Turn-of-the-century Turkey Cartoons

Here are a couple of Thanksgiving cartoons from a “Winter Stories” scrapbook, ca. 1900, from the papers of Charles L. Coon (finding aid), our friend from the previous post. Coon, an early 20th-century education reformer and teacher, put together a number of scrapbooks like this for use in classrooms.

Click image to enlarge
Click image to enlarge

Looking for a Thanksgiving side dish…how about some monster corn?


Just for fun. This photograph comes from the Bryan Family Papers (Collection #96, finding aid). Unfortunately, this photograph is undated, unattributed, and unidentified. But it’s still undeniably unrelenting in its agricultural intrigue.

Regulations to Govern the Teachers’ Homes, 1921-1922

Regulations for Teachers' Homes, by Charles L. Coon
Regulations for Teachers, by Charles L. Coon

This document, “Regulations to Govern the Teachers’ Homes,” 1921-1922, was prepared by Charles L. Coon, an early 20th-century education reformer and superintendent of Wilson County schools, in order to protect the the “property of the public” (apparently referring to the home itself) and the “health and good name of the teachers.” Some highlights include:

8.(d) The principal will not grant any teacher permission to leave the home on Saturday or Sunday nights to take rides or to make visits with a person of the opposite sex unless the couple is accompanied by a suitable chaperone.

8.(e) Dancing and card playing will not be permitted in the home, and the principal must not give any teacher permission to attend a dance or card party outside the teachers’ home.

8.(f) The great majority of all the pictures showing in the moving picture theaters are morally degrading or wholly unprofitable and far from uplifting and wholesome. A teacher who has only a small sense of her moral obligations and the influence of her example will hardly need a rule to guide her attendance on such places of public amusement.

Item comes from the Charles L. Coon Papers (#177 finding aid), Folder 135.

Holdings on minorities in NC libraries

Readings on minorities
“Readings on minorities in the United States, with emphasis on the negro,” 1948

The North Carolina Commission on Interracial Cooperation Records (finding aid) contains a group of surveys done in 1948 to assess the holdings of NC public libraries related to minorities, especially African Americans. A list of titles was sent out to white and black libraries around the state, and librarians indicated which titles they had in their collection and sent them back.

Some libraries had none of these materials, though a few of them responded saying that they would turn the list over to their book committee. After thumbing through the surveys, the library with the most titles by far was the Stanford L. Warren Library of Durham (a page from their survey results is pictured at right). This should come as no great surprise, as Stanford L. Warren was North Carolina’s second black library, established in 1916 (the first was the Brevard Street Library for Negroes, which opened in Charlotte in 1905). The Stanford L. Warren Library is pictured at its former location in the postcard below (from North Carolina Postcards).

Durham Colored Library, ca. 1916-1930

Roaches & garlic

Whiskey and turpentine? Sounds a bit like the homemade cough syrup my mother used to fix for me when I was young. While we’re on the subject of strange prescriptions, here’s an excerpt from a 1930s pamphlet in the Delta and Providence Farm Papers (finding aid), titled, “Why a Doctor is Needed on the Delta Cooperative Farm:”

A baby was born on the Farm. A member of the farm who was a registered mid-wife in the state of Mississippi was in charge of the case. The Mother developed an infection, due, probably, to none too clean instruments. The mid-wife mixed a concoction of roaches and garlic and applied it to the infection.

Was this remedy effective? The pamphlet doesn’t say, though I’m happy to report that the Delta Cooperative Farm was soon joined by physician David R. Minter.

Roaches & garlic

Whiskey and turpentine? Sounds a bit like the homemade cough syrup my mother used to fix for me when I was young. While we’re on the subject of strange prescriptions, here’s an excerpt from a 1930s pamphlet in the Delta and Providence Farm Papers (finding aid), titled, “Why a Doctor is Needed on the Delta Cooperative Farm:”

A baby was born on the Farm. A member of the farm who was a registered mid-wife in the state of Mississippi was in charge of the case. The Mother developed an infection, due, probably, to none too clean instruments. The mid-wife mixed a concoction of roaches and garlic and applied it to the infection.

Was this remedy effective? The pamphlet doesn’t say, though I’m happy to report that the Delta Cooperative Farm was soon joined by physician David R. Minter.

The Turpentine Remedy

The turpentine, as given to patient, G.P. Milton, who died the following day (January 8, 1865)
The turpentine treatment, as given to patient, G.P. Milton, who died the following day (January 8, 1865). From collection #612-z, Southern Historical Collection.

You never know what you’re going to find in our collections. Today, while looking for something totally unrelated, I happened upon a folder with an intriguing title: “Prescription and Diet Book, circa 1800s.” I thought I might have stumbled on some sort of early new age work. So, I started thumbing through.

What I found was that it was a record book, apparently from a Civil War hospital near Greensboro, North Carolina, that listed daily treatments that were given to wounded soldiers and others convalescing during the war.

In this record book are listings for some run of the mill treatments and remedies that were ordered on patients of the hospital such as, “light diet,” “light dressing applied to wound,” or “beef soup.” But then I started seeing some more, shall we say, experimental treatments listed. The regimen given to one particular patient named G. P. Milton was especially striking (see image shown here).

Sunday’s entry: “Rx…Whiskey and Turpentine every 3 hours”

Monday’s entry: “Died Jan. 8, 1865”

I guess turpentine isn’t always good for what ails you. Anyone know if this was once a common treatment? And if so, for which ailment was it usually prescribed? Was it ever successful?

[The item described comes from collection #612-z from the Southern Historical Collection.]