Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 |


Last post, we learned that Nestor Cardinal (Lizzie’s nephew) was buried with his mom, dad, and sister at age 39. Since he died so young, we wanted to know more about him and uncovered the following obituary in the Malden Evening News:

Nestor Francis Cardinal Dies of Pneumonia

Nestor Francis Cardinal, son of Ellen Nestor and the late Joseph Cardinal, 5 Robinson rd, passed away last night at the Hospital from pneumonia, aged 39. He had been ill for about a month. A native of Everett, he was educated there and in Malden, where he had resided for 30 years. He was unmarried. His last employment was with the National Co of this city.

Surviving are his mother, four sisters, Mrs. Mary Phillips, Revere; Mrs Ellen Carline, Billerica; Mrs Gertrude Doucette, Malden; and Anna, at home, and four brothers, Gerard of Malden; Edward, Dorchester, Joseph, Boston; and Francis, Malden. The funeral will be held from the family home Thursday morning with a high mass of requiem at the Sacred Hearts Church of which he was a member at nine, and burial at Holy Cross.

We did a search for the “National Co” and found some interesting things.

Originally incorporated as The National Toy Company, it sold “talking toys” through places such as FAO Schwarz and Victor. “What’s a talking toy?” you may ask. How about Ragtime Rastus, an odd little contraption that draws its power from a phonograph’s spindle? The following video of Ragtime Rastus transports us into a much simpler time.

It’s unlikely that Nestor worked with toys such as Ragtime Rastus. By the time of his employment, the company would have expanded its portfolio to include short-wave radios and removed “Toys” from its name. In 1926, The National Company built a plant at 61 Sherman Street in Malden. With WWII raging in Europe and the United States military’s insatiable appetite for shortwave radios, The National Company expanded its labor pool ten times–from 250 employees to 2,500. It’s therefore likely that Nestor was hired during this expansion.

Census records can give us some hints as to Nestor’s role there. Since the 1930 Federal US Census lists his occupation as a “typist” in a “Del Company Office,” and the 1940 Federal US Census lists him as a “clerk” at an “Ice Cream Parlor,” it’s likely that he did clerical work instead of manufacturing.

Lastly, in 1940, there were only four people living in the Cardinal household: Ellen (Nestor) Cardinal, Angeline Cardinal, Nestor Cardinal, and our very own Lizzie Milligan. This means that Lizzie and Nestor would have been living under the same roof for his entire life. His death must have been like losing a son–something that she experienced ten years earlier with Edward.





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