Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sticky stuff story

Original Scotch Tape tin
  On September 8, 1930 Mr. Richard Drew, an employee of 3M, received a patent for a tape that could be used to seal a newly manufacture transparent material called cellophane.
  The original packaging appears to be like a shoe polish can, but it was shaped to hold one roll of tape.  I am sure the price of the "first of it's kind" tape was initially expensive, and for industrial use.
  The name "Scotch" was used because a previous invention for tape was so costly that a customer was outraged enough to tell a 3M salesman to "take it back to your Scotch bosses"; meaning that Scotch people are known to be 'thrifty' or cheap.
  Scotty McTape a cartoon spokesperson for Scotch Tape made his first appearance in 1950, some of you may remember him.  Since my family had no television until 1955 I don't recall seeing Scotty, but I'm sure he was around.
  I also don't need to tell you that this has been a very popular and profitable invention.  The 3M Company is generous with employees who invent new products - they just don't "steal" them as other companies do.  Maybe that's what led to their success.
Scotty McTape

Friday, September 7, 2012

What the heck is a Thylacine?

In the US National Zoo 1906 - click to enlarge
On September 7, 1936 the last Thylacine, Benjamin, died in zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.  The curious critter was the last known carnivorous marsupial.  They lived in Australia and New Zealand.
  Competent hunters they roamed the sparsely populated back country, their common names were Tasmanian Wolf, or Tasmanian Tiger.
  It was odd, even for a marsupial, in that both sexes had pouches, the male pouches acted as a cover for the reproductive organs while running through the brush, the female pouch was used like a kangaroo does.
  You never know what's out there.
A Thylacine family, Baumanns Zoo, Hobart, Australia 1910

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Louisa Ann Swain, et al

  September 6, 1870 is one of the important days in history if you are an American Citizen.  She holds one indelible place in United States history.  She was the person who became the first woman to legally cast a vote.
  On that morning she dressed, put on her apron and bonnet and took her bucket to town to purchase yeast.  On her way she saw a sign that indicated it was a polling place, she walked in and cast her ballot, having no idea that she was first.
  Described as a grey haired housewife, with a Quakerish look, she has been commemorated in our history.  I thought you should know, if you didn't already.
   The Nineteenth Amendment to the U S Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, it allows women to vote, anywhere in the Country.  My own mother turned 7 years old 9 days later.
  This is a Presidential Election year, any citizen who does not have an intellectual disability, or is not (in some states) a felon is usually eligible to vote.  Register to vote now at your town/city offices, if you are not already registered.  Then on Election Day join me at the polls.  It is not a Citizens right to vote it is a Citizens responsibility!
  If you have not voted you can not complain about who is in office, you put them there because you didn't care!
A poster for passing the 19th ammendment,
which was ratified the following day in 1920.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A starting point

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
  On September 5, 1927 the short film "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" in "Trolley Troubles".  This short was produced by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks and released by Universal Studios.
  The was the "official" start of a career for Walt Disney which, as we all know, exploded and his work has become a standard by which others are judged.
  Oswald is still around, though not seen much.  Disney Studios and Universal both claimed ownership and at one point it was an exclusive Universal property.  It was passed back to Disney by some agreement.
  Oswald was also seen as a comic book series drawn by Walter Lanz (think Woody Woodpecker), but had a short run.
  So everyone starts somewhere, in the case the career of Walt Disney.
"Africa Before Dark" another release in 1927

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A happy day for Mama

My mother and me (the geezer hisself) about 1945
  The day after Labor Day in 1946 was the day my mother must have prayed would never end.  I started school, the first grade, at age 5 in grade one.  I walked up the road with my brother, who was seven, it's about a half mile.
  Her instructions to my brother was not to walk with me, or show me the way, it was "and, make sure he gets there!".  You see, well to put it mildly, I was ADDHD before those words existed.  Hyper would have been a mild term, and the ADD part is still with me.  I was always a good worker because my work was finished as fast as I could - - so I wouldn't forget what the "boss" wanted.
North Lebanon, Maine School
  I started on the first floor, there were 4 grades on each, where the green door is now.  There were wooden floors that had been oiled, by my grandfather, over the summer.  I can still smell that odor in my head - it's good, a woodstove for heat, and an 'outhouse' bathroom in back of the wood shed.
  Frank, Eldon, Shirley, John and Joyce joined me as Grade One, we got our new Workbooks and Mrs. Pierce went on the greet Grades Two, Three and Four.  That's it, just four rows of desks a teachers desk up front, blackboards on one wall, windows on the other.  We did have electricity.
  Life was pretty simple in 1946.  Life was good (just a little penned up).
This is Wesley Gene, he is now two days old, my newest grandchild.  His mother had a good day yesterday too.  Welcome to the family Wes, and welcome to the world.
  Wes and his mother, Rhonda, reside with daddy in Ocala, Florida.

Monday, September 3, 2012

USS Shenandoah ZR-1

USS Shenandoah  click for photos
  The Shenandoah was the U S Navys first rigid airship.  Constructed at the Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, New Jersey of a frame made at the Naval Air Factory in Philadelphia; the ship was commissioned on August 20, 1923.
  The frame was made of a special alloy of aluminum and copper, the gas cells, that held the helium, was made of goldbeaters skins which where the large intestines of cattle which had been processed.
Goldbeaters skins refers to the use of these skins in the manufacture of gold leaf.
  When ready for service the Shenandoah was 680 feet long, with a beam of 78 feet and a height of 93 feet.  She was armed with six 7.62mm Lewis machine guns and carried 3000 pounds of bombs.
  In 1925 the Navy re-worked the USS Patoka to be the first Airship Service Vessel, that would allow the Shenandoah and others to patrol around the world.  The Shenandoah had already made cross country flights to California and on to Washington to test mooring masts at different locations.
Attached to the USS Patoka AO-9
  On September 3, 1925, while on a cross country flight, Shenandoah encountered a squall front over Noble County, Ohio (Ava, Ohio) and crashed.  Twenty-nine men survived the wreck and 14 crew members, including the Commanding Officer, perished.  Today the schools and a park in Ava, Ohio are named Shenandoah in respect and memory of the lives lost.
The wreckage of USS Shenandoah ZR-1

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I thought it was longer ago than that photo
  It was September 2, 1963 and CBS made a giant move, Walter Cronkite and the network began to broadcast for 30 minutes.
  Until that time the network news for all networks had been a fifteen minute broadcast after 15 minutes of local news.
  It seems longer ago than that to me.  Now we live in a 24 hour a day news cycle that repeats, and adds on, on the net, on cable TV and, for some people, even on the telephone.
  I am not convinced it's worth it and I will admit to being a "news junkie", but could my time be better spent?