Tidbits from the National Stockman & Farmer

Reader Contribution by Sam Moore
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Here are some random tidbits from the Feb. 16, 1918, issue of the National Stockman & Farmer, that was published in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Under the heading, Horse Notes:

An attempt is being made in the New York State Legislature to turn the Harlem River Speedway over to the automobile.

During 1917 there were 19 trotters that won $10,000 or more. Early Dream heads the money list with $25,302.50 to his credit. Koroni leads on the number of races won with 35 to his credit.

The State Grange and the New York State Association of Horsemen are giving support to the bill now before the New York State Legislature which proposes a safe path for horses upon the highway. The bill provides that the shoulder on all state roads be extended, forming a dirt-stone side drive for horses.

New York City police department statistics show that 10,517 accidents and 402 deaths were caused by motor-driven vehicles as against 1,764 accidents and 56 deaths by horse-drawn vehicles.

Another blurb tells us, BELTS A MENACE TO THE HEALTH OF MEN. Medical men who have examined hundreds of thousands of military recruits are warning against the absence of suspenders. The increase of appendicitis, of sagging stomachs which fail to function properly, and other abdominal displacements, were found in sufficient proportion to raise the question as to what caused these conditions. Trousers held up by a belt and dragging upon flesh and muscle instead of the bony framework of the body, are given as one cause to all these difficulties. The hanging of clothing from the shoulders was one of the early lessons women learned in physical culture. It seems reasonable to suppose that men might benefit from the same.

A Utah reader sent the following letter: For twenty-one years my husband and I have lived and worked on a farm. Because a reservoir site took our farm and the fact our boys were attending school in the city, we moved into the city two months ago.

When the question of cleaning house came up my oldest boy suggested getting a janitor’s mop bucket and mop. The outfit cost as follows. Mop bucket containing a wooden wringer operated with the foot $2.50, mopstick shutting with a spring 15 cents, a heavy rope mop 60 cents, total $3.25. I found that with the addition of another mopstick that held a brush my boys could clean any floor as well as any woman and in a much shorter time. After house-cleaning was over I have used the outfit every day in the kitchen.

The mop seems a trifle heavy for me to handle but I find by moving slowly I do not mind the weight, and the weight cleans so well and surely that the work is accomplished in one-third the time. Further, the work is just about perfect.

The problem of cleaning was a sore burden on the old farm, as I had no girl and the boys were always busy, and I was ignorant of such help as this. For the benefit of any Stockman reader who may be in the same position as I was I am sending this.

Another letter from a Pennsylvania reader read: In many sections we have had two seasons in succession which emphasized the need of tile drainage. Several weeks ago I was in western Pennsylvania in the sections where thousands of acres must be drained before we have safe agriculture and there had a good object lesson. One farmer buried $17 dollars to the acre in tile drainage a few years ago. His near neighbor smiled a wise smile and put his money in the bank.

The neighbor may have his money in the bank but he has no corn in his field. He planted it late and too wet and could not get in it to cultivate until the weeds were master. He then seeded it to buckwheat and when in blossom the September frost hit and he got very little grain. He did a lot of labor and is not paid for it. The fellow who tiled was able to plant his corn in time and till it well and now has a crop that will easily make 50 bushel to the acre and more.

Which fellow is making the best interest on his money? Banks pay 3 1/2 percent and Liberty Bonds 4 percent. In comparison with corn at last year’s price the successful man is making 600 percent on his investment.

Real estate ads included these:

80 acres for $1,800; fairly good buildings and orchard, timber, etc. Easy terms. Cambridge, Ohio.

Farm of 136 acres. 10-room house with bath, hot water furnace, tenant house, fine lawn, modern large barn, on brick road and street car line. One of the best in Ohio. $150 per acre, worth $200. Canton, Ohio.

Correspondents from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Indiana all wrote complaining about the cold weather. A man from Adams County in southern Ohio was typical; Jan. 21: Twenty-three below zero this morning. A foot or more of snow and ice covers the ground. Many telephone poles broken off and wires down. Farm work at a standstill. Lots of corn in shock yet. Seed corn will be scarce and high in price and poor in quality. Wheat $2, corn $1.50, hay $25 to $32, eggs 58c, butterfat 55c. Plenty of feed. From the opposite corner of Ohio in Ashtabula County; Feb 3: The coldest winter for 35 years. Coldest January ever known. Ice 20 to 24 inches thick. Wells and cisterns going dry, farmers hauling water from the Grand river for their stock. Peaches killed. Not a rabbit or quail to be seen. Wheat $2.15, potatoes $1.50, corn $2.15-2.30, onions $1.50 bu., dressed pork $20-22.

Life was tough, but not nearly as bad as in war-torn Europe that bitter winter.

– Sam Moore

This kid is doing it right; no restrictive belts for him. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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