Search for the Logo of the Cryonics Society of New York
Recently I received an email from Aschwin De Wolf. The New York cryonics group, he said, wants to revive the old Cryonics Society of New York that dates back to July 1965 and was the first organization to use the term “cryonics” in its title. (One of the principals back then, Karl Werner, is the one who coined the term “cryonics,” at first just intended as part of the company name. Soon however it was adopted more generally for the practice that bears this name today.) So Aschwin was making a simple request: could I find the old logo of CSNY and send it on?
Well, that proved a challenge. There really wasn’t much in the way of any official “logo” of CSNY that had any widespread use, at least I couldn’t find it from newsletters or other sources. I should note that CSNY had a sister organization, Cryo Span, that handled actual freezing and storage of patients, while CSNY was a non-profit member organization people could donate their remains to without complications, to be dealt with, when the time came, by Cryo Span. Cryo Span did indeed have a logo, as shown below, but Cryo Span was not CSNY. (On the other hand, there is no wish to revive Cryo Span since the physical details of cryonics preservation are now handled by organizations like Alcor and CI.)
Back to the putative logo, the closest approximation I could find was a shoulder patch you can see Curtis Henderson, principal founder of CSNY, wearing in some old photos. That, I decided, would have to do, there’s nothing else to put in its place.
Below you see some of the best images I could come up with of this patch, and they aren’t very good. The leftmost image (b-w) is from a brochure and shows the best details (albeit a little of the right portion is cut away) but not the color scheme. For that I found an old, partially finished film by Beverly Greenberg (who used the pen name Gillian Cummings) that was copied to a low-definition video format. It shows the freezing of her father Herman at CSNY/Cryospan’s facility in West Babylon, NY starting in May 1970. Curtis is very prominent in this film, and you often see the patch but most crudely in the low-definition images; some idea of the color scheme can still be discerned, however.
The design actually is very simple in broad detail: a phoenix with outstretched wings in a circular field, with “C. S. N. Y.” in large letters arching overhead. The phoenix itself is similar to the emblem then used by the Phoenix, AZ Police Department and widely copied in early cryonics literature. A good example is from CSNY’s publication, Cryonics Reports, back cover, Jul. 1968. (This design actually differs slightly from what can be seen in the b-w image but is reasonably close.) From these sources I’ve reconstructed the design shown, hoping this will be of use, maybe tweaked a bit.
From left: Cryo Span logo, brochure and patch; CSNY patch from brochure; CSNY patch from film; ditto; reconstruction by author of (approximate) original design.