Salem County Historical Society To Sanitary ware industry (New Jersey)

Salem County Historical Society.Founded in 1884, the society is one of the oldest historical organizations in southern New Jersey. It maintains extraordinarily rich archival and museum collections focusing on the history of Salem County. This historic complex consists of the Alexander Grant House (1722), the Rumsey Wing (c. 1800), the John Jones Law Office (c. 1721), a reconstructed log cabin (c. 1800), and a stone barn (1959). The society also owns the Eakin House and Law Office (1841) nearby on Market Street. The research library and museum, which are open to the public six days a week, year round, feature permanent and changing exhibitions and programs.

Salisbury, Rollin D. (b. Aug. 17,1858;d. Aug. 15, 1922). Geologist. Rollin D. Salisbury was born in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, to Daniel and Lucinda (Bryant) Salisbury, farmers. He graduated from Beloit College in 1881, worked as a glacial geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, and returned to Beloit in 1884. He took a position at the University of Wisconsin in 1891 and then left for the newly created University of Chicago in 1892. He remained at Chicago until his death in 1922.

In 1891, New Jersey State Geologist John Smock, aware of Salisbury’s glacial studies in Wisconsin, hired him to survey the Pleistocene deposits of New Jersey. Salisbury, assisted by his students Henry B. Kummel, Charles E. Peet, and George N. Knapp, completed this work during the summers between 1891 and 1903. The results were published in three New Jersey Geological Survey reports: The Physical Geography of New Jersey (1895), The Glacial Geology of New Jersey (1902), and The Quaternary Formations of Southern New Jersey (1917). Some of the best survey works of their time, these reports remain valuable today. Among their accomplishments were the recognition of pre-Wisconsinan glacial deposits and the definition and mapping of the Bridgeton, Pennsauken, and Cape May formations of southern New Jersey.


Salsbury, Nathan (b. 1846; d. Dec. 24, 1902). Actor and theatrical manager. Born in Freeport, Illinois, in 1846, Nate Salsbury joined the Union Army at the age of sixteen and entertained the troops by singing and dancing. After the Civil War, he secured a theatrical job at the Boston Museum. He started a stock company known as The Troubadours and wrote successful comedies for his troupe including The Brook. In 1883, Salsbury met showman William F. "Buffalo Bill” Cody and soon became Cody’s business partner and the skillful manager of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Salsbury hired sharpshooter Annie Oakley and Chief Sitting Bull and arranged European tours for the popular exhibition.

Nate Salsbury.

Nate Salsbury.

In 1887, Salsbury married actress Rachel Samuels. The couple lived on Liberty Street, Long Branch, with their four children—Nate Jr., Milton, and twins Rebecca and Rachel. Salsbury invested in local real estate and was active in civic affairs. In 1900, he built nine luxurious oceanfront cottages known as The Reservation (because they were named for Native American tribes) at North Long Branch. All the houses but one were razed in the 1980s and the thirty-three-acre site became Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, part of the Monmouth County Park System. Salsbury died in Long Branch at his Liberty Street home.

Salt hay. Spartina patens is a dominant plant in many New Jersey salt marshes. Early settlers along the shore quickly learned to harvest this grass, which required no cultivation, could be cut several times a year, and was reasonably good cattle feed. Salt hay also found use as packing material, insulation, stable bedding, and mulch, and attempts were made to use it as a raw material for paper-making. Harvesting required special equipment, including mud shoes for the horses in early times and oversized balloon tires or wide treads on mechanical equipment in more recent times. By the end of the twentieth century, synthetic materials replaced salt hay for most of its uses, and commercial production greatly declined.

Saltwater taffy. A chewy candy best known as a traditional souvenir of the New Jersey Shore, saltwater taffy does not contain ocean water. But several versions of a popular legend attribute the origin of its name to Atlantic City boardwalk shop owner David Bradley, whose taffy supply was saturated during a storm in the early 1880s. Two famous Atlantic City saltwater taffy companies, Fralinger’s (founded in 1885) and James’ (established in 1905), are still in business. The taffy, once pulled by hand and later by machine, is available in a variety of flavors, individually wrapped in small pieces, and is shipped worldwide.

Samaras, Lucas (b. Sept. 14,1936). Artist. In the late 1950s, Lucas Samaras was a student of Allan Kaprow at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, where he found an art environment that encouraged the exploration of radical ways of making art. Following Kaprow’s lead, Samaras, while at Rutgers and shortly thereafter at his home in West New York, created innovative works: figure sculpture out of rags and plaster; assemblages of eating utensils, plates, and glasses; and boxes filled with tacks, coloredyarn, feathers, and mirrors. Samaras used these materials to evoke states of mind and physical conditions (the work had a strong self-referential quality that addressed his own emotional and physical condition), anticipating the artists of the 1980s who explored similar themes and made this a major preoccupation for the 1980s and 1990s. Samaras also studied acting and was a key performer in Kaprow’s Happenings and the Theater Pieces of Robert Whitman, a fellow student a Rutgers. Samaras currently lives and works in New York City.

Fralinger's was a typical saltwater taffy emporium found along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, c. 1880.

Fralinger’s was a typical saltwater taffy emporium found along the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, c. 1880.

Sammartino, Peter (b. Aug. 15, 1904;d. Mar. 29, 1992). Author, educator, and university president. New York City native Peter Sammartino was the son of Guy and Eva (Amendola) Sammartino. A 1931 Ph.D. graduate of New York University, he married Sylvia (Sally) Scaramelli on December 5, 1933. Aspiring to provide quality education to area students unable to afford travel to faraway colleges, Sammartino in 1942 helped found Fairleigh Dickinson College (now Fair-leigh Dickinson University) in Rutherford. Sammartino became the college’s first president, a position he held for nearly a quarter century. During his tenure, the school expanded from a small, two-year college into a four-year institution with in-state campuses

Sand Hill Delaware. Among the several contemporary ethnic groups in New Jersey said to descend from Native Americans are the people of the Sand Hill Band of Lenape. James Revey published the only known recollections of the Sand Hill group in 1984, describing them as native descent people living in the Asbury Park area; in 1877 they moved a few miles inland to an area "near Indian Hill in what was then called Whitesville.” By about 1940, this community had dispersed, but members continued to gather for summer pow-wows until 1949. A chief and four-man council survived until 1953.

Sammartino also founded the Restore Ellis Island Committee and the International Association of University Professors (IAUP), serving as president of the latter. A prolific author, he wrote over two dozen books, including an autobiography, Of Colleges and Kings (1985), and The Man Who Was William Shakespeare (1990). Fairleigh Dickinson’s School of Education bears his name.

Sandoz. Founded in Basel, Switzerland, in 1886 as a chemical company making textile dyes, Sandoz started producing pharmaceuticals in 1895, and set up a research department in 1917. Its first U.S. subsidiary, Sandoz Chemical Works, began operation in New York in 1919. Sandoz introduced the antipsychotic drug Mellaril (thioridazine) in 1958, and initiated large-scale production of antibiotics in 1963. In 1964 Sandoz developed a research center in East Hanover, its first outside Switzerland. Within a few years, the company moved into dietetics, acquiring the Gerber baby food company in 1994. In 1996 Sandoz merged with Ciba-Geigy to create Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook is a world-famous coastal feature that forms the Atlantic shoreline of northern Monmouth County. It is a barrier spit that extends for 11.2 miles from artillery fire. The lighthouse passed to federal ownership in 1790. Once located five hundred feet from the tip of the Hook, land accretions lengthened that distance to about 1.5 miles, requiring the erection of a north beacon in 1817; a west beacon on the Hook’s river side was also built then. Both were later dismantled.

The map reads: "A chart of Sandy Hook Bar, the entrance of Hudson's River. Showing the position of the British fleet, under the command of Admiral Lord How[e], and the works erected at Sandy Hook for the defense of the light house under the command of General Charles O'Hara, July 13,1778."

The map reads: "A chart of Sandy Hook Bar, the entrance of Hudson’s River. Showing the position of the British fleet, under the command of Admiral Lord How[e], and the works erected at Sandy Hook for the defense of the light house under the command of General Charles O’Hara, July 13,1778."

The lighthouse, lit by a variety of illuminants, was electrified, first briefly in 1896 and then permanently in the 1920s; it was fitted with a third-order Fresnel lens in 1857. Although Sandy Hook is still lit twenty-four hours a day, the Ambrose Light Tower, located 7.4 miles off the east coast of Sandy Hook, provides the main light to the harbor. The lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.

Sandy Hook Pilots. An organization of professional mariners who guide oceangoing vessels in and out of New York Harbor, Sandy Hook Pilots are trained for fifteen years and must combine knowledge of the harbor with ship-handling skills. Pilots board and leave vessels on the seas off Sandy Hook. Because of strong tidal currents and sandbars, pilots have been required for the port of New York since 1694. For the next two hundred years, pilots were licensed but not organized into one body. The wreck of several pilot boats in an 1888 storm forced the pilots to combine resources, and the present organization was born.

Long Branch, through Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright into Raritan Bay. Over the centuries, numerous inlets have opened and closed in various portions of the barrier. Sandy Hook has been an island, or attached to the mainland at The Highlands or at Long Branch. Following a major storm in 1896, a rock seawall was constructed over the next thirty years along the southern portion of the spit for seven miles to protect an existing railroad bed and to deter further changes. The northern six miles of Sandy Hook is federally owned, managed by the National Park Service as part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Overseen by the park service are the Fort Hancock and Sandy Hook Proving Ground National Historic Landmark, the largest maritime forest remaining on the East Coast, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the United States, and a bathing beach that accommodates over two million visitors per year.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse. A 103-foot navigational aid on the barrier beach in Middle town Township on the Atlantic Ocean, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the nation’s oldest operating lighthouse, completed in 1764. Its construction was authorized by the New York assembly because shipowners had been incurring heavy losses in the treacherous waters approaching New York Harbor. The building by Isaac Conro of the octagonal brick structure was financed by two lotteries; maintenance was paid through a tax on incoming shipping.

The British stationed Loyalist forces at Sandy Hook throughout the Revolution for protection. Patriot forces tried unsuccessfully on June 21,1776, to destroy the lighthouse with

Insignia of the Sandy Hook Pilots.

Insignia of the Sandy Hook Pilots.

Sandyston. 42.6-square-mile township in western Sussex County. Sandyston was set off from Walpack Township in 1762. Bounded by the Delaware River on the west and Kittatinny Ridge on the east, it is somewhat geographically isolated. Settlement along the fertile Delaware Valley occurred by the early eighteenth century. Much of the township is occupied by public open space, notably the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on the west and Stokes State Forest on the east. The Big Flatbrook, one of the state’s most important trout streams, flows south through the township. Located in Stokes State Forest is the New Jersey School of Conservation, operated by Montclair State University. Peter’s Valley, a historic village in Delaware Water Gap NRA, has been preserved and is a noted arts and crafts center. The historic Dingman’s Ferry Bridge, spanning the Delaware here, is one of the last privately operated toll bridges in the northeast.

In 2000, the population of 1,825 was 98 percent white. The median household income (2000) was $55,667.

Sanitary ware industry. The New Jersey and U.S. sanitary ware industry were both born in Trenton in 1872 when Thomas Maddock joined Millington and Astbury Company and began making toilets, tubs, sinks, and other bathroom and kitchen appliances for a growing indoor plumbing market. The city claimed seven of the nation’s eight sanitary potteries by 1890, and 1892 saw the industry’s first merger as the Trenton Potteries Company (Tepeco) united five firms.

By 1900, New Jersey sanitary potteries employed thousands of workers as new shops entered the field. Price competition reigned until 1900 when, led by Tepeco president John Campbell, the nation’s sanitary potters formed the Sanitary Potters’ Association. This organization acted as a virtual cartel, setting prices, dividing markets, and restricting sales to wholesalers and jobbers. Technological innovation occurred during the early 1920s at the same time the federal government broke the employers’ cartel through antitrust litigation (1922-1923). These changes presaged takeovers by large, vertically integrated plumbing-supply companies like Crane, American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation (later American Standard), and Kohler.

Smaller firms failed during the Great Depression and, by 1961, New Jersey claimed only seven of the nation’s forty sanitary potteries. Two of these, Crane and American Standard, remained in Trenton. The former suffered a terrible fire in 1967 and shut its doors for good in 1971, while the latter closed in December 2001. By June 2002, only the Woodbridge Sanitary Pottery Corporation still manufactured sanitary pottery in New Jersey.

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