If you have previously followed this blog, you know we have special fondness for the name Outerbridge. It is of course, the first name of seven generations of Horseys, a great American family with perhaps the greatest American name.
Today, we profile another Outerbridge. A man who puts the “genius” in Eugenius, Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge. We could call him Eugenius Outerbridge I, but disappointingly he did not appear to name any of his children after himself so this may be superfluous. Then again, superfluous is not a dirty word around here, so let’s go with it.
Mr. Outerbridge was a notable businessman in the East Coast of the early 1900s, as well as the first chairman of the New York Port Authority. His Agasote Millboard Company was one of the premier producers of fiberboard of the time, and invented a specific type of material called homasote, which is still being manufactured in New Jersey to this day. In case you’re not familiar with building materials, homasote is a thingiemajig used in many things, apparently including usage as “blocking knit or crochet pieces”. I will let our large crochet enthusiast following elaborate on this use below the line.
Eugenius also had an interesting family. His sister Mary Ewing Outerbridge was a founder of American Lawn Tennis in 1874, which developed into modern tennis. You could therefore say that Mary Outerbridge invented tennis, which is totally baller. His other siblings included August Emelio Outerbridge, Harriet Harvey Outerbridge, and Adolph Outerbridge, proving that his parents definitely had this naming thing down.
His name lives on today not just in the hearts and minds of fiberboard fanatics everywhere, but also with people who take the drive between Staten Island in New York and Perth Amboy, New Jersey on the Outerbridge Crossing, a bridge named after the local industrialist and today’s Funny Names Blog hero. In his day people might have gone around saying “don’t cross Outerbridge or he’ll cross you”, but times have changed and ordinary commuters do just that all day long now. So it goes.
Let’s all yelp out three Outerbridges in his honor. Outerbridge, Outerbridge, Outerbridge! Yeehaw.