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HOMETOWN HISTORY, November 16, 2012

125 Years Ago
When found in the laboratory of his lamp factory in Newark, from which 4,000 lamps a day are now sent out, Thomas Edison said that the commercial phonograph is now the most interesting thing in the world to him. It is perfectly finished, and tools are being made for its manufacture upon a large scale. The stories which Edison tells of what his perfected phonograph will do are so extraordinary that he scarcely expects people to believe him, and yet he says that the apparatus is so simple, so effective, and so immediately useful that he is certain of its rapid introduction into business – far more certain than he was of the universal adoption of the telephone as a business instrument. “My phonograph I expect to see in every business office. The first five hundred will, I hope, be ready for distribution about the end of January. Their operation is simplicity itself and cannot fail. The merchant or clerk who wishes to send a letter has only to set the machine in motion, and to talk in his natural voice and at the usual rate of speed into the receiver. When he has finished, the sheet, or phonograph, as I call it, is ready for putting into the box made on purpose for the mails. We are making the sheets in three sizes – one for letters from 800-1,000 words; another size for 2,000 words; another size for 4,000 words. The receiver of a phonogram will put it into his apparatus, and the message will be given out more clearly, more distinctly, than the best telephone message ever sent.”
November 1887

80 Years Ago
The imperative necessity to the railroads of a cut in governmental costs and a resulting reduction in the national tax burden which now amounts to $14,500,000,000 billion or about $125 annually for every person in the country is stressed in a statement issued by Frederick E. Williamson, president of the New York Central lines. The 1931 taxes paid by the New York Central were 42.88 percent of the company’s net revenue from railway operations. This year, for the first eight months, tax accruals have risen to 51.63 percent or more than half of the company’s net revenue from railway operations. “Our taxes,” Williamson points out, “have reached a point where they are stifling the purchasing power of the railroads, which normally are the country’s largest single purchaser. As a result, many of the largest industries in the country, that normally employ many thousands, are suffering severely because of our inability and that of other railroads to purchase needed supplies even on a scale commensurate with our reduced traffic.”
November 1932
60 Years Ago
Advertisement – The Eight Friendly Shopping Services at Bresee’s – The purchase refund event: The drawing on our big Purchase Refund Event takes place every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. – up to $5,000 refunded on ten sales slips. Parcel Checking – Make shopping more enjoyable by checking your parcels at our checking desk located on the second floor. Ladies Lounge – Ladies, relax while shopping in our newly decorated and comfortable lounge located on the second floor. Health Bar Restaurant – Meet your friends at the famous Health Bar Restaurant – famous for good food and courteous service. Public Address System – We are able to locate anyone at anytime over our Public Address System – also to bring you special announcements. Buy Now, Pay in January – To open a charge account, apply at Bresee’s Credit Office on the second floor. Do your shopping the easy way. Contract Plan – You pay as little as 15 percent down and the unpaid balance in monthly payments up to one year. Lay-Away Plan – You pay a small deposit and we will hold for you any item you wish to purchase.
November 1952

40 Years Ago
A committee appointed by President Nixon in 1971 to study the state of health education across the country reported its findings Wednesday. The committee’s overall conclusion is that “health education throughout America, especially in non-white areas, is a neglected, underfinanced, unhealthy, fragmented activity” which requires a major overhaul. The investigative committee, staffed with private health professionals, also found that “no agency, in or out of government, is responsible for establishing health education goals.” To remedy the problem, the committee recommends a major new commitment of federal money and a reallocation of current and future funding by federal, state, local and private sources so the money will be spent more wisely.
November 1972

30 Years Ago
Are the following statements true or false? Teachers tend to discipline boys more harshly than girls. Women are absent from jobs more often than men due to illness. Most young women do not need to plan careers as they will be homemakers. Most high school students feel that boys should pay the expenses on a date. Teachers talk more with girls than they do with boys. These questions are part of a game found in a program kit that examines expanding roles for young people and challenges youth to consider their own outlooks on sex-role stereotyping without pressure to change their minds. The program was pioneered through the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
November 1982

20 Years Ago
An Elmira high school junior was removed from school after she went to class with packaged condoms decorating her clothing and hair. Thursa Hargrove, 16, said she wore the prophylactics as both a statement for safe sex and fashion. “It was a fashion statement at first, but there are a lot of teenagers out there that are embarrassed about them,” said Hargrove, who is the mother of an 18-month-old son. “People need them and shouldn’t be embarrassed by them,” she said. But officials at Elmira Free Academy, a public school, said the wearing of condoms was distracting to other students.
November 1992

10 Years Ago
Big industry sank deeper into its slump, with production plunging in October by the largest amount in a year. Production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities dropped 0.8 percent from the previous month. However, most economists continue to believe the country will avoid falling back into a double-dip recession.
November 2002



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