Step back in time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

April 13, 1987

If you come from Pittsburgh, you work on steel. If you come from a German town near the Czechoslovakian border, you blow glass.

Frank Zoellner has been blowing glass since he was six years old. His ancestors have been doing it for about 300 years.

Zoellner, of Purling in Greene County, has lived in the United States for 30 years now. He made laboratory glass in a New York City factory for a living. Now that he is retired, he makes swans, Christmas tree ornaments and bells and other figures and tours arts and crafts shows. Last week he was at the Southside Mall in Oneonta attracting attention to his precision glass blowing.

The craft will not stop with Zoellner. His son makes intricate wedding cake tops out of glass. His daughter paints some of the work he does.

Zoellner outwardly shrugs at the skill that intrigues passersby; it's second nature to him. It's in his blood. But there is pride in his work too. He points to a Christmas ornament, a glass ball with a glass unicorn inside. "Nobody makes that," he said. Nobody else that is.

50 years ago

April 13, 1962

SIDNEY _ The many diversified products manufactured at Scintilla Division are shipped to all parts of the free world as well as the United States.

And as an added service to its customers, the Division conducts a special school in the Municipal Building in Sidney to train technicians and engineers in the maintenance and care of some of its more intricate products.

Currently attending this school are three Indonesian technical engineers, Sjaiful A. Sjamsuddin, Sam Manurung and Soetopo Soerohaldoko who were sent here by their government.

The Indonesian government is now in the process of building a huge fertilizer plant in Sumatra which will be powered by a several-thousand horsepower gas engine equipped with Scintilla ignition systems.

The friendly and charming Indonesian visitors, who speak English fluently, say that the service school apparently serves a dual purpose. In addition to the technical training received, the students are leaving with a better understanding of the American people.

One of the men who is helping to build this bridge of international goodwill and understanding is hospitable and outgoing E. Malcolm Spohn, instructor at the school.

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