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Three years ago I learned about dynaGlide Plus from Richard Welder at Micro Fence. It is a Silicone and Teflon free dry boundary lubricant. I have used it principally to clean the swarf off the bearing surfaces of my shooting boards and to lubricate them. It functions well on metal planes, edge tools, bits, bearings, and abrasive surfaces.
Vogt Toolworks is now a distributor. Click here to view the Product Page.
The first blog entry about my father’s inventing career (September 2011) was titled “Covington, Kentucky, A Family Mystery.” (Click here to read it.) My sister, Sarah Vogt, and I were beginning to document the timeline of his personal and professional life. His scrap book from high school, college, and three years following had recently been sent to me by my (now late) half sister, Emily Postma. There were no clarifying remarks or dates on the photos, and they weren’t necessarily in chronological order. There was a letter of introduction to a bank in England and a photo of him (on the right) sitting with an unknown gentleman.
The post raised a question as to why he was making a transatlantic voyage in 1914- was it specific to his delay detonation device for missiles (click here to read about it), a topic also being researched?
The story has since been filled in and this post is an update. The military patent came later, and this trip was to advance his knowledge of refrigeration, with visits to refrigerating manufacturers (presumably) in France and Germany.
From a publication called “Ice and Refrigeration” under the heading “Frigerous Particulars” (August 1914) was this announcement:
“Clarence W. Vogt, of the Henry Vogt Machine Company, Louisville, KY, sailed July 13 on the S.S. New Amsterdam to visit the various icemaking and refrigerating plants in Europe.”
Little did he know how short- lived his visit would be, and of the earth shaking event whose beginning he would witness first hand.
The following nine pictures are scanned from his scrap book. The first is of an unmarked liner.
The next is of an automobile showroom with the name BENZ. The details are clearer on the actual photograph.
The next four images are from a seaside location where bathhouses on wheels were rolled into the surf.
Cars and women in swimsuits. Welcome, 20th century!
The final three are taken at an outdoor market. As I woodworker, I am drawn to the crates, boxes, and wine cart.
We have no specific information as to his initial travels once he reached Southampton, or his proposed itinerary. We do know, from oral history, where he was on August 4, 1914:
“One evening when I was a child, Daddy told me many stories about experiences he’d had in wartime Europe. His stories were so vivid that I have remembered the details very clearly (even though I wasn’t old enough then to have any real understanding). Here’s one. Daddy told me that he’d gone to Europe to study advances in refrigeration. One night, when he was attending a ‘dance hall’ in Belgium, the music stopped. And over the PA system came the announcement that the Germans were invading their country at that very moment!! The questions that I have for him now!” – Sarah Vogt.
The Rape of Belgium was soon to follow.
He then joined the mad scramble of thousands of Americans fleeing the continent. The Louisville Journal, Sunday August 16th, had front page stories of accounts of:
“The Plights of Louisvillians Stranded in Europe by the Invasion 2 Aug’14.”
“Escape Russia On Last Train” “Harrowing Journey Across The Frontier To Berlin” “Miss Ada Lewis Hart Writes of Race For Safety” “Louisville Feminine Party Arrives In London” “Hasty Departure. Letter Gives Experience Of Louisville Party In Paris.”
Among the listings is “Three Arrive From Europe. Miss McGill, Miss Maloney and Clarence Vogt Now In New York.”
“Clarence W. Vogt, who was touring abroad, arrived Wednesday night on the Philadelphia, according to a communication received from him yesterday. Mr. Vogt stated he had been forced to travel in the steerage of the liner for a part of the voyage from Southampton, from which port the Philadelphia sailed August 6th. He said that he managed, however, to get into the first cabin on the second day out. He is now stopping at the Knickerbocker, in New York, but will leave to-day for a short visit to his mother in Bay View, Mich., after which he will return home.”
A few things to note about the above. My father’s personal force and drive were such that the poor steward on the ship Philadelphia had no chance- place my father in steerage? He was lucky not to have been tossed to the waves.
My father’s youngest brother, Alvin, was a fraternity brother at Princeton University of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s and they gambled together at the Knickerbocker Hotel.
My grandfather, Adam Vogt, had built a home in Bay View, Michigan, renowned for the freshest air in America, as a summer residence at the Chautauqua retreat for my grandmother in particular, to escape the brutal Louisville summer heat and humidity.
Clarence’s arrival in Michigan was confirmed by this telegram announcement:
He returned to life with his young wife, Ruth (née Duncan) in Louisville and continued work for the HVMC. When the US went to war, he was called up in the first draft, by-passed boot camp, and went directly as vice-lieutenant to the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia where he solved the technical issues on the delay detonation device for missiles. From there he went to serve in France as a captain in the in 4th Ordnance Heavy Artillery. More on this in a later post.
In the current August issue of Furniture and Cabinetmaking Magazine (UK) is an article of mine about building accurate angled jigs. A customer from England has commissioned me in the last few years to build four custom Donkey Ears for his Vogt Shooting Board with the No-Rock Runway. He makes multi-sided boxes and the angles have to be exact. In the article I show the process step by step and give general tips on jig making.