Miss Pennsylvania 1933 Geraldine Glassman - semi-finalist

The third choice as Miss Philadelphia (after the first two were found to be married!), Geraldine's coronations at both the city and the state beauty pageants were marred by complaints and even a riot! Geraldine even had to be guarded by the police after she was chosen Miss Philadelphia! Gerry found the national pageant exciting, placing in the top ten.


1930 Glassman family census form -- Morris is a salesman of fruit
1930 census data, Philadelphia, PA, 5470 Euclid Street
Morris Glassman 43, salesman of retail fruit, born in Russia
Mary 38 (Russia). Gertrude 14 (PA), Eugene 11 (PA), Dorothy 8 (PA), Ruth 6 (PA), Maxine 4 (PA), Libby Masirov 65 (Russia)(mother-in-law)
In 1920, the family lived at 637 North 60th Street
In 1940 the family (no Geraldine) lived at 7126 Ogontz Ave (same address in 1935)
Geraldine's 1935 marriage license confirms this to be a match -- her address was listed as 7126 Ogantz Avenue, and her name was listed as Geraldine G. Glassman; apparently her middle name was Gertrude.

Geraldine from the panorama shot - age 18
newspaper photo found on ebay (uncropped with caption)
The selection processes for both Miss Philadelphia and Miss Pennsylvania were marked by disorganization and dissention.

There were two other Miss Philadelphias picked prior to Geraldine -- (married) Florence Weiner and (married) Catherine Craig -- as well as one in the top five -- (married mother) Anna Dracup, (see the 11/19 Sunday Morning Star article with pictures!). So articles immediately following Geraldine's selection as Miss Philadelphia mention she is "tentative" at first! And when Geraldine was chosen as the third Miss Philadelphia there was a riot and Geraldine was placed under police guard -- the aunt of another contestant started the riot when her niece was disqualified for being a professional entertainer! So how could other papers nationwide not pick up on the story, featuring Geraldine's picture with a caption saying "She's a riot" -- August 31 in Uniontown, PA and September 3 in Billings, Montana?

August 26, 1933 article - Mansfield, Ohio News-Journal The contestants for the Miss Pennsylvania title (caption)
The Miami Herald article states: "Selection of Queen is Followed by Riot. The selection of Geraldine Glassman, 17, as Miss Philadelphia was followed by a riot. Police arrested one woman and another was sent to the hospital. Two other girls who had won in previous competitions were disqualified because they were married." The August 26 Mansfield, OH newspaper reported: Police Guard Beauty Winner. Riot follows disqualification of Entrant from Professionalism. Philadelphia., Aug 26 -- Mrs. Bessie Maneely, diminutive aunt of a beauty contestant at Willow Grove park, was under $200 bail today on charges of assault and battery after staging a one-woman riot when her niece was disqualified on grounds of professionalism. The title of "Miss Philadelphia" went to 17-year-old Geraldine Glassman, who had to be kept under guard for a time at the close of the contest. Mrs. Maneely's arrest came after she hit another woman in the stomach for calling her niece a professional entertainer, police said. It required eight policemen to convey the prisoner to the station house."

The state competition was not free of dissention either! First there were complaints that Geraldine was trying to gain an unfair advantage by wearing stockings, so Gerry promptly and publicly removed them (see the 11/19 Sunday Morning Star article with pictures!)! (Note that she went by the nickname "Gerry" as reported in this article.) Then Miss Anthracite (see picture above) complained that the competition was a frame-up.

THE NEWS-HERALD, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1933. "MISS ANTHRACITE" CONTEST BEAUTY PRIZE AWARD TO PRO. GIRL "All a Frame-Up," Her Manager Cries Protest is Third Disturbance in Shore Pageant. PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 1 UP "Miss Anthracite," indignantly denying her "hips are too low" to warrant the title of "Miss Pennsylvania" announced today she would contest the selection of "Miss Philadelphia" to represent the State at the Atlantic City beauty contest next week. "Miss Anthracite," who is May Hall, of Blakely, Pa., was eliminated last Night by "Miss Philadelphia," 17-year old Geraldine Glassman, for the same title. "It's all a frame-up," her manager shouted, "and I'm going to protest to Nichols about it." Armand T. Nichols, who is directing the Atlantic City pageant...

Judge Bill Faust pinning on Geraldine's Miss Pennsylvania sash
Thank you to Bill Faust's daughter who sent me the photograph (at left) of the state pageant when her father, one of the judges, pinned on Geraldine's sash. The inscription on the front says, "My best wishes to the nicest judge of all." On the back, Geraldine had written, "Remember how cold I was when you named me Miss Pennsylvania."

Misses Maine, Connecticut, Mississippi, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky at the judging
9/5/1933 Atlantic City - Geraldine is second from the left
Following this rather inauspicious start, the Atlantic City newspaper did feature Geraldine with a headline and picture on the front page as she was the first to step off of the Beauty Special train: "Page 1 photo: "Miss Pennsylvania Greeted" Mayor Bacharach extends welcome to Miss Pennsylvania, first Pageant beauty to disembark from the special train yesterday. Director-General Nichols is with them." She is mentioned by title once more in a later newspaper as a semi-finalist.

Caption on picture at lower right, which was featured in some newspapers nationwide: "Here are some of the beauties from the Middle Atlantic States enjoying a stroll along the boardwalk after they arrived in Atlantic City to compete for the title of "Miss America" in the annual Atlantic City beauty pageant. They are, left to right: Evangeline Glidewell, "Miss Virginia"; Geraldine Glassman, "Miss Pennsylvania"; Ruth Le Roy, "Miss Atlantic City" and Hostess to the Beauties; Elsa Donath, "Miss New York City"; Dorota Dennis, "Miss Maryland"; Gertrude Christman, "Miss New Jersey"; Victoria George, "Miss Delaware"; and Flo Myer, "Miss New York State." (reference reverse side of photo.)

The Philadelphia Public Ledger of Sep 10, 1933 mentions "Miss Geraldine Glassman of 4954 Rising Sun avenue, Philadelphia, represented Pennsylvania in the pageant this year, but did not place in the final selections." The Nov 19, 1933 article in The Sunday Morning Star stated that Gerry was 18, and had ambitions to go to art school and become a fashion designer. Gerry is reported to have had a grand time finding it thrilling to be in the final ten, feeling "all aflutter with excitement, just like a leaf."

marriage photo 1935
In August, 1935 Geraldine married "well-known explorer" Richard Kingsley. As the 8/16/35 press release (on the back) states: "Happily Married. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Kingsley are pictured in their suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, August 16, after their marriage in Elkton, MD.* Mr. Kingsley is a well known explorer. Mrs. Kingsley is the former Geraldine Glassman, "Miss Pennsylvania" beauty Queen of 1934 [sic]." Her married name was even added to several earlier photos (photo 1 and photo 2 front and back).
        • Unfortunately her marriage license did not require bithdate or parents' names. Geraldine G. Glassman, 20, born PA, of 7126 Ogantz Ave, Philadelphia, a secretary, and Richard S. Kingsley, 32, born CA, of 142 W. 40th St, NY, a publicist and propagandist, August 9, 1935.

The 1940 census data for Richard and Isolde Kingsley in Charlotte, NC is thought to be a match. While it is unknown how Geraldine could be mangled into Isolde (perhaps it is a middle name?), the ages (36 and 24), occupation, birthplaces (CA and PA), and residence five years ago (Philadelphia) all match to the information on the marriage license. Richard and Geraldine have no children. He is an editor in magazine publishing.

Surprisingly, even knowing this married name for Geraldine has not allowed any more information to be found -- death records, tombstones, obituaries, google searches, etc. More information has not been located for Richard either. Since the marriage license only listed Geraldine's age (20), no research is possible through the SSDI.

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The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (215-732-6200) has been contacted to obtain more information on their Philadelphia Record Photograph Morgue Collection V07 which lists Glassman, Geraldine - Miss Philadelphia 1933 [SEE ALSO Kathers, Anne]

It is not possible to determine her SSDI without more information as there are hundreds of Geraldines born annually in 1915-1917 who had their SSN taken out in PA, and she need not have taken out her SSN in PA or in fact have taken one out at all! The 11/19/1933 article in The Sunday Morning Star stated that Gerry was 18 at the Pageants while the late August newspaper articles stated she was 17; her 8/9/1935 marriage license had her age as 20. To make these ages consistent, it would seem that there was some application form for the Miss Philadelphia contest perhaps in June or July at which time Gerry was 17, and that was where the August articles got her age, but actually as of August 9 she would have turned 18 prior to the city, state and national pageants.

It may be possible to track down information on Geraldine by researching her siblings, or obituaries for her parents.
• Philadelphia marriages -- Maxine married Aronson; there were 3 Ruths who married who married Martin, Berkowitz, Simon; there were 4 Dorothys who married Alberstadt, Linn, Lowell and Gordon; Eugene L. married Frankel -- (marriage dates on ancestry.com)
-- Morris Glassman, born 8/10/1886, died 9/1965, Atlantic City, NJ (SSDI possible match to dad)
-- Maxine Aronson, born 7/10/1925; died 1/30/2007 in Pompano Beach, FL (SSDI possible match to sister)

The only other possible lead is from her high school -- she was a member of the class of 1934 at Olney High School in Philadelphia -- perhaps some high school reunion might have more information.

* Elkton was once known as the "Gretna Green of the West" because of its popularity as a place for eloping couples to marry, until a state law was passed in 1938 requiring a 48-hour waiting period.
** Geraldine M. Kingsley, 478-66-4765, 1/27/1917-12/25/1995 age 78, last residence Dubuque,IA -- this is for a Geraldine Mae Hasbrook who married Louis James Kingsley (as specified on Find-a-Grave), and is not a match.