Fun Facts About George Daynor and His Palace
Vineland, New Jersey
Why Daynor charged admission
Daynor began charging admission after people made fun of his beard. According to Daynor: "In the beginning thousands of people passed through the Palace Depression free of charge. But the crowds became so great and the majority so unmannerly to the originator and builder of this famous house while being taken on tour that it was necessary either to close the Palace Depression to the public or to charge a small fee in order not to disappoint those who really appreciate the work of a creative mind."
1939 NY World's Fair
Daynor was convinced that an "exact copy" of his Palace would be part of New Jersey's exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair. "I will appear at the Palace daily and there will be ten guides to show visitors through. I am proud of the Palace because it is evidence that there need be no depression."
"The only real depression is a depression of individual ingenuity. The 250,000 people who have visited my creation have learned that a man with original ideas and two strong hands can lick poverty. I have lost four fourtunes in my life. But do you see me on relief? No, indeed!"
"This is proof of externalized thought. Externalized thought is the outward proof of an inward vision."
© George Daynor
Daynor claimed that he had the design for the Palace Depression copyrighted, "so that no man might reproduce this inspired abode."
Jersey Devil Music
Daynor would tap out "stone age music" with a pencil on the various cog wheels and wagon hubs that jutted from the Palace's walls. His own composition was titled, "Here Comes The Jersey Devil."
Cuban Jackpot Robbery
In 1952 Daynor claimed that agents of the Cuban government robbed him of 1 million pesos that he had won in the Cuban National Lottery. The suitcase full of money was hijacked in a taxi outside New York's Waldorf hotel.
Palm Prints for Posterity
Daynor's palm prints were preserved by Franklin D. Martini, a scientific hand analyst from Atlantic City
Vineland and China
Daynor tried to convince the Smithsonian that the closest point to China through the center of the earth was in Vineland. They insisted that the closest point was near Pittsburgh. He also tried to donate his brain to the Smithsonian. They refused his offer.
Endorser of Fine Pens
Daynor tried to get the Waterman Pen company to feature the Palace in its ads. He was proud of his 1904 pen, which was used by thousands of visitors to sign their names in his guest book. The company refused his suggestion.
Secret of the Knock Out Room
The "Knock Out Room was the first above ground structure. In one article, Daynor recounts how he built a stone teepee. When it rained while working on the Palace,he would cover the top of it with a copper pot that he used for gathering stuff. The pot later ended up on the roof -- you can see how it would fit on the Knock Out Room. For those of us that HAVE wondered where the Palace's bathroom was ... well Florance would point back to the knock out room where there was a board covering the seat, lift -- and there was the toilet!
"Mrs." George Daynor
George Daynor had a common-law wife who he met in Upper-Darby, and worked on the Palace side by side for 23 years. Often, Daynor would fobid her to talk to any one touring the Palace, either locking her in the ticket booth or the second floor of the main house. Florance left finally with friends from the Christian Science, before George Daynor committed fraud during the Wienburger kidnapping. Florance relocated in Newark, never to mention the Palace again until the city of Vineland bought the Palace remains from her for the purpose of demolition.
(Thanks to Jeff Tirante for the last two tips, and Kevin Kirchner for the historical materials.)