A Dennison Roundtable – Part 2

Thursday, February 26, 2015, 7PM

Edgell Memorial Library

3 Oak Street, Framingham

Free for FHC members, $5 for non-members

round robin march 1920

Because there was not nearly enough room to display all of the treasures found in the Dennison archives for our current exhibition, we are hosting another roundtable discussion. Since our first Dennison Roundtable, where Curator, Dana Ricciardi, and volunteers presented their favorite archival discoveries, we have had time to dig more deeply into this rich archive. Come and learn more from this talented team of researchers as they discuss never-before-seen items that were the result of further exploration.

The Dennisons – A Family Ahead of their Time

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 2:00 P.M.

Historic Village Hall

2 Oak Street, Framingham

$5/FHC member, $10/non-member

Dennison family portait

Libby Franck will portray Kate Ware Smith – a Framingham wife, mother and social worker who became a part of the Dennison family when her son Edmund married Henry S. Dennison’s daughter Helen. Kate will provide a glimpse into this remarkable family of reformers from Henry with his progressive economic and social activities to the women who were highly educated and devoted to local and national reform agendas. Kate will recollect Helen and Edmund’s marriage on the Centre Common after fire destroyed the family home. She marvels at the medical research, healthcare, recreation and art programs run by socially conscious women at the Civic League founded by Henry and other local business leaders. Activities at the family home on Nobscot Mt. filled with horses, dogs, capers and a lot of music will come to life. Kate will also travel to Maine where the Dennisons renewed their energy at the family camp a source of great joy and sorrow.

The Dennisons Tickets


In Memory of Mary…

Contributed by Elsa Hornfischer

December 14, 2014

Years ago, when the Framingham History Center’s Oral History Project began, it was my privilege to volunteer alongside Mary E. Murphy. During the years since and over 100 stories later I had learned many things from this loving teacher, mentor, and friend.

  • Mary was all about stories – both in and out of the Oral History Project…
  • She listened, closely, to the stories around her.
  • She repeated many of them – historical stories, interesting stories, Irish stories, political and educational stories, and stories from her many years of teaching.
  • She lived a most beautiful, committed, kind, attentive, and forward-thinking story of her own, and, by example, showed others how to TRY to do the same.
  • But one of her most impressive and frequent demonstrations was to relay these stories accurately and visually – exposing her clear and impeccable memory in the “telling!” It was Mary, not I most of the time, who remembered just about everything I ever told her or had been written within the pages of a book I once read!

She was a positive life force – always – and seemingly ageless: a very early example of where the accomplishments of America’s women would end up going since the 1950’s. She mentored dozens and dozens of women by her example – in a nutshell, the movement just flowed out of her and up into the community, it seems, just about everywhere. What could we women do but TRY to follow!

Over this past year, I often heard my grandson Jacob speak fondly about one of his very favorite ITN clients – a wonderful lady he drove around town on errands. (His client could no longer drive herself so often called ITN – a Framingham-based non-profit service for those who no longer drive.) Jacob’s client? Her name was Mary E. Murphy. Within one year of their friendship, however, Jacob left to pursue a job as a taxi driver, hoping for more hours.

My very last memory of Mary, only weeks before she passed, was of her almost running through a full capacity crowd in Old Edgell Library.

“Elsa,” she spoke excitedly, “Jacob is back!”

Mary’s spirit, her smile, her memory, her kindness, and her storytelling has passed down to yet another, much, much younger, generation – to my grandson’s – and undoubtedly to grandchildren of her own…

That’s just exactly how a good life plays out – Mary knew that.

Thank you, Mary E. Murphy for all that you were and all that you stood for!

Unexpected Archive: Part One and Two

Saturdays, March 14 and April 11, 2015, 2 p.m.

Edegll Memorial Library

3 Oak Street, Framingham

There is a seemingly endless supply of Dennison treasures and we look forward to continue sharing them with you on these Saturday afternoons. Subject matter will be different from previous Roundtable presentations. Saturday exhibit hours are 1-4 p.m.

Questions? Call 508-626-9091.

Friends, family remember Framingham icon Mary Murphy

By Scott O’Connell
Daily News Staff
Posted Jan. 3, 2015 @ 6:36 pm

FRAMINGHAM – According to those who knew her, Mary Murphy was not the type who wanted eulogies for her passing.

“She didn’t want a service – she wanted a celebration,” said the longtime Framingham resident’s daughter-in-law, Annie Murphy. “She wanted people to tell their stories to each other. And everyone has a story about Mary.”

More than a hundred people gathered at Village Hall on Saturday afternoon to fulfill Murphy’s late wishes. Proving her daughter-in-law correct, nearly anybody who was asked lit up when talking about their beloved family member, friend, neighbor or colleague, who died at age 87 on Dec. 14.

“She did so many things in life – she mentored everybody she came into contact with in some capacity,” said Elsa Hornfischer, who met Murphy while working on a town history project in the late 1990s.

A native of Dorchester, Murphy settled down in Framingham with her husband, Phillip, in 1952, and from there became inseparable from the community. She served on the local school board, was president of the town’s historical society and worked as an English professor at Framingham State University.

“She had an impact on every piece of the community,” Annie Murphy said. “She had so many causes. But she was also just a great friend. She always listened to you, would remember your children’s and grandchildren’s names.”

“She made you feel confident, the way she spoke to you,” said Jennifer Toth, who worked with Murphy years ago on the Framingham History Center’s annual house tour. “And she was incredibly smart – just the most lovely person.”

Murphy also had a passion for her political causes, and was a staunch advocate for the Democrats, serving as a presidential delegate for the party on three occasions. For Hornfischer, Murphy was a trailblazer in that respect.

“She was just a great example” of a politically involved woman, she said. “She gave us a way to live.”

For all Murphy gave to her town, she got back as well, though, said her son, Edward Murphy.

“She was such a part of the community, but at the same time, the community was a part of her,” he said.

“She loved the town so much,” added Murphy’s daughter, Marianne Wilson, who said the family buried their mother’s ashes in a private ceremony earlier on Saturday.

Ernest Greenberg, who along with his wife, Libby, were longtime neighbors of Murphy, recalled how her house strategically faced down their street – “she could always see what was going on,” he said.

“She was just a wonderful lady,” he said. “Interesting, accomplished, a delight to talk to.”

The only thing she wasn’t, apparently, was willing to be the center of attention at her own memorial service. But Edward Murphy said her mother at least allowed for Saturday’s party, after he reminded her the gesture would be important “for the people (she) cared about.”

“It was her engagement with all the people that are here (today), that’s what made it so special” for her in life, he said.

Scott O’Connell can be reached at 508-626-4449 or soconnell@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ScottOConnellMW

http://framingham.wickedlocal.com/article/20150103/NEWS/150109075/-1/json#sthash.M7rOiaOt.dpuf

Framingham Today – Dennision Exhibition

The Framingham History Center has unveiled the exhibit “The Dennison Manufacturing Company 1844-1990″. Barry and Dennis sit down with director Annie Murphy, curator Dana Dauterman Ricciardi and long time Dennision employee Burt Marmer. Watch as they discuss the exhibit and the rich history of this iconic Framingham business.

Framingham: Ex-Dennison workers reminisce about days at paper products giant

Nelson Gifford, center, former chairman and chief executive officer of Dennison Manufacturing Co. receives applause from former employees and their families during the Dennison employee reunion hosted by the Framingham History Center at Village Hall on Thursday evening.  Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

Nelson Gifford, center, former chairman and chief executive officer of Dennison Manufacturing Co. receives applause from former employees and their families during the Dennison employee reunion hosted by the Framingham History Center at Village Hall on Thursday evening. Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

By Danielle Ameden
Daily News Staff
Posted Dec. 5, 2014 @ 12:01 am

FRAMINGHAM – Just like generations from many other families, Pete Allen followed his dad, Dick, to work at Dennison Manufacturing Co.

They enjoyed good jobs, great benefits and a camaraderie that was second to none.

That bond between colleagues was as strong as ever Thursday as Allen reunited with nearly 200 of his fellow “Dennisonians,” more than 20 years after the company merged with Avery International and moved out of Framingham.

Gathering in Village Hall, employees hugged, heartily shook hands and teared up as they came together to celebrate a new Dennison exhibit at the Framingham History Center.

“You look around,” Allen said as the former co-workers caught up with each other and reminisced. “It was a place to earn your livelihood but it really was kind of a family.”

Employees proudly recalled their roles in helping Dennison, one of the town’s biggest employers from 1897 to 1990, make everything from its famous tags and labels to then-cutting-edge Elephant floppy discs.

Steve Jionzo, who worked at Dennison for 38 years, sings with his wife, Joanne, who worked at the company for eight years, during the Dennison employee reunion hosted by the Framingham History Center at Village Hall on Thursday evening. The couple met in 1962.  Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

Steve Jionzo, who worked at Dennison for 38 years, sings with his wife, Joanne, who worked at the company for eight years, during the Dennison employee reunion hosted by the Framingham History Center at Village Hall on Thursday evening. The couple met in 1962. Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

“What we did in innovation, creativity, technology, was to help businesses all over the world,” Bart Marmer, Dennison’s former general manager and vice president of retail systems, told the crowd. “We helped consumers satisfy needs.”

History Center Executive Director Annie Murphy said she was thrilled by the opportunity to preserve the company’s legacy. The exhibit, now on display, showcases so many “treasures,” she said, from scrapbooks to machinery to manufactured products.

“It’s important for us to know that Dennison has returned home,” Marmer said to cheers. “We can show the world, and more important, we’re damn proud of what we did.”

All together, the employees sang a song about the company to the tune of “Harrigan,” and applauded their beloved “Giff,” former chairman and CEO Nelson Gifford.

The 84-year-old, who led the company until the merger in 1990, fondly recalled wanting to take care of his employees, including by setting up a stock plan and giving them proper pay and bonuses.

“We had a wonderful company – unbelievable – with all these employees,” he said, and they deserved the rewards. “It wasn’t me – it was them. They earned it.”

Nelson Gifford, left, former chairman and chief executive officer of Dennison, and Jerry Tardif, who worked at Dennison from 1960 to 1996, enjoy the reunion hosted by the Framingham History Center at Village Hall on Thursday evening.  Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

Nelson Gifford, left, former chairman and chief executive officer of Dennison, and Jerry Tardif, who worked at Dennison from 1960 to 1996, enjoy the reunion hosted by the Framingham History Center at Village Hall on Thursday evening. Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

Arthur Bouley, 72, came from Woonsocket, Rhode Island for the reunion, proudly thinking back on his 35½ years on the job as a printer at Dennison. He made his living creating labels on wax paper that would stick to product bottles through heat transfer.

“I look back at how lucky we were to have a good job,” Bouley said.

The reunion was emotional for Dick Fotland, 81, of Franklin.

He was especially happy to see Gifford, who lent him a lot of support during his career.

“I’m almost crying,” Fotland said.

He worked in corporate research and development for Dennison for 17 years, helping create, among other innovations, a new printing process, and said people just “love this company.”

“You would love nothing better than to work for a company like this,” said Lou D’Amaro of Medfield, former president of stationery products. “You worked hard and you played hard.”

Burt Marmer, a former executive, speaks at the reunion Thursday night.  Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

Burt Marmer, a former executive, speaks at the reunion Thursday night. Daily News and Wicked Local Photo/Kathleen Culler.

Sushil Bhatia, of Framingham, said he worked on several patents for Dennison, and products including a glue stick, sticky convention badges and a binding system for books.

He left the company with “extremely fond” memories and went on to open his own business, JMD Manufacturing, in Framingham and teach at Suffolk University.

Bhatia happily reconnected with Fotland Thursday, calling him “one of the brightest lights at Dennison.”

“The links we had with each other, they all come back,” he said.

Danielle Ameden can be reached at 508-626-4416 or dameden@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @damedenMW.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20141205/NEWS/141208007