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This Was Doylestown, 1933

A look back at Doylestown, 78 years ago this week.

From the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer, Week of March 26-April 1, 1933

Doylestown cheers return of beer -

[Editor's note - In February 1933, Congress passed the proposed 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition, and sent it to the states for ratification. The following month, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a law that raised the maximum allowable alcohol content in beer from 0.5 percent to 3.2 percent, subject to state regulations. The law took effect at 12:01 a.m. April 7, which beer lovers dubbed "New Beer's Eve." Prohibition ended on Dec. 5, 1933, when the 21st Amendment was ratified.]

Doylestown hotels and clubs are making preparations to handle beer starting April 7, when President Roosevelt's new beer law goes into effect.

Doylestown hotels, famous for their meals, attract thousands of people to the town annually. Their proprietors, including the Doylestown Inn, the Fountain House and the Court Inn, are prepared to make the necessary applications for licenses to sell beer just as soon as they know what the state regulations will be for certain.

The plant of William Neis & Son, on East State street in Doylestown, wholesale distributors of soft drinks, has the distributing agency for Adam Scheidt's beer that is manufactured in Norristown.

At the Neis plant on Thursday, everything was hustle and action. Hundreds of orders are being received for beer delivery, including hotels, clubs and private homes. The telephone wires leading to the Neis office have been kept hot daily since the beer bill was signed by the President. Scores of unemployed, seeking jobs, have applied at the Neis plant, but the plant has more than enough applications on record to take care of its needs.

Even beer parades are mentioned among the people of the town as being in order on April 7 to celebrate the arrival of "happy days." Bootleg prices for beer at the present time, for the same size glass that will sell for five cents after April 7, range from thirty cents to fifty cents per stein.

Italian "count" fools audience -

Eighty persons, including Kiwanians, their wives and guests, attended the annual ladies' night dinner staged Tuesday evening by the Kiwanis Club of Doylestown.

The honored guest of the evening was Count Ernesto Russo, of Milan, Italy, whose address on "America As I See It" placed him in the category of entertainers deluxe. His keen insight and power of observation of the American people and customs was far above that of the ordinary foreigner visiting America.

For more than an hour, he kept his very appreciative audience in good humor with stories of his actual experiences while traveling throughout the United States. In a more serious vein, Count Russo showed his insight into affairs of his native country when he explained in detail the civic life and interests of the people of Italy. He declared they are 100 percent behind their Premier Mussolini.

Then came the climax of an entertainment that will never be forgotten by those who were present. Like a flash, the Count let his listeners in on a secret that had been kept by several members of the program committee. One pass across the face and there disappeared the whiskers of the Count, and from behind them in perfectly good English came the words of one of America's outstanding after-dinner speakers and radio artists.

He had fooled practically 100 percent of his audience, who swallowed his address and introduction hook, line and sinker.

County plans vegetable gardens for needy -

The Bucks County Emergency Relief Board is arranging to have two thousand subsistence gardens maintained by the families receiving relief [welfare] this Spring, Summer and Fall.

This week, the contract for that number of packages of seeds necessary for the gardens will be placed with the firm furnishing the most satisfactory bid. In addition, the board is planning to furnish certain plants that are needed in the average family garden.

Very many of these gardens will be in home plots, but there will also be community gardens in some places to afford an opportunity for families not having sufficient ground in connection with their homes. Relief payments will not be reduced for the jobless who operate these gardens, but it was explained that any family getting relief, and refusing to maintain a subsistence garden, will be refused its payment.

William Newbold, president of the Board of Directors of the Poor, and County Farm Agent W. F. Greenawalt have had charge of the arrangements for planning the gardens, in consultation with Jacob Smith of Bristol.

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Diagnostic clinic opening in Doylestown -

Dr. Allen H. Moore on Friday explained the purpose of the diagnostic clinic he has taken the lead in establishing in Doylestown. He said it will in no way conflict with the Emergency Hospital nor any existing medical agency.

This new type of clinic, such as has been tried out in the Middle West, will afford people of moderate means an opportunity to get the best of medical care without financially crippling them, Dr. Moore said. His experiment with a "diagnostic" clinic, with which high-class specialists are associated, he claims, should be the answer to a great need for adequate medical care within the means of everyone.

"Socialized medicine is dangerous because of its control by governmental offices," Dr. Moore declared. "Where there is government control, politics will immediately play a major part in wrecking medical initiative. Just as soon as a man is put on a salary basis in the practice of medicine, both his direct interest and sympathy with the patient is gone."

Rose grower places second at flower show -

John R. Andre, Doylestown township rose grower, exhibited roses from his greenhouses [on Lower State Road, where the Reed and Steinbach Funeral Home is today] at the tenth annual Philadelphia Flower Show this week. Flower lovers from many parts of the United States and abroad thronged the show at the Commercial Museum, on 34th street below Spruce.

The Andre greenhouses placed second in the Souvenir, Talisman and Double White Killarney classes. There were anywhere from five to seven exhibitors in each class in the rose competition, which resulted in the largest rose show Philadelphia has ever had .

The Andre roses placed ahead of many of the much larger growers in the East. George W. Carver, the superintendent of the Andre greenhouses, arranged the exhibit at the show.

The W. Atlee Burpee Co. which owns Fordhook Farms in Doylestown township, placed second in the garden class. Their exhibit is a large formal garden showing a vista of flagged walk, parting to encircle a flower-bordered fountain and leading to a grilled gate in the rear. Two gay-colored parrots on stands accent the riot of color.

Pastor honored on birthday -

More than 225 members and friends of the First Baptist Church on Monday evening assembled in the auditorium of the church to give their pastor, Rev. Martin F. Clough, a surprise birthday party.

Not suspecting a thing, Rev. Clough entered the darkened auditorium at 8 o'clock. Immediately the lights flashed on and everyone joined in the chorus of "Happy Birthday."

After the excitement of the surprise was over, Ralph T. Crowell took charge of the program. After the singing of a hymn by the congregation, Mr. Taylor offered prayer. A cornet duet was rendered by Spencer Hart and David Trauger. Mrs. Paul Gerhart and Mrs. Earl Lukens sang a duet.

At the conclusion of the musical program, the large party went to Educational Hall, where refreshments of ice cream, cake and coffee were served. Rev. Clough was presented a beautiful gold watch, a gift from the members and friends as a token of their appreciation for his untiring devotion to the church and all of its work.

In a few well-chosen words, Rev. Clough expressed his appreciation for the kindness bestowed upon him by the members and friends of the congregation.

[Editor's note - The original article does not give the pastor's age. The First Baptist Church then was at West Court and Clinton streets. It relocated in 1967 to West State Street. The former church now is the Landmark Building, which houses offices.]

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Doylestown Town Notes -

About twenty-five [National] Guardsmen--"rookies" and sergeants--Thursday evening bombarded the home of their Corporal Edward DuBois and his bride with plenty of ear-splitting noises and, believe it or not, were not court-martialed. Instead, the Company D contingent was invited in and served refreshments by the bridegroom and his bride. Mr. and Mrs. DuBois were married a week ago.

Judges Hiram H. Keller and Calvin S. Boyer, who have been in Harrisburg for two days, will return Tuesday afternoon.

Members of the sales force of Clymer's department store are attending today a General Electric sales meeting, which will inaugurate a Spring campaign, in Philadelphia.

Five candidates were initiated on Wednesday night at the meeting of Doylestown Lodge No. 1284, Independent Order of Moose, which was preceded by a delicious turkey dinner perpared by Steward and Mrs. Harvey K. Crouthamel. Nearly 200 members of the Moose attended the event.

Reuben Berson and Miss Minnie Kessler, of Philadelphia, were united in marriage Tuesday by Burgess [Mayor] George Hotchkiss.

Doylestown Fire Company was called Friday morning to the residence of Dr. H.P. Helwig on East Court street, where the firemen extinguished a fire that threatened to destroy an automobile in the rear of the residence. Damage was very slight.

Mr. and Mrs. Wynne James, Jr., of North Main street, announce the birth of a daughter in the Doylestown Emergency Hospital on Tuesday.

The food and health club held its monthly meeting at the Sandy Ridge School [on Sandy Ridge Road in Doylestown Township]. The members of the club, under the leadership of their teacher, prepared a salad and muffins.

Charles Smith and family have moved from Maple avenue to North Main street, the old Weaver property. Mr. Smith has moved his marble-cutting business to the same address and has erected a shop in the rear of the residence.

Mrs. W. Atlee Burpee, of Fordhook Farms, who has been spending the winter in California, returned to her apartment in the Barclay, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, on Monday.

 

Illustrations courtesy of Spruance Library/Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, Pa.

Jeff Lugar March 28, 2011 at 12:03 PM
I'm always amazed how there's a tie to some current event in nearly every one of these. You could take Dr. Moore's comments on socialized medicine and attribute them to a person today talking about the Affordable Care Act and no one would be the wiser.
Sarah Larson (Editor) March 28, 2011 at 12:55 PM
You're absolutely right, Jeff. I'm always startled by how relevant so much of these looks back at history are to what we're experiencing today.

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