Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  11 (1885–86), 977–80.

Editor's Drawer



Regular Feature, Anecdote, Drollery


Climatology, Meteorology, Health, Race, Telegraphy, Technology

    States that 'according to the Weather Bureau, it is in those vast treeless regions of the Southwest that our storms and bad weather are bred. This may be true. But if it is, all the bad weather is exported, and all the good is kept for home consumption'. Reflects that 'Why a region so sparsely inhabited should have a superabundance of this vital element, and the Atlantic coast, where it is needed, should be obliged to get on with an inferior, malarious atmosphere, is a mystery. Perhaps there is no remedy for it, but enterprise and science can make a suggestion. Would it be possible to send the delicious, healthful air of the Southwest to the Northeast in pipes?'. Although it 'would, of course, be idle to take enough of it over to change our climate [...] it might, if carried in pipes, be turned on in houses, and give us in-doors a constant supply of pure and health-giving air'. (977) Relates several droll anecdotes in which black inhabitants of the Southern states comically fail to comprehend the new technologies of telegraphy and gas lighting. In one, an 'old negro' took a message into a 'telegraph office, which had but recently been established' and the 'operator after sending it, hung the paper on the hook at his side'. After a while, the operator perceived that the 'darky was still standing in the doorway, and he inquired after him why he was waiting. "I's waitin' fer yer ter sen' my telegraph", he answered. "But I have sent it long ago", was the reply. "Oh no, boss, dis yer nigger ain't no fool. I sees dat paper a-hangin' on de nail yit". (978)

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