Archive for June 23rd, 2010

Spelling is the Pitts!

June 23, 2010

Pittsburgh -- Pittsburg

A Question in Etymology.

An old dispute has been revived in the city of Pittsburg, or Pittsburgh, as the case may be. In old times they used to spell it with an “h,” after the English fashion of putting that letter where it is least needed. The dictionaries incline that way in this case. Worcester, who is called Wooster at the North, has “burgh — a corporate town or borough,” and Webster gives the choice of burg, burgh, burough and burh without the “g.” This ought to be enough to satisfy all parties; but it only widens the breach, and obliging people, who wish to satisfy all parties, have their hands full.






Half of the papers have “Pittsburg” in their head-lines; the other half have nailed “Pittsburgh.”

These images are from the same map. For the railway, they used the Pittsburg spelling, but for the city, they used Pittsburgh.

The railroads, to secure traffic, have to paint their cars on one side “Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago,” and on the other “Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago;” on the locomotives they put “P., F. W. and C.,” and allow each man to spell it with an “h” or not, as he pleases. Harper’s Gazetteer drops the “h.”

In the meantime there is a lull in the question whether the first syllable in the name of the city should have one or two “t’s.”

The site used to be called Fort Pitt, in honor of the great English statesman; but people now generally think it is named after the coal pits which abound in the neighborhood.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 16, 1874


More newspaper examples:

An 1867 paper


1833 Paper - "Pittsburgh"


Now, just for fun, two that use BOTH spellings!

1854 -- Gold Rush Era - California Paper


1845 - Norwalk, Ohio Paper

Three Men and a Cow

June 23, 2010


Three Farmers Have a Thrilling Experience With an Angry Cow.

Messrs. Daniel Dute and Basil Cameron, of near Energy, had a narrow escape last Saturday from being gored to death by a vicious cow. As they were going through Jas. Henderson’s big meadow they saw a cow lying down. Thinking that something was ailing her they approached her. to their surprise she sprang to her feet and gave them a chase of their lives. When they were nearly overcome with fatigue and fright they managed to get behind a large tree.

In the meantime Henderson’s hired hand arrived to assist them. He attempted to drive away the furious beast but was also given chase. His shrieks and yells for help frightened the cow and she gave a hasty retreat.

Mr. Dute, in relating the story, said that he never had such a frightful experience in his life.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 29, 1894

A Snowball’s Chance in …..

June 23, 2010

An Irish student hearing his professor lecture on latent heat, and the considerable quantity of it contained even by ice and snow, inquired —

“If you plase sir, how many snow-balls will hold enough to boil a tay kettle!

The Peoples Press (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Dec 25, 1835