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Haskell Honor Guard

Corbin Roubidoux, Haskell Honor Guard
Corbin Roubidoux

Marilyn Roubidoux shared this photo of her grandfather's first cousin Corbin Roubidoux of the Ioway Tribe. Corbin attended Haskell College for three years during which he served with the Haskell Honor Guard at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Later, Corbin served in the U.S. Military and was a WWII veteran.

Many thanks to Marilyn for sharing this photo.

Read more about the Haskell Guard and their involvement in the 1939 New York World's Fair. Link button

Learn more about the Iowa People (Ioway Tribe) on Wikipedia. Link button


Many of the souvenirs that were sold at the NY World's Fair were made of a product called "Syrocowood." But what is Syrocowood and where does it come from. A search on Google brought this answer from Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.

The Syracuse Ornamental Company, known as Syroco, was an American manufacturing company based in Syracuse, New York. They were best known for their molded wood-pulp products that resembled hand-carving.

Founded in Syracuse, New York in 1890 by immigrant Adolph Holstein, the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) specialized in decorative wood carving, especially for the local residential market. Products included fireplace mantelpieces and other types of interior decoration popular in late Victorian homes. To meet increasing market demand and sales opportunities Holstein developed a material looked and felt like wood but that which could be shaped, allowing multiple pieces to be produced through a molding process. The new product, which combined wood pulp brought from the Adirondacks with flour as a binder and other materials to give it strength, was extruded and then cut to fit compression molds, which had were made from original carvings in real wood.

Syrocowood collectibles from the '39 World's Fair
Syrocowood collectibles from the '39 World's Fair

The process favored shallow molds with little undercutting, and this served well for the creation of a wide variety of "carved" relief work to be applied to different sorts of flat surfaces such as walls, furniture and caskets. Production of this new molded product, known as SyrocoWood, was the mainstay of the company's production through the 1940s. The finished material could be smoothed and varnished to look like wood, or it could be painted. Sales catalogues from the early 1900s through the 1920s offer hundreds of varieties of moldings, capitals, brackets, volutes, and reliefs of vases, garlands, cartouches, scrollwork, and other details in a variety of styles.

Syroco operated from a large factory complex on 581 South Clinton Street in Syracuse acquired from Smith Corona Typewriter Company. The company remained in the hands of the Holstein family for three generations, with some of Adolph's children and grandchildren taking over management and sales positions. At its peak, about 400 workers were employed at the plant.

By the 1930s the company had also developed an extensive line of gift and novelty items made of "SyrocoWood" and also "Woodite," a combination of wood flour and polymer. In the 1960s the company began to use injection molding for some of its products, but did not entirely abandon its old processes.

Read more about the Syracuse Ornamental Company on Wikipedia Link button

A Table Full of Memories

A Table Full of Memories
A Table Full of Memories

Jackie Collins loves his World's Fair treasures and enjoys putting them on display in his home.

A Table Full of Memories
A Table Full of Memories

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People Seeking Information:

May 2016

Mike Ross

I'm looking for information about the 'World's Fair Anthology of Verse' (edited by Paul Emory Carter), including the process by which poems were selected for inclusion in it.

I gather that some five volumes were produced in 1938, 1939 & 1940.) Family lore says my great-great grandmother (Josephine America Pardue, 1859-1940) wrote a poem ('Alabama') that was included in an anthology exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair. I'm trying to determine if it was published in one of Carter's volumes, and if so, which one.

Also, was the process of gathering/selecting the poems for Carter's World's Fair anthologies part of -- or different from -- that created by Marie Bullock (The Academy of American Poets) that selected the World's Fair Official Poem and five runners-up for cash prizes?

I would appreciate any info, tips and pointers.

Mike Ross

If you have answers, contact me.

View the current list of questions. If you have a question email me and I will add it to the list.

The World's Fair Gift Shop

Visit the Gift Shop to purchase many items from the 1939 NY World's Fair.

Money raised from the sale of items goes towards maintaining the website.


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  3. Send me a message to let me know you would like to be an Editor and I'll do the rest.


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