Kansas Collection books


Newfangled Notions

man with horse-drawn ice truck

    Do you remember your very first car?  Mine was a 1924 Model T Ford coupe.  It was worn out when I got it.  It ran, but barely.  I had several more Model Ts after that.  I also well remember my car with a V-8 engine --- a 1935 Ford that I bought from my dad.  It was a great little power plant and developed 90 horsepower.  I also remember my first car with automatic transmission.  I didn't think I needed one, but I sure liked it.

    Then the war came along and we had rationing --- gas, tires, butter, coffee and a host of other things.  We were rationed by 3 gallons of gas per week, so we learned to share rides to work.  The first tires available were made out of synthetic rubber.  Mine peeled off the tread in less than a thousand miles.

    Do you remember the first rotary lawn mower?  They were an improvement over the old reel type mowers.  My first one was made in Warsaw, Missouri.

    How about your first TV set?  Ours was a brown box that sat on a spindle-legged stand and required a tall antenna.  I nearly broke my neck putting that antenna on the top of our two story house.  In those days weather was the most important news.  We could get two channels --- sometimes three.  John Froome was the first weatherman that I remember.  Then along came Cecil Carrier.  On one occasion, during a tornado alert, we were advised by the media to "turn off the gas, the water and the electricity --- but stay tuned to this station for further announcements."  We found out that weathermen were not infallible --- they were just like the rest of us.

    Automatic washers were a great help for the womenfolk.  Our first one had a sealed rubber tub in which the clothes were washed, rinsed and squeezed dry by pumping out the water.  It worked fine until the rubber tub sprang a leak.  There were no repairs available --- so we got a new Maytag.

    Ball point pens, synthetic clothing and deep freezers came along and in some respects were improvement.  But one had to get used to them  I suppose we didn't miss all those things because we didn't know about them.

    Aside from the pleasure of remembering olden times one might question what is to be gained by recalling by-gone days?  It is hard to explain our present status in this world unless we look back to see where we came from.  Once we establish a reference point it is easier to appreciate all the modern conveniences that we enjoy today.

The Prairie Prophet says:  "Things will turn out the way they are supposed to."

divider line of two flower

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