THE HISTORY OF THE 41°-74° CLUB OF NEW YORK
Original members of the club in 1937
The Saga of the Formation of the 41°-74° Club of New York
The Following account of the formation of the 41°-74° Club of New York was written by Louise Redding, founder and first President of the club and reported by Helen West in the Meteor of February, 1976
In 1937, Helen Dietz of TRAVEL AGENT wrote a short bit suggesting that the women in the travel industry should organize. I read it, mentally endorsed it, and decided to “answer the call.” From that point on, the wheels began to turn - not easily nor smoothly. A women’s Club was unheard of then and the men in the industry were amused. Bon Vivants were already existant. Boston had organized a club of sorts for women but they were not exactly “adhesive.”
Official parties by the steamship companies were, more or less, confined to employees of Thomas Cook and American Express one evening, and other agencies at different times. Hence in 1937 I did not know many of my female counterparts, though I must confess that I did know many of the important males. Helen Dietz (now married and living elsewhere) by virtue of her position knew more individuals in the field. With a few suggestions from Yvonne Du Peyron, Adele George, Ramona New and Helen Hulbert (all now deceased), an invitation list was prepared, a meeting place secured, and the date set. It was a memorable evening, November 13, 1937 at the George Washington Hotel.
By word of mouth, it had been circulated that a group of women, autocratic and dictatorial, had decided to foist a club upon the industry. Without exaggeration, we had, mainly, a hostile audience - 87 of them. Each and everyone so minded spoke her mind. By virtue of unforeseen circumstances, I had been appointed speaker for the evening.
A name was discussed but not decided. Temporarily, dues were designated at $1.00 each and $58.00 were collected. On one point, and on one point only, those present were unanimous. It was agreed that the club was to be of a purely social nature. The meeting was adjourned at 10:20pm. By December 2nd, our next organization meeting, Carol Pierce and Ott Collier had decided to struggle along with me and presented a slate of officers with the following results:
President - Louise Redding
First Vice President - Adele George
Second Vice President - Yvonne du Peyron
Secretary - Helen Hulbert
Treasurer - Margaret Cone
Board of Trustees - Ott Collier, Carol Pierce, and Ramona New
The name was open for discussion and as the “number game” was beginning to dominate our thinking, it was suggested by Mrs. Allan Johnson (whose whereabouts are no longer known) that we consider the latitude and longitude of the City of New York. A bright idea - but no one knew it. Edith Rudd (now Edith Kavey) phoned the New York Library – and thus we were named - 41°-74° Club of New York. This further amused the men who decided it must be the age at which we joined and the age at which we should retire. Both proved untrue and I, personally, can vouch for this.
To each and every one of our Presidents for leadership and to our loyal members and our kind supporters goes the credit for the long survival of the 41°-74° Club of New York.
--- Louise Redding
The 41°-74° Club of New York held its first official meeting on January 6, 1938. Constitution and By-laws were presented and adopted and committees were set up. The meeting moved smoothly and swiftly and closed early, mainly I believe, because we had all been invited to a special party given by the North German Lloyd and we were anxious to get to Hoboken. I mention this fact as 1938 was the last year of World Peace until 1946 - Louise Redding, Founder & First Club President