Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Inventor

Photo by Midge Frazel, 2016, privately held
Bill Frazel, the Inventor
(Blog Post 1)

My late father-in-law, was an engineer and inventor. When colleague, Lisa Alzo, asked about his inventions, she and I collaborated for her article in the current issue (Jan/Feb) of Family Tree Magazine for an article about invention, titled "Reinventing the Past" (pages 48-54). It is always a pleasure to work with another genealogist as you always learn new things and have fun.

The photo above is a gold service pin with a diamond chip that was presented to Wilbur Hyde Frazel, (1913-2011) my husband's father, for his work service. It was still sealed in the tiny box. He obviously didn't open it or wear it as I guess it was intended. 

When he died, my husband packed up his Brown University (an Ivy League school) yearbooks, programs and mementos and we put them aside so I could do further research. He was a very unsentimental person, so I was surprised to find that he had saved anything. Bill was a only child so it may have been his mother, Linda Hyde Frazel, who kept the photographs and newspaper clippings and Bill added it to the box of "stuff" when she and her husband died in 1949, only a few days apart. My in-laws were married by then and settled in Rhode Island. Linda did keep genealogy records for her family, so she was the family historian for her family.

I thought you might like to see a clip of his college yearbook. Full image . Yearbooks can be a great source of information to add to your genealogy writings. This small clip confirms that he "was prepared" at Dedham High School. His parents moved to Dedham when he was of middle school age so his father (a self-taught mechanical engineer) could get a new job. Prior to that they lived nearby to where we live now in Hudson, Massachusetts.

We see that while Bill was at Brown, he lived at 1615 Hope St. in Bristol, RI where his parents lived during those years. He took a bus to Brown and that is how my in-laws met. She was on the bus going to Rhode Island College, a normal school.

 My husband didn't know that his father's degree was in Electrical Engineering. Sc. B is a Bachelor of Science. The year was 1935. 

I was amused that they called him Frizz because they tried to call my daughter that when she was in High School. The Frizz part refers to his name and the fact that his hair was extra curly. 

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