THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: Idora theater manager boasted of park in St. Louis in 1901

120 years ago, 1901

Taken directly from the The Vindicator:

“Praises for Idora and Mill Creek Parks come from Manager E. Stanley. Is now in St. Louis. Parks of Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago, and Florida not in it with Youngstown.

“E. Stanley, manager of the Casino Theatre, Idora Park, is now in St. Louis with his wife, and so far has had a most prosperous season with ‘America’s Egyptian Hall and Palace of Illusions.’ He is the proprietor of this company and writes in glowing terms of their success. The show Saturday night closed a successful term of weeks at Peoria, Ill., appearing at the Corn Carnival. In his letter, Mr. Stanley says:

“‘Just a few lines to let you know that I am strictly in it. We closed our show at Peoria, Ill., on Saturday and played to more business than any other attraction at the Corn Carnival. Have sold the entire outfit at a fair profit, and have an order for another. We start building on the 21st. I have secured a work shop here (St. Louis) for a month or two. Will likely stay here for several months, if I can get the right location.

“‘My wife and self were out together to Forest Park, 2,000 acres, the site of the World’s Fair, that will take place in 1903. They have commenced already and claim that it will beat anything before given elsewhere. We have visited all parks and resorts at Buffalo, Chicago, Toronto, and Peoria, and have not seen anything that was equal in to our own Idora and Mill Creek Parks in good old Youngstown. Give our regards to all enquiring friends.’

“Manager Stanley and wife have a host of friends who will be pleased to hear of their success with the show they now own in St. Louis. The attraction is patronized by the elite and the masses and consists of several novel illusions, new ideas, swell settings, unique electrical effects, and marvels in optics.”

95 years ago, 1926

Two local companies planned to bring some of the first radio broadcasting stations to Youngstown. Radio Electric Service and the Yaw Battery Company announced their plans with the hopes to be on the air within weeks. Negotiations were underway with the AT&T Company for licenses to operate with their broadcasting equipment. Radio Electric Service’s station was set to broadcast entertainment with local and national shows sponsored by businesses and civic organizations. They also intended to broadcast a local church service and the Sunday afternoon meeting of the Y.M.C.A. Radio Electric Service was a forerunner to WKBN Broadcasting Corporation owned by Warren P. Williamson Jr., and Creed Chorpening.

The Yaw Battery Company had already ordered a 50-watt station and all of the necessary components with the hopes to be on the air within a month. The equipment was purchased from Western Electric, a licensee under the equipment’s patents. Negotiations were underway by both companies for federal broadcasting licenses.

• Compiled from the archives of The Vindicator by Traci Manning, MVHS curator of education.


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