100 Years Ago

Clever knock-offs


From a short story in the Times:

"Hand Embroidered Parasols: Clever Woman May Duplicate Expensive Shop Models.

That the parasol must match the gown is no sale dictum for this season, for the parasols do carry the tone of the costume. Also its style of decoration if possible. Embroideries play so important a part in the ornamentation of the summer frock that one sees many parasols carrying out this idea. French knots outline embroidery. Women clever with her needle can duplicate this."

It seems ladies with the sewing talent could make themselves stylish parasols and save money. But I could see where this might go too far, with ladies of the entrepreneurial ilk peddling their handiwork near train stations by lining the insides of their frilly frock coats with knock-off parasols and then flashing their wares to commuters.

75 Years Ago

Great heights

In the Times national news section: "Contests aided by Mrs. Oliver Harriman, New York society leader, and Alfred E. Smith, Jr. were barred from the mails as 'lotteries' in orders signed by Postmaster General Farley. The orders were directed against the National Conference for Legal Lotteries, inc. of which Mrs. Harriman is president and Smith is vice president and counsel."

Mrs. Oliver Harriman's lottery VP, Al Smith, was a three-time governor of New York. Though Smith was a Democrat, he was against President Roosevelt's Depression-era economic policies as bad for business and therefore bad for the job market.

Smith, however, was a friend of FDR's wife Eleanor. Babe Ruth was also a pal of his. The "Sultan of Swat" was married in Ellicott City and Babe's marriage license is displayed at the Howard County Historical Society's bright new digs inside the new Miller Library. (It's on the wall, on the right as you enter their area.)

Oliver Harriman was a cousin of W. Averell Harriman, the latter a D.C. insider for several decades. A politician and businessman, during World War II, when President Roosevelt met with Churchill and Stalin, Averell was there. In the years after WWII, Averell wore a succession of hats, among them the head of the Marshall Plan, ambassador to the Soviet Union and then to Britain, and governor of New York. He was, for many years, also a friend ofPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower.

But my skiing brother clued me in about an Averell project way outside the Beltway, which he and thousands of people have enjoyed, and that was Harriman's development of the Sun Valley ski resort back in the late 1930s.

50 Years Ago

Jackie O, goat 1

"Elkridge Junior 4-H Has 14 New Members


At the meeting of the Elkridge Jr. 4-H club fourteen new members were admitted into the club.

Among those listed were: Sharon Basil, William Brunk, Dawne Buberl, Charles Clark, Berkley Ford, Dennis Jones, Karl Lehr, Richard Pitts, Judith Shehan, Virginia Shehan, Patricia Smith, and Timothy Thompson.

The club discussed plans for their floats for the coming months. Several club members attended the Field Day for Dairy Goats on May 6th. A group of the club members under the leadership of Robert Airey, Junior Leader, took a hike along the nature trail in the state forest."

Howard County youths on the 4-H roles join an interesting list of famous people from across the United States who also joined the club. Astronaut Alan Shepard was a 4-H member and also Maryland's Congressman Roscoe Bartlett.

And there were First Ladies who were 4-Hers — Pat Nixon, from the west, and Rosalynn Carter from the South.

But one first lady I didn't expect on the list was Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis. It's difficult to conceive of this cultured, once Vassar student from New York City going on any field trip to learn the fine points of dairy goat raising.

However, her 4-H background may have helped her as First Lady in several areas, especially when she took on the job of redesigning the famous White House Rose Garden.