WHEC Matchbook, c.1960

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Lawrence J. Hickson was a pioneer of radio in Rochester.  He began his experiments in 1911 while studying Electrics at Mechanics Institute (Rochester Institute of Technology).  After WWI he resumed his experiments and in December 1920 Hickson began a weekly broadcast of a phonograph record from his home in Irondequoit.  The following year Hickson Electric Company opened, and with support from Frank Gannett WHQ was established at the Times-Union building at 22 Exchange Street.  In 1922 Hickson sold his interest in WHQ to the Democrat and Chronicle (Gannett would purchase the D&C in 1928).  On March 26, 1925 the Hickson Electric Company began broadcasting from the Seneca Hotel as WHEC. 

This promotional matchbook features the on air personalities of the daily line up; Ed Meath, Warren Doremus, Dorothy Cotton, Ed Ferland, Jack Friel, Roger Goodrich, John MacDonald, Foster Brooks and Dean Taylor.  Although all are notable, one in particular achieved national recognition.  Foster Brooks, comedian and actor, was born in 1912 and began his career in radio in his native Louisville, Kentucky.  In the early 1940’s and again in the late 1950’s he worked for WHAM and in 1960 for WHEC.  Brooks left for Los Angeles in 1961.  He was most notably famous for his ‘lovable lush’ act, appearing regularly on The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast.  For many years he owned a home in Rush, New York.  Foster Brooks passed away in December 2001 in California.  Reproduced from 3¾” x 12½” matchbook.

View in Franklin Square, c.1907

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View in Franklin Square, c.1907

One of many public squares located in the city of Rochester. Located on Andrews and Cumberland Streets, it is now called Schiller Park in honor of German Poet and Playwright Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805). Reproduced from 3½” x 5½” postcard.

Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, c.1935

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Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, c.1935

“Designated by the Council November 23rd, 1931 in honor of the brave men of Rochester and Monroe County who gave their lives in the service of their country.” Reproduced from 3½” x 5½” postcard.

Lily Pond, Eastman House Gardens, c.1935

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Lily Pond, Eastman House Gardens, c.1935

View of the terraced Italianate garden at the George Eastman House. Designed by Alling S. DeForest (1875-1957) between 1902 and 1904, it is the oldest and most formal garden on the property. Reproduced from 3½” x 5½” postcard.

Powers Hotel, c.1900

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Powers Hotel, c.1900

Concerned by the movement of hotel and retail business moving to the east side of the river Daniel Powers, Samuel Wilder, Patrick Barry, George Ellwanger and Mortimer F. Reynolds invested in the construction of the Powers Hotel. Located adjacent to the Powers Building and on the site of the demolished National Hotel, construction was begun in 1881. Designed by A.J. Warner and constructed with the latest fireproof materials, it was considered the safest and most palatial hotel in America. The hotel was completed in April 1883 at a cost of $500,000. Located at 36 West Main Street, it is currently the Executive Office Building. Reproduced from 3 ½” x 5 ½” postcard.

Mouth of Red Creek, c.1905

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Mouth of Red Creek, c.1905

View of the western terminus of the portage trail from Irondequoit Bay to the Genesee River, Genesee Valley Park – Early American canoes traveling from the St. Lawrence Seaway would have trouble passing the falls on the Genesee River. To avoid this, they would travel from Lake Ontario into Irondequoit Bay and then to Irondequoit Creek, disembarking at Indian Landing in Ellison Park. From there a portage trail followed the direction of Highland Avenue and skirted the base of Mount Hope until reaching Red Creek. Part of the Iroquois Trail, this was an important trade route from Canada to the Mississippi Valley for two hundred years. Published by H.V. Walker. Reproduced from 7½” x 9½” tinted print.

Lover Come Back, c.1962

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Lover Come Back, c.1962
A promotion for “Lover Come Back” starring Rock Hudson, Doris Day and Tony Randall. Formerly located at 71 Clinton Avenue, the RKO Palace in Rochester opened Christmas 1928 and was demolished in 1965. Reproduced from 7½” x 10½” paper bag.

Midtown Plaza Sidewalk Cafe, c.1962

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Midtown Plaza Sidewalk Cafe, c.1962
Printed on reverse: “Unique globe lights and a central fountain lend a continental charm and restful atmosphere for visitors to the sidewalk cafe on Midtown Plaza mall, Rochester, N.Y. Midtown Plaza is the nation’s largest downtown shopping and business center – 7½ acres under one roof.” Reproduced from 3½” x 5½” postcard.

Wilgus Plan, c.1909

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Wilgus Plan, c.1909
Printed on reverse: “BEAUTY IS UTILITY – This post card shows the Wilgus plan for the new Central Station over the Genesee, and the Grand Esplanade connecting with Main Street. The symbolical group represents the beauty of the river and falls resulting from water storage that will accompany this improvement.” In 1907 Rochester businessmen brought in consulting engineer William J. Wilgus to explore building a new station over the river. The view is looking north from the Main Street Bridge. The station is built on the Central Avenue Bridge overlooking High Falls. Reproduced from 3 ½” x 5 ½” postcard.

Midtown Plaza Tropical Foliage, c.1962

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Midtown Plaza Tropical Foliage, c.1962
Printed on reverse: “Life-size sculptured children climb amid plantings of Phoenix Roebellini palms and scheffleras on the mall at Midtown Plaza, Rochester, N.Y. Tropical foliage is one highlight of the 7½ acre complex under one roof that is Midtown Plaza – the nation’s showplace.” Reproduced from 3½” x 5½” postcard.