New World War I Exhibits

We are pleased to announce the installation of several new exhibits focused on World War I throughout the Dunbar Library.

Three of the exhibits can be seen on the first floor, near the circulation area:

One exhibit pertains to Raoul Lufbery (1885-1918), a fighter pilot and World War I ace. Lufbery was a member of the Lafayette Escadrille, an escadrille of the French Air Service formed in 1916 (before the U.S. entered WWI) and composed mainly of American volunteer pilots.

Raoul Lufbery exhibit, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

Raoul Lufbery exhibit, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

Another exhibit, in our Alumni Case (near the elevators), is “World War I Aircraft Production: Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. & the DeHavilland DH-4.”

World War I Aircraft Production: Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. & the DeHavilland DH-4 exhibit, March 2015

World War I Aircraft Production: Dayton-Wright Airplane Co. & the DeHavilland DH-4 exhibit, March 2015

This exhibit describes activities at the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company, which operated 3 plants in the Dayton area and delivered more than 3,500 airplanes to the war front, most of which were De Havilland 4s (or DH-4s).   The exhibit also includes an original piece of wing fabric from the factory.   (You can also learn more about the Dayton-Wright Company here on our blog.)

A third exhibit on the first floor of Dunbar Library consists of a variety of World War I materials from several different collections in Special Collections & Archives:

The Great War: World War I Documents from our collections, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

The Great War: World War I Documents from our collections, Dunbar Library 1st floor, March 2015

But don’t stop at the first floor! Please venture up to the fourth floor and into the Special Collections & Archives reading room to have a look at our special exhibit of original World War I materials, “The Great War.”

Exhibit of original World War I materials in our reading room, March 2015

Exhibit of original World War I materials in our reading room, March 2015

We have three cases of materials on display; this is just a “sneak peek” — among the items in this view are photographs of soldiers, a draft notification letter, and a soldier’s manual:

Sneak peek of "The Great War," an exhibit of original World War I materials, March 2015

Sneak peek of “The Great War,” an exhibit of original World War I materials, March 2015

Also on the fourth floor of Dunbar Library, just outside the Special Collections & Archives reading room and to the left (near the window and the restrooms), we have a large exhibit of reproduced World War I newspaper front page headlines:

Reproduced newspaper headlines from World War I, Dunbar Library 4th floor, March 2015

Reproduced newspaper headlines from World War I, Dunbar Library 4th floor, March 2015

We hope that you will come visit the Dunbar Library and take a peek (or, better yet, a long linger!) at our World War I exhibits. The case exhibits will be on display through the end of Spring semester.

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Reading Room Closed March 31 until Noon

Update 3/31/2015: Due to ongoing filming with CBS Sunday morning, we will unfortunately remain closed for the remainder of the day, instead of opening at noon. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

Here is a preview of what’s been going on in the reading room on March 31:

CBS Sunday Morning filming, March 31, 2015

CBS Sunday Morning filming, March 31, 2015

The Special Collections & Archives reading room will be closed on the morning of Tuesday, March 31, from 8:30 until noon, for a special event. The reading room will be open from 12:00 until 5:00.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Although the reading room is closed to the public on that morning, please do not hesitate to contact us at archives@www.libraries.wright.edu or submit requests through our research request form during that time.

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“The court decision in John H. Patterson’s case was announced…”

On March 13, 1915, Bishop Milton Wright wrote in his diary:

The court decision in John H. Patterson’s case was announced. To have a new trial. Orville, Kath., & Knabenshue went to the depot to see Patterson come in. There was a large crowd—8:00 evening…

To those in Dayton at the time, these few lines probably require little or no explanation. As you can see from this front page of the Dayton Daily News, March 13, 1915, the news about Patterson was a huge deal, worthy of almost the entire front page. (They held about 1/8 of the page aside for World War I & other news.)

Dayton Daily News, March 13, 1915, announcing Patterson's victory.

Dayton Daily News, March 13, 1915, announcing Patterson’s victory.

But 100 years later, after this hot scandal has cooled virtually to oblivion, a little clarification couldn’t hurt. Here’s the least you need to know to understand the Bishop’s entry:

In February 1912, the United States government filed two suits against National Cash Register under the Sherman Antitrust Act. One was a civil suit against the company itself, and the other sought criminal prosecution of NCR’s president John H. Patterson, vice president Edward A. Deeds, and more than 20 others.

National Cash Register controlled about 95% of the market for cash registers at that time, and the government charged that the company and its leaders were guilty of using unfair, unethical, and downright vicious practices to secure that market share.

On February 13, 1913, the jury of the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati handed down convictions to all but one (and it wasn’t Patterson). Patterson, Deeds, and most of the others were sentenced to fines of $5000 (plus court costs) each, as well as 1 year in jail.

Yes, jail. They were as shocked as you are.

They appealed the ruling, of course. Two years later, on March 13, 1915, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling and declared that a new trial would need to be held if the case was to be pursued. It wasn’t, and the matter was dismissed entirely on February 1, 1916.

It is worth noting that in the time between the first conviction, February 1913, and the appeals court ruling in March 1915, Patterson, Deeds, and NCR in general had endeared themselves even more to the Dayton people than perhaps they already were, with their extensive work in flood relief and subsequent flood prevention efforts following the flood that devastated Dayton in March 1913.

An excellent source of information on the NCR/Patterson antitrust case can be found in: Roberta Sue Alexander, A Place of Recourse: A History of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 1803-2003 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005), pp. 93+, available on Google Books.

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