Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday Search Challenge (6/11/14): Who is the confectionary man?

YOU might remember our brief discussion of Lick Observatory in an earlier SRS episode.

Lick Observatory in the snow, Mt. Hamilton, Santa Clara County, CA

The observatory, in a Classical Revival style structure, was constructed between 1876 and 1887, with a bequest from James Lick.  Lick was a real character.  After being spurned in romance in his hometown of Stumpstown, he moved to Baltimore, learned cabinetry and piano-making, then moved to Argentina after learning his pianos were selling well there.

His story goes on and on, interwoven with history in ways that read like a novel.  He's a rich source of today's Challenges though...

1.  Instead of building the Lick Observatory as a memorial to himself, what was his original plan for his monument?  
2.  James Lick convinced a friend from Peru to enter the confectionary business.  Who was his friend, and what was (and still is!) the name of his confectionary business? 
3.  What languages did James Lick's confectionary friend speak?  (And how do you know?)  

These searches shouldn't be that tough.  (After last week, we need a fun break.)

Careful, though:  The stories of these men's lives are truly amazing.  They lived through turbulent times and seem to have been involved in most of the history of their era.

Search on!  (Remember to tell us HOW you figured out the answers!)


  1. First search [ "james lick" originally planned ] Thinking that would appear on a web page with the answer.
    James Lick

    James Lick, the "Generous Miser"

    James Lick

    [ "james lick" originally planned monument ] took me to the book, James Lick's Monument: The Saga of Captain Richard Floyd and the Building of the Lick Observatory by Helen Wright
    1. The answers can be found on the Lick Observatory Historical Collections page - An enormous statue of himself and pyramid.
    Double check searches for [ "james lick" originally planned statue ] and [ "james lick" originally planned pyramid ] and also searched inside of the book above.
    The observatory director did make amends in recent years. ;-)

    2. The NNDB link above gave me the answer to this. Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli was his friend from Peru and he was the founder of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.
    Domenico Ghirardelli

    3. So far using searches like [ "domenico * ghirardelli" spoke ] [ domingo ghirardelli languages ] and more I know that he spoke Italian and Spanish and was weak in his English. The search results are showing more knowledge about what languages his wives spoke rather than himself.

    Still searching.

  2. For this search Anne and I started with a search for lick observatory which took us to the wikipedia article on the observatory. That article linked us to the article about James Lick. In that article we found that he originally wanted to build a huge pyramid in his and his parents honor on a city block he owned in San Francisco. We verified that by going to the reference in the Wikipedia article which linked to the historical collections of the Lick Observatory We found the information on the page by doing a control F search for pyramid on the page and found same information. Since this reference was leading back to the same information we wanted to really be sure this was true so we searched newspaper archives and found nothing to corroborate the pyramid story so we went back to the our historical collection article and found the reference there. It referenced a book about James Lick - The Generous Miser. We searched for it in google books but ebook isn't available. We tried Project Gutenberg but it wasn't there either. So then we did another search in Google books and found the book: James Lick's Monument and then did a search within the book for pyramid and found a description of Lick's plans on pages 8, 10 and 49. So the information about his first plan to build a pyramid in his honor appears to be accurate.
    The answer to the second question was Domingo Ghirardelli. We got this answer in the James Lick article in Wkipedia and confirmed this as well in the book we used for answer 1. Will now try to answer last question and will post separately.

  3. Did a similar search as Fred but used search terms languages spoke domenico ghirardelli and got this result from the Oakland Wiki. While we couldn't find an author for the Ghirardelli article it did have some references which linked us to other articles. This wiki article indicates that Ghirardelli learned Spanish while in Peru which is inferred in many other places when it is talked about how Ghirardelli hispanicized his first name from Domenico to Domingo. This article references an article in the Free Library and is written by Sydney Lawrence (who is a descendant of Ghirardelli's) where it mentions that Ghirardelli was a member of a french speaking masonic lodge. This article has numerous references. Since Ghirardelli was a well respected businessman and was a member of many organizations it appears he speaks English with some fluency. Going to end here but may try to find some verification for what languages he actually spoke.

  4. Good day, Dr. Russell, fellow SearchResearchers


    [Lick Observatory History]

    James Lick, the "Generous Miser" Source A. In the same link Ctr-F "Confectionery", " Memorial"

    A Short History of the Lick Observatory. Very interesting article with great sources.

    [James Lick AROUND(4) confectionery]

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

    Ghirardelli's Rich History

    James Lick, Miser and Philanthropist

    Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Wikipedia
    Domingo Ghirardelli

    [Domingo|Domenico Ghirardelli languages]
    [Domingo|Domenico ghirardelli Spanish]

    Domingo Ghirardelli Roots Web

    Domingo Ghirardelli Oakland Wiki

    [Define Miser]


    1. Instead of building the Lick Observatory as a memorial to himself, what was his original plan for his monument?
    A. From source a "Never far from his mind, however, was the monument he wished to leave to his own memory. At first, Lick wanted to set aside a million dollars to erect enormous statues of himself and his parents, so tall as to be visible far out to sea. This plan was abandoned when a friend pointed out that the monumental statues would make vulnerable targets in the event of a naval bombardment. The scheme was replaced by an even grander one: a pyramid, larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt, to be built in downtown San Francisco upon a block which he entirely owned! But, to the lasting benefit of science - if not to the San Francisco tourist trade - Lick's thoughts were turned from pyramids to telescopes."

    2. James Lick convinced a friend from Peru to enter the confectionery business. Who was his friend, and what was (and still is!) the name of his confectionery business?
    A.Domingo "Domenico" Ghirardelli. The Chocolate is Ghirardelli.

    3. What languages did James Lick's confectionery friend speak? (And how do you know?)
    A.Italian and Spanish. He was born in Italy and later he learned


    Very interesting and funny SearchResearch Challenge I

    really enjoyed doing the searched and learning more about connections, fate, destiny and Chocolate.

    1. I tried searching in Dr. Russell's CSE. I found

      Lick Observatory History and Telescope Viewing

      [Ghirardelli History] in Google Books and Videos not in CSE.

      Ghirardelli survival after 1870 due to invention of Broma Cocoa Powder.

      Ghirardelli Building. Historic Walks in San Francisco: 18 Trails Through the City's Past Book The books tells the beginning of the Ghirardelly company and how "luck" was part of its success.

      [Domenico Ghirardelli]

      His early days in San Francisco.
      Ghirardelli History . Do you know which is the oldest Chocolate factory in United States?
      Escape with Ghiradelli Intense Dark – Dark Chocolate Mint Leaves.

    2. Ramón are you saying Dr. Russell has made public a CSE? If so, link please. Or that you are using that tool & have created your own CSE? I am curious how you would use it for this search.

    3. Hi Rosemary, the CSE that Dr. Russell posted in the last week SearchResearch Challenge is the one I used. The link is in that post.

      Why I used it? Reading about James Lick, noticed sites mentioned University of California, and just for curiosity decided to try and practice.

  5. searched [james lick chocolate peru observatory], results were sweet - am lost in chocobliss… Dan… lesson: maintain search focus, doh.
    Keep Calm

    Pure Nacional
    Thank you Dan & James Lick!
    end of Lick?
    save Lick
    … perhaps Ghirardelli should buy it and operate it as a "satellite concession"? Chocolatier to the Stars, Galaxies & Beyond…

  6. Not much search needed here, as almost everything is directly on the Wikipedia pages

    Ghirardelli's languages are not listed, but Italian, Spanish, and English can be reasonably guessed from where he lived and worked.

  7. … not quite a photoSphere — courtesy of Tom, back in '97… that would be 18

    what if Tom had drones…?
    the bigger Lick picture, a photo of the spheres
    snow this year, 4/01-02-03
    the Lick view, 05/24-25/2014
    Dan, Don's Starry Starry Night - Fred, Ramón, & all 2

    and why am I obsessing about chocolate & mustard…? seems they were the only mustard manufacturer west of the Mississippi and sold under
    the Schilling label too… mustard
    and am curious about the spelling… Domenico Girrdli Brafolo

    fwiw, used Mashpedia to search for Lick video as opposed to a Goo or YT direct search…
    searched Lick O… seems like a useful resource…
    LoC, Lick Tube

  8. Query [lick observatory] in search of Wiki articles [control F James Lick]

    James Lick link Wiki

    Answer #1 Statue & Pyramid
    Wiki -[ control F observatory] “ He originally wanted to build giant statues of himself and his parents, and erect a pyramid larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in his own honor in downtown San Francisco.”

    Answer #2 Domingo (Domenico) Ghirardelli
    Wiki - control F [friend] “Lick convinced his neighbor and friend in Peru, the confectioner Domingo Ghirardelli, to move to San Francisco, where he founded the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.”

    Wiki -Ghirardelli domingo biography

    Interesting but not information I’m looking for.

    Query [ghirardelli domingo polyglot OR linguist] Perhaps he was known for language skills. No results.

    Answer #3 - Italian, Spanish & English
    back to Wiki - References

    Query [domingo ghirardelli obituary]
    “ While in Peru Ghirardelli learned to speak Spanish, and changed his first name from the Italian Domenico to the Spanish Domingo.”

    Additional Links at the bottom-
    “ A hispanicized Italian not yet proficient in English”

  9. heavier snow, postmarked 07… 19, snow prior…?
    Mt. Hamilton is photogenic
    have been thinking about BG & AG timeframes and how it affects perception and will it be a news event when the last BG
    person passes… like it was with other apex events? One is either BG or AG, there's no fudging.
    Are there any doing these challenges who have never been without the 'google machine'? Would that impede the curiosity about search?
    Do you - or Fred - notice a difference in the schools?
    Think it would freak Larry & Sergey that they are BG and are close to hiring their first AG FT employee… if they haven't already.
    Should kinda freak that person out too - to be the first Googler that has never been without Google…
    Certainly, there are other examples, but this would have to be high on the list. Maybe it's just the chocolate OD wondering…
    The Last Civil War Veteran

  10. Continuing your most excellent mix of Challenges:

    1: says

    James Lick was the richest man in California.

    In the next three years, Lick spent his time determining how to dispense with his fortune. He originally wanted to build giant statues of himself and his parents, and erect a pyramid larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in his own honor in downtown San Francisco. However, through the efforts of George Davidson, president of the California Academy of Sciences, Lick was persuaded to leave the greatest portion of his fortune to the establishment of a mountain top observatory, with the largest, most powerful telescope yet built by man.

    James Lick's Monument by Helen Wright in BOOKS provided lots os clues even in only preview format. Exhaustive research involved.

    2: This question is ambiguous: after 'business' I think you mean 'in San Francisco' ? Because he was already in confectionary when he met Lick in Lima

    If you are thinking of Domingo Ghiradelli, written over several generations by family members offers this warning "But just be sure to say Ghirardelli with a hard G as in ghost or spaghetti" It references 118 sources, so credibility looks good.

    Domenico Ghiradelli apprenticed in Genoa at Romanengo's, a fancy confectionary shop which is still extant. He was born Domenico but changed it to Domingo .

    The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is a United States division of Swiss confectioner Lindt & Sprüngli.

    In Lima Lick and Ghiradelli operated their businesses side by side; Lick in piano and cabinetry and Domenico in confectionary trade.

    3. Well, his native language would likely have been Genoese dialect officially known as Ligurian; says it is derived directly from Latin. The Ghirardelli Story says he was "A hispanicized Italian not yet proficient in English," implying to me he also spoke Spanish in Lima and later in San Francisco he learned English. Same source again says "Used to communicating in other tongues, he helped forge ties between San Francisco's Italians and the more populous, powerful French community, which controlled eighty or more of the city's businesses as early as 1850. (23) He was active in the French-speaking Masonic lodge (24) and a Franco-Italian coalition of investors m the coal- and gold-seeking Buenaventura Mining Company." So he also knew Italian and French.

    His wife "spoke no English and had mostly Hispanic, Italian, and French friends. "

    THis was good fun



  11. 1) Search: plan, OR origin, OR original /"Lick Observatory"From University of California observatories ( "First he considered constructing statues of himself and his parents on the California coast."
    2) Search: "James Lick", Peru, candy/"Ghirardelli" ( "nine years later, James Lick (Ghirardelli's neighbor) moved to San Francisco with 600 pounds of Ghirardelli's chocolate"
    3) Search: history "Domingo Ghirardelli'/"The Ghirardelli story'"( hispanicized Italian not yet proficient in English" -- implies languages are Spanish, Italian, English
    Comment about 2 -- 2. James Lick convinced a friend from Peru to enter the confectionary business. -- From my reading Ghirardelli was already in the confectionary business.

  12. … may have stardust in my eyes…
    STAR CLOUD IN THE MILKY WAY. Near Messier II. 1892, June 29. Taken By Prof. E.E. Barnard at the Lick Observatory, Exposure 3 hours 25 minutes
    Edward Emerson Barnard, Milky Way Near Messier 11, at the Lick Observatory, California, June 29,1892.
    E. E. Barnard

    in the manner of