Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Art places, York Safe and Lock and radio personalities

I’ve been sharing reader letters for the past several weeks, rather than new “Ask Joan” questions. Today, I thought it would be fun to hit on some questions that have been awaiting answers for a while.

What’s inside

1. Seeking info on Kauffman’s, other art shops
2. York Safe and Lock Co. button
3. Memories of York radio personalities

1. This is actually a combo of three notes and questions.

First, I heard from reader Don Jackson, who writes, “I’m trying to identify, actually the date of origin, of a frame by Kauffman Art Shop in York. It belonged to a Yorker (D.O.B. 1907) whose son recalls it actually was passed down from HER mother. The prints do date back to the mid-1800s, so the date range might fit. My question is about the history of when Kauffman began and when did it go out of business. It might help pinpoint some dates. Help me do my sleuthing!

Meanwhile, reader Jeff Laber noted, “I have a photo album of an artist’s lithograph depicting York, PA, in the 1800s. Inside is a sticker that says ‘George F Kauffman, 317 North Newbury Street, York Pennsylvania.’ Would this be any connection to Kauffman’s Art Shop?”

And, on a slightly different but related topic, I heard from Eric Levin, who writes, “I’d like info on York Art Center and Gallery at 141 East Market Street. I just bought a framed pencil drawing and it has their sticker on the back.”

We’ve talked a bit about Kauffman’s specifically before, albeit briefly, in this 2011 post, but we did not talk about its years in business. Nor had we talked about the York Art Center and Gallery. With the recent reopening of Creative York downtown, I thought it might be a nice time to share some details and memories of York’s artistic past!

2. From reader Lenny Tatara of Hallam, I received a note and the image seen here.


He wrote, “I was going through my wife’s drawers and I came upon a pin from the New York World’s Fair 1940. It has York Safe and Lock Co. Day Aug. 10, New York’s World Fair printed on the button. The words York Safe and Lock Co. are in blue ink on an orange background. The dresser drawers I was going through came from the home of my wife’s mother, the late Pauline Graybill. If you or anyone else can give me information about York Safe and Lock Co. that would be nice.” Lenny kindly noted that he and his wife, Judy, enjoy reading and seeing the photos we share in this column about York County, which was very nice to hear.

In turn, I’m happy to share a little info about York Safe and Lock, and would love to hear more from any readers! I know it was founded by S. Forry Laucks, who died in 1942; the company stopped doing business in that name around that time. Jim McClure’s York Town Square offers a lot of history about York Safe and Lock, including some interviews with a great local resource on the company who can help those with York Safe safes unlock them! I definitely encourage you to check those out.

3. Many times in the past, we’ve delved into York County radio history here on Only in York County.

I have a couple of questions related to those radio memories to share today as well. From reader Bradley W. Buchar, I heard, “Does anyone remember Happy Johnny and his Gang, on WORK in the early ’40s?”

I’d certainly love to share any WORK memories from the ’40s with Bradley!

And, I also have a question from frequent writer Audrey Lerew, who wanted to know what date Harold “Doc” Daugherty, who we talked about in the past here and here, passed away.

I have done some digging in the YDR archives and online and had not come up with a particular date, but I know Doc’s son Randy has read this blog in the past; my hope is that perhaps he or someone else can fill us in!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.