Historian Dennis Connors on “The Smith Family Fortunes”

Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with historian and former curator of the Onondaga Historical Association, Dennis Connors. Mr. Connors will discuss the history of the Lyman Smith Family, best known for their L.C. Smith Shotguns and Smith-Corona Typewriters. This talk will explore three generations of the Smith family and their residences as well as how the family’s fortune was made, spent, and dissipated. It promises to be an evening filled with interesting characters and images. A brief Q&A will follow.

This event will be held on Thursday, September 9th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAkceGsqzsrHd1MoL8FU_zwkdgx0o4ozBb-

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

About Dennis Connors

Dennis Connors has worked in historical agencies since 1972 and as curator of history at the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse, New York from 1999 until his retirement in 2018.  He was employed originally by the Association from 1992 to 1999 as its Executive Director.  Previous to that, he was the Supervisor of Historic Resources for Onondaga County Parks for 14 years, overseeing three historic properties.  He also served as executive director for the Landmarks Association of Central New York for three years. He recently was a contributing author for the New York State Encyclopedia Project and has authored and edited six books on Syracuse area history, the most recent being Syracuse’s Grand Hotel: A History, published in 2017.  Mr. Connors has a history degree from the State University of NY at Buffalo with a concentration in museum studies.

About Lyman Smith & the Smith Family Businesses

Lyman Cornelius Smith was an American innovator and industrialist. He was born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1850 and died in Syracuse, New York in 1910. After several failed attempts to break into the lumber industry, Smith experienced his first entrepreneurial success in 1877 when, along with his older brother Leroy and firearms designer William H. Baker, he helped to form W.H. Baker & Co. Following the departure of Baker and his brother, he would rename the business the L.C. Smith Shotgun Company of Syracuse, before ultimately selling it to to the Hunter Arms Company in 1889.

Alongside brothers Hurlbut, Wilbert, and Monroe, Lyman formed the Smith Premiere Typewriter Company in 1887. Relying on technology developed by Alexander Brown, who had replaced W.H. Baker as the firearms designer for the L.C. Smith Shotgun Company, the Smith brothers began producing the first double keyboard typewriter in 1884. This typewriter, the Smith Premiere, performed so well that the brothers ultimately traded their gun business to focus exclusively on typewriters. The growing demand for typewriters combined with Syracuse’s role as an industrial and manufacturing center soon led other typewriter companies to setup shop in the City which, by 1904, had been nicknamed “The Typewriter City.”

The company was renamed L.C. Smith and Brothers in 1904 before being renamed again in 1926 when it merged with Corona Typewriters. By then, the newly formed Smith-Corona company was the largest manufacturer of typewriters in the world, producing 155,000 machines annually. Throughout its existence, the company maintained a reputation for innovation and would go on to expand aggressively into mechanical calculators, office products, paints, foods, and paper through the 1960s. The rise of inexpensive electronic calculators in the 1970s and personal computers in the 1980s ultimately led to the decline of Smith-Corona’s business. The company was acquired by Hanson Plc in 1986. It would endure its first bankruptcy in 1995 before enduring a second in 2000. By 2005, Smith-Corona had ceased manufacturing typewriters entirely, instead leveraging their expertise in ribbons and thermal technologies to focus on the growing thermal label business.

L.C. Smith and Bros. employees on the factory floor c. 1920. Photo from the Onondaga Historical Association.

Authors Liz Petrone and Ed Griffin-Nolan to Speak

The Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library are delighted to announce a December 2020 event featuring authors and Strathmore natives Liz Petrone and Ed Griffin-Nolan as they discuss their new books, The Price of Admission and Nobody Hitchhikes Anymore. This event will be held on Thursday, December 10th at 7 pm virtually on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required.

Travel, both personal and socio-cultural, is the theme of the night. First, blogger, analyst and survivor Liz Petrone will speak about her moving, humorous, and inspiring memoir, The Price of Admission, which follows her journey through the dark valleys and sunny uplands that constitute the landscape of our lives. Then, stick out your thumb and hail a ride across America with Syracuse New Times columnist and reporter Ed Griffin-Nolan as he tries to uncover the reasons why Nobody Hitchhikes Anymore. A brief Q&A will follow the discussion.

You can register for this event here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMocO2oqjspGtXevSsaPYFYxi9MLgYuFh_7

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Note: We have removed the need for a password to access this event. We apologize for any confusion that may have been caused by this requirement in the past.

About Liz Petrone

Liz Petrone is an author, blogger, speaker and survivor. Her work has been featured on sites like The Huffington PostThe Mighty, and Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop. A true believer in the healing power of storytelling, Petrone writes stories that speak to the lessons learned in survival and recovery. Her readers gather to speak openly and honestly about their own struggles. The nationally renowned blogger is also a programmer analyst for a Syracuse corporation. She is a resident of the Strathmore neighborhood, where she lives with her husband and four children. Her columns are available on the web at lizpetrone.com, on Twitter at @lizziepetrone and on Facebook at @lizpetroneblog.

About Ed Griffin-Nolan

Ed Griffin-Nolan first came to Syracuse in 1978 on a cross-country hitchhiking trip. He returned to town a few years later and raised his family on Parkway Drive, in the house where his son Daniel now lives. A long-time columnist and reporter for the Syracuse New Times and contributor to other publications, Ed is additionally a massage therapist and the owner of The Spa at 500 on West Onondaga Street.

Dr. Colin Beier on Climate Change

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our November 2019 event, an afternoon with Dr. Colin Beier. Dr. Beier will explore the science and evidence behind our changing climate. He will discuss near and long-term solutions for managing this change and the implications of failing to manage it.  This event will be held on Sunday, November 10th at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

About Colin Beier

“My work recognizes that humans are integral parts of the Earth system, capable of both inducing rapid and irreversible changes, yet also providing careful stewardship that fosters the adaptive capacity of the Earth’s ecosystems.” – Colin Beier

Colin Beier, PhD, is a father, a husband, a student and teacher of the natural world, and an associate professor at SUNY ESF.  He is a broadly trained ecologist interested in the fate of forest ecosystems and landscapes – including people and our economic, political, and cultural institutions – in a rapidly changing world. His current work is focused on monitoring ecosystem impacts of climate change in the Adirondacks, developing a statewide forest carbon inventory and monitoring program for New York, and leading a new ESF initiative in ‘Pathways to Net Zero Carbon’ that will integrate science and design to address our critical challenges and opportunities at the nexus of land use, energy systems, and climate change.

Announcing the Spring 2019 Season!

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce its Spring 2019 season!

Our first event will take place on Thursday, March 14th at 7 pm and feature scientist Dr. Donald Siegel who will examine the dismissal of facts in science-related decision making.

Our second event of the spring will take place on Thursday, April 11th at 7 pm and will feature Dr. Keith Bybee, who asks “Is civility dead?”

Our third and final event of the spring will feature Dr. Ednita Wright who will examine the root causes of the opioid epidemic in America and consider what it means for individuals and families dealing with addition. This event will be held on Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm.

As usual, the events will be held at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. They are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Children’s Book “The Silent Nightingale”

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce the our November 2018 event, a family-focused afternoon with illustrator Erin Nowak and author Lamis Solaim who collaborated on the new children’s book, “The Silent Nightingale.”  This event will be held on Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

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About Lamis Solaim

Lamis Solaim is a New York City-based writer and Child and Adolescent Psychologist specializing in global mental health. Together, with illustrator Erin Nowak, Solaim will do a reading of her recently published dual-language children’s book “The Silent Nightingale,” written in both English and Arabic. The book was inspired by a time-honored Arabic poem by Maruf al Rusafi, commonly sung by Iraqi children in the 50s and 60s. Lamis earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University, an M.A. in applied child development from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the United Kingdom’s Royal Holloway University of London.

About Erin Nowak

Erin Nowak is a Strathmore resident and creator of whimsical illustrations. A graduate of Alfred University with a bachelor of fine arts focused on graphic design and printmaking, Nowak created the illustrations for “The Silent Nightingale” with a layered mix of watercolor and digital painting. The freelance graphic designer is an employee of the Syracuse City School District and lives in the Strathmore neighborhood with her husband and three children. Her work can be found at Wildflowers Armory in Syracuse and at erinmckennanowak.com.

Syracuse: Bridging our Differences with Empathy and Storytelling with Dr. Emad Rahim

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our October 2018 event, an evening with refugee, author, educator, and entrepreneur, Dr. Emad Rahim. Dr. Rahim’s talk, “Syracuse – bridging our differences with empathy and storytelling,” will be held on Thursday, October 25th at 7 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

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About Dr. Emad Rahim

Dr. Emad Rahim is a Khmer-American, survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields. His story was turned into the short documentary “Against the Odds,” a 2016 Bronze Award Winner at the F.A.M.E.’US International Film Festival and adapted into a Syracuse Stage theater production titled ‘Tales from the Salt City,’ which is an extension of the acclaimed Undesirable Elements series written by celebrated playwright and Presidential National Medals of Arts Award recipient, Ping Chong. He has been featured in the Huffington PostForbes MagazinePost-StandardVICE, Rutgers’ The Humanist and CEO Magazine, and interviewed on the BBC, NPR, StoryCorps, PBS and multiple podcast shows.  He is an award-winning author, educator, entrepreneur, Fulbright Specialist and TEDx Speaker.

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Humorist Jeff Kramer on “How I went from writing and reporting the news to not being able to watch it”

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce our September 2018 event, an evening with writer, playwright, and former humor columnist for The Post-Standard and the Syracuse New Times, Jeff Kramer. Jeff’s talk, “How I went from writing and reporting the news to not being able to watch it,” will be held on Thursday, September 27th at 7 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

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About Jeff Kramer (by Jeff Kramer)

Jeff Kramer, who is trying to sound as if someone else is writing his bio, is extremely flattered (and a little confused) about being invited to speak at the Strathmore Speaker Series. Jeff is not a resident of Strathmore, nor is he technically “employed.”

Jeff is a former newspaper humorist, known locally for his columns in the Syracuse Post-Standard and the Syracuse New Times. Before relocating to Syracuse in 2003, he wrote a humor column for The Orange County (Calif.) Register and reported for the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe. Newspapers were compilations of news, opinion and other information that were printed and folded together for mass distribution.

Jeff has written and produced three stage plays in the Syracuse area. He teaches ESL to an ever-diminishing number of new Americans as a volunteer at Interfaith Works on James Street.

A native of Seattle, Wash., the 56-year-old interloper lives in Jamesville with his wife, Leigh. The couple have two teen daughters, Miranda and Lily, who do not share their Dad’s passion for the Boston Red Sox and the Seattle Mariners. As such, his communications with them are sparse. Jeff and Leigh also have three shelter dogs, Larry, Rondo and Gigi.

Jeff’s hobbies are cycling and patronizing Central New York’s excellent health care infrastructure. He thanks his friend Strathmore resident Randy Marshall for suggesting him as a speaker.

Dr. Brian Taylor on Russia, Putin, and Putinism

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce the second event of our spring 2018 season, an afternoon with Russia expert Professor Brian Taylor who will discuss “Russia, Putin, and “Putinism.” The event will be held on Sunday, April 22nd, at 2 pm at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

About Brian Taylor

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Brian Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Taylor is the author of three books on Russian politics: The Code of Putinism; State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism and Politics and the Russian Army: Civil-Military Relations, 1689-2000. He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Announcing the Spring 2018 Season

 

The Strathmore Speaker Series is delighted to announce the remainder of its Spring 2018 season! Our second event of the spring will take place on Sunday, April 22nd at 2 pm and will feature Dr. Brian Taylor, Chair of the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. Taylor’s talk, “Russia, Putin, and Putinism,” will examine the Russia’s relationships within the international community and the Putin regime. Our third and final event of the spring will feature Adam Sudmann, founder of “My Lucky Tummy,” a multinational popup food court, and program director of “With Love,” Onondaga Community College’s teaching restaurant and entrepreneur incubator. This event will be held on Sunday, May 6th at 2 pm. As usual, the events will be held at the Onondaga Park Firebarn. They are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!