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KOREAN WAR. The Korean War period marked the peak of Cleveland's rise as an industrial city and masked early signs of decline. Although the city's population rose slightly, 4.2%, between 1950-53, the flight to the SUBURBS was accelerating, and the county had grown by 11%. The economy had never been better. In 1952 Cuyahoga County was rated 5th in the country in productive capacity, but the city's infrastructure was beginning to decay. Slums were growing, and no major new buildings had been erected downtown since the Terminal Tower group on PUBLIC SQUARE. In Aug. 1951 the fire chief, Bernard W. Mulcahey, declared that 65% of 561 downtown buildings could be closed for fire violations. Unemployment was virtually nonexistent at 1.2%, but racial tensions were beginning to emerge as the black population, which had increased by 75% since 1940...
LITERATURE. Until the 1880s, Cleveland's literary life was wholly dominated by its literary societies and bookstores. The earliest bookstore on record appears in the 1820s; 4 more emerged in the 1830s, as Cleveland began to generate commercial and population growth. These stores carried the standard books of the day, mainly the older classics. The first literary society, the Newburgh Literary Society, was founded in 1826. As a result of a national "lyceum" movement, several others developed in the following 2 decades. The Cleveland Reading Room Assn., with 200 subscribers, was founded in 1835, followed in 1836 by the Young Men's Literary Assn., which in 1846 was consolidated with other literary societies to form the CLEVELAND LIBRARY ASSN. These societies, open only to men, provided members with a reading room and small library (that i...
LUTHERANS. When early Lutheran immigrants from Northern European countries settled in the WESTERN RESERVE, as elsewhere, they formed branches of the church that were as diverse as their linguistic, ethnic, and political backgrounds. Strains of the church differed according to orthodoxy, pietism, rationalism, idealism, and historical criticism. Such differences prompted one group of 45 worshippers in 1843 to leave Cleveland's first German church, Die Deutsche Evangelische Protestantische Kirche (formed in 1835, see SCHIFFLEIN CHRISTI), to create the city's first Evangelical Lutheran church, ZION EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH. The 19th century was one of institution building and religious and ethnic controversy for the Lutheran church in the Cleveland area, as elsewhere. Zion, known as the "Mother of Churches," was instrumental in forming...
BOXING & WRESTLING. For most of the 19th century, the contact sports of boxing and wrestling were frowned on by the educated public and were seldom written about by Cleveland newspapers. As Cleveland grew in population, however, the demand for indoor recreation and spectator sports increased, and boxing and wrestling became popular despite continued legal problems and newspaper criticism. Boxing refers to fighting with the fists, at first with bare knuckles and later with padded gloves, while wrestling involves grappling, with the object of bringing one's opponent to the mat. Although there was a great deal of unorganized and impromptu fighting in early American history, little if any organized amateur and professional boxing and wrestling took place in Cleveland until the last few decades of the 19th century. One of the first mention...
LITHUANIANS. The settlement of Lithuanians in Cleveland follows historical patterns similar to those of other East European nations. The first wave of immigrants came here at the turn of the century (1890-1910), and the second wave--more appropriately termed political refugees--arrived in the wake of World War II (1948-50), after the USSR had forcibly annexed Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 1940. Early Lithuanians, the first of whom are recorded here in 1871, were absorbed as cheap labor into thriving local industries. They concentrated around St. Clair and Oregon Ave. (now Rockwell) and ranged eastward to about E. 71st St. between Oregon and Cedar avenues. The overwhelming Catholic sentiments of the early community were evidenced in the establishment in 1895 of ST. GEORGE LITHUANIAN CHURCH, which was housed at several locations unti...
LABOR. The concept of a working class, distinct from farmers, small proprietors and professionals, or men of wealth, was of little use in the early years of the city's history; in these years an egalitarianism based on cheap land was reinforced by a relatively equal apportionment of the rigors of frontier life. The origins of many of Cleveland's earliest laborers can be traced to the OHIO & ERIE CANAL, which was begun in 1825 and immediately generated a demand for unskilled labor. As the first elements of a working class consisting of day laborers emerged, they were viewed with suspicion by their fellow citizens. In 1829 the CLEVELAND HERALD epitomized certain attitudes toward laborers, which continued to be held by many Clevelanders into the 20th century: "laborers are much wanted upon the public works at this place. It is surprising ...
WAGON AND CARRIAGE INDUSTRY. Though Cleveland was never home to the massive wagon and carriage factories found in some midwestern cities, it nevertheless possessed large numbers of smaller firms producing virtually every type of horse-drawn vehicle for local and regional markets. More significantly it was home to some of the largest manufacturers and wholesalers of wagon and carriage parts in the U.S. The widespread national distribution of these goods was the city's most important contribution to a leading nineteenth century industry.Lack of suitable roads in the early community restricted wheeled vehicles to the occasional ox-drawn farm cart and freight wagon, most of which were the products of local farmers and blacksmiths. By 1820 there was a wagon maker located on PUBLIC SQUARE, and it was not long before improved roads, expa...
The AMERICAN AUTOMATIC VENDING CO., which sold goods through vending machines, was founded in 1933 by Louis and Miriam (Gometz) Golden as the Golden Tobacco Co. The firm's name was changed to the Ace Cigarette Service Co. about 1936 and began significant growth with the rise of electric vending machines. By 1946 it had become one of the nation's largest cigarette vendors. In 1950 the company merged with Industrial Vending, and broadened its line beyond tobacco products to include hot and cold drinks, candy, sandwiches, and canned food. The company maintained an aggressive growth policy. By 1961, when the company was renamed the Ace Vending Co., the firm's net worth was $1.4 million. At that time the company had 22,000 vending machines in 7 states and had become the largest vending and food service company in Ohio--and one of the 10 la...
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