The Brooklyn Eagle writes about Francis X. Harwin who lived at 62 Henry Street and asked for and received Adolph Hitler’s autograph in 1936:
Brooklyn Eagle: The photo and the secretary’s letter became a matter of news four years later, after Harwin entered them in an American Hobby Show in Manhattan, but the hobby museum quickly withdrew the exhibit “for fear it might cause a disturbance.” The withdrawal was reported October 31, 1940, on the front page of the New York Journal and American, and was followed by a profile of Harwin in the Brooklyn Eagle.
The Eagle reported that Harwin’s hobby of collecting autographs from prominent people (including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and the right-wing radio commentator Father Coughlin) resulted from an inborn “inquiring mind and an alert interest in all that goes on.” It cited a 1924 Eagle article, treasured by Harwin, that told how “A small boy of 5, with great blue eyes and a winning smile, entered the Eagle Building yesterday and addressed himself to an elevator operator,” saying, “I have come to see the eagle.” He was taken to the seventh floor, where he evidently expected to see a menagerie but instead found himself in the city room, where a female staffer took him in hand.
The Eagle adds that a reader recently purchased Mr. Harwin’s autograph collection at a flea market.
Did anyone here know Mr. Harwin?
Brooklyn Eagle photo