100 Years Ago

Hail to red hats

In the Times news briefs:

"Hail 16 inches deep is reported in Frederick, upper Howard and Carroll counties last Wednesday night.


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"The hail storm Wednesday night killed 500 English sparrows in part of Baltimore county. Let's have another hail storm."

This sounds harsh, but it would be many decades until PC — political correctness — was invented. And, since at that time people were slaughtering beautiful, exotic birds at an alarming rate, the sequitur is that little brown sparrows would rate little compassion.

"The fine sorrel mare used in the delivery wagon of Charles A. Bute, the merchant, dropped dead on the Frederick road, Sunday last.

"Please help us cuss the Patapsco Electric Light Co., which has an unhappy way of cutting off the power to our type setting machines, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, just when our greatest rush is on.

"The latest style as seen on the streets of Ellicott City; Red hat, pink waist, fancy skirt, blue stockings and white shoes and the girl encased in this rig was pretty."

Today, it may be that a granddaughter of this girl in the red hat is a 70-something gal who can also be seen in a red hat as member of the Red Hat Society, where not only the young can make a fashion statement when out and about town.

75 Years Ago

Short chicks

Poultry Supplies Down; More Eggs

"U.S. Bureau Sees Decline in Prices During Year, Supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture – WNU service.

"Relatively short supplies and high prices for poultry are in prospect, says the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in its annual outlook report.

"Eggs, however, will increase in supply and decline in price. There will be an increased hatch of young chicks in the spring. Prices of both poultry and eggs will decline in the latter half of the year. There are more young chickens in farm flocks now than a year ago, but poultry receipts are not likely to reflect fully this increase until late next spring, because of a tendency to save a larger than usual proportion of pullets for layers.

"Chicks With Short Legs: Newly hatched chicks with unusually short and shaky legs have been a puzzle to poultry men. Now poultry specialists of the United States Department of Agriculture have found that short-legged chicks often come from eggs laid by confined hens."

50 Years Ago

By any other name

Nine CD Shelters in Larger Buildings

"The complete result of the Federal Fallout Shelter survey shown that 9 shelter spaces may be available in the larger buildings of Howard County, the Howard County Civil Defense Office announced recently.

"Survey statistics have been furnished to this Office as a basis for interim local shelter system planning. … Phase II of the survey will include an analysis of special facilities such as caves, mines tunnels, subways and other subsurface enclosures to identify additional potential shelter space. …

"Shelter areas which meet Federal standards become eligible for licensing as public shelters and for stocks of food, water and other supplies for emergencies. The Federal government will furnish these supplies to Howard County for placement in designated shelter areas."

At that time, those buildings here and there labeled with the Civil Defense symbol we called "bomb shelters."

"The Bomb" was of great concern, and the fact that an atomic bomb would in reality explode in the air and not in contact with the ground was to many citizens just a technicality, when faced with the subject of possible annihilation.

I'm sure that government agencies veered away from the use of the word "bomb" in favor of the more benign sounding, "Civil Defense" or "fallout" shelters.