User Rating:  / 0
Community Calendar
Social Groups
Web Links


September 22, 1983


PIX #1 - This certificate for five shares of Fostoria Foundry and Machine stock cost Andrew Emerine $500.

PIX #2 - ...But it only cost Andrew Emerine $500 to have a house built.

Ray Dell's name is well-known in Fostoria for many reasons...among them being his contribution to "Potluck" from his photographic collection.

Quite often when I return borrowed photos, we converse on a variety of subjects, and it isn't unusual for Ray to be reminded of something he has picked up at an auction, in which case he "shows and tells."

Today's column is about some of those items and perhaps others that have come to my attention.

One of the accompanying photos shows a stock certificate for the Fostoria Foundry and Machine Company, which was among other items Dell received when he bought a parcel at auction.

Fostoria Foundry and Machine Company came into existence in 1904, when the horseless carriage was first being introduced, and financiers where interest- ed in investing in companies to manufacture them. The specific interest of FF&M was to produce gasoline engines, according to an early directory.

FF&M had Wm. A. Jones as its president, Nicholas Portz as secretary and Walter Wainwright as general manager. The factory was located on East North Street and the T&OC least that was the location given in the city direc- tory for 1904. I believe the building may have been just east of the Hocking Valley tracks at North.

The company wa capitalized at $25,000, probably a reasonable sum for that period of time. However, when the next city directory was published in 1908, the company was no longer in existence. Evidently it didn't take long for the officers of the company to discover that Henry Ford and other companies, with know-how and finances, were entering the automotive field, and that com- petition would be keen.

Two other Fostoria companies to start making autos later were Seneca Light Car and Allen Motor Co., both of which were written up in "Potluck" articles March 12, 1981, and Nov. 12, 1981.

Who was Wm. A. Jones, president of FF&M? The 1904 directory listed him as a "boarder" at 242 W. Tiffin St. Of course, Nicholas Portz was a well-known and established businessman and industrialist in Fostoria.

At any rate, Andrew Emerine, a banker here at the time, was willing to invest $500 in the FF&M.

According to Dan McGinnis, director or Kaubisch Memorial Public Library, FF&M was apparently listed in an early directory of car manufacturers. As recently as a year ago, two journalists, one in Bowling Green and one in New York, had written to him seeking information about FF&M. They wanted to know if that company had been successful in producing cars in that early era, and if any car were still around as relics.


How would you like to get a house built for $500?

That's another interesting bit that was divulged on a receipt which was also in the possession of Ray Dell, as part of a parcel of items bought at a sale.

The receipt, reproduced in today's column, tells its own story of how reason- ably a house could be built in 1883.

Andrew Emerine Sr., who started The First National Bank and was mentioned in the Sandusky Street series, was the one who got a house built at a bargain least at today's standards.

Koss must have been the father of Fred Koss, who in later years was connected with Koss and German Lumber Co., and was located where P-K Lumber is now on West North Street.


Another interesting item among Dell's collection was a receipt indicating how expensive dental work was back in 1882.

Mrs. A. Emerine had dental work done in the office of Howell and O'Brien, den- tists.

The first item was "To reset upper teeth for Mrs. Emerine, $6," and the second item was for "five platinum fillings (Sarah), $5'."

Five platinum fillings would cost a fortune today if platinum was available.

Those were the good old days...or were they?



Alvira was mentioned in the Sandusky Street series. She lived with her fami- ily at 205 Sandusky St. I have known Alvira since we were kids. She was closer to the age of my younger sister, Virginia.

Here are some excerpts from her letter:

"Dear Paul, I'm beginning to believe there is something to this mental tele- pathy business. I've thought of writing to you and then here comes your let- ter.

"Through your article giving my address I got in touch with a childhood friend I had lost track of, Helen Roby Williams (no relation). She lived just through the alley on Fremont Street. As children we played together. Our parents were good friends and my brother and Helen's brothers went together. She read your column and wrote to me, sending the article. It was wonderful to make contact with a childhood friend.

"Helen's father had a shop back of the house, with carpets, linoleum, etc. It was fun to play there in the smells of his shop. You could even be on a fly- ing carpet if the fancy led that way. After going away I lost track of Helen and was so happy to make contact again...thanks to you.

"The article Helen sent brought back many memories. My grandparents came from Pennsylvania to Ohio when Fostoria was Rome and Risdon. When the two united it was named after Gov. Foster, who was related to my grandmother. My memory is full of stories of the early days...some said and many funny.

"After graduation I went to Columbus for nurses training and have only been back to visit cousins and friends, except for one year when my mother was sick. Later, she came to North Carolina where I was working and lived with me until her death.

"Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. Maybe sometime when I'm in Fostoria we could have a chat together, Alvira."

P.S. After this column was written, my wife attended her class reunion, (1927), and reported that Helen Roby (Williams), one of her classmates was present. She lives at 230 E. Findlay St., Carey.



Hosted by Noguska Computer Center Serving Fostoria's computer needs since 1973!