Archive for the ‘Reed Bratches’ Category

C Emlen Urban’s Letters

March 8, 2012

1st Letter

Wednesday, Feb 14/34

Dear Rathfor

when we left new York last saturday it was very cold- aura below zero. All water supply pipes of the “Roma” were frozen solid and we could get no running water until the following day.

The sea has been very rough for the last three days but our ship is doing fine. Mother and I are doing well but Miriam had to stay in her stateroom most of yesterday.

We are on a fine boat and the cooking is excellent. We have three musical concerts daily- dancing from 10 to midnight. a fine library, moving pictures each afternoon! A daily newspaper, gymnasium and plenty of sports on board.

There are quite a number of priests on board going to Rome and to Palestine. Mother and I attended mass on Sunday morning in the ships beautiful social room. We will land at Madeira Islands on Saturday.

This letter will be dropped off at Couta, Morocco, from which place it will be sent over to Gibraltar and then picked up by the “Rex” and brought to New York.

Love to you and Marie,

Papa and Mother.

Saturday February 17th

We are now anchoring in the harbor of Funchal, Madeira at 7:30 am. The weather is cool with a slight drizzle.

Our voyage across the Atlantic was very enjoyable, except for a few hours when Miriam felt a little sea-sick.

We leave this evening for Couta, Morrocco. Couta is pronounced “Chew-Ta” in English.

Saturday, Feb 17th-1934

My dear Rathfor:

We have first returned to the “Roma” after being on a trip through the city of Fuuchal, Madeira.

It was a most interesting experience. A mountainous island, highly cultivated, flowers everywhere. we brought armsful of them back to the ship.

We drove through the port of the city by automobile and also by a sledge driven by oxen.

It was here that Empress Zeta, of the House of Austria, was exiled after the world war.

This place is so celebrated for Madeira lace and also famous for it’s wine.


We leave at 6:00 PM (This evening) for Ceuta (Cheet-a) Morocco.

Tuesday, Feb 20/34

Dear Rathfor:

We arrived at Ceuta, Morroco, yesterday morning. It is quite a large city, clean and prosperous looking.

but the most interesting place to visit is Jet-Turan, the capital of Spanish Morrocco, 41 miles away from Ceuta.

We engaged a private car (a cuillis-Knight) and made it in one hour and a quarter over the mountainous roads of clean, smooth macadamia construction.

at the Morocco capital we visited the school for Moorish Boys and Girls.

Were surprised to see what fine work these small children do in metal-wood-leather-tiles, weaving etc. Walked through the narrow shopping streets of the business section; saw the sultan’s palace, beautiful parks etc.

We were in the country of the cut-throught “Riffs”,-Hilly, with old forts everywhere the moors fought the spanish- very little (unreadable) is cultivated- exactly unlike madeira.


We are now in the mediterranean, headed for naples. Sea is smooth but the air is a little chilly-


Feb 21-1934

Dear Rathfor:

All day yesterday the mediterranean sea was smooth as a table, and the sun shone brightly. it was my birthday and when we went into the diningroom for dinner in the evening we were surprised to find a fine birthday cake for us on the table with candles and all the trimmings.

It is cloudy and cool today.

Tomorrow morning at 7:00 we land at Naples. We got radio news on the ship today that there has been a very heavy snow storm in New York; also that congress is investigating Chas. A. Lindbergh regarding flights he may have made out of air mail contracts etc. We have all been very well and are enjoying the cruise very much.

There are people from York and Reading on the ship; perhaps I may have told you this before.



Sunday Feb 25th

Dear Rathfor:

We had a wonderful day yesterday in Athens.

The ancient temples were most interesting and far surpassed my expectations as to their size, beauty of form and fine location. We had a very intelligent guide who wanted to show us everything and explain all of the ancient wars which the greeks had with their neighboring enemies, but mother got very tired of climbing around the ruins for five or more hours and we had to go back to the boar.

I find that wherever we land in the mediterranean the country is mountanous. Athens was surrounded by mountains capped in many places with snow, and looked beautiful.

Our greek guide quoted some famous writer as saying that “if in the time of the Greek Golden Age, Greeks had not so persistently fought among themselves, today the world languages would be greek and world culture would likewise be Greek.”

Tomorrow morning we land at Istanbul (Constantinople) Am using a Turkish stamp on this envelope.



Feb 28, 1934

Dear Rathfor:

Our ship reached the Island of Rhodes this morning. we went ashore by teuder and were unsurpised to find one of the most interesting as well as one of the elecenest old cities we have visited anywhere in our travels. the island is overuled by Italy.

The extensive ruins of the old fortifications of the crusaders are marvelously interesting. We leave at midnight for Haifa, Palestine.




First Block of East King Street

February 16, 2012

7 East King Street

This building’s venustas is based around a divisive firmitas. The symmetrical layout of the windows for all the floors suggests the spaces between them are necessary to hold up the structure, while the arcuated windows on the bottom help put that pressure onto the supports. The white paint used on the windows and shutters makes them stand out against the brick walls, which are laid with the Flemish bond.

15 East King Street

This building is laid with the same Flemish bond as 7 East King Street, but this building has many more arcuated windows and structures. It appears as though the top of building is more arcuated than the bottom, which seems to follow a trabeated structure. This building is very American in style, slightly boxy but tapering towards the top. The arced windows provide the illusion of eyes staring at you, and this was probably a conscious decision by the architect. This structure goes all the way back through the area that used to be the warehouse, and it appears as though those addresses have been combined. The side of the building has the same high windows, but the tops of these windows are flat indicating a trabeated support system instead of the arcuated one used on the previous address. The Flemish brick is consistent with the entire structure all the way to the alley that defines this block, and the thick brick supports show how strong they must be to hold up the whole building. There are also large concrete blocks above each support, but I believe this is just an artistic choice instead of a structural one. The off-white concrete gives flavor to the Flemish brick, and also makes the building

Jennie Pott’s Building

February 16, 2012

Utilitas: This building was created for a purpose. There was a need for there to be a commercial building put right off of Penn Square, close enough to attract walking crowds but far enough that it would have it’s own identity. There are few secondary spaces, as the builder needed to conserve space because he couldn’t go too far off the road. Thus, almost the whole building is primary space, and a divisive plan was definitely used because of the regular, more symmetrical shape.

Firmitas: This building stays true to the adage that form fits function. The commercial nature of this building led the architect to divide the building in two sections, made obvious by the symmetrical windows and shop displays. The main structure of the building is trabeated, as the split-nature and square windows attest. This gives the building more of a boxy shape, instead of the arcing shapes that arcuated structures have.

Venustas: This building was made more formally than informally. It spread out evenly from the angle of approach, and is symmetrical from the centerline with window bays and decals. The sculptures are symmetrical as well, with one in the center and one on either side of the double windows. The venustas of this building was based very much around the location and size of the building. Being so close to Penn Square, the architect needed a building that would stand out but would not overshadow the Watt and Shand Thus, it could not really be a picturesque building, but one that is more wonderful because of its simplicity

Henry Hines tomb

February 3, 2012

My gravestone had Henry Hines written on it. He was born in 1806 and lived until 1851. I could find almost no information on him, but his gravestone was probably made in 1851. He died in May, at a fairly early age, so I’m assuming his death was relatively sudden and his family did not order the gravestone beforehand. I could find no information about how long it took to make a gravestone in the mid 1800s, but it takes 2-4 weeks to make one now. I figure you can triple the time it takes to carve and install a monument without power tools, so the monument should have been installed in late 1851

East King Street 1-19

February 1, 2012

1 East King Street: in 1886, this building appeared to be residential, similar to the rest of the block. This was a small, one story apartment (it appears) for much of the 1800s, but in 1912 it looks to have been joined with the building next to it, and a second floor was added, and it was turned into one unit. By 1929, this was it’s own unit again, but had greatly expanded into the apartment behind it, almost doubling it’s size.

3 East King Street: This building was a residence in 1886, but in 1891 was joined with 5 East King Street, and again in 1912. However, by 1929 they were separated, with a separate apartment for number 3 and number 5. This building is now the Fulton building.

5 East King Street: This building was a residence in 1886, but joined with 3 East King Street in 1891. This building was split up by 1929, and 5 had it’s own apartment at the start of the Great Depression.

7 East King Street: This building grew and shrank by incredible amounts. In 1886 it was a smaller front room, with a much larger room behind. In 1891 this was split into two rooms, one smaller in the front, one much larger behind it with the entrance in the alleyway. By 1897 there were still two large rooms, but the back room appears to have joined with number 9. In 1912, all three were separate rooms, and in 1929 the layout was just like in 1886. Weird.

9 East King Street: This building stayed pretty much the same, except from 1897-1912 number 9 picked up the large apartment that flipped between 9 and 7. In 1929, it has reverted back to how it was in 1886, as a small-ish 3 story residence. Now, there is a parking garage where this building used to be.

11 East King Street: This building had two parts, one in front, a small yard, and one in back. This yard-area, which makes me think there were two apartments, lasted all the way past 1912 but was changed sometime before 1929. Between ’12 and ’29 there was a large renovation done, with the yard completely gone and instead of two segmented apartments there was one large, narrow bank..

15 East King Street: This part of the building was connected to 15 and 17 from 1886 to somewhere after the turn of the century. By 1912, it was a single business, a work shop for a long business. Between then and 1929, it was demolished and the plot of land was used for the warehouse that covered the rest of the block. Now, the first floor of this building is Tropical Smoothie, and the upper floors appear to be office buildings.

17 East King Street: This was connected to 15 and 19 from 186 to 1897. However, sometime between then and 1912, they split and made two different businesses. After 1912, it was turned into a part of the McRory Stores Corp. warehouse. Now, the first floor of this building is Tropical Smoothie, and the upper floors appear to be office buildings.

19 East King Street: This was connected to 15 and 17 from 1886 to 1897. After that, it was it’s own apartment for a few years, but by 1929 this was absorbed by the McRory Stores corp. and made a part of their warehouse. Today, this warehouse is no longer there, but the large building is still in existence. Now, the first floor of this building is Tropical Smoothie, and the upper floors appear to be office buildings.