Powel Crosley, Jr., Part Three - June 27, 2014

The ongoing saga of Powel Crosley, Jr. continues after he established himself as a great success in the radio business. He survived the stock market crash of 1929 because he invested only in his own business, and did not speculate in others.  So he used his money to develop household appliances, most notably dealing in refrigeration.  His two most notable inventions were the Icy Ball and the Shelvador.

The Icy Ball was a refrigerator that required no electricity - quite appealing in 1930.  By heating an external 'ball,' the one inside the unit was kept cool (somehow!).  Two years later, he adapted traditional refrigerator technology with his patented shelves, installed on the door of the machine. He called his contraption the Shelvador.  It was so innovative, that ever refrigerator manufacturer has included shelves in the door since Powel's patent expired.  There is more to this fascinating man, whose story will be concluded next week....

QUESTION:  Naturally, Powel Crosley, Jr.'s interests also extended into sports.  Which baseball team did he purchase in 1934?

a)  Cleveland Indians

b)  Cincinnati Reds

c)  Chicago White Sox

d)  Kansas City Royals

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Steam trains dominated American transportation by the end of the 19th century, but it was tough to keep pace with technology.  On this day in 1895, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad celebrated the inaugural run of their Royal Blue luxury service between Washington, D.C. and New York City.  It was the first time electric locomotives were used to transport passenger cars.

Two events happened today in 1974 that may or may not be connected.  You be the judge. Richard Nixon took his second trip to the Soviet Union as president to discuss detente (less than two months prior to his resignation) AND the final episode of the hour-long comedy variety television program The Flip Wilson Show aired on NBC after four years on the air.  One thing that cannot be questioned is that Flip Wilson was definitely funnier than Richard Nixon.

BIRTHDAYS:

When she was born in 1880, Helen Keller was a healthy little girl.  When she was nineteen months old, she lost the abilities to see and hear during an illness.  Since then, she became an inspiration, and she spent the rest of her life communicating, defending the rights of the downtrodden and proving that people with physical limitations were by no means inferior. 

QUOTE:  Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. - Helen Keller

ANSWER:  b)  Cincinnati Reds.  He had electric lights installed at Crosley Field, and on May 24, 1935, the first night-time baseball game was ever played between the Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies.  Attendance improved 400% after dark.