The Healer and the Pirate

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Friday, September 30, 2011

House plans, Old Timey iTunes, Eugenics

Gonna be pretty quick today. House plans (!) in the New York Tribune:

Note it has servant's quarters downstairs. When my dad was growing up in an old house, they never had enough electrical outlets, so he made sure to have our house built with plenty of them.

--New York Tribune, Sunday, October 2, 1921

So this is a busy has stories of rabies vaccines (the "Pasteur Treatment"), a custody battle, at least 2 murders, one quite gruesome, all the church services in New York...oh, and a scientific call for eugenics. In America. Wow.

Development of Race of Supermen Suggested
Professor Says Godlike Bodies and Newton Minds Could Be Produced on Island

Special Dispatch to The Tribune

BALTIMORE, Sept. 30.--Dr. H. S. Jennings, professor of zoology at Johns Hopkins University, expressed belief to-day that a race of people with the bodies of Greek gods and the minds of Newton or Shakespeare could be developed if a group of selected men and women were put on an island, otherwise uninhabited and kept there with their descendants for many generations.

"Of course," Dr. Jennings admitted, "that isn't possible, because the generations of the human race are too long, and we might not be successful in obtaining subjects. We can, however, improve the race by scientific methods, making the people healthier, better looking and more intelligent.

"Great men are both born and made. Heredity and environment both have their effect, so the race may be changed by selection of the parents of the future and by a change in surroundings. In a group of men placed under exactly identical conditions those with superior ancestors would soon come to the front, while a few men of equally good descent will soon show the effects of variations in environment."

--New York Tribune, Saturday, October 1, 1921

In less worrisome know? I am not sure I am ever going to look at iTunes and Amazon MP3 the same way again. Sometimes I hesitate to spend 99 cents on a song…

--New York Tribune, Saturday, October 1, 1921

In theory, these discs could have played 2 songs, one on each side, each something like 3-4 minutes long, but I think only the ones near the bottom are two-sided.

Historical Currency Conversions says $1.00 in 1921 was worth $12.66 in today's dollars. For one song, in many cases.

Now, it's hard to imagine how incredible it would be if you lived in the middle of nowhere, to suddenly hear musical performances that you'd never be able to hear in person. That said, in 1921, I imagine the smart money would be buying radios, not gramophones and phonographs.

The Library of Congress has some of these songs in a "National Jukebox", though Uncle Josh's was from the wrong year so it might not exactly match what listeners would've heard in 1921. (Like the Library of Congress, I don't endorse the statements made in these songs.)

Nightingale and the Rose by Mabel Garrison ($1.25!)

Where the Lazy Mississippi Flows by Olive Kline-Elsie Baker

In a Boat -by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra

Baltimore Buzz by Eubie Blake and His Shuffle Along Orchestra

Uncle Josh Buys a Victrola by Cal Stewart (a spoken-word "comedy"!)

Melon Time in Dixieland by Billy Murray and American Quartet

Irish Home Sweet Home by Billy Murray--Monroe Silver

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