This Week in 1908 (December 8–December 14)
How Long Ago Was 1908?
The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or The Yards, is thriving despite Upton Sinclair’s expose from five years earlier, “The Jungle.” Chicago is known as “hog butcher for the world” and the center of the American meat packing industry. It will remain open until 1971.
The stench from the stockyards is so overpowering that it can literally be detected several miles away. On days when the wind is blowing in the right direction, paying customers at West Side Grounds can smell it, which certainly adds to the ambiance of a Cubs game.
Elsewhere this week
*This is a photograph of shoppers in downtown Chicago. This year’s shoppers have a little more money in their pockets than last year’s shoppers–who were in the midst of a nationwide economic collapse that needed to be rescued by billionaire JP Morgan. (That collapse led to the creation of the Fed)
*Emanual Goldenberg turns 15 (Dec 10)in New York. When he grows up he adopts the stage name Edward G. Robinson. The “G” is for his real last name.
*A little boy is born in Chicago. His name is Morey Amsterdam (Dec 14). After being caught in a gunfight while performing at one of Al Capone’s speakeasys in 1924, he’ll move to California. He’ll go on to star in one of the best shows in television history.
*The film “An Awful Moment” (directed by DW Griffith) is released.
Price check: Automatic self cocking, automatic shell ejecting Revolver with a pearl handle is $4.75 and can be ordered through the mail from Sears, Roebuck and Company.
If you travel back in time, don’t expect anyone to sing along if you break into a rousing version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” No one even knows the character, who won’t be created until 1939 by Robert Mays of Montgomery Ward. It won’t be a song until 1949.