Posts Tagged ‘1906’

Not the “Johnny Appleseed” You Were Looking For

September 25, 2012

Image from Cask

Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Aug 10, 1894

FRIDAY.

William Coughlin, familiarly known as “Johnny Appleseed,” was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary. A few weeks ago, he stole $50 from Frank Pulver, of Huntertown, and it was on this charge that he was convicted.

Fort Wayne Weekly Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Nov 12, 1896

William Coughlin, alias, “Johnny Appleseed,” was arrested for drunkenness. He was in a belligerent mood last evening and smashed Officer Romy in the face. Squire France sent him to jail for nineteen days.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 14, 1899

Judge Louttit had easy picking at police court this morning, having only two victims of the night force to spose. “Johnny Appleseed” protested vigorously against being called nicknames in court and insisted that his name is William Coughlin. When asked under that name to enter a plea to a charge of drunkenness, he pleaded guilty.

He says he is no appleseed, nor hayseed either, but is a retired gentleman who drinks at leisure and drinks as often as opportunity affords. The judge told him to take a leisure spell of eleven days and think the matter over.

Jack Case was the other easy mark. Jack was sent over two weeks ago to serve a term for drunkenness. There was another affidavit against him at the time of his first trial for assault and battery on his sister-in-law. On the latter charge he was brought from the jail to police court, and on his plea of guilty was given another eleven days.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Aug 21, 1901

There was a large grist at police court this morning. The venerable Johnny Appleseed, the survivor of more hard fought battles with the booze king than any man in Fort Wayne, made his semi-occasional appearance. Johnny’s return engagement this time was after a shorter interval than usual and he rather hesitatingly admitted to the judge that it had been only ten days since he had faced his honor before.

“But,” said Johnny, in his most persuasive tone, “ef you’ll let me off this time I’ll git right out of town and I’ll niver come back.”

“What do you mean by never?” asked the court. “Niver so long as you’re in office an’ a sittin’ up there.”

Johnny evidently does not know that the judge will be a candidate for re-election in four years, but his story and his promise went with the court.

“I’ll just fine you ten dollars,” said the judge, “and have a mittimus made out for you and the next time the officers catch you in town they’ll take you right over for twenty days, without going to the trouble of bringing you up here. Meantime I will suspend sentence; now do you understand what I mean?”

“I doos, I doos, tank you, tank you!” and Johnny slid out.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Sep 10, 1901

*     *     *     *     *

Police News.

Officer Elliott last night found Johnny Appleseed lying in front of the fire engine house on East Main street. Johnny was in a badly intoxicated condition and the officer took him to headquarters.

The Fort Wayne Journal and Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Nov 21, 1903

A sure sign of spring showed up yesterday when Johnny Coughlin, familiarly known as “Johnny Appleseed,” blew into the city. It is his wont to remain in the country during the winter and to migrate to the city in the spring. He was given shelter at the police station and, if he follows his usual custom, he will be the occupant of a cell before many days. Johnny is a queer character, of the Sunny Jim type, but his love for drink usually lands him in jail at stated intervals.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Fort, Wayne, Indiana) Apr 6, 1906

Police headquarters last night got a call that an old soldier was lying drunk in a yard on East Lewis street. Patrolman Elliott responded to the call and found that the supposed soldier was Johnny Coughlin, a police character, who is known as “Johnny Appleseed.”

The officer started Johnny towards his home at the county infirmary and returned to headquarters just in time to investigate a call from Clinton street that an old soldier was lying drunk in a yard.

Going to the place, the officer again found Johnny and decided to take him to the station in order to preserve  the reputation of the veterans.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana) May 22, 1907

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Reminiscences of an Old Northern New York Settler

August 17, 2012

REMINISCENCES OF AN OLD NORTHERN NEW YORK SETTLER

Gouverneur, Aug. 18. —  In the town of Fowler, about seven miles east of this village, there lives the son of an old pioneer, David H. Balmat, son of Joseph Bonaparte’s land servant in this section. Mr. Balmat is more than 80 years of age, but is still active and takes a prominent part in the affairs of his town.

He is one of the few representatives in this section at least, of the original French settlers, his father having come here in 1796, two years before Jean Baptiste Bossout established a ferry across the Black river. It was in the Reign of Terror in France that the pioneer came to this country to avoid the bloodshed there.

David Balmat was born in the town of Carthage in 1822, a little time before his father became land agent to Bonaparte. The Balmats were people of much consequence in France and the older Balmat was the owner of a large vineyard. His mother’s sister was the Duchess of Oldenburg and as he was a moderate revolutionist, fell under the ban of Robespierre. These facts were the cause partly for sending his son to the new country.

A Wonderful Memory.

Mr. Balmat has a wonderful memory and recalls many incidents which occurred early in his time.

“I do not remember Bonaparte, of course,” said the old man, when interviewed, “for he was gone before I was born. My father was his agent and used to often make trips to the southern part of the State to make his reports to him. My father was one of the first settlers of this country and I think there are three or four families now remaining to represent the early Frenchmen who came to this North country. Among them are the Bossouis, and the Devoises while others have passed away.

“My father purchased land of the French company near the mouth of Beaver river, and the land was wet; the settlement was abandoned and given up. At this time the whole of this northern part of the State was a wilderness with only a few log roads here and there. My father at one time with two Indians started out from Utica, which was then a small place, and went to Beaver river. They followed the Oswegatchie to its source, then down it again in search of beaver and sent as far as Heurelton now Is. They then passed through Black lake, up the Indian river, and made a portage into the Black river. They were gone for over three months and returned loaded with beaver skins, as this section abounded in beaver at that early period.

Stories of Bonaparte.

Mr. Balmat remembers distinctly many of the stories which his father told him of Bonaparte. One of these occurred on Bonaparte lake. The ex-King brought up a number of gentlemen and ladies from his home in New Jersey and wanted his agent to accompany them around the head of the lake. They were rounding the head of a point, when two deer were seen on the shore. They rowed near shore and Balmat took a shot. The two deer jumped into the woods, but one was wounded. Bonaparte in his eagerness to get to shore jumped overboard and walked to shore with the mud almost up to his neck. When they found the deer Bonaparte insisted upon Balmat’s putting it on his shoulder, and the ex-King carried it to the shore, with his fine clothes dripping with blood. At another time Bonaparte with a number of guides went up the lake for a day. An old sea captain was along. When they had gone half of their way a heavy south wind sprang up and Balmat said to the ex-King, “Emperor, it looks mighty like rain.” The old sea captain was equally as certain that it was not, but, relying on the agent’s experience the King sought shelter on the shore. Soon it began to rain in torrents, but they had made a shelter from the storm. While it was raining quite hard the ex-King spoke up and said, “Well, captain, you may be a good prophet on the sea, but you’re not worth a d_ _ n on land.”

David Balmat’s grandfather was Major Goodar, who came from France during the Revolutionary war here with Lafayette with aid for the patriots.

“My father used to say,” said Mr. Balmat, “that Bonaparte was one of the commonest and plainest men that he ever met, although he dressed in fine clothes. At one time he met Bonaparte in the woods after burning off a large tract of land. Balmat was black with the ashes. When the ex-King met him he immediately extended his hand and compelled his agent to shake hands. He then sat down on a blackened and charred log and talked, saying that he cared nothing about these clothes, as there were others.”

Mr. Balmat lives on a large farm and is much respected in his old age. He is an unassuming old gentleman and is gifted in his speech. He is rather proud of his physical powers at 84 years, but says that he is not so strong as his cousin, David Hewitt. David is 94.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Aug 19, 1906

SPECIAL TO THE POST-STANDARD.

GOUVERNEUR, March 1. — David H. Balmat, one of the early pioneers of St. Lawrence County, died yesterday at his house in Talcville, aged 85 years. Around his family hangs the romance of the time of the first Napoleon and of Joseph Bonaparte, who traversed this part of the state during the early part of the nineteenth century.

David H. Balmat was the son of John D. Balmat, born in Paris, France, in 1875 [? 1775] and of Nancy, daughter of Major Goodar, born near Utica. John D. Balmat died in Fowler in 1862 and Major Goodar, the father of his wife, came over from France with Lafayette and was wounded at the battle of Brandywine. To this couple was born the subject of this sketch in 1822.

When Joseph Bonaparte came to this country and sought asylum in the vicinity of the lake, which he afterwards called Lake Bonaparte, he  carried with him letters from the great Napoleon to John D. Balmat, and for a number of years Mr. Balmat was his constant companion and guide, and the son often spoke about his father telling of the grandeur of the surroundings of Bonaparte.

David H. Balmat was the owner of extensive farm lands which are undermined with extensive talc deposits, some of  which are considered the richest in the world, and which are operated by the Union Talc Company. His is survived by four children. The funeral will be held at the family home in Fowler to-morrow.

The Post Standard (Syracuse, New York) Mar 2, 1907

When Adam Was a Boy

July 29, 2012

Image from the London Metropolitan Archives

When Adam Was a Boy

Earth wasn’t as it is today
When Adam was a boy;
Nobody’s hair was streaked with gray
When Adam was a boy.
Then when the sun would scorch and stew
There wasn’t anybody who
Asked, “Is it hot enough for you?”
When Adam was a boy.

There were no front lawns to be mowed
When Adam was a boy;
No kitchen gardens to be hoed
When Adam was a boy.
No ice cream freezers to be turned,
No crocks of cream that must be churned,
No grammar lessons to be learned
When Adam was a boy.

There was no staying after school
When Adam was a boy,
Because somebody broke a rule
When Adam was a boy.
Nobody had to go to bed
Without a sup of broth or bread
Because of something done or said
When Adam was a boy.

Yet life was pretty dull, no doubt,
When Adam was a boy.
There were no baseball clubs about
When Adam was a boy.
No street piano stopped each day
In front of where he lived to play;
No brass band ever marched his way
When Adam was a boy.

There were no fireworks at all,
When Adam was a boy;
No one could pitch a drop-curve ball
When Adam was a boy.
But here is why our times are so
Much better than the long ago —
There was no Santa Claus, you know,
When Adam was a boy.

— Nixon Waterman in Woman’s Home Companion, January number.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jan 17, 1906

A Product of Southern Cultivation

March 29, 2012

The Atlanta Constitution – Apr 9, 1910

American Tobacco Company (Wiki link)

American Tobacco – Downtown Durham – History

The Washington Post – Apr 6, 1910

Knowledge.
From the Philadelphia Press.

Johnny — Smokin’ cigarettes is dead sure to hurt yer.

Jimmy — G’on! where did yer git dat idee?

Johnny — From Pop.

Jimmy — Aw! he wuz jist stringin’ yer.

Johnny — No, he wuzn’t stringing me; he wuz strappin’ me. Dat’s how I know it hurts.

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Aug 1, 1908

The Washington Post – Apr 30, 1910

Strange Smoking Disorder Reported

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A disorder which appeared in four patients after they stopped smoking cigarettes vanished dramatically when they took up the habit again, says a medical journal.

These strange cases were reported by Dr. Ralph Bookman, of Beverly Hills, in an article in California Medicine, official journal of the California Medical Association.

The disorder was canker sores in the mouth and on the tongue. They developed a few days after smoking was stopped.

Abilene Reporter News (Abilene, Texas) Oct 17, 1960

Galveston Daily News – Oct 7, 1910

“Maybe I was wicked to do it, but I feel a lot easier in my mind how that I know how a cigarette tastes.”

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Jun 24, 1925

Galveston Daily News – Oct 21, 1910

“I pledged too much for missions, but I had took a puff at a cigarette Pa’s nephew left yesterday just to see what it was like an’ my conscience was hurtin’.”

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin) Jun 26, 1926Galveston Daily News – Nov 15, 1910

Galveston Daily News – Nov 15, 1910

“My boy John used to argue in favor of women smokin’ cigarettes, but I ain’t heard a cheep out of him since I lit one last winter to try him out.”

Suburanite Economist (Chicago, Illinois) Aug 14, 1928

Galveston Daily News – Mar 14, 1911

“A MAN with whiskers ain’t got no business smokin’ cigarettes. Pa tried smokin’ a few the winter before he shaved clean, an’ I was forever smellin’ somethin’ burnin’.”

Suburbanite Economist (Chicago, Illinois) Sep 11, 1928

Reno Evening Gazette – Mar 15, 1911

Two things that keep Jane’s teen age daughter from eatin’ enough are smokin’ cigarettes and the knowledge that she has a cute little figure.

Traverse City Record Eagle (Traverse City, Michigan) Sep 18, 1962

The Atlanta Constitution – Mar 29, 1911

Jim Harkins has taken to readin’ theatrical magazines. He’ll be smokin’ cigarettes next.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Aug 22, 1913

Most o’ th’ daubed-up girls I see sittin’ around with ther knees crossed smokin’ cigarettes must be gettin’ by on ther personality, if they git by at all. I remember when it used t’ take ten or twelve years o’ good, hard consistent boozin’ t’ kill a feller.

Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) Oct 18, 1926

Nevada State Journal – Apr 11, 1911

ZINGG SOLD CIGARETTES.
Grass Valley, Cal., April 1, 1906.

Editor OAKLAND TRIBUNE: Sir — I used ter resyde in Oakland, but after readin’ the sermons and newspaper akkounts of the wiked doins uv yure peple I feel thankful thet I am now residin’ in a moar moral kommunity.

It ‘pears tu me thet Berkly and Alameder are even wuss hotbeds of krime then Oakland.

From the time thet Deacon Logan set an example, which hes been follered by such a numerous band of amorous kohorts, Sally Jane an’ me heve been almost afraid to venture neer yure plase.

Our peeple are strong on chewin’ terbaccer an’ smokin’ pipes, but it is an unritten law here that if a feller is caught sellin’ or smokin’ cigarettes, ‘specially if he blos the smoke threw his nose, that the Vigilance Kommittee shall take the kriminal in hand.

My darter Sally has writ the followin’ feelin’ pome wich is inclosed. Yours till deth,

HAYSEED SMITH.

The town of Alameda, on San Francisco bay,
Lay sleeping in the sunshine of a balmy winter’s day;
The merry wavelets rippled along the tide canal,
And the live oaks nodded to the breeze upon the Encinal.

But woe to Alameda, disaster, shame and crime
Were to stain its fair escutcheon, e’en to the end of time,
And fill each dweller’s bosom with the keenest of regrets,
For Macfarlane had discovered that Bill Zingg sold cigarettes.

The mayor and city officials all
Were summoned at once to the City Hall,
The police were ordered to be within call,
Armed, cap-a-pie, with powder and ball;
A resolution was passed expressing regrets
That wicked Bill Zingg had sold cigarettes.

At once the press and pulpit the news disseminates
To every town and city throughout our galaxy of States;
From Bangor east to the Philippines west come expression of regrets
That Bill Zingg of Alameda ‘d sold a pack of cigarettes.

For centuries bold Captain Kidd, freebooter of the main,
Has sustained a reputation which quite equaled that of Cain,
But now he’s way down on the list, his reputation sets
Away among the “has beens” since Zingg sold cigarettes.

Oh, Billy Zingg! Oh, Billy Zingg! Regret e’re yet too late,
The greatest sinner may return, pass through the golden gate.

St. Peter may smile as you pass in, and express to you regrets,
That you’re the only Alamedan there, though you did sell cigarettes.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Apr 3, 1906

St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2012

Image from the Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Mar 16, 1892

ST. PATRICK’S DAY.

St. Patrick came, St. Patrick went,
And a — wae us;
We’ve lost a Saint that Heaven sent
To guard o’er us.
And when our isle will see him back,
No one dare say;
But a star o’er an Irish shack
Will shine some day.
So rise again, ye marble halls,
And wake ye ancient voice,
And sound again that Irish harp
That made our hearts rejoice.
And let our hornmen to the hills,
Our heralds o’er the sea;
To spread the news that he has come
To set auld Ireland free!

St. Patrick kind and Mary queen
Let them approach!
With all our fairies drest in green,
Drawing their coach;
And a white winged escort of doves
Fanning the air.
Oh! light is the crown of our loves
That they will wear.
So mount ye lords and ladies fair,
On chargers white as snow,
And ride ye to your Irish halls —
Your rights of long ago —
And if our hornmen ne’er return,
In Heaven then they’ll be,
To spread the news that he has come,
And set auld Ireland free!

MASTER EMERY,
416 Eighth street, Oakland, Cal.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Mar 16, 1906

The Gang’s Skidoo Day

June 27, 2011

In the Pennsylvania’s Governor’s race in 1906,  Edwin Sydney Stuart ended up besting Lewis Emery, Jr. to win the election, graft or no graft, skidoo or no.

The Gang’s Skidoo Day.

This is the day the ring will get
Its dues, without a doubt;
The people have arisen and
Are bound to knock it out.
The bosses who have ruled the
State so long with iron hand,
Will get a solar plexus blow
That they cannot withstand.

Our gallant leader, Emery
A fighter without fear —
Will whip the gang and bring them
To their very knees in fear.
And Acheson, who’s striving hard
To save his bit of bacon,
Will be forced to give up his seat
In congress to “Bob” Aiken.

The grafters who have fattened off
The taxpayers, ’tis plain,
In battle of the ballots will
Be numbered with the slain.
And ’tis a fate they well deserve,
All know that this is true —
Hark! Do you hear that funny noise?
‘Tis “23” Skidoo!

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 6, 1906

Pittsburg baseball team images and excerpt from the Baseball Legends Revealed website. (Scroll down passed Bill Richardson.)

In 1890, a new baseball league opened up, and they had a Pittsburgh team, as well, the Pittsburgh Burghers. This new team essentially pirated away all of McKnight’s best players. After the worst season in Pittsburgh history in 1890 (finishing 23-113), McKnight was forced to abandon his team back to the National League.


How are these two topics related? 23 SKIDOO, of course! I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this 1906 newspaper article. I didn’t see this theory listed in Wikipedia’s article on the origins of 23 Skidoo, but since I ran across it, might as well put it out there as an option:

ONLY 23 PAID TO SEE BALL GAME

Pittsburg Holds Record for the Smallest Attendance at a Championship Contest.

One often hears of the skidoo number “23” and how it really came to be the hoodoo number, etc., but all the guesses regarding its relations to baseball are wrong. The number really started in Pittsburg and proved conclusively that it was really the skidoo number, but of course it was not thought of at that time.

It was back in 1890 when Pittsburg had two baseball teams, one in the Players’ league and the other in the National league. It was the National league club that failed to make good and started “23” on the way. In a game of ball there September 26 of that year, but 23 persons paid to see the Pittsburg and Boston teams struggle for the nine long innings. That year Pittsburg was hopelessly in last place with no chances of ever getting out. That was the smallest crowd that ever paid to see two National league teams play.

Pittsburg struggled along for some time with the two teams, but both could not be supported, and the National soon won out. During the season when the 23 people paid to see the game there  Pittsburg made every effort-in-its-power to get up the ladder without success. That year over 100 players were tried out and yet the club finished last. Never before nor since have as many players ever been given a trial by one team in a season. Thus it will be seen that Pittsburg beside finishing in last place held two records — one for the smallest attendance and the other for trying out the greatest number of players.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 29, 1906

In The Attic with Wilbur D. Nesbit

June 27, 2011

Image by Janet Kruskanp.

I had originally planned to post this with the other “dolls in the attic” poem (see previous post) but after doing some  research on Wilbur D, Nesbit, I decided to separate the poems so I could include more about him and his work.

IN THE ATTIC.

Up in the attic where mother goes
is a trunk in a shadowed nook —
A trunk — and its lid she will oft unclose
As it were a precious book.
She kneels at its side on the attic boards
And tenderly, soft and slow,
She counts all the treasures she fondly hoards —
The things of the long ago.

A yellow dress, once the sheerest white
That shimmered in joyous pride —
She looks at it now with the girl’s delight,
That was hers when she stood a bride.
There is a ribbon of faded blue —
She keeps with the satin gown;
Buckles and lace — and a little shoe;
Sadly she lays that down.

One lock of hair that is golden still
With the gold of the morning sun;
Yes, and a dollie with frock and frill —
She lifts them all one by one.
She lifts them all to her gentle lips
Up there in the afternoon;
Sometimes the rain from the eave trough drips
Tears with her quavered croon.

Up in the attic where mother goes
is a trunk in a shadowed place —
A trunk — with the scent of a withered rose
On the satin and shoe and lace.
None of us touches its battered lid,
But safe in its niche it stays
Scared to all that her heart had his —
Gold of the other days.

— W.D. Nebsit in Chicago Tribune.

New Castle News ( New Castle, Pennsylvania) Oct 28, 1904

Wilbur D. Nebsit was also the author of An Alphabet of History, the FRANKLIN image above taken from the book, which can be viewed/read on the Open Library website. I linked the Google book version of this book in my The Unknown Blue and Gray post, which also includes his poem by the same name.

*  *  *  *  *

A very brief Masonic Bio can be found HERE. Some of his Freemason poetry can be found HERE.

Below are  some articles that give a little more insight:

Image from The Indianapolis Star – Apr 4, 1914

RACE DRAWS LARGE GROUP OF WRITERS

Scribes From Afar Arrive to Describe Speed Battle for Papers and Journals.

The 500-mile Motor Speedway race has drawn men from two continents, whose names are known to the world of letters. These men will relate the human interest tale of the struggle of men and steel machines against time and danger in the columns of publications throughout the world. Gellett Burgess is one of the many who will pen the history of the race.

Wilbur D. Nesbit, author of poems, comic operas and books, is another. He will write the story of the race for Harper’s Weekly….

The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) May 30, 1912

CHICAGO HOOSIERS ELECT.

Wilbur D. Nesbit Made President of Indiana Society.

Wilbur D. Nesbit, the well-known bard, was elected president during his absence in New York….

The Indianapolis Star – Jan 17, 1912

*  *  *  *  *

I clipped this particle biographical sketch from a book on Ancestry.com:

Source Information:

Ancestry.com. Indiana and Indianans : a history of aboriginal and territorial Indiana and the century of statehood [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Dunn, Jacob Piatt,. Indiana and Indianans : a history of aboriginal and territorial Indiana and the century of statehood. Chicago: American Historical Society, 1919.
Image from the Culver-Union Township Public Library websiteCulver Through the Years
*  *  *  *  *
The following poem by Wilbur D. Nesbit appeared in The Indianapolis Star as part of:
the remarkable sermon delivered by Wilbur D. Nesbit, the famous Hoosier writer, in the Mt. Vernon Methodist Episcopal pulpit at Baltimore last Sunday…
A handful of dust, that is blown by the wind
That is sporting with whatever thing it may find.
It goes swirling and whirling and scattering on
Till it puffs into nothingness — then it is gone —
A handful of dust.
It may be a king who of old held his rule
O’er a country forgotten — it may be his fool
Who had smiles on his lips and had tears in his heart;
But the king, or the fool; who may tell them apart
In a handful of dust?
It may be some man who was mighty and proud,
Or a beggar, who trembled and crept through the crowd;
Or a woman who laughed, or a woman who wept,
Or a miser — but centuries long have they slept
In a handful of dust.

It may be a rose that once burst into flame,
Or a maiden who blushed as she whispered a name
To its ruby-red heart — and her lips were as read —
But no one remembers the words that she said,
In this handful of dust.

A handful of dust — it is death, it is birth.
It is naught; it is all since the first day of earth;
It is life, it is love, it is laughter and tears —
And it holds all the mystery lost in the years —
A handful of dust.

The Indianapolis Star — Jun 15, 1913
Call of “30” for Poet
Wilbur D. Nesbit, vice-president of the Wm. H. Rankin and Company Advertising Agency, and an author of renown, died Saturday at the Iroquois hospital in Chicago, thirty minutes after he had collapsed on the street.
During his career, Nesbit had served as humorous writer on the old Inter-Ocean, the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore American and the Chicago Evening Post. In more recent years he had allied himself with an advertising agency, but was a frequent contributor to magazines and had acquired much fame as an after-dinner speaker. As a poet, he ranked with the best. One of his finest contributions, which will always endear his name to the patriotic people, was entitled “Your Flag and My Flag.” This poem appeared in the Baltimore American in 1902, and was circulated throughout the country during the World war. A verse will not be amiss at this time:
“Your flag and my flag,
And how it flies today,
In your land and my land
And half a world away!
Rose-red and blood -red
The stripes forever gleam;
Snow-white and soul-white
The good forefathers’ dream.”
Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Aug 23, 1927
Famous Folk
Wilbur Dick Nesbit, the poet and journalist, whose first novel, “The Gentleman Ragman,” has just been published, was born in Xenia, O., in 1871. He began his career as printer and later worked as a reporter. His reputation has been won largely as a contributor of verse to magazines.
While Nesbit was finishing “The Gentleman Ragman” he was spending a few weeks in a country town in Indiana. He had sent nearly all of the revised manuscript to his publishers, but certain details of the completion of the plot had been the subject of discussion between himself and a friend connected with the publishing house.
One day a telegram for Nesbit was received at the village telegraph office. It read:
“What are you going to do about Annie Davis and Pinkney Sanger?”
Annie is the heroine of “The Gentleman Ragman;” Pinkney is the villain, if there is one in the book. The local telegraph operator personally delivered the message, and Nesbit wrote this reply:
“Will marry Annie Davis and shoot Pinkney Sanger as soon as I return to Chicago.”
The operator stared at Nesbit wonderingly when he read the message, but Nesbit did not fathom that stare until the morning when he took the train for home, when the village marshal stepped up and said meaningly:
“Mr. Nesbit, I would advise you, as an officer of the law, sir, not to do anything rash when you get to Chicago.”
Cambridge Jeffersonian (Cambridge, Ohio) Dec 20, 1906
The above poem is signed with Wilbur D. Nesbit‘s alternate nom de plumeJosh Wink. (see mention in below article.)
Bedford Gazette (Bedford, Pennsylvania) Apr 25, 1902

Des Moines Daily Leader (Des Moines, Iowa) Oct 13, 1901
*   *   *   *
RAY HIGGINS:
Cracker Barrel
WILBUR DICK NESBIT expounded a brand of patriotism that seems to have fallen out of fashion in the current age when draft dodgers become folk heroes and the American flag is publicly despoiled.
Born in Xenia Sept. 16, 1871, the son of a Civil War veteran and court bailiff here, he grew up in Cedarville where he learned to set type on the old Cedarville Herald in which paper his first wrtings appears.
After two years he went to an Anderson, Ind. papers as a reporter, then to the Muncie (Ind.) Star in a similar capacity. There his copy attracted the attention of John T. Brush, an Indianapolis clothing merchant, who put him in charge of his store advertising.
From there he joined the ad staff of the Indianapolis Journal and next became a feature writer for the Baltimore American under the nom de plume Josh Wind [k]. After three years he was lured to the staff of the Chicago Tribune where he conducted the column “A Line O’ Type Or Two” and then joined the Evening Post.
*   *   *
AFTER HE BECAME director of the copy staff for the Makin Advertising Co. he bought an interest in it and changed the name to Rankin Advertising Agency. HE co-authored the musical comedy “The Girl of My Dreams” and turned out reams of poetry in some of which he collaborated with cartoonist Clare Briggs.
His collection, “Trail to Boyland,” reminisced about Greene County and Cedarville in the pastoral patern of James Whitcomb Riley. He also published “After Dinner Speeches and How to Make Them,” “Sermons in Song,” and “Poems of Homely Philosophy.” His “Your Flag and My Flag” was recited in most school classrooms.
Nesbit died Aug. 20, 1927. Recently his friend and admirer, ex-Cedarvillian, Fred F. Marshall, came up with his timely and appropriate poem entitled “The U.S.A.,” which follows:
There’s them that wants to get us skeered
By tellin’ us o’ things they feared.
They say we’re goin’ to th’ dogs,
Th’ gov’nment has skipped some cogs
An’ that ef we don’t trust to them
Our futur’ wont be worth a dem!
But I want to say
Th’ U.S.A.
Ain’t figgerin’ to run that way.
I’ve noticed things fer many years;
I’ve seen these men arousin’ cheers —
These high-hat men with long-tail coats
That tells us how to cast our votes,
I’ve noticed, too, their idees is
That votin’s all the people’s biz
But I want to say
Th’ U.S.A.
Ain’t only jest election day.

I’ve seen ’em lift their trimblin’ arm
An do their p’intin’ with alarm
Afore election! An’ I’ve seen
How they don’t do much work between
Elections! Seem to save their brains
For workin’ durin’ th’ campaigns
An’ I want to say
The U.S.A.
Don’t give them fellers its O.K.

There’s one or two that I wont name
That keeps a firm hand-holt on Fame
By stormin’ up an’ down the road
A-tellin’ us what long we’ve knowed
That is, they rise to heights sublime
Along about election time
Yit I want to say
The U.S.A.
Ain’t figured yit to turn their way.

It ain’t th’ men that tells our sins
That almost al’ays sometimes wins —
Its them that rolls their sleeves an’ helps
While these yere talkin’ humans yelps
That makes us know our native land
Has got a craw that’s full o’ sand
An’ makes us say
The U.S.A
Is settin’ tight an’ here to stay!

Xenia Daily Gazette (Xenia, Ohio)  Nov 2, 1972

Play Ball!

April 1, 2011

THE SPRING MENU.

“I must diet,” said the player, “I am training for the season;
The more I work and the less I eat, the slimmer I will get.
The way those drummers gorge themselves is simply out of reason;
I swore to eat small luncheons, and I mean it, to, you bet!”
The player tucked his napkin in the crevice o’er his collar
And picking up a bill of fare he scanned it for a while,
Then, reaching in his pocket, slipped the “dinge” a silver dollar
And gave the following order in a loud and lordly style:

“Tomato Soup, some bluefish, please —
Be sure and fill the platter;
About six lamb chops served with peas —
Go heavy on the latter.
About a dozen bullfrogs’ legs,
With Tartar sauce around ’em;
A good big plate of scrambled eggs,
And give the date you found em!
Then some dessert, ice cream and cake,
A dish of charlotte russe,
And coffee. Now, old stocking, take
That score card and vamoose!”
The treasurer of the ball club heard and joy was in his heart,
Because the meal was table d’hote instead of a la carte.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California Apr 5, 1906

Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) Apr 11, 1920

BASEBALL SEASON OPENS IN LIMA

By BERTON BRALEY

“Play — ” no, we won’t start it that way!
And there is an excellent reason
For since men first started to play
“The opening game of the season,”
Each bard and scribe of the newspaper tribe
Has wrinkled his hard-working brow
Then started “Play –” — Nix on those old-fashioned tricks,
WE’RE gonna be different now!

“Play –” — Antediluvian stuff!
WE’LL use some ORIGINAL dope.
WE’RE cleaver and snappy enough
To pull some new phrases, we hope;
We’ve always averred that a scrivening bird
Should certainly know how to do
The opening day without starting it, “Play –,”
WE’RE gonna do something that’s new.

“Play –” there’s the darn phrase once again.
We’ll prove to all manner of men
That we’re an original cuss;
“The season has started, the fans are light hearted,
The game has the crowd in its thrall,
“Play –” (ain’t it the deuce) “Play –” (oh what’s the use?)
“Play –” (gosh, I can’t help it)
“PLAY BALL!”

(Copyright 1923, NEA Service, Inc.)

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Apr 9, 1923

Baseball just wouldn’t be baseball — without the umpires!

HIZZONER, “THE UMPS,” READY FOR OPENER

By JAY VESSELS
Sports Editor
(Associated Press Feature Service)

New York, (AP.) — Those mobile-faced umpires, the real war horses of baseball, are going back to the firing line for another season of calling them “like they see ’em.”

That is just what 1930 means for those keen-eyed warriors to whom Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Lefty Grove and other glittering diamond stars are just so many more ball-players.

Out there on opening day will be such baseball disciplinarians as Tom Connolly, Bill Dinneen, Clarence “Brick” Owens and George Hildebrand of the American league, and Bill “Catfish” Klem, Ernie Quigley, Cy Rigler, and Charley Moran of the National.

Some of these men have been clicking an indicator in the big leagues for 25 years and what they know about the great American pastime would fill more bookshelves than all of the volumes written about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

Take Tom Connolly who, at 60, has been running major league ball games for 32 years. He has been with the American league alone since 1901 and there are few in this land as conversant with the playing code as “The Duke of Natick.” Connolly probably knows more firemen than any other American. You see, Tom used to look for congenial company at the local fire halls in the days when the umpires kept themselves more aloof from the ballplayers. He still pursues this custom.

There is Brick Owens, younger in years, but a big league umpire at intervals for 22 years. He has been with the American league since 1916. Naturally “Brick” acquired his odd sobriquet because of being hit with a brick. That occurred when the big arbiter was officiating in an independent game out at Pittsburg, Kans.

High among the picturesque characters who enforce the laws of baseball is Bill “Catfish” Klem, himself. Probably the greatest ball and strike expert in the business, Klem has been a National leaguer since 1905. A scribe once angrily referred to Klem as “looking like a catfish.” That was way back in those days when such uncouth things even appeared in the newspapers, but all along Klem has stuck to the nickname, laughing with the baseball world at what some would consider plain slander.

Bill Dinneen is one of the older umpires. He is 54 and has been in the American league since 1910. Dinneen pitched baseball for  15 years and says he still finds himself pitching every game he works. “I know what the batters can hit and what they cannot hit,” said the veteran. “Consequently, I say to myself, ‘If I were pitching I would hand this bird a curve, low and on the outside, etc., etc.'”

A brother “umps” of Dinneen’s is George Hildebrand, an American leaguer of 17 years’ experience. He took up the indicator after an injured knee spoiled a career in the Pacific Coast league where he was noted for his speed.

Three of the better known National league arbiters are Charley Moran, Ernie Quigley and Cy Rigler. Quigley, who has been in the senior loop since 1913, is widely known as a football and basketball official. Rigler has been in and out of the umpiring ranks since 1906 and Moran who has been calling them since 1918. “Uncle Charley” Moran is the man who coached the “Praying Colonels” of Centre college to a brief but high position in the football world.

A dignified and colorful lot are these old masters of the diamond. They certainly can’t be judged by what the pop-eyed fans will be hollering after April 15.

Morning Herald (Hagerstown, Maryland) Apr 12, 1930

The White Man’s Burden

January 7, 2011

Click images for larger versions.

Here is a hodge-podge of the White Man’s Burden, including imperialism, alcohol, women, in-laws, war, clothing, taxes, education, politicians and even himself!

THE POET’S CALL

“We Ask American Manhood What Its First Duty in This Matter Is”

There was a ringing poem of Kipling’s printed in the News yesterday. Like much of his verse, it has the searching quality. It cannot be evaded. The same stern logic that speaks through his poem “An American” that speaks through his “Song of the English” and through his “Recessional,” speaks through this, “The White Man’s Burden:”

Take up the White Man’s Burden —
Ye dare not stoop to less —
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness.
By all ye will or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your God and you.

Through all this time of uncertainty, this time in which the American people apparently are halting in their course, there is one great characteristic element in the situation which cannot be explained away, and which, as the poet seems to reveal with prophetic insight, is not going to be dodged, unless to our everlasting degradation, and that is the responsibility which has been thrust upon us. It has the double quality. It is not something we sought. It is something that sought us. For years we had seen the suffering of a helpless people at our very doors until we could almost arraign ourselves for cruel indifference. Finally, with as pure a motive as ever a nation undertook anything, we attempted to relieve that suffering.

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” we were just where we find ourselves today. We had crushed the remnant of Spain’s authority in the Philippines, driven her from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Never, we believe, has history recorded an instance in which a nation was confronted with such responsibility so clearly without premeditation, or intention of its own, as in this instance. With no desire to say a word for expansion or against expansion, we ask American manhood, we ask the higher self of this land, what its full duty in the matter is. The poet asks it with searching inquiry:

Take up the White Man’s burden!
Have done with childish days —
The lightly proffered laurel,
The easy ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers.

Indianapolis News.

The Arizona Republican (Phoenix, Arizona) Feb 18, 1899

THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

Take up the white man’s burden
Lift up the white man, too,
He has dallied with the booze can
And a small bottle or two.
He has fallen down by the wayside;
Far away from his own abode;
It seems that the white man’s burden
Is a very unwieldy load.

Take up the white man’s burden
And help the poor chap to stand,
Once  he possessed his senses
And had a pull in the land;
Once he was upright and sober,
Was able to talk and to think,
But the war with the Filipinos
Has driven the white man to drink.

Take up the white man’s burden
And bear it away to a cell,
‘Twill be better away from the rumsters
Who would aid it to trip and fall;
Who gloat o’er the bond i? that feller
The slaves of King Alcohol.

Take up the white man’s burden
When the maudlin night is o’er,
When the head of the suff’ring white man
With expansion’s swelled and sore;
Take the victim to his fireside
Where a broomstick’s lying in wait
And then if you know your business
You’ll escape ere it is too late.

— Bradford Era.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Feb 14, 1899

***

***

Wow, Mr. Henderson, tell us how you really feel:

OUR “WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.”

[With no Apologies to R. Kipling.]

[By W.J. Henderson.]

“Take up the White Man’s Burden!”
What hollow words are these?
‘Tis the croak of the ink-pot raven
That flits on the seven seas.
“Take up the White Man’s Burden!”
Why, who are you to prate
To those who swept the desert
From Maine to the Golden Gate?

Who gnawed the crusts of famine
Beneath Virginia skies,
Till the white man’s blood ran water,
But never the white man’s eyes?
“Take up the White Man’s Burden!”
Who set their backs to the main,
And sent the sons of the forest
To skulk on the treeless plain?

Who harried the fiends of torture,
And gave their sons to fight
With the poisoned arrow by daytime,
The brank and the knife by night?
Who shackled the scalp-locked chieftains,
And bade them abide in peace,
And housed them and clothed them and taught them,
And gave them the land’s increase?

Who fondled their sons and daughters
and showed them the way of life,
While their fathers crept out of the mountains
To flood the valleys with strife?
Got look at the long, red roster
Of dead in our rank and file;
Yet we nurture and pray and are waiting
At Hampton and Carlisle.

Who struck the fetters of thralldom
From off the limbs of the limbs of the slave,
And thundered the anthem of freedom
Through cloister and choir and nave?
We gave the blood of our fathers —
We children who cast out Spain —
To pay white debt to the black man,
and we split our home in twain.

“Take up the White Man’s Burden!”
Gods! was a Lincoln’s death
The pause of a life of shadow,
The end of an empty breath?
An era of white men’s burdens
Ran out with that one life’s sand,
And the sweat of that day is yet heavy
On the brow of our southern land.

“Take up the White Man’s BUrden!”
Oh, well have we borne our share
Till our heart-strings cracked with the straining;
But we knew not how to despair.
And now if the load has grown greater,
Well, we have grown greater, too.
We’ll tread our measure in South and East,
And we’ll ask no help of you.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Feb 17, 1899

THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.

“What is the White Man’s Burden?”
A man asked me today
“I hear so much about it,
What is it, anyway?
Is it debt, or money, or a jag,
That a burden makes of life,
Or — his voice dropped to a whisper —
“Does it mean his wife?”

“What is the White Man’s Burden?”
About the first is clothes,
He starts in life quite minus,
As everybody knows.
But soon begins a struggle
To get the latest style,
And when they’re bought and paid for
To wear them with a smile.

Another of his burdens,
And one that’s hard to bear,
Is getting proper food to eat,
Which requires greatest care.
To all the cook’s enticements,
To all the pastry’s lures,
He falls a willing victim —
Then takes dyspepsia cures.

“What is the White Man’s Burden?”
Go ask the plumber bold,
The iceman and the coal man
Who revel in the cold.
The funny man and the poet,
The politician shrewd,
The deadbeat and his mother-in-law,
The masher and the dude.

“What is the White Man’s Burden?”
The war inquiry boards,
The yowlers ‘gainst expansion,
The yellow journal hordes.
The only thing surprising
That cause for wonder gives,
Is how, ‘neath all his burdens,
The average white man lives.

— Topeka Capital.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 21, 1899

***

Here, let me relieve you of that turkey, I mean burden:

***

Someone isn’t very fond of his wife’s family:

ANOTHER VERSION.

Take up the white man’s burden,
And blow in your hard-earned tin
For codfish and canned tomatoes
To fatten your wife’s lean kin;
Her aunts and her wicked uncles
Are coming to drive you wild;
These half-starved, sullen people,
Half devil and half child.

Take up the white man’s burden,
And fill your house with bunks,
That kinfolks may sleep in comfort;
They’re coming with bags and trunks.
They’re coming to stay all summer,
To die in your yard next fall —
These half-shot, sullen people,
Half stomach and half gall.

Take up the white man’s burden,
And sit on the porch and swear,
For kinfolks will use the sofa,
And loaf in your easy chair.
They’ll cut all the pies and doughnuts,
And you must subsist on prunes —
These fine-haired, silken kinfolks,
Half pelicans and half loons.

Thrown down the white man’s burden,
And get a breech-loading dog,
And mangle the first relation
(Half crocodile and half hog)
Who comes with his ten valises
And seventeen tourist trunks
To eat up your canned provisions
And sleep in your ill-spared bunks.

— Atchison Globe.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 28, 1899

Below, the women’s libbers jump on the parody bandwagon:

THE LADY SPEAKS.

Take up the white man’s burden,
And put yoru own away;
‘Tis only right that woman
Should run affairs today;
We want to sit in congress,
We’re bound to be supreme
In everything that’s going,
And that’s no idle dream.

Take up the white man’s burden,
And drive him from the scene;
He’s growing pale and puny,
And “parts his hair between.”
Come on, O sturdy sisters,
Let’s show slow-going man
How we would run the nation
On the bargain-county plan.

— Exchange.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 4, 1899

One of the TRUE White Man’s Burdens:

“THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.”

(Bjorge Djenison.)

What is the “White Man’s Burden?”
It surely can’t be coons;
Though Kipling oft avers it is
In very rhythmic tunes.

What is the white man’s burden?
The preacher thinks it’s sin,
The poor man thinks it’s poverty,
The banker thinks it’s tin.

What is the white man’s burden?
The coward thinks it’s fear,
The brave man thinks it’s bravery,
The brewer thinks it’s beer.

What is the white man’s burden?
To the question will return,
Perchance, by often asking,
The truth we may yet learn.

What is the white man’s burden?
The fat man thinks it’s girth,
The lean man thinks it’s leanness,
The joker thinks it’s mirth.

What is the white man’s burden?
The mourner thinks it’s grief,
The soldier thinks it’s discipline,
But Alger thinks it’s beef.

What is the white man’s burden?
The aged think it’s years,
The youngster suffers for his youth,
The weeping with their tears.

What is the white man’s burden?
Ere he’s laid upon the shelf
Ere Father Time has cut him down,
He’ll know it is himself.

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey) Mar 15, 1899

***

Still a burden after all these years:

This one is kind of amusing:

GETS COLTISH AT ONE HUNDRED TEN

Indian Stumbles When Attempting to Take up the White Mans’ Burden

Captain Jones fell from grace yesterday at the age of 110 years. He assimilated too much liquid refreshment and was gently escorted to the city bastile although the police declare he felt younger than ever.

According to the declaration of Chief Hillhouse, this is the first time Captain Jones, a redman, native of Nevada, has ever been “pinched” or even known to take a drink. He is known about the city because of his appearance with his wife on the streets dispensing pictures to those who will buy.

At the age of 110 which he gave at headquarters, his qualities of absorption seem unimpaired although he was found slightly wanting when it came to carrying the white man’s burden.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Nov 10, 1913

I think it could be said that  we stepped up and took on that burden and then some:

“The White Man’s Burden.”

Rudyard Kipling recently told an American visitor in London that when he wrote “The White Man’s Burden” he had America in mind, not Great Britain. America’s isolation has now ceased. She is responsible with the other nations who helped whip Germany for the orderly and safe conduct of the world. She must take upon her own shoulders a large share of the burden. If this means additional privileges it means also vastly augmented responsibilities. Upon England and America together rests the chief duty of a decent place in which to live and work.

— Lothrop Stoddard in the World’s Work.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 3, 1919

The most painful (and never ending) of the burdens:

THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN

Taxes
More taxes
And some more taxes.

The Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio) Sep 22, 1933

And golf!

Punctuation, Typewriting and Telegrams

September 24, 2010

A bit of a mixed bag for Punctuation Day:

Fire Inspector Not in Jail as Telegram Stated

Lack of punctuation in a telegram received at the state fire marshal’s office Friday morning made it appear that L.J. Butcher, state fire inspector, was in jail at North Platte waiting for somebody to go his bail. But by inserting a period where the telegraph company had omitted it, Chief Clerk Eva Anderson figured it out that two incendiary suspects and not Butcher, were in jail.

The inspector was sent there two or three days ago to probe the circumstances of several supposed incendiary attempts to burn a residence in North Platte. He wired Friday that one blaze which started April 9 at 11 p.m., had been put out, and the next morning at 8 o’clock fire broke out again at six different places in the house.

“Owner and wife made complete confession to County Attorney J.T. Keefe and myself are in jail awaiting bail,” the message concluded.

This looked bad, on its face, for “J.T. Keefe and myself.” But telegram English is a little different. Miss Anderson finally decided that this was the way it should read:

“Owner and wife made complete confession to County Attorney T.J. Keefe and myself. Are in jail awaiting bail.”

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Apr 14, 1922

Sarcoxie, Missouri (Image from http://www.sarcoxielibrary.org)

Getting Into Print.

A certain gentleman who wanted to get into print sent the following to the Sarcoxie Record

The scribe arose
And rubbed his nose —
His eyes expressing exultation
Aha — cried he —
I will be free —
I will be free from punctuation

This writer then
Seized on his pen
Writing fast with fiery flashes —
And to him came —
One morning — fame —
Instead of commas he used dashes

The magazines
And pictured screens
Acclaim’d him genius — great – annoited —
His stuff was grand —
You understand —
Because it was so oddly pointed.

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) Mar 21, 1922

A Little Punctuation.

People who fail to punctuate their communications are invited to study the following line, which is a correct sentence

“It was and I said not or.”

We got that line one day this week by wire, where punctuations are always omitted. We nearly wrecked our mentality trying to clear up the mystery of the single line, when all of a sudden it occurred to us to look up a copy of our letter to the party, when we discovered that our friend wanted to inform us he did not use the word “or,” but did use “and.” To be plain, the sentence is correct and should have read, “It was ‘and’ I said – not ‘or.'”

Another party who has been studying Pope wrote us as follows: “My Dear Mr. George — I have been thinking over the statement you made last week, and I too believe that that is is that that is not is not, and I take pleasure in believing so.”

A good way to untangle the above is to write it as follows: “That that is, is. That that is not, is not.” In other words, it is a play on Pope’s “whatever is, is right.” People who eschew punctuation should not feel hurt if their meaning is not always readily grasped.

— George’s Denver Weekly.

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Jul 22, 1899

While the rest of us are looking for truth in the book of life the Cynic spends his time searching for small flaws in the punctuation.

Daily Mail (Hagerstown, Maryland) Sep 6, 1927

PUNCTUATION.

It is a prevailing fad of job printers to omit punctuation. The consequences are sometimes far from satisfactory to the customer, as witness the following street car sign of a well-known Connellsville druggist:

Your Doctor’s Orders
Are Obeyed Strictly and Accurately
I Never Substitute
Pure Drugs and Medicines

What the druggist does do, and what he wanted to say, was that he fills prescriptions accurately; that he never substitutes other remedies for those called for in the prescription; and, finally, that he sell nothing but pure drugs and medicines.

The job printer has made him say that he obeys the doctor’s orders by never substituting pure drugs and medicines for the impure kind prescribed!

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Mar 15, 1906

HEARD IN THE PROOFROOM.

How Poetry, Prose and Advertisements Sound Via the Copyholder.

If one of our modern graduate elocutionists could hear a copyholder reading aloud in the proofroom of a daily newspaper, it would be very apt to drive the elocutionist to drink. For the benefit of those who have never heard this class of reading an imitation thereof in type may be of passing interest.

In the first place, be it understood, a copyholder is a proofreader’s assistant, and it is his (or her) business to read aloud the copy, including punctuation, spelling of names, etc., so that the proofreader may have a correct understanding of just what the copy is without bothering to look and see for himself.

This is about the way it sounds when the copyholder starts in:

“The G-r-a-m-m-e Machine — three up — E type — period. In the diagram before you A B — two small caps — is a ring of soft iron — comma — with its ends connected so as to form a continuous circuit — period. This ring can be made to rotate on its axis between the poles N S — two small caps — of an electro-magnet — compounded — period. How the magnetism of the electro-magnet — compounded — is established will be explained by-and-by — compounded — no e on by — colon — for the present I simply assume that N — small cap — and s — small cap — are two magnetic poles — comma — north and south respectively — period — parry — no dash.”

Perhaps the next bit of copy is a news item, and we hear:

“Accident in Newark — H 1. About 6 o’clock this morning as William — abbreviated — Clarke — with an e — was crossing E-v-a-n-s st — comma — near the corner of Clover — comma — he was struck by a trolley-car — compounded — No. 42 — figures — comma — and thrown to the ground on one side just in time to fall under the wheels of a passing wagon — period. He was picked up unconscious and conveyed to G-r-o-s-v-e-n-o-r hospital — comma — where his injuries were pronounced dangerous — period — more to come.”

Possibly a little poetic gem may be the next thing on the proof, and this is how it sounds:

“Miss P-e-g-g-y-pos-s Bonnet — three up — K type. Poetry — begins flush.

The century was six years old — comma — one em — Miss Peggy — two up — just sixteen — spelled, of course — comma — dash — flush — not yet a woman — comma — nor a child — comma — one em — but that sweet age between charms from either side — comma — dash — one em — the dimpled smile of four — spelled again — comma — flush — with gentle mier and glance serene — one em — of twenty-one — hyphened — or more — scarce — stanza.”

Next an advertisement appears and as this is more important than poetry or news the copy reader’s pace slackens very perceptibly, and we catch:

“Two inches — daily — top of column — third page — send five proofs — four blank lines — avoid consumption — 38 — 1 line — pica old style lower next — begins flush — don’t wait until the hacking cough — all caps — has weakened the system and strained the Lungs — one up — period — take — break — S-m-i-t-h-pos-s E-m-u-l-s-i-o-n — two lines 27 — upper and lower — centered — no — point — goes on in pica old style — flush — the cream — one up – of Cod liver — cod up — hyphened — Oil — up — and Hyposphosphates — up — comma — to supply the nourishment your system craves — period — no address — that’s funny — better show it to the boss and see if it goes.”

And thus the copyholder hurries along, dissecting his material at a rate only a printer can properly appreciate. — American Bookmaker.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Mar 21, 1896

A Writing Machine

The first of the writing machines manufactured in New York has been received by E.S. Belden, phonetic reporter of Washington. The invention was made in England, but it has been added to and improved in this country. The machine is about the same size of an ordinary sewing machine, and can be worked by a child who can spell, as easily as by a grown person.

It consists of a series of forty-two keys, to which are attached steel hammers, and each one of these represents a letter, figure, or a punctuation mark. The keys are arranged in four rows, like the keys of an organ, and are operated on precisely the same principle. The hammers are arranged in a circle, and when the key is pressed the corresponding letter moves to the centre, receding again immediately when the pressure is removed. A space key is provided, by means of which the spaces between words are made. Mr. Washburn, of San Francisco, patented an improvement on the machine, and he contemplates the use of printers’ ink. In the original, the color is taken from a prepared ribbon, which is between the hammer and paper. At the end of each line the machine is adjusted for the next line by means of a treadle, which is worked by the feet of the operator.

By this machine three times as much can be written as an ordinary man can write. The Western Union Telegraph Company has already ordered all that can be manufactured for the next six months. They are to be used manifolding copy telegraphed to the press.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Oct 19, 1873

Charles A. Washburn’s 1870 patent illustrations:

Here is a link to last year’s post for National Punctuation Day!