Monday, October 15, 2012

Reflections on Newark, NJ

Sunday morning, the streets are nearly empty. Only a few cars here and there. Only a few pedestrians. Some with the programs for the Dodge Poetry Festival walking to their next session.

Newark is architecturally rich. I think as much as any other city that has been around since the early days in America. The variety and mix of new and old buildings. Buildings re-purposed as times have changed.

Buildings are also barred, gated, access restricted even where the entrance was inviting you to come in to worship. Sign of the times? Or were these added in the late 60's? Newark has had an interesting history. I want to know more. In one park, I found a statue for Seth Boyden. Who is this Seth Boyden who has merits a statue not far from one to George Washington and Christopher Columbus?

According to wikipedia, Boyden was born in Foxboro, MA and moved to Newark where he
Boyden perfected the process for making patent leather, created malleable iron, invented a nail-making machine, and built his own steamboat. He is also credited with having invented a cut off switch for steam engines and a method for producing zinc from ore. At the time of his death, he told friends that he had, even at that time, enough experiments on hand to last two whole lifetime.
A prolific inventor who apparently was instrumental in the early business life of Newark. Newark will need more Boyden's today. They may be already toiling away doing good stuff. We just haven't heard of them yet. Time to explore!