Jul 8, 2011

Boxing Eggs


When I was a little boy, I would work at my father's meat market, boxing eggs. The job was pretty straightforward. I would take eggs from a big box, and put them in small boxes with folding lids, each of which held a dozen. If I did a whole crate without breaking an egg, I did a good job. The real adventure was the drive to the shop. We lived just off Lehigh Street, and would take it all the way to Union Street. The many landmarks are now gone forever, only remaining in my camera of the past. Shown above in 1952, is the portion of Lehigh Street near the Acorn Hotel, which is not visible in the photograph. Before reaching the Acorn, you drove under The Reading Railroad bridge overpass, which recently has been dismantled and removed. That line served the Mack Plant on S. 10th Street. Just beyond the area pictured, the Quarry Barber railroad spur also crossed Lehigh Street, at the bridge over the Little Lehigh Creek. That line also crossed S. 10th, and served Traylor Engineering, now known as the closed Allentown Metal Works. Just last week Mitt Romney was there, to rebuke Obama's former visit to the site. Mayor Pawlowski is now rebuking Romney, but none of them really know anything about it's past. A half block away, on overgrown steps built by Roosevelt's WPA, a thousand men would climb home everyday, after working at Mack and Traylor. Freight trains, on parallel tracks, from two different railroads, were needed to supply those industrial giants.

After my father rounded the second curve on Lehigh Street, we would head up the steep Lehigh Street hill. It was packed with houses and people. At the top of the hill, we would turn right on to Union Street. Going down Union Street, Grammes Metal was built on the next big curve. Grammes made a large assortment of finished decorative metal products. Beyond Grammes were numerous railroad crossings. The Lehigh Valley Railroad tracks crossed Union, as did the Jersey Central and several spurs, near Basin Street. It was not unusual to wait twenty-five minutes for the endless freight trains to pass. A two plus story tower gave the railroad men view and control of the busy crossing. A few more blocks and we were at the meat market, in time for me to break some eggs.

21 comments:

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

Your mention of the RR tracks brought something to mind.

On S. 4th Street between the light at Auburn Street and the light at Susquehanna there is/was an octogon-like structure that stood on the railroad track side. It was somewhat hidden among the trees, and a concrete "skeleton" is all that was there and that I ever saw.

I have no idea if it was a building at one point or something else. I assume it was railroad related simply because of its location on that side of the road, somewhat overlooking the tracks below.

As indicated above, I'm not sure if this structure still stands. However, I would be interested if you or your readers knows what it would have been used or built for.

Thanks.

michael molovinsky said...

this blog will host no more comments, from anybody, on off topic subjects; such as class warfare or partisan dogma. i understand the temptation by those interested in such matters, but i'm not. please don't be offended if your comment is deleted. I appreciate the readership, but want the comments to enhance the topic; if it's allentown history, boxing from the 30's, or allentown politics.

michael molovinsky said...

patrick, that area had heavy train usage. years ago before the underpass on basin street, i'm sure there was a tower. there were towers on both union and hamilton streets. i will include a tower photograph in an upcoming post.

gary ledebur said...

"I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green,...."


--- Ronald Reagan, Nashua New Hampshire, 1980

steelbreast said...

it is Molovinsky's blog and he should limit it to views he considers appropriate. He is pretty wise and knows best for the rest of us. I particularly like his boxing stories.

Anonymous said...

tell it like it is steelbreast

Anonymous said...

Der Schiedrichter hat gesprochen ... the Match referee has spoken.

NICHT GENUG ZUM FRUEHSTUECK - I'M STILL HUNGRY

Anonymous said...

The LV area has a rich and varied background of population, employment, and social behavior. I am grateful to Mr. Molovinsky for sharing his recollections as well as the photographs the way it had been, being designed by its residents up, and not some council or goverment entity plan downward. History of the area is not affected by current political correctness, it simply exists to be shared by those who care to do so.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Molovinsky...you are such a horse's ass."

MM doesn't deserve that remark! He is one of the most decent people on any blog sight. He is only trying to keep things civil. The remarks made here show that we are very divided society. I have made some comments on here that I now regret even though they may have been true. We need to do more to understand one another and to do that, we must fully understand the issues. That is where we fail. It is time to think for ourselves and to stop sucking up to the politicians who couldn't care less for any of us. Our political system is broken and we are letting it break us apart.
Anyhow MM, keep up the good work and the great stories of the past.
Stealth.

michael molovinsky said...

stealth, thank you for your kind defense. actually, that remark was placed by a known cyber-stalker, who fills the comment section on his own blog using various names and hyperlinks.

steelbreast said...

I agree with stealth. Molovinsky provides a super service to the valley. Even though I do not agree with him on the arena (I love hockey) his posts on history of the Queen City are tops.

michael molovinsky said...

stealth, the cyber stalker isn't anti-semitic, he has a long list of those he harasses, of which few are jewish.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Great vantage point.
I love the warm old kodak colors.
I particularly like the 30 cent gasoline.

Anonymous said...

This blog is reserved for whatever Mr. Molovinsky wants. If he wants to honor Allentown and point out the stupidity of its current leaders, that is his right. Class warfare is simply a diversion promoted by the poor and lazy to keep them in grants and free healthcare. It is the poor and their lackeys, the politicians, who are calling the shots in our city. Blame the rich if you want but it is they who work hard, pay taxes and invest in business. Thank God for Molovinsky! Ein Lob an unser leader!

steelbreast said...

Can't we just banish anyone who supports class warfare? I want a blog that informs me of the issues and facts. I want more boxing, pro-israel and anti-Pawlowski posts and wonderful 1950s stories. Tell all those so-called "know-it-alls" to go elsewhere. M, you have a great blog---purify the content of the posts! The elite progressive liberals should be banned and sent away. Cleanse and disinfect the scum.

Anonymous said...

I like the blog just the way it is.

Whethervain said...

>if it's allentown history, boxing from the 30's, or allentown politics.

I always enjoy the pix on display in your blog (and stories too!). Maybe you've stated it before, so excuse me, but were you an active picture taker in days past and these are all in your photo album?

I have been wanting to contact you about a particular shot that I have searched libraries and newspapers for and cannot come up with anything. As I don't have your email, I'll pester you here with this desire.

I'd luv to find a shot that captures the old Lafayette store when it was on 7th St. As a young kid, I purchased crystals for my 3-channel tube CB radio there. Of course, it's gone now in the sinkhole. (I have shots of it after it moved to Hamilton St.) Any ideas where I might continue to search?

Well, I hope this post fall under the category of Allentown history. Thanks MM. Danny

michael molovinsky said...

danny, over the years i've taken many photographs of allentown, but on this blog I use many sources for the images. i do not remember the shop on 7th st. I purchased used display cases from them when the hamilton st. store closed(around 1977) which i used in my photo shop on 8th st. i will make some inquires to some old timers i know about your request.

LVCI said...

Whethervain said..."I'd luv to find a shot that captures the old Lafayette store when it was on 7th St."

I too remember going there. I believe it was located at 7th & Linden as I recall?

While I couldn't find pictures either, I did find two videos of their 1963 catalog. The videos are chock full of memories for me since the catalogs were printed 3 years before I graduated from electronics in H.S. in 1966. The following videos feature several items I purchased there

Video 1- "1963 Lafayette Radio Catalog"

Video 2- "The 1963 Lafayette Radio Catalog Re-Visited"

Even Wikipedia has an entry..
SEE: Lafayette Radio