15 March 2018

"Black Friday"
From The Famous
Old Trusty Catalog
Of 1918
(Part 2)

After the War of Northern Aggression, and prior to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, there were numerous banking panics and failures in the United States. The "Black Friday" excerpt (below) from The Famous Old Trusty incubator catalog of 1918 references some of these panics. 

The Panic of 1893 was a depression that lasted four years. 503 banks closed down. Here is a brief description of the 1893 depression...
The Panic of 1893 was a national economic crisis set off by the collapse of two of the country's largest employers, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad and the National Cordage Company. Following of the failure of these two companies, a panic erupted on the stock market. Hundreds of businesses had overextended themselves, borrowing money to expand their operations. When the financial crisis struck, banks and other investment firms began calling in loans, causing hundreds of business bankruptcies across the United States. Banks, railroads, and steel mills especially fell into bankruptcy. Over fifteen thousand businesses closed during the Panic of 1893.
Unemployment rates soared to twenty to twenty-five percent in the United States during the Panic of 1893. Homelessness skyrocketed, as workers were laid off and could not pay their rent or mortgages. The unemployed also had difficulty buying food due to the lack of income. (source link)

The 1913 Federal Reserve Act was supposed to solve all those economic problems by creating a centralized, private, national Bank. The newly established, euphemistically named, Federal Reserve would, ostensibly, "provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system."

Sixteen years later, came the Great Depression, followed, in time, by numerous economic recessions. And now, after 105 years, the purchasing power of the American dollar has dropped over 96% (link). Well, so much for stabilization of the financial and monetary system. 

But it is to be expected. Centralization of power always serves to benefit the centralizers most. But only for awhile. Then it fails. Every time. Think Babylon. Or, think Gordon Lightfoot, and The Pride Of Man...

It's all us gullible "little people" who suffer the most when an economic crisis hits, but the Famous Old Trusty catalog of 1918 had some down-to-earth advice for common folks looking to survive another round of hard times. 

Raise chickens! Sell eggs! Better yet, get yourself an Old Trusty to hatch your own eggs. And you can sell pullets to your neighbors too. 

This short excerpt, written by H.H. Johnson, owner of the Old Trusty company, provides us with an historical insight into severe financial crisis and "prepping" 100 years ago.

Black Friday
Black Friday, September 24, 1869, was before my time, also the panic of '73 (Sept. 18, 1873), but the panic of 1893 made a lasting impression. There were a few years following when the hens laid golden eggs. The owner of a flock was panic proof.
As usual, I want to tell a story. We came to Clay Center in 1894. The times were hard, good and hard. The only man in the community making real money was a German farmer, who had about 150 hens. He was making more than a living. The hens paid their way as well as their owner's way, with something to spare.
When the hen shines to the best advantage, or when we appreciate them the most, is about the time when we need their earnings. Most of western Kansas and Nebraska can remember the great drouth of 1894. The settlers who had good flocks of hens stayed and held down their homesteads, which are now valuable farms, while those who did not have a good supply of the panic proof hens hiked out to their wife's folks farther east.
Give a widow and her family $100 worth of hens and she will not only get along, but will lay by some money.
When $100 worth of poultry will do these things for a widow, it would seem that a little bigger investment would be justifiable on the part of any farmer or person who has room to raise poultry. I know it would pay them big. We have thousands of customers who are making it pay big. They use from one to a half dozen incubators and as many brooders.

The world has changed a lot in 100 years. Now we have Walmart, and eggs are cheap at Walmart. At least, for now they are.

(click picture for enlarged view)


  1. My Bible-believing Grandmother, widowed in 1932 and the mother of 5 young children, had her milk cows, a bit of land, a few pigs, and her Ace in the hole, laying hens. As my mother told it, when money was tight Grandma would say, "Well, I can always sell a chicken..." (BTW, check out that 4% interest being paid by the bank in your photo!)

    1. I like grandmother stories like that.
      Thanks, Joy. :-)

  2. When I hear someone say, "______ (fill in the blank) is so cheap at Walmart, why would I grow it?" I say, "And what about when you can't get it at Walmart?"

    1. No eggs at Walmart? That's a thought almost too scary to contemplate.

    2. Elizabeth L. Johnson said, A friend is very concerned I'm bothering to grow vegetables that are cheaper to purchase than to grow. I told her I'm endeavoring to learn more and more about gardening and it takes practice. The future is not certain in our eyes, and we need to be connected to the land, in an agrarian fashion.

    3. Elizabeth...

      Gardening is a theological calling. We were created, in part, to work in the soil... to be co-creators with God in a garden. It's right there in Genesis. :-)

      Besides that, it's great exercise and a productive hobby. And the food we get is superior to food we buy. It's not mystery food, from who-knows-where.

      And, yes, it is folly to think that cheap, plentiful food will always be available to us in the grocery stores. There is a learning curve to growing your own food. It's wise to be ahead of the curve, if the industrial system fails to feed so many millions of dependent people.

      I the final analysis, there is really no down-side to gardening that I can see.

  3. Glad to see you are blogging again. I do have to take issue with "After the War of Northern Aggression". Might have been better to phrase it as "the war to determine if one man can chain another based on race". It diminishes the sacrifices made and implies approval of the Confederacy. The war was about nothing but slavery, although there are some historians who argue it was about states rights - generally those arguments are put forth by southern historians who don't want to admit their ancestors were the willing employees of evil.

    I do enjoy your blog and I'm a fan of Planet Whizz bang books and products. I just can't let the above pass without comment.

    1. I understand your perspective. It is what we all learned in the government schools as kids. It's simple and convenient, and it serves the best interests of central government power.

      Back around 1980 (four years out of the government school) I developed an interest in the Constitution and the framers of the American Republic, starting with the Mayflower Pilgrims and moving on to Washington, Jefferson, Madison, etc. I read the history and the biographies. That naturally led to an interest in the War Between The States. I read the biographies of Lee, Jackson, and even Nathan Bedford Forrest. I came to realize that the war was not just a black and white issue.

      It was a multi-faceted, complicated issue that, without a doubt, involved states rights. Powerful Northern political interests were vying for control over the Southern States, and not for the purpose of eliminating slavery. Almost nobody in the years leading up to that War saw slavery as the primary issue. No student of history (reading both sides) can honestly say that war was all about slavery.

      If the war were truly only about determining if one man can chain another based on race, I don't think there would have been a war at all. Most Southerners knew that slavery was wrong. William Wilberforce had worked tirelessly for years to outlaw slavery in the British Empire, and finally succeeded in 1833. The Southern people of America were not monsters. The South was a Christian civilization, caught in an economic and ethical conundrum that, in time, I'm sure they would have resolved, without 600,000+ men dying.

      What modern people fail to understand is that, prior to the Civil War, the states were like individual countries. Love of country was hardly an emotion for the United States as a whole. Patriotism was reserved for one's state. Lee didn't leave his stellar military career in the North to keep slaves, he left out of duty and honor to Virginia.

      I'm a Northerner. My roots are in Maine. My ancestors fought for the North. They were good and honorable men. They may have thought they were fighting to eliminate slavery, but they were tools of Lincoln's government, much like so many honorable young men of today are sent to fight in so many unnecessary foreign wars. initiated by the centralized powers in Washington. Most of these wars through history have a common denominator. Follow the money. Who benefits? It was the same story in 1861.

      Propaganda is powerful, as is confirmation bias. We all want complicated matters reduced to simple soundbites or slogans. I understand that, and I know my opinion about the Civil War will never be popular because of that.

      I recommend that you (or anyone reading this) check out the perspective of a born-Southern black man, HK Edgerton, as can be heard in any of a number of YouTube videos. Edgerton was born in 1948. He is a former president of the Asheville, NC chapter of the NAACP. Edgerton likes to stand by the side of the road in a Confederate uniform with a large Confederate flag.

      Edgerton knows his history. He knows that the Northern invaders, backed by political forces in Washington, have wreaked cultural destruction on his beloved South. But slavery, as inflicted on the black race by Washington DC politicians, is okay.

      Thanks for the comment, and for the opportunity to explain my perspective on this contentious subject.

    2. "The South was a Christian civilization, caught in an economic and ethical conundrum that, in time, I'm sure they would have resolved"

      That's the real test isn't - and the group you defend has failed it. Or to put it another way: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26

      When given the choice between right and wrong - they choose to side with evil - as you said, follow the money. They choose their own comfort at a cost of enslaving their fellow man. They were of weak morals - even Jefferson said he feared God's judgment because of slavery and yet he counseled against freeing slaves and couldn't free his own as they provided his most reliable revenue stream. They were put to the test (which we all hope to avoid) and failed.

      Lee and Jackson broke their oaths - NBF gave us the Klan. Lee diminished himself further when Grant asked him to speak out against atrocities committed by the Klan against blacks post-war.....Lee wouldn't. A great general no doubt - but I find little else to admire.

      The culture of slavery destroyed by force at a terrible cost was worth the price. Along with the battle for an equal place that followed. I think you also made a leap in logic that my view that the war to free men was justified somehow implies my support of the current situation in Washington.

      We should exchange reading lists - I've come to a very different conclusion.

      I appreciate the debate and will remain and avid reader of your blog.


    3. Rubbish, timt.

      Why was Fort Sumter fired upon? Because that's where the tariff collectors were holed up when Lincoln sent them south.

      Lincoln's own speeches put the lie to your contention regarding slavery: "to preserve the Union" was the justification. The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in those areas in rebellion; slaves in the North were unaffected. <-- the EP was propaganda aimed at the South, to cause worry about a domestic insurrection of blacks while fighting with the North.

      "The culture of slavery destroyed by force at a terrible cost was worth the price." An opinion with which I disagree. The North could have peacefully purchased all of the slaves in existence and freed them more cheaply than the cost of the Civil War. Your enthusiasm for force to resolve issues has been noted. It is unfortunate you will not see force's legacy in today's wretched society.

  4. Just one important correction...

    I wasn't implying anything about your support of modern-day Washington. My apologies if you took it that way. Actually, nothing I said was about you. My comments were about the Civil War, and my objective was to simply say that there is another side to the history as it is commonly taught.

    My inference was that, as a result of the North winning the Civil War, and more power being concentrated in Washington, we have seen an erosion of personal freedom in this country. And none of us are as free as we would like to think we are. We can thank Abe Lincoln and the Northern politicians for that.

    Also, contrary to what the media manipulators would have everyone think, not every person who objects to the "official story" is a Klansman (I'm certainly not).

    Armchair quarterbacking about the decisions of Southern generals, and the whole of Southern Christianity, 160 years later is so easy. I wonder how future Christians will judge Christians of today for their actions (or lack of actions) in the face of social evils.

    You're welcome to have the last word, if you like.

    P.S. I named one of my sons, Robert E. Lee. :-)

  5. "I wonder how future Christians will judge Christians of today for their actions (or lack of actions) in the face of social evils."

    That's a great question. And my answer to that is one of the reasons I tend to judge the southern leadership harshly. If you believe something is amoral -as many slave owners did - and yet you persist - in something you know is wrong, not only wrong but evil - there is no other judgement fitting for slavery but to call it evil. I think when your day of judgement comes that's going to be difficult to justify.

    Of course I could turn my all seeing eye on myself. But as I said - we all hope to not be put to the test. I'm firmly in that camp.

    Thanks for the exchange. The last word is of course yours.


  6. Slavery just happened to be a great moral issue to rally around in order to achieve the political and policy aims of tptb at the time. Sort of like WMD as part of the justification in the Gulf War, 9/11 to pass the Patriot Act, or school shootings to rally around curtailing 2nd amendment rights.

    I in no way endorse slavery, but don't believe for a minute that the politicians during the Civil War were any different than they are now; Lincoln was not motivated by principle or morality, but economics.

    1. We need a thumbs up button here (that's one of the things I like about Facebook).

      Well said. Lincoln's own writings make it very clear that he was never all that interested in ending slavery. His main concern was preserving the Union at all costs. The slavery issue was, for him, the means to an end, and the justification for brutal war crimes against the South, by way of Wm. T. Sherman's infamous March to the Sea.

    2. One more thing on this topic, for anyone who might have an interest...

      This YouTube Clip with HK Edgerton, a black civil rights activist is more than a lot of people can process. It doesn't fit the official narrative. Edgerton makes the point that the Africans who sold his grandmother didn't love her, but the honorable, Christian, Edgerton family that bought her in North Carolina did.

      HK makes the point that, "God in his infinite wisdom could have set my grandmama someplace else as a slave, but he sent her to the Southland of America, and I'm so very glad for that."

      If that isn't mind-blowing enough, Edgerton praises Nathan Bedford Forrest for establishing the Klan to save the South (black & white) when the North inflicted Reconstruction. He makes the point that black Confederate soldiers proudly rode with Forrest. He in no way endorses the actions of the Klan after Forrest, but Edgerton knows his Southern history better than most.

      In This YouTube Video another black man from the South, Nelson W. Winbush, tells the stroy of his grandfather who proudly, served under Forrest in the war. He shows pictures of a Reunion in the 1920s with his grandfather, who received a government pension for his military service.

      The comments on that particular video show that, despite efforts to silence the truth, destroy Southern Heritage, and divide the races, there are still a lot of people who are seeing through the lies and manipulation. And that is some encouragement.

  7. On the last Chart Mrs Addie M Kelso's hatch rates drop from the first hatch to the third hatch. In 1913 and 1915 the second hatches are higher, but for the most part, the hatch rates are lower as the season progresses. Why?

    1. Maybe she was too busy later in the year to turn the eggs every day. I think that was an important part of the operation, though the catalog does not have instyructions.
      I think it's amazing that the device worked as well as it did, being fueled by a kerosene lamp.

  8. I do not know if this has anything to do with the slavery question..but I often wonder how much the industrial revolution had to do with it ? "slavery" of some sort - work for food and housing by or against a persons will , had to be the way the world worked for centuries , I am guessing . When farmers finally could buy machinery to do what human power had been doing ,I am sure it became more convenient for them to "open their eyes ,morally" to what their fellow man may be suffering. I may be wrong in also guessing that this mechanization came to the North first , allowing them to then feel they were morally superior ?

    1. Hi Karen,

      I've not thought or heard of that before. But it sounds like a plausible theory to me.

  9. You're right. That's encouraging.
    It says "youth employment stands at more than 40%."
    I wonder if they meant to say Unemployment. But, either way, that is huge.
    Here's a hot link for anyone who is interested: Millenials in Greece Flee The City to Find Jobs on the Farm

  10. Here's an article in today's USAToday that I found encouraging:


    I was wondering how long it would take for the younger generation to do something about their situation, but it looks like it is possible that they can!