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Tidbits from Old Rural New York Newspapers

| 6/17/2009 1:33:19 PM

    1880 New York Tribune front page
The Library of Congress/Chronicling America
The front page of the New York Tribune, Jan. 1, 1880.

What follows are excerpts from vintage newspapers with blogger Sam Moore’s asides set in italics. — Ed.

Automatic Cow-Milker, July 13, 1878
The Automatic Cow-Milker is a sterling-silver tube with highly polished surface, and in all respects a nice piece of work. The tubes are sold in sets of four attached to each other by strips of leather, and seen to be as convenient a contrivance for lessening the labors of the dairy as has been introduced. (A Colonel Weld, who tried the device, wrote: “I have tried the Automatic Cow-Milker (and) it worked well on one cow repeatedly. I have no hesitation saying that the milker is a valuable article in any dairy, especially for cows with sore or wounded teats, and for milking very short-teated cows, and I think it would be particularly convenient for gentlemen having one or more cows, and liable to be left, now and then, without a person to milk them when changing servants.”

(Don't you wonder why a “gentleman” with only one or two cows couldn’t manage to milk them by hand himself?)

Big Profits in Ice, Feb. 5, 1859
Several new ice houses have been erected on the banks of the Hudson during the present winter. They have been, or are being, filled. The season thus far has been unusually favorable. The Kingston Journal says there are 99,000 tons of ice gathered, valued at half a million dollars! If correct, it’s safe to say that more than 300,000 tons are already stored on the Hudson — worth more than a million and a half of dollars! There is certainly a very handsome crop.

Birth of the USDA, May 24, 1862
The bill establishing the Department of Agriculture has passed both Houses of Congress, and only requires the signature of the President to become a law (President Lincoln signed the bill on May 15, 1862). The act creates a new Department, distinct from all others, at the head of which is to be a Commissioner, with a salary of $3,000. (About $64,000 in today’s terms.)

Advice, Jan. 10, 1850
It should be the aim of young men to go into good society. We do not mean the rich, the proud, and fashionable, but the society of the wise, the intelligent, and good.


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