Sunday, August 20, 2017

1923 School Sales

1923 Sussex County Schools

The now unused school buildings of Sussex county were sold by the school board, are;

Lincoln City, Ellendale and Slaghter Neck; Nassau and Drawabridge ; Rehoboth, Rabbit
Ferry, and Friendship.

Frankford, Omar, Selbyville, and Lynch. Warwick , Whartons Branch, Hollyville, Lowes Cross Roads,

At Laurel, Owens Corner, Portsville, Ross Point and Concord. At Brideville, Blocksons,
Middleford, Trinity.

At Millville, Blackwater, Roxana, Millville.

Persons were required to pay the entire purchase price, some of the school buildings are to be moved off the land.

Monday, August 14, 2017



Peas and baby limas are a main crop grown in eastern Sussex county, around Milton,

Lewes, Milford and Ellendale. The product is contracted to local canneries.

Many farmers double crop peas and limas, planting the beans after harvesting the early peas

which is finished before the 4th of July. It has been found that later planted Henderson Bush Baby

Lima's produce a better yield that those planted early.

Milton is in the heart of the Delaware lima bean production, one cannery cans 3600 cases

a day from the thirty to fourty tons brought to them from the fields. Lima bean season begins the

middle of August. The vines of the crops are either 'threshed' or shelled when brought to the 'viners' at

the canning factory, or at the farm which have viners of their own. The beans or peas after being

shelled are cleaned by fans forcing air over them, sorted by hand as they pass on belts, graded for

color amd size, washed, then canned and seaaled and cooked in steam retorts.

Most canneries start the season just about Decoration Day, through early June with peas, in
July they are caning string beans and August is tomatos with limas in September up until a good heavy

frost or early freeze.

Source: Wilmington New Journal , Saturday, October 10, 1925

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Milford Big black Bear Chase


One hundred and fifty people were watching yesterday afternoon as Thaddeus Windsor,

recaptured his escaped bear, one of two which he had captured in Canada recently, fled his

enclosure to the surounding woods.

Windsor and several friends had gone to the woods searching and came upon the bear.

As they approached the bear stood up on its hind legs and made a start toward them. The fled.

Later Windsor loosed his dogs , and the party of hunters armed with their guns, set out

on the hunt. The bear, running from the dogs, took to a tree, where Windson soon had ropes around

the bears neck, cut the tree and lowered the bear to the ground where he was held firm by the rope


The big black bear, doubly secured, was paraded through town, and placed again in


Source: Wilmington Morning News, November 21, 1923.

Friday, August 11, 2017


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Labor Day


Labor Day was born 1884 during a period of working mens “upheaval” led by a
organization known as the “Knights of Labor” formed 1869 in Philadelphia, organized
by a garment worker, Uriah H. Stephens, wanting to establish “industrial democracy” between
employers, professional men, tradesmen, office workers and unskilled laborers.

Knights of Labor was a slow grower, it had in 1878 had only 10,000 members, but by 1882
the membership grew to 52.000 and was a nation wide organization.

“Knight's of Labor” soon became the “American Federation of Labor” , the AFL, under the leadership of Samuel Gompers, which took on the many reforms and demands. Government bureaus came in effect to provide safety of workers, prohibit child labor, began the eight hour day and urged arbitration in place of strikes.

Labor Day on the first Monday in September is a legal holiday in every state in the union except New Mexico where it is observed by special proclamation each year.

Saturday, August 5, 2017



The Gulf Stream is said to be about fifty miles in breadth, the depth 1000 feet and its mean

velocity is measured at two statute miles per hour. The temperature of the water when it leaves the

Gulf is registered at 65 degree Fahrenheit . Meteorologist have calculated the quantity of heat

sent into the North Atlantic by the stream is equal to one fourth of all the heat received from the sun

from the Tropic of Cancer to the Arctic circle.

But for the Gulf Stream London England would have a mean annual temperature 40 degree lower

than at at present.

Beginning in the Caribbean , it ends in the northern North Atlantic, and leaves the southern

coast about Cape Hatteras , North Carolina.

Friday, August 4, 2017

U.S. Navy Yard Charlestown, Massachusetts 1900

Charlestown, Massachusetts     19 august 1900: 

 The United States Navy Yard at Charlestown, Massachusetts was founded i 1800 and covered an eighty seven acre tract of land, had near a hundred storehouses, machine shops, arsenals, shiphouses, etc.

 Among the war vessels built there were the Independence, Frolic, Vermont, Warren, Farragut's flagship Hartford, the Cumberland and Merrimac, the Wachuset, ad Huron.  also the iron clads monanock, Nahant, Nantucket and Canonicus.

Charlestown is the oldest neighborhood in Boston, originally an Indian name Mishawum.  It is north of the Charles River overlooking downtown Boston, adjoins the Mystic River and Boston Harbor.

Engineer Thomas Graves in 1629 laid it out  for Charles I of England as the first capitol of the Massachusetts Bay colony.

Thursday, July 27, 2017




This newspaper item found in the Washington Evening Star of Washington, D. C. ,
Wednesday October 31, 1888, evidently copied from Lippincott's Magazine and was written by
Jean Francois Gravelet, also known as “The Great Blondin” the tight rope walker of the day.

Charles Blondin , born Jean Francois Gravelet, 28 February 1824, in the town Saint Omer,
Pas de Calis, France.

He tells the world that a tight rope walker is born, not made. At the age four he began to
toddle along a rope and by age eight he gave an exhibition in Turin where the king was in the audience.

The usual method of learning to walk the rope is to begin with walking a narrow board, decreasing the width until it is no thicker than an ordinary rope. Posturing and gracefulness are
taught during these lessons.

The rope is formed of a flexible core of steel wire, covered with the best Manilla hemp.
The diameter is about one and three quarters inches. The rope several hundred yards in length is coiled at each end on windlasses which are turned until the rope is taut. It is in error that rope
walkers feet are exceptionally large and muscular, mine are rather below the average size.

The balancing pole is an apparatus, mine is of Ash , exactly 26 feet in length, weighs
50 pounds and is in three section so it can be transported with ease.

Blondin said he is never nervous when walking the rope. I look ahead some 18 or 20 feet,
either whistle or hum as humor may catch him. Also I stay in step with the band music and find
that helps preserving my balance. One of the chief difficulties in balance is the considerable sagging of the rope under the 200 pounds bearing on it. He preferred to perform in open air, saying the air in a structure, at the height the rope must be, can be unpleasant to breath.

Blondin never took any stimulant before 'walking the rope' and avoids eating too heavy a
meal. He does not like to have the safety net as he feels it could lead to the accident it is used to prevent.

Charles Blondin Jean Francois Gravelet was three time married, the first wife, married after the birth of a son, Arnold Lepold, was Marie Blacherre and by his second wife he had two daughters
Adele and Iris and a son Edward .

He is buried in Kensel Green Cemetery, London, England.



Abstract of Wednesday's 31 October 1888, Washington Evening Star, American Notes
and Queries. Notice this is dated 1888.

Arkansas is of American Indian origin but no meaning has been found. In 1881 the
government declared the pronunciation to be Ar-Kan-Saw.

Alabama takes it's name from it major river, meaning “here we rest” as in the states motto. The river, named by the French, “Alibamon” the name of a Muscogee Indian tribe who lived on it's banks.

California was first applied between 1535 and 1539 to the southern part of the state, derived
from an old romance story, the name of a island , near India, found in 1525, by Crotez.

Colorado a past participle of Spanish colorar, meaning to color.

Connecticut, named for it's river, an Indian word meaning “Long River”.

Delaware, names for Lord de la Warr, Virginia governor of Jamestown.

Florida, given by Ponce de Leon from Spanish “Pascua Flordia” meaning flowery pasture.

Georgia, named from a colony for King George II.

Illinois, named for its river, from the name Illini , an Indian tribe, means superior men.

Indiana from the word Indian.

Iowa, named from it's river, an Indian word meaning “beautiful lands”.

Kansas, after it's river, meaning “smoky water' in Indian tongue.

Kentucky from Indian tongue, means “dark and bloody” because of it's many Indian

Louisiana named after King Louis XIV of France, by LaSalle, in 1644.

Maine named after a French district.

Maryland named after Henerietta Maria, wife of Charles I.

Massachusetts was an Indian chiefs name.

Michigan names after the lake, Indian word meaning “great lake”.

Minnesoto from the river, Indian for “sky water”.

Missouri from the river, meaning “muddy river' by the Indian name.

Page 2

Nebraska an Indian name meaning “shallow water”.

Nevada is of Spanish origin meaning “snow covered”.

New Hampshire named for a county in England.

New Jersey was named after the Isle of Jersey, England.

New York named in honor of the Duke of York.

North and South Carolina m names for King Carolus (Gharles) II.

Ohio named by the river, Indian for “beautiful river”.

Oregon Spanish origin “wild thyme”.

Pennsylvania named for William Penn.

Rhode Island named for Zackery Rhoades Family in 1658.

Tennessee means “spoon shape” in Indian, named for the river.

Texas has large controversy on how it received it's name. Some say it so called because the roof material of their dwellings were of “tejas” , then too the aborigines spoke a language which had the word for “friends” as “tecas”. “Tecas” was also used to name the Indian inhabitants of this area.
The Territory of Texas was known to Spaniards missionaries in 1524 as Mixtecapan. The Mixtecas were the sons of Mixtecatl V, son of Izatac the progenitor of the people of Mexico at the time of Cortez.
Vermont is of French origin meaning “Green Mountains”.

Virginia and West Virginia was named in honor of the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth.

Wisconsin named by it's river, which in the Indian language means “wild rushing river”.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Packing Your Trunk


First you need a trunk, if it's dusty and rusty, a careful dusting inside and out is necessary, the medal trimmings can be brightened with witchcloth , leather straps rubbed with sweet oil. Next, line it out with newspaper. Everything you are to pack needs to be made in readiness, like folded, then set near by, to save running around in a daze looking for this and that.

The thousand and one 'little things' are to be but in boxes and taped. Under clothing place at the very bottom of the trunk, here to can go your favorite hat. Wrap it in tissue paper.

Stockings, shoes, other favorites, are used to fill in the spaces to keep your packaging level
and no elevations or depressions. Shirts, skirts, pants, pack closely and be sure they are folded.

For the jackets, use the hangers, the silks, challies, ginghams, lay down flat. Next goes in
everything else, tightly. You do not want any airspace to cause 'rattling'.

Now try to close it, have the most heavy one of the family sit on it while you fasten the straps, so that the locks come together.

ABSTRACT: July 2017, Harrison H from The St Louis Republic by way of the Washington
Weekly Post, 8 May, 1900.



The pots and kettles, skittles and frying pans, stood on 'legs', so that they could be placed

on the hot coals of the fireplace used as the kitchen stove. Later someone came up with what they

called a 'toast rack' which stood on it's own little spindle legs, a kitchen luxury that sat near the fire.

Also found in the kitchen was a shallow brass pan, about a foot in diameter, with a pierced

cover. To use it, one would fill it with hot coals from the fire and thrust it between the icy cold bed

sheet before jumping in bed.

Abstract: Harrison H., July 2017, Lewes, from Washington. D.C. Sunday Newspaper, April 29, 1900.

Sunday, July 16, 2017



The early American, “colonial”, fireplace was merely a country like copy of English
fireplaces of the same period, the ability to construct them brought with the settlers.

The application of the word “colonial” to all pre Revolutionary architecture and decoration created a vague impression that there was, at that time, an early American style of architecture, which was not so. Colonial architecture is simply a modest copy of the English “Georgian” style.

If a fireplace mantel piece could not be imported from England because of cost, it was reproduced by hand from native wood.

Wooden mantels were not unknown in England, where the use of wood led to a practice of
“facing” the fireplace with “Dutch” tiles.

More or less because of the cheapness, wood was uses as mantles in both America and
England, but was 'set back' from the opening because it was unsafe to put inflammable
material near the fire.

Abstract: The Washington , D. C. , Hatchet Sunday Newspaper, April 29, 1900. By Harrison, 2017.

Saturday, July 15, 2017




The flags of the Confederacy had curious bits of history attached to their existence.
On March 5, 1861, the provisional Confederate Congress recommended that the flag of the Confederate States of America shall consist of a red field with a white space extending horizontally
through the center equal in width to one third the width of the flag. , the red spaces above and below to be of the same width as the white, the union, blue, extending down through the white spaces and stopping at the lower red space, in the center of the union a circle of white stars corresponding in
number with the States of the Confederacy . This flag was first displayed to the public 4 March,
1861, the same day of Lincolns inauguration over the State House in Montgomery, Alabama .

On the battlefield this flag bore such a similarity to the Union flag that in September 1861,
for the Army of The Potomac, Generals Beauregard and Johnson created what afterward became
known as the battle flag. It had a red ground with a blue diagonal cross emblazoned with white stars, one for each state and this flag was adopted by all troops east of the Mississippi.

The first design , bearing objections of resemblance t the stars and stripes and having no
reverse , Confederate Senate in April 1863 adopted a white flag with a broad blue star in its center
which was amended by inserting the battleflag design as the union with a plain white ground for the field. This arrangement proved faulty as at a distance the large white field resembled a flag of truce and also as combined with the union was similar to the English Ensign.

So, on 4 February, 1865, the Confederate Senate adopted a third change; “the width, two thirds the length, with the union, now used as a battleflag, to be in width three fifths of the width of the flag,
and so proportioned as to leave the length of the field on the side of the union twice the width below it.
To have a ground of red and broad blue saltier thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with five pointed stars corresponding in number to that of the Confederate States, the field to be white except for
the outer half from the union which shall be a red bar the width of the flag.

Source: Sunday issue, 8 July, 1900, The Hatchet, of Washingon, D.C. Reprinted from the
Ohio Valley Manufacrurer newspaper.
Abstract by Harrison Howeth, Lewes, Delaware July 15 , 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017




By a Japanese legend, the origin of tea is thus traced. A Indian prince by name Darma,
of a holy and religious character, visited China in the year 516 A. D. for the purpose of instituting
the celestials in the duty of religion. He led a most abstemious life and denied himself all rest or relaxation of body and mind. At last tired nature rebelled against such treatment, and thoroughly
exhausted, the prince fell asleep. When he awoke he was so mortified that in order to purge himself
of an unpardonable sin, he cut off his eye brows, thinking them the instruments of his crime.

As they fell to the ground, each hair became transformed into a shrub which became known to be tea. Prior to this, tea had been unknown. Darma quickly discovered the agreeable properties of the leaves since they endowed his mind with fresh powers to master abstruse religious principals
and prevented sleep from closing his eyes at opportune times.

He recommended its virtues to his disciples who in turn sand its praises to all whom they met.
In a very short time tea use came general through the Celestrial kingdom, then gradually extended to all parts of the earth.

Darma's memory is perpetuated in Chinese and Japanese drawings by the representation of a
rude figure of an old man standing in water with a reed under his feet and one of his eye brows
sprouting into a tea leaf.

Source: Wilmington Evening Journal, Monday October 26, 1891, abstract by Harrison, 2017.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017



Robert Ke Ching, Sr., owner of the White Chimney Inn at Rehoboth and his head chef,
Moi Ni Ton, were stabbed in an apparent murder suicide case.
Bob Ching, age 59, and Moi, age 73, died at Beebe Hospital before the police could unravel the riddle involved . Investigation is somewhat hampered because the two witnesses speak only Chinese.
Events began in the case when Dr. Stambaugh was called by one of Chings employes about 10:30 am to please come to the Inn at 59 Lake Avenue. Police were summoned and an ambulance crew found Ching in his bed with many stab wounds but was still alive and taken to the Beebe Hospital in Lewes. He later died at 1 pm. Police had break into Moi's room, where he was also in his bed with a large kitchen knife in his stomach, he too was taken to Beebe Hospital in Lewes, where his died before noon of an apparent self inflicted wound.
The motive is puzzling since both were like father and son, being in business for over 30 years together according to Martha Toni Mather a manager for Bob Ching's business. Both lived in rooms above the Inn.
Bob Ching had come to Rehoboth over 10 years ago to open the White Chimney Inn after
having operated a Chinese restaurant, “Bob Chings” in Ocean City, Maryland, and the Seaside at Fenwick Island.
Mr. Ching was native of Honolulu and had been at one time the maitre d' at the New York City “Don the Beachcomber's” .
Ching's twin sons who live in New York City, Robert Ke, Jr., and Raymond, arrived last night at Rehoboth. Robert, Jr., a Harvard Law School graduate is a New York Attorney and Ray is a Wiconsin graduate and entrenched in his fathers business. Ching was a widower and has a brother, Alex, in Honolulu.
Bob Ching was a vibrant, fabulous person. Liked by all locals and summer visitors of Rehoboth Beach. A real restauranteur to say the least. Also, Moi, well knew how to prepare and serve
real fine Chinese meals. There were no better beef and pork Chinese dishes, moo goo gai pan, Chicken Gai Ding, shrimp foo yong, chow mein to be had in Rehoboth Beach.
The word around town for years was 'tragic'.

Sunday, July 2, 2017




When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the
political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation .

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness. Tat to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men , deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the Right of The People to alter or to abolish it and to institute new
Government, laying its foundation on such principals and organizing its powers in such form as to
them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for
light and transient causes, and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more to suffer, while evils are sufferable , than to right themselves by abolishing the form to which that are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpation’s pursuing invariably invariably the same
object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty,
to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government .

The history of the present King of Great Britain , George III, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

To prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the pubic good.

He had forbidden his Government to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance , unless,
suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained and when so suspended he has utterly
neglected to attend them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large district of people unless
these people would relinquish the right of representation in Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, distant from depository of Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with is measures.

He has dissolved Representative house repeatedly for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the Rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time after such dissolution’s to cause others to be elected, whereby
the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihillation , have returned to the People at Large for their exercise, the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States for that purpose of obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners , refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent of Laws for establishing
Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent n his will alone for the tenure of their office and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has in time of peace kept a Standing Army without consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our Laws, giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation. For protecting them by mock trial from punishment for Murders they commit on inhabitants of the States , cutting our
Trade with all parts of the world , imposing Taxes without consent, depriving the benefits of Trial by Jury, transporting us beyond seas to be tried for offences, abolishing the System of English Laws, Establishment Arbitary government, suspended our Legislatures, declaring himself invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here by declaring us out of his Protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coast, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting Armies of foreign mercenaries to complete works of death,
desolation and tyranny.

He has taken our Citizens captive on high seas and cause them to bear arms against us.

He has excited domestic insurrections and endeavored to bring our Indians upon us with their destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these oppressions WE have petitioned for Redress in most humble terms that are answered by repeated injury.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren and warned them of attempts of their Legislature, to extend unwarrantable jurisdiction over us, reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice, they too are deaf to the voice of justice, so we hold them as the rest of mankind, Enemies in War.

We, therefore, Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appeal to the Supreme Judge of mankind , do, in the Name, and by the authority of the
good People of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare.

That these United Colonies are and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from the Allegiance to the British Crown, that all political connection between them and Great Britain be totally dissolved and as Free and Independent States have Power to levy War, conclude peace, establish Alliances and Commerce, and do other Acts they may do as Independent States. We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and Sacred Honor.

Signed, Sealed and Published, July 4, 1776

ABSTRACT: Harrison Howeth,, July 2, 2017 of Roots Digest, Vol 12, issue 181, Eliz Hanebury's “Happy Birthday America” Friday 30 June 2017,

Monday, June 26, 2017


The Double Submarine is a Mouthful
How To Build One

It is a monster contraption, the double submarine, that nosed into sight along the East Coast
late in WWII. The original site of its appearance is a matter of contention but no one argues over its present home base.

Jack Twilley's, “stand up and at 'em snack bar” at Rehoboth Beach , Delaware, a most proper summer resort town. Twilley's little bar opens it's front on Rehoboth's main avenue, very near the
ocean beach and boardwalk. .

It is learned that “submarines” never miss a beach picnic, beer parties, boat trips. Mom's with home freezers buy 'subs' by the dozen to freeze, defrost, and eat, when the gang gathers.

Another trick is to wrap the 'Paul Bunyan' tibits in waxed paper, chill a few hours, slice crossways, eight cut per sandwich , a four bite snack, to serve with your favorite evening cocktail.

Take a long soft finger roll, the longer the better, at least nine inches long, or you can use
French Flute bread or Italian Hard rolls, just whack off nine inch cuts.

Split the bread, open it like a book, and then 'build'. Lay on, in this order, three thin slices of pressed ham, , two thin slices provoloni cheese, lettuce leaves, four slices of tomato. Sprinkle with
thyme, celery seed, salt, flood with olive oil, add onion's, dill pickle's, and slivers of real hot
peppers. You need to set your mouth on fire to really enjoy. Also, it's a bit better when chilled. Then
too, other sliced meats and cheese can be added to an individuals taste buds.

Source: Los Angeles Times, California, “How America Eats”, by Cementine Paddleford. Sunday, August, 7, 1949.

Sunday, June 25, 2017



JUNE 25, 1956

The last Packard, a classic American luxury car, “Ask the Man Who Owns One', rolld off the production line in Detroit, Michigan , on this day.

Brothers, James Ward Packard and William Dowd Packard, both mechanical engineers, built their first automobile, a buggy type vehicle with a single cylinder engine, in Warren, Ohio in 1899.
The Packard Motor Company went on to earn fame early on for a four cylinder speedster by name of
The “Grey Wolf”, in 1904.

The 1916 “”Twin Six” Packard, with a V-12 engine, established itself as the leading luxury car
manufacture of the country.

Wotld War I saw Packard convert to war production earlier than most companies and the “Twin Six” was adapted into the “Liberty” aircraft engine which was by far the most important single output of America's wartime industry.

The large square body and hand finished attention to detail of Packard suggested elegant solidity .

World War II halted consumer car production and post war Packard struggled with Cadiliac and it's V-16 engine.

In 1950, with dwindling sale, Packard merged with Studebaker and this company became the fourth largest car manufacturer in the nation. Eventually they failed to achieve sufficient sales and discontinued build automobiles on June 25, 1956.

Source: June 25 2017 /abstract Harrison

Friday, June 23, 2017


APRIL 1914

Agony was the word. The job required the services of at least two, three will be better,
husky men and is an athletic feat beside which a wrestling match is child's play.

A 'bed wrench' was found at a second hand curiosity shop and took the finder back to his
boyhood days immediately.

Don't know what a 'bed wrench' is? Of course you don't, nobody, born this century does, and that is because they never had to 'put up' a cord bed stead, nor, having had the privilege of sleeping in the 'bed' it held.

Next to putting up the wood stove pipe, or, laying the carpet, having to use a flat iron to drive the leather head tacks, the assembling of a cord bedstead of our granddads time, called for the most peremptory giving of all Christian virtues a vacation until the job is doe.

The cord bedstead was a joy and the favorite bedstead in those days. There are four post, of any height or girth to suit the person or his pocketbook. Anywhere, repeat 'anywhere', from three to four feet from the floor a hole was bored in two sides of each post facing each other when the footboard and headboard post are stood up to be connected. The holes were bored with a thread to take the screw out on the ends of the connecting pieces at the sides and ends of the bedstead.

These connecting pieces were round and on what was to be the top of them when the bedstead was set up was a row of 'pegs' shaped like so many mushrooms. A hole about an inch in diameter run through each of the four connecting pieces . When the bedstead was assembled by the fitting of the connecting pieces into the holes in the post and screwed up tight and in place by means o a stout sti9ck thrust through the holes in the round pieces , the bed was ready to be 'corded up' . This is where
he 'wrench' came into play.

The bed wrench was something like a stout wooden hand vise. The cord, a rope like clothesline
but of good quality, was run around the mushroom like pegs which are a few inches apart , lengthwise and crosswise from connecting piece to connecting piece, like a big meshed net.

The cord could not be drawn taut enough by hand only, so the biggest, srtongest. Meanest, person among the group , grabbed the 'wrench' , tangled it up somewhere, repeat somewhere, in a part of the cord where the tautening up process was to begin and by persistent leverage around and about the bedstead at last wrenched the cord into a condition of satisfactory tautness.

Here the tumult ended. Now don't go away with the idea the work of the setting up of the
cord bedstead was accomplished with the ease and the brief time it takes to tell about it. It generally required two or three capable men to tackle the job in any hope of succeeding with it , for in the way
of refractory disposition and demoniacal perversity the cord bedstead of the old days had the breechey cow in the garden skinned by a mile.

It has been known that the good wife has taken the children to the root cellar while the old man and his help were dallying with the cord bedstead in an effort to set it up, giving their opinion of it as it wobbled and slid and careened and skidded at tense and critical stages of the getting of it together.

Then, when it was all up good and solid, mother would come in the room and put the straw
tick on the web of the bed cord. The tick had a large slit where we filled it with fresh rye straw until it looked like balloon ready to take off. Then tumbled upon the straw tick was the feather bed, two or three feet high, with swelling fluff of geese feathers into which you buried yourself out of sight after climbing in bed. Next the sheets, blankets, quilt and comforter , big bulbous pillows, bed was ready.

That's what a bed wrench is and that is the cord bedstead it wrenched.

Source: Article in Delaware Pilot, 3 April 1914 , by New York Sun / abstract by Harrison Howeth.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


JUNE 22 1611

Henry Hudson, an English sea explorer and navigator, well known for exploring Canada and the northeast of America, the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays early 17th century.

His winter of 1611 was spent trapped by ice in present day Hudson Bay with the ship “Discovery” and its crew which unwilling to sail farther into the unknown, mutinied, and set him, his teenage son and seven supporters adrift in a small open boat.

Henry Hudson, age 46, nor the eight others were never seen again.

In 1609 Hudson had sailed to the Americas, seeking a northwest passage to Asia, and while here he entered the Chesapeake, Delaware and Hudson Bays, discovering the Hudson River. Since his voyage was financed by the Dutch the region was latter claimed by the Netherlands.

His 1610 expedition out of London, financed by some English adventurers, Hudson sailed the “Discovery” across the Aeth

tlantic still seeking the northwest passage. Between Greenland and Labrador entered the Hudson Bay through the Straits of Hudson. After three months of exploration the discovery was found to be too far from sea when winter set in and November the ship was hauled to shore and a winter camp set up. The expedition suffered the extreme cold lacking food or supplies which was held against Henry Hudson and the crew mutinied against him.

When the “Discovery” later returned to England the crew was arrested for the mutiny and Henry Hudson whose discoveries gave England claim to the rich Hudson Bay region, was never seen

Source: day in history /
Abstract 6/22/17 Harrison How

Wednesday, June 21, 2017



A knotted line has a series of evenly spaced knots tied along its length and was attached to a
triangular block of wood.

The calculate a ships speed a sailor using a hourglass as the timer, tossed the end of the line with the wood block overboard. As the line played out into the sea, the sailor counted the number of knots that passed through his hands before the sand in the hourglass timer ran out.

He could than estimate the number of “knots” that his ship was traveling through the waters of the sea. The tides and currents also had to be factored into the calculations which at that time more of an art than a science.

Source: Ben Franklin Voyage London to Philadelphia (1905 Albert Henry Smyth) / Michael Morgan's
Delaware Diary, Delaware Coast Press, June 21, 2017. Abstract by Harrison.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


JUNE 8 1874

Chief Cochise, Apache Indian Chief died in the Chiricahua Reservation in southeastern Arizona on the 8th of June 1874. Very l ittle is known of Cochise's early life but by the mid 19th century he had become the leader of the Chiricahua Apache Indian tribe living in southern Arizona and northern Mexico.
As a leader of the Apache nation who resented the encroachment of settlers to the Indian's
traditional lands he led raids in both Mexico and America. His war with the Americans came mostly by a misunderstanding that happened in October 1860 when a band of Apache's attacked the ranch of an Irish American by name of John Ward, kidnapped an adopted son, by name of Felix Tellez.
Although Ward was not at the ranch during the raids, he believed Cochise had been the leader and demanded the Army rescue the boy and bring Cochise to justice. Lieutenant George Bascom
obliged and took Cochise and a party of Indians , he had invited to a night of entertainment at a stage station, as prisoners, much to the surprise of the Indians.

Cochise told Bascom he had not been responsible for the kidnapping but Bascom ordered
Cochise held a hostage until boy was returned, however, Cochise escaped not being able to tolerate the unjust imprisonment. The next ten years , Cochise and his warriors increased raids on settlement and did battle with soldiers until 1772, when the U. S. offered Cochise a reservation in the southeastern corner of Arizona if they would cease hostilities, to which Cochise agreed , saying “the white men and the Indian are to drink of the same waters, eat of the same bread and be at peace.”

For Cochise this peace did not last long, as in 1874 he became ill with cancer , and died this day in June 8, 1874. His warriors painted his body yellow, black and vermilion , then took his deep into the Dragooon mountains, buried his remains in a rocky crevice at an unknown location, now called “Cochise's Stronghold”

Ten years after Cochises death, the kidnapped boy, Felix Tellez, resurfaced as an Apache speaking scout for the U. S. Army, and reported that not Cochise, but a tribe of Western Apache had kidnapped him.

Abstract 2017, Harrison Howeth – /thisdayinhistory, A&E Television Networks, LLC.

Post: www, 8 June 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Platanus × acerifolia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Platanus × acerifolia
London Plane fruit.png
London plane seed ball
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Platanaceae
Genus: Platanus
Species: P. × acerifolia
Binomial name
Platanus × acerifolia
(Aiton) Willd.
  • Platanus orientalis var. acerifolia Aiton [basionym]
  • Platanus × acerifolia f. pyramidalis (Bolle ex Janko) C.K.Schneid.
  • Platanus × acerifolia f. suttneri (Jaennicke) C.K.Schneid.
  • Platanus × acerifolia var. hispanica auct. non Mill. ex Münchh., nom. dub.
  • Platanus × acerifolia var. kelseyana (Jaennicke) C.K.Schneid.
  • Platanus × hispanica auct. non Mill. ex Münchh., nom. dub.
  • Platanus × hybrida Brot.
Platanus × acerifolia, London plane,[2] London planetree, or hybrid plane, is a tree in the genus Platanus. It is usually thought to be a hybrid of Platanus orientalis (oriental plane) and Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore). Some authorities think that it may be a cultivar of P. orientalis.



London plane in NMSU
The London plane is a large deciduous tree growing 20–30 m (66–98 ft), exceptionally over 40 m (131 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 3 m (10 ft) or more in circumference. The bark is usually pale grey-green, smooth and exfoliating, or buff-brown and not exfoliating. The leaves are thick and stiff-textured, broad, palmately lobed, superficially maple-like, the leaf blade 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long and 12–25 cm (5–10 in) broad, with a petiole 3–10 cm (1–4 in) long. The young leaves in spring are coated with minute, fine, stiff hairs at first, but these wear off and by late summer the leaves are hairless or nearly so. The flowers are borne in one to three (most often two) dense spherical inflorescences on a pendulous stem, with male and female flowers on separate stems. The fruit matures in about 6 months, to 2–3 cm diameter, and comprises a dense spherical cluster of achenes with numerous stiff hairs which aid wind dispersal; the cluster breaks up slowly over the winter to release the numerous 2–3 mm seeds. The London Plane is one of the most efficient trees in removing small particulate pollutants in urban areas.[citation needed]
It shares many visual similarities with Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore), of which it is derived; however, the two species are relatively easy to distinguish, considering the London plane is almost exclusively planted in urban habitats, while P. occidentalis is most commonly found growing in lowlands and alluvial soils along streams.[3]


London plane in Whittier College
The species was formed by hybridization in the 17th century after P. orientalis and P. occidentalis had been planted in proximity to one another. It is often claimed that the hybridization took place in Spain, but it could also have happened in Vauxhall Gardens in London where John Tradescant the Younger discovered the tree in the mid-17th century.[4][5] The leaf and flower characteristics are intermediate between the two parent species, the leaf being more deeply lobed than P. occidentalis but less so than P. orientalis, and the seed balls typically two per stem (one in P. occidentalis, 3-6 in P. orientalis). The hybrid is fertile, and seedlings are occasionally found near mature trees.
Controlled reciprocal pollinations between P. occidentalis and P. orientalis resulted in good yields of germinable seed and true hybrid seedlings. Crosses of both species, as females, with P. racemosa and P. wrightii produced extremely low yields of germinable seed, but true hybrids were obtained from all interspecific combinations. Apomixis (asexual reproduction from non-fertilized seeds) appeared common in P. orientalis.[6]
In 1968 and 1970, Frank S. Santamour, Jr., recreated the P. orientalis, P. occidentalis cross using a P. orientalis of Turkish origin with American sycamores (P. occidentalis). The offspring were evaluated following several years of exposure to anthracnose infection. Two selections, 'Columbia' and 'Liberty', were released in August, 1984.[6][7]


The London Planetree has alternate leaf mosaic, lobed leaf shape, palmate leaf venation, and dentate leaf margins.


This example, Topčider Park, Belgrade, was planted in 1834
Platanus × acerifolia was first formally described in the botanical literature by the Scottish botanist William Aiton in his 1789 work Hortus Kewensis as a variety of P. orientalis.[8] Aiton described this variety with a two-word Latin diagnosis, "foliis transversis", and called it the Spanish plane tree.[9] In 1805, Carl Ludwig Willdenow chose to elevate Aiton's variety to species rank, publishing the new species P. acerifolia in the fourth edition of Species Plantarum.[10][11] The species name was then modified to include the multiplication symbol to indicate its suspected hybrid parentage. The other name commonly used for this taxon, Platanus × hispanica auct. non Mill. ex Münchh., is a nomen dubium based on an uncertain description.[12][13]


Foliage close-up seen near Westminster Abbey
Platanus × acerifolia
Platanus x hispanica - MHNT
Stereo image

[hide]Left frame 
Cambridge Jesus Green avenue RL.jpg
Avenue of London plane trees on Jesus Green.
The London plane is one of 50 Great British Trees The Tree Council selected in 2002 in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.[14] The list specifically mentions Britain's first London plane being in the city of Ely, Cambridgeshire.
The London plane is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution and root compaction, and for this reason it is a popular urban roadside tree. It is now extensively cultivated in most temperate latitudes as an ornamental and parkland tree, and is a commonly planted tree in cities throughout the temperate regions of the world, in London and many other cities.[4] It has a greater degree of winter cold tolerance than P. orientalis, and is less susceptible to anthracnose disease than P. occidentalis. The tree has gained the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain's Award of Garden Merit.[15]
The tree is fairly wind-resistant. However, it has a number of problems in urban use, most notably the short, stiff hairs shed by the young leaves and the dispersing seeds; these are an irritant if breathed in, and can exacerbate breathing difficulties for people with asthma. The large leaves can create a disposal problem in cities. These leaves are tough and sometimes can take more than one year to break down if they remain whole.
London planes are often pruned by a technique called pollarding. A pollarded tree has a drastically different appearance than an unpruned tree, being much shorter with stunted, club-like branches. Although pollarding requires frequent maintenance (the trees must usually be repruned every year), it creates a distinctive shape that is often sought after in plazas, main streets, and other urban areas.

In New York City

According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation the symbol of that organization is a cross between the leaf of the London plane and a maple leaf. It is prominently featured on signs and buildings in public parks across the city. The tree is on the NYC Parks Department's list of restricted use species for street tree planting because it constitutes more than 10% of all street trees.

In Australia

In Australia, the London plane is used extensively as a street tree in major cities, particularly Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The tree is commonly used because of its resilience to warm weather, its benefits as a shade tree, resistance to breakage and tolerance of urban pollution.


When quarter-sawn the timber has a distinctive and highly decorative appearance of dark reddish-brown flecks against a lighter background and is known as Lacewood.[16]

Cultivars and varieties

A house finch eating London plane seeds in Seattle
London plane (Platanus × acerifolia) - note single seed ball per stem: similar to P. occidentalis, not found in all clones
  • Augustine Henry. This is a tall growing variety, with very large, pale green leaves. It produces a strong leader and a cylindrical trunk.[6]
  • Bloodgood, This is one of the first cultivars to be selected for anthracnose resistance. It is a rounded tree with deep green leaves that turn a poor yellow in fall. The plant tolerates poor cultural conditions, including heat, drought and poor soil. Recent observations indicate susceptibility to ozone.
  • Columbia. Resists mildew and anthracnose, this tree has deeply lobed, dark green leaves.[17]
  • Liberty. A U.S. National Arboretum introduction, this pyramidal tree grows vigorously. It shows good tolerance for mildew, anthracnose, heat and drought.[17]
  • Metzam (Metroshade), A new introduction that grows strongly with a pyramidal habit, this cultivar is also said to be disease resistant with lustrous green foliage that emerges with a reddish cast.[17]
  • Mirkovec. Has a dwarf, shrubby habit and unusual variegated lobed leaves with pink, cream and bronze regions.[17]
  • Pyramidalis. A cultivar or cultivar group common in London, with rich glossy green leaves, and a characteristic tendency to produce straight branches, compared to sinuous ones in other forms.[6]
  • Suttneri. Leaves are variegated creamy white.
  • Yarwood. Very resistant to powdery mildew and highly susceptible to anthracnose. Poor structure. Being abandoned in California.[18]