HOMETOWN History Sept. 20, 2019


Sept. 20, 2019

100 Years Ago

An Assemblage of “Fat Men” – A convention of fat men has recently been held in
Norwalk, Connecticut at Gregory’s Point Hotel. One hundred and forty of the fattest men of New England and the adjoining states assembled. The names and weights of the various individuals are recorded. The weights ranged from two hundred to three hundred and fifty-eight pounds. The 358-pounder was John A.P. Fisk of New York who was elected president of the society for the ensuing year. James A. Lincoln of Springfield, Massachusetts, weighing 329 pounds was elected vice-president. The aggregate weight of the six heaviest was 1,922 pounds giving an average of 320 and one-third pounds each. The aggregate weight of the whole 140 men was 31,385 pounds, being an average of 224 pounds each. They feasted on shell fish, scale fish, fish without scales and a great variety of vegetables. They devoured thirty bushels of oysters, 47 bushels of clams, 359 pounds of bluefish and eight barrels of sweet potatoes. Due to the intense heat the foot races were cancelled.

September 1869

125 Years Ago

Celestial Photography – Celestial objects can be photographed that will never be seen by the keenest eyes, aided by the most powerful telescope that can be made. One reason of this is that the photographic plate is sensitive to a far greater range of vibrations than the eye. Not only is it acted upon, to a slight extent, by the visual rays, but by those as rapid as 40,000,000,000, a second. Another reason is that, while the human retina can only retain an impression for about one-seventh of a second, the feeblest light that falls upon the sensitive plate is not lost, but is stored up. The countless millions of waves of light striking persistently upon one point of the plate must, in course of time, produce an image of the star. In this way, apparently blank parts of the heavens
have been shown to be crowded with stars. The total number of stars visible to the naked eye is only about six thousand. With our large telescopes this number becomes more than 50,000,000, while with the photographic eye it cannot be less than 160,000,000.

September 1894

100 Years Ago

Anti-Divorce Experts Advice: Kiss your wife three times before each meal. Don’t argue with her about her mother’s disposition. Don’t hide the change in your trousers pocket when retiring, but put it under your wife’s pillow. When she reads Shakespeare, forget the American League averages and read it with her. Don’t test the quality of her raised biscuits with your heel. Wipe your feet seven times before crossing the family threshold. So runs the advice of the anti-divorce experts. The City of Norwich, New York does not believe in issuing a series of impeachments on how to avoid divorce. It goes straight to the heart of the problem. For seven weeks, Norwich, through the medium of a summer school, has been teaching its girls how to become successful wives. It has taught them how to cook and sew. It has taught them how to make a successful home. It has taught them how to buy judiciously and how to make the pennies count.

September 1919

80 Years Ago

Village of Sidney Named for British Admiral – Once a part of the Indian conference grounds of Unadilla and later part of the Town of Franklin, Sidney, in the early nineteenth century, acquired the name Sidney Plains. When the village was incorporated in 1888 the name was shortened to Sidney. Tradition says that the name Sidney Plains was given in honor of Sir Sidney Smith, famous British Admiral who had gained much fame for his naval victories of that period. The name was first applied by John Mandeville, an English schoolmaster then living in Sidney Plains. Jay Gould, in his history of Delaware County published in 1856 confirms this origin of the name.
Unadilla was the original name that once applied to the whole region where the
counties of Delaware, Chenango and Otsego meet. The first settlement on the
site was established when Rev. William Johnston and his family arrived about 1790. For a time the area was known as Johnston’s Settlement and later called Susquehanna Flats before that name was replaced with Sidney Plains.

September 1939

60 Years Ago

The Oneonta Yellowjackets will host Ilion in their 1959 grid opener. Coach Lloyd Baker’s Yellowjackets who last year ran up a 6-2 record, have last year’s line practically intact but the backfield is missing three big fellows – Chuck Sweeney, Denny Weir and Mike Syros. Returning linemen are George Lynch, Charlie Hamwey, Tony Coraro, Pete Van Woert, Co-Captain Mike Zagata, Joe Rizzo and Skip Knott. Jim Konstanty will return as the starting quarterback. Pete Van Woert, who took over at center the second game of the season and remained there doing a fine job is back again. Pete is 6’ 1” and weighs 190 pounds. Big Jim Konstanty (6’ 2” 200 pounds) will share the quarterbacking with Pat Delaney, a promising sophomore.

September 1959

20 Years Ago

A recently published book about Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio includes an article written by SUCO history professor William Simons. In the book, “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio”
Simons describes how DiMaggio’s place in American history extends well beyond baseball. Titled “Joe DiMaggio and the American Ideal” follows DiMaggio from his start as a baseball rookie in 1936 through his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, to his success as an advertising pitchman. DiMaggio became a role model for Italian-Americans and a model for masculinity
for 60 years.

September 1994

10 Years Ago

Meizhu Lui, Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy will present “The Color of Wealth” at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Center for Multi-cultural Experiences in Lee Hall at the State University College at Oneonta. Lui’s group is a national nonprofit organization that helps build social movements for greater equality, according to officials. In her presentation, Lui will explore why the distribution of wealth in the United States is so uneven and whether public policy, even when well-intentioned, reinforces existing inequalities, and whether race and ethnicity continue to play a pivotal role in defining the haves and have-nots in society.

September 2009

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