This portrait of R.W. Chambers is included in the 1895 edition of The King in Yellow owned by Joyner Library. The work is comprised of ten short stories that are intertwined with passages from a fictional play, The King in Yellow, which causes those who read it in its entirety to go insane. For those not in the know, this work has had wide ranging influence since its initial publication, from the writings of HP Lovecraft and August Derleth to countless references in games such as Call of Cthulhu and Dungeons and Dragons. Most recently, the work and associated mythos that it features has been woven into the storyline of the highly acclaimed HBO series True Detective. It has been interesting to see the resurgence of this fairly forgotten work which rivals the best writing from folks normally associated with the genre like Edgar Allen Poe.
Source: Daily Reflector Negative Collection (Manuscript Collection #741)
Staff Person: Martha Elmore
For decades women faced tremendous hurdles in their desire to become pilots. In the early years they weren’t allowed to enter into competitions such as the National Air Race because these races were thought to be too dangerous for women. In 1929 women pilots held their first National Women’s Air Derby. Humorist Will Rogers, who was the starter for the race, referred to the women pilots as “petticoat pilots and flying flappers” and nicknamed the race the Powder Puff Derby.
This photograph shows a group of women welcoming Petticoat Pilots to the airport at Greenville, North Carolina, in August of 1965. I don’t know what the occasion was for this group of women pilots gathering, but it is interesting that the nickname for women pilots in 1929 was still being used in 1965.
Information about the Powder Puff Derby came from Karen Bush Gibson’s book titled, Women Aviators: 26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys.
Source: Minges Collection (Manuscript Collection #1136)
Staff Person: Dale Sauter
Description: Tripp Texaco Service Station, U.S. Hwy 13, Greenville, NC with Pepsi-Cola bottle outdoor display case, circa 1950s-1960s.
Source: Hagerty Company Collections (EC Manuscript Collection # 1084 Os1)
Staff Person: Ralph Scott
Description: The Douglas Fir Plywood Association founded in 1933 in Tacoma, Washington was one of many trade associations that that were set up following the National Recovery Act. The Association set standards for plywood manufacture and in 1938 became the holder of an industry wide trademark on plywood. Prior to that each manufacturer had their own brand logo. The new DFPA Construction Standard was accepted by the Farm Home Administration for interior and exterior use of FHA approved homes. In addition to developing industry-wide standards the DFPA also promoted consumer use of member plywood. One such promotion is shown here in a plan for a 7′ 9″ pram. Construction techniques for the pram as well as a bill of materials were supplied on this plan dated 1940. During World War II DFPA plywood was used in barracks, life-boats, and gliders. The Hagerty Company of Cohasset, MA constructed PT boats, skiffs, sailboats and dinghies from DFPA plywood.
Source: L. H. Smith Papers (#23.1.a.1)
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo
Description: Below is a personal letter from future Edgecombe and Duplin County school teacher, L. H. Smith, to his brother Edward P. Smith. At the time he wrote this letter, L. H. was teaching at Bradly’s School House, but had not yet earned his teaching certificate. Edward begins the letter by recounting his search for two of Edward’s mislaid letters and his eventual discovery of a silver shilling leading him to the comic deduction that Edward’s letter must have contained silver ore. He promises that if Edward sends him a gold shilling, he will be more careful of it. However the bulk of the letter describes his experiences teaching at Bradley’s School House, North Carolina. He focuses on the regular Friday routine. All his scholars, he writes, “speak”, or recite their lessons, on Friday and he musters all the boys accompanied by a fife and drum. “The smaller boys”, he writes, “have wooden guns and the larger real ones.” Apparently, this was something of a social occasion in the community and a matter of serious competition between different schools and schoolmasters. L. H. reports that “Frank was here last week and see [sic] me drill them. He says they beat his company. Some Fridays there is some 25 or thirty people to hear them speak and to see them muster and lots of girls among them.” L. H. notes that he is writing during recess and has no time to “collect my thoughts” but readers will note numerous errors of spelling and punctuation in the letter. One hopes that the students benefited more from L. H.’s lessons in reading and arithmetic than they could have from his writing lessons.
Source: USS Sarda entering Havana, Cuba Call Number: 818.os1.1
Staff Person: Ken Harbit
USS Sarda (SS-488), was a Tench-class submarine. Financed by bonds purchased by the residents of Lynn, Massachusetts, her keel was laid down on 12 April 1945 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. She was launched on 24 August 1945 sponsored by Mrs. Heffernan, the wife of James J. Heffernan, Congressman from New York.
Because World War II had ended a few weeks before the submarine’s launch, a new decision whether to commission or scrap her had to be made. Sarda’s prospective commanding officer grew frustrated with the debate over the fate of his boat. During the months of waiting, he received a small plaque from his father inscribed Illegitimi non Carborundum — “Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Up.” After a a hard won fight by her prospective commanding officer, Sarda was commissioned on 19 April 1946 with Commander Chester W. Nimitz, Jr., son of the famous Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, in command.
During the period between launching and commissioning, Sarda, was no longer needed for wartime service. Because of this, her conning tower was made bigger to permit installation of experimental equipment. After commissioning, she conducted her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea, then returned north to commence experimental work out of New London, Connecticut. There, she joined Submarine Division (SubDiv) 22 of Submarine Squadron 2; and, for the next four years, she tested new equipment for the Underwater Sound Laboratory, Fort Trumbull, and evaluated new ship control procedures. In the fall of 1949, she was transferred to SubDiv 21, and her primary mission was shifted from test and evaluation work to training ship duties. She continued that work through the 1950s, interrupting it only for type training; mine planting exercises; ASW exercises; fleet exercises; occasional participation in NATO or joint United States-Canadian exercises off the coasts of the Atlantic Provinces and northern New England; and, from January to June 1957, operations in the Caribbean Sea and the Guiana and Brazilian basins for the Hydrographic Office. On her return, she resumed her primary function, training submarine school students.
In the early 1960s, she continued her training mission, but devoted more time to providing services to ASW units conducting exercises. During the winter of 1960, she provided services to 92 surface ships and 14 air squadrons participating in annual training exercises in the Caribbean. During the winter of 1962, she again returned to the Caribbean for an extended stay and, when not employed in servicing Atlantic Fleet air and surface ASW units, she tested and evaluated acoustical torpedoes. The following winter, 1963, she deployed to the Mediterranean Sea where she operated with the Sixth Fleet; and, on her return to New London in late May, she resumed school ship duties.
Eleven months later, Sarda was declared to be surplus to Navy needs. May 1964 was spent in port at New London preparing for inactivation; and, on 1 June, Sarda was decommissioned. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on the same day, and her hulk was sold for scrapping in March 1965.
Though she never saw combat action she is just as much an asset to the Navy and America as any combat unit. She tested new equipment, brought about new and better combat techniques, new ways of fleet-wide communication and collaboration, and most importantly of all, she trained those who did go into harms way.
Source: Jerome R. Worsley Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #1214
Staff Person: Nanette Hardison
This page is from a piece of correspondence (June 27, 1953) that is part of the papers of Jerome R. Worsley, who was born in Bethel, N.C. and was a student of the East Carolina Teachers College (which is now East Carolina University). The letter was written to Mr. Worsley by Clive Irving, an author living in Britain during the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. In the letter, Mr. Irving describes how Americans and the English view each other, Britain’s equivalent of the McCarthy Red Scare problem and styles of clothing. The letter can be viewed in its’ entirety here http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/27449 and the finding aid for the Jerome R. Worsley Papers can be accessed at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/view.aspx?id=1214&q=1214.
Source: Zee en Land togten der Franszen Geaan na,en in’t Americaans Gewest van Florida (MC 49)
Staff Person: Ralph Scott
Description: This 1706 map of the Carolinas and Florida drawn by Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733) is based on an earlier 1606 map by Hondius (see MC 42). The map features a North Carolina Native American town called Chicola on the River Jordaan. Also shown are the locations of the ill fated French settlements of 1562 (Ribaut) and 1564 (Laudonierre). The lower right cartouche features a really neat early European drawing of the Carolina Palmetto (Sabal Palmetto). The title of the map Zee en Land togten der Franszen na,en in’t Americaans Gewest van Florida, aller-eerst dour Joh. Pontius ontdekt, translates as the land of France in America along with the discoveries of Ponce de Leon.
Staff Person: Lynette Lundin
Description: Ronald Vaughn of Brownwood, TX, enlisted in the Navy with his twin brother Donald (January 1944). He served on the escort aircraft carrier USS KITKUN BAY (CVE-71). The Memoir describes Vaughn’s involvements during his service in World War II in the Pacific (1944-1945).
This page was taken from his memoir, (pp. 12)
Source: http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/293.1 Postcard of the U.S.S. North Carolina. Title from historical note on verso. “U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship Commission.” Numbered P57112. Date approximated. Identifier: 318.2.c.317
Staff Person: Ken Harbit