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Category Archives: Labor movement

New Hampshire Sentinel, January 27, 1827. Gee, I wonder what their problem was?

The Pittsfield [Mass.] Sun, October 8, 1868. Accidental poetry like this was, of course, a byproduct of the telegraph. And this is recognizably the sort of thing that Thoreau was anticipating when he famously wrote in 1854 that “We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate… We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the Old World some weeks nearer to the New; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad, flapping American ear will be that the Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.” Thoreau was a joyless old poop. I’ll take stuff like this over a dreary proto-Unabomber tract like Walden Pond any day of the year. It lighteneth the mynd, it quickeneth the spirits, it addeth to the gaiety of nations.

The Daily Picayune, February 24, 1888. Oh man, I’d my eyeteeth for access to such an institution. Bet they served mince pie, too. Though I know a lot of Canadians (really–a lot) who would take grave offense at the idea that the noble game of crokinole originated among bean-eating Yankees.

oy gevaltThe Washington Post, January 3, 1907. More strike-related acid-throwing high jinks, though at least this time the attack is against inanimate objects and not dumb and blameless beasts of burden. Iodoform (sez Wikipedia) is “the organoiodine compound with the formula CHI3. A pale yellow, crystalline, volatile substance, it has a penetrating odor (in older chemistry texts, the smell is sometimes referred to as the smell of hospitals) and, analogous to chloroform, sweetish taste. It is occasionally used as a disinfectant.”

acid on horseshorse2 New York Tribune, December 6, 1906. The Labor movement had its own traditions and techniques of acid-throwing.

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