Here’s the ad of a refrigerator company agent in Providence in 1910. Note that the name is that of Lovecraft’s uncle Edwin Everett Phillips (1864-1918). This is from just before he lost a load of money for Lovecraft and his mother in 1911…

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In 1911, is this him being the Secretary and a Director in the new Providence Rotary Club?

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The Boston Rotary Club (in 1912 apparently on rocky foundations, according to an open letter from the Chairman in 1912), sponsored the first Providence Rotary Club in 1911. The Providence club was set up alongside the established Rhode Island Rotary Club. One wonders if the new Providence Rotary got off to a shaky start, and/or if the Boston Rotary Club had to call in its sponsorship? A history of the Providence Rotary Club and its later merger with the incumbent club is given in The Rotarian, Oct 1917.

One wonders if Providence Rotary Club, being a commercial venture, was the same commercial venture which lost Lovecraft and his mother a lot of money? In 1932 Lovecraft remembered in a letter that…

“an uncle lost a lot of dough for my mother and me in 1911” (Selected Letters III, p.267)

Uncle Edwin (if indeed it was he) appears to have vanished as both Secretary and Director of the Providence Rotary Club by 1912/13, as evidenced by this picture and list of the officers. One wonders of his disappearance might suggest some financial calamity, one which necessitated his resignation?

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