Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Great "Two-Gallon Efficiency" Run of 1906 Through Pelham for Early Automobiles


In the spring of 1906, much of America was enthralled with the new-fangled automobile.  The technology was relatively new and the cost of a new gasoline car was becoming within the reach of more and more Americans.  

Automobile enthusiasts throughout the New York region were driving in and around Pelham on unpaved roads that were a challenge for the simple automobiles of the time.  New York City automobile enthusiasts banded together as the "Automobile Club of America" with a clubhouse on West 57th Street that served as the unofficial automobile center of the nation.

During the spring of 1906, the Automobile Club of America came up with a novel idea for a competition among the many different makes and models of cars that were crowding New York roadways.  It decided to hold a "two gallon efficiency" contest that would leave from the club's headquarters and head up to Jerome Avenue, then Shore Road, and pass through Pelham on the way up the coast for as far as the cars could travel.  The general concept was to test how far each car could travel on two gallons of gasoline.  The contest, however, was much more complicated than that.

The winner would be selected based on a complicated formula that required the weighing of vehicles and then the addition of passengers and an observer or weights and an observer to add eight hundred pounds to the vehicle.  The final weight of the vehicle with the eight hundred pounds added would then be multiplied by the distance traveled by the car (with some adjustment made for the number of engine cylinders) on two gallons of gas to give a point total that would be used to rank the performance of the vehicles.  

The first prize was a large sterling silver punch bowl worth $500 (about $14,000 in today's dollars).  Cars had to be standard, stock cars (no "freak" cars and no unusual alterations were permitted).  To ensure that all cars used the same fuel, cars would be required to drain their gas tanks and would be provided with a sealed two-gallon can of "gasolene" by the club to be poured into each car's empty tank.  Each car also was provided with a sealed can of gas to carry on the car for a return trip once the car had run out of gas.

An unbiased "observer" was required to ride in each vehicle to keep drivers honest.  In addition, the Club's Contest Committee had a car that rode with the lead car until that car ran out of gas.  Once that car ran out of gas, the Contest Committee car occupants checked the extra gas can of the vehicle to make certain the seal had not been broken and no extra gas had been used, then recorded the distance and waited for any other car in the contest to pass by, after which the Contest Committee car would follow and repeat the process, always trying to stay with the automobile that had traveled farthest.

On Friday, May 4, 1906, entries for the race closed.  There were seventy four entries that included some of the most famous automobile makes of the day including Franklin, Oldsmobile, Renault, Frayer-Miller, Mercedes, Lozier, and many more.  Most of the entries were touring cars, although there were a few runabouts, and a few enclosed body autos.

With such a lucrative first prize, the contest turned out to be heated and the results became controversial.  On Saturday, May 5, 1906, sixty-five of the seventy-four entries appeared for the contest.  Controversy began immediately.  As vehicles began to drain their gas tanks on West 57th Street not far from the clubhouse, someone flicked a match or cigarette beneath one of the vehicles igniting a fire that required contestants to scramble to save their vehicles.  Incredibly, there was no damage from the small fire.

Additionally, young boys gathered and caught some of the gasoline drained from some of the vehicles.  Rumors began to swirl that the boys were selling the gasoline back to contestants who hoped to sneak it back into their tanks to improve the performance of their machines.  

Despite all the controversy, at 1:00 p.m. the weather was beautiful and the contest began.  Automobiles began to depart from a brewery at 57th Street and Avenue A.  They began to follow the following course:

"From Avenue A and 57th street, west to 56th street, to First avenue, to 57th street, to Fifth avenue, and up Fifth avenue to 110th street, to St. Nicholas avenue, to 155th street, across the viaduct to Central Bridge, to Jerome avenue, to 189th street, thence to Fordham Road, to Shore Road, to Bartow Bridge, to Hunter's Island and Travers Island, and on Pelham Road to forks.  The machines then went through the following towns as far as the power lasted:  New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, Port Chester, Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport and Bridgeport."

As the afternoon proceeded, the weather changed.  Heavy rains turned the roadways, including Shore Road in Pelham and Pelham Road in New Rochelle, into a muddy mess.  Nevertheless, the cars trudged along, passing through Pelham on their way northeast.

By the end of the day, a 12-horsepower runabout Franklin, owned by the Decauville Automobile Company and driven by A. Holmes, traveled eighty-seven miles, for which performance it received a score of 200,000, using the formula for the contest.  The second place car was the 20-horsepower Frayer-Miller automobile driven by Dr. Butler.  Though reports differ, it appears that the much heavier Frayer-Miller automobile traveled 47.9 miles for a total score of 194,953 points once the formula was applied.

Controversy continued, however.  The Contest Committee of the Automobile Club of America received numerous protests from contestants who claimed that young boys had been selling gasoline from the drained tanks at starting line of the contest.  

The Committee grew so concerned that it refused to declare a winner.  Instead, it approached the first and second place finishers and arranged to have them completely repeat the entire event with Contest Committee observers.

On Monday, May 7, 1906, the Franklin runabout and the Frayer-Miller automobile took off again from West 57th Street to repeat the contest.  The weather on this second occasion was beautiful.  When the cars ran out of their two gallons of fuel, the Frayer-Miller was the winner.  The entire episode was odd.

The Frayer-Miller was driven by F. E. Mosckovis.  As Mosckovis drove the car over Central Bridge, he was arrested for speeding.  Although it is not clear how the matter was handled, the arrest caused him an hour and twenty minutes' delay before he could restart the car and continue the contest.  With the better weather and drier roads, he drove the Frayer-Miller 59 8/10 miles which, according to its weight and cylinders, gave a score of 243,386 points.

The little Franklin runabout, with A Homes driving, traveled a distance of 95 miles, giving it a score of 218,500 points.  It stopped seventeen miles northeast of New Haven.

The Contest Committee declared that the retrial had confirmed that the two vehicles were capable of the results that they had achieved in the actual contest on Saturday, May 5, 1906.  Thus, it declared the Franklin runabout to be the victor entitled to the sterling silver punch bowl first prize.  

The retrial, however, had given two different car manufacturers bragging rights.  Soon advertisements touting the Franklin runabout as the winner of the contest began to appear in local newspapers.  Those were met with advertisements touting the Frayer-Miller as the car that finished second in the contest, then beat the Franklin runabout in the retrial.  

To make matters more interesting, the Frayer-Miller Motor Car Company wrote a letter to the automobile editor of The New York Press challenging the Franklin to a rematch for the silver punch bowl and offering to give $100 toward a second-place prize.  The winner of the contest, however, didn't take the bait.

Though the little Town of Pelham was witness to the Great Two Gallon Efficiency Contest of 1906, there seems to be no record of the passage of the autos through the little town.  Could it be that though the automobile elicited great excitement in Pelham at the time, not enough to watch in the rain?

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Newspaper Photo of the $500 Silver Punch Bowl Awarded as
1st Prize in the Great Efficiency Run of 1906.  Text Associated
with Photo, Citation, and Link Appear Immediately Below.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

"FIRST PRIZE IN TWO GALLON EFFICIENCY TEST

Efficiency Contest Trophy. . . .

FIRST prize in the two gallon efficiency contest, to be conducted by the Automobile Club of America on Saturday, May 5, will be a silver punch bowl costing $500.  Competing cars will be supplied with two gallons of gasolene at the start and will be driven out Jerome avenue and over the Shore road until halted by lack of gasolene.  The award will be on the basis of weight of the car and passengers, with 800 pounds added, multiplied by distance travelled.  The winner will be the car with the highest score."

Source:  FIRST PRIZE IN TWO GALLON EFFICIENCY TEST -- Efficiency Contest Trophy, New York Herald, Apr. 25, 1906, p. 12, cols. 3-4.  

"ENTRIES CONTINUE TO POUR IN FOR TWO-GALLON EFFICIENCY TEST.

THE two-gallon efficiency test of the Automobile Club of America, which is to start at 1 o'clock next Saturday afternoon from the clubhouse, at Fifty-eighth street and Fifth avenue, Manhattan, continues to be the topic of conversation among motorists.  Entries have come in surprisingly large numbers.  Up to last night sixty-two had been received, representing all the leading American and many foreign built cars.  The entries were to have closed at noon yesterday, but the committee in charge decided to hold the lists open until the same time tomorrow.  The cars enrolled to date follow:

Make.                              H.P.       Entered by.
Rochet-Schneider...........24-35....Chas. M. Jacobs.
Ŧ  La Comete..................25-30....Wm. H. Barnard.
Columbia........................24-28.....Electric Vehicle Co.
Franklin..........................12...........F. Ed. Spooner
ƚ  Covert..........................6 1/2......C. D. Van Schaick
ƚ  Moore..........................40...........W. J. P. Moore.
Elmore Mfg. Co..............35...........Dr. Edwin Steese.
Ŧ  Renault.......................14...........Hugh J. Grant.
Oldsmobile.......................7............John K. Mills.
Maxwell............................10..........M'xw'll-Briscoe Co.
Maxwell...........................16...........M'xw'll-Briscoe Co.
White Steamer.................15..........Augustus Post.
White Steamer.................18-20....White Sew. M. Co.
Welch..............................50.........Welch Co.
Mack...............................40-50.....A. F. Mack.
Martini.............................30-40.....Palmer & Christie.
ƚ  Mercedes.....................40..........Irving Brokaw.
Indian Tri-car...................1 3/4......F. M. Dampman.
Bliss................................40..........F. C. Armstrong.
Peerless..........................30.........William Ives.
Franklin............................12........Miss Clara Wagner
Franklin...........................30.........Decauville Co.
Franklin...........................20.........R. D. Howell.
ƚ  Franklin........................12..........Decauville Co.
ƚ  Franklin........................12..........Decauville Co.
Northern..........................18.........J. H. Hammond.
Queen.............................26-28....Majestic Auto Co.
Columbia.........................40-45....C. E. Knoblauch.
Mercedes (Amer.)...........45..........C. M. Bouggy.
Lozier..............................40..........Lozier Co.
Lozier..............................40.........H. A. Lozier, jr.
Hotchkiss........................35.........Archer & Co.
Mors................................40-52...Col. John J. Astor.
Ŧ  Renault.......................10........J. H. Harding.

ƚ  Runabouts.     Ŧ  Enclosed body.  Other entrants touring cars."

Source:  ENTRIES CONTINUE TO POUR IN FOR TWO-GALLON EFFICIENCY TEST, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 3, 1906, p. 14, cols. 2-3.  

"NOVEL AUTO CONTEST.
-----
Seventy-four Cars Entered for Two Gallon Efficiency Run.

Entries closed at noon yesterday for the two-gallon efficiency contest to be held by the Automobile Club of America to-day.  In all there are seventy-four entries, and the run promises to be the most successful affair ever held under the auspices of the club.

Many of the members of the club have signified their intention of driving their own cars in the contest.  It is limited to self-propelled pleasure vehicles of individual owners or of manufacturers, taken from stock, and special or freak cars will be excluded.

The start will be made from Avenue A and 57th street at 12:30 o'clock, thence west to 56th street, to First avenue to 110th street, to St. Nicholas avenue, to 155th street, across the viaduct to Central Bridge, to Hunter's Island and Traver's Island, and continue on Pelham Road to forks.  The machines will then go through the following towns as far as their power will last:  New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, Port Chester, Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport and Bridgeport.

An observer will ride in each car.  As the variable element in this contest is distance travelled, the finish points will be scattered all along the road, and therefore it is necessary for the committee to act through agents.  Each observer is an agent of the committee, and is relied upon to see that the spirit of the rules is strictly followed.

There will be an advance wagon, which will start with the first car and keep up with the foremost to the end of its run.  After the competing car has stopped, if another car passes it the advance wagon will verify the distance made by the stopped car and examine its relief cans to ascertain if the seals are unbroken, and will then follow the car that passed, verifying its position in a similar way.

All results will be scored at the clubhouse as fast as received, and the prizes will be awarded as soon as the results can be prepared."

Source:  NOVEL AUTO CONTEST -- Seventy-four Cars Entered for Two Gallon Efficiency Run, New-York Tribune, May 5, 1906, p. 16, col. 6.  

"AUTOS MAKE RECORDS.
-----
GO FAR ON LITTLE FUEL.
-----
Winner Covers 87 Miles on Two Gallons of Gasolene.

Of the seventy-one entries for the two gallon efficiency test held under the auspices of the Automobile Club of America yesterday sixty-five started.  The 12-horsepower Franklin car of A. Holmes at an early hour this morning was figured the winner, having gone a distance of eighty-seven miles, for which performance it received a score of 200,000, the highest made up to that time.

The remarkable distance the machine went on so little fuel was astonishing to the hundreds of automobilists who gathered at the clubhouse last night to hear the results.  Next to the Franklin came the 15-20 horsepower Darracq of S. B. Stevens, which made a score of 179,938, going a distance of 46.02 miles.  Many of the other cars also made big scores.

The start was made from a brewery at 57th street and Avenue A, where the weighing in was done.  The cars went over the following route as far as the small supply of fuel lasted:

From Avenue A and 57th street, west to 56th street, to First avenue, to 57th street, to Fifth avenue, and up Fifth avenue to 110th street, to St. Nicholas avenue, to 155th street, across the viaduct to Central Bridge, to Jerome avenue, to 189th street, thence to Fordham Road, to Shore Road, to Bartow Bridge, to Hunter's Island and Travers Island, and on Pelham Road to forks.  The machines then went through the following towns as far as the power lasted:  New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, Port Chester, Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport and Bridgeport.

Women and children rode in the cars, and all were well loaded down with passengers.  Before being weighed in, the tanks of the cars were emptied of gasolene and a two gallon can was given to the owner of each car to put in the tank of his machine.  After each machine weighed in it was sent off.  Each of the machines carried a small flag of the Automobile Club of America colors.

It was exactly 12:30 p.m. when the first car was weighed in.  At that time a more perfect day could not be asked for, but before the last car was sent off, a few hours later, rain began to fall ,and for a good part of the journey the machines were run in a downpour, which left the roads in a muddy condition.  The showing under the conditions adds more glory to the performances of the machines.  There were all kinds of passenger vehicles in the constest, from the small runabout to the ponderous sightseeing car, holding as many as twenty persons.  

Protests were numerous at the clubhouse last night.  Some of the contestants declared that the handling of the gasolene supply was left too much to them.  A few declared that small boys got possession of the gasolene emptied them from tanks on arriving at the starting point and went about offering to sell it to those who took part in the contest.

After the supply of gasolene had been emptied from the tank of Augustus Post's big new White steamer some one tossed a match under the machine, and for a few seconds flames shot up in all directions.  The fire was put out in time to prevent the machine from being damaged.

The official announcement of the winners of the various trophies will be made to-morrow or Tuesday, it was said at the clubhouse last night.  The miles covered by other cars follow:

J. K. Mills's 7-horsepower Oldsmobile, 57:85; L. R. Burne's 10-horsepower Cadillac, 48.6; R. G. Morris's 12-horsepower Franklin, 45; D. W. Pardee's 30-horsepower Stoddard-Dayton, 40; Frayer Miller Motor Car Company's 24-horsepower Frayer Miller, 47.9; C. D. Alton, jr.'s, 24-28 horsepower Columbia, 44.05; Majestic Auto Company's 26-28 horsepower Quee, 40; Percy Owen's 24-horsepower Aerocar, 33.8; Arnold & Stearns's 16-horsepower compound, 39."

Source:  AUTOS MAKE RECORDS -- GO FAR ON LITTLE FUEL -- Winner Covers 87 Miles on Two Gallons of Gasolene, New-York Tribune, May 6, 1906, p. 10, col. 4.  

"AUTOMOBILING.

The two gallon efficiency contest of the Automobile Club of America proved to be one of the most interesting and instructive ever held.  The official announcement of the leading cars has been delayed because it was impossible to work out all the returns on Saturday evening, but there is little doubt that A. Holmes will win the rich trophy with his 12-horsepower Franklin.  This car kept on running when it seemed as if the fuel must have been exhausted long before, and only came to a stop eight miles beyond New Haven, a distance of eighty-seven miles from the start.  A number of protests were filed because of laxness on the part of some of the observers, which may lead to the next run of this kind being held under more rigid supervision. . . ."

Source:  AUTOMOBILING, New-York Tribune, May 7, 1906, p. 8, col. 1.  

"AUTO TEST CONFIRMED
-----
Two Cars Run Far on Limited Fuel in a Second Trial.

The committee in charge of the two-gallon efficiency contest held under the auspices of the Automobile Club of America had the owners of the two cars which made the best showing on Saturday go over the same course again yesterday.  The committee took this action to satisfy themselves, in view of the protests that had been made that the conditions of the contest were not complied with in every particular.

It was asserted that small boys got possession of the gasolene after the owners of the machines taking part in the contest had emptied their tanks on arriving at the starting point and had gone about trying to sell it with some success.

The machines that went over the course yesterday were the 12-horsepower runabout Franklin, owned by the Decauville Automobile Company and the 20-horsepower Frayer-Miller of Dr. Butler which finished first and second respectively on Saturday.  As both exceeded the distance made by them on Saturday it left no doubt that the conditions were complied with.  Although the showing made by the Frayer-Miller car yesterday was superior to that of the Franklin, it has nothing to do in the awarding of the cup.

The start was made from Avenue A and 57th street yesterday, the same as on Saturday, and the machines went over the same route.  F. E. Mosckovis drove the Frayer-Miller car, and was arrested at Central Bridge for speeding.  The arrest caused him one hour and twenty minutes' delay.  He drove the machine 59 8-10 miles, which, according to its weight and cylinders, gives it a score of 243,386.  On Saturday the car went 47.9 miles, with a score of 194,953.

The little Franklin, with A Homes driving, travelled a distance of 95 miles, giving it a score of 218,500.  It stopped seventeen miles east of New Haven.  On Saturday this machine went eighty-seven miles, and led with a score of 200,100.  

The fine condition of the roads evidently had a good deal to do with the increase both cars made in travelling over Saturday.  For a good part of the journey on Saturday the machines were driven through a heavy downpour, and the roads were muddy.  The machines were weighed in before starting."

Source:  AUTO TEST CONFIRMED -- Two Cars Run Far on Limited Fuel in a Second Trial, New-York Tribune, May 9, 1906, p. 5, col. 3.  




 1906 Advertisement Touting Victory of the Franklin in the Great
Two-Gallon Efficiency Contest" of 1906.  Source:  FRANKLIN WON
[Advertisement]Paterson Evening News [Paterson, NJ], May 11, 1906,
Second Section, p. 15, col. 1.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.
Text of Advertisement Transcribed Immediately Below to Facilitate Search.

"FRANKLIN Type D $2800
Four-cylinder touring car
Five passengers.
Air-cooled engine.
20 'Franklin horse-power.' Three speed sliding gear [illegible]

FRANKLIN WON THE FIRST PRIZE THE $500 PUNCH BOWL IN THE GREAT Two-Gallon Efficiency Contest OF THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB of AMERICA.

This trial conclusively demonstrates the wonderful efficiency of the Franklin air-cooled engine and proves Franklins to be the most economical fuel-users of all motor-cars.

Type D, shown above, is the lightest weight car of its power, and the easiest on tires, and -- because of the non-jarring construction which permits all its power to be safely and comfortably used -- the ablest 4-cylinder touring car built in the world. 

Come and let us demonstrate.

Paterson Automobile Exchange,
10 CROSBY PLACE.
PATERSON, N.J."

"To the Automobile Editor:

Sir -- In view of the fact that the discussion relative to the placing of the cars in the two-gallon efficiency test of the Automobile Club of America was finally fixed, and although the Frayer-Miller scored about 25,000 points more than the car which was awarded the gold cup, that is, on the retrial requested by the members of the Contest Committee (but which did not affect the awards of Saturday's contest), and in view of the fact that the winner of this contest stated that if they were awarded the gold cup they would put it up for competition again under the same rules, we herewith make the following proposition:

If the Decauville Auto Company will again place this cup for competition, we on our part, will agree to donate a $100 silver cup for second prize, as the cup which was actually won is the property of Dr. William E. Butler of Brooklyn, the owner of the car, and, further, we will also donate a third prize, providing more competitors desire to enter in the contest.  We are willing that this contest should be conducted under the auspices of any automobile club affiliated with the A. A. A., preferably under the Automobile Club of America.  If, for any reason, this proposition is not accepted, we will agree to any proposition tending toward the rerunning of this contest and which will give us another opportunity to demonstrate the ability of our car as shown in the retrial.  We will agree to enter a stock Frayer-Miller car which is regularly in use by some owner in the city of New York, and will give our opponents the privilege of entering any car they may desire.

FRAYER-MILLER MOTOR CAR CO."

Source:  To the Automobile Editor, The New York Press, Sporting Section, May 13, 1906, p. 3, col. 6.  



1906 Frayer-Miller Advertisement Touting Second Place Finish
During the Great Two Gallon Efficiency Run.  Source:  FRAYER-MILLER
May 13, 1906, p. 14, col. 3.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.  Text of
Advertisement is Transcribed Immediately Below.

"FRAYER-MILLER
'THE CAR OF ENDURANCE'

Winner of the Silver Cup Offered by the Automobile Club of America in the Great Two Gallon Efficiency Contest.

A Frayer-Miller STOCK CAR, 4 cylinder, 24 horse-power, fully equipped, including top, carrying five passengers (owned and driven by Dr. Butler without special preparation after having been run more than 3,000 miles in ordinary use), covered 47.9 miles on two gallons of fuel.  This is the best performance made by ANY TOURING CAR in the contest.

Special Announcement.
------

At the request of the Contest Committee the first two cars ran over the same course, under exactly the same conditions, Tuesday, May 8th.  This time the FRAYER-MILLER made 59.8 miles, making a grand total score of 243,386 points, or 43,286 points more than any car in the Contest.
-----

YESTERDAY -- TO-DAY  --  TO-MORROW.
We are prepared to demonstrate that this record can be duplicated by ANY 4-cylinder Frayer-Miller Stock Car.

Results Shown  

Lowest cost per passenger per mile.  Highest mechanical efficiency in the ton mile.  Greatest carrying power:  --  Conveyed five passengers further than any other 4 cylinder car, irrespective of weight.  Air-Cooled by a system that insures correct cylinder temperature at all speeds, and built at every point for Endurance, Reliability, Economy and Speed.  

4 CYL. 24 H. P. FULLY EQUIPPED $3,000.
IMMEDIATE DELIVERIES.
-----

FRAYER-MILLER MOTOR CAR CO.
BROADWAY AND 65th ST., NEW YORK
Torbensen Motor Car Co., Bloomfield, N.J.
Curtis Automobile Co., 70 Albany Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y."


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I have written before about the early days of automobiles in Pelham.  For a few examples, see:








Archive of the Historic Pelham Web Site.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pelham Teachers Threatened to Strike Over Pay in 1906


The School Board decision at its regular meeting on Friday, April 17, 1906 seemed quite innocuous.  The Pelham school district had eleven teachers spread across three schools in the Villages of North Pelham, Pelham, and Pelham Manor.  At its April 17 meeting, the School Board raised the minimum annual salary for all teachers to $600 a year, gave ten teachers $100 annual pay increases, and awarded one Pelham Heights teacher, Miss Risley, a $200 annual pay increase.  The board reasoned that Miss Risley was underpaid relative to the other teachers, had not received a pay increase in two years, and had been required to teach nearly double the number of classes (due to overcrowding) when compared to all the other teachers.

In short, all Hell broke loose.  

The ten other teachers immediately demanded annual pay increases equal to that awarded to Miss Risley.  One of the teachers wrote a demand letter to the School Board that members of the board found offensive and undisciplined.  Another of the teachers accosted a School Board member and told him that she would refuse to sign an employment agreement for the upcoming school year unless her pay was increased by $200 a year.  Finally, the ten teachers banded together and threatened to strike at the outset of the new school year unless annual pay for all eleven teachers was increased by $200.

The entire School Board became furious.  Its members felt that the teachers were attempting to dictate employment terms that were not in the interest of the School District.  At least one School Board member proclaimed that it would take only fifteen minutes to fill all eleven teaching positions if the Board were to decide not to renew any of the teachers' employment contracts for the upcoming school year.

News articles about the threatened strike appeared in the New York Times and in several other regional newspapers, fanning the flames of the dispute.  By late May, the School Board had had enough.  The Board delivered an ultimatum to the District's teachers.  It gave them until June 1 to sign and return employment contracts accepting the lower pay or be treated as though they had resigned their positions effective June 1.  Moreover, the School Board demanded a letter of apology from the teacher who had written the demand letter to the Board and took the position that no contract would be extended to the teacher who told a member of the School Board that she would refuse to sign an employment agreement unless offered a $200 pay increase.

The teachers scoffed at the ultimatum.  They declared they would, in fact, resign en masse if their salary demands were not granted.

June 1 came and went.  The School Board gathered on the evening of June 5, 1906 for its regular meeting.  At that meeting, members of the School Board announced that the Pelham teachers had "raised a white flag" and surrendered.  Not only had the teachers dropped their demands for higher pay, but every teacher also had returned signed employment agreements reflecting the original $100 pay increases.

The School Board, however, was not satisfied.  It demanded and received a letter that it treated as an apology from the teacher who had written a demand letter to the Board.  Moreover, during the June 5 Board meeting, members of the Board debated at great length whether the employment contract returned by the teacher who had accosted a School Board member should be accepted given that the Board had believed the teacher was no longer planning to be employed with the School District given that she would not be receiving the $200 annual pay increase that she had said she would have to have in order to return.  After letting that teacher twist in the wind throughout the debate, the Board finally relented and accepted her employment contract for the upcoming school year.

The threatened teacher strike of 1906 never came to pass. . . . 




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"PELHAM.
------
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOL.
-----
Principal Hill, of North Pelham, is Appointed.
-----

At the meeting of the board of education held Friday night in the Pelham Heights schoolhouse after the public meeting, a step was taken which in all probability will increase greatly the efficiency of the public school system in the town of Pelham.  It was the appointment of I. C. Hill, the efficient principal of the North Pelham school, as superintendent of the entire district.  Mr. Hill will be known as the superintendent of schools in the town of Pelham.

For some time there has been a feeling that someone should supervise the work being done in all of the schools and visit the same at least once a week and report to the board of education once a month.

Friday night's action is a result of this feeling that has been existing.  The following resolution was passed unanimously:  'Resolved, That I. C. Hill be employed for the ensuing school year as principal of the North Pelham school and supervising principal of the district, his duties as such supervising principal to consist in visiting each of the schools of the district at least once a week and to report on the conditions of such schools and the quality of the work in each at the meetings of the board.'  The salary was fixed by the board in the resolution which was presented by Mr. Rupert.

All of the teachers in all of the schools were re-engaged for another year.  The salaries of the teachers in the North Pelham school were so increased that the minimum salary is now $600 instead of $500, as previously.  The salary of Miss Risley was increased $200, from $600 to $800.  The other teachers were increased $100."

Source:  PELHAM -- SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOL -- Principal Hill, of North Pelham, is Appointed, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Apr. 30, 1906, p. 5, col. 4.  

"TEACHERS MAY STRIKE.
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The Pelham Pedagogues Demand Higher Salaries All Around.

The school teachers of Pelham, North Pelham, and Pelham Manor have threatened to strike unless the Board of Education increases their salaries.  The board has refused the teacher's demands, and has given them until June 1 to sign contracts for the coming year or resign.  The teachers declare they will resign if their demands are not granted.  

The town of Pelham is composed of three villages, which are all governed by one Board of Education.  There are seven members of this body, and they employ eleven teachers.  Recently the board increased the salary of Miss Risley, a teacher in the North Pelham School, $200 a year.  When this was announced the other ten teachers demanded a similar increase, which was denied.  It was then that the teachers decided to strike.  According to the teachers, there is a shortage of Normal School teachers, and they say that if the Board of Education continues to refuse their demands there will be no school in the Pelhams next year.

Henry L. Ruppert, a member of the Board of Education, said to-night that the board is determined to hold out against the teachers.  The members say that Miss Risley's salary was raised because she had practically taught two classes; that she had previously been paid below the standard scale and had not received an increase in two years."

Source:  TEACHERS MAY STRIKE -- The Pelham Pedagogues Demand Higher Salaries All Around, N.Y. Times, May 28, 1906, p. 20, col. 2.  

"TEACHERS' STRIKE IS THREATENED
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School teachers of Pelham, North Pelham and Pelham Manor have threatened to strike unless the Board of Education increase their salaries.  The Board has refused the teachers' demand and has given them until June 1 to accept stated salaries for the coming year or resign.  The teachers say they will resign if their demands are not granted.

Pelham is comprised of three villages, all governed by one Board of Education.  Recently the Board increased the salary of Miss Risley, a teacher in the North Pelham school, $200 annually.  When this was announced, the ten other teachers demanded a like increase.  It was denied, and then the teachers decided to strike."

Source:  TEACHERS' STRIKE IS THREATENED, The Bronxville Review, May 31, 1906, Vol. V, No. 22, p. 1, col. 2

"TEACHERS MAY STRIKE.
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Trouble in Pelham Because Teachers Want Higher Salaries.

The school teachers of Pelham, North Pelham and Pelham Manor have threatened to strike unless the Board of Education increases their salaries.  The board has refused the teachers' demands, and has given them until June 1 to sign contracts for the coming year or resign.  The teachers declare they will resign if their demands are not granted.  

The town of Pelham is composed of three villages, which are all governed by one Board of Education.  There are seven members of this body, and they employ eleven teachers.  Recently the Board increased the salary of Miss Risley, a teacher in the North Pelham school, $200 a year.  When this was announced the other ten teachers demanded a similar increase, which was denied.  It was then that the teachers decided to strike.  According to the teachers, there is a shortage of Normal School teachers.

The Board of Education says that Miss Risley's salary was raised because she had practically taught two classes:  that she had previously been paid below the standard scale and had not received an increase in two years."

Source:  TEACHERS MAY STRIKE -- Trouble in Pelham Because Teachers Want Higher Salaries, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jun. 2, 1906, Vol. 48, No. 10, p. 1, col. 3.  

"PELHAM TEACHERS SURRENDER WILL ACCEPT OLD SALARIES
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Board of Education Was Not Unanimous in Accepting Their Apologies But Finally Adjusted the Trouble
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Pelham Heights, June 6.  --  The Pelham Heights and Pelham Manor school teachers have raised the flag of surrender and hostilities were declared at an end between them and the Pelham board of education at the meeting of the latter last night in the Pelham Heights school house.  The members of the board expressed themselves as pleased with the turn of affairs, and are confident that never again will any set of teachers dictate to them what to do and what not to do, relative to what salaries they should receive.

The attitude of the teachers in Pelham Heights and Pelham Manor was due to certain resolutions that were passed by the board at the special meeting of May 23.  One of the resolutions passed concerned Miss Mina Firman, and it rescinded the one passed at the meeting in April, to re-engage her for another year at the same salary as it was understood that she would not remain for the same amount; the second resolution passed, was a demand from Miss Mae Firman, of Pelham Manor, for a letter of apology on account of a letter forwarded from her to the board, which in the opinion of the members, seemed to criticize it; the third resolution was to the effect that if the contracts of the Pelham Heights and Pelham Manor teachers were not returned by June 1, they could not consider themselves re-engaged for another year.

These resolutions were sufficiently strong enough to frighten the teachers into submission and according to the prompt manner in which the contracts were returned to Clerk Durham, signed with no raise in salary, there is evidence that they are about ready to do what the board expects.  Miss Mina Firman returned her contract signed at the same salary as last year, with a letter in which she stated that she was not aware that there was any definite time settled upon for the returning of signed contracts.

A letter was read from Miss Mae Firman, of Pelham Manor, in which she expressed herself as very much surprised at the letter from Clerk Durham, notifying her of the board's demand for a letter of apology.  She said that she did not intend in her letter, to manifest any criticism and was sorry if the board so construed her statements as such.  Clerk Durham was asked if he had the signed contracts of the teachers, and he stated that he had.
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(Continued on Fifth Page.)

PELHAM TEACHERS
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(Continued From Page One.)

Miss Firman's letter of apology, for such the board considered it, was accepted and ordered placed on file and that she be re-engaged in accordance with her contract.  It was so ordered.  It was also voted to accept the contracts signed by the other teachers.

There was some discussion relative to what was the basis of the resolution passed to rescind the previous resolution to re-engage Miss Mina Firman at the same salary.  It was stated that the board based it on the assumption that she would not remain for another year unless her salary was increased.  The matter was brought up at the previous meeting because Miss Firman had intimated to a member of the board in conversation, that she would not stay unless increased in salary.

One member of the board said, 'I think these teachers understand now that this board intends to act as a board of the district and not as a board for any one set of teachers.'  Another said, 'I think this is a lesson to them.  Don't you think we had better declare the strike off?'

Finally, on motion of Mr. Fairchild, a resolution was passed rescinding the resolution of May 23, not to re-engage Miss Mina Firman and that she be re-engaged at the present salary.  Before the resolution was passed, there was quite a lengthy discussion.  A prominent member of the board was of the opinion that the passing of such a resolution would have a bad effect upon the discipline which the board had effected as a result of its other resolutions.  Another said, 'I am of the opinion that the discipline has been effectual.  They do not act as if they owned the 'whole shooting match,' but are they submissive now?  It is rather a hard thing to fire a woman out.  It gives her a bad reputation.'

'Well then, let her resign,' said the first speaker.  'It looks bad on the fact of it; it looks as if the board was going to be prevented from doing as it pleased.'

'I think that there has been a very material change in the attitude and mannerisms of the teachers since the last meeting we had,' said Mr. Fairchild.  'The discipline has been very effective.'

Mr. Rupert wanted to know, if by a change of one of the teachers some of the trouble in Pelham Heights would not be overcome.

Mr. Lyman was of the opinion that the best thing to do would be to leave the matter in the hands of the Pelham Heights trustees, although Mr. Rupert was of the opinion that there would always be trouble between a certain teacher in Pelham Heights and the superintendent of the schools.

Mr. Fairchild was of the opinion that the resolutions were passed for the purpose of discipline, and that had been attained.

Mr. Rupert said, 'Well, it will simply mean that all of the teachers will go on a strike next year.'  'Well, if they do,' said Mr. Secor,' we can fill all of their places in fifteen minutes.'

'I think this teacher ought to go.  It will teach her to be more diplomatic,' said one.  The resolution was finally passed, though not unanimously.

It was voted to close the schools June 20 and to re-open them September 10.  The clerk was instructed to so notify the different principals.

A resolution was passed that bids be asked for, for supplying the schools of the district with 140 tons of coal.  Several bills were ordered paid.  The financial condition of the board was considered.  Clerk Durham notifying the Board that $2,000 was needed.  He was finally instructed to meet the supervisor and the town clerk.

Previous to the reading of the minutes, Prof. Hallam of Mount Vernon met the members of the board to talk over with them the advisability of teaching music in the three schools."

Source:  PELHAM TEACHERS SURRENDER WILL ACCEPT OLD SALARIES -- Board of Education Was Not Unanimous in Accepting Their Apologies But Finally Adjusted the Trouble, Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 6, 1906, No. 4335, p. 1, cols. 4 & 5 & p. 5, col. 2.  

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