New Year’s Day a Century Ago: Eggs, Yeggs, Beer Kegs, and a Spare Pair of Legs

Happy New Year, 1915! On January 1 one hundred years ago today readers of the Star-Telegram read these articles and ads:

1-1-15 warEurope entered the first full year of World War I. Germany had sunk the British battleship Formidable.

1-1-15 yeggsSafecrackers celebrated the new year by cracking safes in Fort Worth, Burleson, and San Antonio. According to the New York Times in 1901, the term yegg to mean “safecracker” stems from John Yegg, a hobo-safecracker in California who was proficient in the use of nitroglycerin.

1-1-15 panther ratBurglars also hit the Panther saloon and the White Rat pool hall.

1-1-15 chickenThe pride of the South Side. (Could she cross the road twice as fast?)

1-1-15 maxwellMaxwell House coffee was a “true body bracer and brain preserver” “served in good quantity to officers in the Regular Army.”

1-1-15 swiftLouis Swift was in town to visit his packing plant.

1-1-15 filmdomWhat’s showing at the movie houses, listed by studio. Silent-era actors such as Tom Mix, Wallace Beery, and Ernest Truex would go on to appear in talkies.

1-1-15 1916 marketOn January 1, 1915 the Packing House Market got a one-year headstart on celebrating 1916.

1-1-15 fashionFashion for the new year.

1-1-15 horsesThe fire department was replacing horsepower with petro power.

1-1-15 city roundupThe Star-Telegram printed this summary of New Year’s activities in Fort Worth, including the custom of holding open house in homes on New Year’s Day and making prank telephone calls. Note the phone exchanges of Lamar, Rosedale, and Prospect. Fort Worth’s phone system had graduated to the exchange system in 1910. More than a century later the Rosedale and Prospect exchange buildings still stand, but that will be the subject of a post on January 23 of this happy new year.

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2 Responses to New Year’s Day a Century Ago: Eggs, Yeggs, Beer Kegs, and a Spare Pair of Legs

  1. Sally Campbell/Ike Renfield says:

    Happy 2015 to our fave time machine blog. And thanks for the etymology of yegg!

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