Flashback Friday Archive 2019-20: Flashback Friday: Week of January 8

2021-01-08 TWIR Image-Pearl River

January 7, 1871 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       Master Harry Granger, of this village, has some chickens of a generous growth, docile temper, and of the persuasion known as the “Brahma,” all of which, the writer of this article infers, from the fact that he has seen a well-grown and apparently contented chanticleer enjoying a swing while nesting in the arms of Harry’s sister, and still more recently a sleigh-ride downhill, contentedly seated in the lap of the little girl. A few days ago, while this same little girl was pointing her finger, on which was a silver thimble, at the rooster, he coolly seized and swallowed the thimble without once batting his eye. Poor fellow, his thimble-rigging feat cost him his life, and on dissecting his gizzard the lost thimble was found nicely polished by the attrition of three days.

January 7, 1921 – 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

       Mike Carisco, of West Haverstraw, who some time ago was a weaver in Dunlop’s silk mill, Spring Valley, was arrested last Friday on the State road, about a mile north of Monsey, for illegally carrying liquor. He was arrested by Deputy Sheriffs and held for the grand jury.

[Image: Aero-view of Pearl River, New York, 1924. Cinquin, Rene. Hughes & Bailey. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.]
       Sometime during last Wednesday night or Thursday morning, the tailor establishment of H. Spreen on Central Avenue and William Street, Pearl River was entered and looted. The thieves made their entrance by jimmying open a rear window in the store and climbing over the worktable. At first, it was impossible to tell just how many suits had been taken for the thieves had gone all over the store and taken clothes from both the store, and the shop. They seemed rather “picky” as they only seemed to take clothes of about one size. In all, when it was summed up, Mr. Spreen found that they had taken 11 suits, two overcoats and a lady’s dress and about a dozen coat hangers. They also took ready-made trousers. Although the exact number of these cannot be determined.
       About 9am, a resident of Pearl River was coming through the lots from his home to his place of business, discovered some old clothes and coat hangers. Upon discovering the same, he immediately called to see Mr. Spreen and upon investigation they found that 10 coat hangers and the lady’s dress had been discarded by the thieves. Also, there was an old pair of trousers and a vest, which had been discarded as they evidently thought some of the clothes they had stolen were better than the ones they had on.
       Mr. Spreen has offered a reward of $100 to the person or persons who can furnish information and proof, which will result in the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who burglarized this place. And if any citizen or resident of Pearl River, or vicinity knows anything of the robbery, here is their chance to earn the reward, and at the same time, they will be rendering a big service to Pearl River, for persons of this character should certainly be weeded out, and abolished.

January 7, 1971 – 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       It takes more woman to fill a size 36D bra than it did 30 years ago, and that’s official.
The National Bureau of Standards reports that women’s body measurements have grown since it published a standard 12 years ago based on a 1939 survey by the Department of Agriculture.
       The purpose of the new NBS standard is to update the sizing of women’s apparel.
       Based on data collected from the Departments of Agriculture and Health, Education and Welfare, the U.S. Air Force and mail order houses, the comparative study of women’s body measurements shows the size 12 of yesterday, 31–25–36, is today’s 35–26–37.
       “There’s a general increase in bust, hips and waist,” said a quality control manager of a large mail order house. “We find women are getting heavier. Some say it’s because they’re more sedentary. They sit more and their hips spread.”
This gentleman requested that his name not be used.
       In four classifications of women’s sizes Misses’, Women’s, Half-sizes for shorter women and Juniors, some measurements have increased one to two inches in what the NBS survey calls “body landmarks.”
       For example, the 1939 data shows a Misses size 10, whose upper arm measured 9 inches around and whose thigh measured 19 inches “at maximum girth” today would swing a 10 inch upper arm and thrust a 20 ¼ inch thigh.
       A 1939 Junior size 9 who measured 32–23½–33½ would round out today at 33–23½–35. Note to manufacturers of lunchroom stools: her sitting spread has increased from 33 inches to 35 inches.
       Some industry designers claim the proportional changes reflect the dictates of fashion.
       “The change in women’s bodies is essentially due to what fashion says they should look like,’’ said Barbara Hulse, director of the Design department at Simplicity Patterns.
       “Now women have gone back to the natural look,” she said. “Bras used to be pointed. Now they’re rounded and soft. It’s a re-shaping.”
       Oddly enough, the re-shaping doesn’t apply to men’s patterns and apparel. When an NBS coordinator was asked about a new standard for men, he replied:
       “They don’t have a new standard for men. They don’t even have an old one.”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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