Early Household Appliances

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

In 1910, it took 12 hours a day to do the housework (six hours for cooking alone)! Domestic chores were no walk in the park. Take a look at these ads for newly invented household appliances from the early 1900’s. These time-saving devices would revolutionize domestic life!

Hoover Suction Sweeper 1912
The Hoover Suction Sweeper: The first upright vacuum was invented by James M. Spangler, a janitor at an Ohio department store. He rigged a device to clean floors then filed a patent for his design. Spangler sold the patent to his cousin’s wife, William Henry Hoover. Hoover improved the design and started the “Electric Suction Sweeper Company.”

The Thor Washing Machine: In 1909, women swooned over Thor – the washing machine not the superhero! The Thor washing machine was an electric powered washing machine that took the place of galvanized tubs, washboards and elbow grease. It revolutionized wash day in America!

Drum-type clothes dryer invented by J. Ross Moore
Clothes Dryer: Tired of not being able to hang laundry out to dry in frigid North Dakota winters, J. Ross Moore invented the clothes dryer. The dryers were sold under the name “June Day” beginning in 1938.

Hot Point Iron: In 1910, a company called Hotpoint developed an electric iron that was hotter at the tip making it easier to iron ruffles and around button holes. Soon everyone wanted the iron with the hot point!

1913 Refrigerator
Refrigerator: This 1913 refrigerator shows the latest and greatest in refrigeration technology. These icebox type refrigerators kept food cool with blocks of ice that needed to be replenished regularly.

Electric Refrigerator: By 1918, Frigidaire started mass producing electric refrigerators for home use – and no ice required!

Electric Dishwasher: Tired of washing dishes? In 1920, you could wheel in this portable electric dishwasher, load it and press a button. Voila!

Electric Oven 1913
Electric Oven: For about $10, families could buy this 1913 “El Bako” countertop electric oven. It was 14-inches square and constructed of one-inch thick steel walls to maintain heat. It had three heat levels: low, medium and high.

Does your family have any of grandma’s old appliances kicking around? Tell us about it and search our archives for other fun finds!

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July 5th: First Casualty of the Korean War

Robert F. Kennedy Fatally Shot: June 5, 1968

If your understanding of the Korean War comes from watching the TV show M*A*S*H, you’re not alone. The Korean War has been referred to as the forgotten war. July 5th marks the 68th anniversary of the first American casualty of the war. With North Korea dominating headlines again, we’ve explored our archives to give you a brief overview of the Korean War from the headlines as it happened.

Korean War Ends
At the end of WWII, Korea was divided into zones. The Soviets occupied North Korea where communism reigned, and the US occupied South Korea. Both Koreas longed for unification —but each on their own terms. The communist leader of the North, Kim II Sung, attempted to unify the Koreas by force when on June 25, 1950, he ordered 75,000 soldiers to spill over the 38th parallel line into the South. Five days later, President Harry S. Truman ordered US troops into action as America sought to stop the spread of communism.

By August, North Korean troops had taken control of Seoul and much of the country. In September, under General Douglas MacArthur, the US launched a major counter-offensive and drove Northern troops back to the 38th parallel line and continued across it until troops nearly reached the Chinese border. The Chinese government fearing invasion sent 200,000 soldiers to bolster North Korea.

With the help of China, and support from the Soviets, North Korea pushed US troops back across the 38th parallel again. Fighting was intense. Among significant battles were the Battle of Inchon and the Battle of Chosin. US losses and a disagreement in strategy spurred President Truman to fire General MacArthur. General Matthew B. Ridgway took over command.

Nearly three years after the war started, it ended right where it started – at the 38th parallel line. The US lost 36,500 soldiers. There was no clear winner and no peace treaty established. An armistice was adopted designating a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) that separated North from South. Nearly 70 years later, the Korean peninsula remains divided.

Kim II Sung remained the North’s leader until his death in 1994 when his son Kim Jong II took over. After Kim Jong II’s death in 2011, Kim Jong Un, the son of Kim Jong II and grandson of Kim Sung II was named Supreme Commander.

Do you have a relative that fought in the Korean War? Tell us about it! You can search our archives to find more articles about the war! You can also access Korean War casualty records on Fold3.com.

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The Atlanta Constitution

If you have ancestors from Georgia, or you’re interested in Civil War history or Georgia history, we’re thrilled to add The Atlanta Constitution to our growing newspaper archives. We have issues dating back to 1868!


The Constitution started in 1868. The nation was just emerging from the Civil War. The city of Atlanta had been virtually destroyed just four years earlier when General William T. Sherman’s troops set fire as they left, burning 4,500 homes. Only 400 homes survived. The smoldering ruins had cooled but wounds were still raw. Atlanta was operating under martial law.

Three partners got together to buy a small newspaper, The Opinion. Carey Wentworth Styles, James H. Anderson, and W.A. Hemphill decided it was time to lift martial law and return to a constitutional form of government. They changed the paper’s name to The Constitution.

The population of Atlanta was small back then. The entire city could fit in SunTrust Park with seats to spare! Atlanta welcomed new arrivals with open arms. Help was needed to rebuild. When a ship full of immigrants from Germany was blown off course and ended up in the South instead of Baltimore, an article reprinted in the Atlanta Constitution said, “We extend a hearty welcome to the new comers.” They are “just such as are needed at this time to rebuild broken fortunes of our beloved State and City.”

Evan P. Howell, a great rebuilder of the city, bought a controlling interest in the paper in 1876. In 1887, The Constitution introduced the South’s first women’s page called “Society Salad.” It announced marriages, cotillions, anniversaries, and news from outlying communities like Buford and Conyers. It’s a wonderful resource for piecing together the family tree of early citizens.

Today, Atlanta is Georgia’s largest city and a center of culture and industry. Coca-Cola was founded here in 1891. One of the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International, started out as the tiny Candler Field in 1925. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born and is buried here, and the city hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The Atlanta Constitution, as the paper came to be known, attracted top notch talent like Clark Howell and Henry W. Grady who helped shaped the paper and the city. In 1950, The Atlanta Constitution and The Atlanta Journal merged ownership but continued to operate separate papers until 2001 when they combined publication. Today Cox Media Group maintains The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s dominant position as the largest daily newspaper publisher in the Southeast. The paper has been awarded numerous Pulitzer Prizes.

You can access issues of The Atlanta Constitution through 1922 with a basic subscription; issues between 1923-2001 are copyrighted and accessible with Publisher Extra. Search The Atlanta Constitution archives here.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

What do Chef Brockett, Mr. McFeely, King Friday and Daniel Striped Tiger have in common? If you’re humming “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” then put on your sneakers, zip up your cardigan, and let’s take a magical trolley ride down memory lane.


Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood first aired February 19, 1968, on black-and-white television screens. At that time, nobody could have predicted that the show would continue on for 33 seasons and nearly 1,000 episodes. Fred Rogers, with his kind and soft-spoken voice, won the hearts of children and their parents. He embraced “make believe” with his puppets and explored things that might seem strange or threatening to a child, like a visit to the doctor or physical handicaps. He promoted values and wanted children to feel safe. Early on in his career, Rogers told The Decatur Daily Review, “We are trying to build the imagination of the child. There is no real work or sport for preschoolers. Their sport and their work is their imaginative play,” Rogers said.

Rogers saw his first television in 1951 during his senior year of college. He immediately recognized that TV could be a powerful educational tool for children. In 1953, Rogers developed his first show, The Children’s Corner, for WQED Pittsburgh. He was the puppeteer, composer, and organist. The success of The Children’s Corner later led to the creation of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. As the show prepared to wrap its final season, Rogers gave an interview to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pointing to a framed quote on the wall that read “Life Is For Service,” Rogers said it was based on a favorite sign from Rollins College, his alma mater. “I’ve never tried to make a decision that had to do with selfishness. I think we certainly have done the kind of work I have wanted to do for children and one of the avenues has been the Neighborhood,” he said.

Rogers passed away on February 27, 2003, of stomach cancer, but his legacy continues. A documentary film commemorating the life of Rogers called Won’t You Be My Neighbor premiered in select theaters on June 8. You can find many more newspaper articles about Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood in our archives. Do you have any memories of Mr. Rogers? Share them with us!

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Robert F. Kennedy Fatally Shot: June 5, 1968

Robert F. Kennedy Fatally Shot: June 5, 1968

Fifty years ago this month, Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after stepping off the stage where he claimed victory in the California presidential primary election. Kennedy died the next day. The gunman was 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan who later confessed to the crime.

Senate pays tribute to Robert F. Kennedy
The news stunned the world. Senators paid tribute to Kennedy, and religious leaders exclaimed, “Something’s wrong with us!” When word of the shooting made its way to Vietnam, one American soldier responded saying, “What the hell is going on back there?”

Kennedy campaigned aggressively in California, crisscrossing the state. He won with a narrow victory. The mood was celebratory the night of June 5, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel. Kennedy addressed the crowd shortly after midnight and exited the ballroom through a kitchen. Sirhan rushed towards him in a narrow corridor and shot him at close range.

The gun was wrestled away as Sirhan continued firing resulting in five others being wounded including William Weisel, Paul Schrade, Elizabeth Evans, Ira Goldstein, and Irwin Stroll. The cheers and applause heard seconds before quickly turned to screams and panic when the shots rang out.

Kennedy was rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital where doctors performed surgery but were unable to save him. At the time of Kennedy’s assassination, presidential candidates did not have Secret Service security. His death stirred Congress to pass a law providing that protection for future candidates.

Kennedy’s death came just five years after that of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy’s body was flown to New York, where he lay in repose at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral before burial. The nation mourned with Kennedy’s widow Ethel and his 10 young children. An eleventh child was born after Kennedy’s death.

In 2016, Sirhan was denied parole for the 15th time and remains in prison today. What do you remember about the day Robert F. Kennedy was shot? You can search our archives to find more articles on his life and death. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for trending news and updates!

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Northwest Indiana Times

Hoosier Momma? If you’re looking to fill in blanks in your family tree from the Hoosier state, or have an interest in history from Northwest Indiana, then you’ll be delighted to know we’ve added the Northwest Indiana Times to our growing archives. Issues on Newspapers.com date back to 1906.


The Times started out as The Hammond Daily Tribune in 1883. George Hammond, the town’s namesake, was a butcher who patented refrigerated rail cars. He was looking to expand beyond Chicago for the stockyard industry. Available land, the abundance of ice on Lake Michigan, and refrigerated rail cars provided the perfect place to purchase land and open a large slaughterhouse. Many of the area’s early settlers were immigrants from Germany. Hammond hired them for their skills as butchers and sausage-makers. However, because they couldn’t read English, newspaper circulation was stagnant.

That changed in 1906 when Sidmon McHie, a wealthy Chicago grain and stock broker, purchased the struggling Hammond Daily Tribune with the intent to market the paper beyond the city of Hammond. He changed the name to The Lake County Times. Circulation increased dramatically. McHie and his wife Isabel lived a colorful life that mirrored his headlines. Social issues of the day such as the Jazz Age, flappers and divorce were covered by the paper.

The McHies became front page news themselves when Isabel was caught throwing $10,000 from a moving train. She attempted to throw away another $173,000 before police stopped her. The McHies’ eventually divorced.

The Lake County Times regularly published society pages that included news from surrounding towns like St. John, Lowell, Merrillville and others. These pages are a valuable research tool and give a glimpse into everyday life for Lake County’s early citizens. This issue dated April 8, 1922 is an example.

After the death of McHie, his nephew James S. DeLaurier took over. He sought to widen the audience and dropped Hammond from the paper’s name. In 1962, the McHie family sold the paper to Robert S. Howard. Offices were moved to Munster in 1989 and the masthead was simplified to read The Times. In 2002 Lee Enterprises purchased The Times. It is one of the largest newspapers in the state.

You can access issues of The Times through 1922 with a basic subscription; issues between 1923-2018 are copyrighted and accessible with Publisher Extra! Search our archives for The Times here.

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Remembering 10 Classic Cars through Newspaper Ads

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

Any car buffs out there? If cars are your passion, newspapers are a great place to learn more about your hobby. You can find ads from a car’s first appearance and learn things like what the original price was, what the first selling points were, what unique features it had, and how car dealers, car experts, and the general public reacted to the car when it was first sold.

We’ve gathered newspaper ads from 10 famous classic cars. Take a look and let us know if you learned anything new

  1. 1908 Ford Model T adFord Model T. As the first car that was affordable for middle-class Americans, the Model T was a big hit as soon as it rolled off the assembly line in the fall of 1908.
  2. ’32 Ford Coupe. This car became a popular hotrod in the 1940s and inspired the 1963 Beach Boys song “Little Deuce Coupe.”
  3. '55 Ford Thunderbird  ad’55 Ford Thunderbird. The first of the Thunderbirds, the successful ’55 model emphasized comfort and convenience. The later ’58 Thunderbird was so popular it created a whole new market segment: the “personal luxury car.”
  4. ’57 Chevrolet Corvette. Corvettes are one of the most iconic sports cars, and the ’57 model touted a bigger V-8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and other performance-oriented options.
  5. ’59 Cadillac. First introduced in the 1948 model, tailfins hit their peak in the ’59 Cadillac.
  6. '69 Chevy Camaro adTriumph Spitfire 4. First sold in late 1962, the small, relatively inexpensive Spitfire was the quintessential British two-seat convertible sportscar.
  7. ’69 Dodge Charger. The ’69 Dodge Charger was immortalized in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard by the bright orange General Lee.
  8. ’69 Chevrolet Camaro. A classic muscle car, the ’69 Camaro had a sportier, more aggressive appearance than earlier models.
  9. '77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am ad’69 Ford Boss 302 Mustang. A variant of the ever-popular Mustang, the Boss 302 Mustang emphasized performance (rather than power) and competed with the Chevy Camaro.
  10. ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Another car made famous on screen, the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was featured in Smokey and the Bandit.

Find more classic car ads by searching for the year, make, and model on Newspapers.com!

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Haymarket Riot: May 4, 1886

Haymarket Riot: May 4, 1886

On May 4, 1886, a bomb was detonated during a peaceful labor demonstration in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. The bomb and ensuing violence left seven policemen and a number of civilians dead and many others wounded.

Headline about the Haymarket Riot
The day before the incident at Haymarket Square, two striking workers had been killed at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company during an altercation with police. The following day, thousands of people gathered in Haymarket Square to protest the police violence and to listen to a number of labor leaders speak in support of better working conditions.

The gathering was peaceful and, due to poor weather, eventually dwindled to about three hundred people. When 180 policemen were dispatched to disperse the crowd, someone threw a bomb at the police. The police (as well as some in the crowd) responded by opening fire, and when things finally calmed down, one policeman and at least four civilians had been killed (six other policemen would later die of their injuries); numerous other policemen and bystanders were wounded.

Although the person who threw the bomb was never identified, eight labor activists were arrested and put on trial. Seven received death sentences, and the other was given 15 years in prison. Of the seven who were sentenced to death, four of them were hanged in 1887, one committed suicide, and two had their sentences commuted to life in prison. In 1893, the surviving three were pardoned by the governor based on the unfairness of the original trial.

Public opinion immediately following the Haymarket Riot generally landed on the side of the police. Because the eight defendants (and others involved with the labor movement) were immigrants and socialists or anarchists, the public increasingly saw the labor movement as a hotbed of foreign-born radicals. Anti-anarchist hysteria grew, spurred by the exaggerated accounts of many newspapers. However, for those within the labor movement, the Haymarket Riot came to represent the struggle for workers’ rights, and the event inspired many future labor activists.

Do you have any family stories about the Haymarket Riot or the labor movement? Share them with us! Or learn more about the event by searching Newspapers.com.

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Austin American-Statesman

Do you have ancestors from central Texas, particularly the Austin area? Or are you interested in newspapers from that region? Then come explore the Austin American-Statesman on Newspapers.com! Newspapers.com has issues dating back to 1871, the year the paper was first published. We also have issues of two related papers: the Austin American and the Austin Weekly Statesman.

The Austin American-Statesman got its start in 1871 as the Democratic Statesman, which was published thrice weekly. That same year, a once-weekly version of the paper, the Weekly Democratic Statesman, also began publishing (and would continue to publish under various titles until 1906).

In 1915, the Statesman (which by then had become a daily) combined with the Austin Tribune. Then in 1924, it was merged into a company with a paper called the Austin American, which had been around since 1914. However, the two papers continued to publish separately (except for a joint Sunday edition) until 1973, when they were combined to form the Austin American-Statesman. Today, the Austin American-Statesman is the main paper in Austin and central Texas.

Austin has long been a cultural, educational, and political hub, and this focus has been reflected in the American-Statesman’s content over the years. The paper has also traditionally had strong local and regional coverage, making it a valuable resource for learning about interesting and important events in Austin’s past. For example, you can read about the unsolved serial murders committed between 1884 and 1885 by a perpetrator dubbed the “Servant Girl Annihilator.” Or read about a dam collapse in 1900 that resulted in the deaths of 18 people.

The American-Statesman’s strong local coverage also makes it a great resource for genealogical research. Read about your ancestors’ births, marriages, and deaths, as well as stories from their daily lives, such as this piece from an 1883 issue about a local boy who narrowly avoided being killed by runaway horses.

Get started searching or browsing the Austin American-Statesman on Newspapers.com! With a Basic subscription, you can access issues up through 1922; or with Publisher Extra, access those early years plus issues from 1923 and beyond.

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7 Common Historical Newspaper Abbreviations
and Terms

Tips, Hints and Helps

It feels great to find an ancestor in the newspaper—whether it’s in an obituary, marriage announcement, or other type of notice. But sometimes historical newspapers used abbreviations and terms that are no longer common, leaving some of us scratching our heads.

To help you get the most out of historical newspapers, we’ve come up with a list of some of the most common abbreviations and terms:

  1. Death notices describing many of the women as relictsRelict – This term is used to describe a surviving spouse, often a widow. It comes from the Latin term “relictus,” meaning “relinquished” or “left behind.”
  2. Née – This term is French and means “born.” It is used to indicate a woman’s maiden name.
  3. Instant (Inst.) – This is used to refer to the current month. For example, a newspaper article published in December that says “12th inst.” means December 12th.
  4. Proximo (Prox.) – Essentially meaning “next,” this is used in newspapers to indicate the upcoming month. So “12th prox.” in a December newspaper would mean January 12th.
  5. Ultimo (Ult.) – This refers to the previous month. A December newspaper that says “12th ult.” is referring to November 12th.
  6. Old style/New style (O.S./N.S.) – These terms refer to dates that are either prior to approximately 1752 (“old style”) or after about 1752 (“new style”). This is because in 1752, Britain (including its American colonies) adopted the Gregorian calendar, which resulted in skipping 11 days that year. To make matters even more complicated, the first of the year was moved from March to January. So to remove confusion, newspapers around the time of the change included “O.S” or “N.S” to indicate which system was being used for the dates they provided.
  7. Example of name abbreviations being usedName abbreviations – Name abbreviations are common in old newspapers. Some abbreviations are merely the first few letters of the name followed by a period, while others are contractions (the first part of the name plus the final letter). Some abbreviations are derived from the name’s Latin equivalent, which makes them a bit trickier to decipher. Below are the most common name abbreviations:
    • Chas – Charles
    • Wm – William
    • Geo. – George
    • Jno – John
    • Jas – James
    • Thos – Thomas

We hope you found the explanation of these terms and abbreviations useful! Get started searching or browsing historical (and modern!) papers on Newspapers.com.

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