About This Site
This site consists of two parts:
Features to be added include:
About Al Mankoff
Al Mankoff was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1926.
He grew up in West Orange, New Jersey only a few blocks from Thomas Edison's phonograph and battery plants, and about two miles from Edison's mansion home in Llywelyn Park. At about age 15, he delivered newspapers to Edison's home, "Glenmont". His interest in Edison's life and work have led to an as yet unpublished novel, "The Edison Paradigm", about the great inventor's after-death life.
In those early years, Al and a boyhood pal, Charles Wrege, spent virtually every spare moment photographing the trolley cars in New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Atlantic City, eventually collecting a total of nearly 3,000 negatives.
After graduating from West Orange High School in 1944, Al entered the US Army Air Corps for Aviation Cadet training. Too late! The war was winding down and he wound up as an Air Transportation Technician at the Panama Air Depot through 1945 and 1946.
From 1947 until 1969, he was employed with American Airlines, beginning as a ramp agent at LaGuardia, moving in 1954 to the Regional Personnel Offices in Manhattan, recruiting stewardesses, pilots, reservations and ticketing agents, and ground personnel. In 1957, he moved into Management Training & Development and in 1960, to Buffalo as Personnel Manager. A year later, he was promoted to Manager of Management Training & Development at the company's Maintenance & Engineering Center at Tulsa, where he was subsequently advanced to Manager of Personnel Services and eventually to Manager of Organization Development. In Tulsa, he earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from the University of Oklahoma.
In 1969, he joined Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., a "Big-8" accounting and consulting firm, as their Personnel Director at the Chicago Office of the firm. From 1973 to 1977, he was a partner in a private consulting firm in Raleigh, North Caroline, specializing in personnel, human resources and organization development.
In California, he was with Trailways as their Western Region Manager of Safety & Training, overseeing the nine western states, and later worked as a consultant with the State of California, creating a Total Quality Management process for the Department of General Services, following successful assignments in the Department of Aging and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
In Tulsa, he created and was the first president of the Tulsa Employers Association for Merit Employment, an affiliation of major employers in the area working to bring equal employment opportunities to minority citizens of the area. TEAM is still in existence. In Tulsa, he also served as vice-president and board member of the Tulsa Urban League and as Metropolitan Director of the National Alliance of Businessmen, President Johnson's grand strategy to enhance minority employment among companies large and small.
In Chicago, Al became a board member, vice-president, and facilitator at OASIS: The Midwest Center for Human Potential, the midwest's Esalen. While living and working in Monterey, California, he founded the Monterey Institute of Management, a multi-company non-profit organization offering management training and development seminars and experiences for regional employers. MIM is still in existence, almost twenty years later.
In Sacramento, he began work on the series of histories of trolley transportation which will be posted on this website. Al's been a member of the Bay Area Electric Railway Association, the Texas Electric Railway Association, the Branford Museum, the Arden, Pennsylvania Museum and the Association of Railway Museums, the North Jersey Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, The North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society and the Electric Railroaders Association of New York.
After retiring from state service, Al and his wife, Audrey, moved to Ojai, California, where Al served as a vice-president and board member of Meditation Mount, the mountaintop headquarters of Meditation Groups, Inc. At that time he also served as a vice-president and board member of Psychosynthesis International.
Al's Trolley books completed but as yet unpublished are "Tracks of Triumph--the Public Service 3200 series cars seeing service in both wars", "Tarnished Triumph", the story of the Emergency Fleet Corporation of World War I, and "Trolleys In America: The Long Road Back."
In 1987, Al founded the Institute of American Historical Technology and is president of that organization. He is listed in "Who's Who In America", "Who's Who in the West", and "Who's Who In the South". He lives in High Point, North Carolina, with his wife, Audrey. They have one cat, "Katrinka".