Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mystery Photo: Annual Outing of the Zinsser Chemical Company

Here is a photograph that needs lots of identifications (click on the photograph for a larger version, and for an even larger one click on the words "All Sizes" above the photograph). It was taken at the 1945 Annual Outing of the Zinsser Chemical Company. The company itself was on the southern end of the Hastings waterfront, but from the 1930s through the 1950s they held their picnics at Schmidt’s Farm on Fort Hill Road near Jackson Avenue. (Though an atlas would suggest this location to be near the border between Yonkers and unincorporated Greenburgh, Schmidt’s Farm had a Scarsdale telephone number. On the matchbook cover below they describe themselves romantically as “west of Scarsdale.”)

In its heyday, Schmidt’s Farm stood on a large plot with lots of outdoor space and a huge room that could be restaurant or banquet hall. Trustee Louise Gerold Brown tells us that local teenagers used to go there for dancing on the weekends. Other big groups from Hastings patronized Schmidt’s Farm during its long life, including Anaconda Wire & Cable Company and St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church.

The photograph is sure to include non-Hastings residents, but Zinsser did employ many local people as well. The photograph was taken in 1945, and during World War II the number of women working at Zinsser increased.

The only identification we have for the photograph is the owner of the company, Col. Frederick G. Zinsser, an unmistakable figure seated in the middle of the second row. Do you recognize anyone else? Let us know!

A Schmidt's Farm matchbook, currently for sale on eBay.
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  1. Chuck Devlin tells us that his grandmother, Katherine Devlin, is seated in the second row, third from the left. Thanks, Chuck!

  2. Member Ronnie Wemmer dropped in recently to help us with this one. She picked out Jean Ramsey and Mary Trojak, 7th and 11th from the left in the seated row. She also spotted, in the back row, John Trojak (3rd from the left), and possibly one of the Domcheks (5th from the left).

    Bryan Healy and the Senior Canteen filled in some more names. They found Frank Teasdale (back row, 8th from left), Rose Mark Tutenwald and Olga Kawalchuk Mullen on either side of Col. Zinsser (seated row), Thomas O'Leary (seated row, 4th from the right), and Dick Neely (sitting on the ground in front, 3rd from left).

    And one of our Flickr friends thinks that the third from the left on the bench is Archie Graham.

    Thanks, everybody!