<> Back in Time: A day for astounding feats, pennies aplenty | The Daily Gazette

Subscriber login


Back in Time: A day for astounding feats, pennies aplenty

Back in Time: A day for astounding feats, pennies aplenty

Eddie Polo and Ralph Green made news in different ways on Jan. 12, 1938, in this week's "Back in Tim

Eddie Polo and Ralph Green both had weird talents.

Both put them on display in Schenectady on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 1938.

Polo was nicknamed the “Little Giant” and showed off a unique way to tow a car on State Street. Green, who lived at 3266 Taylor St., had a knack for keeping pennies.

Eddie was in town for a publicity stunt to open the Jewish Community Center’s bazaar at the Schenectady Elks Club. He placed two combs in his mane of thick black hair, fastened a chain to a new Buick sedan, and towed the car up State Street for one block.

The feat took place between Broadway and Jay Street, and packed the pavement with people who wanted to see a man with powers and abilities far greater than mere mortal men.

“Come on, Eddie,” one person shouted.

“You’re almost there, boy, keep coming,” added another.

Newspaper reports said Polo had a little trouble on slippery State. But his strands stayed the course.

“At Jay Street, Polo stopped straining and fell almost exhausted into the arms of bystanders,” the Schenectady Gazette reported. “He was placed in a waiting car and whisked away.”

Polo promised further odd uses of healthy, luxurious hair at the bazaar’s evening show.

Ralph Green probably wasn’t in the audience. The coal and ice businessman was spending 37 pounds worth of pennies at the Schenectady County Office Building.

Green needed a license for his truck, and decided to pay the fee with 4,950 pennies he kept in a huge jar. The transaction astounded clerk Loret DeMarco, and so he called in his boss — County Clerk Carroll “Pink” Gardner.

Gardner said the county could accept Green’s unusual payment. But clerks soon discovered their customer had overestimated the weight of his truck; he needed only 4,610 coppers to pay for the license.

After counting some of the coins, the county thought it made more sense to put Ralph on the cents census. Clerks asked the man to bring his savings to a bank, and return with lighter, paper assets.

“Why, this is only part of my collection,” Green said. “I have 7,500 pennies in all.”

View Comments
Hide Comments
0 premium 1 premium 2 premium 3 premium article articles remaining SUBSCRIBE TODAY
Thank you for reading. You have reached your 30-day premium content limit.
Continue to enjoy Daily Gazette premium content by becoming a subscriber or if you are a current print subscriber activate your online access.