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JBftss iliife C. Lathrop Derives Profit and Pleasure from
the Raising of Rodents on Her Ten Acres at Granby, Mass.
OMEN lion tamers and women
who handle- serpents 'women
who do all sorts of strange and
daring things that even men
wonld .qunil at are not uncom
mon. Yet, if a tiny mouse
scampers across the Boor of the cage
where a woman of exceptional courage is
putting a doxen savage beasts through
their tricks she screams with alarm and
rushes for the door.
The woman who is not afraid of mice is
exceptional. The woman who raises mice
and rats for a living and who handles
hundreds of them every day is unique.
There is only one such woman mouse
farmer in America, if not In the world,
and that is Miss Abbie E. C. Lathrop,
of Granby, Mass. According to her letter
head, she is a breeder 01 "white and
fancy colored mice, English and Peruvian
caries, rabbits, rats and a general line of
pet stock." Cavies are guinea pigs.
Miss Lathrop has grown passing wealthy
from her strange industry. She ges a
larger income from her ten acre mouse
farm than other New England agricul
turists do from farms of a hundred
acres The entire area of Miss Lathrop's
fields is not covered with rats and mice,
however. Most of the ground is devoted to
raising food for her rodents. Her crop of
mice and rats alone is about ten thousand
One -wonders what useful ... ornamental
purpose so many of these animals can
serve. As a matter of fact, in every
city there are one or more dealers who
sell rats and mice, not the common gray
rodents that scurry about at night in the
walls and ceiling, but pure white ones
with pink or blue eyes Many of these
mice and rats are bought by the medical
research laboratories and are inoculated
with the germs of the various diseases
that the scientists are studying. They
are kept under obervntlon and cared forj
most carefully. In this way thousands
of them are sacrificed each year to the
cause of science.
Still others lead a happier and health
ier life, although they, too, ar- used for
pxpenmental purposes Thee mice are
of various colors, and n such places as
the Harvard Medical School and the
Rockefeller Institute experiments are be
ing conducted in the mixing of the breeds
of these colored mice Jut what useful
bad spread, to sacfe. distant places' Bos
ton, New York and PhQadeJphk. From
these cities she' began to receive Inquiries,
not only for dancing mice, but for other
varieties. So she decided to go into moose
farming as a business.
At first she had.only a little frcvW"J?ZZL'ZZ
tJUlfcO IIOU UIO HUiVUUb V I1WICUU MZOb
these rodent require.
as her trade grewher bank account piled
up, and it was not long before she was
able to buy the ten acre farm that she
now owns. From the road"the honse, out
buildings and fields look very much like
any other farm. In the honse and barns,
however, there are Innumerable cages of
mice and rata. Miss Lathrop's business hg town. Granby is a little New Bng
has grown to such an extent that she has
to give her entire attention to it She
employs a housekeeper, bat she attends
to all of her own correspondence. She
also spends much of her time in the fields
during the summer. v
turnips .aa4 other vegetables and green
staff to feed Miss Lathrop's mice and
rats. She enjoys nothing better than to
go out' in the fields herself and gather a
wheelbarrow load for their meals. They
are gluttons .and never seem to get enough.
Miss Lathrop buys largely from neigh
boring farmers. As a matter of fact, her I
unique industry has brought unusual pros
perity to that region. The mouse farm is,
four miles from South fiadley, Mass.,
which is about forty from the nearest
land Tillage, so small that it cannot be
found on most maps.
Miss Lathrop buys large quantities of
crackers, grain, bread, cheese and corn
meal for her "stock." The milk of one
cow Is devoted entirely to the baby rats
Miss Lathrop with Her Ffefr
Phots CeeyriAt'br Brown Beta..
..: Viii -vh. J4
. vr-" -JA31
rOvO 11 rr
Photo Copyright by Brown Bros
Mis3 Lathrop's Farm
by Erowa Bros,
her rats, mice or guinea pigs be used
for anatomical studies until they are so
effectually etherized that they never
Miss Lathrop's going into mouse farm
ing was one of the most natural things
in the world. Many men and women
have their life work cut opt for them from
the very beginning if they only follow
their natural instinct. It was so 'with
Miss Lathrop. When she was a little
girl she evinced her fondness for rarsifancy steps.
and mice. When her small companions
would gather their scant skirts about
them and run at the sight of a mouse
Abbie Lathrop wonld stoop down and
call the mouse to her. She seemed to
end Is to be attained by mis mixing lbAXe an extraordinary power over these
colors is hard to imagine, but some veryjsma,1 anilnalg
curious results have been arrUcd at. I .
" . .... ,i The first pets she had were a pair of
The guinea pigs and rabbits are nsed I " '
. , .. .j;i dancing mice that she saw in a Boston
in much the same way in the medical .... . . . ..
, , . . , , -. dealers window. She coveted these more
schools as are the mice and rats. Guinea
, , v -..,,.,.,,,,., than anything else on earth and saved up
pics are alBo employed by manufacturing .. . ,j . lV , .
chemists, who experiment on the animals she could buy them, for her
with anatoxins before putting such rem- w P" r & nd at
edies on the market A standard of
strength has to be arrived at and main
tained in every antitoxin, else there would
be variations that would be ftal when
they were used on humankind. Rabbits
are also employed in the study of anat-
all well to do. The dancing moose, by the
way, Is not at all like the mouse of house
bold nooks and crannies. It is the product
of centuries of careful breeding in Ohina
awl Japan, where it is a household pet
It can be trained to do all sorts of curious
tricks, the most remarkable of which is
dancing to music Music seems to intox
icate it and make it delirious with joy.
The dancing mouse dances naturally, but
it has to be trained in order to execute
Her Dancing Mice.
Miss Lathrop'- pair of dancing mice
raised a large family. At first she gave
the mice to youngsters, but she soon found
that there was a good market for them
and that she could get high prices for
those that were trained. Therefore she
began adding to the family income by sell
ing her pets in the nearby towns.
As the years went on ber father died
and she was left with an invalid mother
to support. Her fame as a mouse f rmer
aetly the hoar. When Miss Lathrop's step
is heard, the commotion in the cages is
extraordinary. It is a crescendo of small
sounds that could not be heard anywhere
else except on a mouse farm.
Miss Lathrop still has her own especial
favorites among the thousands of rats and
mice that pass under her eyes every year.
She is fond of taking these into her lap
or her" hand and feeding them and petting
them. They seem to respond with every
mark of affection. In fact. Miss Lathrop
is inclined to ascribe greater intelligence
to these small animals than to dogs or cats
Miss Lathrop does not raise very many
dancing mice now. She says that she
has no time to train them and that she
cannot find any one who can take her
place satisfactorily at ,this work. She
has developed another branch of her
industry, however, which seems likely
to prove very profitable eo long as
SHe Types Her Own Letters.
Fboto Copyright by Brown Bros.
Fresh air is highly essential o the suc
cessful growth of her crop, and so, every
bright day the cages, covered with wire
netting, are taken out in the fields and
left until nightfall. Then they are brought
back to the barns and stacked up in long
rows, looking in the dim light like a lot of
rude sectional bookcases.
It takes tons and tons of carrots and
and mice. A great deal of hay and straw
is used also. These rodents are naturally
very cleanly, and fresh beds have to be
given them every day They enjoy noth
log so much as burrowing about in the
straw and making nests.
When feeding time comes the mice and
rats and guinea pigs all set up a tremen
dous squeaking. They seem to know ex-
farm is so isolated that cats never visit
it, although if the news got about among
the felines of the countryside there is no
donbt that scores of them would hasten J
to make a raid upon this mouse farm,
ujiu pruuauiy is me nearest wing on
earth that corresponds to a cafs idea of
Miss Lathrop is a New Englander,
born and bred, and she has no patience
with the farmers in her neighborhood
who talk of hard times. She counsels
all of them to go into "freak" farming of
some sort, and points to her own ex
perience to prove the money that there is
in it She says that every abandoned
farm conld be made to pay in one way or
another, if the people who lived on it had
a little energy. She points out that fur;
farming, fish farming, feather farming
or game farming can be started on v
little capital and bring big results. Sh
is looking forward to the time when
can embark in one of these side lines
a diversion. But she expects mouse farm
. . rpt-- t V.A Mirtna
wuuicu . .u. Ac . iUC "n: tag to be her true vocation as long as she
of rats for their fur. A rat is one of the ,.
most prolific of animals, and white rats
are especially productive. Moreover, the
fur of white rats will take almost any
dye color perfectly. Therefore they are
highly esteemed by manufacturing fur
No Place for Cats.
Most of Miss Lathrop's white rat skins
find their way across the Atlantic to
Leipslc In this place there are several
factories-that make a business of taking
white rat skins, dyeing the fur and trans-1
forming them into fur coats and other
things for women's wear. They come
back to America under many different
names. Probably no end of women are
wearing skins from Miss Lathrop's white
The "Crazy" Scientist's Escape.
OUR Indians have always treated
with great kindness the insane and
feeble-minded, inasmuch as they be
lieved they wonld be punished for any
injury to persons so unfortunate. This
belief on the part of the Indians once
enabled a scientist attached to a gov
ernment expedition in the Southwest to
escape from a perilous situation.
One day after fining his saddlebags and
pockets with various pieces of rock, the
professor found that he had wandered
far from his party. In his search for
them he saw some men on horseback, and
supposing that they were his friends he
rats in me oeuei uiai luejr lu "y"-rode toward them, when to his horror
uct of rare and most costly fur bearing hft discovered that they we lndi3n.
animals. The demand for these skins is . They proceeded at once to make an in-
so great that Miss Lathrop cannot raise
white rats fast enough.
It is needless to say hat there are no
cats about Miss Lathrop's mouse farm.
Miss Lathrop does not like cats. The
Tree Surgery a Novelty in Modern Science of Forestry
Mi s Lathrop is fond of animals and is
opposed to any of her pets being tor-j
tured. Therefore she has insisted upon
obtaining from each medical school that
she supplies a statement that none of
I F the fine old trees on your family
I estate begin to look old and worn
before their time, or if the newly
planted shade trees bordering your
suburban garden are not thriving as
they should, you do not let them sicken
'and die, but you call in the services of ft
tree physician. The tree physician diag
noses the case and then operates or treats.
as hethinks best.
Tree surgery is a novelty In the mod
ern science of forestry. Not 6o much in
the science, perhaps, as in its applica
tion to town and country places. Ameri
cans are beginning to appreciate the
beauty and scenic value of their tower
ing elms and maples and oaks and to
realize that If these nature ornaments
are always to look their best and to
grow and expand they must have a little
of that beauty treatment which stays
the hand of Time.
A few months ago three young for
esters, graduates of Eastern forestry
schools, established themselves m New
York dry for the purpose of rejuvenating
trees in the vicinity of the metropolis and
of improving the newer plantings) which
sometimes need only the slightest treat
ment to make them flourish magnificently. 1
Thty had had a great deal of experience in
the Maine woods and have already re
stored some of the historic college trees,
without which there could be no college
tradition, no wide spreading chestnut or
oak, at least for many years, under which
to welcome the newcomers or to say fare
well to classmates grown dear.
The campuses of Yale and Bodwoin
both show examples of the new tree
surgery which is being done by these
young men. The century old Thorn-
dyke Oak, beneath whose branches the
Bowdoln. College classes say "goodby,1
was almost in the last stages of decay
not long ago. It wascracked and a
large cavity had appeared in one side.
Bowdoln men, who are fond of the
A MAN -whose Illness threatened to! oak, "with college memories clustered
develop into typhoid was taken to! around its scarred trunk, decided to nd
UJO UUDUUU. AU9VCAU VI g& V n IUQ I UUfc- Mk U417 UB Ul lUCi ilMl UH
worse us unproved, ana si cas cua ox mo cuiua uui uc htcu or praio&gea.
fourth day, when his wife visited hits, hef One of the trio of foresters was called
"S&ZXXIJST.'.-JM conltati, and he wkd fcg
his thrifty spouse. "They Wt refundt,Ter f e,ftk f" & rested It to
the 'money. You bad better stay yonx almost its original s&ape and contesx
week out. ' and &Tk aaay metjtmot Ufa,
APOUGHKEEPSIE florist tells of a
Vaesar girl who came to him with a
request for flowers to be placed in
two large windows.
"They must be red and blue," said she,
as she gave a critical glance aboui her at
the bloom displayed. "That lofbf lobelias
will do very nicely. How much are these?"
she added, pointing to some flaming
"Fifteen cents, four for fifty cents,
said the florist "Mighty fine geraniums,
miss " , .
A glance of pity was bestowed upon
him by the Vaseax girl. Thnn. most deli
cately, as if not to wound the florists
feelings by the correction, she added:
"I will take a doien of your best
SDEAR little, thing of Baltimore but
recently married Insisted that the
marketing for their first dinner at
home should be done by herself.
"Nice quarter of lamb, ma'am," polite
ly suggested the butcher when she had
announced her intention of seeing that
Henry was to have "just the very best
dinner ever." "Nice quarter of lamb,
The bride's face wrinkled in, thought
"But," said she, "there are only two of
us! Don't you think an eighth would
IN South Carolina, where the dispen
sary system obtains, there flourish
rarious 'clnbs" where thirsty souls
from other parts may after certain for
malities obtain their liquid refreshments.
In this connection a prominent actor
tells of his encounter with a dusky ser
vitor in one such club.
"What have you," the player had asked
of the darky, "in the shape of period-
"Corn liquor, suh," was the immediate!
reply of the attendant, "beer an wine,
butjnostly com Hqnor, suh."
fMz&milkMlM ' r ;
ONE OT THE VAX.m
CAMPUS TREES WHICH
HAS "BEEltf PRESERVED) BY
"The Yale trees have been affected by
drought, which caused them to become
stag headed," Mr. George W. Wakefield,
one of the foresters, said the other day.
The campus trees-began to die down from
the top, and some were afflicted with
borers. We put several of our men to
work there and succeeded in preserving
the original outlines of the trees. By
neaoing mem. we destroyed the parasites
and took, away the dead wood, which does
great harm to trees.
"In the case at a large decayed bole,
such as (We fouad in the Thomdyx-oak
and ia seme of 'the other campus trees, it
was necessary to put in. a cement filling.
Ose of these, was eight feet long. First
we reaeve the decayed pasts, carefully,
tkea deaa out the cavity tecil we Teach
Sim weed ad cover the surface of tfce
cavity witk a. ssisataace which destroys
all lbjfferiadeay and disinfects the
snlittinc through entirely. The cement
filling we put in made it solid again. In
many of the trees there and at Yale we
also did some bolting work, which is
part of scientific forestry. It is a com
mon practice to use bands around limbs
that show a tendency to split or break
away, but disastrous effects are sure to
follow in such cases, as the hands check
the limb's growth and eventually cause
"The work may appear easy and sjm
pie to the layman, but it really calls for
exceptional skill and care on the part of
the workman or results will be neithei
effective nor permanent Each tree pre
sents its own peculiar difficulties, eachj
offers a now problem for solving, and
scientific treatment Is invariably re
quired to. bring it safely back to health.
symmetry and' durability.
"The average lifetime of a city maple
tree, I mean one of those growing on the
side of the curb stone, is about twenty
five years. But with careful treatment
the tree's life can be prolonged sixty)
years, or even more. The ordinary lile
of aa elnrtree in the city is about sixty.
yean. By being properly attended to
before it-is too late .such an elm can be
made-to lire one hundred and fifty, years.
In a-dty; where the streets are dug np
spection of his possessions. ' He had noth
ing with which to defend himself, his out
fit being a pocket knife, chisel and watch.
These they took, and then began to go
through his pockets, and saddlebap,
which, of course, they found filled with
the geological specimens.
Again and again they did this, until
they had reckoned up the entire stock
of the professor. As the pile of stones
on the ground became higher and higher
the astonishment of the Indians grew.
Ttnallv ttiotr AnAnail tlia eAientiat'fl tin
(box, only to find therein numerous in
sects. They closed it promptly and re
turned it to the professor, at the same
time glancing significantly at one another
and tapping their foreheads to indicate
that the man was indeed crazy.
Then they not only assisted the pro
fessor to mount, in order that he mighT
go on his way unmolested, but they even
replaced his specimens in his bags and
pockets and sent him away rejoicing.
ANECDOTES TO DRIVE
AWAY DULL CARE
THE friends of Madame Schumann
Heink, the singer, tell of an incident
in me inenasnip or tne artist wltn a
Princess of one of the minor courts of
Europe. The Princess was extremely
fond of Schumann-Heink and the two
were on the most intimate terms.
On one occasion when the two had
breakfasted at the palace together, Schumann-Heink
was cooing to the court baby
as she sat on the floor with it Just
then the Prince, whom the singer had
never met, entered the apartment The
Princess introduced her friend, and Schumann-Heink
with ready wit said, from
Your Highness, I must either disre
gard court etiquette or drop the court
WhereuDon the Prince with a low how
frequently for the laying of pipes, tracks smiled and rejoined:-
A CAVITY- FILLED
) -W&. kltn 11hw !-4ka fiALi with
putty. JWwa-k -iitotoarytfc kjoJMPt. i-it;afJ4o-lfc.tH1ttiai.UoTlty. wtf-ti sJa ; tfjma.
and wires it is to be expected that the
trees will be Injured and show thfr ef
fects of this roneh treatment Only by
having the work watched and supervised
bv ATr B-mert fnroafr ran tnnh of this
-m .t - . .l.l f .. .. .f- - - " --
oi uie tree, so k wnen aii ine. cemem: injurT to trees be avoided."
is In the tree 19 almost in its original
.h..,n) h, ).. (u.mr.. 5 Tiuafcc iiuiiruveioqm. avvicuca
r"In two, three or four years,, However. f,11"811? serviccs o ese tree
the length of time depending on the age PU.to, and .the owners of large; -es-
orthe tree, the cement will be entirely 7 PlT?? !f i
covered by the new bark-and the knife - '
marks of the tree surgeon almost disap-twlK f? to atore them where res
pear, showing only In a thin line down J?16 nd to rare, those
the centre of the cavity opening where the , lf ffany.pow" knTB
v.j. i.. ...n . t M.-.to their science which will do it The
centre and finally met trees are pruned, trimmed, renovated and
rha h.rt .rin,r t. th. m 'cavities are fiUed wherever necessary.
filling perfectly watertight' In the first Uewed to die of old age or
year after the fining Is put la the average to becM decreplto long as there is a
tree will lay down, enough new wood to "' l" " " m """ "" """ t" "" ,
.,. po. nf the fiHW Aftor 1,.r 10J" auo" STC " lease I ""
eacbAycar decreases the sire of the visible Fruit trees are studied by -these forest-j Q ENATOR John Sharp Williams tells
piece of cement work, and not only is the ers with a view to making them Dear as j an agea negro preacner in ausau
tree's beauty preserved but the trunk is much, fruit as they ought to bear by sippl who was asked what he thought
made strong and stanch again. tproper prunfng. -cultivating, fertilizing of his two sons, both preachers, too.
"The, Thorndyke oak at Bowdoln Col- and the banishing of insects or otuerj -vteii, sun, repueo, me oia man,
Um v an ff iy that It was nnaafe. nests. In fact, any tree ailment or prou. ueorge nas a .oeiier snow in nis aodD
The trunk had split far afcove the top of km Is haadled by these practical tree-j winder dan Jobn but den John he's got
s wsyr atcav ja v warmiiiiiiity
"Madame, do what you like with eti
quette, but regard the baby."
((i ENCOUNTERED a youthful sodol-
I ogist In the slums," says a mission
worker, "in a ragged youngster of ten.
"I had approached this youngster Just
as he was concluding what must have
been a most illuminating discussion with
references tJ the question of wealth vs.
poverty, l congratulate myself that I was
enabled to get as much of the conversa
tion as I did.
" 'Wot's de reason, thelad's companion
was asking. Mat de poor IsfoUus willin
to help us more'n de rich?'
"Promptly and with great feeUngmy
youthful sociologist responded:
" Dem dat don't mind givln is de ones
wot stays poor.'