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Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1852: “Each Member of the Clerical Staff Must Bring 4 Pounds of Coal Each Day.”

    Everyone knows workplace conditions were a animal in times gone by, but it's still eye-opening to consider just how different things were. Consider this old poster, which I saw on a recent visit to the Furnacetown Living Heritage Village near Snow Hill, Md. The Village is on the site of an old bog-iron-making operation, but these Furnacetown rules actually apply to the clerical…
August 18, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Heyday of Garment Factories in Crisfield, Maryland

That old saying about how the more things change, the more they stay the same popped into my head when I went looking for a little background info to go with a cool photo of an old B.V.D. underwear plant, one of several old garment factories in Crisfield, Md. We’ve all heard about modern-day clothing and shoe companies that find their way to far-flung places…
July 23, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1907: Those Newfangled Skipjacks “Are as Cheap as Anything in the Form of a Boat Could Be.”

    Back in 1907, the Baltimore Sun published an essay lamenting the disappearance of an old sailing vessel called the pungy from the Chesapeake Bay sailing fleet. The business of oystering was in transition in those years, and the pungy was a bad fit for the new way of doing things. With the infamous Oyster Wars well under way, watermen were looking for vessels…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

Quote of the Day: A Shocking Discovery on the Dunes of Fenwick Island, c. 1900

Ruth Watson Lewis grew up in a family that made a special trip every year to a religious "camp meeting" on the Delaware Beach. The reminiscence that follows about going to the Fenwick Island camp meeting as a young girl comes from the book, Barefoot in Fenwick Island: Life on the Isle in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Be sure to stay tuned to the…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: ‘The mosquito,’ Dr. Tawes would say, ‘is one of the noblest creatures known to nature.’

The late P.J. Wingate was, appropriately enough, from the little town of Wingate, which stands deep in the mosquito-ridden marshland of south Dorchester County, Maryland. (FYI: The local pronunciation is win-GIT, not win-GATE.) A chemist by trade, Wingate dabbled quite a bit in writing as well. This is from his 1979 book, Bandages of Soft Illusion. It’s full of little essays about his childhood days…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Cambridge in 1872–“the most beautiful place on the Peninsula”

    In an article for Scribner’s Monthly magazine, the 19th century writer George Alfred Townsend shared his impressions after a bit of wandering around Maryland's Eastern Shore. The article included the description below of what it was like to come up the Choptank River into Cambridge in 1872, just a few short years after the Civil War. When you come to the part about…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You slide your feet around in the mud like you’re dancing a Bojangles sand-dance”

    “I am, like my daddy was, and his daddy was, a waterman.” So begins Chincoteague Summer of 1948: A Waterman’s Childhood Stories, a little wisp of a book that is both odd duck and fun read. It presents itself in quite authentic fashion as the recorded childhood memories of waterman Thurston Watson. But then the author, Ed Waterhouse, a Chincoteague native who had…