100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

Archaeological Dig Yields Coffin In Egypt

Clarence Stanley Fisher was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was a graduate of the school of architecture, University of Pennsylvania, but devoted his subsequent career to Near Eastern archaeology. He was assigned to Egypt, where he worked under George Reisner.

On January 31, 1915 in conjunction with the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Expedition at Giza, interesting examples of a “rishi” type coffin were excavated by Clarence S. Fisher for the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. The fragments were part of a badly decomposed coffin found in a burial site. Fisher records his excavation of the area in his notes as:

Sunday, January 31, 1915
…..Work on pits A, B, C, D of 3041, a stone mastaba. Clearing out limestone debris from A and sand from B, C, and D. In B a burial was uncovered…..

Clarence Stanley Fisher

Clarence Stanley Fisher

Photographed January 31, 1915

Hillcrest is an area formerly known as Steele’s Hill, named after Capt. W. Steele near Hamilton New Zealand. Much of the area is covered in orchards planted in the early 1900s.

On January 31, 1915 Amy Lancaster and Maud Herd were photographed reclining on a wicker lounge and reading magazines, in the garden by their house.

Amy Lancaster and Maud Herd

Amy Lancaster and Maud Herd

Five British Merchant Ships Torpedoed by Germany

Ship travel around England has become hazardous. Germany has been attacking British merchant ships since October 1914 which saw the first submarine to attack an unarmed merchant ship without warning when the steamship Admiral Ganteaume was torpedoed with 2,500 Belgian refugees aboard. This has caused some British ships like RMS Lusitania to switch national flags which is against international law and caused protests from Germany. Britain contends that this use of the American flag is legitimate in war and cited the British Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 by which states use of a British flag by a foreign vessel was prohibited “unless the assumption had been made for the purpose of escaping capture by the enemy, or by a foreign ship of war in an exercise of belligerent rights.”


This has made the German U boat activity even more aggressive.

On January 30, 1915 five British merchantship were torpedoed in the Irish Sea and English Channel – Linda Blanche, Ben Crachau, Kilkoan, Tokomaru and Icaria. The crews of the first three ships had a chance to escape in boats. The Tokomaru’s crew was left to be picked up by French Torpedo boats. The Icaria did not sink and was towed into French port.


FATE OF THE TOKOMARU – The Captain’s Story of Inhuman German Methods – Hawera and Normandy Star Volume LXIX pg 7

Recorded January 30, 1915


Charles Crawford Gorst was born in 1885 in Nebraska. He has made the study of birds and their songs his life work. He has lived in the open, analyzing and recording the music of birds – the oldest music known to man. Mr. Gorst has listened to birds until, with no other teacher, he learned to sing their songs so perfectly that the little songsters would answer and fly to him.

On January 30, 1915 Charles Gorst was in the Victor Record Company studios in Camden, New Jersey and recorded these bird calls.

Songs and calls of our native birds – Kentucky cardinal or redbird ; Oven-bird ; Red-eyed vireo ; Baltimore oriole ; Mourning dove ; Western meadow lark


Issued January 30, 1915

Scientific American Volume 112 Issue 5

Cover article : The Military Value of Airships

Cover article : The Military Value of Airships

Supplement article : X-Rays at War


German Submarine Fires On English Island

Walney Island is an island off the west coast of England. Walney is the largest island of the Furness Islands group, both in population and size, as well as the largest English island in the Irish Sea. Walney had a battery post since 1881 and in 1911 coastal defenses were constructed for the Lancashire and Cheshire Royal Garrison Artillery.

On January 29, 1915 at 2:15pm the German submarine ‘U21’ surfaced and opened fire on the ‘German designed’ airship sheds that had been constructed on the island. The rounds that they had discharged fell ‘well short’ of their intended target. The U21 had sunk the HMS Pathfinder in September 1914. It was the first time a ship had been sunk by a self-propelled torpedo.

Deck artillery of the German submarine U21

Torpedo being loaded onto the German submarine U21

Published January 29, 1915

The Western Mail was founded in Cardiff, Wales in 1869 as a penny daily paper. It is the most populat newspaper in Wales.

Two days ago, Kaiser Wilhem of Germany celebrated his 56th birthday. Since the beginning of the war in Europe, one of the Kaiser’s many honorific titles was ‘Supreme War Lord’. Here cartoonist for The Western Mail Joseph Morewood Staniforth changed the title to a more satirical ‘Great High War Lord’. It depicts the change in the Kaiser’s fortunes after releasing his army in 1914, represented by an enthusiastic dachshund. The dachshund has returned exhausted with decrepit army boot presented to his dismayed master inscribed with the recent defeats to Germany.

MAD WILHELM: Good dog! Go and fetch your Great High War Lord a splendid victory as a birthday present. MAD WILHELM: Mein Gott! Do you call this a splendid victory?

MAD WILHELM: Good dog! Go and fetch your Great High War Lord a splendid victory as a birthday present. MAD WILHELM: Mein Gott! Do you call this a splendid victory?

Postmarked January 29, 1915

Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice was an actor in New York in the 1820’s. He observed an African-American singing a song about “Jim Crow”. In 1828 Rice appeared on stage as “Jim Crow” – an exaggerated, highly stereotypical black character. Rice, a white man, was one of the first performers to wear blackface makeup. His new act was met with great success and he traveled the world. By 1848, blackface minstrel shows were the national artform, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. “Jim Crow” was a stock character in minstrel shows, along with counterparts Jim Dandy and Zip Coon. Rice’s subsequent blackface characters were Sambos, Coons, and Dandies. White audiences were receptive to the portrayals of blacks as singing, dancing, grinning fools.

The denigration of African-Americans in American culture continued through racists laws called “Jim Crow” laws. Degrading and demeaning portrayals in theater, art and advertising are ever present as typified by the Cream Of Wheat cereal logo. Many modern day singers such as Sophie Tucker and Al Jolson appear on stage in blackface and sing ragtime, jazz and other African-American musical styles that would not be sung by white performers. While this is an era where many racial stereotypes are seen and heard such as Irish, Jewish, Swede, German, Asian and even Dumb Hick, African-American are far more persuasive and numerous.


On January 29, 1915 this postcard was sent.


Canadian Motorcycle Troops Train In England

At the outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914, Canada had no regular military forces. Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault raised the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry named after the Duke of Connaught’s daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. The Duke of Connaught was Queen Victoria’s third and and the Governor General of Canada. It was the first Canadian infantry unit to enter the conflict, arriving in Europe in December 1914.


Motorcycles were developed in 1880-1890 with the first motorcycle company coming into existence in 1894. The motorcycle first saw military duty in 1913 with the US military in the borderland conflict between US forces and Mexican revolutionaries.

On January 28, 1915 Canadian Army dispatch riders prepare to set out on a training ride across Salisbury Plain in England on their Douglas 2.75 horse-power motorcycles. Their role as messengers is hoped to be invaluable.


US Ship Sunk By German Warship

Yesterday, the US merchant schooner William P. Frye was detained off the coast of Brazil by the German raiding ship Prinz Eitel Fredrich. The William P. Frye and its cargo of wheat for an English firm were headed for the United Kingdom. The captain of Prinz Eitel Fredrich gave orders to the American crew to dump all their cargo into the ocean.


On January 28, 1915 after working all night, the crew of the William P Frye had still not dumped all their cargo. So the captain of Prinz Eitel Fredrich ordered the US crew abaord his ship, set explosives and sank the William P Frye. This is a serious escalation of hostilities involving US ships aiding Britain.

Post Navigation