One Hump or Two? Peter Colucci, who used to work for the Guyon Company in Harrison, late last September sent me an old foto (above) that showed a bridge in the background that I did not recognize, so I asked about it. He said:
The photo of Age Unlimited near the bridge was in fact taken by the Jackson Street Bridge. The bridge up until the early 80's had two humps but was refurbed and the Harrison side hump was removed. I have many aerial views from the 80's showing both humps. The Harrison side is stationary and the Newark side rotates."Age Unlimited" is explained in this later section of his email:
The Guyon Fabrication Division made its mark on History by building the sailing ship "Age Unlimited". Age Unlimited was sailed around the world by William Willis. Willis was 70 at the time and sailed the vessel solo. Unfortunately there's no mention anywhere that Guyon built the craft. Some accounts mention Willis made it himself.
I have in my possession many of the original documents, photos, drawings, letters and I'm working with the curator at the Maritime Museum in Virginia so they can be preserved. The vessel was retired there in the 60's but unfortunately has since been dismantled. They have retained a few pieces and some documentation.
Willis is the one in the middle with the plaid jacket.
[This next] photo shows what later became the PSE&G "Go Navy" tank on what was then South 4th Street. That tank was mentioned in your blog [on November 23, 2006, in a discussion, with progress pix, of the demolition of the Guyon building]
Tho I don't recall ever having heard of Age Unlimited, I found some info about Willis's trip. The first item I found, from 1964, includes a foto of the vessel (called, on that site, a "sailing raft") under full sail arriving in Australia "after sailing 10,000 miles across the Pacific from Peru".
In June 2006, a book about Willis's voyage was published, Seaworthy: Adrift with William Willis in the Golden Age of Rafting by T.R. Pearson. No mention of the maker of the (c)raft appears in the review I found online. In another book, A Speck on the Sea, by William H. Longyard, appears this passage:
William Willis, the rafter who sailed Seven Little Sisters to Samoa in 1954, achieved another raft journey in 1963-64 at the age of seventy on a tri-hulled craft, Age Unlimited, made from steel pipes; this trip was from Peru to Australia.As Pete says, Willis made the claim in his autobiography, The Hundred Lives of an Ancient Mariner, to have:
built Age Unlimited, a steel raft, and ... sailed it from Callao across the South Pacific ... to the Queensland coast of Australia, a voyage of over 11,000 miles in 204 days (recounted in full in An Angel On Each Shoulder).At least that's what a bibliographic entry online at page 361 in the 2004 book Seafaring Lore and Legends by Peter D. Jeans, says. Perhaps Willis claimed he merely got the pipes from Guyon and that's why he is seen above on camera (TV? newsreel?) alongside the Passaic River near the Jackson Street Bridge. Or perhaps Willis meant he designed the raft, not built it, because the cabin on the raft says plainly, in the first foto above, "FABRICATED BY GUYON HARRISON NJ". Now, how did he get the raft from land on Harrison to a port in Peru?
Double Movie Theater. On the August 10th Newarkology walking tour, we stopped in front of what I have thought of as the jukebox building (from its shape) on Market Street, and Jeff and one of the tour participants told us that at one time it held two movie theaters, one above the other. Now, Jeff says, only the bottom floor, the retail space, is occupied, and the rest of the building is empty. What a waste. The upper movie theater is apparently, according to the other guy, still in existence, but in bad shape. Still, might it be restored by some theater company, or made into a dinner theater, comedy club, or niteclub? The location, one or at most two blocks west of the Four Corners, is ideal for some such use.