"Reckon I been in mill 2 years. Don’t remember."
Springstein Mill. John Lewis (boy with hat), 12 years old, 1 year in mill. Weaver — 4 looms. 40 [cents] a day to start, 60 [cents] a day now. Brother and mother in mill. Morris Small (boy with cap), “Reckon I been in mill 2 years. Don’t remember.” Chester, S.C., 11/28/1908
In this cartoon from the 1907 off-year election, political cartoonist Clifford Berryman reminds us of how elections reflect the public mood and, thus, of the importance of voting. Illustrated here, William Jennings Bryan, William Randolph Hearst, and President Theodore Roosevelt anxiously calculate the impact of state and local elections on their political futures. The books scattered around the floor suggest that forecasting the consequences of an election is “infinitesimal calculus.” Bryan went on to run unsuccessfully for President the next year, and Hearst ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1909. Roosevelt did not run for reelection and instead went into temporary retirement after his term expired.
Figgerin’ on the Returns by Clifford K. Berryman, 11/7/1907, U.S. Senate Collection, U.S. National Archives (1693465)
From our friends at the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress and their new tumblr!
This kind of mystery meat is more trick than treat!
Halloween is right around the corner, and at the National Archives we are well versed in the creepiest, weirdest records of the Federal government. Here’s one of our favorites that’s sure to make you shudder with fear (or at least skip a meal).
In the mood for more creepy records? See the rest at: Weird Records from the Depths of the Archives
What’s the creepiest food you’ve ever had?
Need a Halloween costume for your pet chicken? Jackson’s patented Eye Protector could be a good start.
Patent of the Month
The National Archives contains many archival gems. To share some of my favorites, I am starting a new feature for the blog, Patent of the Month.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Modern Aviation’s First Fatality
"Bystanders help extricate the mortally wounded US Army (USA) Lieutenant (LT) Thomas Selfridge from the wreck of the Wright Brothers Flyer after its crash at Fort Myer, Virginia (VA). At right, several men attend the injuries of Orville Wright, who lies on the ground at their feet, 09/17/1908”
Lieutenant Selfridge became the first fatality of powered aviation, succumbing to his injuries shortly after this crash. The flight had been part of a series of tests by Orville Wright to demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to carry a passenger.
Happy Birthday, LBJ!
Here’s the first photograph ever taken of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He was born approximately six months earlier, on August 27, 1908, in central Texas. No word on the teddy bear’s photographic history, but at least we know it had nicely brushed fur the day this was taken.
-from the LBJ Library
"Marie Costa, basket seller, in a Cincinnati market. 10 A.M.* Saturday. Cincinnati, OH., 08/22/1908"
Taken by investigative photographer Lewis Hine on August 22, 1908, the photograph is one of a series of black-and-white prints given to the Children’s Bureau by the National Child Labor Committee. The almost five hundred photographs represent a fraction of the approximately 5,000 photographs Hine took for the committee to document working and living conditions for children.
(Ed. note - as the photo is clearly taken at night, we suspect the full caption for this photo originally stated that she had been out selling since 10 A.M.)
Happy National Aviation Day!
Orville Wright takes flight with observer Lt. Frank P. Lahm at Ft. Myer Virginia to win the Army’s prize for sustained flight with a passenger in September 1908.
National Aviation Day was proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt in honor of pioneering aviator Orville Wright’s birthday (August 19, 1871).
“Make America First in the Air" from the series Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities, 1947 - 1984, from the Records of the U.S. Air Force.
Petition of William F. Cody for Return of Certain Property, 08/18/1913
This petition by William “Buffalo Bill” Cody seeks return of personal property held by the court receiver, including Cody’s saddle and buckskin suit. The property had been held for public sale in the bankruptcy case of his “Wild West Show.”
Telegram to Ringling Brothers Shows announcing the sale of property from “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.”, 08/11/1913; and
Telegram from Ringling Brothers to Dewey Bailey, court receiver charged with public sale of assets from “Buffalo Bill’s” Wild West Show., 08/11/1913
From the Bankruptcy Proceedings file of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show from the Bankruptcy Case Files of the District Court of the United States
After 30 years of touring, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s famous “Wild West Show” was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1913. These telegrams announcing the bankruptcy sale (and subsequent response) are from the associated bankruptcy case file.
Patent Drawing for a Staple Machine, 06/23/1903
On June 23, 1903, the Patent Office granted Robert K. Marple’s patent for the staple machine. In his application, he states that “it has as its primary object to produce a simplified machine … and to render the parts readily changeable in order to adapt the mechanism to the character of the work.”
Congress in the Archives will feature monthly staff posts on our blog. Today’s post comes from Center archivist Kristen Wilhelm.
On May 31, 1889, one of the most famous floods in American history ravaged Johnstown, Pennsylvania, leaving 2,209 people dead. Clara Barton, president of the American Red Cross, arrived five days later and stayed until October distributing supplies and proving the relief organization had a peacetime role.
When the Senate introduced a bill granting Barton an annuity for her lifelong work during wars and catastrophes around the world, the citizens of Johnstown rallied to her side. Thirteen years after the flood, 480 signatories from Johnstown petitioned the Senate to pass the bill honoring the woman who did so much to help their crippled town survive disaster. Although Barton never received the annuity, she won the affection and appreciation of many people, the citizens of Johnstown included.
One of several petitions from the citizens of Johnstown, PA supporting the bill authorizing an annuity for Clara Barton, Sen 57A-J47, 6/2/1902, Records of the U.S. Senate.
Washington suffered through many typhoid outbreaks between 1905 and 1909. Sanitation and water systems were frequently overwhelmed. As the “DC inspector” in the cartoon prepares to cite one unlucky citizen for his trash, he assures them that the decrepit municipally-owned property in the background is “immune.”
Untitled, 05/29/1907. From the Clifford Berryman Political Cartoon Collection