Friday, March 28, 2008


1911. New York's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory at Washington Place and Greene Street has a fire March 25 and 146 people are killed, most of them sweatshop seamstresses who are unable to escape. The tragedy brings new demands for better working conditions.

1911. California women gain suffrage by constitutional amendment.

1911. The Purchasing Power of Money by Yale political economy professor Irving Fisher advances the thesis that prices rise in proportion to the supply of money and the velocity with which money circulates. Fisher pioneers in "indexing" the economy with price indexes, cost-of-living indexes, etc.

1911. The Supreme Court breaks up John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company trust, ruling in the case against "unreasonable" restraints of trade where a company has "purpose or intent" to exercise monopoly power in violation of the Sherman Act of 1890.

1911. The electric self-starter for motorcar and truck engines invented by C.F. Kettering improves automobile safety.

1911. The first SAE handbook on standardization is published by the 6-year-old Society of Automotive Engineers. Beginning with spark plugs and carburetor flanges, the SAE will standardize screw threads, bolts, nuts, and other automotive components.

1911. The first Indianapolis 500-mile motorcar race is held May 30.

1911. The last horse-drawn bus of the London General Omnibus Company goes out of service.

1911. Nellie Bly's 1889-1890 round-the-world record of 72 days falls to Andre Jaeger-Schmidt, who circles the earth from Paris to Paris in 39 days, 19 hours, traveling by ship and rail.

1911. The first direct telephone link between New York and Denver opens May 8.

1911. Bell & Howell's Albert S. Howell develops a continuous printer that makes copies of motion pictures automatically and economically to permit mass distribution.

1911. Keystone Co. is founded by Canadian-American motion picture pioneer Mack Sennett.

1911. Popular songs: "Alexander's Ragtime Band"; "Everybody's Doin' It"; "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad"; "Memphis Blues"; "When I was Twenty-one and You Were Sweet Sixteen"; "Goodnight Ladies"; "Oh, You Beautiful Doll"; "My Melancholy Baby"; "Roamin' in the Gloamin."

1911. The Supreme Court breaks up James B. Duke's American Tobacco Co. Trust.

1911. German architect Walter Gropius designs a steel skeleton building whose only wall are glass.

1911. A paper presented to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers by Willis H. Carrier will be the basis of modern air conditioning.

1911. China's Yangtze River floods its banks in early September, killing an estimated 100,000.

1911. U.S. inventor Benjamin Holt devises an improved combine that harvests, threshes and cleans wheat.

1911. Famine reduces 30 million Russians to starvation, but 13.7 million tons of Russian grain, mostly wheat, are shipped abroad.

1911. Polish biochemist Casimir Funk at London's Lister Institute introduces the word "vitamines." If the enzymes discovered by the late Wilhelm Kuhane in 1878 are to work prperly they sometimes require coenzymes and he calls these coenzymes "vitamines."

1911. New York's Ellis Island has a record one-day influx of 11,745 immigrants. The U.S. population is at least 25% foreign-born in nearly every part of the country outside the South.

Ethan Frome. Edith Wharton. American. 1911. Novel. Typical New England village. Ethan vs. hypochondriac wife. Loves her cousin. They try suicide. Fail. They become invalids and the roles are reversed.

Hadzhi Murad. Leo Tolstoy. Russian. 1911. Novel. Cossack uprising. Leader deserts, then returns to the people, knowing they will kill him.

Jennie Gerhardt. Theodore Dreiser. American. 1911. Novel. A patient Griselda. Much misused. Patient acceptance.

Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill. Hugh Walpole. British. 1911. Novel. English boys' boarding school; inbred, tense lives of the teachers.

The New Machiavelli. H.G. Wells. British. 1911. Novel. Handbook of English political life on the eve of WWI.

Under Western Eyes. Joseph Conrad. British. 1911. Novel. Nineteenth-century Russian police state and extremist revolutionaries. Betrays fellow student who has assassinated an official. Falls in love with his sister. Confesses truth to the revolutionaries and is brutally beaten, left for dead. Returns to Russia. "Western eyes" are those of the Englishman who reads and comments on his diary.

Zuleika Dobson. Max Beerbohm. British. 1911. Novel. Fantastic, satirical novel. Oxford undergrads drown themselves for love of a beautiful young woman.

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