September 2007

Short Takes
How To Tell The Difference Between Boys and Girls

Take a look at the three photos of infants below. They are all wearing dresses so they are all girls; Right?

Not so. From the 1600's on, Americans under the age of 5 wore dresses. It did not matter whether they were boys or girls. One reason for what seems bizarre today, back then, infants weren't potty trained by age 2 or so like today. Rather it was closer to age 5 by the time potty training was successful. Boys wore dresses to make it easier to change their diapers as there were no long pants to remove before changing the diaper. This practice continued until the 1920's!

So, in a pre-1930's photo, how do you tell which ones are boys and which ones are girls? The girls had their hair parted in the center. Boys had their hair parted either on the left or right side. Based on this fact, in the images below, which one(s) are male and which one(s) are female?

A Strange Paradox

Up until the 1930's, doctors advised that people should only bathe as few times as possilbe - maybe once a month. In addition, they should bathe as quickly as possible. (Showers were not commonplace then.) The reasoning behind this is that many doctors thought that sitting in a tub of water for very long, the body organs became water logged which therefore affected your health.

At the same time, doctors were advising that people should go swimming as much as possible because it was great exercise for the human body to maintain health. I guess that since the body was almost constantly on the move when swimming, the body organs did not become water logged.

It Broke Up a Boring Day

It was the summer of 1966 and I had just graduated from high school. My mother, step dad and myself were traveling out west. In Wyoming, out in the middle of the "sticks," we stopped for gas at a true "one horse" town. The town existed of one combination building; A gas station, general store and hotel all in one. As we got out of the car, my mother indicated that she needed to use the restroom. Being in the middle of nowhere, there were two out houses - one for men and the other for women. As my mother was walking towards the restroom, the gas station attendant asked my stepfather if his wife could take a joke. He indicated yes. Then the gas station atendant took us into the office and picked up a microphone. He patiently waited for the right moment, turned the microphone on, and stated "Hey lady. Move over. I'm painting down here!" The outhouse door flew open, my mother was trying to pull her pants up while running down the path. The gas station attendant related to us that since they were so far away from a large city and couldn't get good reception, they had no television or radio, so this was their entertainment. Update

From August 25 through September 1, I traveled 2,223 miles by going to Tennesee, Kentucky, and Ohio, to shoot panoramas. The following panoramas were shot:

  • Henry Clay Estate, Lexington, Kentucky
    • Exterior of home and out buildings
    • Interior of the main home
    • Grave/Monument
  • Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greeneville, Tennessee
    • Exterior of the home
    • Interior of the home
    • Grave/Memorial
  • Davy Crockett Boyhood Home, Morristown, Tennesee
    • Exterior of log cabin - two viewpoints
  • William Howard Taft Home
    • Exterior of home
    • Interior of home
  • William McKinley, Canton, Ohio
    • Exterior of Grave Memorial
    • Interior of Grave Memorial
    • Exterior of Presidential Library and Museum
    • Presidential Artifacts Room of the Museum
  • William McKinley, Niles, Ohio
    • Exterior of home
    • Interior of home
    • Exterior of Monument
  • James Garfield National Historic Site, Mentor, Ohio
    • Exterior of home
    • Interior of home
  • James Garfield Grave/Memorial, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Exterior of monument
    • Interior of monument
    • Exterior of receiving vault
  • John D. Rockefeller Grave, Cleveland, Ohio
    • 360 degree panorama of the grave (I didn't know that Rockefeller lived in Cleveland, did you?)

A total of 1,860 individual photos were taken. It will take months before all of the above panoramas are on the Web site.

One of the sites on my list to photograph was the James Garfield Grave/Memorial in the Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. As I entered the cemetery, there were signs indicating which way to turn to get to it. As I rounded towards the back of the cemetery, I noticed what looked like a church and drove right on by still looking for the monument. The arrows indicating where to go lead me back to the "church." I parked, but not being sure if this was the monument or not, I left my camera gear in the car. As I entered the building, I discovered it WAS the Garfield Monument. What I saw as I entered the doors just about blew me away! The main floor of the interior is decorated with elaborate mosaic tiles, marble columns, and colorful leaded glass windows. The focal point on the main level is a larger-than-life statue of President Garfield.The building is 180 feet tall and about 100 feet across. There is a second floor balcony that visitors may access.

In the meantime, below is a photo of the interior of the James Garfield Grave/Monument in Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio. Click the image to see the photo in a larger size as well as other photos of the interior.

August Contest

GRAND PRIZE QUESTION: Who was the first United States Supreme Court chief justice?


ALTERNATE PRIZE QUESTION: What was the United States first National Park?


One-hundred-three people entered the contests. forty-nine had the incorrect answer or incorrect subject heading. Many of these answered the Grand Prize question but selected one of the Alternate Prizes as well as others the other way around. One entered 2 weeks after the deadline. All prizes were claimed.
The August contest winners were:
  • Timothy Driscoll - West Virginia
  • Knicksfan - New York (No name was supplied.)
  • William Donahue - Massachusetts
  • Hannah Beck - Connecticut
  • Vincent Amato - Maine
  • Bob Milton - Alabama
  • Steven Kalan - California

This Issue's Questions:

To enter the Grand Prize Contest, answer the question: Who was the first president to wear long pants in the White House? (Up until this period, men wore knickers that came to just below the knees.)

To enter the Alternate Contest, answer the question: Which president was the first to be elected that had been divorced prior to being elected?

Contest Rules

  • Contest entry deadline is Monday,September 17, 2007. Later entries will be disqualified. Winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the contest deadline. Winners' names and states will be published in the next issue of the newsletter.

  • Subscribers may enter both contests, but can only win one prize.

  • To enter either contest, email your answer to

  • If entering for the Grand Prize, enter "Contest Entry Grand Prize" for the subject heading.

  • If entering for alternate prize contest, enter "Contest Entry" for the subject heading.

  • Alternate contest entries with prize desires such as "any prize is OK," "any of the historic newspapers" etc. will be disqualified. You MUST select ONE prize. The Grand Prize is considered as only one prize.

  • If entering both contests, send separate emails.

  • From subscribers entering the alternate contest, submitting the correct answer, correct subject heading, submission received by the deadline, as well as advising which ONE alternate contest prize they want to win, SIX will be selected to win ONE of the alternate contest prizes below.

  • From subscribers entering the Grand Prize contest, one will be selected to win the prize from those submitting the correct subject heading, correct answer, and by the deadline.

  • Subscribers to this newsletter that won a prize in my trivia contests in the last 90 days are ineligible to win.
Grand Prize
(One winner will be selected)

Star Wars T-Shirt
Size Medium
(Only 1 T-shirt - Image shows both sides)
Alternate Contest Prizes
(Only one of each offered)

DVD Movie
Who Killed Doc Robbin (1948)
After Hal Roach's Little Rascals Ceased
He Gathered a New Gang and Made This Movie

DVD Movie
Hometown Story (1951)
Early Marilyn Monroe Movie

Original Historic Newspapers

Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) historic newspaper from 1842

Original Manchester American & Messenger (New Hampshire) historic newspaper from 1853

New York Tribune historic newspaper from 1860

Original New Hampshire Patriot historic newspaper from 1866
That's it for this issue.

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