|Center Street Bridge of 1918, photographed in 1945|
Union St RR Bridge in background
(Salem Library Historic Photos)
|Four of the columns are about World War I,|
three about the bridge
July 30th, 1918
|Last week's piece|
|"Fighting is fierce along front of fifty miles"|
|A map from the start of the offensive, July 22nd, 1918|
Epernay and Rheims are in the heart of Champagne
|June 17th, 1918|
|July 27th, 1918|
|July 19th, 1918|
|Esther Pohl Lovejoy|
was second speaker
She was a big deal! But Ben Maxwell's account here, as well as last week's story, omits her.
And, again, the context is the war: Red Cross work. She also touched on refugees, family-separation, the prospects for rape, and the industrial role of women making armaments.
There were certainly elements of wartime propaganda in her speech, but it is also not merely local cheering for the bridge.
|July 26th, 1918|
The headline in our current paper, "Modern bridge ushered in new era of traffic," is not exactly wrong, but it is an expression of autoist triumphalism.
|October 16th, 1916|
|Vick Bros Fordson Ad, November 30th, 1918|
More interestingly, that vehicle was not a car, but was a Fordson Tractor! The Vick Bros had arranged a deal for 1,000 of them to sell at about $900 each in the coming year, and the crossing was advertising for them. (1,000 seems like a lot and like so much puffery, but that's what the July news stories say. Maybe next year we'll come back and see how many they actually sold. Also, note in the ad what appears to be a woman driving the tractor.)
The bridge was very much about agriculture and farming, bringing things to the Salem canneries, and also about stimulating, even creating, demand for tractors, trucks, and cars. (This is a kind of induced demand!)
|July 26th, 1918|
- "Dr. Lovejoy at Deepwood" (2014)
- "Center Street Bridge Collapse in 1890" (2014)
- "1917 History of Bridges Talks about Funding and Costs" (2017)
- "Read about our Entry into WWI - 100 Years ago Today" (2017)
- "Disquiet on the Home Front, 1917" (2017)
- "Oregonians Propose Volunteer Auto Militia in 1918 to Thwart Invasion" (2018)
- "Alien Enemy Registration Included Teenage Children 100 Years Ago" (2018)
- "Harry Scott Drafted, Closed up Shop 100 Years Ago" (2018)