Monday, April 21, 2014
     

Early Times Capsule

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Civil War had been over for 46 years when southeastern Pennsylvania became the scene of one of the most horrific racially charged stories of 1911 – the beating, lynching and burning of a black man accused of killing a security guard.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The decade between 1911-19 was a time of great change in society but that's no big revelation when one considers where we once were as a society.

Consider these facts about American life in 1911:

Ÿ Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub and only 8 percent had telephones;

Ÿ The average wage in 1910 was 22 cents an hour;

Ÿ Most women washed their hair once a month, using Borax or egg yolks for shampoo;

Ÿ Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated high school;

Ÿ More than 95 percent of all births took place at home;

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Medical authorities were alarmed at the "threatened importation of typhus fever and the germs of other intestinal diseases" due to the high number of flies during the hot summer of 1911.

One Tamaqua Courier writer told how a many areas were initiating Swat the Fly campaigns in an attempt to control the flying menace.

"The chase after Brer Fly is no new form of sportsmanship," he said. "Few latter day swatters can equate the persistence with which the American housewife of olden times used to fall upon the trail of the little varmints."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On a hot day in mid-July 1911, a party of six Coal Dale residents enjoyed a bountiful day of berry-picking on the mountain north of Tamaqua.

The group, which included four women and a father and son, estimated they had picked enough berries for more than 100 quart jars.

"After filling all our pails, buckets and baskets, it was about 7 o'clock and we climbed into the milk wagon to commence the return journey to Coal Dale, via Tamaqua," said Mrs. Charles Herring, 42, whose 11-year-old son Leonard and husband Charles, were also on the trip.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

By jim zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com

"The rowdy is always and ever with us, wherever we happen to live."

That was the sober assessment of a Tamaqua Courier a century ago after a series of ugly early-summer incidents stunned area residents. Among the roughhouse tactics the writer cited were "low remarks to women, and general display of more or less drunken savagery."

He said that in many places, it was practically impossible for decent people to travel in peace by train or trolley after 11 o'clock, due in large part to the passive nature of the rail personnel.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

By jim zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com

The popularity of sports on Sunday has never been an issue in our lifetime, but a century ago it was a hot-button topic locally.

The controversy over playing ball on the Sabbath in this state can actually be traced as far back as 1794 when legislators in the Pennsylvania Assembly passed "an Act for the prevention of vice and immorality, and of unlawful gaming, and to restrain disorderly sports and dissipation" on the Lord's Day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man" – William Shakespeare.

A writer for the Tamaqua Courier used this quote from the man widely regarded as the greatest English writer in history for an opinion in May of 1911 titled "Whiskers vs. Bald Heads."

Men back then may have not had exposure to the "Just for Men" advertising commercials of our day, but newspaper advertisements proved there was still an obsession with whiskers and hair a century ago.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Only six of the 13 members of the class, however, chose to attend the Tuesday evening graduation ceremony held in the assembly room of the high school, to reap the words of advice and wisdom bestowed on them by the commencement speakers.

"The room was artistically decorated with the national colors, pennants, potted plants and cut flowers," a reporter for the Tamaqua Courier noted. "Across the room was stretched the class colors – purple and white – on which was emblazoned the motto: "In Limine" (Latin for "on the threshold").

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A number of stories regarding children made for interesting reading during the early summer of 1911 but unfortunately, most of the news was not good.

In early June, residents were stunned to learn that a young girl was responsible for a string of robberies in the Wilkes-Barre area.