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SouthBethlehemBusinessCollege

Classof1924
CharlesH.Gretzinger

by
RichardC.Gretzinger
September2015

TableOfContents
Preface
Chapter1Classof1924
Chapter2SouthBethlehemBusinessCollege
Chapter3CommutingtoCollege
Chapter4QuestionsAskedandAnswered
FinalThoughts

ii

1
3
5
12
22
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Preface
OnerecentsummereveningasmywifeandIwerewalkinginourneighborhood,we
stoppedtotalkwithfriends.Inthecourseofourconservation,myfriendaskedifI
wenttoLehighUniversity(IwaswearingaLehighteeshirt.)Isaidyes.
HeindicatedhewasfromSouthBethlehem,thehomeofLehigh'scampuslocatedin
NorthamptonCounty*.
IthenaskedhimifheheardoftheSouthBethlehemBusinessCollegeasmy
grandfathergraduatedfromthiscollegein1924.Hedidnotknowofthecollegebut
askedifIknewtheaddress.Ididn't.
ThenextdayIbegantoresearchthelocationoftheSouthBethlehemBusiness
Collegeandfounditwaslocatedat3rdandNewStreets.Tomysurprise,itwas
onlyfourblocksfromLehigh'scampus.
Thatdiscoveryledmetofurtherresearch,andIfounda1908-1909Cataloguefor
theSouthBethlehemBusinessCollege.(Forthepurposesofthisnarrative,Iused
the1908-1909Catalogue**asasurrogateforthe1924Catalogue.)Thecatalogue
listedthecollege'scourses,costandclassschedules.Iwonderedinwhatcoursesmy
grandfatherwasenrolledandhowhemaymighthavepaidforthem.And,washea
dayornightschoolstudent?
SincemygrandfatherlivedinTrumbauersville,BucksCounty,Pennsylvania,how
didhecommutetoBethlehem,NorthamptonCounty,Pennsylvania,adistanceof
about18miles?Heneverownedanautomobileanddidnotlearntodrive.Didhe
usepublictransportation?
IfoundaSouthBethlehemmapissuedinthe1920sandnotedthattheNorthPenn
Railroadstationwasonlyafewblocksfromthecollege.Thatdiscoveryledmeto
considerthatmygrandfathermayhavecommutedtocollegebytrain.Weretrains
availablethathecouldusetocommute?
Thefollowingnarrativeattemptstoanswerthesequestions.
_______________________________________________________________________
*NorthamptonCountywasformedin1752whenitwassplitfromBucksCounty.
Sixtyyearslaterin1812,LehighCountywasformedwhenitwassplitfrom
NorthamptonCounty.
In1865,AsaPacker,presidentofLehighValleyRailroad,presenteda$500,000gift
tobuildauniversitythatwouldcontributetotheintellectualandmoral
improvementofmenintheLehighValley.Itwasthelargestdonationofitskindto
anyeducationalinstitutioninAmericaatthattime.Today,Asa'sdonationwouldbe
equivalenttoalmost$8million(basedontheCPI'spublishedbytheMinneapolis
FederalReserve).
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ThesitethatPackerchoseforhisuniversitywasarailroadjunctionacrossthe
LehighRiverfromBethlehem,Pennsylvania,acommunityfoundedin1741by
Moravianmissionaries.Thesitewasselectedinpartbecauseitwaswithinwalking
distanceformanagersoftheLehighValleyRailroad.Theuniversitywasnamed
LehighUniversity.
InLehigh'sinauguralyear(1866),39menwereadmittedasstudents.Ofthe39
students,onewasaCivilWarveteranfromLancaster,Pa.;10werefrom
Bethlehem,Pa.;sevencamefromMauchChunk,Pa.;sevencamefromTamaqua,
Pa.,andotherplacesintheanthraciteregions;threewerefromPhiladelphia;one
fromBarbados;andtheremaining10hailedfromotherplacesintheeasternstates.
Lehigh'sfirstpresident,HenryCoppee,wasappointedbyAsaPacker.Coppee
workedasarailroadengineerinGeorgia,servedasacaptainintheArmyduring
theMexicanWar,andtaughtatWestPointandtheUniversityofPennsylvania
beforebecomingLehigh'sfirstpresidentin1866.DuringCoppee'stenure,a
MoravianchurchonPackerAvenuewasremodeledintoChristmasHall;ahouse
forthepresidentwaserected;andPackerHall,theuniversitycenter,wasbuilt.
Coppeelecturedinhistory,logic,rhetoric,politicaleconomyandShakespeare.He
servedasLehigh'spresidentfornineyearsto1875.Afterthedeathin1893of
Lehigh'sthirdpresident,RobertA.Lamberton,CoppeereturnedtoLehighand
servedaspresidentuntilhisdeathin1895.
CoppeediedinBethlehemandisburiedattheNiskyHillCemetery,254E.Church
Street,Bethlehem.ThecemeteryislocatedalongthenorthbankoftheLehigh
RiveraboutonemilefromtheLehighcampus(seemaponpage12).
Note:ThesourceforLehigh'shistoryistheUniversity'swebsite.

**Adownloadable1908-1909CataloguefortheSouthBethlehemBusinessCollege
isavailableontheBethlehemAreaPublicLibrarywebsite.Icontactedthelibrary
andobtainedtheirpermissiontousethecatalogueinthisnarrative.Thecatalogue
hasnocopyrightnotation.Thecollegeisnolongerinoperation,andthebuilding
whereclasseswereheldhasbeendemolished.

Chapter1
Classof1924
CharlesH.Gretzinger
Afterthedeathofmygrandfather,CharlesH.Gretzinger,mygrandmothergave
meapictureofthe1924graduatingclassofSouthBethlehemBusinessCollege.
Thatpictureappearsbelow.Nonameswereidentified.
Mygrandfatherappearsinthetoprowoftheseatedmen,thirdfromtheleft.Heis
38yearsold.Hisgraduatingclasswascomposedof36womenand17men.

South Bethlehem Business College


Classof1924

Mygrandmother,Ellen(Ella),oftensaidthatwhenherhusbandwentofftocollege,
shestayedhometoworkinoneofthelocalcigarshopsinTrumbauersville(our
hometown)to"puthimthroughcollege."
Intheearly1900s,therewereabouttenlocalcigarshops,called"BuckeyeShops."
Mygrandmother'sjobwasto"rollcigars."Toassembleacigar,shespreada
bindercigarleafonaboardandplacedanamountoffillerinherhand.Shethen
fashionedthefillerintotheproperlength,rolleditintothebinderleafandtwisted
theendsandplacedtheunfinishedcigarinawoodenmoldthatheldtencigars.A
goodcigarmakercouldearn$20aweek,workingasixdayweek.
Whilemaintainingherjobrollingcigars,shealsohadtocareforthreechildren.
Whenherhusbandbeganhisstudiesin1922,thechildren'sageswere15,10and6
years.Itisquitepossiblethathermotherhelpedtocarefortheyoungerchildren.

Chapter2
SouthBethlehemBusinessCollege

TheBethlehemAreaPublicLibraryhasonlinethe1908-1909catalogueforThe
SouthBethlehemBusinessCollege.Theabovephotoisacopyofthecover
pageofthecatalogue.
Thecollegewasestablishedin1897.ClasseswereheldintheO'Reillybuildingat
3rdandNewStreets,SouthBethlehem,Pennsylvania.

TheO'ReillyBuilding
SouthBethlehemBusinessCollegewaslocatedat3rdandNewStreetsinBethlehem,
Pennsylvania.ThebuildingwasownedbyMichaelO'Reillywhooperateda
clothingstoreonthegroundfloor.Theschoolwaslocatedonthesecondfloor.The
followingpictureisthatoftheO'Reillybuildingwiththenameoftheschoolonthe
secondfloor.Thepictureisfromthe1908-1909SouthBethlehemBusinessCollege
catalogue.

The O'Reilly Building


Southeast Corner of 3rd & New Streets
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Thesourceofthefollowingpictureandquotationisthe1918publication,"Menof
Bethlehem,"byFredL.ShankweilerandFrankT.Boyle.

MichaelO'Reilly
"Michael O'Reilly, head of the OReilly Clothing Store, was born in Washington, N.J.,
a son of the late Michael and Elizabeth (Hopper) OReilly. He was educated in the
public schools and came to South Bethlehem at the age of twelve years, being engaged
then in a store with his father. From a small beginning the OReilly store grew in leaps
and bounds until today their store has established a reputation that is unequalled, due
to the efficient management of Mr. OReilly. He has been active in everything for the
advancement of the community and built many houses for the accommodation of
Bethlehem Steel Company workmen. He was active in the recent campaigns both as
captain and major and is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Chamber of
Commerce, Elks, Northampton Club and other organizations. During June 1916 he
married Mary, daughter of Nora and the late Michael Lane."

The1908-1909CollegeCatalogue
AsindicatedintheSouthBethlehemBusinessCollegecatalogue,thecollegewas
establishedin1897,andasnotedabovewaslocatedonthesecondfloorofthe
O'ReillyBuilding.Thecollegecatalogueintroductionstates;
"In preparing this catalogue, the aim has been to explain briefly and plainly the scope
of the work, the methods, and the facilities of the College, and to give other
information that is usually desired by the prospective student of a business school.
The object of the institution is to give its students an education that will fit them to earn
a living, especially in the business world. By omitting branches of no practical
value, permitting each one to advance independently of the others, and giving a great
deal of individual instruction, the school is able to save the student much time and
expense."
Curriculum
The"CoursesofStudy"asoutlinedintheoriginalcollegecatalogueareshown
below.
THE SOUTH BETHLEHEM BUSINESS COLLEGE

Business Course
Bookkeeping
BusinessPractice
BusinessLaw
OfficeWork
Banking
BusinessForms
Duplicating
Filing

Combined Course
Arithmetic
Penmanship
Correspondence
PracticalGrammar
Punctuation
Composition
Spelling
RapidCalculation

Bookkeeping
BusinessPractice
BusinessLaw
Banking
BusinessForms
Duplicating
Filing
Shorthand
Typewriting

Shorthand Course

Academic Course

Shorthand
Typewriting
Tabulating
Duplicating
OfficeWork
BusinessForms
Filing

Arithmetic
Penmanship
Spelling
RapidCalculation
Correspondence

Penmanship
Correspondence
PracticalGrammar
Punctuation
Composition
Spelling
RapidCalculation
8

Arithmetic
Penmanship
Correspondence
Practical
Grammar
Punctuation
Composition
Spelling
Rapid
Calculation
Grammar

Reading
History
Geography
Composition
Grammar

Unfortunately,Idonotknowinwhichcourseofstudymygrandfatherwasenrolled.
Basedonhisoutstandinggradesinelementaryschool,Iamsurehedidnotneed
classesinArithmetic,Penmanship,Grammar,CompositionandSpelling.Sincehe
laterbecamePresidentandadirectoroftheSellersvilleSavings&Loan,he
probablystudiedBusinessPractice,BusinessLawandBanking.Healsoprepared
taxreturnsformanyofTrumbauersvilleresidents;therefore,hemayhavebeen
exposedtothe"RapidCalculation"course.
Tuition
The1908-1909catalogueincludedtheCollege'stuitionrates(listedinthe
catalogue's"WhatWillitCost"section)whicharereprintedbelow.
THE SOUTH BETHLEHEM BUSINESS COLLEGE

Rates of Tuition
Payable in advance.
DAY SESSIONS
Tenmonths
$70.00
..........................................................................................
75.00
Elevenmonths
.....................................................................................
SHORT
TERM PLAN
During first six months
Onemonth
$9.00
............................................................................................Three
25.00
months.......................................................................................
45.00
Sixmonths
............................................................................................
After the
sixth month
Onemonth
$7.00
............................................................................................Three
20.00
months.......................................................................................
35.00
Sixmonths
............................................................................................
NIGHT
SESSIONS
Eightmonths
$22.00
........................................................................................Three
10.00
months.......................................................................................
3.75
Bythemonth
.........................................................................................
Aftertheeighthmonth,$3.00permonth
9

Thedaytuitionratefortenmothswas$70in1908($128in1924*).In2014,the
tuitionwouldbe$19,607,basedonthecalculatedannualinterestrateof5.5%*.
Idonotknowifmygrandfatherwasadayornightstudent.Thesession(Dayor
Night)heattended,however,mayhavebeendictatedbyhismodeoftransportation
toandfromhishometown,Trumbauersville,andtheSouthBethlehemBusiness
College,inBethlehem.
Thenextchapterdiscussesseveralpossiblemeansofcommutinghemayhaveused
orconsidered.
_______________________________________________________________________
*TuitionInflationRates:TocalculatethetuitionamountforSouthBethlehemBusiness
College,Iused,asasurrogateforSouthBethlehemBusinessCollege,thePennUniversity
Archives(PUA)listingoftheirundergraduatetuitiondollarsforeachyearfrom1900to
2014.FromthePUAdata,Icalculatedtheannualinterestrate(tuitioninflation)increase
fortwotimeperiods.Thecalculationsarebasedonthefollowingcontinuouscompounding
equations.
FutureTuition(FT)=PresentTuition(PT)x(1+i)^n
where"i"istheeffectiveannualtuitionincrease(inflation)and"n"isthenumberofyears
betweenthepresenttuitionamountandthefuturetuitionamount.
Solvingtheaboveequationfor"i"
i=((FT/PT)^(1/n))-1
ThePUAcalculated"i"wasthenusedtodetermineSouthBethlehemBusinessCollegefuture
tuitionamount.
Thetablebelowsummarizestheannualtuitionincreasesfortwotimeperiodsandthe
resultingcalculationoftheSouthBethlehemBusinessSchooltuitions.

Penn.
South Beth.
University
Bus. College
1908 Tuition
$
150
$
70
1924 Tuition
$
275
$ 128
Calc Ann.
Interest
3.9%
3.9%

1908 Tuition
2014 Tuition
Calc Ann.
Interest

Penn.
South Beth.
University Bus. College
$
150
$
70
$

42,176
5.5%

$ 19,607
5.5%
10

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Chapter3
CommutingtoCollege
WhenIdiscoveredtheaddressoftheSouthBethlehemBusinessCollege,Inoted
thatitwasonlyfourblocksfromtheLehighUniversityCampus.Iama1960
graduateofLehighUniversity,followingby36yearsmygrandfather'sgraduation
in1924fromcollege.InowwonderifmygrandfatherandIwalkedonsomeofthe
samestreetsinSouthBethlehem.
ThemapbelowofSouthBethleheminthe1920sshowsLehighUniversityatthe
bottomleft.SouthBethlehemBusinessCollegeisshownonthesoutheastcornerof
3rdandNewStreets.NotethattheNorthPennRailroadlineisaboutablockfrom
thebusinesscollege.

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CommutingbyAutomobile
From1956to1960,IwasadailycommutertoLehighUniversityfrommy
hometown,Trumbauersville.AfellowstudentfromQuakertownandIcarpooled
andtookturnsdrivingourcarstoLehigh.WeparkedourcaralongPacker
Avenue,oneblocksouthof5thStreet.Sincemygrandfatherdidnotdriveorown
anautomobile,Iwonderedhowhecommutedtocollege.
In1924,hisoldestsonwasonly15yearsold;thelegalagetoobtainadriver'slicense
inPennsylvaniain1924was18.Itappearsthatafamilymemberdidnotdrivehim
tocollege.
Ifhedidcommutebycar,oneofthecheapestautosinthe1920swastheFordModel
T.MygrandfathermayhavefoundafellowstudentwhowasabletoaffordaModel
T.Inthechartbelow,pricesarelistedforvarious1924ModelTs.

1924FordModelTModels,Prices,Production
ModelT(wheelbase100) Weight

Price

Production

touring
1,500
$295
99,523
touringwithself-starter,
1,650
380
673,579
demountablerims
roadster
1,390
265
43,317
roadsterwithself-starter,
1,540
350
220,955
demountablerims
2-doorsedan4
1,875
590
223,203
4-doorsedan4
1,950
685
84,733
coupe4
1,760
525
327,584
chassis
1,060
230
3,921
chassiswithself-starter,
1,210
295
43,980
demountablerims
Total1924Ford
1,720,795
Source:
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1923-1927-ford-model-t5.htm

ThecheapestModelT(withahand-crankstarter)wastheRoadsterwhichsoldfor
$265in1924.Theaveragemonthlyincomein1924was$254basedonthe1924IRS
publicationoftheiranalysisof7.4milliontaxreturns.Thus,thecostofthiscarwas
aboutequaltoonemonth'swages.

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1924FordModelTRoadster

CommutingtoBethlehemfromQuakertown,adistanceof15miles,inthisroadster
wouldhavebeensomewhat"nippy"inwinter.Andiftheautowasacrankstart,
thepassenger(maybemygrandfather)wasprobablyelectedtoperformthistask.
Thetopspeedofthe1924roadsterwasabout40mph.Assuminganaveragespeed
of25mphforthecommute,itwouldhavetakenabout40minutestodrivefrom
QuakertowntoBethlehem.Areasonablecommuteifyouhadaccesstoavehicle.
Toestimatethemonthlyautoexpenses,Icalculatedthedepreciationexpensebased
ona10yearlifefortheRoadster,or$2.21permonth.Monthlymaintenance
expensesforModelTsinthe1920srangedfrom$7.20to$16.Iassumed$7.20for
theRoadster.Gasolinewas$0.21pergallonin1924andModelTseconomyranged
from13to21milespergallon.Iusedanaverageof17mpg.Travelling30milesper
daytoandfromBethlehem,or600milesinthemonth,gasolinecostswere$7.41
monthly.
Basedontheseestimates,totalautoexpenseswouldhavebeen$16.82monthly.

CommutingbyTrain
Ifmygrandfatherdidnothaveaccesstoanautomobile,hecouldhavecommutedby
train.othermeansofcommuting.ResearchingtheareaaroundtheSouth
BethlehemBusinessCollege,IfoundthattheNorthPennRailroadlinethatran
aboutoneblocksouthoftheschool(seeabovemap).Becausetheraillinewasso
closetothecollege,Ibegantoexplorethepossibilitythattherailroadmayhave
beenareasonablealternativetocommutingbycar.Inaddition,mygrandfather
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beenareasonablealternativetocommutingbycar.Inaddition,mygrandfather
livedinTrumbauersvilleonlyaboutthreemilestotheQuakertownrailroadstation.
Asachildinthe1940s,IwouldridemybicyclefromTrumbauersvilleto
Quakertown,abouta15minuteride.
TheNorthPennRailroadbeganoperationsin1855andservedPhiladelphia,
MontgomeryCounty,BucksCountyandNorthamptonCounty,Pennsylvania.
TrainsbegantooperatebetweenFrontandWillowStreets,Philadelphiaand
Gwynedd,MontgomeryCounty,onJuly2,1855,adistanceof1812miles.
In1857,abranchwasbuiltfromLansdaletoDoylestownandduringthe1860s
anotherextensionwasbuilttoSellersville,runningparalleltoBethlehemPike.This
railroadwaseventuallycompletedtoBethlehem,andlaterbecametheBethlehem
Branch,atwo-trackmainline,withoneportionnearTelfordbeingthree-tracked.A
single-tracktunnelisinPerkasie.
ThePhiladelphiaandReadingRailway,predecessortotheReadingCompany,
leasedtheNorthPennRailroad(NPR)in1879.TheReadingCompanyservedthe
locationsalongtheBethlehemBranchfrom1879untiltheyceasedoperationsin
1976.Thislinewasnotelectrifiedsothetrainswerepulledbysteamlocomotives.
BelowisapictureofaReadingLinepassengersteamengine(Number203).Ifound
thephotoontheNorthEastRailswebsite.Thesitelistedtheenginenumberandits
locationinBethlehem.Inthephoto,thetrainmayhavebeenleavingtheBethlehem
railstationboundforPhiladelphia.SincetheenginewaslocatedinBethlehem,it
probablyprovidedpassengerserviceontheBethlehemBranchinthe1920s.

WebsiteNorthEastRails
ReadingRailroadSteamRoster
http://www.northeast.railfan.net/rdg_steam.html

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LeavingBethlehem'sUnionStation,therewerestationstopsatHellertown(4.0
milesfromUnionStation),Binger(4.1miles),CentreValley(9.0miles),Hilltop
(11.8miles),Shelly(12.9miles),Quakertown(16.4miles),Rockhill(19.4miles),
Perkasie(21.6miles),Sellersville(23.0miles),Telford(25.7miles),Souderton(27.0
miles),Hatfield(29.5miles)andLansdale(32.2miles).FromLansdale,trains
continuedontotheReadingTerminalinPhiladelphia,PA,atotalof56.6milesfrom
Bethlehem'sUnionStation.
Asnotedabove,theraildistancefromQuakertowntoBethlehemwas16.4miles.I
thenattemptedtofindtimetablesfortheBethlehemBranchinthe1920to1924time
period.IcontactedtheBethlehemHistoricalSocietytodetermineiftheirarchive
hadanyBethlehemBranchtimetablesforthisperiod.Theydidnotrespond.
TherearesomeBethlehemBranchrailroadtimetablesforsaleoneBay.Ifounda
1909anda1944timetable.Ipurchasedthe1944schedule.(Thebiddingforthe
1909scheduleexceeded$35whichwasbeyondmybudget.)Iusedthe1944schedule
asasurrogateforthe1924schedule.
Thescheduledidnotincludeanyticketfareinformation.OntheUSHistoryof
Railroadswebsite(http://www.ushistory.org/philadelphia/railroad.htm),Ifoundthe
1876singlefareof$0.07fortheNorthPennRailwayinPhiladelphia,adistanceof
about15miles.Iusedthisfare,$0.07,toestimatethefarein1876fromBethlehem
toQuakertown,adistanceof16.4miles,at$0.08.UsingtheFederalReservelisting
ofCPIs,Icalculateda1924singlefareof$0.14,makingthemonthlycommuting
fareabout$5.90.
Followingarephotosofthe1944schedule.Thefirstphotoonthenextpageisthe
coverofthetimetablesfortheBethlehemBranchoftheReadingRailwaySystem.

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TimeTables-BethlehemBranch
ReadingRailwaySystem
TimeTables
EffectiveMarch5,1944

17

ThenextphotoshowstimetablesforNorthboundtrains,includingstopsbetween
QuakertownandBethlehem.

ThereweretwotrainsleavingQuakertowninthemorningonweekdays.Oneleftat
7:41AMandarrivedBethlehemat8:19AM,withstopsatShelly,Coopersburg,
CentreValley,BingenandHellertown.Thecommutewas38minutes.Thesecond
trainleftQuakertownat9:15AMandarrivedBethlehemat9:43AM,withnostops.
Thecommutewas28minutes.

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ThenextphotoshownthetimetablesforSouthboundtrains,presentingthe
departuresfromBethlehemandarrivalatQuakertown.

Intheafternoononweekdays,therewerefourtrainsleavingBethlehem(2:15PM,
4:20PM,5:55PMand6:55PM)andstoppingatQuakertown.

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TodetermineifitwasplausibleforarailcommutertotravelfromQuakertownto
theBethlehem(thestationclosesttoSouthBethlehemBusinessCollege)andarrive
intimetoattendclass,Ireviewedtheclassschedulesforthe1908-1909termfor
bothDaySchoolandNightSchool(seebelow).Iusedthe1908-1909classschedule
asasurrogateforthe1924classschedule.SinceNightSchoolclassesendedat9:15
PM,IdiscountedusingtherailroadforNightSchoolasthelastweekdaytrain
leavingBethlehemwas6:55PM.
ThisleftDaySchoolasapossibilityforthecommutefromQuakertowntothe
college.TheDaySchoolhoursbeganat9:00AMandendedat3:30PM.Asnoted
above,atrainleftQuakertownonweekdaysat7:41AMandarrivedBethlehemat
8:19AM.Thistrainarrived41minutesbeforeclassesbegan,morethanenough
timetowalktotheschool.

SouthBethlehemBusinessCollege-ClassSchedules,1908-1909
DaySchool
School YearbeginsMonday,August10,1908,andcontinuesuntilWednesday,June
30,1909,11months.
Fall Opening Day,Tuesday,September1,1908.
Sessionseveryweek-day,exceptSaturday,from9.00until11.30A.M.,and1.00
until3.30P.M.
Roomsopenforstudyfrom8A.M.until5P.M.Closeat4P.M.onSaturday.

Holidays
Nosessionsareheldontheprincipallegalholidays.

NightSchool
TermbeginsTuesday,September1,1908,andcontinuesuntilApril29,1909,8
months.
SessionsonMonday,Tuesday,andThursday,from7.15until9.15P.M.
Roomsopenat6.30P.M.
Weekdayclassesendedat3:30PM.TheSouthboundtimetableindicatesthata
trainleavingBethlehemat4:20PMwouldarriveinQuakertownat4:49PM.
Therefore,commutingstudentshadampletime(minutes)towalktothetrain
stationandboardthe:PMtrain.
Basedonthesetimetables,itisquitepossiblethatmygrandfatherusedtheReading
RailwayBethlehemBranchtocommutetoSouthBethlehemBusinessSchooland
returntoQuakertownasaDaySchoolstudent.
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Asnotedabove,theBethlehemBranchtrainswerepulledbysteamengines.In
whenIbegantoworkinPhiladelphia,IcommutedfromQuakertownto
PhiladelphiaontheReadingLine.Atthattime,steamengineswerestillinusefrom
BethlehemtoLansdale.AtLansdale,passengersdisembarkedtheBethlehemsteam
trainandboardedanelectrifiedtraintoPhiladelphia.Icommutedonthislinefor
abouttwomonthsbeforeImovedtoDrexelHill,Pennsylvania,asuburbof
Philadelphia.

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Chapter4
QuestionsAskedandAnswered
ThefollowingisalistofthequestionsIhadwhenIbeganmyresearch.The
answersIdiscoveredappearbelow.
1. What courses did my grandfather enroll at South Bethlehem Business College?
Basedonhislaterbusinesscareer,Ibelievehetook:BusinessPractices,Business
LawandBanking.
2. What was the tuition?
Daystudenttuitionin1908for10monthswas$70,about$128in1924.
3. How did my grandfather commute to college?
Bytrain:TheBethlehemBranchoftheReadingRailwayprovidedadequaterail
servicebetweenQuakertownandBethlehemforonlyDaySchoolclasses.Train
servicewouldnotsupportcommutersforNightSchoolclasses.Iestimatedthe
monthlyroundtripcommutingfarewas$5.90,or$59forthe10monthcollegeterm.
Byautomobile:Sincemygrandfatherdidnotownacarorknowhowtodrive,he
hadtofindsomeonewhoworkedinSouthBethlehemorafellowstudentwithaccess
toanautomobiletocommute.ThedistancefromTrumbauersvilletoBethlehem
wasabout18miles,acommuteof40to45minutes.Ifmygrandfatherhadaccessto
anautomobile,thiswouldhavebeenareasonablecommuteforeitherDayorNight
classes.
Estimatedmonthlyautoexpenses,however,were$16.82.Thiscostisalmostthree
timesthatofcommutingbytrain.Bycarpoolingandsharingtheautoexpenseswith
oneothercommuter,themonthlycostisreducedof$8.41perperson,whichis
comparabletothe$5.90perpersonmonthlytrainfare.

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FinalThoughts

*Ibelievemygrandfathertookbusinessrelatedcoursesthatsupportedhislater
careerendeavors.

*Thetuitionandcommutingexpensesweremanageableaslongashiswifeworked.
Withhiswife'sincomeof$20perweek,shewouldearnabout$1000peryear.
Charles'stuitionwas$128forthecollegeyearandhiscommutingexpensewouldbe
$59fortheyearbytrainorasmuchas$168fortheyearbyauto.
*Withoutaccesstoanautomobile,heprobablycommutedtocollegeonthe
BethlehemBranchoftheReadingRailway.

MygrandfatherwasthefirstintheGretzingerfamilylinetoattendandgraduate
fromcollege.Howeverhemadehiscommutetocollege,Iadmirehistenacityand
sacrificetomakethisdailycommutefromaverysmallruraltown(populationof
lessthan500in1924).Andheaccomplishedthisendeavoratage38withawifeand
threechildrenathome.
BELATEDCONGRATULATIONSGRANDFATHERCHARLES!

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