Friday, July 11, 2014
     

Early Times Capsule

Friday, October 16, 2009

Before psychoanalytic techniques were introduced during the first decade of the 20th century, there was no help for the mentally challenged individuals in society.

Those without family were committed to asylums, and often confined there for life. Those with families were hidden away in attics and cellars, existing in a dark world so it wouldn't shame the family. In one case during Victorian times, one demented person was reportedly confined to an outhouse which was so narrow that “his flexor muscles permanently stiffened."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Affairs of the heart have always been a good source of news copy. Local newspapers a century ago often ran stories about romance, scandal and marriages gone bad.

The Tamaqua Courier regularly served up spicy copy about romance that would even satisfy today's appetite for gossipy news on the entertainment shows on television. One story that appeared in the Courier in September of 1909 also shows how society's views have changed in respect to marriage and divorce.

Friday, October 2, 2009

One of the intriguing news stories of 1909 involved the controversy between Dr. Frederick A. Cook and Robert Peary over who was first to explore the North Pole.

At that time, the Polar region was one of the last remaining prizes for earthly exploration. Over the previous centuries, countless explorers had suffered and died in their quest to make history.

After leading an expedition to Mount McKinley in 1903, Cook, who spent two decades exploring both Polar regions and subarctic Alaska between 1891 and 1909.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Since more than two-thirds of the nation's schools were considered rural during the first decade of the 20th century, the one-room schoolhouse dominated America's educational landscape.

In these cramped buildings, teachers had the daunting task of handling students ranging between 5 and 20 years of age. Memorization and recitation drills dominated the school curriculum.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Tamaqua Courier reported a number of bizarre stories during the dog days of summer in 1909.

One involved a tragic copycat incident inspired by a new craze sweeping the land – moving picture shows. The cinema business was in its infancy during the first decade of the 20th century, but thanks to Thomas Edison and other inventors, they were beginning to make an impact on the entertainment world.