Congratulations to Litoralis for guessing the correct answer to yesterday's photo quiz. The fine looking gentleman wearing a captain's cap in the cartoon is indeed Fred A. Mabbett of Rochester, N.Y.
The photo above is taken from a book of cartoons published by the Rochester Herald in 1908 titled Men Worth While, a veritable who's who of Rochester's finest (male) citizens. The caption to the cartoon describes Mr. Mabbett as General Manager United States Automobile Company.
I wonder what United States Automobile Company was? Was it a car manufacturer or was Mr. Mabbett perhaps the local Cadillac dealer?
I came across the name of Fred A. Mabbett in Tweezerman's post yesterday with the story behind the answer to his earlier photo quiz. Tweezerman had posted some photos from the Emerson collection of Rochester N.Y and mentioned in passing that Mr. Emerson, in 1917, married the daughter of Fred A. Mabbett, the Commodore of Rochester Yacht Club.
And that set me off on a search to answer the question, who exactly was Fred A. Mabbett?
Well there's not a lot of information about him on the Interwebs but I did discover this other photo of him.
The photo shows the crew of Iroquois, the successful American defender of the Canada's Cup in 1905. Is it significant that Fred and Lorrie are wearing long-sleeved white shirts while the other crew members look like they are more suitably dressed for hoisting sails and hauling lines than the Mabbetts? And there lurking at the back is Harry Van (prof.) Did that mean that he was the real skipper of the boat, even though Lorrie has the nominal title? And I see that listed in the names of the 1930 Canada's Cup Syndicate of Rochester Yacht Club are Fred A. Mabbett and Lorenzo G. Mabbett, still active in the club 25 years after their famous victory.
And what the hell is the Canada's Cup you may ask?
Well it is a silver trophy, deeded in perpetuity to be awarded to the winner of a series of match races between a yacht representing a Canadian yacht club and one representing an American club, both to be located on the Great Lakes.
The first match was in 1896 and it's still going strong today, currently being sailed in Farr 40s.
And so that's who Fred A. Mabbett was.
I can't find any Mabbetts listed in the white pages for Rochester today, but there are a number of Emersons. I wonder if some of them are the descendants of that 1917 marriage of Fred's daughter to Mr. Emerson. Perhaps some of them remember Grandpa Emerson taking them on his knee as children and telling them about how Great Grandpa Fred won the Canada's Cup back in 1905?
I certainly hope so.