The news yesterday about the Google guys building an underwater power transmission grid to service the future offshore wind turbines was very visionary. It reminded me of a family saga about my great-grandfather, Henry Curtis Spalding (if the name sounds familiar it's because my son Curt is named after him).
Henry Curtis was a visionary, an inventor, promoter and developer. He apparently had a successful product called Spalding Glue that yielded an award of a medal from the New York City business Council for his "Outstanding Product." I have a copy of the Award Dinner program.
He also spent some years in Russia trying to establish a department store like Macy's in several large cities. My grandfather, Joseph W., had to wait for HCS to settle his project in Russia so he could get married. Joseph's bride later cautioned her daughter-in-law not to let my father get involved with inventing or developing any revolutionary projects.
I found some promotional material for Atlantic Cable that he was working on, trying to raise capital about 20 years before it was actually accomplished. I also found topographic sheets and drawings for the locks on the St. Lawrence River and donated them to the Canal Museum in Syracuse. Let us say he was a bit early on that one, too.
The marine construction for the St. Lawrence Seaway was finally done by Mr. Wikstrom in the late 50s.
Henry Curtis had two wives. One of them put up the money and established the family cemetery plot in Middletown Connecticut. She rounded up the ancestors and got them all planted in one place on a very pretty hill next to Wesleyan College. It is full now, so Sue and I will probably have to join the Lakeview crowd.
Henry Curtis was the only family inventor. My granddad Joseph had a successful bank in New Rochelle and was wiped out by the 1929 crash while at sea, returning from