EC Theatre, CCHS Present 'Hello Darling: Letters from War'
Elmira, NY (02/06/2020) — The Elmira College Theatre program and Chemung County Historical Society will present a dramatic presentation of wartime letters, "Hello Darling: Letters From War," on Thursday, February 13 from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. at the Historical Society, 415 East Water Street, Elmira.
The featured letters were written by an Elmira couple, Tom and Eleanor Cummings. Tom was the son of William Cummings and was born in Waverly, New York. After moving to Elmira in 1941, he met and married Eleanor Robinson.
During World War II, Tom served in the Army, primarily in the Pacific. His brother, Dick, served with the Air Corps in Italy and his sister Marian served in the United States Naval Reserve, better known as the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Tom, who was wounded during the war, later became an employee of Corning Glass Works.
Eleanor worked at Bendix-Eclipse while her husband was in the military. Eclipse started making bicycles and coaster brakes at the Elmira plant in 1895. In 1938, the company became a division of the Bendix Aviation Corp. and began the switch from producing bicycle parts and engine starters to ordnance for the war effort. Over the course of the war, Eclipse Machine Division produced anti-aircraft shells, automatic time fuzes for the anti-aircraft shells, and 20mm aircraft cannons. It also continued to make Bendix starter drives for military vehicles, as well as, aircraft magnetos and fuel injection pumps for the B-29 Super-Fortress.
The Cummings Correspondence Collection at CCHS includes letters between the family written primarily between 1942 and 1945. The letters will be read by EC theatre students, including:
- Emma Faunce '20
- Sadie Kennett '20
- Taylor Kibbler '21
- Breana Millard '22
- Josh Stuttle '22
The event is free to CCHS members and $5.00 for not-yet members. For additional information, contact CCHS at 607-734-4167.
Photo courtesy of the Chemung County Historical Society.