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Visitors from Hälsingland, Sweden Celebrate a John Ericsson Tour around Manhattan, June 24, 2008

JESNYAlftaJune24_2008_D.pdf
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On June 24, shortly after the Swedish Midsummer, Per-Olof Hansers with his son Axel and Lasse Larsson with his son Ludvig from Alfta in Hälsingland, Sweden took a Circle Line sightseeing cruise around Manhattan. It was a "John Ericsson Tour" with Leif Brisfjord as the guide. First Leif sketched the history of Circle Line. Karl G. Andren, who acquired it years ago, is a member of the Swedish business community. As the ship headed south in the Hudson River, Leif pointed out places related to John Ericsson. First point of interest was the location of the Delamater Iron Works where the propeller, steam engine and other parts of USS Monitor were built. Next, was the area of the city where John Ericsson lived most of his life: 95 Franklin Street, where he designed USS Monitor; 36 Beach Street, where he worked for 30 years in research and development of solar engines. Passing North Cove Marina Leif described the participation of the John Ericsson Society, New York in welcoming the crew of the solar powered ship sun21 when it arrived there last year after crossing of the Atlantic using solar energy alone. Leif then pointed west across the Hudson River toward New Jersey and remarked that many of Ericsson’s design drawings are collected in the Library of Stevens Institute in Hoboken. (Hoboken is also childhood home of Frank Sinatra.) Passing Battery Park he spoke of the John Ericsson Birthday commemoration held there each year. The visitors had seen the John Ericsson Monument a few days earlier when, together with 5,000 Swedes, they celebrated Swedish Midsummer. Rounding the southern tip of Manhattan and heading north, up the East River, when the ship passed under Brooklyn Bridge, Leif recounted that John Ericsson's assistant, Samuel W. Taylor, took John Ericsson on a "surprise tour" to Brooklyn Bridge which was constructed soon after USS Monitor was built in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Leif briefly described Greenpoint today, its Monitor Monument, the streets and schools named for John Ericsson and the Monitor.

Rounding the north shore of Manhattan, upon again entering the Hudson River, Leif pointed north toward a town, Walden, New York. He described the Ryder Ericsson factory, still standing there, in which hot air engines were made. Leif mentioned Erik Eliasson, a member of JESNY, who wrote the book: “Captain John Ericsson in New York”. Eliasson lived in New York City most of his life and spent the end of his 100 year lifespan in Rockland County, New York, a short distance up the Hudson River. Finally, Leif pointed out the pier occupied for many years by the Swedish American Line and spoke of the Swedish ship “Kungsholm”, renamed “John Ericsson” and used by the US Navy during the Second World War. After the “Tour” Leif spoke briefly of the 100 year history of John Ericsson Society, New York and of places related to John Ericsson, far removed from the Manhattan waterway. A fire engine came down the street. It reminded him of the Braithwaite & Ericsson steam fire extinguisher for which Ericsson was awarded a gold medal in 1839, soon after his arrival, from the City of New York, his home for more than 50 years.



Swedish Midsummer in Hälsingland


Ludvig Larsson and Axel Hansers



Per-Olof Hansers, Lasse Larsson, Ludvig Larsson and Axel Hansers




Axel Hansers




Battery Park




John Ericsson Monument in Battery Park



Statue of Liberty





East River, Williamsburg Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge in the background




Lasse Larsson




Skyline, Manhattan



/Leif G. Brisfjord, President
John Ericsson Society, New York


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Date, created: 08/05/2008Categories: 2008, Battery Park, Brooklyn, Celebration, Erik Eliasson, Gold Medal, Greenpoint Monitor Museum, Ironclad, John Ericsson, John ericsson Gold Medal, John Ericsson Junior High School Brooklyn, John Ericsson Society of New York, Leif Brisfjord, McGolrick Park, Monitor, Monument, Rider-Ericsson Engine Co., Samuel W. Taylor, Solar Energy, Steam Fire Engine, Stevens Institute, Sweden, USA, Walden, World War II
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