The Halle Mystique
Pound Ridge resident, Hiram Halle was a visionary, inventor, businessman, philanthropist, and protector of the persecuted
Hiram Halle was a visionary, inventor, businessman, philanthropist, art collector, home-renovator, and protector of the persecuted. Born in 1867, with a limited education, he went on to become President of Universal Oil Products, which produced many patents, one of which—the process that produced 100-octane aviation fuel—was vital in winning the air war during the Battle of Britain.
In 1929, Halle moved to Pound Ridge, and before long, he made a mark on the town by building and renovating nearly 40 houses (plus more in nearby Bedford, Ridgfield, and Greenwich) and putting scores of locals to work. With the depression in full swing, he was a welcome benefactor.
Halle was also a co-founder of the University in Exile at the New School in New York City. His funding supported scientists, faculty, and their families as they fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
On Saturday, April 25, 2015, The Pound Ridge Historical Society opened its 2015 exhibit, "A New Look: Hiram Halle’s Life & Legacy," at the Pound Ridge Museum.
A New Look celebrated all aspects of Halle’s life, especially his contributions to the local community. Several rarely seen items from his personal estate were displayed, along with vintage film clips, photos, and correspondence with, among others, Albert Einstein.
The Pound Ridge Museum, 255 Westchester Ave., is open Saturdays and Sundays, May through November.
For more information: poundridgehistorical.org
Here is a look inside a recent renovation of Halle's own home in Pound Ridge.