Monthly Archives: June 2016

Runaways Fly Into Council Meeting

horse_160623bHere is an aspect of 1910 life that we, in the 21st century, do not encounter: runaways on the streets.

When you read that statement what image did the word runaway bring to your mind?
A child running away from home?
A spouse running away from a marriage?

The runaways in this context would be horses and the most dangerous ones would be horse drawn wagons or carriages which, in 1910, would be fairly common on the streets and roads of Grand Forks.

Why would the Mayor be so concerned about them he brought the topic up in City Council in this week in 1910? Because twice in the previous week the streets of Grand Forks had been the scene of runaways and both times it was due to indiscriminate scattering of handbills, advertisements, by commercial concerns in town. The wind driven pages become animated antagonists to the horses on the streets and some get scared enough to bolt – dangerously dragging their loads behind as they flee to safety.

This also points out an origin story:
Why are those advertising things that clog your mailbox called Flyers?
Could it be because the handbills they evolved from were often found flying around after being discarded?

You can read more about the news of bygone days on our Old Newspapers page.
And you can read the pinned down handbills we call posters on our whatsupgf page without contributing to litter or runaways!

Don’t Be A Knocker

In a previous post I remarked on the very different takes, by the local newspapers, on the coming circus (back in 1910).

The Gazette ran their advertisement and also wrote some additional promotional copy while the Sun had no ad and a disparaging editorial.

Well this week the Gazette continues their promotional efforts with two glowing pieces, on the circus which has not even happened yet, and another piece which just might be a chiding comment aimed at the Sun’s editorial staff. This extra piece is is titled Don’t Be A Knocker and I’m reproducing it below (emphasis added).

Don’t be a Knocker

If your neighbor is prosperous, let him prosper.
Do not growl or grumble.
Say a good word for him and let it go at that.

Do not be a knocker.

If you see that the town is moving along nicely, feel good about it.
Help things along. Shove a little. Push.
Try and secure some of the benefit for yourself.

Do not stand around like a cadaver.
Do not wast time feeling sore because some fellow has a little more sand and sense than you have.
Do a little hustling yourself.
If you can say a good word, say it like a prince.
If you are full of bile and disposed to say something mean, keep your mouth closed.
Do not be a knocker.

No man ever became rich and happy minding anybody’s business save his own.
No man ever helped himself up permanently, by knocking his neighbors down.

Give a kind word. Give it liberally.
It will not cost a cent and you may want one yourself some day.
You cannot afford it. It will not pay. There is nothing in it.

If you want to throw something at somebody – throw cologne. Or roses.
Do not throw brickbats. Or mud.
If you must kick – go to some secluded spot and kick yourself.
If you feel that way, you are the man who needs kicking.

But whatever you do, do not be a knocker.

Of course I cannot say for sure that the preceding was actually intended as a comment on the Sun’s editorial but the timing leaves me suspicious.

You can read more of the newspaper on our Old Newspapers page.