Saturday, August 17, 2013

Non-English Speaking Population In Our Area

The US Census Bureau has issued an interactive map of showing where Non-English languages are spoken around the country.   This article on Voice Of America discusses it better than I can and it has the map embedded in the article.  The languages you are allowed to select on the map are; Spanish, French, French Creole, Italian, Portuguese, German, Russian, Polish, Persian, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Arabic. 

At the beginning of the map display is a block of data you can just click on close and move to the map.  You can type into the map "address" section "Delmar Delaware" and bring up a map of the Bridgeville to Salisbury section of Delmarva.  Select which language you are looking for (one dot equals 10 people speaking that language).  You can move around the map and slide into other sections of Delmarva.  Delmar has very few foreign language speakers, as to be expected Spanish is the main non-English language followed by French Creole.  I was surprised at a large German speaking block located in Salisbury, perhaps it is the so called "students" that come here to work in Ocean City.  I also was surprised at the lack of Vietnamese speakers, as Perdue hired a number of them back in the 1980's to work in the Chicken Plants, maybe they all have learned to speak English.  Also if you select Tagalog (not a Girl Scout cookie but the language in the Philippines) you will see a few Tagalog speakers in Salisbury also a number of Tagalog speakers around any area where there is a hospital.  One of the exports of the Philippines is nurses and they are in most hospitals and medical facilities in the United States.

Post Cards - Wish You Were Here

Yesterday I attended the presentation of  Unlocking the History of an Old House” by Mike Dixon at the Delmar Library, more about that later, in the presentation Mike used a number pictures of Delmar that were from postcards.  I thought I would write a little about postcards.

As a historical item, postcards in the United States are a relatively new item.  They did not “take off” until 1898 when the Post office gave up their monopoly on post cards with the passing of the Private Mailing Card Act.  This act allowed publishers and printers to produce “Private Mailing Cards” (postcards).  The card had to have Private Mailing Card printed on it.  By 1901 the publishers could just label the card Postcard.  These cards could only be written on the side with the photo as the back was for the address.  In 1907 the Post Office allowed citizens to write on both side of the cards by using the back side divided into two sections; one for the address and the other for the message.  This period until World War One is considered the Golden Age of Postcards. About 1900, Real Photo postcards began to filter into use. Starting in 1906, Eastman Kodak Company produced “postcard” cameras that had negatives that were postcard size.  These Real postcards had very clear images and the photographer could go anywhere with the camera and the photographer could be just an ordinary person who purchased the camera, not a professional. In addition some models of the camera had a small backdoor that had a metal scribe the photographer to write on the negative comments and dates.  I think we have all seen those black and white postcards with the freehand lettering across the bottom describing some event or perhaps a family home or name.  In 1908, more than 677 million postcards were mailed and this was at a time when the U.S. population was less than 89 million people. The populous went wild using postcards.  As opposed to the 1940s and 1950s when one would take a snapshot and slip it into the envelope with your letter, people at this times had the pictures made into postcards and mailed.  Numerous picture of the High School graduate, doughboys in uniform standing in front of an army barracks, brides, dead people in caskets, all were popular subjects for the time. As bourgeois manners and tastes heightened at the turn of the century, many an American living room featured a picture postcard album, not only of personal photos but of exotic faraway places. It was one way in which people traveled in those days. Altho they may not have realized it they were involved in Deltiology, the official name for postcard collecting, is thought to be one of the three largest collectable hobbies in the world, along with coin and stamp collecting


Once World War One hit the supply of cheap German printed postcards was cut off and after WW1 people would begin using the telephone for communication. The postcard craze begins to diminish.   After WW1 the era of the “White border” postcard came into use.  It was obviously called white border for the white Border around the outside edge of the postcard.  They saved a little ink and helped control the cost.

About 1939 the PhotoChrome Era begun and continues until today.  The images were based on colored photographs with a glossy appearance. 

Two places online to look at local photos; one is the Nabb Research Center with postcards of Salisbury.

The second, is the Delaware public archives

Where the George and Irene Caley collection of postcards are online.  About 7,000 postcards of Delmarva.  If you do a search and enter Delmar at the above website you will see about 40 postcards related to buildings in Delmar.  If you want to see the collection click on View the collection and you will see a great collections of memories.  Regretfully I am old enough to remember when a number of these places were viable active businesses.  They are mostly all Places instead of people but still interesting.  I found the messages to be at times as interesting as the postcard picture.   

Ice Plant In Delmar


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Moonlight Madness Tomorrow Evening

When I was growing up there was a stigma about wearing hand-me-down clothes.  Maybe among teenagers today there still is.  There were no thrift stores at that time to buy used clothing, because people were embrassed to be seen in one.  You could get things from the Salvation Army but that would mean you were really poor.  Looking back I only wish my parents had the option of being able to buy our school clothes from a thrift store instead of the Sears catalog.  Particularly when we were very young and changing sizes every six months.  Things have changed and today there are a number of thrift stores in the area and clothing is cheap in them.  As local seniors know Wednesday is a 25% discount to people over the age of 55 at Goodwill in Salisbury, today whileat Goodwill buying books I saw they had their Moonlight Madness sale poster out.

Goodwill in Salisbury is one of the Goodwills that is  participating in Moonlight Madness

Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake announced today it will be having a Moonlight Madness sale at its retail stores on August 15th from 8 pm until midnight in order to ease the burden of Back to School shopping.
During Moonlight Madness, most Goodwill stores will be open until midnight. The one night sale includes 50% off everything in the stores, except new goods and TG. The 50% off discount cannot be combined with other discounts, coupons or offers. Moonlight Madness will occur at all Goodwill stores, excluding outlets.
Goodwill stores have all your back to school needs and Moonlight Madness is the perfect time to get a great discount on clothing, shoes, accessories and even housewares and furniture. Goodwill has 27 stores in the Baltimore-metro area, including the Eastern shore. To find a store near you, visit
WHAT: Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Moonlight Madness 50% OFF SaleWHERE: All Goodwill retail stores, excluding outletsWHEN: Thursday, August 15, 2013TIME: 8 pm until midnight (Except the Waverly store, which will be open 6 pm- 9 pm for Moonlight Madness)

Another place that gives a Wednesday discount to Seniors is the Rommel ACE hardware over in the shopping center where Superfresh use to be.  They give you 10% which counteracts the Maryland Sales Tax.

11Th Annual Ushers and Greeters Day

Unlocking The History of an Old House

On Friday, August 16, at 1:30 pm, historian and educator Mike Dixon presents “Unlocking the History of an Old House.” Just as families have a past, old houses and the land they are built on have histories. This practical lecture is designed to show you how to uncover that past and answer questions such as when was the structure built, who lived in it, how has it changed over time, and what are its stories. The discussion centers on implementing an organized research process, what records are available, where to look for documents, and interpreting the findings. The discussion concludes by presenting suggestions for creating a history of an old house. If you know where to look, you may find the clues to the past.

Could You Pass An 8th Grade Exam From 1912

The Christian Science Monitor has put on it's website questions from a 1912 eighth grade exam that students in Bullitt County Kentucky would have to take to go to high school.  The exam consisted of 56 questions, a 40 word spelling test and mentions a separate reading and writing exam .  If you would to see if you could pass it go here  Simply pick the multiple choice answer and click next to continue to the test

I tried it and failed. 


USDA Forecasts Record High Delaware and Maryland Corn Yield

The 2013 growing season has delivered close to optimal yield conditions for Maryland and Delaware corn and soybean farmers. Frequent precipitation during May, June and July occurred across most areas of the two states. A prolonged period of high summer temperatures coupled with lack of rainfall has not occurred this year as it normally does. Corn, due to an earlier planting period than soybeans, has benefited the most with record-high yields forecasted. Soybean yield in both states is also projected at a near record high level as of August 1, but additional rains in August and September will be needed to realize the forecasted high yield levels.


Maryland farmers project a yield of 155 bushels per acre for the 2013 corn crop, up 33 bushels per acre from last year and equal to the state record high yield of 155 bushels achieved in 2000. If realized, this will result in total production of 66.7 million bushels of corn on the 430,000 acres expected to be harvested for grain. Farmers also expect to harvest 465,000 acres of soybeans at an average yield of 45 bushels per acre. While the current forecast is 2 bushels below last year’s state record high average yield of 47 bushels per acre, it is higher than Maryland’s second highest soybean yield of 43 bushels in 2000 . If realized, a total of 20.9 million bushels of soybeans are expected to be produced in Maryland in 2013.

Maryland farmers are expected to harvest an estimated 16.8 million bushels of wheat this year. The 2013 wheat yield averaged 67 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel per acre from 2012. Barley fields are expected to yield an average of 80 bushels per acre, down 2 bushels from the 82 bushels per acre yield in 2012. Total barley production is estimated at 4.1 million bushels.


Delaware farmers report that they expect corn fields to produce an average of 165 bushels per acre in 2013, up 30 bushels per acre from 2012 and 3 bushels higher than the previous state record high yield of 162 bushels per acre in 2000. With 174,000 acres expected to be harvested for grain, total corn production is estimated at 28.7 million bushels. Soybeans are expected to yield 40 bushels per acre, down 2.5 bushels per acre from 2012. Soybeans are expected to be harvested from 158,000 acres for a total production of 6.3 million bushels. The forecasted yield of 40 bushels compares with the state record high yield of 43 bushels in 2000.

United States:
Corn production is forecast at record high 13.76 billion bushels, up 28 percent from 2012. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 154.4 bushels per acre, up 31 bushels from 2012. If realized, this would be the highest average yield since 2009. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 89.1 million acres, up 2 percent from 2012.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.26 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 42.6 bushels per acre, up 3 bushels from last year. If realized, the average yield will be the fifth highest on record. Area for harvest is forecast at 76.4 million acres, up slightly from 2012.