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The latest from the Sussex County Historical Society Facebook page…

Museum Monday #16 - The Sewing Machine Combination, also known as the Sewing Machine Trust, was the result of the numerous lawsuits over patent rights that were strangling the growth of the early sewing machine industry in 1856. It was Orlando B. Potter, the lawyer for the Grover and Baker Sewing Machine Company, who came up with this plan. Three manufacturers: I.M. Singer Co., Wheeler & Wilson Co. and Grover and Baker Co., along with the inventor Elias Howe Jr., agreed to pool their important patents and stop the litigation between them. This allowed all four to move ahead with manufacturing and marketing of their own sewing machines, and to collect license fees from other companies wanting to use their patents. The Hill Memorial Museum is fortunate to have samples from all four sewing machine companies. Stop by and check out all of these and much more...we are open Fridays from 9-1.

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Did you know that the Sussex County Historical Society is the caretaker for the Old Newton Burial Ground? In 2020, the cemetery will mark 250 years since the first recorded burial in 1770.

Museum Monday # 15 - One of our "newest" artifacts at the Hill Memorial Museum is this Kirby upright piano. Fred Pierson had a small family band that played in restaurants and taverns in Sussex and Morris Counties during the 1930's. This piano was at Aunt Kate's, once located on Route 206 in Byram. Fred's daughter, Ruth Pierson Owens, remembered playing this piano and bought it after Aunt Kate's closed. Fred played the fiddle, Ruth played the piano and sister Naomi sang. Displayed on top of the piano is an Enterprise Magic Lantern Slide Projector that uses a gas light source and is copyrighted 1899. It was used by Fred during intermissions....he charge a nickel to see slides of the Civil War. Stop by the Museum and check out these items and a lot more! We are open on Fridays from 9-1.

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The latest from the Sussex County History Alliance’s Facebook page…

About a year or so ago I was at a flea market in Sussex County and came across old documents just tossed around in a box. A quick look revealed that they were not from Sussex County but they looked interesting. I bought the box because I didn’t want these documents to end up in the garbage if they didn’t sell by the end of the day. A few weeks ago I finally got around to looking thru them and discovered they were all from one source. They were from a man named James A. Harps who had a General Merchandise company in Akermanville, PA. There were business checks, some mailings and a whole lot of receipts, all from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The artwork on some of the receipts is outstanding and the checks were very cool looking too. The other day I got to thinking that these don’t belong here in Sussex County, they belong back home in Akermanville. Seeing that there was not an Akermanville Historic Society, I contacted the Slate Belt Heritage Center in Bangor, PA, which is just outside of Ackermanville. I told then what I had and asked if they were interested in preserving these documents for future generations. They said yes and were very excited to hear about them. So today I am driving out to the Slate Belt Heritage Center to donate all of these documents from Akermanville. Today these documents go home. The moral of this story is that it is up to all of us to preserve history so that it doesn’t disappear. When going thru old stuff, especially when emptying out a house of a departed loved one, if you come across old documents and pictures, please don’t throw them away. Please contact your local Historic Society and donate them so that they can be preserved for future generations to learn from.

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