WILLIAM E. UPTEGROVE
(Written at Brooklyn, N.Y. 1926)
b. May 6, 1852 - d. June 26, 1935
In reviewing the experiences of a long and busy life one is able, I think, to trace a sequence of events more or less clearly and must conclude that within oneself lies the moving cause.
In early boyhood on the farm at Pine Swamp I was interested in anything of a business nature, and before finishing school I had a strong desire to obtain a position in New York. To this end I persuaded my parents to allow me to take a course at Commercial School, and two weeks after graduating from that School I secured the position in New York that I had dreamed of; and the very business that I entered at that early age is the one that I have followed without interruption for 55 years; it may be interesting to my children and later to my grandchildren to know a little history events commencing with the early period of my life.
During my 74 years there has taken place the greatest material development of all times, or at least the greatest of which we have any record including, namely-the telegraph, the laying of the Atlantic cable, the telephone, wireless communication, electric lighting and electrical development generally, and the radio; also the development in the transportation through the great improvement over the early and crude wood-burning locomotive, the iron steamship, and the automobile.
I well remember the celebration that marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, during which a gold spike was driven as the final stroke.
In my early business life we had no typewriting machines and no telephone. When on the farm I recall the days of candles for lighting purposes, and later the introduction of "burning fluid", and afterward kerosene.
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