If all you knew about Utica was through an op-ed article written by Brock Clarke you would believe that Uticans are known for snowmobiling, flannel shirts and chicken wings. That, however, is not the case! I’m not going to go on a rant about it, I’ve done that already on WKTV.
But during a chance meeting at the new Funk N’ Waffles in downtown Syracuse I met Michael John Heagerty, of No Excuses Syracuse. He mentioned an article he wrote and submitted to Buzzfeed.com, 20 Things Invented in Syracuse. It was written to showcase some inventions in Syracuse that people either forgot about or just simply didn’t know (like the first drive-thru window, who knew?).
It motivated me enough to do a little research and I found a few cool things…So the next time you are having a conversation about your city mention the first color newspaper or when someone cracks a flannel shirt joke simply give them a history lesson about the union suit. And, more importantly, when you use your cell phone to take a picture of Baggs Square, throw a #madeinutica hashtag on it and upload it to your favorite social network consider how far we’ve come since the first international telegraph was sent.
It’s actually pretty neat.
The First Color Newspaper – “The Utica Saturday Globe”
[H/T – uticahistory.blogspot.com]
The Saturday Globe was the first illustrated newspaper in the United States and, under the able editorship of A. M. Dickinson, it grew with extraordinary speed. In 1885, the Globe erected its own building on Whitesboro Street; in 1887, this building was doubled in size and in 1892 redoubled. In 1886, the Globe changed its type of illustration from woodcuts to zine etchings, and in 1892 to halftone etchings. Four years later, it installed a rotary press for halftones, the first of its kind in the world.
As other newspapers increased the use of pictures, the demand for the Utica Saturday Globe decreased. In 1920, it was sold to Globe-Telegram Company, which was founded to publish a new daily paper in Utica. This, however, was not a success and on February 16, 1924, the Utica Saturday Globe published its last issue.
The “Union Suit”
[H/T – Wikipedia]
The term “union suit” came from the garment being a union, or joining, of two garments into one. This case being an undershirt and underdrawers and is a long red underwear jumpsuit with a buttoned flap on the backside.
- The first union suit was patented in 1868 as “emancipation union under flannel”.
- A union suit is a type of one-piece long underwear.
- It originated as women’s wear during the 19th-century United States clothing reform efforts, as an alternative to constricting garments, and soon gained popularity among men as well.
Traditionally made of red flannel with long arms and long legs, it buttoned up the front and had a button-up flap in the rear covering the buttocks, we call it the fireman flap! (It basically made it easy to go to the bathroom). Union suits are still commercially available.
The first International telegraph
[H/T – Museum4Kids.net]
“It was sent by Moses Bagg from the historic Baggs Square Park, located on Main Street in downtown Utica, next door to The Children’s Museum.”
Ironically, the inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse, lived in Utica briefly. He married his second wife, Sarah Elizabeth Griswold on August 10, 1848 in Utica, New York and had four children.