About Me

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting There Was Half the Fun!

A pennant like this one could have been among the many prizes awarded on board the Senator, when folks from Rochester, PA and the surrounding area took their excursion steamboat to Rock Springs Park in 1940.

In my last blog post, I mentioned a Rochester steamboat excursion aboard the Senator to Rock Springs Park in 1940. What I didn’t include was the added description of a very long list of prizes which were to be awarded to the “fun-lovers” on board as they traveled along the Ohio River to "The Showcase of the East."

Beaver (PA) The Daily Times, June 20, 1940 – More prizes than Aunt Minnie’s jam ever won in the good old days of the County Fair! That is the good news for fun-lovers who will leave the Rochester Wharf Monday morning, July 8, at 9:30 o’clock on the excursion boat “Senator” for the annual boat ride and outing of the Rochester Board of Trade at Rock Springs Park.

An imposing list of prizes has been compiled with potential winners running the gamut of competition all the way from “jitterbugging” to the wearing of the loudest necktie.

Dancing on the boat will be enjoyed to Fate Marable’s Original Cotton Pickers who are still reported to be picking a pretty swingy brand of cotton.


Following is the list of prizes to be awarded on the boat, and the various lines of competition from which the winners will be selected:

Tallest man on boat, dinner; tallest woman, dinner; shortest man, dinner; shortest woman, dinner; youngest baby on boat, upholstered rocker; boy with the most freckles, gallon ice cream; girl with most freckles, pair slippers; largest family, easy cut ham; newest married couple, electric toaster; oldest married couple, one year subscription to DAILY TIMES; oldest Man, basket fruit; oldest lady, basket groceries; boy with longest hair, box candy; girl with longest hair, purse; fattest boy, polo shirt; fattest girl, box candy; youngest twins, box candy; oldest twins, ham; couple coming farthest distance, electric iron; person wearing loudest necktie, straw hat; most novel dressed boy, dress shirt; most novel dressed girl, pair hose; best dancing couple, $2.50 in cash; longest married couple, porch tea wagon; boy with reddest hair, straw hat; girl with reddest hair, slack suit; man with biggest head, hat cleaned; man with oldest car, grease job; woman with oldest car, grease job; best jitterbug, $2.50 in cash; youngest married couple, coffee table; best dressed boy, pair tennis shoes; best dressed girl, pair tennis shoes.


The following prizes will also be awarded to various persons on the boat en route to the park: Japanese Garden, $2.00 in cash, coffee percolator, cleaning one hat, dinner, 2 pennants, hand bag, polo shirt, straw hat, carton cigarettes, suit pressed, polo shirt, billfold, razor, ladies’ umbrella, water set, table lamp, set Fiesta Ware, brake adjustment, 3lbs. Coffee, 10 bu. Coal, ham, set ice tea glasses, sack flour.

It's funny to imagine how some of these prizes were identified with the recipients. I get how “the youngest married couple” might enjoy a new “coffee table,” or how a man or woman with the “oldest cars” might need a “grease job;” but the “boy with the most freckles” a “gallon of ice cream” or the person wearing the “loudest necktie” a “straw hat”? I’m not sure about those. And, in a world of political correctness, some of these categories would not go over well today and might seem somewhat mean spirited.

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