28 Oct October 2021 Newsletter
October 2021 Newsletter
Welcome to the October 2021 edition of the Daniels Foundation Newsletter. In this issue, we explore the following topics. Click on the links to read the articles!
Foundation Provides Over 1.5 Million in COVID Relief! Most of us can remember the strange days of February and March 2020 as the news began to focus more and more on a virus spreading rapidly and dangerously across the world. When life as we knew it halted in March… Click here to read more…
Fred Harris Daniels, Washburn Moen, and San Fransisco! What did you do during the lock down? I will tell you what I did: surfed the internet endlessly, hours of useless viewing. However, I present to you dear reader for your enjoyment one arcane picture that I stumbled on… Click here to read more…
Hometown Philanthropy! For most of my adult life, I have made Maine my home, with the last 40 years in Waldo County… With the advent of COVID 19 two and a half years ago, I felt moved to join my wife in her volunteer position on the Board at the local food cupboard… Click here to read more…
Summer Camp COVID Grants! Due to COVID and being in isolation for so long, the one thing that struck a chord with members of the Strategic Grants Committee (targeted to girls, age 10-14) was that the FHD Foundation needed to help “Our Girls” get back to in-person programming at summer camp. Click here to read more…
Calling All Family Historians! Do you have a box of old photos from your ancestors? If you do, we want you! Click here to read more…
Foundation Provides Over $1.5 Million in COVID Relief
By Sarah Morse
Most of us can remember the strange days of February and March 2020 as the news began to focus more and more on a virus spreading rapidly and dangerously across the world. When life as we knew it halted in March, it became clear to the board members of the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation that we needed to focus our giving on COVID relief.
We began by selecting ten agencies involved with basic needs in Worcester and sending them each an unsolicited $2,500 in April. We then announced that beginning with the June 2020 application cycle we would only be considering applications dealing with basic needs relating to COVID, and awarded over $150,000 to 26 agencies that quarter. Our giving focus has remained on COVID for the past 5 quarters, and included additional gifting in our strategic focus area (girls 10-14) allowing for increased participation in summer camp programming that was “in person” as things began to open up. All in all, we have provided over 1.5 million dollars to agencies challenged by COVID who are working directly with the most vulnerable populations of Worcester during the pandemic.
One board conversation sticks in my memory. As we read application after application around what agencies needed to continue to do their work, many of them were asking for help with technology, in particular tablets, in order to stay in touch with their clients. We all came to the realization that the definition of “basic needs” in today’s world would have to include access to technology.
At the September quarterly meeting the board discussed how to proceed with our grant making, and a decision was made to open up the December cycle to also include (once again) applications without a COVID/basic needs focus. We imagine that many organizations will continue to have needs relating to the pandemic, but feel ready to provide support in other areas as well.
Fred Harris Daniels, Washburn & Moen, and San Fransisco
By Bill Pettit
What did you do during the lock down? I will tell you what I did: surfed the internet endlessly, hours of useless viewing. However, I present to you dear reader for your enjoyment one arcane picture that I stumbled on.
The caption accompanying the photo read: “Washburn and Moen used this huge wagon, pulled by 56 horses, to deliver this 31,000-foot, 130,000-pound cable to the Market Street Cable Railways’ McAllister Street powerhouse.” The picture was published in Street Railway Journal, May 1895.
So many questions came to mind. I have since spent hours down this rabbit hole, Alice.
As you may know Fred Harris Daniels worked his career for Washburn Moen, so I wanted to put this picture in the context of his life and perhaps find a connection between the picture and the man. Did that roll of cable travel all the way from Worcester to San Francisco?
My investigation started with the published date of the photo: 1895. In that year the three brothers were aged Clarence 11, Harold 8 and Dwight 4 while Fred Harris was 42 years old. 3 young boys!
One interesting side note I discovered from the rabbit hole: it’s been dogma that FHD graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. However, In fact he did not get his degree from WPI. He graduated from Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science. Ok there must have been a rebranding because Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science became Worcester Polytechnic Institute. WPI is easier to say than WCFIIS
In 1895 It had been more than nine years since FHD had been awarded his first patents for work related to the wire manufacturing process. He was assistant general superintendent of Washburn and Moen and had just completed designing and building the Waukegan Illinois Wire Rod Mill. This mill was the first expansion of Washburn Moen out of Worcester, and the facility was completed for a total cost of $2,500,000. For context, $1,000 in 1895 has the purchasing power of $32,000 today… you do the math! That’s a big project!
That plant was making wire by 1892. If the plant had wire cable manufacturing capabilities at that time, then the big roll may have come from Illinois to San Francisco. And, no matter what, it is unlikely it came all the way from Worcester.
Here’s some additional historical background. San Francisco saw its first cable car system in 1873. There were 23 separate cable car systems at its height, and now there are just 2 left operating. The last new system was built in 1890, so the reel in the photo must have been replacement wire rope for an existing system.
Andrew Smith Hallidie invented the cable car system and owned the California Wire Works built in 1856 in San Francisco to service the mining industry and later to focus on the cable car industry. It experienced great expansion and in 1895, Mr. Hallidie at the age of 59 sold his business to the Washburn and Moen Co.
FHD’s biography states that in 1895 he was sent to San Francisco to “establish the Hallidie Works, later known as the California Wire Works”. Several sources use the term “establish” not “design” or “build” but establish. There he met Frank Brown, Pacific Coast Sales agent of the Washburn and Moen Co and together they over saw the absorption of California Wire Works into Washburn and Moen Co. We think today of corporate take overs with the rebranding as something novel. Sprint becomes T Mobil, Fleet Bank becomes, um I don’t even remember what… here is an example of corporate rebranding in 1895!
Hence the story of the wire rope on the big reel came into focus. The reel was manufactured right in San Francisco with no arduous rail journey across the continent. Re branded Washburn and Moen and photographed and that photo splashed far and wide. Washburn and Moen on the move!
What is likely too is that since FHD was in San Francisco in 1895 maybe the picture and the man are truly connected. Perhaps he is one of those onlookers!
The purchase of the California Wire Works by Washburn and Moen was part of the company’s overall strategy to stay ahead in the expanding economy. Just three years later in 1898 W&M would itself be bought by American Steel and Wire, which eventually became US Steel.
And four years after that FHD would return to San Francisco to design and build the largest wire rope plant west of the Mississippi to be known as the Pacific Works of American Steel and Wire. Fred Harris Daniels was a serious businessman at a time when opportunity was almost everywhere.
By Ellie Daniels
For most of my adult life, I have made Maine my home, with the last 40 years in Waldo County. Maine is a place of pronounced extremes- beautiful, clear-blue Summers and snowy, frigid Winters; pristine woods and waters and depressing expanses of cut-over woods and trailer homes. Many people retire or transplant here, buying up old fixer-uppers along the coast or in the mountains, driving the cost of affordable housing and rentals out of reach of many of the people born and raised here. Taxes are high, housing is out of reach, and much of the available employment is low-skilled and low pay. Despite a home garden and handful of chickens in many backyards, food insecurity is widespread and growing. The income gap hits us hard.
With the advent of COVID 19 two and a half years ago, I felt moved to join my wife in her volunteer position on the Board at the local food cupboard. A year ago, she was hired as the food cupboard Manager, and I remain on as her steady sidekick.
The cupboard was founded by the Greater Bay Area Ministerium (GBAM) and operates with one paid Manager and many diverse volunteers from nine participating faith communities. What a spread! From Catholics, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Methodists, and Baptists, to Unitarians, Buddhists, Quakers, and Mormons, we come together twice a month to staff the food distributions, pack bags, receive produce, unload trucks, and serve our “customers” with dignity, humor, friendship, and compassion. We get to know each other, bridging gaps across ideology and theology and forming common bonds around the practice of service to our community.
The community has rallied around the issue of food insecurity with amazing generosity and energy. The morning of a distribution, we go to the local supermarket to pick up meat donations. We are never disappointed with average donations of up to 600 pounds of frozen chicken, beef, pork, deli items, and even plant-based options. Each day preceding the distribution, a truck delivers vegetables from Waldo County Bounty, a consortium of local farmers sharing their harvests, with 20-30 cases of beautiful, mostly organic veggies in season. A second group, Veggies for All, has revived the tradition of “gleaning” in the fields and orchards, bringing cases of apples, potatoes, squash, carrots, and other vegetables to the pantry. A local elementary school works with us to provide “backpacks” filled with breakfast and dinner foods which are discreetly sent home on the weekend with children who depend on it.
Checks pour in unsolicited. We are recipients of a shared offering plate at church, or a percentage of sales at a local COOP. Every other month, we receive a large shipment of free dry goods from the USDA. Our last delivery was nearly 10,000 pounds! We unloaded and unpacked it with the help of two young Mormon missionary Elders, a regular volunteer and her eleven-year old son who climbed onto the upper shelves to receive and shift boxes around to make room, a man in his seventies who delighted at the work of the youngster, and my wife and myself.
All of this and more have made the GBAM Food Cupboard a central part of my life. It provides a unique social experience I would not otherwise have, a sense of purpose and accomplishment at addressing a real problem, and a deep gratitude for my own privilege in life and health. It really is true, “Everyone does better when everyone does better!”
Ellie Daniels, [email protected] , (207)322-6464
Summer Camp COVID Grants 2021
by Wendy Andrews
Due to COVID and being in isolation for so long, the one thing that struck a chord with members of the Strategic Grants Committee (targeted to girls, age 10-14) was that the FHD Foundation needed to help “Our Girls” get back to in-person programming at summer camp. The Strategic Grants Committee set aside upwards of $100,000 to be used to get more girls to in person camp this past summer. Investing In Girls Alliance (IIGA) agency members were encouraged to collaborate with other members to expand summer camp programs/programming to get more girls to be able to experience the “Outdoor Summer Camp Experience”.
We received two Grant Collaboratives. The first one was submitted by Girls Inc./YWCA in the amount of $40,000. This joint venture would provide 8 weeks of Friday night sessions for 50 girls. Four weeks at Camp Kinneywood, located in Holden, managed by Girls Inc, and 4 weeks at YWCA’s Wind-in-the-Pines Camp located in Leicester. The second collaboration was from the Girls Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Their program would provide a 6-week camping experience for 10 girls, with a budget of $32,500. Since Big Brothers/Big Sisters has never been able to provide a “Summer Camp” program before, they were thankful that the Girls Scouts was able to provide them with a venue, Camp Laurel Wood, to be able to serve more girls. This was especially important coming out of COVID and all that it did to the mental health of our girls, let alone the staff within these organizations.
I contacted the Girl Scouts and asked for some feedback about their grant and got some great responses. The grant gave Girls the opportunity to be outside and socialize with their peers. It was also a great opportunity for these girls to develop courage, confidence, and character, three values of the Girls Scouts that are truly needed more than ever today! Most of the Girls served with this grant had little to no outdoor experience or skills. They learned new skills, interacted with a diverse population of campers, and navigated novel social relationships on a daily basis. These girls were introduced to swimming, boating, archery and even campfire cooking. They were encouraged to try new stuff and even overcome their own fears. By the end of summer, the girls new to Girl Scouting became eager to develop independence through these programs and hopefully they will continue to develop self-reliance and leadership in their lives.
Most of the responses to the surveys from the participants were overwhelmingly positive. It definitely had a great impact on their “mental” state as they were able to be in person with their friends and other girls while “exploring” the great outdoors. Some even expressed feeling stressed about being in person. Unfortunately, COVID has changed the world as we know it, and we all have to really start to “think outside of the box” in terms of getting the mental state of these girls and ourselves back in check. Hopefully there is an end in sight to this pandemic and we can return to “our regularly scheduled programming” for these Girls.
Calling All Family Historians!
By Fred Daniels
Do you have a box of old photos from your ancestors? If you do, we want you!
When we surveyed you all about the Daniels Foundation newsletter, we asked what your favorite content was. Overwhelmingly you all preferred the article about family history, and so we’ve been providing these articles regularly. At the same time, we’ve begun to wonder how many stories may be out there which might be of interest and help us all to understand the roots of this shared “responsibility” which is intrinsic to the work of the Foundation.
We’re interested in photos prior to the 1950’s which tell a story. We imagine that many of you may have seated portraits that were common and formally taken at various times, but what we are really interested in are any photos that capture some kind of action, something that happened, which captured the times or the energy of whatever was going on. The photo of the massive wheel of Washburn & Moen cable in San Francisco is the kind of picture behind which there was a story. Admittedly it took Bill Pettit a bunch of hours “down the rabbit hole” to research it all, but the story which emerged tells much about our founding father, Fred Harris Daniels.
So, do you have any of these? If not, be on the lookout for any that may come your way…
But if you do, then read on for some technical details which will make this project come alive:
First, you probably are holding an actual photo or the page of a book of some sort. Most printers today provide for scanning, and if you home printer doesn’t it is quite likely that at your job you can get the picture scanned. Kindly use a higher resolution – 300 x 300, or better. If you don’t know what that means, pick whatever is suggested as being “higher resolution”.
You can scan it as a pdf document, or as a photo using a .jpg file extension or .png. We prefer the photo file format (jpg or png), if that’s possible.
We are particularly interested in any writing on the back. Kindly include your best interpretation of the scribble when you email your photo to [email protected]. If you also have any kind of personal knowledge, even if you suspect is may be more “lore” than fact, include that when you send it along, plus your best information about who is in the photo or what is happening.
We will take these in, digest them, and get them posted with captions and ancillary details in a shared folder on the cloud. That way everyone can see them and enjoy. We will use these variously in future newsletters, and so Master Historian Bill Pettit may just give you a call for additional details or sleuthing hints. We’ll organize them by family line to make things easier for all.
OK, now, up to the attic you go! Fun!