Wright, Joseph To Zworykin, Vladimir K. (New Jersey)

Wright, Joseph (b. July 16,1756; d. Sept. 13, 1793). Painter, sculptor, and engraver. Joseph Wright was born in Bordentown, the son of Joseph Wright, a cooper in Philadelphia, and Patience Lovell Wright, a sculptor and modeler in wax. He received his first artistic training from his mother. In 1769, he was enrolled in the Academy of Philadelphia. His mother established a waxworks in New York City and, in 1772, moved to London to open a studio and waxworks there. Wright soon joined her and his sisters. In 1775, he became the first American-born student to be admitted to the school of the Royal Academy of Art. He studied with Benjamin West and the English portraitist Edward Hoppner.

Wright began his professional career in 1780 when he first exhibited at the Royal Academy’s annual exhibition. One of his submissions, a portrait entitled Mrs. Wright Modeling a Head in Wax, depicted his mother modeling a head of King Charles I while busts of King George III and Queen Charlotte watched. Its clearly pro-American tone caused such a controversy that Wright never submitted another work to the Royal Academy. Perhaps as a response he produced his first known self-portrait, an etching entitled "Yankee Doodle; or, The American Satan.”

Exterior of home in Millstone designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Exterior of home in Millstone designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wright went to Paris in 1781 where he painted a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, then the American representative to France. He sailed for America in 1782, but was shipwrecked off the coast of Maine. He finally reached Philadelphia in 1783 where he painted his first commission, a portrait of Anne Shippen Livingston and her daughter.

Wright was selected by Congress to create the likeness of George Washington to be used as the basis for an equestrian statue. In late summer 1783, he went to Washington’s headquarters at Rocky Hill near Princeton where he painted a small portrait on a mahogany panel rather than canvas to make it more easily portable. Wright also made a life mask of Washington and modeled a clay bust, the first known sculpture of the president. Washington was pleased with the portrait, writing in 1784 that Wright had "taken a better likeness of me, than any other painter has done.” Wright returned to his Philadelphia studio, where he produced several copies of the Washington portrait. In 1794, Washington himself commissioned one for which he paid 18 pounds.

In 1786, Wright established his studio in New York City. He painted portraits of several prominent citizens, including John Jay and Frederick Muhlenberg, the first Speaker of the House of Representatives. Wright married Sarah Vander voordt in 1789 and they had three children.

Wright returned to Philadelphia in 1791. He continued painting and took William Rush, the sculptor, as his pupil, teaching him the art of modeling in clay. In addition, Wright worked as an engraver for the U.S. Mint. In 1792, he designed and cut dies for a gold medal for Gen. Henry Lee, one of ten medals commissioned by Congress honoring Revolutionary War heroes. He also engraved the dies for a quarter-dollar coin, which was never issued.

Wright died during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia.

Wright, Marion Thompson (b. Sept.13, 1902; d. October 26, 1962). Educator and historian. Marion Thompson was born in East Orange, daughter of Moses R. Thompson and Minnie Holmes Thompson. Her parents separated and her mother raised four children while working as a domestic servant in Newark. When Marion Thompson started Barringer High School, she was one of only two black students. At sixteen she married William Moss and had two children, Thelma and James. Separated from her husband, she returned to high school, graduating at the head of her class. Initially leaving the children with her husband, she accepted an undergraduate scholarship at Howard University in Washington, D.C. This was a time when Howard, like most other institutions, did not accept married or divorced women as students, so Wright hid her marital status. When she divorced, the children remained with her mother, and she continued the deception. While at Howard, she became active in women’s and peace organizations, and majored in sociology. She finished her undergraduate education in 1927, staying on at the college first to earn an M.A. in history and education, and then as an instructor.

In 1931, she started work on a doctorate at Teachers College, part of Columbia University in New York City, and married Arthur M. Wright (a marriage that also soon ended in divorce). At Columbia she worked with Merle Curti, an intellectual and social historian open to the study of African American history. In the midst of the Depression she supported herself, while trying to complete her dissertation, by working first for the Newark Department of Welfare and then for the New Jersey Emergency Relief Organization. In 1940, she completed her Ph.D. with a dissertation, "The Education of Negroes in New Jersey,” which was soon published. In a work described as both "original” and "exhaustive,” Marion Thompson Wright traced the education of blacks in the state from slavery to the 1930s, from infrequent private efforts to teach slaves and freedmen to public but increasingly segregated and unequal educational institutions. With her degree she became the first African American women in the United States to have earned a Ph.D. in the field of history.

She then returned to Howard University to teach. In the course of the distinguished career that followed she published a number of articles in the Journal of Negro History and other scholarly publications. Most were on African Americans and their experiences in New Jersey. She also worked to provide counseling services to students at Howard, and directed student teachers there. In the 1950s she did research for the NAACP that, along with her published works, was used in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case to prove that segregated education was unequal education. Despite her academic success Wright’s personal life was a lonely one. Relationships with her children and other family members were often strained. These difficulties, and the alienation she felt as a black and woman in a white- and (academically) male-dominated world, apparently contributed to her suicide in 1962.

Wright, Patience Lovell (b. c. 1725; d. Feb. 25,1786). Sculptor. Born on Long Island, Patience Lovell Wright was the fifth daughter of the ten children of John and Patience Townsend Lovell. In 1729, her strict Quaker parents moved their family to the banks of the Delaware River in West Jersey, an area later named Bordentown, after the town’s most prominent citizen, John Borden.

During her childhood, Patience began modeling in clay, developing a talent that ultimately led to her identification as the first known American-born sculptress. After her March 20, 1748, marriage to Joseph Wright, a Bordentown cooper who worked in the shipbuilding trades, she was able to escape the eccentricities of her parents’ household, which included a strict form of vegetarianism and a requirement to wear a veil in public. Although a largely unhappy union, the marriage produced five children: Mary, Elizabeth, Phoebe, Joseph (who became a painter), and Sarah (born after Joseph Wright Sr. died in 1769).

Anon., Patience Lovell Wright, n.d. Oil on canvas, 49 3/16 x 40 in.

Anon., Patience Lovell Wright, n.d. Oil on canvas, 49 3/16 x 40 in.

Finding herself in difficult economic circumstances after her husband’s death, Patience also rebelled against her dull life in Bordentown. With her sister, Rachel Lovell Wells, she revived her childhood interest in modeling. Working in wax, a medium used since antiquity, the pair created busts as well as full-size figures; soon they began to attract the attention of Bordentown’s Francis Hopkinson, who earlier had admired wax exhibits in London. A move to New York in 1771 was followed by a voyage to London in February 1772, where Wright established a popular waxworks, began to depict notables including William Penn and William Pitt (the earl of Chatham), and establish friendships with King George III, Queen Charlotte, and Benjamin Franklin, for whom she created a profile wax portrait. A devout Patriot, she is said to have served as a spy during the American Revolution.

On February 25, 1786, Patience died in London as a result of a fall she sustained after a visit to the American ambassador, John Adams.

Wrightstown. 1.65-square-mile borough in east-central Burlington County. Originally called Penny Hill, Wrightstown was renamed in 1742 for early landowner Jonathan Wright. Established as a village within New Hanover Township in 1834, it became an independent borough in 1918, with parts of New Hanover and North Hanover. More small land acquisitions from New Hanover took place in 1951 and 1957.

Wrightstown was a sleepy village amid lush farmlands until the United States entered World War I in 1917. Building began on a huge U.S. Army basic-training post called Fort Dix, on land acquired from New Hanover. The borough’s border literally met the post’s front gate. Businesses including car lots, restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors, motels, and pawnshops stretched to the edge of government property, and gave the town a lurid, raucous, and largely unwanted image that persisted for generations. Until active-duty army basic training ended at Fort Dix in 1992, millions of recruits passed through its gates, and most of them sampled the nearby commercial offerings of Wrightstown. Fast-food restaurants and other service-type businesses still exist, but the military downsizing—despite an upswing of activity at nearby McGuire Air Force Base, which opened in 1947—has considerably altered the borough. Recent efforts have focused on attracting light industry to its limited land area.

The 2000 population of 748 was 50 percent white, 30 percent black, 7 percent Asian, and 11 percent Hispanic (Hispanics may be of any race). The median household income was $27,500.

Wyckoff. 6.57-square-mile township located in northwest Bergen County, on the fringe of the Ramapo Mountains. The land that became the township of Wyckoff was reputedly the site of an Indian burial ground. In 1720 the first European settlers were John and William Van Voor Haze. Thirteen historic homes and structures remain today, including the Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House, originally built in 1730, and believed to be the oldest structure in Wyck-off. During its early settlement Wyckoff was part of Saddle River Township, but in 1771 the territory, including Wyckoff and other towns, formed a new entity, Franklin Township. In 1926, four years after the creation of Franklin Lakes borough, the name was changed from Franklin Township to Wyck-off to avoid confusion. Today this residential community is characterized by volunteerism that has resulted in a new playground, a new town park, and a school expansion. Zabriskie Pond, Spring Lake Park, and the James McFaul Environmental Center provide peaceful areas for passive recreation.

In 2000 the population of 16,508 was 95 percent white. The median household income was $103,614.

Wyeth. Founded in 1926 as American Home Products (AHP) and currently headquartered in Madison, seven decades of mergers and acquisitions has transformed this business from a diversified holding company into a focused, global pharmaceutical and biotechnology company.

In 1931 the founding partners of AHP, with the goal of expanding their consumer medicine company, purchased John Wyeth and Brother, a well-respected Philadelphia pharmaceutical firm founded in i860. Wyeth and Brother served as a complement to AHP’s first purchase, Deshell Laboratories of California, makers of the well-regarded prescription laxative, Petrolagar. In i927 the partners had acquired the A. S. Boyle Company, makers of Old English floor wax, and found international success in 1929 with their toothpaste Kolynos. The company’s 1935 diversification strategy led to the acquisition of thirty-four new companies in the next fifteen years, including Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and Wizard, Inc. AHP went on to acquire the SMA Corporation (i938), Ayerst, McKenna, and Harrison of Canada (i943), and Gilliland Laboratories and Reichel Laboratories (1943). Respectively, these acquisitions extended AHP’s holdings to the fields of baby formula, hormone research, and vaccine. This rapid growth prompted the reorganization of pharmaceuticals into a new Ethical Drug Division composed of Wyeth Laboratories and Ayerst Laboratories.

In i982, the AHP acquired Sherwood Medical, capturing a share of the growing medical devices market. When John R. Stafford became the company’s CEO and chairman in 1986, he completed the divestiture of non-core businesses—household products, foods, and candy. To further strengthen AHP’s pharmaceutical operations, Wyeth and Ayerst were merged into a core pharmaceutical organization in 1987: Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. In the same year, the animal health business of Bristol-Myers was acquired and assimilated into the Wyeth’s Fort Dodge, a leading manufacturer and distributor of animal health care products for the livestock and companion animal industries. The i989 acquisition of A. H. Robins, makers of popular consumer brands Robitussin, Chap Stick, and Dimetapp, promised both notoriety and revenue, but it was the i994 acquisition of American Cyanamid that accelerated the company’s evolution into a top-tier pharmaceutical firm.

When Cyanamid Agricultural Products was spun-off in 2000, it marked the final step in the company’s transformation into a research-driven, global pharmaceutical company. In 200i, Robert Essner became AHP’s CEO and focused on strengthening the company’s core values and mission as a world leader in prescription pharmaceuticals, nonprescription medicines, and animal health products. Moreover, this shift in focus was the basis of the company’s subsequent name change. Paying tribute to the organization’s deepest historical roots in pharmaceuticals (John Wyeth and Brother) and nonprescription medicines (Wyeth Chemical), AHP changed its name to Wyeth in 2002. Today, Wyeth’s worldwide resources include more than 52,000 employees, manufacturing facilities on five continents, and a discovery and development platform encompassing pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and biotechnology.

Yardley, Margaret Tufts Swan (b. 1844; d. Sept. 3, 1928). Community leader. Maragaret Tufts Swan was born to Dr. Samuel Swan and Lucretia Green (Staniels) Swan in Auburn, New York. She married Charles B. Yardley and lived in Yonkers, New York, until moving to East Orange in 1876. The couple had five children. In 1871, Yardley joined the Sorosis Club of New York City, the first women’s club in the nation. After moving to New Jersey, she joined the Woman’s Club of Orange, the first in the state, and became active in philanthropic civic work. In 1893, Yardley helped found the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs. She was elected its first president in 1894.

Yorkship Village. The 1918 plan for Yorkship Village—now known as Fairview— was billed as the first community in the United States designed according to Ebenezer Howard’s famous "garden city” principles. Located in South Camden, Fairview remains one of the country’s most powerful urban design statements. Designed by Electus Litchfield, Henry Wright, and others under the direction of Frederick Ackerman, it was built by the U.S.

Shipping Board’s Emergency Fleet Corporation for workers in the shipbuilding and munitions industries. Occupying the 225-acre former Coopers farm, Fairview comprises some 1,400 housing units, including two- and three-story rowhouses, twins and triplexes, as well as single-family dwellings and apartments. Fairview’s elegant plan combines generous amounts of public open space with careful attention to design details. Retail and services along with apartments are grouped around a central green (YorkshipSquare), which in turn is linked to the surrounding neighborhoods by a radial pattern of streets and pedestrian connections. The neighborhood school is located immediately behind the green. Other community buildings—a church, library, and meeting hall—are located along linear parks radiating from the square. The neighborhood is flanked on three sides by parks and the Newton Creek. Today, Yorkship Village is still a predominately working-class neighborhood. It has suffered from its proximity to Camden City, and its aging population. The state is considering ways to revitalize the village.

Young, Charles Augustus (b. Dec. 15,1834; d. Jan. 3,1908). Astronomer, teacher, and author. Charles Augustus Young was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, to a family long associated with Dartmouth College. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1853 and taught at Phillips Academy (1853-1856) and Western Reserve College (1856-1866), before being appointed to a professorship of natural philosophy and astronomy at Dartmouth. Princeton University selected him in to succeed Stephen Alexander as professor of astronomy (18771905), and to become the first director of the observatory. Young was an authority on the sun and a pioneer in spectrum analysis. A total eclipse of the sun occurred the day of his death.

Youth Theatre of New Jersey. A nonprofit arts organization, founded in 1984 and based in Sparta, Youth Theatre of New Jersey (YTNJ) specializes in training young artists in theater skills such as acting, mime, improvisation, voice, playwriting, musical theater, directing, and stage managing. It has developed and produced over 150 new plays and musicals. YTNJ’s Summer Theatre Institute is a month-long residential teen theater training program open to young actors, directors, and playwrights from the United States and overseas, in residence at Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University. Youth Theatre of New Jersey is a member of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

Zarephath. The Pentecostal Union, led by Alma White, moved its headquarters from Denver to New Jersey in 1906. Zarephath, meaning "melting pot," was established along the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Franklin Township, Somerset County, on land given to the group by a local follower, Catherine Garretson. In 1918 the Pentecostal Union became the Pillar of Fire, the name it has kept to this day.

The community established a printing operation soon after moving to New Jersey. Constructed on the site also were the Alma Preparatory School and Alma White College. The school, founded in 1908, continues to operate as Zarephath Christian Schools. The college lost its accreditation in the 1970s. A replacement, Somerset Christian College, opened in 2000.

Zarephath remains the headquarters of Pillar of Fire, which has become an international organization with branches throughout the United States and in several other countries. Beginning with about eighty acres, the community has expanded over the years to encompass more than one thousand acres. Its radio station, WAWZ, was started in 1931 and has been broadcasting ever since with a signal strong enough to cover an area from eastern Pennsylvania to New York City.

Zimmerman, Arthur Augustus (b. July 11, 1869; d. Oct. 20, 1936). Cyclist and bicycle manufacturer. Arthur Augustus Zimmerman, who was born in Camden, came to Manasquan as a child and remained a resident of Monmouth County. He was a partner in the Zimmerman Manufacturing Company of Freehold. A natural athlete, "Zimmy" won fourteen hundred races between 1887 and 1903, racing in America, Great Britain, Europe, and Australia under the colors of the New York Athletic Club. Among his triumphs, he won the first world championship race held at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. A contemporary English correspondent wrote, "Cycling has never seen and will never see his like again.”

Arthur Augustus Zimmerman, world champion cyclist.

Arthur Augustus Zimmerman, world champion cyclist.

Zinc. The first zinc mines in the United States were opened in 1838 in Sussex County and commercial mining began ten years later with the creation of the Sussex Zinc and Iron Mining Company, later known as the New Jersey Zinc Company. Because the zinc-bearing ores of Sussex County—franklinite, willemite, and zincite—occur nowhere else in the world, commercial smelting of the ores was delayed until technological breakthroughs in the latter half of the nineteenth century enabled chemists to extract first zinc oxide and later metallic zinc from the ores.

By 1900, the United States was producing nearly one-third of the world’s zinc, most of it from New Jersey mines. Production doubled and tripled during World War I because zinc was needed to produce brass shell casings and other munitions. The world’s largest zinc smelter was built in the Lehigh Valley to process zinc from Sussex County. Zinc was used extensively during World War II, but demand for New Jersey zinc fell after the war due to competition from plastics and stainless steel and from mines in Canada and Australia. The New Jersey mines were closed in the mid-1970s.

Zoning. Zoning is one of the principal forms of land-use regulation. In order to separate incompatible uses and provide for an orderly pattern of land development, zones are mapped, and specific uses are permitted (or prohibited) in each zone. The first comprehensive zoning ordinance in the United States was adopted in New York City in 1917, and the technique spread rapidly after the U.S. Supreme Court found zoning constitutional in Euclid v. Ambler Realty (1926). The resulting wordplay, "Euclidean zoning,”was inevitable, and the label is widely used.

Doubts about whether zoning was permitted under the New Jersey state constitution were dispelled with a constitutional amendment in 1927 authorizing the legislature to delegate zoning power to municipalities (but not to counties). In the two decades after World War II, New Jersey became a national leader in the evolution of zoning as the technique that shaped suburbia. Permissive judicial rulings approved ordinances requiring large minimum lot sizes, large minimum square footages, and restrictions on (or outright prohibition of) multifamily uses, trailer parks, and many commercial activities. Then, in 1975 the Supreme Court reversed course in the Mount Laurel case, and New Jersey has since been the national model for prohibiting what is pejoratively called "exclusionary zoning.”

Zworykin, Vladimir K. (b. July 30,1889; d. July 29, 1982). Scientist and inventor. Born in Murom, Russia, to a wealthy merchant family, Vladimir Zworykin attended the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology where he studied under Boris Rosing, whose interest in a new electronic field of research, television, would prove fortunate. The violence of the Russian Revolution led Zworykin to immigrate to America in August 1919. Within the year, he secured a position in television research with Westinghouse Electric Research Laboratories in Pittsburgh. By 1926, he had earned a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Pittsburgh.

David Sarnoff, another Russian immigrant and an executive of the Radio Corporation of America, hired Zworykin in November of 1929 after hearing him speak at a meeting about his invention, a kinescope (picture tube). Within a few months, Zworykin was in charge of his own lab at RCA headquarters in Camden. He spent his career in these facilities, heading a team that developed an iconoscope, an electronic tube for a television camera, and an improved kinescope. His work on television, which produced a U.S. patent for an all-cathode-ray system in 1928, earned him the title "the father of television.”

He retired from RCA in 1954. He married twice and had two children. Until his death at Princeton Hospital in 1982, he worked on the electron microscope and other areas of medical electronics.

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