Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shirt Factories

Since this is Labor Day weekend I have decided to write about a now historical labor industry – the shirt factory. Every town on Delmarva had its garment factory, which in this area was usually called by the type of clothing that was made there – mainly shirts so Shirt factories was what we called them. I have noticed other towns had factories that made pants and those factories were usually called Pants factories in those towns. Never less I have always heard them referred to as a shirt factory so that is what I will call them. They are for the most part historical now because in the 1960’s and 1970’s our government sold them out by setting up policies that allowed their owners to transfer clothing production to foreign countries. Now if you find clothing with a Made In USA label it is probably made in America Samoa by Japanese factories from Chinese cloth. The packaging and enough minor work is done to allow the Made In USA label. There are still a few actual American Made garment factories, Carhartt comes to mind.

In the early 1800’s clothing was made by hand, due to lack of money and lack of stores carrying ready made clothing. In 1846, Elias Howe changed all that, he came up with another way to make clothes by the patented of the first practical sewing machine. The sewing machine industry based on his original invention made possible the mass production of clothing on a much larger scale than had ever been possible with hand-stitching. Along comes Isaac Singer who built the first commercially successful machine. In 1889 Singer introduced the first electric sewing machine and by 1900 Singer claimed 80% of the worldwide market in sewing machines.

The sewing machine was a God sent to other sewing related industries beside clothing, mainly leather stitching for shoes and harness, mattresses, sail and tent making etc. On a side note when tents were used at church camp meetings in this area the tents were usually made by local sail makers.

By the 1920’s almost every town on Delmarva had a shirt factory. Many were sweat shops in the strictest sense but they offered employment to women who before had few options in working for a paycheck. Compared to working on a farm the work was easier with less work hours. They even got a day off a week. The women also didn’t have to depend on education, good looks, and personality to get a job. They just had to be dependable and have good hand eye coordination. Many of the shirt factories were Jewish owned or had a Jewish partner because the garment industry was controlled by Jews. There was a rise in union workers like the International ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), with strikes like the 1909 strike.

In the 1920’s Delmar had two garment factories; Roy Wilson, which was by the railroad tracks, and John William Gordy plant, which was on Chestnut Street.

By the 1940’s conditions in the Shirt Factories started to improve, resulting in less hours worked and better shop conditions. They were also becoming more unionized. Many farm wives worked at theses plants because it provided a stable, reliable paycheck that supplemented the farm income.

My grandmother, a widow, in the 1940’s lost her farm out by St. Georges church, due to taxes and she went to work in a shirt or pant factory. I think for the first time in her life she found security due to a regular paycheck. The photo above shows her and her coworkers posing outside the plant she worked at. I had thought for sometime this was the Wilson pants factory in Delmar but the more I look at the building in the photo I question that. Anyway as you can see the plant had about sixty people in it with almost all being women.

In the 1940’s factories in Delmar were the Jacob Uniform and Apron Co in the “Old” Post Office Building, Banks Bros (started 1939), in addition to Wilson and Co. The David Feldman shirt and pants factory had closed in 1940 and Banks Bros took over their building on Chestnut Street. I believe it was over where the Catholic Church now stands.

There was also in Delmar Jacob Bros which operated a shipping center for uniforms manufactured elsewhere.

Even I worked briefly at a shirt factory, the Manhattan Shirt Factory in Salisbury on Glen Avenue. When I started college and was looking for a nighttime job I worked about two weeks sewing labels on shirt collars. Since I couldn’t break an 80% rejection rate I decided that line of work was not for me. I was however impressed with the Manhattan plant as it was very clean and well lit. I was also impressed with the high percentage of employees that had been with the company for a long time.

Some of the factories that were around in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s were; Hebron Pants Factory, Powellville Pants/Shirt factory, Banks and Pusey and W R Wilson and Co, both in Delmar, Berlin Manufacturing, Elton Bounds in Salisbury, Fruitland Shirt Co., Salisbury Shirts (Vine Street), W & S Shirt Co in Fruitland, Watson Shirt Co on Barclay Street in Salisbury, Viking Shirt Co on Jenkins Lane in Salisbury, Delmar Sportswear, Manhattan Shirt on Popular Hill with a second location at E. Main in Salisbury, Rob Roy in Cambridge, Laurel manufacturing, Gregg shirt in Fruitland, L & M Fashions in Harrington, Delmarva Manufacturing Co in Snow Hill, and Willards Shirt Co.

With the mass influx of cheap imported goods the shirt factories begin closing down in the United States and on Delmarva. In 1985 this message was addressed to congress by a garment worker;

"I want to ask you if you let imports destroy the garment industry, where will people like myself find work? How will we be able to provide for our families? . . . Please understand that we are not asking for special favors. We don't want hand-outs or welfare. All we are asking for is the chance to earn a living. It is very hard right now, but it is not impossible. But if you ignore us, the message you will send is that there is no room in the United States for people like myself. Please vote to save our jobs."
Message to congress from a garment worker 1985.

This had no effect on congress which in 1994 passed the North American Free Trade Agreement, (passed by the Clinton Administration) which increased clothing imports into the United States . After NAFTA came CAFTA, Central America Free Trade Agreement, in 2004 (Bush administration) that allowed Clothing from Central America to enter the US duty free. There is no reason to think that with the fools we have in power with their one world economic policy, that this drain on American manufacturing will continue until the American workers is paid the same as other third world countries.

Friday, August 29, 2008

1974 Cantwell's Market - Salisbury

Georgetown Republican Headquarters

The Drive Thru Produce Stand

The Produce stand on RT13 has a drive thru aisle. Sounds like a good idea, if it is raining you don't get wet, if you have kids with you they just stay strapped in. Smart idea.

The Ghost of Harlan Tull

Altho I have lived in this old house of mine about 30 years and consider it as Howard’s House, the house is known to everyone as the “Harlan Tull” house. I have long since given up telling local people my street address and just tell them I live in the Harlan Tull house – they all know which one it is. Harlan Tull was a well known person in town, operator of the local movie and sworn Democrat. Sometime in the late 1970’s Harlan Tull departed us, well at least physically. His spirit remains attached to my house however. Normally you never notice him until election time. Since even in death he is a Democrat and I am a registered Republican (but don’t always vote straight Republican) in election years he shows his disagreements with me being in the house by rattling dishes and stomping about in the upstairs hallway or simply drinks all my beer. These noises become more noticeable as I express my opinion to the TV or my wife about the Democratic Party candidates. In past election years at the mention of Bush the whole house would shake. This year however I have heard only an occasional rattle as even he is mystified by the Democratic Party selections for Federal, State and Local government positions. I do notice some stomping about when I talk about Christine O’Donnell but on Senator Obama he is silence. With Gov. Sarah Palin being selected for Senator John McCain running mate the noise has returned. Particularly when I mention (Yes I sometime talk to myself) that Gov. Sarah Palin is really the only one out of the Presidential Candidates and the Democratic Vice president candidate that has actually been the top executive of a government. The other three hold a post that is the equivalent of town councilman. They get to mouth off but can than step back when the shit hits the fan and comes down on the head person. He does however approve of my comments that Sarah Palin was only picked due to the ground breaking work of Hilary Clinton. Hopefully this year he will not go to the election booth with me, again, and try to move my hand to the lever for some of the Democratic Candidates.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I see tonight, WBOC is having trouble with their new equipment and are having to "wing it." Back in the 1950's when they first started up they spent a lot of time "winging it". Dead air time was not uncommon, people looking at the TV camera not aware they were "On", and just plain goof-ups where they would all break out laughing about it, were common events. WBOC did not start out with a full day of programming. About five hours was the norm. It was not uncommon for them to run an Army Training film on hygiene to fill in on programming. I have a Sunday schedule from August 1954 to show what the WBOC TV programming was.
1:25 Sign-On - News
1:30 Knothole Gang
1:55 Balt-Boston Baseball
4:30 Film Feature
5:00 Super Circus
5:30 Super Circus
6;00 The Lucy Show
6:30 You Are There
7:00 The Star and The Story
7:30 Private Secretary
8:00 Toast of The Town
9:00 G. E. Theatre
9:30 Stage 7
10:00 Appointment With adventure
10:30 What's My Line
11:00 News
11:05 Treasure Chest Theatre
12:25 News

This is a program from Tuesday August 10th 1955
5:00 Western Film
5:55 Headline News
6:00 Poultry Markets
6:05 Telesports
6:15 Club 16
6:45 To Be announced
7:00 Eastern Shore Newsreel
7:10 Weather Fashions
7:15 John Daly - news
7:30 Liberace
8:00 The Goldbergs
8:30 Twenty Questions
9:00 Make Room For Daddy
9:30 Favorite Story
10:00 Wrestling From Baltimore
11:00 News- Weather- Sports
11:05 TV Theatre
12:15 News Headlines

1972 Ad - The Mark V Inn - Delmar

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eighteens Days in 1972

Looking at the Democratic National Convention tonight reminds me of another Democratic Convention in 1972. At that time the Democrats had as their presidential candidate, Senator George McGovern, and his vice president candidate Senator Thomas Francis Eagleton. This was a year in which Alabama Gov. George Wallace ran for the presidency as a Democrat but was shot for doing so because he did generate such popularity. The Republicans had Richard M. Nixon of California, for President and Spiro T. Agnew of Maryland for Vice President. I understand, from what I have read, Senator McGovern had hoped Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts would run as his Vice President but Senator Kennedy still had the 1969 death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick hanging over his head so he declined. Also no one thought Senator McGovern stood a chance in hell of beating Nixon and they didn't want to have the stigma of defeat to linger over them.

Of course, this post is going to be about Senator Thomas Eagleton. Senator Eagleton was elected Senator from Missouri in 1968 after being lieutenant governor of Missouri. In the 1972 Democratic National Convention Senator McGovern selected Senator Eagleton to be his running mate. Eighteen days later Senator Eagleton would withdrawal from the ticket because it was discovered he had been hospitalized for nervous exhaustion and twice received electric shock therapy. McGovern's replaced him with Sargent Shriver.

Now as I recall from TV and such, Senator Eagleton seemed like a nice guy and was discarded by McGovern. It was a incident that destroyed any chance of McGovern being elected. The Democratic party to me has always stood for a liberal point of view and here was someone who had a handicap and they ditched him. Of course it was a no win situation for McGovern who had not known about the mental problem before he selected Eagleton so he lost on that point for not making the right choice and than he lost again because he hesitated in getting rid of Eagleton for a number of days after knowing.

In 1984 Eagleton retired from public office and made this statement that all elected officials should heed. "Public offices should not be held in perpetuity.” So mental problem or not he at least was on target on that statement.

Nixon and Agnew were of course elected and in 1973 Agnew was the first Vice President in U.S. history to resign because of criminal charges. In 1973 Nixon would give his famous quote of "I am not a crook" and it would echoed thru the land. In 1974 Nixon would resign from office.

Jury Duty - Day 2

Only half of us were called back today for potential jury duty so there was a hundred people to find 12 jury people out of. Since we were all veterans of yesterday and smaller in number the sign in process went much quicker which found all of us seeking ways to amuse ourselves until the jury selection started about 10:30. Definitely bring a book to read, unless you are good at working imaginary quadratic equations in your head. To fill in the time the bailiff has a comedy routine he does to a captive audience. He definitely needs to keep his day job. I was selected for jury duty by the court and rejected for jury duty by the defendant's lawyer. We are suppose to call in tonight to see if we go in tomorrow.

1959 Underground Shelter

Click to enlarge

Roland E. Galusha Died in Europe 1943

From the Bi-State Weekly August 20, 1943


Mr. and Mrs. Albert Galusha of this town received a telegram from the War department this week that their son, Pfc Roland E. Galusha died Aug. 6th in the European Theatre of War. Pfc Galusha is the first known Delmar man to give his life for his country.

Pfc. Galusha, who was in the Engineers' branch of service would have celebrated his 38th birthday on Oct. 29th. He had been in the Army almost three years. He was home on a furlough three days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor waiting for his discharge, but was immediately called back by the War Department and had been in England since October, 1942.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Galusha, four brothers, Corp. Ames Galusha, stationed in Texas, Albert and Walter Galusha of Youngstown, Ohio, Paul Galusha of Wilmington, Del. two sisters, Mrs. Olva Milke, Syracuse, New York and Mrs. Madelyn Dennis of Delmar, Mrs Dennis husband, Pvt Mitchell Dennis is stationed at Greenville, Pa.

Memorial Services were held at the homes of his parents on East Street at 7 o'clock Thursday evening, August 19. Paul Holls of dover was in charge of the service.

Pvt Galusha was a member of the Lutheran Church.

Delmar Police Department Press Release

Delmar Police Department Press Release

Incident: Felony Assault
Date of Arrest: 08-23-08
Location: S. Bi-State and E. Elizabeth St., Delmar, MD 21875
Suspects: Seth Bunting, W/M, DOB: 05/10/90, 207 E. Chestnut St., Delmar, MD 21875

On June 30, 2008 an officer of the Delmar Police Department responded to and investigated an incident involving a serious assault in which the victim was hospitalized with extensive facial injuries. No suspects were revealed at the time of the incident. After an extensive two month investigation, Seth Bunting of 207 E. Chestnut St., Delmar, MD has been identified as a suspect involved in the assault and charges were obtained on August 22, 2008. On August 23, 2008 an officer of the Delmar Police Department arrested Bunting on charges of Assault 1st. Assault 2nd, Reckless Endangering, and Possession of a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to Injure. Investigation is continuing.

Incident: Theft
Date of Incident: 08-25-08
Location: 38713 Sussex Hwy., Delmar, DE 19940
Suspects: Unknown

On August 25, 2008 at 7:31 AM an officer of the Delmar Police Department responded to 38713 Sussex Hwy, Delmar, DE (new McDonalds) for a report of a theft. The investigation revealed that a locked storage trailer on the construction site was broken into and approx. $5000.00 worth of electrical wire was taken. Investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call the Delmar Police Department at 410-896-3131.

Incident: Burglary
Date of Incident: 08-25-08
Location: 8 W. Chestnut St., Delmar, MD 21875
Suspects: Unknown

On August 25, 2008 at 10:56 AM an officer of the Delmar Police Department responded to 8 W. Chestnut St., Delmar, MD for a report of a burglary and theft. The investigation revealed that a locked storage shed location on property had been broken into and approx. $700.00 worth of personal property was taken. Investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call the Delmar Police Department at 410-896-3131.

Incident: Burglary
Date of Incident: 08-25-08
Location: 404 E. Jewell St., Delmar, DE 19940
Suspects: Unknown

On August 25, 2008 at 12:01 PM an officer of the Delmar Police Department responded to 404 E. Jewell St., Delmar, DE for a report of a burglary and theft. Investigation revealed that an unlocked shed located on the property was entered into and an electric power washer valued at $300.00 was stolen. Investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call the Delmar Police Department at 410-896-3131.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jury Duty

Well first day of jury duty today. Every eight or nine years I get selected for jury duty, I have never been picked to be on a jury, I am just one of the masses that are processed and wait to see if they will be selected. Today a hundred or more of us sit around waiting for the other jury selectees to be checked in and given a group number. They say to arrive at 8:30 in the morning but by the time that mass of people gets thru the metal detector and checked in I could have arrive at quarter after nine and still had time to wait until it was over with. No one was selected to be on a jury today so I get to call in tonight to see if I have to go back to Georgetown tomorrow and I guess I will continue this for the next two weeks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

August Delmar Joint Council Meeting

Well another Joint Council Meeting. Lonnie Figgs was missing otherwise everyone was there.

Three Delmar Policeman were promoted from patrolman to PFC. Hopefully I have their names right; Kevin McCahill, Justin Smithhart and John Dallam

Three people were sworn onto the Delmar Maryland Election Board for the Special Election tomorrow from 7am to 7 pm at town hall.

To simplify the joint council meeting it was once again a series of events and issues they seem unable to do anything about. Mosquitoes they are unable to do anything about. The Lecates building they are unable to do anything about and the most recent emerging problem is the Delmarva Inn on the Maryland side of town.

Now the council is charged with protecting the health and welfare of the town but they don't seem to be able to do much. The mosquitoes problem they try and pass off to the county. The old Lecates building, which sooner or later will fall on someone and kill them, or a rat will run out and bite some one, they seem to be unable to do anything but sit back and watch it crumble. The Delmarva Inn has been a problem they have talked about for some time and are still talking about it. The most recent problem was a fire the other night in one of the rooms. There were two adults and six kids in the room they were taken to the hospital for burns. The fire department said they encountered fleas and roaches and the basement was flooded with sewage. This motel has had numerous problems ranging from fights to health issues. The Wicomico County Health Department refuses to do anything about it. The Wicomico county fire Inspector isn't doing anything about it and our town government isn't doing anything about it. People were treated for burns last night, it could have been just as easy for the six kids and two adults to have burnt to death. If any harm comes to anyone from these problems it will be the town's fault for not doing anything.

The Delaware Council listens to Sara Bynum King talk and the council does nothing

The Maryland council listens and listens and does nothing.

Delmar August Utility Meeting

The Delmar Utility Commission meeting happened to night. All members were present. The main issue tonight was a disagreement between the Utility Commission and the Delmar Fire department. In a nutshell, the Fire Department has been filling their tankers from the Delmar town fire hydrants and using the water to fill the swimming pools of fire department members. The Utility commission felt this was unfair because; they were filling swimming pools out of the town limits, they were not paying for the water, the users of the water system were paying for the water thru the users fees, and they were not asking permission to take the water. After various bitter points were discussed by both sides a good ol' boy compromise was reached in which the fire department will notify the town a week in advance if they are going to take water for filling the swimming pools of fire department members who live in the town limits. This does give a benefit to some individuals at the cost of others but realistically the water under discussion is about 20,000 gallons a year. I think I can say even after the compromise no one was happy with it.

Special Election Delmar Maryland

Tomorrow there will be a Special Election held from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Delmar Town Hall. Delmar Maryland voters will be deciding if the Charter of the Town of Delmar, Maryland should be amended to permit employees of the Delmar Police Department to participate in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies and to engage in collective bargaining with binding arbitration of disputes between the Town of Delmar, Maryland and an authorized representative of the employees. The amendment of the Charter of the Town will also require the Mayor and Commissioners of Delmar to adopt a labor code which will include the manner of establishing units appropriate for collective bargaining, the manner of designating or selecting bargaining representatives and definitions for remedies for unfair labor practices.

One more group trying to tell us how to run the town and we pay them. Look for a low turnout on this one. Makes as much sense as the teacher's union. I would guess less than 10% of the voters care about an important matter that is going to greatly affect our taxes. This information is on the Town of Delmar website. I couldn't find it and had to ask Sara Bynum King what the election was about and she pointed out the location on the website. Yes, the alzheimers is creeping up faster than I care to think about or joke about.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Waiter Rant

Waiter Rant, the popular blogger, released his book; WAITER RANT, by the Waiter. (Ecco, $24.95.), a few weeks back and it made the New York Times book list. I assume his book is the same as the blog, restaurant stories. If you have not read his blog try to do so as it is entertaining. He is a waiter in New York City so at times it is hard for me to relate to some of his problems but he writes well. If you look at his blog go back to some of the posts a month or so back, at present he is mainly writing about his book.

Cheryl Scheffel

Cheryl Scheffel, former Millsboro Library Director, pled guilty in Sussex County Superior Court on July 16, 2008 to multiple offenses, including theft of $168,326.39 from the Millsboro Library. She has been ordered to serve 10 consecutive weekends at a Violation of Probation Center, beginning the weekend of July 25, 2008, and to serve 14 years of probation. Scheffel was also ordered to continue treatment with a gambling therapist, to have no contact with any gambling establishment, and to provide proof of self-barring from any gambling facility in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. She was ordered to pay $168,326.39 in restitution to the Millsboro Library. Wow, ten weekends at the probation center for stealing $168,326.39, that is like having a job that pays $8,416 a day for twenty days. You don't really think she is going to pay the full amount back do you? I wonder if IRS is going to do anything to her?

Dustin H. Britton

Someone else I missed mentioning in regards to theft and embezzling is Dustin H. Britton. Mr. Britton was accused of four counts of theft, falsifying business records and unlawful use of a credit card. He was the treasurer of the 73 year old Wilmington Kennel Club. No dollar amount missing was mentioned in the article I read but he has agreed to pay back $150,000. Interesting he figured since he offered to pay back $150,000 he shouldn't have to quit being the treasurer of the dog club. What kind of person would steal from dogs?

Delmar Delaware Election October 6th

The Town of Delmar Delaware will hold an election for a Mayor and two Councilmen. The Mayor will serve a two year term and the councilmen will serve four years. Anyone declaring their candidacy must fill out a Certificate of Candidacy form at the Town Hall by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 12, 2008. Voters must be registered by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 12, 2008. You must registered with the town to vote regardless if you are registered with the state voting board. The election will be held October 6, 2008.

1974 Ad - Gourmet Shack - Salisbury

1933 Turtle catch

From The Wicomico News, Thursday August 24, 1933

A ninety-six pound sea turtle which hooked itself onto Reese Messick's fishing line last week has furnished rare steaks for seven families.

Messick, who was fishing with friends in Nanticoke river near his home at Bivalve, was surprised when he pulled the huge turtle to the surface of the water last Friday. He is claiming a record for the heaviest line catch ever known to have been made in the river.

Rats in 1952

From the Bi-State Weekly August 22, 1952


The citizens on the West side of Delmar have been complaining of being invaded by rats. The big ones are getting bolder and have been detected on the East side of the tracks by at least one merchant.

It all goes back to the brickhole as a public dumping area. As long as trash and rubbish was hauled into the hole daily, the rats were well fed and stayed in their own environment. Recently the owner discontinued dumping in the "hole" because it wasn't being used properly. On top of this a fire burned there several days and wiped out the rats food supply.

Now the varmints after being on a starvation diet, are out searching for food. Thorpe Caldwell, a store keeper in the area, says that they have eaten his garden up. He goes on, "..they eat my tomatoes, plants and all". The pods on his beans have been eaten off. Mr. Caldwell is staging a one man war on them now.

The question in the mind of many is, Who Is Responsible? The owner donated the spot to the town. everyone used it either directly or indirectly. It is outside the city limits so the town cannot act, we are told. The State Board of Health says it has no jurisdiction.

ChickenMan, The most fantastic crime fighter the world has ever known

For some reason I was thinking about the Chickenman radio series that ran back in the 1970's. Chickenman, the winged warrior, was a spoof on Batman and other comic book hero's. Dick Orkin was the voice of Chickenman and the show aired on a number of radio stations. I always assumed it was of interest mainly to rural radio stations, particularly Delmarva since it is involved with chickens, but I understand it was carried on a number of big city stations. The segments were short like under 5 minutes, and aired thru out the day. I understand you can buy the complete collection of Chickenman episodes on CD's now. Like the background voices said he is everywhere, he is everywhere.