Thursday, July 27, 2017

Early Times Capsule

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One message sent to would-be criminals as the new year began a century ago was that local judges, prosecutors and juries were not going to be soft on crime.

Owen Boyle, 26, and William Tyler, 24, each received 10-year prison terms for a robbery and assault against Mrs. Bridget Gallagher, 65, of Water Street, Coaldale, on the day after Christmas in 1910. The Tamaqua Courier called the crime "one of the worst in the history of the county."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Internet theft was a full century away, but Christmas in 1910 saw its share of hucksters and vagabonds who were out to scam the public.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From 1880 to 1910 thousands of men died in mine accidents. The worst month in U.S. coal mining history was December 1907 when 3,242 men were killed in accidents. That year, the worst mine explosion in U.S. history killed 358 people near Monongah, W.V.

Although coal mining was the deadliest type, workers in metal and non-coal mining activity were also susceptible to hazards such as fires, explosions and cave-ins.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Even mine vehicles such as the cage – an elevator-type device used to transport miners to and from the surface and considered a safety net for miners in case of emergency – could themselves be danger traps. In early November 1910, 10 miners had boarded their cage at the No. 4 colliery near Lansford for their usual descent on the 7 a.m. shift.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In 1910 the immigrants were primarily male, with about 131 men per 100 female immigrants. almost 6 percent of them that year were under the age of 15 while only 9 percent were over 65. About 87 percent of all immigrants entering the U.S. in 1910 came from Europe.

America's developing economy presented job opportunities for the foreigners, many of whom had hoped to later return to their native countries. Mining also lured large numbers of unskilled immigrants to Pennsylvania's large coalfields.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


A century ago, the president of the United States was actually encouraging people to "assemble in churches to give expressions to the their thanks" about Thanksgiving.

Even the media outlets, especially smaller publications such as the Tamaqua Courier, had no trouble expressing their beliefs to readers. The Courier even used its front page item to deliver President Taft's message, and add some personal commentary of its own on the true meaning of the day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Name identity is big business today, evidenced by the new sports stadiums that have risen up in the last decade bearing the names of giant financial institutions.

The thousands of times fans see a name in print or hear it spoken is considered good business in the competitive world of advertising.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Some may blame it on the harvest moon, but there were some eerie new stories that were reported in the local papers during the fall of 1910.

Several local fires – one the result of carelessness and the other the work of a suspected arsonist, made it a very destructive time of the year.

In early October officials believed that a fire that destroyed the St. Elmo moving picture theater in Lansford was deliberately set. A Mr. Kelly, who played piano at the theater, reportedly saw the fire from his boarding house in Summit Hill and sounded the alarm.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A century ago Philadelphia sports fans followed their beloved Athletics as rabidly as the fans of today support their Phillies.

The Athletics christened a new baseball stadium, Shibe Park, in 1910. Constructed at a cost of $315,249, the American League franchise shared the field with the National League Phillies. The park, with its distinctive French Renaissance style facade, ornate tower and arched windows, was the envy of the baseball world.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Well into the 20th century, the perception of many farmers was that education was an intrusion, depriving them of a free workforce – namely their children.

When schools closed during the summer months, it didn't mean a break for a majority of youngsters. They traded their class time for a full-time job of working the family farm. To help put food on the table, working to till the fields or clean the barnyard was a fact of life for many youngsters.