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Tammy's All Things History

Bringing the Past to Life!

Benjamin F Butler and the Mills


 

Benjamin F. Butler became obsessively interested in politics as soon as he was old enough to vote. His calling wasn’t the big political picture which to him was merely the recognition of the founding principles of how government should operate, but how much investment by the government into affairs of every state or legal proceeding by the Supreme Court affect every individual. His interest and political passion rested solely with the “condition and welfare of the citizen.” (1)

Butler was inspired by the political history of his day and used some of it to analyze, ponder and question. From the forming of government by the founding fathers through presidents that continued to lead the country through Western expansion, foreign relations, and war. Butler, in his memoir, describes his enthusiasm for democracy and the judiciary system that Alexander Hamilton created and nurtured. Butler admired Hamilton’s ideas and beliefs about equality for the citizenry and almost no interference by the Federal Government into personal affairs. Butler took Hamilton’s ideas further to proclaim just what was the Federal Government’s responsibility to protect the rights of citizens. All of Butler’s ideas revolved around equality. How much equality existed at the time? What were the issues of the day that influenced Butler to take a stand for the men, women, and children of the United States? As we examine Butler’s ideas and thoughts from his memoirs, I believe we can find some answers to these questions.

Lowell, Massachusetts, the Mills, and an Idea for Change

Lowell, Massachusetts in 1836 was the second city built in New England and the second largest one in the country where the whole town revolved around manufacturing. Men, women, and children labored every day in the mills. The most improved single water power source in the country at the time drove the machinery. Non-resident stockholders owned all capital from manufacturing in town.

Capital came from several large corporations. All manufacturing businesses operated precisely alike. Bells rang laborers in and out of the mills. Bells tolled to awaken laborers in town for work. They ate breakfast by candlelight. In the summer the evening dinner bell rang at 7 pm. They all got 30 minutes for dinner. Managers set the bells at the same time. I’m assuming this was to combat conflicts for people and wanting to know where they were supposed to be and what time they were supposed to be there. There was no electricity at this time. One manufacturing company could only employ men and women at a time. Meaning if they lost ours and wanted to work at another mill, they had to get a pass.

To get laborers for the mills, managers hired folks from out of state. They only hired the best class of citizens. Mill owners established regulations that made provisions for education to be provided for children and religious instruction as well. They created moral rules of behavior too. Homes were built to provide comfort to laborers at the cheapest rate possible. Each house had a matron in charge, and each person had to report in if they arrived home in the evening past 10 o’clock. Curfew bells wrung at nine. At the 10 o’clock the doors to homes were locked. Mill owners felt if laborers were paid and boarded well they would be content with their wages. All men, women, and children got paid once a month, on a Saturday for the previous month’s work. The workers were required to give up $.30 a month fee to support worship services. No one complained about this.

Three years earlier in 1833, President Jackson visited Lowell. All men and women working in the mills came out to see him. Every woman wore a parasol and was dressed in white muslin with a blue sash except for some wore a black sash: morning a former manager who had died. What else happened during the visit? Butler does not mention anything further. Why was it significant enough to get an entry into his memoir? What did President Jackson observe or not observe on that day?

Mill Work is not Ideal

Butler grew up with mill children. He liked everyone no matter what clothes they wore or what things they owned and he listened to their dreams and complaints. He saw their health deteriorate as the long hours of labor in the mills took its toll.
Mill life averaged about five years. Most quit after they could afford to. Young girls came from the country to work and help pay the mortgage. Men did too for the for the same reason or to save money and start a new business. No one came to Lowell to spend their whole work life at the mills.

An Outside Observer Creates an Opportunity for Change

Butler got to know a town physician very well. The physician told him that he believed a 13 1/2 hour work day, six days a week in the mill was too much for anyone working in the mills. Each worker got 30 minutes to eat their meals in such a rush the doctor explained was not enough for proper food digestion and counterproductive to the physical requirements in labor productivity of factory work. There wasn’t any heavy lifting involved, but running machines required constant attention. The doctor emphasized it was not hazardous but you needed to be out there and in good shape to work in the mills.

Butler Decides to Act

The situation with mill workers influenced Butler’s decision to seek his first political action and propose a law that would reduce daily work hours to 10 hours for anyone working in manufacturing. He gathered support for his idea and prepared for a fight. Mill managers disliked the idea. Arguments became so intense that close friends feared to talk about the concept with Butler at all. Mill managers threatened their mill workers if they were caught discussing it or attending meetings about it they would lose their job and would not find work in Lowell again.

The Issue

Butler listened to all sides of the argument: managers carried out the will of stockholders, stockholders reinvested some of their money and state programs but how could they compete with neighboring and other states when their mills ran on a 14-hour workday?

Questions to Ponder

Butler does not mention how working conditions affected women and child workers. Perhaps this will come up later in his memoir. He had to have thought about it. He grew up around mill children. He saw how tired folks were from the labor and disliked treatment of the managers and mill supervisors. He detested greedy corporations whom he felt lacked compassion from the working class. Butler thought he had to act. He had a calling to help people, and he knew he has the skill and talent to do just that.

1. Benjamin F. Butler, Butler’s Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major General Benjamin  F. Butler : A Review of His Legal, Political, and Military Career (Boston: A.M. Thayer & Co., 1892), 85.

 

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George Eastman: Creator of Kodak Film


George Eastman is the man behind the creation of the Kodak film business. Kodak is a household name but not any name for familiar to George as he made the name up. Why didn’t George name it after himself? Maybe he thought his invention would not go far and he wanted to save himself some embarrassment. Not only did the business do well but George made more money than he could have imagined. To celebrate his success, he donated money to some of his favorite organizations where he felt the extra finances would be a welcomed blessing.

George was born in Waterville, New York on July 12, 1854. At the time, the western half of the United States was still primarily frontier. So, living on the East Coast and in New York was not too bad. Life was busy there, and the newspaper brought the political gossip of the day. George’s parents were well off. His father was in charge of a business college in Rochester. His mother stayed home caring for George who was the baby of the family. No doubt the two sisters older than him helped out nurturing and caring for George.

When George reached age 7, his father died. His mother rented rooms in the home to earn income and keep her family going. George loved going to school in Rochester but felt his mother needed him at home more. In 1877, at the age of 23, George found work as a bookkeeper. He earned good money and saved what he could to invest in his hobby as an amateur photographer. During a trip to Mackinac Island in Michigan, George spilled photographic chemicals and ruined his clothes. He needed a better way to travel with his photography supplies and thought about what he could do.

The first thing George did was try photography using dry plates instead of wet ones. This new technique took the messy spill able chemical away during photo processing. He then created a coating machine to apply gelatin to a dry plate and the device he used for this he patented in England in 1879 and the United States in 1880. After selling his English patent, he opened a shop in his hometown to manufacture his plate. He eventually replaced the glass with paper. When someone developed film, they could pull the paper away, and the remaining product was a negative copy.

George, along with another man named William Walker, took the product one step further by creating a roll, forming a more extended portion of the film and a holder for storage. The holder could fit any camera at the time. Sometime later others came along to create a similar product using the technology used by workers in Eastman’s manufacturing plant. A lawsuit ensued with George having to pay the suing party a large sum of money. It did not deter him, however. He continued to work to improve his product. In 1888, George created a Camera he named Kodak. This camera allowed ordinary folks to take photos and send them to the manufacturing plant for processing. It was easy to use and affordable. George marketed his product on simplicity and convenience. By 1892 George founded Eastman Kodak Company where his film products could be mass produced.

George continued to improve his product and to reinvent his business. He was a driven man not only for money and prestige but also he looked for ways to give back to society. George was a job creator. He treated employees well and assisted other inventors. George provided products used in Hollywood and world war. George never married. Perhaps he never found the time to find a suitor. Maybe his world gave him joy nothing else could. George ended his own life after pondering his accomplishments. He did this because he felt he had completed his work on earth and there wasn’t anything else for him to do. His rest was to be his final rest.

What would George think of his product now where so many have depended on his technology? Even today with all of the digital technology available there are those out there was still love to process film and enjoy the products that George created over 100 years ago.

The George Eastman Museum 

The National Register of Historic Places


 

What is the National Register of Historic Places?

This register is an official listing of properties in the United States designated for preservation for future use and observation. Qualifications of the list according to the National Park Service can be a site, a district, building, structure or even some type of object. The reasons as to why these things are to be restored and preserved need to be considered for the register. Any of these qualified items may even earn a tax credit to offset costs that the preservation can cause.

History of the Register

In 1966, lawmakers passed the Historic Preservation Act. This act enabled the National Park Service to create an office to manage all the places that need protection from becoming damaged or destroyed. Various managers and directors set up a central networking site for the many different agencies with the same intentions to work together. Through this networking opportunity, archaeologist, financial experts, and administrators established guidelines for grant writing, fundraising and, steps and procedures of running the register. Thus, making the official policies and operations of the Register transparent and accessible to the public. Historic properties that used financial gain to support their preservation acquired an additional tax incentive. This incentive ultimately led to the criteria that any historical property upkeep and profits were to be included criteria for entry into the register.

 

Register Nominations Criteria

If you want to get your historic property onto the register, you must meet specific criteria. A form provides necessary information such as what it is, what shape it is in and what is its significance. In other words, why should the property be restored or preserved? Is it essential to the location in the community? Is it relevant to the United States as a whole? The National Park Service collects the information on the form and approves it for further action or disapproves it depending on the information provided.

 

Processing

The process for entry to the Registry is a bit complicated. You need to get help from the people who have experience with successful submissions. You must be committed to a finished project, and you must be able to provide money for the upkeep of your preserve property. Once you accomplish this, many rewards can benefit your hard work. This benefit can include support created by remembrance and celebration, tourism and education, revenue and tax incentives. The register provides a real umbrella of protection for the historic property which can provide additional protections that is city or town cannot alone provide.

Check out the register here and browse the current listings. Do you have a history property you would like to preserve and protect?

Evolution of American Pharmacy


Out with the Old, in with the NewImage result for modern pharmacy

Beginning in 1950 pharmacy begin to change in many ways due to advances in technology. Just twenty years earlier pharmacists still compounded prescription medications. But with new technology and innovative pharmaceutical practices, the profession saw a twenty-five percent decrease in the need for compounding. New marketing techniques allowed for the production of packaged ready-made drugs. As a result, large pharmaceutical companies sprang up to keep up with demand.

Post World War II

Image result for food drug cosmetic act 1938

After the second world war ended in 1945, many veterans dealt with drug addiction and became susceptible to adverse reactions due to taking dangerous medications. Government agencies together with watch groups worked to monitor the problem and find ways to reduce unnecessary injury and death resulting from the consumption of unmonitored drugs. Lawmakers addressed the issue by passing strict guidelines for the use and dispense of medication.  Later in 1951 Congressman, Frank B. Keefe, of Wisconsin, put forth an amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This change defined the difference between over the counter and behind the counter meds.

1950s

Image result for generic drugs

This decade saw a growth in the availability of medications. Penicillin hit the market. Hospitals developed a system that allowed a pharmacist to dispense a generic product that mimicked a name brand product. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers’ protested this idea arguing that this would open up an unfair competitive product but complied with the law anyway.

1960s

Pharmaceutical centers begin with Eugene V. White who turned his drug store into an office type setting. He set the example for other pharmacy professionals to follow. Pharmacists’ role evolved to acting as a pharmaceutical consultant to customers. As a consultant, the pharmacist could apply more efficient safety controls for patients. Consulting was fruitful and lead to an ethics code established by the American Pharmacist Association and later cooperation with Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, expert pharmacists became the first line of inspection for accuracy and the communication of drug information between regulators and consumers. Third-party programs such as insurance agencies also required a pharmacist’s observation for accuracy and the necessity of prescriptions but still influenced consumers to purchase name brand drugs. Because of this, a thorough set up of further laws were in enacted to protect consumers.

1970s

Image result for computer history

Computers added relief to the pharmacy with the replacement of paperwork and tracked harmful drug interactions, doses, etc., thus improving prescription care for patients.

1980s

Image result for walmart

It seemed that over night, Walmart stores opened up in small towns across America and impacted small businesses to include corner drug stores. Many of these mall drug stores closed. A new demand for mail service prescriptions appeared as well. Managed patient care also became the norm. Pharmacies in the middle between patient and management companies needed to find ways to evolve with the times and so, pharmacy store management firms were created.

The 1990s and Beyond

Image result for future of technology

Pharmacists worked to meet the demand of growing populations in need of pharmaceutical care. The pharmacy today is run by a bunch of support positions. Pharmacists are at the top of this management. As the new technologies, innovations and improvements are made in medical care, the support for pharmacy operation does as well.

The Future of Pharmacy

Image result for wave of future

What will pharmacies look like in the future? What innovations can be created to speed up the waiting period for customers and their medications? How can we lower cost for these prescriptions for the consumer? What is the future role of pharmacist technicians and the pharmacists themselves?

These are a few questions to contemplate about when thinking about the future of pharmacy and may predict how the pharmacy profession will evolve for generations to come.

References:

Higby, Gregory J. “The Continuing Evolution of American Pharmacy Practice, 1952–2002.” Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (1996), vol. 42, no. 1, 2002, pp. 12–15., doi:10.1331/108658002763538017.

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

Tammys AllThings History Turns Five


 

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Five years ago, I created my history blog. I did this because I wanted to connect with others who love history and because I enjoy writing about it. Since then this blog has offered me a space to experiment and to dump information out of my brain so I can add more. Reading is good, but writing helps me remember what I read. All the knowledge I get from reading and writing builds my history skills and the ability to think critically instead of just looking at the views of others and taking them at their word. I hope to blog more regularly in the coming months and enjoy other history blogs. If you have a blog or favorite history place, please send it my way.

Here are the stats updated to the present:

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Thank you to all who read and share this blog.

 

History on Saturday: Pilgrim Hall Museum


Image result for pilgrims

History On Saturday

Saturdays are a great time to gather the family up, bring a group, go on a date or venture out alone and visit webs and real-time historical sites. Today’s feature is:

The Pilgrim Hall Museum

The Pilgrim Hall Museum is a fascinating place to visit. The museum offers a way for visitors to learn about folks who immigrated to a new land to start a new life. We watch shows on TV today about going to new places to start a new life such the as survivor shows. These early Americans were not just trying to prove they could survive but to begin anew, build community, raise families and form government. In the Pilgrim Museum, you can see artifacts that early Americans brought with them on the Mayflower. You can also meet Native Americans that helped our first pioneers and the relationships they formed.

Visit, browse, and check out the gift shop which has books to further explore artifacts and the topics presented. View the online exhibits and escape to time in the past and see how it relates to our modern time.

The Pilgrim Museum homepage and online exhibits: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/about.htm

The gift shop: http://pilgrimhallmuseum.pinnaclecart.com/

Happy History on Saturday!

Family Life of Benjamin F. Bulter


Young Benjamin F. Butler

Image result for benjamin f butlerIn 1839, Benjamin F. Butler met a man named Fisher Aimes Hildreth. Fisher lived in the next town over from Lowell where Ben lived in Massachusetts. Ben and Fisher connected immediately and developed a life-long relationship. That same year Fisher invited Ben to his family Thanksgiving meal. It was there, Ben, met Fisher’s daughter, Sarah. According to Ben, Sarah was attractive, educated, and intelligent and, she had a passion for acting. In fact, she appeared in plays in New York and Boston. Ben showed a curiosity for a romantic relationship with Sarah but she was not interested in giving up her career to accompany a small town lawyer just starting out (1).

Sarah Butler

Image result for benjamin f butler

As time went on Sarah acquired popularity and stardom for her work. Ben, worked his way into a successful law office, and the two continued to stay in contact with one another. In May of 1844, after a long courtship, they married. Ben brought Sarah to his home in Lowell, and there they lived until she passed away from “an untimely death” in 1877 (2).

Ben and Sarah’s Children

Together Ben and Sarah created a good sized family: a girl named Blanche, and three sons: Paul, who died at age four, Paul II, and Ben-Israel. Ben-Israel decided to follow his father’s footsteps and enter into public service. He was appointed to West Point, graduated with honors and commissioned Lieutenant. Ben, proud of his son’s accomplishments encouraged Ben-Israel to take command and lead a “regiment of colored troops stationed on the Plains [so that] he might have, in addition to his instructions at the academy, the knowledge of the movement and care of the troops in actual service.” The significance of his decision by Ben Butler was that he wanted his son to acquire some military experience working as a volunteer and not someone who earned rank from being nobility (3).

Tragedy

After completing his military service, Ben-Israel planned to join in partnership with his father Benjamin’s law practice. But as Benjamin writes in his memoir, “I had hoped to lean upon him in my declining years, to take my place in that profession which I love and honor. ‘Man proposes. God disposes.'” Ben-Israel’s unexpected sudden death ended any chance of a father- son career dream for both of them. Ben’s daughter married a Civil War General, Adelbert Ames and raised a family while Paul sought a business career upon his graduation from Harvard. Ben, impressed with Paul’s accomplishment at a prestigious university, felt his choice of school would impact Paul favorably later in life if he desired to enter into politics (4).

A Valued Relationship

Throughout Ben Butler’s military and political career, Sarah, his wife, proved to be one of his staunchest supporters. She advised him from time to time. Her intelligence and education were a great asset to Ben. It allowed him to view his world not only from a humanitarian perspective but also that of a woman. Sarah related to Ben on a different level, but she never interfered and trusted Ben’s final judgment. When Ben experienced political strife and controversy, she remained by his side with poise and dignity (5).

Value of Family

Benjamin F. Butler’s credited his success as a lawyer, veteran, and political figure to the strong family support system he created with his wife, Sarah. He also credits his family upbringing as inspiration and passion for a lifetime of civil service to others. We can interpret his decisions and actions in his life through his experiences and thoughts about them.

 

1. Benjamin F. Butler, Butler’s Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major General Benj F. Butler : A Review of His Legal, Political, and Military Career (Boston: A.M. Thayer & Co., 1892),78-79.

2. 79.

3. 80-89.

4. 80-81.

5. 85.

 

American Pharmacy: Art to Profession


Image result for american pharmacy 1920

Between 1902 and 1952 the American pharmacy transformed from an age-old art to a respected profession. Before the turn of the twentieth century, anyone trained as a druggist through apprenticeship could work in the store as a clerk. They could earn a qualification through state exams. From there opportunity arose to obtain a small pharmaceutical business. Lack of oversight and monitoring of drug manufacturing caused an increase in the circulation of fake drugs in and out of the stores. Pharmacists worked together to come up with a system to legitimize their trade and businesses. New York was the first to lead the way in requiring state board certification proceeded by at least two years of college. Soon all the states followed suit until the whole country united pharmaceutical standards (1).

Image result for no jobs 1929

Even though most pharmacists had been the sole proprietors of their businesses and worked long hours each day, hiring assistants became a temporary fix. Because the pharmacist could not operate and manage the store properly at the same time,  cheap manufacturing caused problems in customer service areas. Pharmacists failed to keep with demand for a quality product, and popularity of assistants in the stores diminished. Further problems arose about legal qualifications of pharmacy assistants. The positions of those helpers phased out in the 1920s (2).

Image result for old drug stores 1920s

Image result for old drug stores 1920s

The corner drug store phenomenon ended abruptly by the introduction of retail chains taking over several of the businesses. Walgreens was one of the first chains to do this in the first part of the century. The mass production of manufactured drugs entered the market and stifled the need for compounding. Pre-Made drugs were readily available in supermarkets. Smaller drug stores could mot compete for customers, and only a few remained in operation (3).

Image result for cheap drugs 1920s

In 1929 pharmacists began selling “generic home remedies.” These labeled medicines included the pharmacists’ name, photo, and signature. They then marketed touted the drugs as an innovative, and a new way for people to treat symptoms at home. Some of these medicines were not legitimate, however. To combat this and save their businesses, pharmacists patented their medicinal creations (4).

Image result for closed drug stores 1930s

Soda fountains entered the pharmacies during prohibition and soon became very popular. Medicines that contained alcohol were consumed inside the pharmacy only. After WWII and due to a lack of personnel to run them, the fountain counters began to disappear, and the ones that remained lost popularity in the 1960s (5).

Image result for hospital pharmacy in 1920

In the 1930s pharmacists occasionally worked in hospitals. But by the 1940s the number of hospital pharmacists’ increased their presence by interning. Hospital pharmacy eased the burden of busy medical staff, and in 1947, the United States government passed the Hospital Survey and Construction Act. This act stressed the need to operate public health centers and provided a one-stop shop medical care facility where folks could get the best care for their medical needs. This act allowed pharmacists to practice their craft in a professional setting and gain public respect for the profession (6).

Between 1902 and 1947 the American Pharmacy changed from an age-old art practiced by those who artfully crafted medicine to a recognized and respected profession. The pharmaceutical trade grew because pharmacists’ changed their methods with the changing times. What had commonly worked in the past, now collided with innovative thinking and creative ideas to broaden the reach to those who needed it. Pharmacists changed their old ways of doing business and in doing so created the opportunity for themselves and those who would take up the profession in the future.

1.Glenn Sonnedecker, The American Practice of Pharmacy, 1902-1952, in Gregory Higby and Elaine Condouris Stroud, American Pharmacy (1852-2002): A Collection of Historical Essays (Madison, WI: American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, 2005), 5.

2. Ibid, 6.

3. Ibid, 7.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid, 8.

6. Ibid, 9-10.

All photos courtesy of Google Images.

 

Some Things about Benjamin Franklin


 

 

Some Things about Benjamin Franklin

In the 1730’s Benjamin Franklin did not consider African or Native Americans as equals. He did not put thought into them at all when thinking of how to improve the quality of life for all Americans. He saw them as unable to be capable of equality because he felt they lacked intellectual intelligence.

He owned slaves. He viewed them as an “investment.”

In 1751, he changed his mind on slavery after visiting a school and watching African-American children. He noticed that they did indeed have the same intellectual intelligence and learning abilities as that of White American children. He saw that their possible contributions to humanity significant and because of this he turned against slavery, publicly condemning it as a “detestable commerce.”

He got involved in abolition and became the president of the Society for the Abolition of Slavery.

He questioned everything.

He was tolerant of people’s religions.

He was commander of a militia that took down the Paxton Boys.

He was his family’s historian. (1)

I have a biography of Benjamin Franklin to read in my personal library. I am very curious about Benjamin Franklin and did not know much about him other than the general knowledge such as his discovery of static lightning. So, I picked up an old college textbook in the free book section of my local library, and when I came to a short essay about him, I found some things that stood out to me as being not only interesting but also important. Benjamin Franklin is a fascinating man because he seems so curious about his world and he devotes his whole life to learning and to the service of others. He never really has a clear path of what he wants.

Benjamin Franklin takes advantage of the opportunities that arise and they direct him to success and achievement. He is not motivated by agendas or thought out plans but uses his experiences to either better himself or others. I find I can relate to him in many ways. I think Benjamin Franklin can teach us a lot about what it means to be a little independent and be able to accomplish things without a roadmap of how to do it. He shows us that we can change our mind over time about issues that are controversial. He shows us the power that knowledge has and how it can lead to opportunities in our lives we could never have dreamed possible.

(1) Meet Dr. Franklin, Richard B. Morris in Portrait of America by Stephen B. Oates, 1999.

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