1964: Advertising Week in Pittsburgh, celebrated with Mayor Joseph Barr, Paul Sheldon, Barbara Bucar of Crucible Steel Co., and Carl Cummings of the Advertising Club of Pittsburgh. 1961: Alan L. Hornell of Pittsburgh-based Advertising & Public Relations Consultants, Inc. (Contributed photo) 1965: Jacques Kahn, a well-known partner in a Pittsburgh ad agency, once brought a 150-pound puma and Go-Go Girl Dottie Lucas to help persuade businessmen to sign on with his firm. (Pittsburgh Press) 1977: Ann C. McFadden, vice president of Ketchum, MacLeod and Grove.  (Contributed photo) 1977: Rita A. Frankel, vice president of Ketchum, MacLeod and Grove Inc. (Contributed photo) 1962: Victor Boero, vice president and director of art for Fuller Smith and Ross. 1989: The three owners of the St. George Group ad agency, which was formed by a 1980s merger: Stan Skirboll, Herb Burger and George Garber. (Andy Starnes/Pittsburgh Press)

"Mad Men of Pittsburgh"

Pittsburgh was never New York City, and none of these former ad industry players could be confused for Don Draper, Roger Sterling or any other “Mad Men” characters.

Still, it’s virtually impossible to look through the folder labeled “ADVERTISING MEN” in the PG’s photo archive and not imagine Pittsburgh’s own smoky ad agencies of the era. The two-part final season of “Mad Men” premieres Sunday night, so we decided to give you a flavor of “Mad Men” characters,  Pittsburgh edition.

The folder contains at least three decades’ worth of players in the city’s advertising business: hundreds of white male faces employed by dozens of agencies.

And, yes, plenty of skinny black ties and crisp white shirts.

Notably absent, of course, are women and any racial diversity. In the inch-thick folder, there are but two small headshots of women. Ann McFadden, vice president at Ketchum, MacLeod and Grove Inc., was one. Both she and another Ketchum executive, Rita Frankel, didn’t become vice presidents until the late 1970s.

McFadden was featured prominently in an excellent Pittsburgh Magazine feature about the show.

“For its size, Pittsburgh was a major advertising town,” she told the magazine.

“Back then, Pittsburgh was still the Steel City and the nation’s third-largest corporate headquarters, which made it a nexus for advertising agencies (a City Directory of the time lists more than 70),” Mike May wrote.

Firms like Ketchum and Burson-Marsteller were then — and remain today — major firms, though the city’s hard times of the 1980s brought mergers that swallowed others.

As for the puma, we at “The Digs” scratched our heads, let’s put it this way: we are just glad no one in that advertising office was swallowed.

—Ethan Magoc

The dark patches are water, January 2, 1988 (Post-Gazette photo) The collapsed Ashland tank in a pool of diesel fuel (Mark Murphy/Post-Gazette) Ashland oil tank site with the remains of the tank that disintegrated (Post-Gazette photo) Workers at Braddock Lock pump oil from the river (Tony Tye/Post-Gazette)

1988: ”Monongahela oil spill”

It was the second largest oil spill in the history of Western Pennsylvania and one of the worst inland oil spills in the nation. According to Coast Guard statistics, as reported by the New York Times, only a 14 million gallon spill into the Delaware River in 1975 and a 2 million gallon spill after an explosion in Brooklyn the next year involved larger quantities. 

At the time U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter called the Monongahela oil spill “a super, major spill.”

On January 2, 1988, a 3.8-million gallon diesel oil tank collapsed and failed, dumping an estimated 1 million gallons of diesel fuel into the Monongahela River in Floreffe, Pa., 18 miles south of Pittsburgh; 2.5 million gallons were trapped by retention dikes around the riverside storage area, forming a pool of oil. River traffic on the busy Mon stopped.

The tank burst at 5:10 p.m. at the Ashland Oil Inc. storage area as it was being filled, threatening wild life and drinking water supplies for about 1 million people in more than 80 communities across three states. After the rupture, “the tank looked like someone stepped on a marshmallow.”

The 6-inch-thick slick, spreading bank to bank had grown to 33 miles long as it flowed past Pittsburgh’s Point State Park and 10 miles up the Ohio River.

The spread of the fuel was unstoppable; foot by foot it moved forward, conquering the water surface of the Mon and carrying it all the way to the Ohio River, reporters described the asphyxiating smell of diesel fumes in the air. 

As the Associated Press reported at the time, “approximately 23,000 suburban Pittsburgh residents lived for a week without tap water while the river carried the pollution past their water intakes.”

Federal agencies in collaboration with local authorities used 20,000 feet of boom and barges to contain the spill and deflect the fuel. Cold January temperatures impeded the cleanup process by not only creating the mechanical issues with the equipment but also causing hypothermia and increasing the probability of contamination because oil emulsified faster in the cold.

Following a federal investigation which concluded that Ashland violated the industry standards when they had reconstructed the tank in Floreffe the Federal Government made Ashland pay $2.25 million in fines and cover cleanup fees, which together with compensations to the distressed communities, amounted to $18 million. 

— Mila Sanina

Top photo: Two workers of the pumping crew place a hose in the pool of diesel fuel at the Ashland site (Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette)

Arnold in 1947. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Deacon and Arnold Palmer in Pinehurst, N.C., in 1963. (Photo credit: Unknown) Arnold in the driveway of his home in 1958. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

Sept. 28, 1960: Arnold Palmer at Oakmont

Arnold Palmer was born in September 1929. A month later, Wall Street imploded and times got tough. For Arnold’s father, Milfred “Deacon” Palmer, that meant taking on two jobs at the Latrobe Country Club — greenskeeper and golf pro.

Young Arnold rode on the tractor his dad drove on the country club’s golf course. Deacon couldn’t afford fancy toys, so when Arnold played, it was on the links, whacking a ball with a club cut down to his size. He was pretty good at it.

By age 8, Arnold was hanging out at the water hole, waiting for struggling golfers warily eyeing the ditch 120 yards up the fairway. For a nickel, Arnold would hit the ball over for them.

As a freshman at Latrobe High School, Arnold wanted to play football but he was too small — no uniform would fit him. He went home to tell his dad. By then World War II was raging. Deacon had taken a third job, working nights in the melt shop of the Latrobe Steel Co. Deacon came home at night exhausted and bearing scars that would stay with him until his death. Arnold would later recall his dad coming up the steps at home after a shift. “He couldn’t walk,” Arnold said. “He crawled.”

Deacon didn’t want to hear his son complain about football uniforms or limitations. “Quit bellyaching,” Deacon said. “Play it as it lies.”

So Arnold focused on golf. And he was remarkable. He won the Western Pennsylvania junior title three times.

At the country club, though, he was still the son of a club employee. That meant Arnold couldn’t swim in the club pool or enter the locker room without his father.

Sometimes Arnold played golf with guys who worked with his dad in the melt shop. These were men with names like Scootch Goodman and Pickles Vilk. Years later, he’d have other golf buddies with names like Dwight Eisenhower and Bob Hope.

Arnold turned pro and transformed golf in the way that Babe Ruth transformed baseball. He played the game with what seemed like great ease and gusto and was superb. He was cool and comfortable and relaxed and confident. He had fun.

Crowds loved him and followed him around the course. To them, he was not just a man struggling to put a tiny ball into a small hole. He was somebody they recognized.

Bob Drum, a Pittsburgh Press writer who followed Arnold through his peak years, put it like this:

“Arnold looked like he just came from the mill. Now, the masses had somebody to root for.”

Golf would never be the same.

Top photo: Arnold at the Caddie Invitational Tournament in Oakmont in 1963. (Harry Coughanour/Post-Gazette)

— Steve Mellon 

The Pittsburgher Hotel on April 6, 1961. (Post-Gazette photo) Duddy, left, directed the removal of bar stools at the Pittsburgher Hotel when state legislators legalized the art of standing and drinking in 1936. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Duddy ordered removal of the Pittsburgher neon sign in 1960 to make way for a canopy. The sign was first installed in 1928. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Duddy packs up some of his pictures before leaving the Pittsburgher Hotel. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

March 2, 1941: Joseph Duddy and the Pittsburgher Hotel

As manager of the 400-room Pittsburgher Hotel at Forbes Avenue and Cherry Way, Joseph Duddy greeted many important guests and he had a knack for remembering names and faces.

During his career in the hotel industry, Mr. Duddy met aviator Charles Lindbergh, crooner Bing Crosby, prizefighter Jack Dempsey and King Albert of Belgium. He also catered to a series of U.S. Presidents, including Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and William Howard Taft. (Lindbergh gave $5 to the bell boy who carted his luggage up and down to his room while President Taft gave out 10-cent tips, Mr. Duddy told a newspaper columnist.)

The South Side native, born in 1894, may have acquired his people skills as a 6-year-old boy when he began selling newspapers in the morning and afternoon on the South Side. At that tender age, he wore a special badge and cap so he could ride the trolleys through the Mt. Washington tunnel. He ran a profitable stand at Carson and Smithfield streets and his customers called him “Little Joe.” In between his day job, he made it to class at Monongahela School, too.

At age 13, he became a bell boy at the Duquesne Hotel. In 1916, he joined the staff of the William Penn Hotel and rose to the rank of service manager. He held similar positions at the Monongahela House and the Roosevelt Hotel.

In 1935, when the state Legislature made it legal for Pennsylvanians to drink while standing at a bar, Mr. Duddy supervised removal of seats from the Pittsburgher Hotel’s bar. In 1936, when football fans packed local hotels to attend the Notre Dame-Pitt football game, Mr. Duddy gave his own suite to Alfred E. Smith, who had campaigned on the Democratic ticket for the U.S. presidency.

Mr. Duddy never forget his start as a newsie. Every year, he asked all of his friends to contribute to The Press Old Newsboys Fund, a charity that raised money to pay for medical care that poor patients received at Children’s Hospital.

In 1945, the 24-story Hotel Pittsburgher, which had been built by a Mellon family interest and opened in 1928, was sold for $1.1 million to the Knott Corp.

But Mr. Duddy stayed on as manager.  His new employer sent him to Ireland on a scouting mission to see if it was a good idea to build a hotel in Dublin.  In 1955, he was the guest of honor at a party here before flying to England to open the Westbury Hotel in the upscale London neighborhood of Mayfair.

As 1960 drew to a close, the neon sign that said “Hotel Pittsburgher” came down after 33 years to make way for a canopy. In 1961, Mr. Duddy packed up the many photographs of famous people that decorated his office. He spent two years managing a hotel near the airport, then retired in 1963. He died a year later at age 70.

Today, the former Pittsburgher Hotel is known as the Lawyers’ Building.

Top picture: Joseph Duddy with his pet scottish terrier, Mr. MacGregor. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

— Marylynne Pitz

1967: Pittsburgh’s Skybus

A story of Skybus, as the Transit Expressway Revenue Line became known in the 1960s, is a chapter of shattered dreams in Pittsburgh’s public transit saga. 

It had a grand vision for superior rapid transit service that would move large crowds day and night, year in and year out. Call it a commuter’s dream.

The opportunities it presented promised a break-through in public transit technology. The system developed by Westinghouse used a dedicated elevated concrete track, rubber-tired cars and driverless operation — all were innovative concepts in 1960, the year it was conceived. 

In 1964, federal money poured in to build a demonstration track in South Park that would be 1.77 miles long. In 1965, the Transportation Systems Group unveiled the demo system for the Allegheny County Fair. According to the Post-Gazette, more than 30,000 people paid the ten-cent fair for a chance to take an air-conditioned Skybus ride around the loop during the several days of the fair. Even Walt Disney came to South Park to evaluate the Skybus system, many thought it would serve as a prototype for Disney World. 

"The system was originally named Skybus until it was discovered that Skybus was a trademark for one of the airlines," according to the Post-Gazette. "The name was then changed to Transit-Expressway and later to People-Mover when it finally evolved into a special purpose transportation system."

But People-Mover never quite moved to Pittsburgh. It was too controversial and too  ambitious, too big for the Port Authority and political factions on the city and state levels to stomach: a 92 mile long trolley line, 460+ cars at the cost of $295 million. The system was meant to connect suburbs with downtown. The Skybus route would originate in South Hills and would follow a streetcar route through Mt. Lebanon and Beechview before reaching Downtown Pittsburgh through the unused Wabash Tunnel.

Evaluations were made, papers were written and the work began, the plan was revised several times in the process. In 1976, it died because of the political stalemate and a recommendation to withdraw support from the project.

We may not have Skybus in Pittsburgh, but we do have internet to dream. Want to live commuter’s dream for a minute and take a ride on Skybus?

— Mila Sanina

(Peter Diana/Post-Gazette) September 1991: Barry Bonds watching batting practice. He hit 25 home runs and finished second in MVP that season. (Peter Diana/Post-Gazette) Aug. 16, 1990: Bonds flips his hat in disagreement with the umpire. Future Pirates manager Gene Lamont is on the left. (Mark Murphy/Post-Gazette) Sept. 22, 1990: Bonds literally stealing his 50th base of the year. (Post-Gazette photo) April 19, 1988: Bonds batting at the beginning of his third season with the Pirates. (Mark Murphy/Post-Gazette) June 21, 1987: Willie Stargell was good friends with Bobby Bonds, father of Barry. (John Kaplan/Pittsburgh Press)

1990: “Jim Leyland and Barry Bonds”

Few figures in Pittsburgh sports history are as polarizing as Barry Bonds.

Penguins’ fans still begrudge Jaromir Jagr’s 2001 exit and 2011 non-return.

And Ernie Stautner, for a time, rankled Steelers fans as few others have done since.

But Barry Bonds left the Pirates after their 1992 NLCS loss, and the team went on to endure 20 seasons of futility. Those weren’t all his fault, but try telling that to most Bucco fans, especially after his legacy became synonymous with performance-enhancing drugs.

On Friday, the Pirates decided to invite Bonds, former manager Jim Leyland and retired shortstop Jack Wilson back to PNC Park to present last season’s awards.

Reaction, mostly against, is swift and visceral.

But in the Post-Gazette’s photo archive, the images of Bonds as a young draft pick nearly 29 years ago bring different reactions. As a rising star for the Pirates, he seems almost like a different Barry Bonds.

His mercurial attitude is evident — note the helmet flip after a called third strike — but so is his charm, joshing with Willie Stargell in the dugout in May 1987.

Will Pittsburgh fans forgive and welcome him back on Opening Day? We shall see.

UPDATED: Here’s Brady McCullough’s take on the reaction to his return.

— Ethan Magoc

(Top photo credit: Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)

Big hair, knee socks and a pothole. Yup, this is Pittsburgh. (Pittsburgh Press photo) A five-hubcapper on the Liberty Bridge. (Pittsburgh Press photo) We do not know what is going on in this picture, but it does contain a pothole. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Knee deep in potholes in front of the Duquesne Club in the late 1960s. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

February 1971: The artistry of Pittsburgh’s potholes

We at the Digs see a number of similarities between our city’s potholes and those freaky crop circles found in the English countryside. Both materialize somewhat mysteriously and have brought great fame to specific geographical regions. And each pothole, like every crop circle, possesses unmistakable artistic merit. You just have to squint to see it.

A few weeks ago, while driving along Fort Pitt Boulevard, we squinted at the monster pothole at the Market Street intersection and discovered that it resembled, in both shape and size, a barnacle-encrusted humpback whale. Our vehicle then fell into the hole and everything went dark until we emerged on the North Side.

That particular pothole has since been filled with several tons of asphalt and so now it resembles a Vermont-sized liver spot.

Back at the PG archives, we checked our clipping files and found 21 folders labeled “Potholes.” While this isn’t a record (the Steelers clippings consume more than 200 folders), it certainly qualifies as an obsession. Pittsburgh newspaper reporters love writing about roads resembling swiss cheese.

The first file we opened dated from the mid 1970s. This was our city’s “Golden Age” of potholes. Some were so large a reader suggested building bridges over them. In 1972, one article noted, the 3700 block of Bigelow Boulevard was declared a “disaster area.”

Then, in 1976 came an age of enlightenment, at least for one Pittsburgh Press writer. “It’s pothole blossom time!” he cheered.

Newspapers soon developed a pothole rating system. On Ohio River Boulevard, a reporter spotted a “six-hubcapper,” which meant that six lost hubcaps littered the immediate area. Roads at the time were choked with Chevy Vegas and Ford Pintos and AMC Gremlins, cars so loosely bolted together that they geysered auto parts when encountering even the shallowest of potholes.

Late in the decade, a mean-spirited and maniacal pothole on William Penn Highway in Monroeville flattened the tire of a Pittsburgh optometrist. He pulled into a nearby gas station and found five other motorists waiting to get their tires repaired. Enraged, the optometrist formed an organization called Pothole Victims of Pennsylvania. Potholes would finally face justice.

And in February 1977, experts discovered a possibly bottomless pothole on Friendship Avenue. “Granddaddy,” it was labeled. In an effort to determine the hole’s depth, Scientists dropped a Dodge Omni into the abyss. Eerily, the vehicle was never heard to hit bottom. Perhaps the hole was a window into another universe.

Top photo: A young girl discovered potholes made excellent “wading ponds” on Babcock Boulevard in Pine Township. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

— Steve Mellon 

Bobo Rockefeller in the early 1950s. (Photo credit: Unknown) Bobo lived in a third-floor apartment in this New York Tenement before marriage to Rockefeller. (ACME photo) Bobo and Winthrop Rockefeller occupied a 15-room duplex atop 770 Park Ave. in New York. (Photo credit: Unknown) Bobo and Reno hotel owner Charles Mapes in 1954. (UPI photo)

Feb. 14, 1948: Bobo Rockefeller, coal miner’s daughter

The coal miner’s daughter many people think of is Loretta Lynn, the country music singer whose autobiography inspired a memorable movie in 1980.

But Western Pennsylvania has its own famous coal miner’s daughter and her name was Barbara “Bobo” Rockefeller.

On Valentine’s Day of 1948, she won the marriage lottery when she wed Winthrop Rockefeller  at the Palm Beach estate of Winston Guest, a socialite and polo player. Guests included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

The beautiful blonde bride wore a simple dress, a square-cut diamond set in platinum and a wide smile. The groom, a grandson of John D. Rockefeller, a founder of Standard Oil, was one of the richest men in America.

Here’s how the daughter of a Lithuanian immigrant went from a gritty existence in a mine patch to living la dolce vita in a six-story New York City duplex with 15 rooms on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Her parents divorced when she was a child and while her father, Julius Paulekas, continued mining coal, she grew up with her mother, Eva Neveckas near the Chicago stockyards. At age 17 in 1933, she won the beauty pageant  title of Miss Lithuania.

Born with the hard-to-pronounce name of Jievute Paulekiute, she changed it to Eva Paul by the time Montogmery Ward hired her to model for its catalog. That was her stage name, too.

In a touring production of  the play “Tobacco Road,” she met Richard Sears Jr., a man from a prominent family in Boston’s Beacon Hill. After they married in 1941, she changed her name to Barbara Paul Sears and landed in Boston’s Social Register. For awhile the couple figured prominently in the cafe society of Paris, where Mr. Sears served as third secretary at the American embassy. By 1947, the couple divorced.

With her sister, Mrs. Sears began sharing a fourth-floor walk-up apartment in a tenement building next to New York City’s Third Avenue train tracks. In those far from genteel surroundings, Winthrop Rockefeller’s arrival in a chauffeur-driven limousine caused neighbors to stare. The couple met at a dinner party.

After the 1948 wedding, the couple had a son in 1949. They separated after less than two years of marriage. Mrs. Rockefeller pawned her large diamond ring for $30,000, living off the proceeds for five years as she waited for the divorce settlement. When it arrived, it was a record-setting $5.5 million.

Winthrop Aldrich Rockefeller served as governor of Arkansas from 1967 to 1971. His son, Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, served as Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until his death in 2006. Two years later, Barbara Paul Sears Rockefeller died at age 91 at her home in Little Rock, Ark.

(Top photo: Winthrop and Bobo Rockefeller talk with the Rev. Winslow S. Drummond after the clergyman performed their marriage ceremony Feb. 14, 1948.)

— Marylynne Pitz

Commencement at Chatham College, June, 1958 (Sun-Telegraph photo) Unthreatened by the draft Chatham students take to protests, Sept. 16, 1969 (Press photo by Michael Chikiris)

1990: "Chatham students protest a proposal to admit men"

Soon one of the oldest women-only educational institutions in the U. S. located in Pittsburgh may no longer be women-only.  This year, Chatham, the 145-year-old college, is likely to undergo a historical change: to start allowing men into its undergraduate programs.

"Is that necessary?" some students wondered. "Why?" 

The reaction to the news varied from negative comments by the alumni association protesting the move to one student’s tweet, “WHY DON’T YOU WANT BOYS HERE?!”

It’s not the first time that Chatham considered going co-ed.  On February 16, 1990, Chatham students like Michelle Weber gathered on the steps of Jennie King Mellon Library to protest an announcement by Chatham President Rebecca Stafford that in the 1991-1992 school year the school would begin admitting male students. Our Steve Mellon, then the photographer for The Pittsburgh Press, captured the Chatham sit-in.

The signs captured the sentiment: “Better Dead Than Co-Ed” and “Save Women’s Education.”

Five days later, a group of professors who had each taught at Chatham for at least 20 years drafted a letter to the President reaffirming their support of the “concepts, aims, and practice of single-sex education for women” and intention to protest “any action to alter the college’s mission to accept male students, taken so precipitously as the present plans call on us to do,” the Post-Gazette reported.

In September 1990, the Chatham Board of Trustees voted to delay the decision on co-education indefinitely.

Since the 1960s the total number of women-only colleges in the United States had been drastically reduced. For many of them the co-ed option was an effort to alleviate financial difficulties. Chatham had also considered co-education in the 1980s.

The recent speech by Chatham’s president Esther Barazzone sounded more alarming than the speeches of her predecessors proposing the drastic change. The climate for single-sex residential colleges has gotten precipitously worse in a bad economy, she said. 

Will Chatham go coed? It may have no choice this time. 

— Mila Sanina

March 10, 1983: View of Pittsburgh from the top of the U.S. Steel building. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Aug. 9, 1972: View of Pittsburgh and the Hill District neighborhood, including the Civic Arena. (Stewart Love/The Pittsburgh Press) Aug. 9, 1972: View of Downtown Pittsburgh and the Golden Triangle. (Stewart Love/The Pittsburgh Press) November 1983: A view of the Pittsburgh skyline at dawn -- not an aerial, but we wanted to include it just the same. (Donald J. Stetzer/The Pittsburgh Press) Aug. 9, 1972: The edge of Downtown Pittsburgh and Point State Park. (Dale Gleason/Pittsburgh Press) Aug. 9, 1972: Three Rivers Stadium, less than two months before Roberto Clemente earned his 3000th hit there. (Stewart Love/The Pittsburgh Press) Feb. 9, 1969: A view of Pittsburgh from Duquesne University and its Administration Building. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

"Pittsburgh from the air"

Pittsburgh’s skyline is one of the most photogenic in the country. Day or night, images of the Golden Triangle’s towers bordered by the city’s rivers are striking.

Even before the current set of skyscrapers went up, photographers loved taking images of Pittsburgh from the air. For many of them,  Pittsburgh has always been about scale.

We recently found at least seven folders in the PG’s archive — from 1930 to the 2000s — packed full of beautiful images of Pittsburgh from elevated angles. We’re sharing some of the best ones here.

And over the next few months, we’ll add more to this series.

For now, enjoy this sequence of images that shows the city from high above. Many were taken by Pittsburgh Press photographer Stewart Love, who was an expert in capturing such angles.

The Pittsburgh Press claimed that Stewart Love was the newspaper’s “aerial” photographer. Love’s pictures were published in publications such as Life, Time, Look and Saturday Evening Post. He made history with his camera and friends with his personality. “Stu,” as Stewart Love was known among his friends, loved Pittsburgh.  Obviously, he was not the only one.

Andrew Carnegie said, “Pittsburgh entered the core of my heart when I was a boy and cannot be torn out.”

Wiz Khalifa echoed his statement a century later, “Just growing up in Pittsburgh and knowing different neighborhoods, having family there and just loving it, it’s like no other place.”

And Willie Stargell once said, “I would always reserve a special place in my heart for Pittsburgh.”

And so would we, and we hope, our readers would, too.

Ethan Magoc

Do you love these photos? Purchase them on PG Store:

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Pittsburgh aerial 7

The perfect clue -- a cigarette butt. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Ad in a crime magazine caught his attention. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Waugh practiced shadowing his postman. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Waugh used foot powder on his overworked detective feet. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Was Waugh sneaking out of a bar or trailing a suspect? (Pittsburgh Press photo) Yipee! Waugh gets his certificate. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

October 1937: Pittsburgh’s extraordinary mail order detective

Earle Waugh’s eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw the advertisement in one of those crime magazines he loved so much.

“Be a detective in 16 easy lessons at home!” the ad read. “Help America combat the scourge of crime. Start now!”

Waugh lowered the magazine. A dreamy look came to his eyes. He envisioned the headlines:

Waugh Nabs Killers

Waugh Nips Crime Wave

Soon, he sprung from his chair and mailed $10 to Capt. Aloysious Duffy, director of the Wide World of Crime Detection of Scroggins, Wyo.

The end result was a wacky, days-long series of newspaper stories detailing Waugh’s attempts at learning detective work by mail order. Waugh was a night police reporter for The Pittsburgh Press, but he also was a wonderful goofball, as this series clearly demonstrates.

We at “The Digs” are astonished that the ever-serious Press turned over the front page of its second section for six straight days to Waugh’s bizarre tongue-in-cheek adventure tale.

Waugh started off by shadowing his postman. Why the postman? Well, thought Waugh, you never know who might be a criminal. So he hid behind a tree on his street early one morning. Four hours later, along came the postman.

Waugh dashed through alleys, ducked behind hedges and hopped from pole to fence to doorway while following the postman along his route. None of this escaped the notice of the postman, who scratched his head and wondered if Waugh had lost his mind.

“Earle,” said Waugh’s wife, “you’ve got to get a grip on yourself.”

But Waugh was just getting started.

He opened his 48-page instruction book, entitled “An Encyclopedia of Crime Detection,” and tackled the next lesson, a test of observation skills. “Describe in detail someone you know,” read the book.

Waugh decided on his landlord.

Name: J. Brown

Occupation: Chiseler and loafer

Color: Florid

Hair: None

Shape of ears: Batwing or Aileron type

Teeth: Store

Any missing: Upper plate

Clothes: Yes

Waugh was then instructed to engage a suspect in conversation and gain his confidence. So he wrote Capt. Duffy, “What am I supposed to do with the suspect’s confidence after I’ve got it?”

Interrogation is serious business, so Waugh invented what he described as the “infallible Waugh Persuader Method.” It involved a two-foot length of rubber hose. The suspect would first be seated in a darkened room, then Waugh would sneak up behind him and blow through the hose like a trumpet.

“It frightens some of ‘em almost to death and makes lots of them break down and confess right away,” he bragged.

Next, Waugh needed fingerprints. His plan: Carry with him a highly polished beer mug. He entered taverns, asked the bartender to fill the mug, then handed it to a suspect, who was happy to accept a free beer.

Afterward, Waugh had trouble distinguishing the suspect’s fingerprints from his own and the bartender’s. His solution: “Getting some gloves for myself and an extra pair for slipping to the bartenders just before the trap is sprung.”

Finally, after six days, Waugh announced he’d received a package, sent by special delivery. “It’s my diploma,” he raved. “Gilt-edged, it is, too, with my name typed on the dotted line. I’m a detective — a DETECTIVE!”

Criminals across Pittsburgh cheered. Postmen shuddered.

— Steve Mellon 

 Dec. 10, 1970: Each of these jaywalkers could have been fined $1 if a 1932 ordinance was enforced. (Pittsburgh Press photo) March 2, 1958: We’ll hope this sequence ended well for both the Yellow Cab and the woman venturing to the other side of the street. (Pittsburgh Press photo) March 13, 1959: A woman and her child, jaywalking through traffic on Stanwix Street near Liberty Avenue, were greeted with a safety lecture. (Pittsburgh Press photo) April 18, 1958: Some do it because they’re in a hurry, other’s just like it… read The Pittsburgh Press caption on this photo at Fifth Avenue. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

1977: “Police strikes Pittsburgh jaywalkers with fines”

Jaywalking is treated in the sports town of Pittsburgh as both a birthright and participatory sport, and judging by photos found in our archive, this has been the case for a long time. Columnist Phil Musick of The Pittsburgh Press put it nicely in 1986 in a piece describing the city’s character quirks.

"For example, unlike the less sophisticated residents of such paradises as, say, Cleveland, we both chop our ham and chip it… We originated and continue to make heavy use of the mangled but innovative pronoun ‘yuns.’ And our favorite outdoor sport is jaywalking, which we have long since raised to an art form."

There were times when authorities tried to put a halt to Pittsburgh’s long-running jaywalking history.

In 1977, Mount Lebanon police started dropping $15 fines on pedestrians spotted jaywalking; few were amused.

“I’ve never been so angry in my whole life,” resident Stuartie Merrill told a reporter of The Pittsburgh Press. “I refused to sign the citation, so they wrote ‘refused’ on it, and for a moment I thought they would cart me off to jail.”

Business owners were unhappy about the crackdown as well, seeing it as a harassment on customers.

Traffic patrolmen interviewed by The Pittsburgh Press in the 1970s said jaywalking wasn’t against the law in Pittsburgh, “thus proving a 1932 ordinance on the subject is one of the best-kept secrets in town.”

Through the years, there has been an ebb and flow here to jaywalking regulation.

In the late 1970s, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly mandated enforcement of its jaywalking ban. But in Pittsburgh, enforcement rarely went past a warning — only if the pedestrian caused an accident.

Often, it was just too pervasive to bother. As a 26-year-old jaywalker from Spring Hill once told a Press reporter, “The only people in this town who don’t jaywalk are the ones who ain’t fast enough…”

—Ethan Magoc

Patricia Ann Cloonan, center, wore the crown in 1992. Her attendants were Julieann Jennings, left, and Meghan King. (Tony Tye/Post-Gazette) Patti Burns, future KDKA news anchor, was crowned in 1967. (Pittsburgh Press photo) At a 1994 get-together: Maura Jennings (1993), Maureen Durkin (1972), Margaret Philbin (1974), Mary Madigan Kennedy (1960). (Robert J. Pavuchak/Post-Gazette) Eileen Joyce, crowned in 1976, with County Commissioner Tom Foerster, left, and parade chair Edward Fay. (Kent Badger/The Pittsburgh Press)

March 1969: Miss Smiling Irish Eyes

One of the stars of Pittsburgh’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the young woman crowned Miss Smiling Irish Eyes. The honor,  presented for more than 50 years, promotes Irish culture and heritage.

Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 22, of Irish birth or descent and of good moral character. Involvement in the community and Irish culture is a must. Of course, winners march or ride in the annual parade.

One of the earliest recipients was Mary Madigan Kennedy, who was active with the Irish Society for Education and Charity, the parade’s umbrella organization. She died in 2012 but her sister, Peggy Cooney of Green Tree, still runs the competition.

Miss Smiling Irish Eyes of 1967 was Patti Burns, who became a respected news anchor at KDKA-TV. Ms. Burns died of lung cancer at age 49 in 2001.

Patricia Ann Cloonan, 22, of Ross, won in 1992 and was invited to compete for the title of Maiden of the Mournes. That event, designed to promote tourism in Northern Ireland, is still held in the seaside town of Warrenpoint,  near a mountain range called the Mournes.

“Since then, we have sent our Miss Smiling Irish Eyes every year,” Mrs. Cooney said. The young women participate in a week of events and meet people from all over the world. Ms. Cloonan is married, has four children and owns a local restaurant.

Laura Allison, another Miss Smiling Irish Eyes, became the first American woman to win Maiden of the Mournes. She received 500 pounds, a lovely piece of jewelry, some Irish china and an invitation to return the following year as a judge.

In 1993, Maura Jennings Stacey of Penn Hills was Miss Smiling Irish Eyes during the blizzard that descended on the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of that year. Snow was falling heavily when the parade started at 10 a.m. By day’s end, more than 23 inches of snow blanketed the city.

“For some reason, I had tennis shoes on,” Mrs. Stacey recalled. Film footage of the parade appeared on  television news broadcasts in Philadelphia.

“There were a few bagpipers. No one stopped because you just wanted to get done,” Mrs. Stacey said.

Later, she traveled with her family to Ireland to compete in the Maid of the Mournes contest.

“My mom had never been to Ireland. My Dad got to reconnect with his family. All of his cousins are over there. It turned out to be a blessing,” Mrs. Stacey recalled.

Others who have worn the crown include Meredith McDonough, now a television news caster in Orlando, Fla., and Megan Schiller, a news caster in South Bend, Ind. Rita Allison earned a doctorate in English literature and is teaching.

Lauren Byrne, crowned in 2002, is executive director of Lawrenceville United, a community organization. Her sister, Bridget Byrne, won in 2009. She is a teaching associate at the Neighborhood Academy in Stanton Heights.

This year’s winner is Ciara Scanlon Crossey. She’ll be crowned today at the Rivers Club, Downtown.

Finally, Margaret Philbin, crowned in 1974, jokes that she was three when she won. Now a public information officer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she joined other women who have worn the crown for a reunion in 2012 by marching in the parade together that year.

“I did it in heels. That’s what I’m really proud of,” Ms. Philbin said.

— Marylynne Pitz

Kaczynski with his captors. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Guard James McNamara, left, was overpowered. Deputy warden displayed makeshift rope. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Path the escapees used to reach the prison roof. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Escapees walked carefully along the roof. Only one made it down safely. (Pittsburgh Press photo) Kaczynski returned to jail wearing a flowered shirt. (Pittsburgh Press photo)

May 1951: Breakout at Western Penitentiary

Andrew Kaczynski’s romp of freedom lasted exactly four weeks. It began on a warm afternoon in early May 1951, when Kaczynski and four other prisoners at Western Penitentiary overpowered a 78-year-old guard, shimmied up a pipe, then climbed a workman’s ladder to the prison roof.

There, the prisoners used a rope made of strips from a mattress cover to lower themselves 60 feet to the ground. That was the plan, anyway. Kaczysnki went first. When he hit the ground, he took off running. He was spotted by a state police trooper driving out of the prison grounds. The trooper turned on his siren.

This alarmed one of the other escapees, James “Mojo” Woods, a member of the notorious zoot-suit gang that preyed on motorcyclists stopped at red lights. Woods was halfway down the rope. Startled by the alarm, he lost his grip, fell to the ground and was knocked unconscious.

The three other prisoners never left the roof. Kaczynski, a safe-cracker serving a 36-year term, got away.

The next day, he showed up at a Downtown hotel restaurant to see his wife, a 19-year-old waitress named Rose. Unfortunately, she was off-duty. An unrepentant romantic, the 34-year-old Kaczynski handed a cigarette lighter to a co-worker and asked her to give it to Rose. “I probably won’t see her again,” he said. He walked out the door and disappeared down the street.

Kaczynski remained free throughout May. Then, late in the month, police received an anonymous tip that he was hiding out in his sister’s Lawrenceville home. As they prepared to enter the house, police saw Kaczynski peering from a bathroom window on the second floor. They instantly recognized him. Kaczynski had an unforgettable face. His police mug shot elevates the scowl to an art form. It’s the Mona Lisa of crime.

Police rushed inside with guns drawn and stormed to the upper floor. Kaczynski flung open a window, climbed onto the roof, jumped eight feet to the porch roof of the home next door, then made a running jump into a vacant lot.

As he dashed through an alley, officers opened fire. Kaczynski staggered momentarily before crashing through a fence and darting out of sight through a maze of alleys.

Police set up roadblocks and descended on the Lawrenceville homes of Kaczynski’s relatives.

The search narrowed on his sister-in-law’s house on Mulberry Way. A squad of 20 policemen surrounded the house while Inspector Michael Daugherty and a handful of officers made their way inside.

They found Kaczynski “cowering under a bed on the second floor,” reported The Pittsburgh Press.

“When he refused to come out, inspector Daugherty grabbed his legs and a patrolman grabbed his arms. In pulling him out, they upset the bed.”

Blood seeped from gunshot wounds in Kaczynski’s knees.

Soon he was hauled before a judge. Assistant District Attorney Samuel Strauss called Kaczynski “a hardened criminal — perhaps the worst ever before us.”

Then he reminded the court that Kaczynski had tried to escape from the county jail in 1950 by sawing through jail bars.

“That was a frame-up,” Kaczynski snarled.

Then Strauss reminded Kazcynski that he’d been found with a saw blade in his shoe.

For his four weeks of freedom, Kazcynski drew 10 to 20 years.

— Steve Mellon 

The Pittsburg Press clipping from March 31, 1918, the year when DST was first introduced in the United States. Raymond Kasunick of Troy Hill has hard time coaxing kooky out of his nest an hour ahead of time, May 2, 1961 (The Pittsburgh Press)

1918: "Daylight Saving Time hits Pittsburg"

"Spring forward, fall back," — that’s a helpful trick to remember when you are wondering what to do with your watches and wall clocks when it’s time to adjust to  Daylight Saving Time. If you rely on your smartphone or your laptop to keep track of time, you will not have to worry about manually adjusting the clocks, they will "spring forward" for you. 

Things were not always that easy. When Daylight Saving Time was first introduced in the U.S. in 1918, Pittsburg was ‘h’-less and television and smart gadgets were not around yet, so Pittsburgh newspapers obsessively reminded the city dwellers to shift the clock. There were front-page articles and a cartoon in The Pittsburg Press showing Pittsburghers on a promenade at Market Square with a headline, “HOW DAYLIGHT SAVING HITS PITTSBURG TODAY!” 

The sun is depicted smiling and, looking down on fashionably dressed Pittsburghers, it says, “Yes, more time to display their Easter toggery. And tomorrow more daylight for work!”

The article on the front page of the Sunday edition, on March 31, 1918, pointed out the historical significance of the change:

"For the first time in 22 years, at 2 a.m. today, the master clock in the department of public safety  building was regulated. The hands were put forward one hour to comply with the daylight saving law, which went into effect at that time. Twenty-two years ago the clock was found to be a few minutes ‘off’ and was regulated, and since that time no change has been made in it. 

A great many persons sat up until 2 a.m. today to set off their clocks forward at the official hour. But the majority simply turned their clocks forward before they went to bed at their usual retiring hour last night. 

In the courthouse and all county offices, the clocks were turned forward when the employees left at noon. County Commissioner Myer made a little speech when the change was made in the commissioner’s office.”

Today, we hear some dissent, people argue that the concept of Daylight Savings Time does not make sense, but back in 1918, most folks supported it:

"The unanimous approval given the observance of the law makes it an easy one to enforce. Everybody apparently sees the wisdom of securing an extra hour of daylight, especially as the war garden season is at hand." 

After World War I, the U.S. Congress repealed the Daylight Saving law. However certain cities and states kept observing the practice until President Roosevelt signed a year-round “War Time” DST in 1942. It lasted until September 1945. 

From 1945 to 1966 there was no federal law regulating  Daylight Saving Time, so it was completely up to cities and states whether they wanted to adopt DST or drop it entirely. Mayor David L. Lawrence, for example, made Daylight Saving Time official in Pittsburgh in 1948 and even demonstrated how to move the clock’s hands in a photo that appeared in The Pittsburgh Press a week before DST was to go into effect. 

Only in 1966, President Lyndon signed an act into law “whereby Daylight Saving Time begins on the last Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October each year.” President George H. W. Bush as part of the energy policy bill changed the DST law to say, “Beginning 2007, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.”

So, here comes the sun and the excited tweets, marveling at the fact that it’s still light out. And in case you are still into candles, you are probably happy to save on your candle wax.

— Mila Sanina