Saturday, November 16, 2013

Today -100: November 16, 1913: Am on fire, require help

The new prefect of the Paris police replaces the képi (those hats, flat on top, you know the ones) with proper helmets, copper in the winter, cork in the summer.

In 1913, 13 new states have passed laws allowing the use of prison labor on roads. So now most states use convicts. In some states, such as West Virginia, even unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial can be so employed; if acquitted, they get 50¢ for each day they worked.

103 passengers are rescued from the Spanish steamship Balmes after a fire broke out in the mid-Atlantic. The Cunard liner Pannonia heard its wireless signal “Am on fire, require help.” The crew of the Balmes stayed on board and continued sailing for port in Bermuda in convoy with the Pannonia – while its cargo was still on fire. I guess we’ll see how that worked for them.

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