Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Buying a watch in 1880



By Terry Orr
(Sharing an email – thanks Diane)


If you were in the market for a watch in 1880, would you know where to get one? You would go to a store, right? Well, of course you could do that, but if you wanted one that was cheaper and a bit better than most of the store watches, you went to the train station!

Sound a bit funny? Well, for about 500 towns across the northern United States, that’s where the best watches were found. Why were the best watches found at the train station?

The railroad company wasn't selling the watches, not at all.

The telegraph operator was.

Most of the time the telegraph operator was located in the railroad station because the telegraph lines followed the railroad tracks from town to town.

It was usually the shortest distance and the right-of-ways had already been  secured for the rail line.

Most of the station agents were also skilled telegraph operators and that was the primary way that they communicated with the railroad.

They would know when trains left the previous station and when they were due at their next station.

And it was the telegraph operator who had the watches.

As a matter of fact, they sold more of them than almost all the stores combined for a period of about 9 years.

This was all arranged by "Richard," who was a telegraph operator himself. He was on duty in the North Redwood, Minnesota train station one day when a load of watches arrived from the East. It was a huge crate of pocket watches. No one ever came to claim them.

So Richard sent a telegram to the manufacturer and asked them what they wanted to do with the watches.

The manufacturer didn't want to pay the freight back, so they wired Richard to see if he could sell them. So Richard did.

He sent a wire to every agent in the system asking them if they wanted a cheap, but good, pocket watch. He sold the entire case in less than two days and at a handsome profit. That started it all.

He ordered more watches from the watch company and encouraged the telegraph operators to set up a display case in the station offering high quality watches for a cheap price to all the travelers.

It worked!

It didn’t take long for the word to spread and, before long; people other than travelers came to the train station to buy watches.

Richard became so busy that he had to hire a professional watchmaker to help him with the orders.

That was Alvah.

And the rest is history as they say. The business took off and soon expanded to many other lines of dry goods. Richard and Alvah left the train station and moved their company to Chicago -- and it’s still there.

YES, IT’S A LITTLE KNOWN FACT that for a while in the 1880's, the biggest watch retailer in the country was at the train station.


It all started with a telegraph operator: Richard Sears and his partner Alvah Roebuck!

Monday, March 16, 2015

NEW PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION

Sharing an interesting email


The following has been attributed to Lewis Napper, a 
 Jackson  Mississippi  computer programmer.  He didn't expect his essay -- a tart 10-point list of "rights" Americans don't have -- to become an Internet legend.


'We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to  help everyone get along, restore some semblance of  justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe,  promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our  great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more  time to ordain and establish some common sense  guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional. We hold these truths to be self evident:  that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.'

ARTICLE I: 

You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth.  More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II:

You do not have  the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone -- not  just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc.; but the world is full of dummies, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE 
 III :

You do not have the  right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE  IV:

You do not have the right to free food and  housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who  achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch  potatoes.

ARTICLE V:

You do not have the  right to free health care. That would be nice, but  from the looks of public housing, we're just not  interested in public health care.

ARTICLE  VI:

You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you get the blue juice.

ARTICLE   VII :

You do not have the right to the  possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce  away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be  surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you  away in a place where you still won't have the right  to a big screen color TV or a life of  leisure.

ARTICLE VIII:

You do not have  the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE IX:

You  do not have the right to happiness. Being an American  means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are  unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws  created by those of you who were confused by the Bill  of Rights.

ARTICLE X:

This is an English  speaking country. We don't care where you came from, English is our language. Learn it!
  
Lastly
ARTICLE  XI:

You do not have the right to change our  country's history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution. The phrase IN GOD WE TRUST is part of our heritage and history, sorry if you are uncomfortable with it.  

If you agree, share this with a friend. No, you don't have to, and nothing tragic will befall you if you don't.  I just think it's about time common sense is allowed to flourish. Sensible people of the 
 United States  must speak out because if you do not, who will?
.
Do I hear an AMEN?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Guardians of the Night



By Terry Orr

I recently just finished reading the second book featuring Detective Michael Gideon and his dog Sirius of the LAPD by Alan Russell.  Both books are good reads and highly recommend them both.

The following poem, ‘Guardians of the Night’ was mentioned during the story – both my wife and I found this poem heartwarming and spoke volumes of these special four-legged animals who give so very much. 

We hope you will enjoy and share this poem as well.


Guardians Of The Night

Author – Unknown

Trust in me my friend for I am
your comrade. I will protect you
with my last breath When all
others have left you And the
loneliness of the night closes
in, I will be at your side.

Together we will conquer all
obstacles, And search out
those who might wish harm to
others. All I ask of you is
compassion, The caring touch
of your hands. It is for you that I
will unselfishly give my life And
spend my nights unrested.
Although our days together
May be marked by the passing
of the seasons Know that each
day at your side is my reward.

My days are measured by The
coming and going of your
footsteps. I anticipate them at
every opening of the door. You
are the voice of caring when I
am ill. The voice of authority
when I've done wrong.


Do not chastise me unduly For
I am your right arm, The sword
at your side. I attempt to do
only what you bid of me. I seek
only to please you and remain
in your favor.

Together you and I shall
experience A bond only others
like us will understand When
outsiders see us together Their
envy will be measured by their
disdain.

I will quietly listen to you And
pass no judgment, Nor will your
spoken words be repeated I will
remain ever silent, Ever vigilant,
ever loyal. And when our time
together is done And you move
on in the world Remember me
with kind thoughts and tales,
For a time we were unbeatable,
Nothing passed among us
undetected.

If we should meet again on
another street I will gladly take
up your fight, I am a Police
Working Dog and together We
are guardians of the night.