Mary Irwin, Pittsburgh, Patterson Irwin discussed on What'sHerName
Rope was so important. That one of the guys is who went on the Lewis and Clark expedition. He kept a diary in one of the line. They'll never forget that. I read what this expedition was held together are by rope and that just that really got me because I thought Mary. You made history lady That's awesome she. Also if people have heard of Commodore Perry now the the war in Lake Erie in eighteen thirteen the British Royal Navy starts impinging on American territory and has taken Detroit O. Aw outrageous the British seize control of Lake Erie and there's this major battle and Commodore Perry came to marry Irwin and said I would like you to please outfit my navy for this upcoming battle and she agreed and they did a rush job for all of his rope for are all of these ships. Madore Peiris warships set off for Lake Erie and defeat the British. Louis Detroit's push back to Canada. This chapter of American history that I never heard about yes. Mary Irwin's rope saving the day. It also outfitted the New Orleans thousands. which was the first steamboat? Travel from Pittsburgh all the way to New Orleans by this brand and new idea that you could bring things up the Mississippi River. Yeah that no one had really done this. Before this was a pleasure cruise. I would soon become exactly what she predicted. That all of this trade is coming up and down these rivers and Pittsburgh the center and of course Pittsburgh does become the center of manufacturing innovation the Industrial Revolution. When all of these started to happen? You have Andrew Carnegie Big Deal Industry Henry Heinz Heinz Ketchup but fun fact. Henry Heinz US first company was bottling. His mother pushed radic. Oh that was less successful than catch up so he moved on. But we know these men's needs these hijackers of industry history in Pittsburgh. Yeah and none of us have heard of Mary Irwin And yet her impact on the city her impact on the economy in this. It's it's every bit as big as there's We're not heard of her. Because she didn't become a evil megalomaniac and crush all her competition and and make millions and millions of dollars and then feel guilty in the end and donate it to try to help humanity. She did well she didn't. I guess. Become an evil megalomaniac but it it was a big philanthropic worse in the city. was she like a millionaire. She she she had halted her family into the one percent. Percents they were all are one of the premier families of Pittsburgh and by the time we hit Gilded Age America. They are among the elite. They are marrying the Perry's in the Carnegie's and the Heinz's they are. Oh my God in exactly the same straddle of society as these these men and yet we've never heard of her that kind of frost my chops that we have all these women in such as Pittsburgh. It's everywhere we don't know. So it's our job to uncover uncover and it's not just us. Her family did not know her story where they think the money came came from. They know all about John Irwin. His vast rope making empire and his foresight in noticing the importance portent Blitzburgh as the site of all of these rivers than starting a rope walk and manufacturing Roman creating this empire. John Irwin and Mary Irwin Win. Son Get all the credit for this even within the family and they do not even know her name off off. Did this research and brought it to the failures of what she did. Look I had no idea why. Why is it still earns every time? Yeah so I thought well at least if nothing else family hopefully with the tail here. I'm going to put her in my American history class next semester. So so this is something that I have. Only recently realized is unusual. Maybe in our family we grew up with mother who deeply prizes family history genealogy. Jenny urology this information. So what are these stories from our ancestors that you remember that. We learned growing up Sarah Elizabeth conover could dance the teacup on her head. Feisty Fanny Gibbs put on her husband's uniform and dressed like a ghost Aunt Bertha ran brothel. I ran the best. All of our stories are are women can tell you the names of our male ancestors. Yeah no stories about and I think I just assumed that that's how these kind of things usually go that that it is women who are doing howling and so we really stories that are getting passed on and because I follow a lot of professional twitter somehow. Okay I'm realizing more. And more than that is really unusual. joie genealogy like history follows male lions. They are people know they're male ancestor stories and the women are disappeared. Now uh I'm so grateful but that's not true and I started wondering this morning if rowing up understanding understanding that women's stories matter baby that prime does for creating this podcast we come at it with this perspective. That of course The stories of women from history are as those are the ones we know from our history we know the details of their lives that bring them alive and how important it was to keep those alive in oral history because those stories aren't written down by the man doing the official record keeping being bright. Yeah so you have to look for the subtlest of clues like the original business being called and wife that those kinds of clues news can speak volumes because they didn't write down the volumes. Now it's people like Gloria. That are doing this work on local levels. Finding these women men who series have been literally buried And bringing them back out and saying. Hey wait we should be talking about her as much as we're talking about carnegie she this city as much as high instead and unfortunately that same pattern of erasure and minimization continues in her grave She's buried in fact very near my home in allegheny cemetery and and I wanted to see her grave so I went there last December a year ago and I could not find it. I found the Irwin. Whatever real estate big interesting and I thought John has a big slab in all these other or would in a new? Mary's was in the ground. I couldn't find it so they went to the historical sites. Can you help me find this grave. They eventually did find it and she does have a marker. Don't tell me it says wife it doesn't say why it's the size of a brick and it says Mary. Wow that's it Mary tool. Yeah well that does it so to make this right or as a tiny step toward by team at this March there will be an event at the cemetery Tehri. I'm doing a very low key. Nonreligious event to just remember Mary and recognize her in her contribution to this city. Then give little pieces of rope for people to tie on their fingers to remember Mary because when I was that's what we used to do during her finger recognizing her legacy that task too and bringing attention to her story. So anybody in the Pittsburgh area in March. We'll have a link to this on our website. You absolutely should go is open to the public free event and I hope eventually that her family will recognize that she deserves much more than a brick that says Mary give I statue in the center of town statue someone. Someone should create a work of art. Israel rope yes in Mary's honor. What's it called Maccarone off Mary? Yeah Rope artists listening. Please create create a macro. May Mary please. And macro main picture and keep her legacy alive. You know as rope bound together the Lewis and Clark expedition. Pattison Irwin Round Pittsburgh together. Yes and America America huge. Thanks thanks to Gloria for Roosen if you'd like to learn more about Mary. Patterson Irwin or find more details about the memorial ceremony happening next March. visit our website at what's her name. PODCASTS DOT COM. We have have links to all of the information that you need there. You can also follow us on instagram twitter and facebook where we post lots of photos each week. Music for this Episode Code was provided by Katy Davis Henderson. Killarney Andy Reiner and John Souza and half Pelican. We're always so grateful for our generous musical partners. Find more about their work at our website. Our theme song was composed and performed by Daniel Foster Smith. Our intern Isabel Martinez. What's her name is produced by Olivia? Michael and Katie Nelson and this episode was edited by. Olivia mickle.