1931 to 1940 – The Eighth Decade

The stock market crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression and hard times for many people in the 1930’s, giving the decade the moniker of The Dirty 30’s.  Thousands were on the move, riding the rails, (if they could avoid the cinder dicks), hitching a ride in a flivver or on their own plates.  Most of these travellers were beat.  Of the many migrant workers from various states, if you were from Oklahoma you were known as an Okie.  Many of these travellers were on a trip for biscuits as there was little work to be found and few had any lettuce at all (a.k.a. cabbage, kale, folding green, long green)  much less a Lincoln ( the price of registration at the Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion – 16 Decades next month) or a sawbuck. The top slang words of the 1930’s were giggle juice  (alcohol, often found in an illegal speakeasy), blow your wig ( used to describe someone who was very excited), butter and egg man (used to describe someone with a lot of money), and bumping gums (talking about nothing important). [If you want to learn any more slang of the 30’s or understand what the above slang words in bold mean, you will be able to do that at the Reunion].

Here are a few examples of men’s and women’s fashions from the 1930’s.  If you are planning to represent this decade at the Reunion. I hope this will help in preparing your  wardrobe.        1930's women fashions 1           1930's women fashions 2                       1930's women fashions 3 1930's men's fashions 1

1930's men's fashions 2  1930's men's fashions 3

Popular songs of the 30’s were In the Mood by Glenn Miller, Over the Rainbow and  Puttin’ on the Ritz.  A quick glance at the top 100 songs of the 1930’s will show you over 20 songs that have been made popular over and over again by various artists right up to today.  Some of the top movies of the decade were Gone With the Wind starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland and Ray Bolger, King Kong starring Fay Wray,  Stagecoach (John Wayne) and Duck Soup starring the Marx Brothers.

The most popular boys’ names of the 30’s were Robert, James, John and William.  The most popular girls’ names were Mary, Betty, Barbara and Shirley. By the end of the decade in 1940, the life expectancy for men was 62 and for women, 67.

In Canada, the Prime Ministers during this decade were William Lyon Mackenzie King (elected on 2 occasions) and R.B. Bennett who served between the two King terms.  In the USA, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt were the serving Presidents during the 30’s.

1935 Chevrolet suburban

1935 Chevrolet Suburban    (the passengers appear to be blowing their wigs … are they on the way to the Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion in Maplewood Nova Scotia? They have less than a month to get there and they have not advised the organizers that they are coming.  What are they thinking!!??   How will the committee know how many people to prepare for, how much food will be needed, how many rolls of T.P. to have on hand, how many forks, spoons and knives to have available, how many contestants will be entering the Chili/Chowder cookoff (if there are no contestants, there may be no evening meal on Friday).  Maybe they are trying to surprise us by not telling us they are attending, but the surprise will be on them if there is not enough food to go around.  That would be reminiscent of the Dirty 30’s.  All they have to do is send an e-mail to kaulback_mahlon@yahoo.com saying that they will be attending and appropriate plans can be made for their arrival.  DO IT NOW! )

1921 to 1930 – the Seventh Decade

This decade was known as The Roaring Twenties and The Jazz Age.  Prohibition in the US helped the careers of criminals such as Al Capone, Frank Nitti and Bugs Moran.  It was the time of the flapper, the Charleston and the “It” girl.  In Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, the Davison Lumber Company closed down, putting hundreds of people out of work.  The result was that many of the menfolk of Parkdale and Maplewood made their exodus to Maine, where there was plenty of work in the lumberwoods.  Laurie, Theo, Goldie and Frank followed Zack to Maine where they found work.  Nora was back and forth between the “Home Place” in Maplewood and Rumford, Maine over the years.  Ormie worked in Maine for a spell in the mid 1920’s but chose to return to Nova Scotia and set down his roots.  Lloyd, the youngest, completed his schooling in Maine and remained there to live his life.  By the time this decade ended, Zack and Nora had 12 living grandchildren.

Davison's mill dam

 

Rumford Pulp Mill

The most popular boy’s names in the decade of the ’20’s were Robert, John, James and William and the most popular girl’s names were Mary, Dorothy, Helen and Betty.  Life expectancy at the end of the decade was 59 for men and 62 for women.

Comparing the prices of most food items showed that they decreased when looking at the beginning of the decade and the end of this decade, but it must be remembered that the Stock Market crash in 1929 would have a bearing on the final prices of the decade.  Bread that cost 12 cents a loaf in 1920 was 10 cents by 1929, a pound of butter went from 70 cents to 56 cents during the same period.  One pound of coffee in 1920 was 47 cents but by 1929 had dropped two cents to 45. Five pounds of flour that cost 41 cents in 1920 had dropped to 31 cents by 1925. During the same period, 1/2 gallon of milk dropped from 33 cents to 28 cents, 10 pounds of potatoes went from 63 to 36 cents, sugar (5 pounds) reduced drastically from 97 to 35 cents.  On the other hand,  the price of a dozen eggs fluctuated wildly during the decade from 47 cents in 1920 to 25 cents in 1924, 68 cents in 1925 to 59 cents in 1929. Round steak that was 40 cents per pound in 1920 had its downs and ups as well, but ended the decade at 51 cents.

This was the decade that saw Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Al Jolson and Rudolph Valentino make their mark in Hollywood (Rin Tin Tin was also there).  Popular movie performances included Charlie Chaplin in “The Kid“, “The Gold Rush“, and “The Circus“.  Buster Keaton starred in “The General“, Douglas Fairbanks played dashing swashbucklers in “The Mark of Zorro“, “Robin Hood” and “The Thief of Baghdad“. The first ‘talkie’ in 1927 was “The Jazz Singer” starring Al Jolson.  Mickey Mouse had his first public showing in “Steamboat Willie“, the first fully synchronised sound cartoon, a major accomplishment for Walt Disney.  At the same time that Babe Ruth, Roger Hornsby and Ty Cobb were hitting their way to fame in the baseball world, the Harlem Globetrotters made their debut on the basketball court in Chicago as the Savoy Big Five.  In the radio world, two popular shows were the “Grand Old Opry” and “Amos and Andy“.  Popeye the sailor man and Tarzan were popular during the Roaring 20’s.

steamboat-willie-mickey-mouse

Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie

 

Zack and Nora’s seventh decade saw the debut of the following new cars : Duesenburg, Chrysler ($1,500), Imperial, Lincoln, Plymouth, Rolls Royce and Ford’s new Model A ($385). A new Chevrolet could become yours for $525.   Chef Boy-ar-dee spaghetti dinners hit the grocery shelves for the first time and in the toiletries section you could find the first Kleenex (at the time they were called Celluwipes). And another new-comer to the shelves was the Milky Way candy bar.  Other new inventions were the gas refrigerator, the Schick electric razor, an automatic changer for record players, the self-winding wrist watch, foam rubber, wall-mounted can openers, the golf tee, the whistling teakettle and the iron lung respirator.  With people travelling more and highways being developed, America saw its first motel in this decade.    Ouija Boards were a popular pastime as was Mah Jong, which is regaining it popularity in the 21st century as an on-line computer game. Crossword puzzle books were the rage just a few short years after the introduction of the first crossword puzzle, as mentioned in the sixth decade blog.  If you were looking for something more adventurous, many people were looking at flag pole sitting.

 

ouija board

 

Popular songs of the decade included “Swanee“, “Ol’ Man River“, “My Mammy” and “Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye” by Al Jolson.  Jimmie Rodgers made the following songs popular: “T for Texas (Blue Yodel # 1)”, “In The Jailhouse Now” (which has become one of the signature songs of The Maple Creek Jug Band) and “Waiting for a Train“. Other hit songs included “Ain’t We Got Fun“,” I’m Just Wild About Harry“,” Yes, We Have No Bananas“, “California, Here I Come“, “If You Knew Susie Like I Know Susie“, “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover“, “Happy Days Are Here Again“,  “Wildwood Flower” by the Carter Family, “Singing in the Rain“, ” Tip Toe Through The Tulips“, “Walk Right In” and “When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin’ Along“.  In the world of literature, “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner” were penned by A.A. Milne, while F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing “The Great Gatsby“. Ernest Hemingway created “A Farewell To Arms” and “The Sun Also Rises“. Other popular reading of the decade was “Reader’s Digest“. If you went dancing, you could have been doing The Black Bottom, The Charleston, The Arizona Hike or The Civa Dance.

In the world of Fashion and Beauty, the 1920’s saw the introduction of Chanel No. 5 and Cloche hats.  Men were wearing bow ties as well as striped ties and double-breasted flannel suits. Baggy “Oxford” trousers and pleated pants were also popular and lapels on jackets were broad.  Women had the tubular look without corsets and waistlines and pearl necklaces were again popular. The ‘flapper’ look was in and both hair and skirts were short. Pleated skirts and two-toned shoes, fancy handbags and drop earrings went along with plucked eye-brows, mascara and heart-shaped lips.

1920-photoplay-pearl-white-45 The Perils of Pauline

 

An internet search for slang of the 1920’s produced one list of 331 expressions popular in that decade. Without beating my gums and taking a chance on being given the bum’s rush from the blog site or having some readers cast a kitten, I would just like to say that the list I found was the cat’s pajamas, darb, ducky, the bees’ knees, the elephant’s eyebrows, the gnat’s whistle, the eel’s hips – you get my drift?  In case you may think this is all hokum or hooey and want to give me the icy mitt,  I  want to assure you that I am not hopped up or on a toot,  nor,  have I just returned from a juice joint where I got splifficated. Some readers may think I’m zozzled and all wet but I know my onions and this is no line. There is no need to be a Mrs Grundy as this information is the Real McCoy. So, if you have a beef and think I’m an old bird, or, I’ve just gone blooey, don’t give me a Bronz Cheer. Don’t be a Dumb Dora or get in a lather. Instead, put on your glad rags, (no need to be a Joe Brooks), get in your hayburner, your stutter bus, or, if you must, hire a jitney and come to the Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion – 16 Decades. (It probably would not be a good idea to come in a ten cent box because it would cost a lot of berries (aka voot)). There, I will give you the goods and explain the slang phrases, either at the Saturday evening Variety Show or while we punch the bag at the Nova Scotia Kitchen Party on Friday evening. (I understand that Glenys will be making her famous sinkers for the occasion ).

There were three different Prime Ministers of Canada during the years from 1921 to 1930.  Arthur Meighan was Prime Minister on two occasions as was William L. MacKenzie King and Robert L. Borden was elected in 1930 to round out the decade.  In the USA,  there were four Presidents during these years, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

IMPORTANT NOTICE :  Please be sure to add your comments in the, what else, Comment Section.  I need to know that you are able to use this section successfully as this will hopefully be the method of Registration for the Family Reunion.  If that section does not work, we will have to come up with another way of registering attendees as we need to know ahead of time how many people are coming (think food preparation!). By the way, those who were having difficulty with the test in a previous blog (read as ‘everyone’) could have, (and still can) put their answers in the Comment Section.

Mahlon Kaulback  June 10, 2018

1911 to 1920 – the Sixth Decade

The sixth decade saw one more addition to Zack and Nora’s family.  In 1914, William Lloyd Kaulback as born – the 7th son.  The most popular boy’s names for the decade were John, William, James and Robert.  Lloyd went by his second name which was #57 on the list of popular names.  The most popular girl’s names were Mary, Helen, Dorothy and Margaret.

This decade was defined primarily by The Great War (later known as World War I), which started in 1914 (the USA entered the war in 1917).  Three of Zack and Nora’s boys enlisted and went overseas, Elmer, Laurie and Theo (who lied about his age to join the army).  The three boys all returned home safely after the war, as did Morley Wentzell, who was later to marry Goldie.  Elmer was gassed in an enemy attack and while convalescing in hospital met an Irish nurse by the name of Edith Murtland, whom he brought home to Canada when he returned.  Elmer, Laurie and Goldie were all married during this decade and Zack and Nora became grandparents for the first time with the birth of Florrie Wentzell to Morley and Goldie (in 1915, Morley was still signing his last name as Wentzel with one “L”).  However, correspondence after the war indicates two “L”s in Wentzell.

 

1915 WAR POSTER

In 1912, the ocean liner, Titanic, struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sunk on its maiden voyage with the loss of over 1500 souls.  1913 saw the mass production of the Model T Ford when Henry Ford created an assembly line for cars after he saw a similar procedure in a meat processing plant.  1918 saw the end of the war which killed over 18 million and the beginning of the flu pandemic which killed between 50 and 100 million people around the world.

Sir Robert Borden, a Nova Scotian, defeated Sir Wilfred Laurier in elections to become Prime Minister of Canada.  He retired in 1920 and was succeeded by Arthur Meighan.  In the USA, William Howard Taft was succeeded as President by Woodrow Wilson who remained President for the rest of the decade. In Canada, women won the right to vote in 1918.

On the highways, automobiles now had electric self-starters which saw the demise of the crank to start a car. Three-colour traffic lights made their debut (they also were electric).  The first Indianapolis 500 auto race was run in 1911.  The winner was Ray Harroun driving a self-designed Marmon Wasp.

Jigsaw puzzles were the rage of the decade which also saw Kewpie Dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls make the scene. In 1913, the world’s first crossword puzzle was published in the New York World .  Nabisco’s Oreo cookie was seen for the first time as were the Brillo Pad and S.O.S. Pads. Lifesavers made their debut in 1912.  Supermarkets were first built in this decade which changed the shopping experience for many people.  The Panama Canal was completed and Japanese cherry trees were planted in Washington, D.C.   The first parachute jump from an airplane was completed and greyhound racing became the “in thing”.

1912-lifesavers-candy

In the movie world, Charles Pathe produced his first newsreel film, which came to be the source of world news for movie-goers for many decades. This was the decade of The Keystone Cops and The Perils of Pauline.  Fingerprints became admissible as evidence in law courts for the first time.

perils of pauline1

 

Hit songs of the decade were Over ThereAlexander’s Ragtime BandLet Me Call You Sweetheart,  Keep The Home Fires Burning,   I Want a Girl, Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad,   Peg ‘O My Heart,    Ballin’ The Jack,   You Made Me Love You,   Oh, How I Hate to Get Up In The Morning   and   I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.

Popular literature of the decade included James Joyce’s  Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,  the famous poem by John McCrae entitled In Flanders Fields, numerous books by Zane Grey about the old west including The Last of the Plainsmen,  Riders of the Purple Sage, The Man of the Forest  and  The Call of the Canyon.  Will Rogers wrote The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition,  D.H. Lawrence penned Sons and Lovers and Somerset Maugham published Of Human Bondage.

In the world of fashion, Hobble skirts and Harem skirts became popular, hemlines began to inch up and shoulder-length hair at the beginning of the decade shortened to bobbed hair by the end of the decade.  L’Oreal was founded and the soft bra was invented.  Men started wearing pajamas instead of nightshirts and day-wear became more informal.  For a formal occasion, tuxes had high rolled collars and small bow ties.

1911 Edwardian Fashions-simple-dresses-day-dresses1915-1916 -vintage-men-art-vintage

RCA (Radio Corporation of America) was incorporated and the first daily radio broadcasts were started.  Paul Bunyan stories were published in the Detroit News Tribune .  Woodrow Wilson admitted reporters to the White House for the first Presidential press conference. The first US Federal Income Tax became law with the passing of the 16 Amendment.

The Model T Ford started the decade at a cost of $850 but by the end of the decade had come down in price to $440, about half of its earlier price.  (Can you imagine such a price reduction happening today!!)  A Stutz Bearcat went for $1,250, a Chevrolet Roadster for $490 and a Desoto for $2,185.  Charlie Chaplin, in 1917 made a salary of $1,000,000.

1916 silent movie

In the world of science, plastic surgery was developed as a result of treatment of war casualties, tetanus was controlled by serum injections, X-rays were used to diagnose lung disease and test for breast cancer and the words “vitamin” and “isotope” were used for the first time.

New slang for this decade included the word “jazz” and jazz music swept the USA.  Other slang: the acid test;   to have two left feet;   to have one’s back against the wall;    get something off your chest;   bundle of nerves;    business as usual;    a fate worse than death; straight from the horse’s mouth;    ain’t it the truth;    another day, another dollar;    be my guest;   don’t mind if I do;    it’ll all come out in the wash;    let’s get this show on the road; all dressed up and nowhere to go;   grease monkey (a mechanic).

Popular dances of the decade included the Bunny Hug, the Castle Tango, the Castle Walk, the Horse Trot, the Cubanola Glide, the Irish Tango, the Whirlwind Waltz,  Ballin’ the Jack, the Philadelphia Drag, the Rumba, the Aeroplane Waltz, the Kangaroo Hop, the Shimmy, the Tickle Toe, the Bambuca, the Bull Frog Hop and the Bowery Tap to name just a few.

Life expectancies in 1920 for men was 56 and for women, 58 years.

 

1901 to 1910 – the Fifth Decade

25  February, 2018

January 1st, 1901 not only started a new decade, but it also started a new century. Theo Kaulback turned one year old on that day and had already lived in two different centuries.  This decade saw the growth of Zack and Nora’s family with the addition of (Alice) Goldie on August 29, 1903, (Harold) Willis on June 25th, 1905, Frank Garfield on April 1st, 1907 and Ormand Chipman on June 18, 1910.  The family was still at the “Home Place” in Maplewood but there is an indication of spreading wings.  A postcard from Elmer to his mother in June of 1909 was postmarked Napinka, Manitoba.  It shows a large number of workers harvesting vegetables in a field.  In researching Nova Scotia history for this decade, I came across a newspaper notice announcing that the Canadian Pacific Railway was organising a ‘Harvest Excursion’ going to the Northwest.  It is likely that Elmer made at least one of those excursion trips in search of work.  Another postcard from Elmer the next year was postmarked Solon, Maine which stated that he was working in a can factory.  He obviously had settling down on his mind, but his marriage to Lydia only lasted a short time.

The most popular boys’ names for the decade were John, William, James and George, in that order and for girls, Mary, Helen, Margaret and Anna.  On the list of the top 200 names, it was apparent that Zack and Nora were not swayed by popular opinion as the names they chose rated as follows: (Alice #11) Goldie #125;  (Harold #19) Willis #146; Frank #8  Garfield- not on list;  and neither Ormand nor Chipman was in the top 200 names.  Life expectancies were 58 years for women and 51 years for men.

The pace of life started to pick up during these 10 years.  The airplane and the automobile were born in this decade.  This fast-paced living appeared to be a concern for some legislators as Connecticut became the first jurisdiction to impose speed limits in 1901.  In cities, drivers were restricted to a speed of 10 miles per hour, in villages it was 15 miles per hour and it wasn’t until they hit the open road in rural areas that they could open it up to a blazing 20 miles per hour.  The following year, the American Automobile Association (AAA) was formed and in 1903, the first licence plates were required in the USA. Windshield wipers were patented in 1903, the same year that Henry Ford introduced his Model A.   Five years later, his new and improved Model T came off the assembly line.  The year 1903 also saw the first powered flight made by the Wright Brothers in the USA and in the same decade, the first powered flight in Canada was accomplished at Baddeck, Nova Scotia by J.A.D. McCurdy.  In 1907, the first successful helicopter flight occurred.                        1903 model A

1908 model t

 

1900s wright brothers            1909 silver dart.jpg

Many significant inventions became public in this decade, such as, the gyroscope, the vacuum cleaner, air conditioners, escalators, radio, the double-edged safety razor (which resulted in less reliance on barbers and a rise in grooming standards among the male population).  The polygraph entered the scene and became a great boon to law enforcement.  And, the electric washing machine became a great boon to the housewife, hitting the market in 1907.  Tea bags were invented in 1908 which probably caused some consternation among the tea-leaf readers and fortune tellers.  Colour photography made its first appearance in 1907, the same year as polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride ( the first synthetic plastic).  Neon lights were invented, instant coffee, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Crayola Crayons all made their first appearances during this first decade of the new century.

14-14-1906-cornflakescrayola crayons.jpg

Other firsts for this decade include the 1st transatlantic wireless signals (transmitted by Marconi in 1901 – this has a strong Nova Scotia connection), the 1st silent movie (The Great Train Robbery), the 1st on-screen appearance of Mary Pickford (the girl with the curls) and the 1st appearance of the Teddy Bear.

1900_1909

In 1908, the Boy Scout movement was started.  But, perhaps the most significant beginning was the reason this became known as the decade of the Rise of Professional Sports.   The 1st World Series was played in 1903 but it wasn’t until 1909 that “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was heard for the first time.  Professional football also had its beginnings in this decade The 1st Rose Bowl was played in sunny California and the annual tradition is now accompanied by the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

Queen Victoria of England died in 1901, ending what had become known as the Victorian Era.  At the time she was the longest reigning English monarch in history.  Her record has since been surpassed by the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.  As the decade opened, William McKinley was the President of the USA.  Upon his assassination in 1901, he was succeeded by his Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, the youngest president in US history.  The decade ended with William Howard Taft as the sitting President.  In Canada, Sir Wilfred Laurier was Prime Minister during the entire decade.  If you want to see a picture of this Prime Minister, check out your purse or pants pocket for a Canadian $5.00 bill.  The gentleman looking back at you is none other than Sir Wilfred Laurier himself.  By the way, don’t spend that bill, as you can use it for your registration fee for the Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion  2018 – 16 Decades that will be held in August 2018, in case you didn’t already know.

 

Kids of the decade played with Erector Sets, Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs and enjoyed new treats like Fairy Floss (A.K.A. cotton candy in a later decade).  Baseball cards were not as easy for boys to collect as they came in packs of cigarettes or cigars, not with bubble gum.  This was the decade that saw Pepsi-Cola and Canada Dry Ginger Ale come on the market as well as Dr Scholl’s foot products, Vick’s VapoRub and a suitcase full of products from the Fuller Brush Man.

Coffee was 15 cents per pound, butter was 18 cents per pound (when melted, it was great for dipping your cooked lobster meat, which cost 6 cents per pound).  Eggs were 12 cents per dozen, chicken was 7 cents per pound, a loaf of bread was 5 cents, steak was 11 cents per pound and sugar was 4 cents per pound.  A three-minute telephone call from Denver to New York was $11.00.

 

If you happen to be into reading, the top-selling fiction books for the decade were:  1901-The Crisis;  1902 – The Virginian;  1903 – Lady Rose’s Daughter;  1904 – The Crossing;  1905 – The Marriage of William Ashe;  1906 – Coniston;  1907 – The Lady of the Decoration;  1908 – Mr Crewe’s Career;   1909 – The Inner Shrine;  1910 – The Rosary.  On the other hand, if you would rather be dancing, you could choose between The Irish Trot, the Pasadena, the Oriental Foxtrot, the Chicken Reel, the Cocoanut Dance, the Ju-Jitsu Waltz (seems like an oxymoron to me),  the Whirlwind Waltz, the Boston Two-Step, the Abstract Dance, the Grizzly Bear (and some others named after various animals), the Klapdanse, Texas Tommy,  Argentine Tango (lots of tangos), the Black Bottom, the Walking Boston, the Philadelphia Boston and the Shim Sham.

 

Some of the new slang phrases in use at that time are still in use today (2018), such as :  crazy as a bedbug;  to have bats in one’s belfry;  to go over something with a fine-toothed comb;  to face the music;  to get one’s bearings;  traffic is at a standstill ( in 1905 ??);   if it isn’t one thing, it’s another;  keep your shirt on ;  let the good times roll ;  longtime, no see ; and fit to be tied.  I found a number of other slang expressions that are still in use but came across one that did not pass the test of time that I had not heard before …”after you with the push” which was used when being polite to someone who is pushing and/or rushing.  New words that were added to the dictionary during the 1st decade of the 20th century were fingerprint, Teddy Bear, tarmac, allergy and jazz.

 

I know there are still a lot of relatives that have not seen these blogs or are even connected to the internet.  If you know of any in those circumstances, please print and deliver this information to them.  There are still people wondering and asking about the Reunion details.  This blog is the chosen method of distributing information about this year’s Reunion to everyone.  If you know someone who is not a member of the Family Roots group on Facebook, please tell them how to become a member (“ask to join the group”).  Be sure to check back regularly(about every 2 weeks) for new blogs  between now and the Reunion dates.  Some of the details in the blogs could be used at the Reunion and if you are the last person to have the correct answers, you may be eliminated.  (I’ve been watching too much of Amazing Race).  I believe I mentioned before that there could be tests.  Well, this is your first Mid-Term:

  1. When is the Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion   2018 – 16 Decades being held?   ________________________
  2.  Where is it being held? ____________________________________________________
  3.  When is the Nova Scotia Kitchen Party? ___________________________________
  4.  What competition is happening at the Nova Scotia Kitchen Party?    ________________________________________________________________________________
  5. What decade(s) will you be representing during the event?  —–                                    a) decade(s):                       b) haven’t decided yet __________ c) need more information___________
  6. What is needed to cross the border?                                                                                        USA answer___________Canada answer_____________________
  7. What is the Registration Fee for the Reunion?                                                                        a)  500 Japanese yen         b) 5 pounds sterling    c)  55 pesos     d)   50 rubles              e) $5 gold piece  f) two toonies and a loonie   g)  5 USD   h) Sir Wilfred Laurier                                 (pick the correct answer(s) from above options)
  8. How and When will registration occur?___________________________________
  9. Who will be performing at the Variety Show on Saturday evening?                              a) Elton John    b)  Harry Houdini      c) Mae West         d)  Everyone in attendance
  10. What colour shirt will you be wearing for the group picture at the Reunion?             a) white b) yellow c) green  d) red   e) light  blue  f) blue  g) I don’t know but Louanne or Diane will advise everyone by commenting on this blog about which colour goes with which family group on the Family Quilt  h) since Mary has been the Keeper of the Quilt since the last Reunion, she could also comment on the blog to let us all know who wears what colour.

 

Here are a  few pictures that will help you in your preparation for your outfits for the Reunion if you are representing this decade  (hair  styles and dresses can be referenced in later decades).20th century popular-hair-most-popular

 

20th century dresses

 

 

1890's hats.jpeg.jpg

The 1890s – the 4th Decade

Erratum:  Before going further I need to correct an error in a previous post.  Hanorah (Wentzel) Kaulback was born in 1871, not 1873.

Welcome to the Gay Nineties!  The decade of the 1890s saw the birth of four of Zack and Nora’s nine children. Morley Elmer in 1891, Pauline Susie in 1892, Enos Laurin in 1898 and Jacob Theodore in 1900 (I know, some people would wrongfully argue that he belongs in the next decade, but we don’t want to beat a dead horse now, do we).  Before the decade was  over, they would suffer the loss of 6-year old Susie from mumps and paralysis. The house that Zack built in Foster’s Settlement now found itself in Parkdale when the Foster’s Settlement school district was split in 1896 to become Parkdale and Maplewood.  In 1897, Zack sold his house and property to his sister, Alice Weldon and moved to what we call The Home Place in Maplewood.  Theo became the first to be born in the new house that Zack built.

The 1890s started with Sir John A MacDonald as Prime Minister of Canada, who was followed in office by Sir John Abbott, Sir John Thompson, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Sir Charles Tupper and Sir Wilfred Laurier.  The United States had three different Presidents during the same decade, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland and William McKinley.  Life expectancy for women was 52 and for men, 49 years.

Popular dances in the 1890s included the Heel and Toe Polka, the Samba, the Three Step, the Two Step and the One Step (all three of these dances reduced considerably from the Five Step of the 1880s, perhaps caused by the economic depression of the mid-’90s).  Other dances were the Scarf Dance, Shadow Dance, Slow Drag, Square Dance, Tango, Serpentine Dance, Cloak Dance, Witches Dance and Passion Dance.  Dances spawned by the Gold Rush were Saloon Hall dances, the Can-Can and Hooch Dances such as carried out by Diamond Tooth Gertie in the saloon of the same name in Dawson City, Yukon.  I happen to be acquainted with someone who is a very accomplished singer/performer and plays the part of Diamond Tooth Gertie in that community.

1890's candy ad

In 1899, Sears-Roebuck’s Grocery Department advertised the following prices (bought in bulk): a 20-pound box of crackers for 97 cents;  10 pounds of cheese for $1.61; maple syrup sold for 89 cents per gallon; fancy molasses was 39 cents per gallon; almonds were 16 cents per pound; 10 pounds of roasted coffee went for $2.08 (with a free bonus of a decorated , enameled canister) and a canister also came when purchasing 10 pounds of high-grade tea for $3.70.  A 12-pound box of premium chocolate was 20 cents a pound and laundry soap was $2.95 for a box of 100 bars.  In 1896, “tooth soap” cost 25 cents … hmmm,  I wonder if that’s where the saying,” wash your mouth out with soap” came from???

prices-from-1899-sears-roebuck-grocery-lists1890s Quaker-Oats1

The first electric incandescent street lights in Nova Scotia were turned on in the town of Windsor on September 22, 1890 (27 lights).  The contract between the Power Company and the town specified that the lights were to be “kept burning until 1:30 o’clock, a.m., for at least 20 nights in each lunar month”.   Perhaps the town felt that the moon gave sufficient light on the streets during the 10 days around the period of the full moon that they could save money on their electricity budget by keeping the lights off on those nights.

In February of 1891, a coal mine explosion at Springhill, Nova Scotia killed 125 miners, some as young as 12 and 13 years old.  These colliers were the largest coal mines in Canada and were owned by the Cumberland Railway and Coal Company.

 

The 1890s saw the birth of the Gibson Girl, a creation by artist Charles Gibson, who did pen-and-ink illustrations of what he perceived as the personification of the feminine ideal.  The Gibson Girl, in another time and place might have been called a “10”.  New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant the right to vote to women in the 1890s.  In the last year of the decade (by my calculation), Kodak released it’s famous “brownie” camera for the cost of $1.00.

1890s-Gibson_Girls_seaside_-cropped-_by_Charles_Dana_GibsonGibson Girls at the Beach1890's Gibson Girl                                                                            One of the most famous Gibson Girl Models

Number one songs for some of the years of the 1890s were:  Ta Ra Ra Boom de ay in 1891,  The Cat Came Back in 1893, and When You Were Sweet Sixteen in 1898.  Slang terms used in the 1890s included “see the elephant” which meant to see all the sights of the town, especially the edgier aspects.  It was also sometimes used by members of the military to describe going to war.  To “tell a thumper” meant to construct a clever lie.  “outasight” – this term originated in the 1890s, not, as you may think, with the hippies of the 1960s.  “legit”  –  a shortened form of legitimate started as theater slang for things associated with legitimate theater ( vs burlesque or vaudeville theater, which were not considered “legit”).  If you were “on the legit” you were being honest.  “fly” meant sharp, knowledgeable, attractive and fashionable.

 

The Gay Nineties were also known as the Mauve Decade.  Prior to this time, purple dye was so expensive that only royalty could afford it.  But the development of aniline dye allowed widespread use of the colour among the masses.  1891 saw the publishing of the first  story about Sherlock Holmes.  In 1893, a financial crisis, suitably called The Panic of 1893, resulted in a 3-year economic depression in the USA during which over 500  banks and over 15,000 businesses failed.  In the midst of this depression, the 1st commercial motion picture house opened on the corner of Broadway and 27th Street in New York City.  It featured 10 Kinetoscope Machines, each with a different movie. kinetoscope-1890s-granger The machines were lined up in two rows with five machines in each row. Two bits would let you look at 5 movies and for 50 cents, you could see all ten.  The movies were entitled “Barbershop“,   “Bertoldi (mouth support)“,  ” Bertoldi (table contortion)“,  “Blacksmiths“, “Roosters (cock fight)“,  “Highland Dance“,  “Horse Shoeing“,   “Sandow ( a German strongman)“,  ” Trapeze” , and, ” Wrestling“.  Two famous books published in the 1890s were “The Jungle Book” in 1894 and “Dracula” in 1897.  A very popular poem quickly became a national hit in the USA after it was published in 1895.  It was, appropriately for the Mauve Decade, called, “The Purple Cow” and it went like this:  I never saw a purple cow / I never hope to see one / But I can tell you anyhow / I’d rather see than be one.

 

“Making your manners” was required of every school student when entering the classroom every day. It meant doing a curtsy or a bow to the teacher. Bad behavior in the classroom often resulted in corporal punishment.  Minor offenses in class could lead to the “Nose Hole”.  The offender had to proceed to the front of the room, clasp their hands behind their back and place their nose inside a small circle drawn in chalk on the chalkboard.  They remained in that embarrassing position until the teacher permitted them to return to their seat.  A popular activity during recess was called “Ante-Over”. The students would divide into two groups, one of either side of the schoolhouse.  They would call “Ante-Over” as one group tossed the ball over the roof to the group on the other side.  When in my first or second year at the Maplewood School, I was encouraged by some older students to try and toss something over the roof of the school.  They knew, but I didn’t, that I could not even reach the roof with my throw.   The events following are lost forever in the folk-lore of the school and my faded memory.  I don’t recall if the broken window resulted in a ‘Nose Hole” or something worse.

coca-cola_cures_headache_relieves_exhaustion_1890s

Coca Cola continued to be popular and the effective ingredient was also used in medicinal toothache drops at 15 cents per bottle.  In 1893, the children’s book, “Beautiful Joe” was written from the perspective of a hopeful little dog who was continually abused by vicious humans.  The book brought tears of sadness to the eyes of its young readers and tears of joy for the author, as it sold nearly a million copies.  Thomas Edison developed the Edison Phonograph Doll.  Nursery rhymes were recorded on wax records inside the doll.  However, the records wore out very quickly and when they did, it released a blood-curdling screech, traumatizing children and forcing Edison to pull the plug on his invention.  A popular board game of the 1890s was called “Rival Policemen“.  Competing police forces struggled to catch the largest number of wanted felons. (Was this a pre-cursor to “Grand Theft Auto” of a hundred years hence?)  Turkish Couches were a very popular item in the Sears-Roebuck catalogue and mandolins became popular due to the influence of the Spanish troubadours.

For those who have chosen the 1890s to represent at the  Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion – 2018 : 16 Decades, the following pictures will give you some idea of the fashions, transportation, etc to help you prepare for that great weekend in August: 1890s christmas toys

1890's men's fashion8

1890's women fashion21890's men's fashion6

If you are travelling by sea from the USA this year, don’t be confused by the Canada Atlantic Line ad (above).  This was from the 1890s.  The above items in the Walking Suit picture are suggestions if you plan to make an authentic period piece for your costume.   Since I only showed the Canadian $5 bill in the previous blog (3rd Decade), I wanted to be fair and include a US representation in this post.  The Registration Fee for this year’s Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion is only $5 per person, Canadian or US currency.

The most popular baby names of the decade for boys were John, William, James and George in order of 1 to 4 and for girls, Mary, Anna, Margaret and Helen.  In a list of the 200 most popular names in the 1890s, Morley Elmer rated at #36 for Elmer, Pauline Susie rated #81 for Susie, Enos Laurin did not make the list and Jacob Theodore rated #73 for Jacob and #83 for Theodore.

The modern day Olympic Games was established in 1896.  The years 1896 to 1899 saw many people pack up and head north to the Klondike in search of gold.  The Klondike Gold Rush produced many broken dreams and at least one millionaire from Nova Scotia. A number of years ago I gained permission to metal detect on land that was once owned by that millionaire and I found a coin from the 1850s.  It was a Nova Scotia coin which, perhaps, he had carried to the Klondike as a good luck charm and lost after he returned.   At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

See you in the 20th Century!    Mahlon Kaulback    18 February 2018

 

The 1880’s : The Third Decade

The year 1880 was the year that “O Canada ” was sung publically for the first time (1880 is actually the last year of the previous decade, but I won’t get into an argument with those who have a different opinion.  If I agreed with them, we’d both be wrong.) Getting back to O Canada, it was not until a hundred years later, July 1st,  1980, that the National Anthem Act was proclaimed, making the song the official national anthem of Canada.

In 1880, a Kaulbach relative built his stately home in Lunenburg town.  It has since been turned into a popular Bed and Breakfast. In 1997, I was considering purchasing the business and at that time it was touted as the only profit-making B&B on the South Shore and one of the few in the black in Nova Scotia. Previous attendees to our family reunions have stayed at this B&B and were quite impressed with the facilities.

Kaulbach House
Built in 1880

In November of 1880, an explosion at the Foord Mine in Stellarton, Nova Scotia killed 44 coal miners.  In 1881, the 1st trans-Atlantic underwater telegraph cable was landed at Canso, Nova Scotia, connecting the New World with Europe.  That same year, U.S. president James Garfield was assassinated.  Another famous shooting occurred  in 1881, the Gunfight at the OK Corral —( the actual shooting took place, not the shooting of the movie of the same name, which happened much later and in another decade and another century ).  In 1882, Angus Walters was born.  He later became famous as the Captain of the world-famous schooner, Bluenose.  The Bluenose won every race entered and became a Canadian icon.  If you want to get a first hand look at the Bluenose just pick up a Canadian dime (either hand will do) and take a close look.  If you see a picture of Queen Elizabeth, you’re getting close.  Turn it over and there is the Bluenose.

January 1st, 1885 was the day that Standard Time was officially and legally adopted for use in Canada.  Before 1885 ended, Canadians witnessed the completion of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway with the driving of the last spike at Craigellachie, British Columbia on November 7th, at 9:22 AM.  (This could be an exam question at the Reunion).  Truth be told, there were at least 4 or 5 “last spikes’.  The official silver spike never reached Craigellachie due to inclement weather, the second was badly bent at the ceremony, the third was removed to keep away souvenir hunters and a couple more spikes, touted as ‘ the last spike’ were cut up and used to make brooches and jewellery for the wives of some of the big wigs connected with the railway project.

A lot of firsts occurred in this decade. I’ve already mentioned January 1st, 1885.  Others occurred in February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December. Furthermore, the same 1sts happened in every year  of the decade.  The 1st edition of Good Housekeeping magazine was published and the 1st serving of Dr. Pepper happened in 1885.  In the following year, 1886, Coca Cola was 1st sold as a patent medicine.  (The company has since removed cocaine from the recipe, but the pop (‘soda’ to those south of the 49th parallel) is still very popular).  1887 saw the publishing of the 1st issue of National Geographic magazine. In 1889, the 1st motion picture was shown by Thomas Edison and Nintendo Company was formed to market a playing card game called Hanafuda. (If you’re representing the 1880’s at the reunion, perhaps you could bring along this game for us to play).

By 1889, the fashion for large bustles had essentially ended but it wasn’t until 1905 that bustles completely disappeared.1880's bustle(Whoever chooses to represent the 1860’s, 1870’s or 1880’s at the Family Roots Reunion will likely be very easily discerned, at least walking away). For those who want to have a special hair-doo representing the 1880’s for the Reunion,  here are a few examples.1880's hairstyle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few slang phrases in use in the 1880’s were as follows: “too high for his nut” which meant beyond someone’s reach. To give an example from the Oakland, California Tribune on January 12, 1885  : “That clay-bank hog wants the same pay as a Senator; he’s getting too high for his nut”.  [Author’s note : it seems to me that a phrase that should also be explained is ‘clay-bank hog’.  However, after extensively searching the internet, there seemed to be no indication of what or who is a ‘clay-bank hog’.  I think it should have at least equal billing with ‘too high for his nut’ but it apparently didn’t get into the common slang usage of the day … pity!].  “lally-cooler” which meant a real success. The Salina, Kansas newspaper, Republican, stated “That north show window of Shute and Haskell’s is a lally-cooler”.  “Like Thompson’s colt” which meant doing something unnecessarily, like jumping a fence when the rails have been removed.  A reporter in the Saint Paul, Minnesota Globe of November 20, 1882 wrote :”Thompson’s colt was such an infernal idiot that he swam across the river to get a drink”.

In 1882, the price for roasted coffee had gone down considerably from 10 years earlier.  Your daily java cost only 29 cents a pound, granulated sugar was up a penny to 11 cents a pound, but milk was down 2 cents a quart to 6 cents (compared to 1872 prices). Eggs were up 10 cents a dozen to 40 cents, sausage was up 2 cents to 14 cents per pound.  Butter was down from 39 cents ten years earlier to 35 cents per pound and wheat flour was down almost 40% from 10 years before to $8.57 per barrel.  The ingredients for Saturday night’s meal cost about the same as 10 years earlier  –  baked beans was still an economical and popular meal.

Room and board in 1882 was only $4.75 per week for men and $3.00 for women.  It appears that 1872 was a year in which most things cost dramatically higher and is probably related to the fact and possibly was a contributor to the Stock Market Crash of 1873.  That stock market crash was the reason that Lydia Pinkham’s husband lost his fortune.  In an effort to provide for her family, Lydia , who had been  cooking-up her home-made vegetable compound on the kitchen stove, developed the business to a much larger scale. It became a family business which continued to grow after her death in 1883.  Her product became enormously popular and the corporate empire became so successful in marketing the product that it forms the basis for an Economics/Marketing course that is still taught at universities across the world into the 21st century.  Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound was touted to cure every possible female illness going and was very popular amongst the ladies of all classes.  It was also a leading factor in the formation of the American  Food and Drug Administration (FDA), since there were an abundance of so-called medicines that were completely unregulated as to their contents.  (Lydia’s vegetable compound was 20%  alcohol, which, I’m sure, contributed in no small way to its popularity).  Those of the family who were at the Kaulback-Wentzell Family Roots Reunion 2006 -When We Were Young will recall that our Saturday Night Variety Show “KWVI Radio” had as it’s sponsor Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound.  Nora (Wentzel) Kaulback was to become a mid-wife who apparently used Lydia Pinkham’s book as a reference when helping her charges, as a copy of the book was found in ‘Gramma’s Trunk’. The most popular baby names of the 1880’s were Mary, Anna, Emma and Elizabeth for girls and John, William, James and George for baby boys. 

The decade of the 1880’s saw the publishing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge.  It also witnessed the Statue of Liberty being dedicated.  Life expectancy for women was 56 and for men, 40 years. This was the decade that saw the erection of the Baptist Church in Parkdale-Maplewood, Nova Scotia on property donated by Zack’s father, Edward Kaulback, and which Zack helped to build.  The latter part of this decade was likely when Zack and Nora started courting.  Trains began running between Lunenburg and Middleton – the midway point, New Germany, was the stopping off point if you were going to Maplewood,  8 miles away.

Train Schedule 1880
1889 Train Schedule

There seemed to be a lot of new dances in the 1880’s. To name a few, there was the Virginia Reel, the Ashland Polka, the Bamboula, the Buzzard Lope (picture that, if you will), the Carlton, the Celtic, the Counjaille, the Coquette, the Esmerelda Waltz, the Hesitation Waltz, the Soft Shoe, the Five Step Waltz, the Boston Dip, the Knickerbocker Waltz and the Three step Galop.

Below you will see an example of some of the money in circulation in the 1880’s. The registration fee for the Kaulback-Wentzel Family Roots Reunion : 16 Decades will be $5.00 per person.  However, we will need current currency, not what you see pictured below. Registration forms will be published in a future edition of the blog.

1880 paper money

During the entire decade, the Prime Minister of Canada was Sir John A. MacDonald, who was returned to office after losing his position in elections in the 1870’s.  James Garfield was elected President in 1880 and, on his assassination, was succeeded by his vice-president, Chester Arthur.  In 1884, Grover Cleveland won the presidential election and in 1888, Benjamin Harrison became president.

Could this be your decade to show off at the Reunion in August?  If not, there are 15 other decades to choose from. Perhaps you may want to come as a family unit from the 1880’s and bring along your own clay-bank hog.  Don’t worry if someone else chooses the same decade.  There’s lots of years to go around.  There is no decade that is too high for your nut.  Whichever one you choose, it’s sure to be a lally-cooler.

Mahlon Kaulback  February 11, 2018

 

The 1870’s : The Second Decade

The decade of the 1870’s saw the birth of Hanorah (Nora) Wentzel, in 1873, who would, in the fullness of time, become Mrs Zacharias Kaulback and the mother of Elmer, Susie, Laurin, Theodore, Goldie, Willis, Frank, Ormand and Lloyd.  When Nora was born, Sir John A. Macdonald was the Prime Minister of Canada and Ulysses S. Grant was the president of the U.S.A.

In 1872, on average, a horse cost $60 and a horse-drawn, A-grade buggy with a plain top sold for $47.  If you wanted a B-grade road wagon, $28.50 (plus $8 extra for a top) would be needed.  A milking cow cost just over $20, pigs were $5  each and goats, $2.  A farm worker earned $23 per month, which included meals and a “place to sleep” ( not sure if it was in the house or in a corner of the hay loft).

Roasted coffee was now 42 cents per pound, granulated sugar was 10 cents per pound and milk was 8 cents per quart.  Eggs were 30 cents per dozen, sausage was 12 cents per pound and butter for  breakfast toast was 39 cents per pound (wheat flour to make bread for toasting was $12.75 per barrel.   (How many loaves of bread in a barrel of flour??)  Beans were 9 cent per quart, brown sugar was 10 cents per pound and molasses was 70 cents per gallon – mix them all together with a slice of pork and some seasoning, pop them in the oven and there was a favourite (also a favorite) Saturday night tradition … baked beans. (Yes, I know you have to soak the beans first).

Roast beef was 19 cents per pound, soup beef was 7 cents per pound and a rump steak was 29 cents per pound.  Fresh pork was 12 cents per pound and potatoes were $1.02 per bushel.  Hard wood for the fire was $10.19 per cord and pine wood (for kindling) was $7 per cord.  Room and board for men was $5.69 per week and for women, $3.75 per week.

In 1872, the ghost ship, Mary Celeste, was found adrift on the Atlantic Ocean with no one aboard. The mystery of what happened to the crew is still unsolved to this day.  The ship has a Nova Scotia connection because that is where it was built.

1873 was the year of the Great Nova Scotia Cyclone which killed 500 people in Nova Scotia, most of them sailors lost at sea when their ships sank.  As a result of the same storm, the coast from New Jersey to Connecticut was issued with a Hurricane Warning which was the first such warning ever to be issued.  1873 was also the year of the Drummond Mine Explosion and Fire in the New Glasgow area of Nova Scotia in which 75 coal miners perished.  In the same year, Mathers Byles desBrisay was elected to the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly.  The museum in Bridgewater is named after him.

Dances popular in the 1870’s were the Balance Waltz (also known as the Two-Step), the Maxixe, the Glide Waltz (also known as Boston), the Hootchie-Cootchie, the Skirt Dance and the Fascination Waltz.  This was the decade which saw the birth of the Strip Tease in France and the start of Musical Comedy (two completely separate things) .

Average life expectancy in the 1870’s was 39 years for men and 43 years for women.

Slang expressions in the 1870’s were:  “Shinning Around” – moving about quickly.  A statement in a newspaper of the day said “It is shinning around corners to avoid meeting creditors that is sapping the energies of this generation”.   Another common slang expression was “Bottom Fact” which meant an undisputed fact.

Note a couple of carriage types from the 1870’s.  The people in the pictures are not related, nor are the $60 horses.