Saturday, February 11, 2012

Today -100: February 11, 1912: Of blacklists, warplanes, accessions, and Futurists


Hearings on the steel monopoly are told that the steel trust kept a blacklist of union members, and that during a strike in 1909, the American Tinplate Company (a subsidiary of US Steel) advertised for Syrians, Poles and Romanians to work as scabs. The man whose job was to recruit these foreign laborers explained that he always tries to meet the wishes of employers. “I wouldn’t send an Irishman to a brewery, because he would probably be turned down.”

Frank Coffyn, the Wright Company aviator currently instructing US Army aviators in the use of Wright planes in Georgia, says there is no military need to fly above one mile, which should be high enough to keep them out of artillery and bullet range. But he does doubt that dropping bombs from planes can be accurate enough to be useful at that height. He says, “I believe that some day aeroplanes will fight aeroplanes and that there will be machines that may be called aeroplane destroyers, and maybe some day, still farther away, aeroplane-aeroplane-destroyers”. Dare to dream, Frank, dare to dream.

Arizona will soon be the 48th state, but when? There was talk of doing it on Lincoln’s birthday, but Taft will be out of D.C. and unavailable to sign the proclamation that day. And they want to avoid the 13th as unlucky (it’s not even a Friday). So they’re thinking about Valentine’s Day, which also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the day AZ was declared a Territory of the Confederate States of America.

A big exhibition of Futurist art, or, as the NYT puts it “‘art,’” opens in Paris. "The pictures bear such titles as ‘The Street Entering a House,’ ‘Those Who go,’ and ‘Those Who Remain,’ but no case has yet been reported of a visitor establishing a connection between the picture and the title attached to it.”

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