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History Lecture Series: Theodore Irwin – Oswego Tycoon and American Collector

Pictured is an 1890 photograph of Theodore Irwin's Tuscan Villa estate that once stood at the corner of East Sixth and Utica streets in Oswego. Justin White, Oswego County Historian will speak at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, August 29.

Pictured is an 1890 photograph of Theodore Irwin's Tuscan Villa estate that once stood at the corner of East Sixth and Utica streets in Oswego. Justin White, Oswego County Historian will speak at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, August 29.

OSWGO, NY – The H. Lee White Maritime Museum presents a lecture by Oswego County Historian, Justin White, on August 29 at 1:30 p.m.

He will be the third speaker in the museum’s 2015 History Lecture Series.

Pictured is an 1890 photograph of Theodore Irwin's Tuscan Villa estate that once stood at the corner of East Sixth and Utica streets in Oswego. Justin White, Oswego County Historian will speak at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, August 29.
Pictured is an 1890 photograph of Theodore Irwin’s Tuscan Villa estate that once stood at the corner of East Sixth and Utica streets in Oswego. Justin White, Oswego County Historian will speak at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum, August 29.

White will be speaking on Theodore Irwin, a millionaire industrialist and leading businessman in 19th century Oswego whose personal fortune allowed him to amass a world class private library of rare books.

This included a Gutenberg Bible, one of rarest, most valuable and iconic books in the world.

His personal library was known throughout the country by leading book collectors, including J.P. Morgan who played a significant role in the future of Irwin’s collection.

Irwin made his fortune in Oswego’s elevator commerce sector taking advantage of the maritime resources of Oswego at the time.

He was in business with George Sloan, another notable and wealthy Oswegonian.

The two partnered to form the Northwestern Elevator, then the largest in Oswego.

White will also discuss some of Irwin’s other collections including artwork.

The program will showcase illustrations of the Irwin family along with many exterior and interior photographs of their elaborate Tuscan Villa estate.

“The Irwin family lived in Oswego during its Gilded Age and represent a fleeting yet very romantic time,.” said White. “While the Irwin estate is gone and all of its contents dispersed, we are fortunate to have a great record of their lives through documents and photographs.”

For more information about this program and other museum events call (315) 342.0480 or visit www.hlwmm.org

The program is free and open to the public.