It’s that time again! We love sharing the interesting little tidbits we learn during our research. Occasionally, they aren’t enough fodder for an entire entry, so we compile a list to share with you all at once:
- On October 23, 1906, Alonzo Souslin broke his neck in an accident while working at NCR. After being unconscious for several days, he spent several months recovering from his injuries. To keep pressure off his neck, he wore a steel brace. Since he was unable to work, he sold postcards and pamphlets about his struggle so he could support his family. He survived for 16 years, before dying at the age of 63.
- Dayton was the first police fleet in the country to use two-way communications in their cars.
- The world’s first speeding ticket was given in Dayton. Harry C. Myers, who would later be known for appearing in 245 films, received the world’s first speeding ticket for driving 12 miles an hour on West Third Street.
- For a short time in the early 1900s, Dayton was home to a zoo. Frederick Patterson went on a safari and brought back a few animals, including a lion, cheetah, leopard, and a few rare monkeys. Aurel Vaszin, a local man who already wanted to open a zoo, approached Patterson and asked him if he would give him the animals for the zoo. Vaszin successfully opened the Forest Park Zoo, and added many other animals to the zoo over the years. Unfortunately, the zoo fell victim to the Great Depression, and closed a short time later.
- OSU was almost built in Dayton. Several counties in Ohio wanted to have the school built in their area, but when it came down to the vote, only two counties were contenders, Montgomery County and Franklin County. Although Montgomery County offered more money and seemed more likely to get the vote, Franklin County won by a landslide on voting day.
- Vice President of NCR, Edward Deeds, built his own car with interchangeable bodies. One was a convertible for summer use, and the other was a hard-top for winter use. He dubbed his car, the “Suburban Sixty.” This car ended up becoming the first automobile to use a self-starter after Deeds turned it over to fellow NCR employee Charles F. Kettering.
Again, many of these were learned during research and come from Curt Dalton’s Gem City Jewels books. If you haven’t checked out Mr. Dalton’s website, Dayton History Books Online, please do! It’s a great thing he’s doing for our city!