February 14, 1998

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Time now for the yearly business update-the year 1924, that is. Courts were busy this year, trying to keep industry honest and safe, if not fair. On February 19th, an appeals court in New York City banned the purchase of tickets to sporting events and to the theater for resale. We know the practice as scalping, and the fact we know it, 74 years later, shows how effective that ruling was. Despite the efforts of vested interests to overturn a New York State law, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the law banning women from working late at night. Then it was time for the Federal Two-Step, one forward, another back-on Aug 13th a law was passed requiring women working for the U. S. government to use their husband's name. On June 2nd the Child Labor Constitutional Amendment was submitted to the states. They did not ratify it. In October the U. S. government declared the Aluminum Company of America to be a monopoly.

Innovations continued to mushroom, especially in the wireless communications field. Vladimir Zworykin applied for a patent on an invention he called the kinescope; we call it television. On Oct 23rd, 22 radio stations from Washington,
D. C. to Seattle, carried the first national radio network broadcast-a speech by President Coolidge at the dedication ceremonies for Washington's Chamber of Commerce Building. A little more than a month later the Radio Corporation of America demonstrated the transmission of photographs by transatlantic wireless.

The rapidly growing automobile industry chugged along. In order to meet demand north of the border, the Dodge company began building cars in Walkerville, Ontario. Industry pioneer Henry Ford lifted his foot from the pedal and stuck it in his mouth, when he was quoted as calling members of the Klu Klux Klan "patriots".

There were deaths this year. Among them Walter Bonynge, founder of Los Angeles' Home Building and Loan Association; Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor; the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, mortally wounded by flood damage; and the Rochester and Manitou Railroad trolley line.

There were also births. Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and the Louis B. Mayer Company combined forces to create MGM Studios. Two immigrants arrived from Europe-Lilly Daché to sell hats, Joseph Perillo to sell tours. And on this date, February 14th, James Watson, of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company acquired a manufacturer of calculating machines. His company assumed its slightly snappier name-International Business Machines.

OUTRO: For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.

 

© 1998 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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