Monday, August 10, 2009

In the News 100 Years Ago

Every morning, Times Traveler, a New York Times blog, pulls historic headlines and article excerpts from the paper's archive. The August 10th, 1909 issue reports (among other things):

Heat is Deadly; Ouge-Moujis Are in Vogue

Five deaths due to the heat wave were reported yesterday, while some sought relief with air-cooled hats from Java. “The air yesterday in the narrow streets downtown, which were shut in by the high buildings, hung like a dense pall apparently about twenty feet from the ground. The Captain of the Shimosa, which arrived in port from the Far East, reported sighting a small iceberg 300 miles east of Sandy Hook, and the Dock Superintendent asked him why he did not tow it in.… Four peddlers, near the Post Office, attracted attention yesterday offering a new style of Summer hat for sale. It was made of palm leaves like an inverted calabash and lined with green linen. It was raised clear up from the head and supported by tiny pieces of bamboo that were set in a stiff band covered with light leather that fitted firmly to the forehead. This left a space of fully three inches between the hat and the head for the breeze to play through and keep the brain cool. Fifty cents was the price demanded for them, and the attention the purchasers acquired when they put the combined hat-sunshades on was fully worth the money. It was understood that the new headgear was brought by the steamships trading between the port and Sourabaya Java. The peddlers said the “Ouge-Mouji,” as the hats were denominated in Javanese, were equally useful and attractive for women as well as men, but with the exception of a woman who sold newspapers outside one of the Subway stations, the fair sex held aloof.”

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