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Travel Tuesday: Henrich Horn, Prisoner of War

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Henrich Horn: Military Career
A Map of Philadelphia and Parts Adjacent, With A Perspective View of the State House. Philadelphia: Lawrence Hebert, 1752 source: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3824p.ct000294 via Wikipedia. Public domain.
A Map of Philadelphia and Parts Adjacent, With A Perspective View of the State House. Philadelphia: Lawrence Hebert, 1752. Source: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3824p.ct000294 via Wikipedia. Public domain.

McMurray Family, Horn Family (Click for Family Tree)

We last left Henrich Horn, our Hessian ancestor, hanging- thankfully, not literally, but that could have been the case had George Washington’s troops not protected their POWs from an angry mob.

After being marched victoriously by American troops through some of the streets of Philadelphia, the march had been cut short by an inflamed mob that the American escorts felt they could not control. They locked the ~850 Hessian prisoners of war in the American barracks for safety. The POWs, including our Henrich, would have worriedly awaited the next move by their escorts from Washington’s troops.

The first Battle of Trenton, where Henrich and his comrades had been captured, had increased the morale of the patriots so much that it turned the tide of the American Revolution. Little did the POWs know that while insults, rotten vegetables, and rocks were being thrown at them as they marched through Philadelphia, Washington had marched back to Trenton with his troops for another engagement. The Continental Army won that battle, then moved on to Princeton, New Jersey, where Washington was also victorious.

The British traveller Nicholas Cresswell, definitely a Tory, commented,

“The minds of the people are much altered. A few days ago they had given up the cause for lost. Their late successes have turned the scale and now they are all liberty mad again.”

He later wrote, after another British loss,

“It is the Damd Hessians that has caused this, curse the scoundrel that first thought of sending them here.”

(That ‘scoundrel’ would be good King George. Those would be treasonous words, had not the British had bigger fights to manage on the North American continent.)

The British and Hessian soldiers were in such a panic at their unexpected losses to the ragtag Americans that they thought they saw Washington and his troops everywhere.  It was in this atmosphere of changing fortunes that the Trenton prisoners were marched from Philadelphia to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Washington wanted the POWs far away from the front, and Lancaster fit the bill.

Philadelphia is about 80 miles almost due west of Lancaster, and it would take over 20 hours to walk today. In January of 1777, however, it took four days, without snowplows and on roads that would have been icy and rough. The cold and tired prisoners arrived in Lancaster on 6 January 1777, probably around mid-day.

Lancaster was the largest interior American city, with 3,300 residents in 1775, and many German-Americans had lived in the area for some time. The Hessians were taken to a barracks “built of brick, with three wings, and surrounded by a stockade.” The stockade had log cabins on each corner, and walls twenty feet high. There were already some British POWs in the barracks, and the Hessians were given the center wing for themselves.

One Hessian recorded in his journal that everything was “peaceful and quiet.” Maybe now the captured Hessians would get a bit of recuperation after their travails of the last few months.

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Featured image: A Map of Philadelphia and Parts Adjacent, With A Perspective View of the State House. Philadelphia: Lawrence Hebert, 1752
    sourcehttp://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3824p.ct000294
  2. Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett, 2004. Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for History, this tells the story of the crossing of the Delaware and the Battle of Trenton, mostly from the American point of view. This is an excellent book, and very well-written.
  3. The Hessians and the other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War by Edward J. Lowell. Harper and Brothers Publishers, New York, 1884.
  4. AmericanRevolution.org: “The Hessians,” chapter VIII, an excellent read- http://www.americanrevolution.org/hessians/hess8.php
  5. Journal of the Fusilier Regiment v. Knyphausen From 1776 to 1783, possibly by Lt. Ritter? See http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/journal1.htm#navbar
  6. Henrich Horn http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/oh/hwardhorn.htm
  7. Hessians Remaining in America: http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~amrevhessians/a/amhessians10.htm#navbar
  8. Wikipedia articles:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President%27s_House_(Philadelphia)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trenton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle_of_the_Battle_of_Trenton https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_von_Knyphausen
  9. The Hessians. Mercenaries from Hessen-Kassel in the American Revolution, by Rodney Atwood, Cambridge University Press, 1980.
  10. The Hessians and Other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War, by Edward J. Lowell, Harper & Brother, New York, 1884 Republished by Forgotten Books, 2012.
  11. A Generous and Merciful Enemy. Life for German Prisoners of War during the American Revolution, by Daniel Krebs. University of Oklahoma Press, 2013.
  12. Four days between Philadelphia and Lancaster: “From Paths to Roads to Highways to Canals to Railways” at http://lancasterhistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=372&Itemid=740

 

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Shopping Saturday: Abram Springsteen and His Civil War Drum, Part 2

"Home Sweet Home" by Edwin Forbes. Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.
Home Sweet Home” by Edwin Forbes. Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.

Helbling Family, Springsteen Family (Click for Family Tree)

As we discussed last Saturday in “Shopping Saturday: Abram Springsteen and His Civil War Drum, Part 1,” “Shopping Saturday” was any day of the week, and was actually ‘foraging.’ Our illustrious drummer boy, Abram Furman Springsteen wasn’t always looking for food- well, since he was a teenage boy, he probably WAS always looking for food, but he also took ‘foraging’ up a notch, like many other soldiers. Sometimes Abram took advantage of situations in order to make himself a little money and some additional friends, as well.

“Home Sweet Home” during the Civil War for our soldiers was missing a number of the comforts of home. Abram set out to rectify that. He recounted in his diary that after reaching Goldsboro, North Carolina, toward the end of the war,

“During our encampment there, I did considerable speculating. One morning I borrowed the Chaplain’s horse and started for a settlers tent situated about 2 miles from our camp at a R.R. [railroad] station.”

"Trading Coffee for Tobacco" by Edwin Forbes. Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.
“Trading for Coffee and Tobacco” by Edwin Forbes. Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.

“Before reaching the place, I met a soldier with a box of cigars under his arm and inquired of him the distance to the settlers. He told me that the settler was no more, that the boys had made a raid on his shop and (?) had confiscated every thing in reach, at the same time holding up the box of cigars and saying this is what I got out of the concern. I asked him if he would sell them to me, he said yes for a 5 bill.”

(Company I, 63rd Indiana was in Goldsboro, NC from 21 March to 10 April 1865.)

US currency- a fifty cent note used during the Civil War (reverse). Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.
US currency- a fifty cent note used during the Civil War (reverse). Note that Lincoln was then used on the 50 cent bill, vs. today’s five-dollar bill. Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.

Abram returned to camp and sold the cigars for double the price he had paid.

“On the following day, I bought an old pistol from a negro for two dollars and sold it to a soldier for $4.00.”

US currency- a fifty cent note used during the Civil War (reverse). Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.
US currency- a fifty cent note used during the Civil War (reverse). Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. See notes for details.

“Soon after this, I borrowed the Chaplain’s horse again and went out on a hunt for something good to eat…”

There’s that growing boy’s big appetite again.

“… at a place about 5 miles from our camp, I found a man who had six plugs of navy tobacco which I purchased at $5.00? a plug and which I soon sold out after arriving at camp at $7.50? a plug.”

(The question marks are in the transcription.)

Abram’s wheeler-dealer talents would be useful in later years to help out the troops, too. He worked in the War Department and was active in the G.A.R. Abrams worked tirelessly for veterans rights, including pensions and paid time off to the last big G.A.R. encampment.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Navy tobacco” was a twisted Burley leaf tobacco that could also be pressed into a compact plug and used in a pipe. It was small to carry and burned slowly, resulting in a long smoke- great for soldiers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_cut_tobacco
  2. Images from the Indiana Historical Society are low resolution for uses such as in blogs. Higher resolution images can be found on their website, with links to each image provided below.
  3. “Home Sweet Home” courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society. Description: In 1861 Edwin Forbes was hired as a staff artist by “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.” He covered the Army of the Potomac from 1862-1864, and was known for his ability to draw quickly. His primary interest was in recording the everyday activity of soldiers. “Home Sweet Home” plate 24, is from his publication Life Studies of the Great Army. http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/dc008/id/568/rec/1026
  4. Shopping Saturday: Abram Springsteen and His Civil War Drum, Part 1,” heritageramblings.net/…/shopping-saturday-abram-springsteen-and-his-civil-war-drum-part-1
  5. “Trading for Coffee and Tobacco” by Edwin Forbes. Courtesy Indiana Historical Society. Description: In 1861 Edwin Forbes was hired as a staff artist by “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.” He covered the Army of the Potomac from 1862-1864, and was known for his ability to draw quickly. His primary interest was in recording the everyday activity of soldiers. “Trading for Coffee and Tobacco Between the Fortified Lines During a Truce” plate35, is from his publication “Life Studies of the Great Army.” http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/dc008/id/576/rec/2379
  6. United States Currency, 50 cent note during Civil War courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/civil-war/id/5265/rec/2414
  7. “Diary of Abram F. Springsteen” transcription, done by family members. Thank you for sharing!

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Tuesday’s Tip: Max Broida’s Head

Max Broida, circa 1894, so about age 9; cropped from a family picture.
Max Broida, circa 1894, so about age 8-9; cropped from a family picture.

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Tuesday’s Tip:

Look at data- and images- in context.

Look at data- and images- in sequence.

And look again.

 

We have had the pictures in this post for many years, and the new image we found on eBay of Max Broida makes a total of five (if you don’t count his film images). It wasn’t until after writing the Sunday post, however, and looking at the other four images we have of Max, that a new thought presented itself. So make sure you revisit old data and pictures periodically, since you have new information (hopefully) that will help you understand more about an ancestor.

We know that the picture posted Sunday of Max was most likely taken around 1924, because that is when he lived at 1020 W. Pico St. in Los Angeles per the City Directory, and that is the same as what he wrote on the back of the picture. Max/Buster signed himself as, “The Hairless Man”- had he performed in the circus under that guise? In vaudeville? He certainly had many Hollywood roles where his bald pate featured prominently.

Well, then what do you think of the two images in this post? Although they have been posted before, it didn’t click until now that Max had hair in these images. Max apparently was not born without hair, unless they had purchased a wig for him as a boy in the above picture.

Lucy and Dave's Wedding
Max Broida at the wedding of his brother Theodore “Dave”Broida and Lucy Shatzke, 20 Aug 1916. Family photo.

Max was born in 1885 or 1886, so was about 30-31 when his brother Dave got married. Again, unless that was a wig in the above picture, he had hair- receding quickly for a young man, but nevertheless, he had hair.

What was Max doing and where was he living in 1916, when the wedding picture was taken? We have found a ‘Max. M. Brodie’ in Los Angeles, age 30, noted as a salesman and  Republican on the Voter’s Rolls. He was living at 651 W. 42nd Place. Is this ‘our’ Max? We posted previously about this mystery and still cannot determine if these are two different men or just one with an alter ego, or in the process of becoming an actor. Having the same address on his publicity photo as what we expect might be a different man is now quite puzzling.

BROIDA_Max-as Buster Brodie_portrait_reducedWill Max’s slightly-more-than-Mona-Lisa-smile in 1924 give us more of a clue?

Here’s Max on 25 July 1930:

John Jacob/Zelig Broida and his seven sons. From left- front sitting- Max Broida, standing- Phillip Broida, Joseph J. Broida, Morris Broida, Louis Broida, Theodore Broida, Harold Broida. Sitting on right- John J. "Zelig" Broida.
John Jacob/Zelig Broida and his seven sons. From left- front sitting- Max Broida, standing- Phillip Broida, Joseph J. Broida, Morris Broida, Louis Broida, Theodore Broida, Harold Broida. Sitting on right- John J. “Zelig” Broida. Taken 24 July 1930 when John “Zelig” Broida returned from Israel for a visit. Family photo.

Sure hope there are some California family members out there who can give us a bit more insight into the life of Max Broida and/or Buster Brodie.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Use our search box to find other posts about Max Broida/ Buster Brodie.
  2. Photos from the Family Treasure Chest.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Matrilineal Monday: Susan B. Anthony and our Family

Women's Suffrage Postcard set, 1 of 3- Susan B. Anthony. Anna Howard Shaw and Frances Willard are the other two. Issued c1890-1910?
Susan B. Anthony, 1 of 3 in a Women’s Suffrage Postcard set. (Anna Howard Shaw and Frances Willard are the other two honored.) Issued c1890-1910?

McMurray Family, Payne Family (Click for Family Tree)

Today is “Susan B. Anthony Day” and we should all be celebrating her birth that occurred 15 Feb 1820. She was a tireless worker for women’s rights, so any of us who are female, our mothers, and their mothers, plus the mothers of those mothers, (depending where you are on the generational spectrum) all owe Susan B. a big “THANK YOU!!”

Various bills have been put forth to make 15 February a National Holiday. A number of social activists already have National Holidays honoring their work- Martin Luther King, of course, and even Ceasar Chavez recently got an official day. But Susan B. Anthony was passed over- again, by Congress and the President. How can that be, when her work benefits 51% of our population, and cuts across economic status and race??  Wherever she is, she is probably just shaking her head… women fought for abolition too, and hoped that they would get the right to vote when African-Americans did. She and her sisters wanted the government to make all Americans truly equal, as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Apparently the “all men” in that document meant that literally- black men got the right to vote, white men already had it, but all women had to fight for many more years to get the “right” to vote. We should not have to fight now to get a day for Susan and the other women who worked so tirelessly for women’s equality.

Okay, you might say, Susan B. Anthony was put on a coin- shouldn’t that ‘count’? (Bad pun- sorry.) They put her likeness on the front of a silver dollar, BUT left the same reverse as on the previous silver dollar, an eagle landing on the moon. They couldn’t design a coin reverse for her too? How does an eagle on the moon relate to woman’s suffrage?

And who wants to use a heavy silver dollar when they can use a lightweight paper bill? Another problem was that the new smaller silver dollars looked so similar to quarters that the public did not want to use them, and vending machine companies fought it. Thus the demand was small and Susan’s coins were only minted for a total of four years; they are no longer available from the US Mint. Congress has, however, authorized the US Mint to issue  a “First Spouse” series- all the wives of US Presidents. While First Ladies have done a lot of good work, it pales in comparison to what the suffragists did, endured, and accomplished. Where is our set of coins for women who worked for a social and political revolution?

It seems that our government just does not want to honor the women who worked for social and political justice.

Even Fox News thinks that Susan B. Anthony should be honored with a National Holiday. There are five states where Susan B. Anthony’s birthday is a state holiday: California, Florida, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Oh wait- West Virginia celebrates it on election day but only in even years (??), so does that really count?

Edward B. Payne
Edward B. Payne, probably circa 1910. Family treasure.

Edward Biron Payne (the grandfather of Dr. Edward A. McMurray) may have met Susan B. Anthony; at the least he most likely heard her speak, and read her articles. (He read everything.) In 1895, suffragists in California invited Susan B. Anthony and Anna Howard Shaw of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) to attend their Woman’s Congress. They were pushing to get woman’s suffrage passed by voters in California, and needed help. (A woman’s suffrage bill was passed in 1893 by the CA state legislature, but the governor vetoed it, saying that women voting was unconstitutional.) The Woman’s Congress was held in San Francisco in May, and Edward B. Payne probably took the ferry across the bay and listened to Susan B. Anthony’s words. Edward himself was very committed to equality- he was a Christian Socialist, a Unitarian minister, and journalist. He also had founded a Utopian colony called Altruria, where it was required that the Vice-President be a woman. We don’t know if he knew Ninetta (Wiley) Eames by this time, but Berkeley, California was a small town, so he may have known her. Ninetta was a suffragist, and would later become his second wife.

Susan B. Anthony spoke around the state in support of women’s suffrage, including at a Unitarian Church in Berkeley. We have no proof that Edward was in attendance, but it would be very surprising if he was not sitting in the front row at that meeting or others. We know he regularly attended lectures, and he also gave a series of lectures to support woman’s suffrage. Rev. Payne loved a great philosophical discussion, and a social revolution for the people. I do hope that he got to meet with her and discourse!

Berkeley's Citizen Suffrage League thanks Edward B. Payne and others for their aid in the suffrage movement in California. San Francisco Call, 19 Nov 1896, page 11, column 2, via ChroniclingAmerica.com
Berkeley’s Citizen Suffrage League thanks Edward B. Payne and others for their aid in the suffrage movement in California. San Francisco Call, 19 Nov 1896, page 11, column 2, via ChroniclingAmerica.com

A thank you to Rev. Payne and others was published after the vote was defeated. Southern California had passed it, but San Francisco, more populous, defeated the bill. Saloonkeepers and the liquor industry, more prevalent in San Francisco,  were afraid that if women got the vote, a prohibition of alcohol would be next.

All women today in the US should honor Susan B. Anthony on her birthday, and really, every day. Men need to as well- when women have equality, men benefit economically, socially, emotionally. Having the vote is powerful, and we need to honor the suffragists by using that vote in every election.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Make Susan B. Anthony Day a national holiday” by Phyllis Chessler.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/02/13/make-susan-b-anthony-day-national-holiday.html
  2. Susan B. Anthony Day- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_B._Anthony_Day
  3. “Brief Berkeley Notes,” San Francisco Call, 19 Nov. 1896, p11, c2, via ChroniclingAmerica.com.
  4. National Susan B. Anthony House & Museum- http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/her-story/biography.php
  5. Gayle Gullett has done some excellent writing on the California Woman Suffrage movement. She has an article on JSTOR: “Constructing the Woman Citizen and Struggling for the Vote in California, 1896-1911.” Gayle Gullett, Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 69, No. 4, Woman Suffrage: The View from the Pacific (Nov., 2000), pp. 573-593. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3641225
    She also wrote a book on the topic: Becoming Citizens: The Emergence and Development of the California Women’s Movement, 1880-1911.Urbana and Chicago:  University of Illinois Press, 2000. See a review at https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=4314
  6. Here is a good resource on the California Suffrage Movement:
    The California Plan: California’s Suffrage Strategy and Its Effects in Other States and the National Suffrage Campaign” by Lauren Abel
    http://journals.chapman.edu/ojs/index.php/VocesNovae/article/view/636/887

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Sentimental Sunday: Max Broida

BROIDA_Max-as Buster Brodie_portrait_reduced
Max Broida as Buster Brodie- “The Hairless Man,” c1924. In possession of author.

Broida Family (Click for Family Tree)

Sometimes, one falls in love with an ancestor.

Probably, only die-hard family historians truly understand this statement.

But it happens.

For me, Max Broida is one of those ancestors.

It started out as one of those quiet relationships. A casual acquaintance, when as a newly married-in, I asked about the family history.

The picture of “The Seven Brothers” was brought out, and there sat John Broida, the patriarch, surrounded by his dashing seven adult sons. They all looked so handsome in their suits, all of them tailored to a “T” since so many of them were in the men’s fine clothing business. They were serious looking- Max too. But his professional demeanor totally belied what I would learn many years later.

Gertrude (Broida) Cooper, the daughter of one of those dashing sons (Philip Edwin Broida), could name all her uncles, and tell about their family life: wives, children, grandchildren, where they lived, and even businesses. She had an astonishing memory, and attention to detail. She too always looked ‘dashing’- if that word can be used for a woman- as she also was in the clothing business, but fine women’s clothes. She always dressed up and put on her makeup and her heels; she colored her hair a bright red until her very later years, when she softened the color but she would always be a beloved carrothead to me.

Gertrude did not know much about her Uncle Max. She told us that he had worked in movies in Hollywood using the name Buster Brodie, and that he was completely hairless- did not even have eyebrows. She didn’t know the names of any films he was in. He was very short, but so were the majority of the family, being Eastern European. He did not marry. That was about all to the story.

Other family members did not know much about Max either- some even thought that their ‘movie star’ relative was a figment of their father’s imagination! (You doubting children know who you are.)

As a good family historian, of course it is important to document collateral relatives, plus sometimes you can find more information about your direct line. So I delved into the history of each of the seven brothers and their families. And when I got to Max, it happened.

Not much came up in the Google search years ago, but that made him more intriguing, a bit mysterious. Of course, that also made him a challenge- you know, hard to get. Others might have backed down, but not me- Max became more attractive, and it became hard to stop running after him. (Yes, my husband does know…)

It was probably about 2 or 3am one research session when I realized what had happened. I was putting together a filmography for Max, and began watching clips or even whole movies where he might have had just a bit part. He was little and cute. He was enthusiastic. He played silly roles with a completely straight face. He had a funny little voice. Sometimes he seemed an underdog. But he was mesmerizing to me. I couldn’t stop watching. It seemed like he wanted his audience to laugh and be happy, and that was happening to me.

I was addicted. I had to know more about him. The passion ramped up.

So I wrote posts, and the blog became cousin bait. Well, actually we didn’t find cousins, but people who had pictures of Max, knowledge of Max, and interest in Max found us. (Putting a portrait on Max’s Find A Grave memorial helped too.) These folks so kindly shared! I felt like we were breathing life back into Max.

I did more research, and wrote more, and was so pleased to hear back from cousins that they were excited to learn that Max was REAL! They were amazed to learn that he had run away to be in the circus as a young boy or man, and did vaudeville after he tried working in business with family. Apparently a settled family business life just didn’t work for him, so he headed west, to Hollywood. The movie studios were becoming a big business in the 1920s, and talkies appeared; Max wanted to be a part of it all. With a bald head, he probably was happy to get to sunny SoCal and leave the miserable Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania winters behind.

Max never had big parts, usually not even big movies. The two most memorable are in the Wizard of Oz, where he was a Flying Monkey, so we can’t even tell which one he was. He also was in what is still a cult movie, Paramount’s 1932 film, “Island of the Lost Souls.” He had an amazing makeup job in that film: as “The Pig Man,” Max as Broida would be unrecognizable. Part of the reason the film is still popular is because it was the first to use sophisticated ‘monster’ makeup. It is also macabre, and even friends who like scary movies say it was creepy and scary. I could never get through it. In fact, the above portrait found on eBay had another offered by the same seller showing “The Pig Man” in makeup but in a regular shirt. That picture sold as well (but not to me), as did a number of other stills from the movie.

Reverse of Max Broida, as Buster Brodie. Probably a publicity photo.
Reverse of Max Broida, as Buster Brodie. Probably a publicity photo, c. 1924. Owned by author.

I was really excited to see this delightful portrait show up in my automatic eBay searches, since we really don’t have any decent images of Max as an adult other than the “Seven Brothers” picture. The seller had a ridiculous price on it, but all week Max let me know I needed to procure this for the family.  I was just compelled… and I won it.

I was so thrilled to get the picture, and turn it over. The eBay listing had not included an image of the back, nor even mentioned that there was anything on the reverse. (I hadn’t wanted to ask questions and risk others deciding to bid.) I felt like I had won the lottery! I had Max in my house, and with all the info on the back, I knew a whole lot more about him.

This was likely a publicity photo that Max shopped around, trying to get even bit parts. The handsome man in the picture with the slight smile completely hides the zaniness he could exhibit in some of his acting roles, such as in,”Groovy Movie.” To think of him as Buster Brown (advertising shoes), or a circus clown… well, I just can’t call him ‘Buster’ even though that is how he reported himself to census takers. And I don’t want to think of him as “Pigman” at all.

So thanks, Max, for being a crazy family historian’s passion for a while now, and for surprising me with a treasure every now and then. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, wherever you are. xoxoxo

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Thanks to Steve Cox, who wrote, The Munchkins Remember, EP Dutton, 1988, and documented that Max was a Flying Monkey in “The Wizard of Oz.” Steve also shared what he knew about Max and ‘the little people.’
  2. Thanks also to Frank Reighter and his compadres at the Three Stooges Fan Club, who provided some obits and Max’s death certificate.

 

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