Maritime Miscellany

Sam McNeish
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Author reveals regions' history

AMHERST - Giving back to a community that has been a huge portion of his life is important to author Clary Croft.

Maritime Miscellany

AMHERST - Giving back to a community that has been a huge portion of his life is important to author Clary Croft.

His interesting snippets that are heard daily on CFB morning radio are the subject of his new book "A Maritimer's Miscellany", a collection of did you knows from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

As an example, it is unlikely people know Thomas Edison's father was born in Nova Scotia in the early 1800s or that Edison himself sent a telegram to J.H. Logam of Amherst in 1907.

"People love to know about themselves because they are proud of their history,'' Croft said.

"What I have found here, is people are well aware of their history and like to learn more about it. Places like this museum help them to do that,'' he added.

In addition, he noted that out-migration was as much a problem in the Maritimes throughout the 1920s as it is today.

Nearly 150,000 people left for Ontario and the Eastern United States to find work.

While strolling through the museum, Croft stumbled across a cremanophone, an early form of record player, manufactured by the Amherst Piano Company circa 1920.

He has a snippet in his book about the company from 1912 and 1913 stating it employed around 100 people, making pianos that were shipped worldwide.

The rest of the country will soon realize the amount of history right here in Cumberland County. This is being made possible by the latest book released by Croft, his fifth publication for Nimbus Books.

Croft, visited Amherst Thursday to promote his work and foster interest in museums throughout the region.

"Miscellany is a term used in the 1500s meaning a collection of stories or items. This book is a collection of things like this that tell a history of things, events, companies, etc. from the Maritimes,'' he said.

"There are many people that write wonderful books about specific things, one topic. I wanted to do something that covered much more than that,'' he added.

In fact, the idea is already spurning items for a "A Maritimer's Miscellany II."

What makes Croft's book different from other publications is the intensive bibliography he has included. The information in this section will allow the readers to be able to go to various spots outside the book to learn more about their topics of interest.

Croft read excerpts from "A Maritimer's Miscellany," talked to those who attended the reading and signed copies of the work for those who purchased books. Portions of the proceeds from sales were donated to the museum.

Persons wishing to share Maritime facts to be included in the next edition (150 words maximum) can send submissions to by Nov. 1, 2008.

Organizations: Amherst Piano Company

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Ontario Eastern United States Cumberland County

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