December 2002

Volume 2 Issue 2




The Newsletter For FOA Employees on the Sea and In the Lab

December Features

Page One

Christmas Quiz

Important Links

FOA Home Page

Provantage Software

SeaLab November 2002

1 False. Congress was in session on this first Christmas under the new American Constitution.  Christmas did not become a federal holiday until 1870.  After the American Revolution many English Customs, including Christmas fell out of favor. In fact, Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston from 1659 until 1681.
2 & 3 Clement C. Moore wrote “’Twas The Night Before Christmas in 1822. This was the first reference toSanta as Fat, Jolly, and wearing a Red Suit. At the start of the 20thCentury, Santa was still seen wearing different color suits and he came in many sizes.   About that time Coca-Cola started an aggressive, national campaign, featuring Santa always in a red and white suit, and as fat and jolly.
4 Robert May wrote “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” He wrote it as a gift for his daughter.
5 Robert May and Dr. Seuss were classmates at Dartmouth University.
6 Mrs. Virginia O’Hanlon was the little girl who wrote to the New York Sun asking, “Is there really a Santa Claus”. This generated the famous reply and story of “Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.  Mrs. O’Hanlon went on to become a New York Educator making many reforms in education until her death in 1971.  Mrs. O’Hanlon’s great-granddaughter is the owner of the original letter that was sent to the New York Sun.  In 1999 her great granddaughter’s house caught on fire.  Miraculously, one of the few things that survived the blaze was “The Virginia Letter”.
7 False. The Scandinavians started the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe because they associated it with their goddess of love, Frigga. The Druids believed that Mistletoe was a cure for infertility.
8 True. America’s Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett brought the first Poinsettias to the United States, from Mexico in 1828.
9 Joseph Lionel Cowen’s toy, the Lionel train invented in 1901 was originally intended for advertising.
10 John Lloyd Wright came up with the idea for Lincoln Logs while watching his dad build the Imperial Hotel using an interlocking method.
11 Chances are, you wouldn’t know Elliot and Ruth Handler’s daughter and son if they sat down next to you. But you would know the name of their daughter, Barbie and their son, Ken. Yes, the inventors of these dolls named them after their children.
12 False. But not totally false. While on a hunting trip with his staff in 1902, one of the president’s hunting dogs was killed by a baby bear. Apparently the dog put up a good fight. The bear was badly injured. President Roosevelt told his staff to put the bear out of his misery. They offered the President an opportunity to shoot the bear himself. Roosevelt refused. A journalist on the trip started spreading the word that Roosevelt refused to kill a baby bear. Soon newspapers begin referring to the bear as a “teddy bear”. A smart Brooklyn toy maker, Morris Michtom, recognizing a money making opportunity asked the president for permission to use Roosevelt’s name for his stuff bear. Roosevelt recognizing an even greater publicity opportunity, agreed.
13 Brothers George and Charles Parker, started their company, Parker Brothers in 1883. By the time of George’s death in 1953 he had invented over 100 games
14 We usually do not think of Walt Disney as a toy inventor, but all those products of Disney Characters count for a huge chunk of the toy market.
15 Milton Bradley was on his way to becoming a successful artist when President Lincoln decided to grow a beard. Virtually killing the sales of his lithograph of Lincoln. Bradley decided to make fun of his financial hardship. As a way to pass the time, he invented a game where the object was to grow to old age while avoiding financial ruin. The game soon became popular. So Bradley needing some quick cash, cashed in on his game, “The Checkered Game of Life”. And thus the toy company, Milton Bradley, and “The Game of Life” was born.
16 Mattel, makers of Barbie and all her friends, is the 4th largest manufacturer of women’s clothes in the world. This is based on the amount of fabric that Mattel orders to make the many clothes for Barbie and her friends. Imagine where they would be if Barbie was life size!