New York City, New York; Chicago, Illinois, 1918.
Organist, organ designer in New York City, New York; with M.P. Möller, Inc. of Hagerstown, Maryland, in Chicago, Illinois, 1918.
In 1908 Caleb W. Cameron was building inspector of masonry for the New York City public schools.1 A notice in the February 29, 1908, issue of The Music Trade Review stated that “Cameron for eight or ten years has had charge of drawing specifications for all bids on pianos purchased by the School Board. It was also his duty to pass upon the pianos when they were delivered and recommend their acceptance by the Building Committee,” and that he had been suspended from his position on charges that he permitted certain piano manufacturers to install secondhand pianos as new ones in the public schools. After a trial that lasted several weeks, he was reinstated on March 28.2
By 1914 Cameron was an inspector of mason's materials in the Building Bureau of the Board of Estimate in New York City. The Music Trade Review carried the following account of an investigation by the New York State Civil Service Commission:
Investigation by New York State Civil ServiceCommission Reveals Some "Expert" Work
At an investigation held by the New York State Civil Service Commission, many interesting disclosures have been made, but none more interesting to this trade than the statements of Caleb W. Cameron, a brother-in-law of C. B. J. Snyder, chief of the Building Bureau of the Board of Estimate, who testified he was an inspector of mason's materials in his relative's department, having been appointed at $2,850 a year without any examination.
"And what do you know about mason's materials?" Jacob Neu, chairman of the State Commission, inquired.
"Absolutely nothing," replied Cameron candidly.
"Then what was your particular specialty?" asked Neu.
"Well," said Cameron, "I drew specifications for pianos and organs for public schools."
"You did?" the chairman said in surprise. "What do you know about the mechanism of pianos?"
"Well, I don't know anything about their mechanism," said the witness, "but I do know a good one from a bad one."3
- “School Officials Suspended,” The Music Trade Review 46, no. 9 (February 29, 1908): 9, accessed March 4, 2018, https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1908-46-9/03/.
- “Cameron Brings Suit,” The Music Trade Review 46, no. 17 (April 25, 1908): 7, accessed March 4, 2018, https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1908-46-17/. Cameron filed a libel suit against the man who he alleged had made false statements that led to his suspension. The Music Trade Review seems not to have reported the outcome of the suit.
- “How School Pianos Are Selected,” The Music Trade Review 59, no. 22 (November 28, 1914): 38, accessed March 4, 2018, https://mtr.arcade-museum.com/MTR-1914-59-22/38/.
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