Archive for December, 2010

Goodbye 1910, Hello 1911

December 31, 2010

The Anaconda Standard – Jan 1, 1911

— Happy New Year from Montana —



A Reverie.

There sinks the last December sun,
(The prospect from this window’s cheerful!)
And new days come, rose hued or dun,
As Fate ordains, another’s yearful.
Who’d spare the old year’s hoary locks?
Not Davy, by his namesake’s lockers!
To-morrow he steps out of frocks
And into knickerbockers.
And now the moon above us fares,
(The prospect from this window’s charming!)
Old moon, old year! My own gray hairs
Are coming at a rate alarming.
But who would have the minutes stay?
Not I! I like the present phasis!
To-morrow puts my starveling pay
Upon a higher basis.
Eleven strikes. I’m half asleep!
(My stars! this window-seat is chilly!)
The vigil I set out to keep
Seems, after all, a trifle silly.
Who bids Time “Halt?” It’s Immogene’s
Sad voice that mourns the fa? niente.
Of fleeting, tranquil, care-free teens —
To-morrow she’ll be twenty!

Edward W. Barnard.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jan 1, 1911

Oakland Tribune – Jan 1, 1911

— A rather odd way to illustrate “Out with the old, In with the new”  from Oakland, California —

Syracuse Herald – Jan 1, 1911

— Something  “gay”  and  “classy,”  although not very creative from New York —


The Water Wagon

By N.P. Babcock

There’s a weil of creaky bellows,
And the wheeze is nation-wide;
They are patching up “The Wagon”
For the famous New Year ride.
The steps have been made lower
And convenient to the feet;
There is room for you and me, sir,
And for each of us a seat.

You will find the old bus waiting,
On the stroke of New Year’s Day,
At the gilded lobster palace
And the Bowery cafe.
The driver’s face is covered,
So we fail to catch the grin
With which he greets each person
Who, unsteadily climbs in.

He’s a philosophic fellow,
Long accustomed to his job,
And he knows that “Resolution”
Isn’t strengthened with a sob.
There’s nothing of the “softy”
In his handling of the reins;
He is barren of compassion
For your nerves or other peins.

“Giddap!” he sternly thunders,
As the wheels begin to creak;
And the first day on that wagon
Is, to all intents a week.
The driver hits the rutty spots
I think I hear him say:
“Those fellows with the weak backbones
Would fall off anyway.”

And fall they do by dozens,
As the wagon jogs its way
Through streets where jeering reprobates
Place beer kegs in the way.
You talk of bucking bronchoe
And of hurdle racers fleet?
Immutable are they compared
to that old wagon’s seat.

There’s but one way to stick there
(Or so I have been told) —
Recall the swampy roadway
That afoot you trod of old.
For ’tis better to make progress
As a Water Wagon fare
Than stand on “independent” feet
And not get anywhere.

Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado) Jan 1, 1911

And finally something for the reality seekers! This was part of an advertisement that was running in several of the newspapers  on January 1, 1911.

NOW – 100 Years Ago

December 31, 2010


“Unto the day, the day,”
Tomorrow ne’er appears.
Live NOW, and put aside
Your dreams, your foolish fears.

“Unto the day, the day,”
NOW is the time to give
Of faith, and hope, and charity —
NOW is the time to live.

— Ethelind Lord in the Nautilus

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Jan 5, 1911

Title: Unity, Volume 49
Authors: Unity Tract Society, Unity School of Christianity, Harry Houdini Collection (Library of Congress)
Publisher: Unity Tract Society, 1918
Page 525

Santa Claus Soap – What Wonders it Will Do

December 29, 2010

Friends, Washerwomen and Housekeepers, lend me your ears!

Here are some examples of the Santa Claus Soap advertisements that ran in many newspapers over a period of  several years. This first one, from 1888 is the earliest one I saved, but I think I saw some that were published prior to this. Click to enlarge images.

Little Miss Muffet used Santa Claus Soap in 1889.

As did Mistress Mary!

Even the Old Woman, who used it to sweep the cobwebs from the sky?

In 1890, it was the Three Little Maidens skipping rope…

and then in November of the same year, a pretty, sensible woman with no rhyme and no rope.

The 1891 World’s Fair  prompted the advertisers to rearrange My Country Tis of Thee (National Hymn?) to include Santa Claus Soap.

In April of 1891, it is back to the Sensible Women with big heads.

June of 1891, the rhyme returns, and brings  with it, an Ugly Couple. These two don’t even look human. I hope the executives at Santa Claus Soap fired the artist.

Also in June of 1891 – Santa Claus himself makes an appearance, bringing joy to the hearts of all housekeepers.

September, 1891, Banks, Banks, Banks…and Fairbank with a jester looking character.

Summer of 1892, and Santa is a Traveling Man. Did Santa Claus Soap inspire Ricky Nelson?

Come September, it’s riding the Cockhorse to get some Santa Claus Soap.

Like in the Mother Goose rhyme.

My deah boy! It’s all about the Collars and Cuffs in December of 1892.


Sapolio – Where Dirt Gathers – Waste Rules

Pearline – Don’t Wear Yourself Out Over the Washtub

Texas Lynching – Abuse of 14 year-old Wife

December 28, 2010

Image by K-Weston on Flickr


James Howard Taken From Jail and Hanged at Midnight.

TEXARKANA, Tex., Dec. 18. — James Howard, aged 35 years, was taken from jail here at midnight of the 15th, by a masked mob, by whom he was carried a short distance below town and hanged to a railroad trestle. Howard was arrested Wednesday on a warrant sworn out by his mother-in-law, Mrs. Winchew, charging him with maltreating his wife, who si scarcely 14 years old. Howard and his wife were married last July. Mrs. Howard tells the story of the atrocious brutality on the part of her husband. She says he frequently tied her feet together, while she was in a state of nudity, and hanging her up by the feet, beat her unmercifully and threatened to kill her if she told any one of his cruelties.

On the first day of November Howard took a common branding iron, used to brand live stock and heating it red hot branded a large letter “H” on his wife’s person in two places while she was tied to the bed. After suffering several weeks from the effects of these burns, Mrs. Howard  told her mother what had happened with the result that Howard was arrested.

Deputy Sheriff Hargett anticipated that a mob would attack the jail at night, and had employed extra guards, but the mob gained entrance while the guards were eating their midnight meal.

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Dec 23, 1886

Memories of Minnesota Snow

December 28, 2010

How mem’ries of the long ago
Are swarming through my brain today,
The times I used to shovel snow
In Minnesota far away.

It fell all winter long and blew
In drifts as high as Trompen’s form,
And all that time I never knew
The rest and joy of being warm.

My feet or hands were always cold;
And envy tortured me indeed
For sheep that huddled in the fold
While I was hustling hay for feed.

I now, in fancy, see the shed,
All covered o’er and banked with straw,
The cattle waiting to be fed,
The tons of hay we had to draw.

The prancing horses “fine as silk,”
Hitched to the sleigh that bore the rack,
The spotted cows I had to milk
With fingers numb when we got back.

All this before the twilight grey
Of morn broke over fields of snow —
Then breakfast and to school away;
This was the life of long ago.




Dost wonder I now hate to see
The snow drifts piled along the street
So painfully reminding me
Of frozen ears and chill-blained feet?

Dost wonder that I shirk the task
Of walking out in such a sight
And much prefer to sit and bask
By grates of blazing anthracite?

I hope when life’s sad day is done
To find a land described like this:
A region of eternal sun
Set in a canopy of bliss.

Long, shady lanes, bedecked with flowers,
That wind through valleys wide and deep,
With here and there vine-covered bowers,
And clover beds on which to sleep;

Where balmy breezes ever blow
With odors of the rose and pine,
Where there is neither ice nor snow —
(I want no more of these in mine);

Where soft-toned harps can ever wake
Emotion that subdues, refines,
And no one cracks a lung to make
E flat above the ledger lines.

Nebraska State Journal – Dec 5, 1897

The Night After Christmas

December 22, 2010


The following is an amusing parody upon Clement Moore’s unequalled “Night before Christmas:”

‘Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the house
Every soul was abed, and as still as a mouse;
The stockings, so lately St. Nicholas’ care,
Were emptied of all that was eatable there.
The darlings had duly been tucked in their beds —
With very full stomachs, and pains in their heads.

I was dozing away in my new cotton cap,
And Nancy was rather far gone in a nap,
When out in the nurs’ry arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my sleep, crying — “What is the matter?”
I flew to each bedside — still half in a doze —
Tore open the curtains, and threw off the clothes;
While the light of the taper served clearly to show
The piteous plight of those objects below;
For what to the fond father’s eyes should appear
But the little pale face of each sick little dear?
For each pet that had crammed itself full as a tick,
I knew in a moment now felt like Old Nick.

Their pulses were rapid, their breathing the same,
What their stomachs rejected I’ll mention by name —
Now Turkey, now Stuffing, Plum Pudding, of course,
And Custards, and Crullers, and Cranberry sauce;
Before outraged nature, all went to the wall,
Yes — Lollypops, Flapdoddle, Dinner and all;
Like pellets which urchins from popguns let fly,
Went figs, nuts and raisins, jam, jelly and pie,
Till each error of diet was brought to my view,
To the shame of Mamma and Santa Claus, too.

I turned from the sight, to my bedroom stepped back,
And brought out a phial marked “Pulv. Ipecac.,”
When my Nancy exclaimed — for their sufferings shocked her —
“Don’t you think you had better, love, run for the Doctor?”
I ran — and was scarcely back under my roof,
When I heard the sharp clatter of old Jalap’s hoof.
I might say that I hardly had turned myself round,
When the Doctor came into the room with a bound.
He was covered with mud from his head to his foot,
And the suit he had on was his very worst suit;
He had hardly had time to put that on his back,
And he looked like a Falstaff half fuddled with sack.

His eyes, how they twinkled! Had the Doctor got merry?
His cheeks looked like Port and his breath smelt of Sherry,
He hadn’t been shaved for a fortnight or so,
And the beard on his chin wasn’t white as the snow.
But inspecting their tongues in despite of their teeth,
And drawing his watch from the waistcoat beneath,
He felt of each pulse, saying — “Each little belly
Must get rid” — here he laughed — of the rest of that jelly.”

I gazed on each chubby, plump, sick little elf,
And groaned when he said so, in spite of myself;
But a wink of his eye when he physicked our Fred
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He didn’t prescribe, but went straightway to work
And dosed all the rest, gave his trousers a jerk,
And, adding directions while blowing his nose,
He buttoned his coat; from his chair he arose,
Then jumped in his gig, gave old Jalap a whistle,
And Jalap dashed off as if pricked by a thistle;
But the Doctor exclaimed, ere he drove out of sight,
“They’ll be well by to-morrow — good-night, Jones, good-night!”

The Golden Era – Jan 19, 1862

Images from A Polar Bear’s (Christmas) Tale blog posting of, A Visit From Saint Nicholas, 1862 by Clement Moore.

An Old-Time Gift

December 20, 2010


In grim old Puritanic times
A heathen feast was Christmas thought.
They made no cheer, they rang no chimes,
There were no Christmas presents bought.

Yet Dorothy and Samuel,
Two centuries and more ago,
On Christmas eve at curfew bell
Stood close together in the snow.

And standing there so sweet and prim,
All quivering with fear and cold,
Her timid red lips gave to him
A Christmas gift worth more than gold.

I do not care for crochet ties,
Nor slippers made of brodered crash;
Tobacco pouches I despise
And poor cigars and silver trash.

But this the best of gifts would be —
Yet how dare I such treason tell?
If Gladys would bestow on me
What Dorothy gave Samuel.

— Life.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Dec 25, 1897


Word of the day:

crash (2)
a plain-weave fabric of rough, irregular, or lumpy yarns, for toweling, dresses, etc. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

“Brodered” — I would guess that might be a short/slang version/spelling of embroidered. has an entry for “broider” listed as an archaic form of embroider.

SNOW – An Acrostic

December 17, 2010

Snow — An Acrostic.

Swept from out the heavenly streets,
Now our lower air it greets!
Oh! how pure must be the world
Whence such spotless dust is hurled.

Strange! that in those sun-warmed skies,
Nestling in some white clouds side;
Ocean drops should turn to ice,
Whitened, brightened, purified!

So, if hearts of mortal mould,
Near His throne aspire to rise,
Ore of earth must change to gold,
Would it gleam in Paradise.

[Alb. Eve. Jour.

Watertown Chronicle (Watertown, Wisconsin) Jan 17, 1849

A Poser for Pa

December 15, 2010

A Poser for Pa.

“Paw,” said little Tommy Figg. “I heard Mr. Watts say that great men’s sons never did any good. I ain’t a great man’s son, am I?”

Up to a late hour Mr. Figg’s mind had not found a sufficiently diplomatic answer.

The Evening News (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sep 2, 1893

The Cause of Education

December 12, 2010

Image from Corbis

An Essay.

Read before the Teachers’ Association at Spirit Lake, April 24, 1878.  [or 1873 – hard to read]

The honored trust conferred on me,
By this Association,
I now essay — my theme will be,
The Cause of Education;
For we should ever keep in view
Our mission, aim, high calling,
E’en though our words are but as dew,
On thirsty herbage falling.

‘Tis this that forms the common mind,
That makes it strong or tender;
Just as we find the tree inclined
The twig was bent when slender.
What care we then should exercise,
Pursuing our vocation,
That those who may be great and wise,
Attain their destination.

Who knows but some beneath our care,
Acquiring education,
May have a weighty trust to bear,
As statesman of our nation?
Our teachings, then, should ever be,
By word, by deed or manner,
That they should die before they’d see
A star plucked from our banner.

Our liberties so dearly bought,
Matured on fields as gory,
Must be maintained; these youths, untaught,
Must learn our nation’s story;
And let it run from sire to son,
Throughout each generation,
Till, star by star, the world is won,
To deck our constellation.

That star of stars, the center, see!
Our infant thirty seven —
An emblem of our liberty —
The whole dome of Heaven.
Oh, Liberty, thou dearest boon
That ever blest a nation! —
To thee our hearts and harps we tune,
Imparting education.

But not with patriotic lore
Must end our trust, our duty,
We may explore, far, far from shore,
That sea of matchless beauty —
The Sea of Knowledge — placid son,
Spread out around before us,
Whose breeze of thought, inhaling, we
Enjoy, while wafting o’er us.

How much to learn! — From youth to age,
No time to waste in leisure;
But gaining knowledge, page by page,
Should be our dearest pleasure.
Let us aspire to raise still higher
This art of navigation,
That all progress and never tire,
Embarked in education.

How great the trust devolved on us! —
The weal or woe of nations; —
To bring a blessing or a curse,
On future generations;
We scarcely dare a part to share,
As thus its weight we ponder,
God grant to guide us; ‘neath him care
From virtue ne’er we’ll wander.

These budding minds will soon unfold,
As do the summer roses —
Will they mature as gems of gold,
Or dross that decomposes?
So much depends on how they start,
In youth’s fair, vernal morning
All, all should nobly bear a part,
In guiding, giving warning.

The worth of gems we ne’er detect
Without the artist’s dressing;
The godlike glit of intellect —
Mankind alone possessing —
To brighten, polish and mature,
It is our sacred duty,
Till, like the diamond, bright and pure,
It radiates its beauty.

So let us ever keep in view
Our mission, aim, high calling;
E’en though our words are but as dew,
On thirsty herbage falling —
Strive to inspire the minds of youth,
As they detail the story,
To teach the way of light and truth,
And give God all the glory.

Teach all to know all blessing flow
From Him that all are sharing,
And to prepare, while here below,
For mansions He’s preparing,
That when the thread of life is spun,
Which Time’s keen so they will sever,
We’ll meet The Teacher, God’s own Son,
And learn of him forever.

*Read in Good Templars’ Lodge, in Milford, Tuesday evening July 1, 1800.

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Jul 3, 1890

NOTE: Do they mean 1890? There were a few other typos that I fixed so as not to interrupt the flow.