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by Arref Mak


steam queen launches!

How it began:

The maiden voyage of the cruise steamship, Amerika.

Launched April 20, 1905. Maiden voyage October 11, Hamburg - Dover - Cherbourg - New York. She was the largest ship in the world until 1906. In many ways the Amerika resembled the Harland & Wolff White Star liners CELTIC and CEDRIC, though considerably more luxurious. Her passenger accommodation, far ahead of any predecessor included such refinements as suites with a private bathroom, electric lifts, a winter garden, electrical medicinal baths and a Ritz-Carlton restaurant (the first a la carte restaurant on the North Atlantic).


dateline

'Unearthly' film casting

  • Lillian Astorbilt: cast as Frances O'Connor, directed by G
  • Fannie Astorbilt: cast as Carole Lombard, directed by A
  • Lawrence Astorbilt: cast as David Bowie, directed by M
  • About Town

    World Events

    1905: Albert Einstein announces his special theory of relativity and other key theories in physics. New York City's Institute of Musical Art - later the Julliard School - is founded. Bird fanciers form the national Aubudon Society. Industrial workers of the world formed "One big Union" behind Big Bill Haywood. Later known as Wobblies, they staged parades and sang Joe Hill's anthems of labor discontent. First Nickelodeon opened in Pittsburgh, PA. Such theaters, showing a film program for only 5 cents soon became popular. Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, a fictional journey through the Chicago Stockyards and included this ditty; Mary had a little lamb,/And when she saw it sicken,/ She shipped it off to Packingtown,/ And now it's labeled chicken". The Jungle nauseated the country with revelations of the rancid beef and tubercular pork destined for its dinner tables. Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. Upton, a socialist, had meant to provoke sympathy for the immigrants who toiled and died in the slaughterhouses. "I aimed at the public's heart" he wrote, "and by accident I hit it in the stomach." Russo-Japanese Peace. President Roosevelt acted as the mediator in peace talks between the Russians and the Japanese to conclude their war, which Japan had won. President Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. US mediation was another sign of emerging US power in the world.

    1906: San Francisco earthquake leads to three-day fire. The earthquake, whose worst damage was caused by the fire that raged in its aftermath, killed over 1,000 people; 250,000 thousand people were made homeless, and property damage was said to be $250 million. William Joseph Seymour building on the early work of Charles Fox Parham made popular the Pentecostal religion which today has more members than Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans and Presbyterians combined.

    1907: Montessori School Introduced. Maria Montessori, who was the first women physician in Italy, opened a school for children. Her teaching methods, which bear her name, are still used today. First Helicopter Flies. Paul Cornu flew the first helicopter. It flew for only twenty seconds and got five feet up in the air. The copter had severe control and stability difficulties. Mauritania Launched. The British launched the luxury liner the Mauritania. This began a new age in luxury liners that traversed the Atlantic. Peace Conference at the Hague -At the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, leaders of all major nations met at The Hague. The major issue for discussion was the attempt to reach an arms limitation agreement. All attempts failed due to German opposition. The conference was successful, however, in expanding the rules of war and the rights of neutrals.

    1908 Model T
    Car maker Henry Ford introduces his Model T automobile. Henry Ford's Model T car went on sale for $850. By 1927, when it is discontinued, 15.5 million Models T's will be sold in the U.S. Ford owes much of his success to his improved assembly line process, which by 1913 will produce a complete Model T every 93 minutes. Supreme Court, in the Danbury Hatter's case, outlaws secondary union boycotts. William Taft elected President. Singer Tower joined Manhattan's skyline, rising 47 stories above Broadway. Across America urbanites and architects were looking up. Sixty-inch telescope, the world's largest, is built at California's Mount Wilson Observatory. Grand Canyon National Monument is dedicated.

    1909
    North Pole reached by Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson. The National Association for the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP) was founded in New York. Hurricane hits LA and MS leaving 350 dead. Nov 13th coal mine explosion in Cherry, IL killed 259. Chlorine first added to public drinking water. Instant Coffee hits the market. Abraham Lincoln's profile replaces the Indian head on US pennies.

    1910
    1st Newsreel, by Pathe Freres of Paris, circulated a weekly issue of their Pathe Journal. Boy Scouts of America and Campfire Girls were incorporated. Mar 1st Wellington WA two trains were swept into a canyon by an avalanche 96 deaths. Among those credited with making electric washing machines around 1910 was Alva J. Fisher. An early ad for a GE washer read: "If every father did the family washing next Monday, there would be an electric washing machine in every home by Saturday night." Hotpoint introduced the electric range. French scientist named Georges Claude applied an electrical charge to a tube filled with neon gas and created the Neon light.

    1911
    Charles F. Kettering, who developed the electric cash register while working at National Cash Register, sells his electric automobile starters to the Cadillac company. This device increases the popularity of the gasoline-powered car, which no longer needs to be started with a hand crank. First use of aircraft in a war (the Turkish-Italian War). Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York killed 145 workers. Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band changed American's music. Sherman Antitrust Act is used to dissolve American Tobacco, Standard Oil monopolies. First airplane pilot's license issued to Glenn H. Curtiss. Calbraith Rodgers is the first pilot to wing solo across North America - in 49 days. "Bright Path" was his tribal name. Most knew him as Jim Thorpe, whose 4 field goals and 70-yard touchdown run for Carlisle Indian School left top-ranked Harvard crimson-faced. The "Georgia Peach", Ty Cobb, hit .320 for the Detroit Tigers.

    1912
    The Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage over 1,500 drown. New Mexico became the 47th state to join the Union (Jan 6, 1912) settled 1610. Arizona became the 48th (Feb 14, 1912) settled 1776. Vitamins were offered by scientists Frederick Hopkins and Casimir Funk. Woodrow Wilson elected President. Massachusetts pioneers a minimum wage law for women and children in private industry. Democrats win congressional control for the first time in 18 years. The "Fox-Trot" inspired by ragtime music, hit ballroom floors. Soon Americans added the bunny hop, turkey trot and grizzly bear to the dance menagerie.

    1913
    Suffragettes demonstrate in London. Garment workers strike in New York and Boston win pay raise and shorter hours. 16th Amendment (income tax) and the 17th (popular election of US Senators) were adopted. Bill creating US Federal Reserve System became Law. Woodrow Wilson becomes 28th President.

    1914 Panama Canal
    After 36 years' labor, the bankruptcy of thousands of investors, and the deaths of more than 25,000 men, the Panama Canal is finished. The canal cuts the sailing distance from the East Coast to the West Coast by more than 8,000 miles.

    1915
    Hurricane hits East TX and LA leaving 275 dead. "Great White Hope" Jess Willard takes the heavyweight title by a knockout.

    1917 War
    U.S. troops arrive on the battlefields of Europe, where new technologies have created the bloodiest conflict in history. Armored tanks, machine guns, poisonous gas, submarines and airplanes will force military commanders to rethink traditional strategies of war.

    1918: WWI Ends
    World wide influenza epidemic strikes and by its end in 1920 over 20 million people were dead. 500,000 perished in the US due to the epidemic. Jul 9 Near Nashville TN 101 people killed in a two-train collision. Nov 1st a derailment of a subway train in Malbone St tunnel in Brooklyn left 92 dead.

    1919
    18th Amendment adopted (Prohibition). Hurricane hits FL, LA and TX leaving 287 dead and 344 deaths at sea

    1920
    19th Amendment ratified (Women's suffrage). Warren G. Harding elected President. The US population reached 106 million.

    Three Decades Before

    1876 Telephone
    Alexander Graham Bell patents his telephone, built with the assistance of young self-trained engineer Thomas A. Watson.

    1877 Phonograph
    Working with a team of engineers at his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratories, Thomas Alva Edison perfects a system of sound recording and transmission.

    1879 Incandescent Light
    Backed by $30,000 in research funds provided by investors including J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, Thomas Edison perfects an incandescent light bulb. The first commercial incandescent system will be installed at the New York printing firm of Hinds and Ketcham in January, 1881.

    1880 Hearing Aid
    R.G. Rhodes improves on the ear trumpet with another primitive hearing aid. The device is a thin sheet of hard rubber or cardboard placed against teeth which conducts vibrations to the auditory nerve.

    1882 Electric Fan
    The world becomes a cooler place, thanks to the work of Dr. Schuyler Skaats Wheeler. His two-bladed desk fan is produced by the Crocker and Curtis electric motor company.

    1884 Thrill Ride
    L.N. Thompson, founder of Coney Island's Luna Park, invites the first passengers to board his new thrill ride, the roller coaster. Thompson calls his new attraction the Switchback.

    1885 Skyscraper
    After the Great Fire of 1871, Chicago has become a magnet for daring experiments in architecture. William Le Baron Jenney completes the 10-story Home Insurance Company Building, the first to use steel-girder construction; more than twenty skyscrapers will be built in Chicago over the next 9 years.

    1887 "Platter" Record
    Edison's tube recording system produces distorted sound because of gravity's pressure on the playing stylus. Emile Berliner, a German immigrant living in Washington, DC, invents a process for recording sound on a horizontal disc. The "platter" record is born.

    1888 Kodak Camera
    In Rochester, New York, George Eastman introduces a hand-held box camera for portable use. The camera is pre-loaded with 100 exposure film; after shooting the photographer returns the whole camera to the manufacturer for development and a reload.

    1889 Dishwasher
    After ten years work and numerous prototypes, Mrs. WA Cockran of Shelbyville, Indiana, eases kitchen labor everywhere by producing a practicable dishwashing machine.

    1891 Peep Show
    Thomas A. Edison and William Dickson perfect their kinetoscope, a forerunner of the movie projector. Viewers watch through a small peephole as images pass between a lens and an electric light bulb at a rate of 46 frames per second.

    1891 Escalator
    Jesse W. Reno, introduces a new novelty ride at Coney Island. His moving stairway elevates passengers on a conveyor belt at an angle of 25 degrees. The device will be shown at the Paris Exposition of 1900, where it is called the escalator.

    1892 Gasoline-powered Car
    In a loft in Springfield, Massachusetts, brothers Frank and Charles Duryea fabricate the first gasoline-powered automobile built in the United States. It will make its first successful run on the streets of Springfield in September, 1893.

    1893 Zipper
    At the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Whitcomb L. Judson introduces his clasp locker, a hook-and-eye device opened and closed by a sliding clasp. Improvements in the device by other inventors will continue; workers at B.F. Goodrich will coin the name "zipper" in 1923.

    1896 Automatic Hat
    James Boyle, of Washington, DC, makes public courtesy much more convenient for the modern gentleman. His new hat tips automatically.

    1897 Player Piano
    Edwin S. Votey, patents his self-playing piano, which he calls the pianola. The instrument uses instructions recorded on perforated paper to drive a set of artificial wooden fingers poised above a piano keyboard. Later versions placed the entire mechanism inside the body of the piano, eliminating the fingers.

    1898 Submarine
    The J.P. Holland torpedo boat company launches the first practical submarine, commissioned by the U.S. Navy. The test is successful. Holland gets orders for six more.

    1900
    Hurricane ravages Galveston, TX - 6,000 drowned. May 1st Scofiled Utah, explosion of blasting powder in a coal mine killed 200. Jun 30th Hoboken NJ piers of North German Lloyd Steamship line burned leaving 326 dead. Eastman Kodak introduced the Brownie Box Camera thus making amateur photography popular. Cost $1.00 and a six exposure roll of film was 15ยข. Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams. William McKinley elected for 2nd term as President. Life expectancy at birth averaged 48 years for whites and 33 years for blacks. Tiffany lamps, precursors of art nouveau, adorned posh homes that had electric lighting. L. Frank Baum writes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, an allegory of Populist politics. Congress passes the Gold Standard Act; currency will be backed by gold reserves.

    1901
    As President McKinley began his 2nd term, he was shot fatally by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as his successor. King Camp Gillette, former traveling hardware salesman of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, takes the risk out of shaving with his new double-edged safety razor. By the end of 1904, he will have sold 90,000 razors and 12,400,000 blades, but he will die in 1932 with his dream of a utopian society organized by engineers unrealized.

    1902 Air Conditioning
    Working as an engineer at the Buffalo Forge Company, Willis H. Carrier designs the first system to control temperature and humidity. He will go on to found his own company, the Carrier Corporation, to produce air-conditioning equipment.

    1903
    At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright break the powered flight barrier with their gasoline-powered "Flyer I." The first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight in history lasts 12 seconds. Wilbur pilots the machine. On a flight later that day, Orville will remain aloft 59 seconds and travel 852 feet. 'The Great Train Robbery' is a silent film that amazes audiences.

    1904: The Russo-Japanese war erupted when negotiations over Korea and Manchuria broke down. The Japanese began the war with a successful surprise attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur. Able Doumar, a Lebanese immigrant, invented the ice cream cone at the world's fair in St. Louis MO when he rolled a waffle from one stall and put ice cream in it from another stall and sold the combination. Theodore Roosevelt elected President. Teddy bears named for President Roosevelt, become cherished toys. Other products born in this era were Crayola crayons and Jello. The Northern Securities railroad monopoly is the first trust to be busted by President Roosevelt. NY Subway Opens. The first section of the New York Subway system was opened. The first section operated between City Hall and 145th Street.

    tragedy at sea!
    no survivors!
    authorities baffled!

    Astorbilt Heirs: session one

    A cold October night at pier 17 in New York harbor.

    The Astorbilt heirs find themselves on the docks, their attire in ragged condition. Timely assistance delivers them to their home near Central Park where they discover they have been presumed lost at sea with the entire complement of the Amerika. There is an emotional celebration of their miraculous escape from a watery grave.

    Mrs. Astorbilt rescued by heirs from Bellevue hospital.

    Times research team proves Anarchists planned explosive ruin of Amerika. Blast leaves no survivors and little debris. Wreck impossible to salvage.


    meteor mayhem!

    Princeton professors use Astorbilt grant to prove rogue meteor responsible for Amerika sinking.

    Christmas 'best ever' say Fifth Avenue retailers. President T. Roosevelt: 'robust economy will continue through next year.'

    Mrs. F.W. Woolworth hosts a gala New Year's celebration for the most influential families of New York society. Many engagements expected to be announced. See Society section.


    best NYC holiday ever!

    New York Winter: session two

    Carnegie fortune tops $400 million. Henry Ford, 43, announces new factories. See page 4.

    Belmont track incident shocks racing owners! Jockey's body found at track closed for season. Police have no comment but arrests expected soon.

    Fifth Avenue lawlessness strikes in broad daylight! Police have no comment on the hansom cab attack that injured two men on Fifth Avenue. A collision and angry words between cabbies led to a fierce scuffle. One cabby drew a pistol before bystanders separated the men. Two men went to doctor's care at the nearest hospital. Mayor's office will investigate qualifications for cab licenses in the city.


    Pope Pius x visits NYC!

    New York Christmas: session three

    Burglaries occurred three times over Christmas holidays at the New York Library. Dr. Marion Jenks-Dabble of Columbia University will inventory rare books for police to price missing items. Chief Fummer directs city police to take charge of watch security at institution.

    Pope Pius X will visit the American churches for a three week tour of the greater east coast. His stop in the city will be a celebration at St. Patrick Cathedral in January.

    President T. Roosevelt visits New York City. Pinkerton security working with city police.

    Women noted as "more efficient and progressive" in libraries than men. Staff salaries below national average. Also protest registered to "hasty carving of dedications" upon face of main library. See page 10.

    Yerkes Collection marks auspicious year for museum art and artist showcases.

    W.S. Gilbert's seventieth birthday brings accolades and tributes from around world.

    IMMIGRANT GANGS STAGE GUNPLAY; on 36th Street during the afternoon, a body of men fired upon each other from vehicles. No policement were injured but several bodies were taken to the city morgue. See report on page 6 by Bat Masterson.


    WHITE HOUSE WEDDING!

    New Year Adventure: session four (pending)

    TELLS CATHOLICS OF SPIRITS RAISED; Lecturer Produces Spook Pictures and Reports Talk with a Saint. SAYS POPE SANCTIONED IT. St. Ignatius Loyola Appeared to Him as a Protestant -- Amazing Seance at Delmonico's.

    J.P. Morgan, at seventy, believes in keeping at it. No retirement plans at all. See Financial section.

    Strauss's new opera, 'Salome' receives mixed reviews.

    NO event in the long series of surprises and sensational speed achievements has ever attracted such world-wide interest in the automobile world as the record made on June 29 by Selwyn Francis Edge on the private Brooklands racing track at Weybridge, near London, when, driving continuously for twenty-four hours, he traveled over 1,581 miles, averaging close to 66 miles an hour. See page 8.

    President and Mrs. Roosevelt to-day announced the engagement of Miss Alice Roosevelt to Representative Nicholas Longworth of Cincinnati, Ohio, with the further information that the wedding will take place in February. Rumors and assertions that had been current regarding the romance of the President's daughter since her return from the Philippines had heretofore met with contradictions. After wedding, couple will go abroad and spend season in London. Invitations are expected to number in the thousands for this great social event.

    Miss Alice Roosevelt, in answer to the request of her friends to see her engagement ring, has surprised every one by replying that she has dispensed with that usual formality, and does not purpose having any engagement ring. Miss Roosevelt also met with Prince Louis of Battenberg at the Garden horse show along with ten thousand attendees.


    What next?



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