August 30, 2009

Favorites of the week August 25-August 30, 1930

No Journal was published Sunday, August 31, 1930. Once again, a collection of my favorite items of the week. These aren't a representative selection but just the ones that made me smile or take notice.

August 30:

[Note: I understand Amtrak now offers two kind of hot dogs ... ] Canadian Natl. Railways facilities for Toronto-Vancouver train include mini-gym with “Swedish massage machines, vibrating apparatus, and foot and hand exercisers,” shower bath, ice cream parlor, barber shop, valet service. Windows in observation cars are of “vita glass” transparent to UV rays.

[Note: Interesting difference - lack of safety net, and similarity - consumer-driven economy. ] Editorial: Gov. Roosevelt's proposed state-supported unemployment insurance may be debatable, but he's at least called attention to a crucial problem. Workers make a majority of the national income (in 1928, 46.6M workers of a total population of 119M made $50B of a total income of $89.4B, the rest being interest, dividends, rents, etc). Therefore, business life depends on workers' income and consumption, and it's crucial that there be steady and well-paid work for all those willing and able. Automation and other factors have contributed to unemployment; solution “calls for deep study of experts and an economic, not a political cure.”

[Note: Strangely familiar dept. ] Pres. Hoover meets with heads of govt. building activities with view to accelerating programs.

[Note: Interesting stat if accurate. ] American Tree Assoc. says world's forests are concentrated in Russia, British empire, Brazil, and US; these four contain 2/3 of world forest land.

August 29:

[Note: For you non-Depression-buffs, Whitney would turn out to be yet another Depression Disgraziato, winding up in Sing Sing prison a few years later. ] Richard Whitney, NYSE Pres., to give opening address at NYSE Educational Institute on subject “Trade Depressions and Stock Panics.”

[Note: Sheer Genius dept.] NY City has thriving trade in shops renting complete outfits for weddings, including bridal gowns, tuxedoes for groom and best man, gowns for bridesmaids, and outfits for family members. Larger shops have up to 300 gown selection; bridal outfits rent for $15-$25, grooms for $5 including stovepipe hat.

August 28:

[Note: Strangely familiar dept. ] There's a large amount of money on sidelines waiting for investment opportunities; this should be felt in market when “cheerful sentiment is more firmly intrenched.” Economists point out that banks and insurance companies “never before had so much money lying idle.”

[Note: Not so sure about whether the last part is still true dept. ] Fed. Reserve seen continuing easy credit policy pursued since start of year. Some concern that increased reserve credit “will flow into speculative channels,” but this doesn't seem to have happened much yet.

August 27:

[Note: Thank goodness we're now getting back to the civil, rational discourse of old-fashioned town hall meetings.] Editorial decrying the 1930 election campaign being waged using the new mass medium of radio: “A practically new kind of artillery is used, known as the radio which is charged with political hot air and fired, not at the opposing side but at the people ... the contestants count on keeping up the bombardment until the November elections by which time the people will be gassed into submission to one side or the other.” Cause of current depression is that “this, the richest nation on earth, with millions of idle money is not giving employment to a large consuming class,” but neither side in the campaign is offering constructive solutions.

[Note: Strangely familiar dept.] Economists say unemployment is biggest factor keeping business down and delaying recovery; point to loss of 1.6M factory jobs since last September.

[Note: Strangely familiar dept.] Commercial credit continues down slightly; this may not be significant, however, since corresponding weeks in previous years have also been down. Banks have also been reducing loans on securities, though they remain high. Banks have been pouring surplus funds into investments, now at highest level on record.

August 26:

[Note: Forgotten wisdom dept. ] Dr. D. Laird of Colgate U. claims at least 5% of US payrolls is wasted due to inefficiency caused by noise. Tests of typists found up to 30% increase in output when noise was reduced; noise apparently harms nervous system even when workers are used to it and don't consciously find it disturbing; typists used 25% more energy in a noisy room “as a result of pounding the keys harder and of muscular tension.”

[Note: Good luck with that dept. ] Latin American representatives to meet in Washington to “devise means to limit manufacture of narcotics to medical needs.”

August 25:

[Note: I believe Dept. of Fisheries later produced educational film with Dean Martin titled That's A Moray.] US Dept. of Agriculture has extensive department producing educational films, including T.B or not T.B., Insect Allies, That Brush Fire, and Persimmon Harvesting and Storage in China.

[Note: Strangely familiar dept. ] Editorial: Some have suggested banning short-selling as aid to business recovery. But recent market swings have not been due to short-selling but to public recognition of reduced earning power; similarly, farmland in corn belt has gone down by 2/3 from wartime level, though noone has been selling it short.

[Note: Strangely familiar dept. ] Alarmed by shrinking population, France budgets $45M to encourage large families; parents to receive $20 for second child, $30 for each additional.

[Note: It really wasn't that deep. ] Second Greta Garbo sound film released, Romance - her “deep sonorous voice” is no longer surprising, but another interesting facet of her screen presence. No actress in Hollywood photographs better; melodrama with fine cast stars her as Italian opera singer Rita Cavallini in ill-fated romance with Tom Armstrong.

[Note: Truer words were never spoken dept. ]
“'Politics is very uncertain.'
'Very,' agreed Senator Sorghum. 'Even after a man succeeds in being elected, he doesn't know whether he's going to take credit for what happens or whether he's going to get the blame.'”


  1. Re: "Making Whoopee" - Doris Day's version on Cuttin' Capers (arranged by Nelson Riddle, released 1958 - vinyl still plays great ;-) has strudel too ...

  2. Commercial Ice Machine are seviced all over the world these days.............