Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Maynard at YouTube

In July 2020 a column discussed many of the Maynard-related Wikipedia articles. A recent presentation about Digital Equipment Corporation, which was headquartered in Maynard, 1957-1998, showed that just counting articles about DEC came to more than 40 Wikipedia articles. Others are about the town, the high school, the river, etc. So, the next obvious question is: How many YouTube videos feature Maynard? 

The newest entries are the Maynard Public Library series of Zoomed talks presented by the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee as part of the celebrations of Maynard’s 150th anniversary.

   Slavery in Massachusetts                                  2/25

   Before the Europeans Arrived… and After      3/25

   How Maynard Became Maynard                      4/19

   Assabet River Floods and Droughts                  5/24

   Digital Equipment Corporation                         6/14

   The Bands Played On                                        7/22

   Thoreau Walked Thru                                        8/26

SEPTEMBER  Schools Through the Centuries      tbd

OCTOBER      The Maynard Family                      tbd

NOVEMBER   Food Cooperatives                         tbd

DECEMBER   Trains, Trolleys, Buses and Cars    tbd

These can be accessed through the library’s website under Events. By year’s end there will be a total of eleven talks.

A much larger collection of talks were posted on a channel created by the Maynard Historical Society in 2014. The symbol for the channel is a blue dot with a white, lower-case letter “m” in the center. These 22 videos, each about an hour long, represent MHS talks filmed by WAVM, the high school’s, student-run, cable TV station. Here is an alphabetized list of those videos, with the year given:

Artists in Maynard (2002)

Aviation (1999)

Congregational Church (2002)

Cooperative Societies

Fowler Funeral Home (2004)

Glenwood Cemetery (1998)

Growing up in Maynard (1998)

Gunpowder Mill (2005)

Henry Ford’s Boys (2002)

Ken Olsen (1998)

Knights/Ladies of Kaleva (1999)

Mill Clock (1992)

Movie Theaters (2000)

Mullen Family (2006)

Post Office (2000)

Powell Flutes (2006)

Rod & Gun Club (2001)

Sarvela Farm (1991)

Soldiers’ Stories (2004)

Trolleys (2000)

West End (2006)

Whitney Family (1999)

All of these deliver interesting stories about Maynard. In one, Ken Olsen, the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, explains that he chose to locate this new company in Maynard because the rent was cheap at 25 cents a square foot, and secondly, because Maynard having been until recently a factory town, there were people to hire that had no problem with working eight hour shifts at manual labor.

In addition to the taped talks, there is a short clip of silent footage of “Leapin’ Lena”, a tricked-out Ford Model-T that appeared in local parades 1927 thru 1962. This was an American Legion Post #235 project. The modified car would pop its front end up, drive a short distance nose in the air, before a touch of the brakes brought it slamming down on the front wheels again. When nose-up, there was no ability to steer. There are other “Leapin Lena” parade cars out there, some of which have independent brakes on the rear wheels, so steering, and even pirouettes, are possible.   

Beyond the hour-long presentations, there is a large smattering of YouTube clips that involve Maynard, from car-camera drive-throughs, to kayaking on the Assabet River, to a lot of real estate displays. Special though, are videos on the Chromatophone Creatures channel, created by Chriss Renna to display his short nature videos. He has posted hundreds of videos, has thousands of followers, and a few of his clips have gone viral, each garnering hundreds of thousands of views.

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