LAND Moto and Cleveland CycleWerks Gift Motorcycles to the Western Reserve Historical Society

In March 2020, Cleveland CycleWerks announced their newest technological advances with the launch of the Falcon E Moto.  In 2021, their founder Scott Colosimo spun off this new concept into LAND Moto, changing vehicles name to the District.  LAND Moto is focused on their Distributed Energy platform and E Motos.  With the growth of the LAND brand, it signals Scott’s desire to build LAND’s technology and manufacturing base in Cleveland, Ohio. LAND’s new product and direction represent 12 years of consumer insight, deep industry knowledge, and a unique take on the market that Scott has always had.  The first product, the District is a cross between a bike, moped and motorcycle, which LAND simply calls the “E Moto”.

Scott Colosimo, the founder of Cleveland CycleWerks and LAND Moto explained, “We are no longer bound by the physical constraints of internal combustion. Our platform grows with the rider as their skill and desire for speed increases, it was not possible to bridge the gap with gas, so we are building the electric business under the LAND brand.”

The District represents LAND’s entry into the e mobility and distributed energy space. These vehicles represent a shift in focus from high-volume vehicles to lower-volume, carefully crafted product, and U.S.-based manufacturing. With a localized footprint, LAND is able to vertically integrate in the U.S., enabling them to be more self-reliant and independent. Colosimo says, “The team wants to focus on higher craft, innovative materials, and advanced manufacturing techniques while growing our distributed energy platform.

The District will fit into several different categories from E-Bicycle, E-Moped, to E-Motorcycle.  These vehicles can be digitally customized to fit in several different classes with no physical changes needed; a shift from physical changes to digital makes updates to the vehicle possible even after it is in the consumers hands.

Colosimo formally gifted The Heist land speed record bike, an Ace Scrambler, a Misfit, and a LAND District all-electric bike to the Western Reserve Historical Society at the grand opening of the Year of the Motorcycle, August 19th.  The bikes are now on display as part of the exhibit “A Century of the American Motorcycle”.

Alternative “Entrepreneurs”

As we look at the history of business and enterprise in Greater Cleveland, it is worth noting that there was a collaborative model that focused on shared enterprise and societal good, rather than simply ever growing profits.

Many people will still remember the Cleveland Food Co-Op which was established in 1968 by a group of Hessler Road residents.  It started on a front porch on Hessler Road, and quickly had 50 household members.  By buying in bulk, it reduced costs and made food far more affordable.   Eventually the Co-op would move to a site on Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland, then to a location on Coventry and finally back to a site at 11702 Euclid Avenue in 1984.   Eventually, construction, traffic and the establishment of Whole Foods led to its closure in 2011.

Yet, it was not the first co-op in the city.  Several immigrant groups created their own system of community owned and operated stores that kept prices low and generated just enough profit to pay employees and cover rent.  The Workers Gymnastic Union, a Czech organization established co-ops in the 1930s.  One location, situated in Maple Heights, continued to function into the 1970s.  In 1936 The Gymnastic Union also known as the DTJ (after its Czech language title) also sponsored an alternative Workers Olympiad at its shared rural settlement Taborville in Auburn Township in response to the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany.   Polish grocers also created a joint association in order to allow independent shops the ability to buy produce at the lowest possible price.  For many years a Polish Grocers Association (PGA) store stood at the intersection of Worley Avenue and East 71st Street.

These stories are part of an alternative, but important aspect of business and entrepreneurship in Greater Cleveland.   At times associated with the Socialist movement (which was quite strong in Cleveland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century) they suggested alternatives for affordable products (often in the most difficult of times) rather than a wider profit margin.    Some echoes of this communal ethos are reflected in the farmers’ markets that are held regularly in our area and in many small craft-based shops that provide unique goods and make enough money to support the entrepreneur – these are the “makers” of today who often settle for the quality of their products rather than the quantity of their profit.

Four WRHS Staff join Northeast Ohio Chapter of Fulbright Association

By: Emily Noggle
Marketing Manager at the Cleveland History Center

  

The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Fulbright Association recently held annual elections for the Chapter Board. We are excited to announce that Regennia N. Williams, PhD, WRHS Distinguished Scholar of African American History & Culture; John Grabowski, PhD, WRHS Krieger Mueller Chief Historian; and Sean Martin, PhD, WRHS Associate Curator for Jewish History, have been elected to the following positions:

Regennia N. Williams, PhD – President

John Grabowski, PHD – Vice President

Sean Martin, PhD – Board of Directors

Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS President & CEO is also a member of the new Northeast Ohio Chapter.

What is the Fulbright Association?

The Fulbright Association is the U.S. alumni organization of the Fulbright Program, which is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U. S. government. They provide grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. The Fulbright program allows students the opportunity to meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences, with the goal of promoting mutual understanding through cultural engagement and intellectual freedom.

So what does the Fulbright Association do to support the program?

Since their founding in 1946,The Fulbright Association has been making strides to make a difference all over the world. The Fulbright Association acts as a hub for alumni, connecting those who value diversity and international education. Their mission is to continue and extend the Fulbright tradition of education, advocacy and service. According to their website, the alumni represent over 165 countries and contains change-makers in politics, business, science, education, and the arts, including 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 59 Nobel Prize laureates, 37 current or former heads of state or government, 70 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, and 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

Our WRHS Fulbright Scholars have taught and/or conducted research in Europe, Asia, and Africa (among other places). Within their new positions, Dr. Williams, Dr. Grabowski, and Dr. Martin have been elected to provide support and create a collaborative environment for the Fulbright Program members and its alumni by creating opportunities for networking, professional development, mentoring, cultural enrichment, and community service. The local Northeast Ohio Chapter will work with visiting Fulbrighters from abroad by introducing them to history and resources of Northeast Ohio and by providing opportunities for them to meet one another while here. Please join us in congratulating the newest members of the Northeast Ohio Chapter Board!

The Guardians of Traffic

By: Pamela Dorazio Dean
WRHS Curator of Italian American History / Director, IAMCLE

 

What are the Guardians of Traffic?
The Guardians of Traffic are eight large figures sculpted on four Berea sandstone pylons on the
Hope Memorial Bridge, formerly Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, in Cleveland, Ohio. Two sets of
Guardians face the east and the other two sets face the west.

The artistic style can be described as transitional, between a stylized classicism and the
Modernistic or Art Deco style. They were modeled after the Greek god, Hermes. The Guardians
have been proudly overseeing the Hope Memorial Bridge since 1932 and have become iconic in
the city of Cleveland.

Each Guardian holds a different mode of transportation in its hands, including a hay rack, a
covered wagon, a stage coach, a passenger automobile, and four types of motor trucks. The
vehicles represent the progress made in transportation over time. Because of this, they are
sometimes called the Guardians of Transportation. The correct name as given by the designers,
however, is Guardians of Traffic.

Who created the Guardians of Traffic?
Many sources on the history and creation of the Guardians of Traffic credit Frank Walker of the
prominent Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks as the designer and Henry Hering
of New York as the sculptor. There is also mention of William Henry “Hank” Hope, the father
of famous comedian Bob Hope, who assisted with stone carving and whom the bridge was
renamed for in 1983.

A project of this magnitude and depth, however, requires the work of a team of uniquely skilled
and talented people. A few sources do mention that a crew of workmen helped in the creation
and installation of the Guardians. What they fail to mention, however, is that the majority of this
crew were Italian immigrants who not only “assisted” but proudly and diligently applied their
abilities and talents to bring the statues to life.

 

Who was on the crew that created the Guardians?
Many of the stone carvers and other workers on the crew who created the Guardians were Italian
immigrants from Oratino, Italy, a small paese (village) in the Province of Campobasso and who
settled in the Little Italy and other Italian neighborhoods of Cleveland.

This is a list of the known names of the individuals who worked on the Guardians of Traffic in
some capacity:

  • Bill Anslow
  • Thomas P. Campbell
  • Antonio Chiocchio, Lead
  • Carmen Chiocchio
  • Gennaro Chiocchio
  • Anthony Cipullo
  • Frank Cipullo
  • Louis Cirelli
  • Anthony Fatica
  • Celestino Fatica
  • Fiorangelo Fatica
  • Gennaro Fatica
  • Pasquale Fatica
  • Sam Gentile
  • William Henry Hope
  • Charles Iafelice
  • Frank Leonardi
  • Domenicantonio Mastrangelo
  • Jack O’Brien
  • Cosimo Palante
  • Celestino Petti
  • Loreto Petti
  • Peter Salvatore
  • Albert Tirabasso
  • Henry Tirabasso
  • Andrew Waddell
  • Charles Waddell

Where were the Guardians of Traffic carved?

The Guardians of Traffic were carved in Little Italy at the Ohio Cut Stone Company which was located at 2066 Random Road in what is currently known as the Singer Steel Building.  The Italians living in Little Italy were very excited and proud of this project.

 

Henry Chiocchio, related to Antonio and Gennaro, was interviewed for a 1983 Plain Dealer article about his family’s involvement with the pylons. The article states:

Henry said when he was just a little boy living near the stone carving shop in Little Italy, his father and Uncle Jim took him many nights after supper to see the days work. “I remember seeing the heads, the shoulders and the vehicles of the pylons being formed,” Henry Chiocchio said.  “I was very impressed. We Italian people are very proud of what we do, especially in working with our hands.”

Arts, Culture, and a New Oral History Project at WRHS 

By Regennia N. Williams, PhD 

The Western Reserve Historical Society  

Distinguished Scholar of African American History and Culture  

Life Member, The Oral History Association 

The recently accessioned archival collection for Dr. A. Grace Lee Mims (1930 –2019) is providing the inspiration for an exciting new oral history project at the Western Reserve Historical Society(WRHS). Dr. Mims, who was a librarian, soprano vocalist, radio personality, and educator, amassed a treasure trove of items that comprises more than 100 linear feet of manuscript materials, photographs, and audio recording from “The Black Arts,” a program that Mims hosted on WCLV Radio for more than 40 years.

Launched in the summer of 2021, the A. Grace Lee Mims Arts and Culture Oral History project engaged the talents of our project interns: DavidPatrick Ryan, Felicia Haney, Kathryn Oleksa, and Jerica Walls. Each of these college-educated young adults brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to their work. Project outcomes include digital audio and video recordings, interview transcripts, and a handbook based on research in existing secondary sources and firsthand knowledge gleaned from the research teams’2021 experiences in preparing for and implementing this pilot project.

As a historian who frequently chooses to locate her research activities at the intersection of the arts and the humanities, I had the pleasure of creating and directing the project, scheduling the interviews, and working with the interns to collect first-person narratives of artists, educators, and administrators at area institutions and organizations, including those with ties to the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Gospel Music Historical Society.

Our team worked closely with Michael Scharer-Zielinski, the WRHS Digital Access Assistant, to make sure that our remote recording and back-up activities were in keeping with the institution’s current guidelines for the creation and preservation of digital DavidPatrick Ryan, Kathryn Oleksa, Jerica Walls, Regennia N. Williams, Felicia Haney content. WRHS staff member Dahren Phillips-Bey is also working with the team to review and help edit transcripts.

Thus far, the project has benefitted greatly from the Oral History Association’s abundant web-based reference materials, including links to “Remote Interviewing Resources” and “OHA Principles and Best Practices,” as well as the webinar “Oral History at a Distance: Conducting Remote Interviews.”

These oral history interviews are part of the larger body of primary and secondary sources that will inform the research and writing for a book project on the recent history of African American arts and culture in Greater Cleveland. A panel of Cleveland-based oral historians will also share more information on this research and other projects during “Moving Stories in Challenging Times: Narratives from America’s North Coast,” a Roundtable session forOHA’s2021 Annual Meeting.

Over the years, Dr. Mims was interviewed for several oral history projects, including the HistoryMakers®,the nation’s largest African American video oral history collection. It was only in the wake of her passing, however, that I discovered evidence related to her own work as an oral historian. This evidence includes the transcripts of 1975 and 1976interviews of her mother, Alberta Grace Edwards Lee, and these transcripts are now part of the WRHS archival collection.

In both her professional career and through her work as a founding member of the African American Archives Auxiliary of the Western Reserve Historical Society, Dr. Mims did much to shape the narratives about arts and culture in Cleveland’s history. Research for the ongoing A. Grace Lee Mims Arts and Culture Oral History Project is revealing important details about the lasting impact of her work.*All color photographs courtesy of the research team members. Dr. A. Grace Lee Mims hosted “The Black Arts” on WCLV Radio for more than 40 years. (Photo: Herbert Ascherman)

*All color photographs courtesy of the research team members