTORICAL MISCELLANY - moved to a separate History Continuation Page 1 on 24 Dec 2004:

Historical Miscellany.
De Gaulle at Dorval
Universal Funeral Chapel and Hornthal's 1900s Hearse De Luxe   new.gif (17 Aug 2011)   rev.gif (30 Jan 2017)
1940s-50s Radio (27 Jul 2013/30 Jan 2017).
World War II Historical Photographs.   new (23 Mar 2017)

On the History of Technology Page:

{unindexed - only links appear there at present} except for:
BellTelephone Laboraries (Manhattan) and Mercury (h\Hg) (27 Mar 2012).
The Metropolitan Waterworks, Chestnut Hill High-Service Pumping Station, Boston. new (30 Jan 2017)


All material has been moved to a separate Long Island page (eff. 31 Oct 00):
  Long Island (and related) Links (now on Long Island page).
  Long Island Studies Institute (now on Long Island page).
  Cullulloo Telawanna (last of the Rockaway Indians - now on Long Island page).
This material has been supplemented with new material - see indices above or on the LI pages.

I have been taken severely to task by eminent historians
note-rt.gif for not giving provenance to much of what I present;
unfortunately, much of the material presented on this site
is from my memory or from undocumented files.

I know what I know; it is probably 9944/100% correct,
but when I goof, I goof BIG!

[See also AUTHORITY on my Home Page.]   added (04 Sep 2012)

If you love the North Country or the Adirondack Mountains, especially the area around the Fulton Chain of Lakes and the Eckford Lakes, Raquette Lake and Blue Mountain Lake, you'll love the Adirondack Museum smack dab in the heart of the Adirondacks at Blue Mountain Lake, New York.  It tells the story of the Adirondacks far better than any book could.  I heartily recommend a visit!  You might also wish to look at my own Adirondacks page, et seq.

You might also like to visit my other pages which are replete with historical information, such as railroads, including ALCO-GE-IR Boxcabs and the vest-pocket railroads, including Marion River Carry Railroad, the Degnon Terminal RR in Long Island City, and the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR (BEDT), model railroading, and the National Railway Historical Society and its Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter, Berliner families (not just mine), automotive pages - Chrysler, SS and Jaguar, and Mercedes, the interesting history of the Muttontown Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (Thompson Layton) house on Long Island1, the ordnance page, and the history of the Ultrasonic Industry Association.

1 - There are some interesting bits of trivia about Shipwreck Kelly(s) on the Muttontown Fellowship page.

I've added a page on aviation, especially about Long Island, the "Cradle of Aviation".  There's been quite a bit in the news over the years about the late George C. Dade, an early LI flier who chauffered Lindbergh and is the young kid helping him on with a parachute (but that famous photo was taken AFTER the Paris flight); I've done an oral history with him and will be adding bits here and there.

For an amazing coincidence, look at the railroad page, the paragraph about the New York, Boston & Westchester.

Speaking of "Indians" (Native Americans - see Index, above), they have NO LEGAL CLAIM to ancestral land!  They were immigrants to this continent from Asia.  Those Indians who sold land to early colonists, such as to Peter Minuit in Manhattan, Richard "Bull" Smith on Long Island, and others, were out-and-out con men, taking merciless advantage of their gullible prey.  They never owned any land to begin with!  Intrinsic to Native American beliefs was that no one owned the land; they were "tenants" of the Great Spirit, Manitou.  Thus, they could not sell it in the first place!

Also, they fought, and lost, a war; if all people whose ancestors lost a war in history had a valid claim to regain their land, our entire civilization, so-called, would collapse.  My mother was Hungarian; thus I am half Hungarian, a direct descendant of the fierce Huns who swept out of Asia and overran eastern Europe, but that gives me no claim whatsoever to the Gobi desert or Russian steppes or Budapest.  And I am truly half Hungarian, in direct line from Asia, from whence sprang the Native American peoples, with the high cheekbones and genes to prove it; which is a heck of a stronger claim than the many watered-down, interbred claimants to the honorable title of "Native American".  Some of the members of local "tribes", the ones with their casinos and industries, are little more than African-American-Asiatic polyglots.  My father's line was German, but that sure doesn't give me (or any other German-American) a valid claim to Posen or Postdam or Berlin, where they lived!  And if you follow this line of reasoning, don't even THINK about Palestine/Israel; guess who was there before either of them - the Amalekites and the Canaanites!  On so on and on - - - , ad infinitum.

Also, consider the feelings of Muslims who have to put up with non-Muslim (infidel) Americans stationed in Saudi Arabia, right around their holiest of holies, the Ka'aba in Mecca, and in Medina, while their other holy spot, the Dome of the Rock (Abraham's temple) is under Israeli control - is it any wonder they commit acts of terror (not that I condone such in any way) in their desperation?  How would you react to finding a bunch of Taliban mullahs grouped around your high altar or Torah scrolls?

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."

[this is after John Philpot Curran - 1790,
not Thomas Jefferson (or JFK)]


"Tell the story, of Old Glory - - -"; O.K., I will!

At the bottom of each of my Web pages, I have a little bit devoted to law enforcement and emergency personnel with which I display two current American flags, thusly:

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag

The current American flag came from the 18th Century British Union Flag#, which displays, on the Scottish flag, a blue field with the diagonal white Cross of Saint Andrew, England's red Cross of St. George outlined in white (from the white field of St. George's standard) for visibility, representing the union of Scotland and England.  That, in turn, is placed on a red field to form the Royal Ensign:

Scots Flag     English Flag     British Union Flag     British Royal Ensign

With six (6) white stripes added to the red field, we have our early Continental/Grand Union Flag (Continental Congress/union of the 13 colonies) and so through the so-called Betsey Ross 13-star flag, adding stars now and then for more states; we come to our recent 48-star and current 50-star flags:

Continental Flag     U. S. 13-Star Flag     U. S. 48-Star Flag     U. S. 50-Star Flag

How about a new American flag for the 21st Century?

Here's my "English First" variation on the Continental/Grand Union flag that adds the cross of St. Patrick of the current British Union Flag to celebrate the Irish that joined with the English and Scots in founding the United States:

English First Flag for 2000

I never realized before but there is good precedent for using the modern (20th Century) Union Flag in the field, witness the flag of the State of Hawaii (once the British "Sandwich Islands"), which combines the more modern British Union Flag (with the Cross of St. Patrick) and eight (8) stripes (presumably one for each island - dig those wild blue stripes!), and, while we're at it, how about yet another similar flag, also with blue stripes but without St.Patrick's cross, the ensign of the 1776 Continental Navy brigantine "Lexington":

20th Cent. British Union Flag     Hawaiian State Flag     Lexington Ensign

[Older and suggested newer American, and British and Hawaiian, flag images by,
and © 2000, S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.]

If you enjoy this flag business, you must visit two fabulous flag sites I ran across:

Rob Raeside's Flags of the World,
which illustrates almost every flag you can imagine, and

Ed Mooney, Jr.'s Flag Detective,
which helps you find flags by visual categories.

# - I had used the common American term, "Union Jack" but Nick O'Dell reminded me that the Jack is "a small national flag flown from the jackstaff of a warship (in which it differs from an ensign, which is flown from the mast or the stern staff).  The Union Jack is thus only correctly described so when flown from the jackstaff of a warship of the Royal Navy."  Hopefully, I've changed the name to Union Flag throughout this page; thanks, Nick!   new.gif (10 May 06)

See my One National Language Page for a reasoned(?) discussion of "English as the official (and ONLY) national language of the United States (it was moved from the LANGUAGE page, English First, on 08 Apr 2003).

Our friendly neighbor to the north is a perfect example of why bilingualism doesn't work.  They do, however, have a beautiful old colonial flag with the Union Flag, as well as a beautiful new flag with a maple leaf (their emblem dear):

1924 Canadian Colonial Flag   Canadian Maple Leaf Flag

I like them both; each has its merits and drawbacks (and the generation outraged by, or inordinately pleased with, the newer maple leaf flag is fast dwindling away).

Manhattan in the Bronx?

Anent NY City railroad history, did you know that Manhattan extends north across what you may think is the Harlem River?  At that point, however, it ISN'T (the river, that is, which isn't a river, anyway, but rather an estuary*)!  The Harlem River used to end in marshland north of Marble Hill; the other (west) side of the marshland drained into the Spuyten Duyvil (in spite of the Devil - another story) Creek and so west to the Hudson River.  A rock cut was made through Marble Hill to allow the New York Central & Harlem River Railroad's Water Level Route access to the Harlem River's north bank.  In 1888-1895, an 18' channel, the Harlem River Ship Canal, was dug through Marble Hill immediately south of the NYC cut,allowing barge traffic to pass directly from the East River to the Hudson without having to detour around the Battery and leaving a high, narrow ridge of solid rock standing between the Central line and the channel.  The land north of the Canal that was originally the south end of the marsh, although long since filled in, remains part of Manhattan Island (the Borough of Manhattan, the County of New York) in spite of being north of the water.  Even to me, born and bred in Manhattan, this looks weird and I'd forgotten all about it.

Thanks to Thomas Flagg, Industrial Archaeologist, for the foregoing detail.

Columbia University has more on this story at The Bronx Beat, 3/13/95, in an article by David W. Behrend, "An Island Unto Itself" - "After an increase in ship traffic in the 1890s, the Army Corps of Engineers said that a canal was needed for shipping route between the Hudson and Harlem Rivers.  So in 1895 a work crew blasted through Manhattan, creating a navigable passage and leaving Marble Hill an artificial island.  But in 1914 the creek was filled in, attaching Marble Hill to the mainland.  The curve of 230th Street, the northern border of Marble Hill, follows the route of the old creek."

Here, courtesy of Bernie Ente, is a late-1800s view of the Harlem River area, showing Marble Hill with the new canal to the left (south) and the old river bed to the right (north) before it was filled in:

Marble Hill -late 1800s
(Picture courtesy B. Ente)
[Thumbnail image; click on picture for large image.]
{Who can explain that suspension bridge in the background
(west - wishful thinking?) and where is the Croton Aqueduct?
And how did the NYC&HRRR get from the Marble Hill cut east (southbound)
towards Hunt's Point over the gap in the lower left corner of the picture?}

Also re NY City railroad history, see my/Dave Morrison's RAILROAD EAGLES page for the latest on, and his books about, the Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal eagles.

And see the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association and the legendary LIRR Atlantic Avenue Tunnel.

Rivers (Hudson) vs.
Estuaries (East, North, Harlem, etc.)

As noted above, what you may think separates Manhattan from the Bronx is the Harlem River isn't!  Not only that, but Manhattan is NOT separated from New Jersey by the Hudson River nor from Long Island by the East River?  At least the Dutch got it right; Staten Island (Staaten Eylandt) is separated from New Jersey on the north by the Kill van Kull and on the west by the Arthur Kill.  Nor, while I'm on this kick, is Long Island separated from the Bronx by a river; the Dutch got it right again, calling that roiling maelstrom the Hell Gate (die Helle Gaat).  They also called the body of water between the Bronx (ten Bronks) and Manhattan the Haarlem Meer (Sea), but erred slightly in naming the Kill van Kull and the Arthur Kill ("kill" means "creek").

The point where the mighty Hudson River ("Hudson, mighty Hudson; greatest river of them all") reaches the salt of the ocean is NOT at the mouth of the outer harbor at all, it is back where it reaches the confluence of the three ESTUARIES, the Hell Gate, the so-called East River, and the North River (erroneously called the Hudson), at the Spuyten Duyvil Creek (which - you guessed it - isn't a creek), that short stretch between the Harlem and Hudson/North Rivers.

Rather than drive you even crazier; here's a rough sketch map (adapted from another, and a bit ill-suited, but I'm too lazy to redraw it from scratch); where "H" is the Hell Gate, "S" is the Sputen Duyvil, and "V" is the Verazzano Narrows (of bridge fame):

NYC Harbor
(Map 11 Mar 2003 by and © S. Berliner, III 2003 - all rights reserved)

Off the map, the Arthur Kill, which opens to the north to the Kill van Kull and Newark Bay, opens at the south to the open Atlantic opposite Sandy Hook, so it's an estuary. The Hell Gate opens to the East River to the south and Long Island Sound to the east, which opens to the open Atlantic at Block Island Sound (off the map between Rhode Island and Orient Point), so it's an estuary.  The Passaic and Hackensack Rivers feed Newark Bay but that splits at Staten Island into the Arthur Kill and the Kill van Kull, and the latter's an estuary because it opens into the Inner Harbor which opens to the Outer Harbor and the Atlantic.  The North River opens to the Hudson River and the Spuyten Duyvil to the north, and to the Inner Harbor, the East River, the Kill van Kull to the south.  The East River opens to the Hell Gate to the north and to the Inner Harbor and the North River to the south, and the Sputen Duyvil opens to the Harlem River to the east and the Hudson and North Rivers to the west, so - - - you get the picture.

Of all of these, then, only the upper Hudson and the Passaic and Hackensack are actually real rivers (as if anyone, other than hydrologists, marine biologists, ecologists, and master nitpickers, truly cares).

Also of overwhelming interest to you is the fact that the Hudson's descent to the sea is at so shallow an angle that it sees ocean tides all the way up past Albany, some 150 miles upstream!

The Dutch influence on New York City (Nieuw Amsterdam) and New York State (Nieuw Nederland) is overwhelmingly evident even today; just on the map alone, you also see Staten Island (Staaten Eylandt), Long Island (Lange Eylandt), Nassau County (house of Nassau), Brooklyn (Brueklyn), Flushing (Vlyssing), the two Kills, Spuyten Duyvil (noted above), the Harlem River (Haarlem Meer), and the Bronx (ten Bronks - the Bronk family's land).  Off the map, LI Sound opens to Block Island Sound and guess what nationality Adraien Block bore?  For that matter, Henry Hudson, an Englishman, sailed as Hendryck Hudson under the Dutch tricolor!

HISTORICAL MISCELLANY - moved to a separate History Continuation Page 1 on 24 Dec 2004:

Historical Miscellany.
De Gaulle at Dorval

Ration Stamps, Books, and Coupons

World War II had many, many interesting little sidelights - one of these, for me, was the Ration Coupon.  The need to conserve vital resources, including foodstuffs, led to rationing, administered by the watch-dog OPA (Office of Price Administration).  They issued Ration Stamps in books, as shown below, with stamps for critical materials such as sugar and coffee and spare stamps that were "wild" like jokers in playing cards:

WWII Ration Book WWII Ration Stamps 2 WWII Ration Stamps 3
(Pictures from Airman Shawn Hicks, on active duty at Dyess Air Force Base Hospital,
courtesy Sampson A.F.B. Veterans Association)
[Thumbnail images; click on pictures for large images.]

I have no clue what the vertical blue and red stamps were for; I don't remember any such, but they have a head of wheat and a cornucopia on them.  What I was going to show you (that had vanished) were tiny embossed brick-red discs, punched out of thin, hard fiberboard, that were sub-divisions of the stamps.  I'd kept one all these years and couldn't find it; in revising this page on 06 Sep 2004 and re-reading this paragraph, I remembered where I looked, looked again, to no avail, and suddenly realized I'd been looking in the wrong place, remembered the right one, went to it, and there were, not just one, but TWO discs!

WWII Ration Discs
[06 Sep 2004 photo by and © 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved.]

These measure 5/8" (15.875mm) in diameter by 3/64" (1mm) thick, are stamped "OPA", "RED" and "POINT", separated by tiny five-pointed stars, with a centered outline numeral "1", and are double-faced and identical on opposite faces.  In addition, which I'd never noticed before, they are also stamped with the apparent equivalent of mint marks, "V C" on the left disc and "U T" on the right one.  If the things above are "stamps", could these have been "coupons"?

Interested in deep sea diving and palaeontology?  Take a look at "Deep Sixed Dinosaurs" on Naval and Marine continuation page 1.

Stay tuned!

See also the History continuation page and the History of Technology page.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

U.S.Flag U.S.Flag


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