Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do These Look Familiar ?

One hundred years has gone by but there remains products that are as popular today as they were for our ancestors. It's fun to look at what some of these products looked like years ago. Chances are that if you mentioned them to your great grandfather he would know what you were talking about.

The first is Canada Dry ginger ale- the champagne of ginger ales! Pharmacist and chemist John J. McLaughlin (yes it was his family that sold their car business to General Motors) opened a small plant in Toronto, Ontario in 1890 to manufacture soda water, which he sold to drugstores as a mixer for fruit juices and flavoured extracts. In 1923 the company was sold and a corporation, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc. was formed.

In 1845, industrialist Peter Cooper obtained a patent for powered gelatin. Fourty years later  a New York based couple Pearle & Ann Wait  added flavouring to the powder and in 1897 Jell-O was born.

Wilkinson Sword in 1804 were makers of bayonets. Better blade making techniques led to  the making of swords, and that led in 1890 to the making of straight razors. In 1894 the first safety razor is introduced. The rest as they say is history.

Gum chewing apparently has been around since the ancient Greeks. When North America was been settled people found that the natives were chewing a resin found in spruce trees. In the nineteenth century paraffin wax was substituted for pine resin. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, of all people, introduced Thomas Adams, Sr. to chicle which is derived from the Sapota or Saodilla trees. The first patent for chewing gum was awarded in 1869. In 1893 Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint gums were introduced.  Dentyne and Chiclets were introduced in 1899. As early as 1888 vending machines for chewing gum appeared at subway stations in Manhattan.

Some things as they say never changes.

An excellent source for looking at popular products of the past is The Digital Deli.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver’s  Saturday  Night Genealogy Fun  asks you to create a family timeline on the family tree software that you use and post it to your blog. I use Legacy 7.4. Creating a timeline is easy enough using Legacy; but posting an image to blogger is beyond my poor computer skills. So I took the easy way out and created a PDF file and uploaded to Google Docs, and then linked it to this blog post.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

Today is Treasure Chest Thursday at Geneabloggers. Sometime around 1926 Grandfather decided to immigrate to Florida. Why? No one knows for sure. The family stayed for two years until the farm just outside of Dutton became available. It did give father a lot of stories about  swimming with snakes and alligators that he enjoyed telling us over and over and over.

Actually Grandpa was born on the 25th. December; but who's counting!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spammers At It Again

James Tanner in his blog  “Genealogy’s Star” notes that spammers have high jacked the genealogy social forum “Genealogy Wise”. Apparently they have also hacked into the Facebook aps  "Farmville".

Bored With Genealogy

Thanks to Chris Dunham’s blog “The Genealogue”  for putting me on to a ridiculous rant in the “Times” on genealogists and librarians by  Sathnam Sanghera . Rather typical I thought, although I have met some of these views from professional historians. Mind you  the historians would disagree with him over his views of libraries and librarians.

Sanghera’s view of genealogists :

“But I can’t think of a single revelation produced by a single genealogist that hasn’t made me think: meh.”


“Though perhaps a better way of putting it is that genealogy is the academic equivalent of endlessly googling yourself.”

Or on libraries:

“-when it comes down to it, anything, up to and including financial destitution, is better than spending too much time in a library.”

I imagine that  the last is a good excuse for not bothering with facts when writing.  Research is hard work.  Ignorance is bliss.