Dedicated to the preservation of Long Island's 'gold coast' estates and other things old.
Meudon looks a lot better without those huge wings- and at night.Images of America has published one of their volumes on Locust Valley. There is a wonderful photo therein of the Guthrie's long-time butler preparing to serve lunch in what appears to be a rather charming trellised breakfast room. It is a much more appealing interior than the overstuffed, ponderous Edwardian rooms in the house that I have seen published before.This 1910 advertisment would seem to indicate that even in 1910, Meudon was generating its own electricity and, we therefore assume, not on the power grid, if one even existed then. Does anyone know when most Long Island communities began generating power centrally? I assumed it was at the turn of the century, but I would be most interested to know for certain.
This photograph is marvelous fun---but where's the party? Shouldn't the limousines be arriving? Has the orchestra started playing?Magnus, I know little of the history of the electrification of the North Shore (yet another in a long list of things I know nothing about, including particle physics and porting cell phone numbers). I recently read an 1895 New York Times account of a new 'cottage' at Bar Harbor, in which it is mentioned that it has its own electrical power plant, the first in Bar Harbor, and that at night the 'huge house resembles a fairy palace when fully lit'. The bar for luxury and amazement is ever moving.
They say we all become our fathers. This photo reminds me of a leitmotif than ran through my chilhood summers- my step-father's stern admonishment of "I don't own shares in Long Island Lighting" to finding the doors wide open and the air conditioning blasting,or the lights left burining all night when my brother and I came home late (pretty much every summer night). I used to roll my eyes and think, "big deal". It has come back to haunt me as, now that I pay the electric bill, the sound of the compressor cliking into action sends chills down my spine, and a light left on all night sets me into a rage. Looking at all those lights burning at Meudon 100 years ago even makes me uncomfortable. Go figure. Sorry to digress. I just paid the electric bill so it's much on my mind.
The new Locust Valley book Magnus mentions is excerpted in Google Books. Although the photo in the Breakfast room is not included, there are many other Meudon photos for those who can never get enough of all things Meudon. I especially like a photo of Mrs. Guthrie at the railroad siding, waiting for a train, holding her own packages, and was fascinated to see the pictures of the dairy house as rebuilt for the Guthrie's granddaughter, a major patron of modern artists.http://books.google.com/books?id=rS3GP0GAtXQC&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=images+of+america+locust+valley&source=bl&ots=esN9W69Xqx&sig=yQ_Q9I-0Tqtq4NDcIBsolHZAMbM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ql4_UIPCCcei6gGpo4HgDg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=images%20of%20america%20locust%20valley&f=false
And DED- in 1910, would folks have been arriving by car or by carriage or by both?And it is funny how the bar for luxury and amazement continually moves: A comdeian whose name escapes me did a wonderful skit that centered on WIFI access on planes- he was flying somewhere and the pilot announced that the aircraft was newly equipped with WIFI. It apparently stopped working mid-way in the flight, prompting an infuriated response from his aisle mate- much put out that a technology that he had even know about an hour before was temporarily unavailable.
Both.37Speaking of the bar of luxury and amazement. I remember something as simple as the four telephone extensions my parents installed in the late 50's being a source of some wonder to some of my childhood playmates, especially the the princess phone. Now every child, regardless of circumstance seems to have a $100-a month cell plan.Magnus, my father told me an anecdote, in which, in response to his (normally very, very smart) mother's admonishments about excess use of electricity in his boyhood, he and his brother somehow had managed to convince her that it used more electricity if one switched the lights on and off rather than just leaving them on.
I'm dating myself, but I remember thinking that my family was at the cutting edge of technology when we installed push button phones to replace the old dial models, circa 1967.Years ago, I was watching an old James bond movie with my son. The camera lingered on a close-up shot of a rotary phone. My son, about 7 at the time, turned to me and asked, "How did that work?"
Magnus, I can remember, at the age of 4 in 1957, picking up the telephone, and the village operator asking 'how may I connect you?' (Remember operators---those nice people who didn't make you punch multiple buttons on multiple menus over multiple minutes in order to maybe speak to a human being?). I asked to be connected to my great grandmother---and by gorry, without having to identify myself, that is just what happened. By the next year, the village operator had been replaced by the automated switchboard. Growing old is a very surprising process. We'll stop here and return to the subject---isn't that a pretty picture of Meudon all lit up?
By the way, the retoucher seems to have had something of a heavy hand here- there's a moon high in the sky at the right of the photo, and also what I took to be a moon low in the sky, peaking through the tree on the left of the photo. And while meudon isn't my most favorite, it looks rather glamorous all lit up light a summer carnival.
"there's a moon high in the sky"And even the stars over Meudon knew to continue shining brightly even as some had fallen to the ground, into tree limbs, onto the chimneys.-F
Out of curiosity, I googled "Long Island Lighting History" and came upon this very detailed history of LILCO:http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/long-island-lighting-company-history/My favorite bit is that in 1918, the company had two meter readers who worked six days a week. The closest I could come to finding out anything about Locust Valley is that in 1919 LILCO bought "North Shore Electric Power and Light" but when I googled that company name, there was only this original article.As to telephones, growing up in Mill Neck, I still remember our phone number which was a party line: Oyster Bay 6 -3055 R. My sister and I were always getting in trouble for listening in to the party line. Our phone had a certain ring to it and that's how you knew if the call was for you rather than someone else on the party line. I also remember my father calling my grandmother in Wisconsin and we'd gather round and he'd ask for the long distance operator and say very formally, "This is Oyster Bay, New York, calling Watertown, Wisconsin." It was quite an event to place a long distance call.
And yet, it seems like just yesterday (as I talk to my cousin in London on my cell for practically nothing)
Did anyone else get admonished when their parents came home & complained that the place was "lit up like Luna Park"?
No "lit up like a Christmas tree" was heard often enough though.Funny how the 1910 advertisement for lighting featured a very dark exterior shot while today the facade would be shown glowing from numerous bright spotlights and landscape accent lighting. The 1910 ad is so much classier.
These comments are most enjoyable! On the rare occasion that we did use the a/c, we got reprimanded for leaving closet doors open- "Your clothes don't need to be air conditioned!"This also reminds me of a bumper sticker my father had on the car he drove to work: "LILCO HAS GOT US BY THE BULBS" must have been mid to late 70's.
My sister and I were much better at turning on lights than turning them off. The property comprised house, garage, barn, tool house and a small studio, each with requisite lighting indoors and out. Of an evening, my sister and I could manage, in our youthful travels about the grounds, get the entire property brightly illuminated. One evening, my parents returned home from a party The phone rang---my father answered, and nodding his head and looking very serious for a few minutes, said 'Thank-you general, we'll take care of it right away'. This was at the height of Cold War missile scares. My father turned and said 'that was the Pentagon. They asked us to turn out lights as this property is so bright it can be seen from space and is considered a security threat'. We sort of knew it had to be a scam(my mother, from the kitchen, had dialed the self-ringing code), but the message was received, by both children and sitter.
Thanks so much Patricia- great link.We got the "Christmas tree" comment- typically for a single bulb left on in one room. And this from my Step-father who was enormously generous in every other respect.We also had what amounted to a fancy egg timer by the phone- a little bisque cupid holding a small hourglass filled with red sand. It was to keep track of the length of your long distance calls. Frankly, I can't remember ever seeing it used. It was a reminder not to yammer on, though.
When visiting my grandparents at Oak Knoll there was one phone in the hall "phone room" on the first floor and one in the hall on the second floor. My fatherwould get upset if anyone called during dinner!
Who currently owns Oak Knoll? Were your grandparents the Trevors?
not sure who owns...bank had foreclosed the last I heard. I'm Bronson Trevor,jr.will have link to site with professional color pics of inside and out shortly ..have all plans to house...
Is it not owned by a family with an Italian heritage who have restored and maintained the home. Cant believe the foreclosure statement
I anxiously await Mr. Trevor's pictures of Oak Knoll. I love that house!!
Magnus, I believe the second "moon" is just some defect in the photo. The back side of the house (away from the camera) faced the sound in a north-northwest direction. Given that the photo appears to have been taken in summer, it would be impossible for the moon to be either rising or setting from the north side of the house.
Please don't tell me Oak Knoll forclosed...another great home in peril!!!
'Thank-you general, we'll take care of it right away'. I love your Dad and Mom! SO GREAT!I'm trying to remember the in-house "self ringing code" # we used to torment each other during the same era -- 1911, 1191, 1991. Bring on Oak Knoll!-F
Post a Comment