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Archive for April, 2013

The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 1, 1919

Appalling Loss Causes Rail Officials to Take Up Safety First Slogan.

Regional Director Bush of the southwestern region, United States railroad administration, reports that for the first four months of 1919 thirty persons were killed and 180 injured in automobile accidents on railroad crossings on the twenty-three railroads in that region. In view of this appalling number of accidents and the increasing number of automobiles throughout the territory served by these roads an active campaign against such accidents has been instituted.

During 1917  1,777 persons were killed and 4,356 injured on railroad crossings in the United States; 4,243 trespassers were killed and 3,829 injured during the same year.

By perfecting a safety organization of railroad employes a remarkable reduction in accidents has been made. During the month of May reductions of more than 50 per cent were reported and on the Missouri Pacific railroad alone a decrease of seven injuries daily since August 1, 1918, has been made. This has proven that accident prevention is a matter of education.

“Safety First” has proven a profitable slogan for railroad men in the way of life and limb saved, and there is no doubt but that it would result in surprising decreases in casualties if adopted by the general public.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 1, 1919

That new central police station is still a paper one. A lot of bids are in for constructing  the building,  but there is not enough money in sight to finish the structure. Verily the present administration is having troubles of its own. It is absolutely necessary for a city the size of Omaha to have somebody running it that has some idea of carrying on a municipal business. No police station for another year.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 1, 1919

Stayed At Home During War To Help In Plant – Refused To Take Uniform.

Father was Responsible

Declares He Told Edsel That War Work in Factory Needed Him – Would Not Accept Safety First Commission.

Mt. Clemens, Mich. – Henry Ford, during the last hour of his seven days on the witness stand, took occasion to claim full responsibility for his son, Edsel Ford’s, claim for exemption from the selective draft. “He wanted to enlist,” said Mr. Ford, “but I told him that he could do more good shwere he was. He was offered several commissions which would have permitted him to wear a uniform and stay right in the factory, but he wouldn’t accept them.”

Having made their decisions, it was shown, both Mr. Ford and his son refused to camouflage it behind a swivel chair commission carrying boots and spurs.

This subject, the introduction of which has been awaited ever since the trial opened, did not develop along the lines which had been generally expected. Mr. Ford’s inclination to shoulder full responsibility, his statement that his son was absolutely essential to the war work being done in the factory and his revelation of the fact that Edsel Ford turned down several offers of a commission, disarmed criticism. The charges, spread during a political campaign, and recently repeated on the floor of the United States senate, to the effect that the young president of the Ford Motor company had shirked his duty were so fully refuted that Tribune counsel did not pursue the point.

It was the first time that a full explanation of the facts in connection with Edsel Ford’s war work has been made public and it was easily the feature of the eleventh week of the trial.

Henry Ford spent seven days on the witness stand and of this time he gave less than two hours to his own lawyers. As long as counsel for The Tribune was hammering him Mr. Ford sat quietly in the witness chair answering the constant fire of questions with great patience. But the instant his own lawyers took him in hand his attitude changed. He became self-concious and diffident. He woud not accept the efforts of his counsel to provide him with an opportunity to reveal the full extent of his patriotic work during the war, his humanitarian views, or his advanced ideas of the relations which should exist between capital and labor.

“It is all in the records,” said Mr. Ford. “I have told it all here once.” He avoided, with care, anything that verged on boasting. He would not even describe the extent of the war work which his factories did and when record breaking performances was mentioned he declared, “we did all we could, let it go at that. I want to forget about it. I feel just as the soldiers feel. I don’t want to talk about my war work.”

The witness did, however, after being pressed, explain that his son had bought out the minority stockholders of the Ford Motor company because these interests had insisted on Mr. Ford squeezing the last dollar out of the public, the government, the workers and the product. He wanted to cut loose from his associates, he said, so that he could carry out his ideas of the distribution of profits to employees through increased wages and to the public through lower prices. It was either buy or sell and Mr. Ford had considered selling and organizing a new company. His son, however, took up the task of buying out the minority stockholders and succeeded, despite the general belief in the financial world that this stock could not be purchased.

One of the most interesting developments of Mr. Ford’s testimony came out when it was testified that the only legislation he has ever sought was that for the protection of birds. Other men of millions, it was shown, keep lobbyists in the national and state capitol to urge and work for special privileges, but the one favor that Mr. Ford has ever asked from the lawmakers had nothing to do with his own interests. It was a curious bit of testimony and left a deep impression on the audience in the court chamber.

The subject was a result of questions concerning Mr. Ford’s list of friends. He named Thomas Edison and John Burroughs, the naturalist, as his best friends outside of his immediate associates.

Litigation in which Mr. Ford has been interested was another subject of interest. It was shown that when the automobile business was in the first years of growth all manufacturers of motor cars were compelled to pay tribute to what was known as the Selden patent on internal combustion engines. Mr. Ford fought this patent for seven years and won and by his victory freed the entire industry from its shackles and made possible the wonderful growth which has marked the last few years.

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Recently, my Steampunk group (and when I say “my” I mean the group that I’m a part of, it’s not like I own or manage it or anything) put a Mad Hatter Tea Party on its calendar. Looking over my meager costuming collection, I realized with dismay that I had nothing suitable to wear (an old problem, yes?). Eagerly scouring the internet for inspiration, I came across this lovely idea for a teacup fascinator on the Etsy shop ThreeLace (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreeLace):

Tea Cup Fascinator

With this as my source of inspiration, I took to the wild and wooly streets of Omaha for the necessary implements. I’m lucky that Omaha is rich in thrift and antique shopping, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s available. My first attempt, though, actually took me to, first Target, and then Toy ‘R Us, in the hopes that I could find a cheap toy tea set. Both were epic fails. Target had nothing useful, which made me sad, because I love Target. They’re not always cheap, but they have the cutest things. Toys ‘R Us was the bigger fail. The Disney princess set just wouldn’t do at all, and too expensive at $14. There was a cute tin set but that was $18. I’m not a parent (not to human children, anyway; I have fur-babies, more commonly known as kitties) so I was dismayed at how expensive everything was.

So I turned to my more typical go-to place, which is Goodwill. There are 3 Goodwill locations within a 10-minute drive of my place, a veritable thrifting extravaganza! The nice thing with them, too, is that they are always getting new items so you can try your luck day after day. The first go-round didn’t produce what I needed. Either everything was too heavy, too frilly, or part of a large set that I didn’t want to break up. That took me to Old Market.

If you’ve never been to Omaha, let me tell you a little bit about the Old Market area of downtown. There you’ll find brick streets, plenty of bars, a number of restaurants, horse and carriages, street musicians, people roaming about in a slew of costumes for a multitude of reasons, and some very quirky shops, including some antique shops. There may be more than these, but I tend to mostly hit up Second Chances, the Imaginarium and Fairmont. Between these three you can easily spend an entire day roaming through mazes of hodgepodge. At some point I will have to take some pictures so you can see just how delightful these places are.

Second Chances doesn’t offer the best customer service but I rather like that they leave me alone to wander about in a daze. They have a delightful corner stuffed full of very old toys. The kind of toys I remember playing with at my grandparents farm when I was a kid (I’m not that old, I did most of my growing up in the 80’s). This was stuff that my mom, uncles and aunts would have played with in the 30’s & 40’s, and may have already been hand-me-downs from a previous generation. They have furniture, silverware, postcards, pictures, sewing supplies, shaving instruments, tons of dishware, clothes, shoes, hardware, recovered wood, windows, tools, and cats. There are at least 3, maybe 4, cats that live in the store. They’re surprisingly shy but sometimes they’ll come out and say hello to you.

The Imaginarium is an insane collection of random stuff. Toys, books, jewelry, weapons, VHS tapes, clothes, furniture, etc. The Fairmont is a combination of antique store, candy shop, soda fountain and movie theater. So when you’re tired from aimless roaming you can put your feet up, watch a movie, and slurp down a root beer float. No cats, here, though, but the huge array of candy makes up for that, I think.

After scouring all of these places and more clean, I was still empty-handed. With the date of the party drawing closer, I desperately made hubby go with me back to a Goodwill. He’s a reluctant good luck charm, you see. He respects thrifting and will do it when he must, but 99% of the time you can count him out for antiquing. Unfortunately for him, I have a knack for finding just what I need whenever he’s along and so, in a pinch, I make him go with me. Bam! Almost right off the bat, we found the perfect teacup. Plain, no frills, not part of a set, very light (which is important when the thing is going to be on one’s head) and only $1.

With teacup in hand, I was hit by an epiphany: why not have it painted? My step-father-in-law, more easily known as my Nebraska Dad,  is an artist. How handy! I asked him to paint an octopus onto my little teacup and he kindly obliged. He used this little fella as his model:

Octoman

(If you click on his picture, he turns into a huge kraken.) He sits outside of the aquarium at our Henry Doorly Zoo and he did a great job of modeling, no?

Finding the right headband proved to be its own challenge but, once again with hubby in tow, I found on for $4 at Hancock Fabrics of all places. Rather expensive for just a plain ol’ headband if you ask me, but I was just happy to find the right one in time at that point. Back home, we slathered a huge amount of hot glue onto the bottom of the cup, stuck the headband on, and found a kitty-safe zone (a.k.a. a  closet) to let it dry over night. The party was the next day so I was crossing my fingers that it would work.

Lo and behold it all came together perfectly. See for yourself:

IMG_1532

The tricky part was keeping it on my head. The cup is heavy enough that every time I turned my head the whole set up would start sliding off. A few strategically placed bobby pins took care of that little problem, though. It was a huge success at the party and I’m rather proud of it. What do you think?

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 1, 1919

For the information of those who think Bryan is dead let it be said that he is still taking up Chautauqua collections. He has been a good collector if nothing else.

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The Mediator
Omaha, Nebraska, August 1, 1919

The Empress, which is living up to its title “the coolest show in town,” has a most diversified and pleasing show arranged for its patrons this week. Dora Dean and her dancing sunbeams, offering vaudeville’s fastest moving cycle of song and dance, provide the stellar attraction. Miss Dean has an international reputation. There are five girls in addition to Miss Dean in the present act, with two comedians formerly featured with productions.

Crisp, breezy and up to the minute is the dialogue in the comedy playlet, “The Jealous Lovers,” in which Nellie Luckie and Thomas Yost combine their clever ability.

Under the caption of “On Broadway” Gibson and Beatty have a high class offering in which they introduce a repertoire of exclusive song numbers and some graceful dancing.

Harris and Harris give an exhibition of hand balancing that causes the audience to sit up and take notice. The photoplay attraction for the first half of the week will be “The Microbe,” starring Viola Dana.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 1, 1919

Tribune Editorial Writer Testified Paper Thought Intervention Would Be Profitable.

Ninth Week Of Ford Case

Famous Million Dollar Libel Case Continues in Mt. Clemens – Edsel Ford is Called to Stand by Newspaper.

Mt. Clemens, Mich. – Editors who directed the policy of The Chicago Tribune, and editorial writers who put that policy into printed words, were the witnesses produced by the defense during the ninth week of the Ford Tribune  $1,000,000 libel case.

Tiffany Blake, chief editorial writer of The Tribune, was one of the most interesting witnesses. Mr. Blake testified that he had deliberately permitted the characterization of Mr. Ford as an anarchist because it seemed to him to sum up Mr. Ford’s activities. He testified at length under cross-examination, concerning the attitude which his paper took in favor of war with Mexico but against war with Germany, and admitted that The Tribune had in mind the material benefits which would accrue to the United States in the event of intervention, and the fact that no such gains could be reaped from war with Germany.

Ford Was in the Way

During the course of his testimony Mr. Blake characterized the utterances and the attitude of Mr. Ford as “notorious.” Ford counsel took the stand that Mr. Ford’s position could not have been notorious to readers of The Tribune because The Tribune never referred to the alleged statements which it is now using as a means of justifiying its attack. Its attitude towards Mr. Ford, counsel attempted to show by questioning the witness, was based upon the fact that just when it seemed that the paper’s long campaign for war with Mexico was about to bear fruit, and troops were being hurried to the border, it suddenly found Henry Ford in its way.

Submarine warfare, in the estimation of The Tribune, the witness said, the witness said, was never sufficient cause for war. Mr. Blake admitted that the newspaper did not demand armed redress after the sinking of the Lusitania, and that when the President used the Sussex case as a test, The Tribune continued to declare that the submarine issue was no cause for war.

An editorial from The Tribune was introduced and Ford counsel proceeded to read from it, “If we win in Germany, what do we win”-

“Yes, what do we win,” interjected the witness.

“Blessed if we know” – continued the editorial.

“Yes, blessed if we know,” broke in the witness again, “we don’t know today.”

“You stated,” said Ford counsel, “that when the government finally decided on its position that you supported it and stopped argument against war with Germany. Do you consider that when the President had presented an ultimatum and broken off diplomatic relations that you were supporting him and the nation by continuing to tell the people that the President had no ground for war with Germany?”

“Yes, because the submarine issue was not a good ground for war.”

“Well, when the President broadened the issue by telling the country that we must enter the war to make the world safe for democracy, did you argue for war on these broader grounds?”

“No, we did not.”

Overlooked Ford’s Offer

“Did you know, Mr. Blake, that Mr. Ford was the first person in the United States to offer himself, his ability, his factories and all he had, to assist the government in the event of war – did you know that?”

“No, I did not know that.”

“Your perusal of The Tribune did not give you that information about Mr. Ford?”

“No.”

R.R. McCormick, president of The Tribune company, and one of the editors of the paper, was another witness. Mr. McCormick testified that The Standard Oil and International Harvesters interests, in which Tribune stockholders have holdings, never in any way directed the policy of the paper towards Mexico. His testimony also touched the matter of salaries, which The Tribune cut off as soon as men entered the service of the nation in the great war, although it had continued salaries when its employes were called to the border. The fact that the army pay had been doubled, that married men were discharged from the guard and that conscription had been put in force, caused the paper to change its policies, Mr. McCormick stated.

E.G. Liebold, general secretary to Mr. Ford, and Edsel Ford, the president of the Ford Motor Company, were called to the witness stand by The Tribune late in the week. Mr. Liebold testified concerning a letter which he had written in response to a communication which sought to interest Mr. Ford in a device which would deal out death.

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