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]

Saturday, May 27, 2017


MAY 26 1927

On this day, Henry Ford and his son Edsel drove the 15 millionth Model T Ford out of the factory, marking the last official day of production.

The Model T , efficient and affordable , was responsible for accelerating automobiles into American society during the first quarter of the 20th century.

Marketed October 1908 , the “Tin Lizzie”, a four cylinder engine, 20 hp, weighing in at 1200 pounds, speeds up to 5 mph, using about 15 to 20 mpg, selling for $850 . It later sold a series with no extras, for $250.

Largely due to the Model T's popularity, the U. S. government , made new road construction
a top priority in the 1920's, and by 1925 Henry Ford delivered an eulogy “ It has stamina and power, the good car before the good roads, broke barriers of rural distance and brought people closer together”. The “Tin Lizzy” was outdated.

The Model 'A' was the replacement marketed in 1927.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Olde Christmas Sussex on Delaware


Olde Christmas Day is what we called it down in Sussex county, on Delaware. Epiphany is what the church calls it, and in England it is better known as “Twelfth Night” . It occurs on January 6th as 'Little Christmas”.

Still today, in Sussex county Delaware, more folk are gathering in reunion , more so, that on the 25th of December. Today, the first person to visit your house must be a man. Be it a woman, you are in for a year of bad luck. Also make sure the gentleman leaves by the same door he used to come in.

also be sure the visitor is entertained to a drink of either Peach brand or Apple Jack as this keeps the visitor in good humor throughout the day and early evening. For best taste the Peach brandy or Apple Jack is to be kept in a earthen jug with a corn cob stopper. One thing for sure, down state Sussex people know how to make the brandy and jack. This is what made the state famous and the recipe is hard to forget.

Children are told that 'all' honest persons are to be n bed the night before Olde Christmas Day, that the cows kneel in their stalls, daffodils sprout and hop vines bloom out for an hour or so. The
“Little Folk” are also out and one needs a lot of Peach and Honey to keep awake for the manifestations.
The real believers are in bed, safe, as long as a broom is in a corner of the room.

On Olde Christmas Day, the children will come back to the farm for a big turkey dinner, turnip greens, hog jowl, and sweet potato pie.

Abstract: Sunday, December 30, 1923, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Harrison Howeth, 2017.


MAY 26 1782

On this day in history, May 25, 1782, American Colonel William Crawford marched his army towards the Ohio River where General George Washington had charged him with an attack on local Indians who had taken sides with the British.

Colonel Crawford was a veteran of Indian warfare during the French-Indian War, Pontiac's Rebellion and Lord Dunmore' s War, a close friend of Washington, came out of retirement , to assist his fellow Virginian in the Revolution.

The expedition ended in a slow harrowing death for Crawford. His supply chain disintegrated and a Wyandot Indian tribe surrounded Crawford and his troops. The Ohio Indians were up in arms because of a recent slaughter at Gnadenhutten, Pennsylvania by some of the troops in Crawford army.
Chief Konieschguanokee took revenge on Crawfords unit, scalping him and his son in law, burning them alive at the stake, 250 others were killed in the encounter.

Crawford was remembered as a martyr , a National Register of historic Places monument marks the spot in memory and several counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania carry his name.

Source: www.history.com/thisdayinhistory. Abstract Harrison Howeth 2017/

Thursday, May 25, 2017



By an Act of Congress, June 26, 1910, the Postal Savings System in designated Post Offices was established. It became effective January 1, 1911.

The Federal Government aimed the legislation toward immigrants to get money out of hiding, attract their money into savings, provide safe depositories to those who had no confidence in American banks and furnish convenient depositories for many working people. Bankers who at first viewed the system as unfair competition soon agreed it brought considerable money out of mattresses and cookie jars.

The law establishing the Postal Savings System directed the Post Office Department to redeposit the money in the local banking system where it earned 2.5% interest of which 2% was paid to depositors. The ½ % was intended to pay for the system operation.

Certificates were issued for proof of deposit. Interest compounded annually. Allowable balance
was first set at $500 but by 1918 had been raised to $2500. Also at first a dollar was minimum deposit and there were 10 cent stamps to be saved until the minimum was raised.

At first deposits were slow but by 1929 $130 million was on deposit and during the 1930's saving spurted to 1.3 billion, 1947 savings were $3.4 billion. By 1964 the deposits had dropped to
$416 million. April 1966 the Post Office Department stopped accepting deposits and officially ended July 1, 1967. At that time there were more than 600.000 depositors with $50 million unclaimed. His was turned over to the Treasury Department to be put in Trust indefinitely. No claims made after 13 July, 1985 have been honored.

Abstract: Harrison Howeth, 2017; Historian United State Postal Service, July 2008

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Eighth Wonder of The World

May 24, 1883, Brooklyn Bridge opens after 14 years under construction and 27 deaths,
connecting the cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. Thousands of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island residents turned out to witness the dedication ceremony presided over by the United States President Chester A. Arthur and New York State Governor Grover Cleveland.

The bridge was the design of the late John a. Roebling and is the largest suspension bridge
ever built to date. Roebling was born in Germany in 1806, studied industrial engineering in Berlin and when age 25 immigrated to western Pennsylvania where he became an unsuccessful farmer and later moved to Harrisburg where he took the job of a civil engineer who promoted the use of wire cable and soon established a successful wire cable manufacturing business.

He earned a reputation of being 'the' designer of suspension bridges which have become widely in use but were known to fail to high winds and overloading. Roebling is credited with the technology , a stabilizing truss, which did indeed stabilize the whole structure. This idea was used to build bridges at Niagara Falls and Cincinnati.

The state of New York awarded Roebling the contract to design and construct the 1595 foot bridge to connect Brooklyn and Manhattan but just prior to the start of construction, in 1869 , while taking a few final compass readings across the East River a boat mishap smashed one of his feet and within three weeks, he died of tetanus and became more than two dozen people who would die building his bridge.

Roebling's 32 year old son, Washington A. Roebling, took over as chief engineer since he had helped his father design the Brooklyn Bridge and assisted with several bridge construction jobs.

The two granite foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge were built in timber caissons sunk in 44 feet of water on the Brooklyn side and on the New york side, in 78 feet of water, and were pressurized with compressed air, allowing underwater construction. At that time very little was known about the risk of working under such conditions. Hundred of workers suffered Compression sickness or 'bends', and several had died. Washington Roebling was one himself and in 1872 became bedridden from the condition.

However, Roebling continued to direct operations from his bedside at home, his wife, Emily, would carry his instructions to the workers. During 1877, Washington and Emily, moved to a home with a view of the bridge.

Washington Roebling gradually improved but he remained partially paralyzed for life.

On May 24, 1883, Emily Roebling, carring a symbol of victory, a rooster, in her lap, was given the first ride over the completed bridge. Within the next 24 hours , more than 250,000 people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on the broad promenade above the roadway, designed by John Roebling, solely for the enjoyment of pedestrians.

Abstract: Harrison Howeth, 2017: www.history.com/this day in history, brooklyn bridge/24 May 1883

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 23 In History. Bonnie & Clyde. Bandits

MAY 23 1934

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, outlaw fugitives, were killed in a police ambush near Sailes, in NW Louisiana, a good ways east of Shreveport on highway 154 where it intersects with highway 516, by a contingent of police officers of Texas and Louisiana, who awaited for them to drive by, then, in a two minute fusillade of 127 rounds fired at their stolen automobile, killing both outright.

Bonnie Parker had met the charismatic Clyde Barrow in Texas when she was 19 years old, and married at 16 to a husband who was serving jail time for murder. When Barrow was imprisoned for robbery, Parker visited him everyday, one time smuggled a hand gun to him, which helped his escape .
Soon caught in Ohio, return to jail, paroled in 1932, immediately he and Parker began a life of crime together. Over the next two years, with various accomplices, they robbed banks and stores across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri , New Mexico and Louisiana.

The Barrows Gang, Raymond Hamilton, W. D. Jones, Henry Melvin, Barrows brother, Buck his wife Blanch, to law enforcement agents, were cold blooded criminals, who did not hesitate to kill anyone who was in their way. They were held responsible for 13 deaths, nine of which were police officers. However, to a large portion of the American public, the dangerous outlaw couple were mixed with a romantic view as “Robin Hood” like folk heroes.

Also most captured in 1933 with surprise raids on hideouts in Joplin and Platte City, Missouri, where Buck Barrow was killed in one, and Blnch arrested , Bonnie and Clyde escaped once again.
In early 1943 the killed another officer and shot more with machine guns while helping Hamilton escape the Eastham Prison Farm in Texas. The Texas Prison officials had enough, they hired a retired Texas police officer, Captain Frank Hamer, a special investigator , who in three months had trace the couple to Louisiana, a rather remote area near Sailes, set up an elaborate ambush , and filled the pair with bullets, a hundred and seventy two of them.

Source: This Day In History, May 23, 1934 , www.history.com : Abstract Harrison Howeth, 2017. May 23.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ringling Brothers and Geroge Washington


A few remarks about the big shows and the 'Father of Our Country', George Washington, that need to be brought to the attention of today's America, as Ringling Brothers give their last show ever.

Abstract of an article on Thursday, November 8, 1894 of the Daily Commercial Herald, in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The greatest of all shows, the biggest of all shows, the best of all shows, call out the advertizements, The Ringling Brothers Shows, are touring Mississippi for their first time ever.

They will draw more people from out of town than did the Civil War siege, and their show will be bigger, funnier, more pleasant and inviting than that was.

Ringling Brothers shows are, out of the question, a tremendous organization which will well repay the cost of seeing. They will come to the Delta loaded on four great trains and in crossing the Mississippi, the father of waters, test the ingenuity and capacity of the transport boat and its people to get them over in good time.

Washington's crossing the Delaware won't be a circumstance to Ringling's crossing the
Mississippi and a bet is, ten to one, that he would have stopped over to visit the greatest show on earth before or after his show with the Hessian's at Trenton. But now, Washington was not in on all that we are on to. Washington never saw a railroad train, he never saw a steam boat, nor a telegraph station to send a telegram. There are a good many things Washington was not on to., the telephone, a typewriter, nor electric light. George never read the Commercial Herald, but above all he never saw a Ringling Brothers main street parade or show.

Washington fought and won battles with less soldiers that there are people hired by Ringling, they have perhaps one thousand, and if he had the three hundred and fifty horses the big show has, he would have made short work of the enemy, being so well equipped. Come to think of it there was no elephant in this country in Washington's day.

In a good many ways the history of Washington's conquering army and Ringling's shows are alike. Both were raised from a little straggling unorganized nucleus to be a great power and to take first place of the foremost and greatest.

Harrison Howeth, 2017: Abstracts of Daily Commercial Herald, Vicksburg, Mississippi, November 8, 1894.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Disgustingly Gross


An 1870 London Daily News Item gives an account of the eating of a French soldier by Kanaks cannibals.

If anyone of us looks to be eaten by cannibals, he may wish to be informed just how he will be cooked. The savages who might eat him are by no means devoid of refinements in culinary disposition.

Sometime in 1870 some French soldiers were taken prisoners by the Kanaks tribe and one of the Frenchmen was killed and eaten.

The victim is first decapitated, the body is then hung by the feet for an hour to allow the blood to run out. While waiting for this the cannibals are digging a yard wide hole in the ground a yard and a half deep that is lined with stones , then in the midst is built a fire. When the fire has burned the wood and glows with the heat, more stones are added.

The man is cleaned out, divided into foot long pieces, hand and feet are thrown away as worthless, he foot long pieces are placed on large tree leaves such as found in tropical forest, surrounded with coconut, bananas, and other plants known for their delicious flavors, then wrapped tightly, the fire is removed from the stone pit, the wrapped meat placed in the hot stones and left to cook for another hour.

The tribal women do not join with the warriors in this feast, only men are allowed to partake of so rare a delicacy.

Abstract: The Star Democrat of Easton, Maryland, taken from the London Daily Times was the source.



More and more is made of Decoration Day as the years go by and the time is not far distant when the occasion will be a legal holiday as generally enjoyed and respceted as the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day.

The day is largely devoted to processions and the strewing of flowers than to a recital of the great deeds of courage , self sacrifice , suffering and death which are insoparaly associated with all memory of the buried heros.

Perhaps this will be changed after the story of the Civil War by vertue of its age becomes novel again to generations yet to be.

We hope that it will be changed. It is a gracious and beautiful act to strew flowers upon the soldiers graves but it is our sacred duty to tell, again and again , so that it will never be forgotten nor less thought of , the story of the of the war for the Union and Confederacy and the brave, consciously, courageously faced and met death because of their love of their ideas.

Let us today, while honoring the heroic dead , remember the ones who still live among us, the mothers and widows, of men who fell at the front.

The county can never repay the men and women who saved it from disruption . Let there be flowers and flags until the end f time.

Source: Wilmington Evening Journal, Wednesday, May 39, 1888, Wilmington Delaware. Abstract May 20, 2017, Lewes, Delaware, Harrison Howeth.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Rosa 'Cecile Brunner' , also known as Mlle Cecile Brunner,  Sweetheart Rose,  Malteser Rose, or Mignon, is a light pink polyantha rose bred in France Marie Ducher  and introduced by her son i law, Joseph Pernet Ducher  in 1881. It's parents are a double flowered R multiflora and a hybrid tea rose, either ' Souvenir d'un Ami'  or,  a seedling of "Mme de Tartas". It is not clear if the rose was named after the sister ( 1853 -  1927) or a daughter (1879)of Ulrich Brunner. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017



This is the story behind the development and the struggles her inventors and crew faced.

Horace Lawson Hunley, the Collector of Customs at New Orleans. Louisiana, wealthy lawyer and planter, very early in the Civil War realized a necessity of keeping the Confederate supply lines from Europe open. Union ships were now in blockade of Southern ports. It was Hunley who had ideas of new innovative technology which could break the stronghold of the Union blockade.

The fall of 1861, Hunley collaborated with James McClintock and Baxter Watson, inventors, and built a underwater vessel and by February 1862 the small, three man crew submersible vessel was ready for testing. Christened the “Pioneer” she proved to be seaworthy but needed minor changes to prevent leakage. Because of Union forces which were quickly advancing , before further experiments could be made in Lake Pontchartrain, Confederates had to scuttle the submarine in a burning pile of cotton bales.

Undaunted, McClintock, Watson and Hunley, continued with design updates and experiments. They had made attempts to power the vessel with steam or electric, but it was decided to keep the man power operated propeller shaft first designed. As this prototype was being towed toward Fort Morgan, high winds and heavy seas cause her to sink but with no loss of life.

Construction of the third submarine was made possible by financial help of a Mobile, Alabama group of engineers. This underwater craft would become the Hunley, and was designed under direction of James McClintock and Lieutenant W, A. Alexander. She weighed 7-1/2 tons. 39 feet, 5 inches long, 3 feet, 10 inches in width, powered by a hand cranked propeller shaft to a speed of 4 knots. The crew required was nine men.

Hunley was built using the steam boiler of a locomotive with a cylindrical structure added for navigation. The Hunly submerged by filling ballast tanks with water and came to the surface by pumping the water out. That it had no source of fresh air was a drawback as she needed to come up to surface when air was needed. The major weapon was the torpedo spur, filled with 90 pounds of black powder, which was used to ram the target ships hull and released. Only after the submarine was a safe distance back, were the explosives detonated.

July 31, 1863, the Hunley was tested again on the Mobile River before a crowd of high ranking military officers. Her target was an old flat boat and the Hunley disappeared below the surface of the water , then there was a loud concussion. The flat boat was gone, the submarine surfaced, completing her first successful test.

Charleston harbor was the chosen target, hoping to break the Union blockade. The Hunley went into action for a night time attack on a Union war ship. As fate would have it, the crew never had the chance to prove themselves as the officer in charge, accidentally, triggered the 'dive' and the submarine went below with its hatch open. Many of the crew were drowned.

Just days after this fatal accident the Hunley was salvaged from the harbor bottom and refitted. This time Horace Hunley decided to be at the helm . Again, fate went against her, on a routine test dive, the vessel sank, October 13 1863. All aboard were lost, including Horace Hunley who was at the helm.

Once again, retrieved, repaired and modified and a volunteer only crew was ordered by General P.G.T.
Beauregard. . A crew of volunteer stepped forward immediately, Lieutenant George E. Dixon , a combat veteran, wounded at Shilo, took the command. With commanding officer Dixon at the helm and her new crew, the Hunley began patrols off Sullivans Island and record show Dixon and his men went on twenty off shore missions, several miles out at sea.

Hunley entered combat 17 February 1864, the crew had targeted a sloop of war, USS Housatonic, on the blockade line at Breach Inlet, South Carolina , Early evening, a sailor thought he saw a dolphin, another said it was a log, however, it was to late to give alarm, The Housatonic being alarmed tried to get away from the submarine but Dixon had mounted the charge into the rear quarters of the ship , reversed only 80 feet, detonated and tore a hole in the Housatonic hull, which sank within five minutes with a loss of five drew members.

Confederate lookouts stationed on shore sighted a blue light , the signal that the mission was accomplished , built a fire on the beach to guide the submersible home. Hunley never returned.

Theories abound as to what actually happened to the Hunley. Was a glass porthole shot out by the Union sailors, did the explosion pop rivets of the hull or did a crew member open the hatch too soon to send the blue signal.?

August 8 2000, the Confederate submarine, H. L. Hunley, was pulled from the murky depths of the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of Sullivans Island, South Carolina , in some 27 feet deep water , 136 years after it sunk during the Civil War.

Abstract of an newspaper article the Tyrone Pennsylvania, Tyrone Daily Herald, October 5, 2000, by
Dee E. Blazier , from information received from descendents of Civil War Veterans.
Harrison Howeth, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017



Early colonists of America were generally able to protect themselves with great vigilance against the dangers of the Indians. One exception of this was the Plymouth Colony and the chief Native American of the New England territory, Massasoit.

Shortly after the founding of this colony, Massasoit sent repentativesto the Pilgrams to assure them of his friendly disposition and to make a treaty between them. This treaty is known to be the oldest act of diplomacy recorded in New England and it was sacredly kept for 54 years, never being relaxed

Massasoit's village was rather far distance west of Plymouth Colony, on the Bristol peninsula's Warren River, at the springs which carry his name and feed the river. Massasoit often used this location to entertain distinguished guest. The town of Warren, Rhode Island, now sits there.

A delegation from Plymouth Colony was sent to his village to pay a visit to show him their appreciation, and on the second day of their trip were informed that he had died., but upon reaching his residence, they found him alive but seriously ill. The Plymouth Colony governor Winslow says “When we came thither were found his home full of men so that we could not get in at once, which were making disturbing noise that bothered both us and the sick man”. The white men administered to him and he soon recovered.

Massasoit, upon recovery said “ I see the that the English are my friends and love me, I will never forget the kindness they have shown me”.

The Massasoit family , was his wife, two brothers, three sons, two sons' wives and a grandson.
One son was named Mooanum, another was Pernetcom. Soon after their father died they both went to Plymouth Colony an request that they be given English names. The English Court named them Alexander and Phillip. Alexander became Chief Sachem on the death of his father, but soon died and Phillip assumed the sachemship and became well known and waged the “King Phillip War”. He did not possess the peaceful disposition of his father.

It was well that Massasoit lived between the Pilgrims and the powerful Narragansetts Tribe under Camonicut who had shown a determination to attack and dispel Plymouth Colony, prevented only by Massasoit. He was just, humane, beneficent, true to his word and in every respect and honest person. His personal appearance was noble and majestic and exceedingly dignified. Physically he was a large man, strong and well proportioned .

Massasoit died in the autumn of 1661, about the age of 80 and all who knew him mourned his death, knowing they had lost a true and valued friend.


Abstract: Harrison Howeth, 2017, Pittsburgh Daily News, Friday November 3, 1916.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


1 OCTOBER 1891

RFD service began in the United States in the late 19th century to deliver mail to rural farm
families living in more remote homesteads who prior to RFD had to pick up mail themselves at sometimes distant post offices or hire carriers to make delivery.

The proposal to offer free rural delivery was not universally embraced by local shop keepers and the private mail carriers who feared a loss of business. Store operators worried it would stop the farmers weekly visits to town to obtain goods and merchandise, and catalog merchants, such as Sears & Roebuck might present significant competition

It was 1893 when legislation mandated the practice presented by Georgia Congressman
Thomas Watson, even then implementation was slow and not generally adopted in the United States
Post Office until 1902

Postmaster General John Wanamaker was in favor of RFD along with man thousands living in rural communities wanting inexpensive mail service. The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, the nations oldest and largest agricultural organization, gave significant support to RFD.

The birthplace of RFD has many referrals, Fayette county Indiana, Milton Trader, farmer, president of the Indiana Grange, advocated the idea in 1880 through thr National Grange networks.
Jefferson county West Virginia , Charlestown, Halltown, and Uvilla, post offices, experimented the idea, October 1, 1891

1896 RFD became official with 82 routes in operation. A massive undertaking for the next several years, which remains the largest and most expensive endeavor ever instituted bu the USPS.
Parcel service came in 1913 allowing delivery of newspapers and magazine.

1930 found 43000 or more rural routes serving 6,875,400 families or 25,472,000 people.

Abstract: Harrison Howeth from Wikipedia.org WWW