Voices from the Beinecke Library

New Collection: 1901 Manuscript Novel

The Beinecke Library has acquired an autograph manuscript novel written in 1901 by Harry Curtis Pye with more than 150 illustrations created by Pye from 1901 to 1902, including line drawings and pen-and-wash drawings (YCAL MSS 823). A preface by Paul Norwood and introduction by Pye describe the novel as a thinly-disguised biography based on an unidentified mutual friend.

The novel recounts the professional and personal life of a consulting engineer, Maurice Ogden. This includes his work at an iron works in Ansonia, Connecticut; labor negotiations with an iron workers' union in Dayton, Ohio; and his work with the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in Yuma, Arizona. The novel also recounts social life in New York City, as well as Ogden's romantic relationship with an actress, Edna Mead, and his friendship with a financier, Reginald Chartran.

The volume also has autographs by Pye and L. May Ryan, 1902-1903. A laid-in letter from the United States Customs Service to Pye, dated September 12, 1906, discusses the delivery of merchandise Eleanor F. Pye purchased in Yokohama, Japan.

Harry Curtis Pye (born 1878) was an engineer. He was the son of Leigh Pye (born 1853) and Eleanor F. Pye (born 1853). Pye worked as an engineer in Hartford and Ansonia Connecticut, as well as in Brooklyn, New York. In April 1908, he married Hawlene Olmstead Vail (born 1888). Paul Norwood (1865-1935) was a medical doctor and inventor in Ansonia, Connecticut. (MM)


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