Linda SmithResearcher, 1998–Present

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Linda Smith has supported the Steinway Diary Project in both administrative and research capacities. Her current tasks is exploring William Steinway’s role in the acquisition and development of horse-car railroads in Astoria. Beginning in the 1880s, William’s railroad ventures to provide transit to his amusement park at Bowery Bay Beach occupied much of his time and energy.

Aside from transportation in Astoria, Smith has also reported on a variety of topics, including the surprising drowning of an accomplished swimmer, Captain Webb, at Niagara Falls in 1883 and the amusing public reaction to the standardization of the United States’ four time zones in the same year. Smith also has helped in recording the assignment and delivery of research reports in an electronic database and in tracking the numerous comments William made about his children.

Since 2008 Smith has lived on a lake in Oxford, Maine with companion John Neal. She visits the DC area periodically for Steinway activities. In 1995 she retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Senior Executive after 34 years of federal service. She has an MLA in the history of ideas from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in philosophy and history from Albright College. Smith grew up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and moved to the Washington, DC area in 1966 for career purposes. She has one brother, Dick, who lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.