Ahh-Mazing “AHA!” Discovery for June 2018: Mason Trowbridge Jr. – Inventified By Necessity

by Dana Gourley on June 12, 2018

in Ahh-Mazing Discoveries, Inventified

Rob Gourley lost his first adoptive mother, Neeler, when he was a young boy. He stayed with his cousins, Helen, Liz and Jane, for about one year in northern Maine (Penobscot Bay) giving his father, Robinson Sr., time for both recovery and re-establishment of a stable home environment in New York before bringing back both Rob and his sister, Becca, who stayed with cousins in New Jersey.

Rob admired both his aunt, Jem, and his uncle, Dr. Mason Trowbridge, a general practitioner in a rural coastal area of Maine during the 1950’s. He was the only doctor in the region and many of his patients, who diligently worked the land and sea, did not have any extra money to pay for his services. Rob said they ate well, however, since Dr. Trowbridge brought home an abundance of food including lobsters, oysters, milk, and eggs.

One of Rob’s favorite stories about his uncle was when an inspector from the American Medical Association (AMA) traveled to this part of rural Maine and held a town meeting about the practices of Dr. Trowbridge. Out of necessity, Dr. Trowbridge had two doors leading into his x-ray room, the only one for many miles. One door was for his human patients and the other was for farm animals. The farmers caused a huge uproar at the town meeting over the possibility of Dr. Trowbridge losing his license. The health of their farm animals was what sustained their own families and it was fine with them to share an x-ray room.  The inspector went quietly into the night, and never to come back.

I recently asked Cousin Helen if she thought her father was an inventor. She thought a moment and then told us about  a device that he built in the tradition of Rube Goldberg, a set of gadgets used to collect chicken eggs.

One of Rob’s favorite memories was Fraser Cow Night each Friday night. The cousins went to Fraser’s dairy farm to milk the cows and of course, stick the milking suction cups on each other leaving huge pink marks. They would go home to eat popcorn and then all four of them were plunked into the bath tub together for their weekly bath. Everything was shared out of necessity … even bath water!

Cousin Liz wrote in an email to us: “It all comes back, Dana!  You have captured the essence here…. I remember also the time Robin and Jane (ages four and five?) decided to explore the beehive in our back yard.  Yikes!  You’ll have to ask them about it ….  XXXLiz. 

PS  Another thing I remember about cow night was the huge bull Lloyd Fraser had tethered at the far end of the barn… Scary!  Also the satisfying whoosh of air from the plugs of the milking machine (or into the vacuum of the machines) after the milking was done.  The kids were allowed to discharge this duty for each individual teat …. Not to mention the constant fragrant cow pooping going on throughout….ah, youth!”


For more about Rob Gourley Jr.’s Inventified Family, please visit this link.

Sharing AHA! Discoveries

We all have made decisions out of necessity … usually testing our own ingenuity. Do you have either an Ahh-mazing “AHA!” Discovery or a story to share?

Email inquiries@aquanew.com. This can be any idea or endeavor that may help others in their own revelation or better quality of life. Alternatively, want to nominate someone with special skills of creativity and innovation? Let us know!

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