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The Washington times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1901-1902, April 27, 1902, Magazine Features, Image 32

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062245/1902-04-27/ed-1/seq-32/

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chil war In those way hack times a
canal divided the market from the Smith
sonian grounds and the region running
parallel with the sluggish yellow water
was known as Murder Bay
These squatters who arc mainly col
ored possess what they call a great
miration for the Saturday market and
their rickety teams with the mud of
Maryland and Virginia clotted on their
shambling wheels begin to arrive at any
time between Tridays sunset and Satur
days dawn
Im been sittln hcah on dls cubstone
winter an summer for nigh on to fifty
yeahs chirruped one ancient brown soul
yesterday from behind a hoard of wild
flowers herbs and tobacco twists an
Cahllnc dat gal o mine obcr dar wid de
apple blossoms an guinea kcat alggs
shes ben comin along wid me ever sence
de wah
You must have seen many changes la
your time aunty
1 suttcnly has Befo de wah all dem
cobble stones yonder was de canal an
where yon sec dem cars passin dar used
to be a bridge Many a time endurin de
wah I seen amberlances creepin ober it
slow leavin de blood to drip drip drip
an I heahs -de soijers groanin in derc
pain Yes undecd honey Is seen heaps
What are these asked the reporter
pointing to rolls of fibrous brown bark
If I Was Rich I Would Buy Christmas Greeks
and withered switches tied with calico
Dat you got in your hand Is red oak
bark for cuts dls wild cherry an sassa
fras Is for po appetites and ladles buy
dese bacco twisses tolieep off roaches an
nio3s Dis dried gum is monstrous gOmj
lor fits and here s sumpin dais a sure
cure for ole maids it is honey for a
This boon for spinsters was a sheaf of
slippery elm chips a dozen or so small
parcels girded together by a leather shoo
string apparently much worn
You ought to make a pile or money out
of that aunty How does it work
The old body chuckled and proceeded
to light her pipe
You see honey ole maid ladles Is
mostly lean an jubous lookln and slipry
allum makes em fat AVben dcy gets
fat an smllln some gentman to
get a miration for cm an ax cm
unlessn dee done start drinkin allum
tea too laic
The reporter left laden down with slip
pery elm chips and jlialrcd agnln before
another woman laughing and buxom with
a face as brown as a cocoanut and teeth
as white as its meat
She was proclaiming in the tones of an
auctioneer that she was selling out for u
cents but experience taught the reporter
that the promise was a delusion and a
The stand was a blush of laurel and
pink honeysuckle On one end of the
board that served for her wares were
three eggs in a strawberry box and nt
the other was displayed a hares foot and
a withered black to it
laid on a big green leaf In the middle
of all was a fat dressed chicken with
its stiff legs shooting in the air
I will take that chicken said the re
porter laying down a nickel
The woman laughed out with the un
controlled merriment of a child
Co way lady When chickens draps
to u cents de countrys ruined That dora
lncckcr pullet i3 wuth a half dollar but
you kin have It for thutty flve
And what in the world is this pok
ing a pencil at the Thing-with-claws
Thats a mud turklcs fiiwr caught In
do full o dc moon
Is it 3 cents
De Lawd no Flippers comes high
lady when deys caught In dc full o de
moon That identical dipper Is wuth all
of 13 cents but you kin have It dis mawn
ing for 10
And how much for the hares foot
Thats a fust class hares foot lady
I aint seen none to beat It nowhercs but
I aint gwino to tote it back home If you
wants It bad enough to pay a dime They
aint no luck to beat a hares foot cx
ceptln turkle flippers ocose
What is the difference between them
Their Remarkable Power
A hares foot Jes brings you money an
marriage but a sponsible mud turkle
flipper caught In de full o do moon des
natchally bound to take you to tho good
place when you die
Eternal happiness was cheap at the
price and the reporter bought both the
chicken and the charm And while the
laughing garrulous body was putting tho
domlnecker in the basket the purchaser
asked what she meant by calling out that
she was selling so cheap
Dats Jes my way er ketchln custom
I calls an you ladles stops an when
you slops you mos In general buys
Dont make no difrence how you gets
trade sos you get3 it aint dat so Cindy
Cindy Ann who was on the alert to
find a purchaser for her string of green
peppers chuckled and nodded her head
And it seemed to the reporter that tho
brown woman and Cindy Ann had tho
doctrine of advertising down fine
Wealth of Spring Blossoms
The stands against the wall and tho
board3 and baskets on the curb of the
Seventh and D Street sides of the mar
ket leave space enough on the pavement
to form a somewhat narrow aisle Yes
terday the marketers who passed down it
were hedged on each side by wild fxult
blossoms and field lowers that at this
season form the staple product of curb
stone trade The7 made a pretty show
ing contrasted with the vivid pink of
rhubarb stalks and the tender green of
young poke sprouts that Just now are
adding many a dime to the vender who
is energetic enough to gather them in the
highways and byways in the blue dawn
of the morning when it is Juicy nnd
One old man who like tho majority of
his co workers has been coming to mar
ket for many years knows how to talk
interestingly of hi3 wares While the re
porter was selecting her bunch of bri
dal wreath he said
Yesm Its pleasant work gatherla
spring blossoms because I know
Leforchand where dcy grows an dc
time for do bloomln DU Judas
bush grow3 in a gully by a brook yon
kin see it flamin red and de wild cherry
tree where dc30 branches come from Is
three miles off nigh the Pierce Mill It
takes a lot of trompln round but I aint
mlndin when de weather aint aggorvatln
my bone aches
Christmas His Hard Time
Its Christmas what gets me man
how I hates cllmbIn friz trees for holly
an rootln in de snow for crowfoot an
brier berries Den when we gets em here
de ladies dont want to pay what deys
wuff Ladies tuys plentiful like of spring
flowers but when it comes to Christmas
greens dey certny is mean Ef I wa3
5 or the am
She Has Seen Heaps in Her Day TZXMKB0k Takin Comfort Typical Curbstone Huckster 1
l ii n i riiy f ri
Old Uncles and Aunties Who Sell Old -Time
Flowers and Vegetables and Have Among
Their Wares Also Many Curious and Pow
erful Charms for Man and Maid Eternal
Salvation in a Turtles Flipper
busiest spot In Washington on
THE mornings is the Center
Market between 9 oclock anil
The big red brick roofing food enough
to Iced the District begins its work -Kith
the sun By C oclock the butchers have
swung on their hooks sufficient meat to
gorge an army of giants Stacked on end
less -marble slabs is butter enough to
spread on the countless loaves piled high
on the bread sbelvcs Vegetable fruit
and flower stalls mingle with gay irregu
larity while down the entire length of
one wing are congregated finny delegates
from every river In this section of the
country and in their seasons every sea
fowl that skims the water and every
game bird that wings the air
The picturesque feature of the market
Is furnished ly the country people who
run small truck gardns in the nearby
country and sell their produce squatter
fashion on the curb
The stands against the wall are num
lered and rented by the markotmaster to
individual hucksters the majority of
whom arc white but the curbstone sites
are free
Obey the Gutter Rule
The gutter rule of First come first
choose is as ancient as the days of the
original market a rambling primitive
structure built years and years before the
a- V
- -
the first hint however deli
cate of the nrproach of spring
the hunter and purveyor cf
EScrEB appears It Is a plc
lurcsure occupation nnd the results are
Ecvory beyend the conception cf the mere
voter cf bread and meat and store fool
Tie JiaflntiraatlGn that it was green
came the other day in markrt Tho
eldest and most comfortable loading black
woman on the outtidc of Center Market
Tavcd an cxprisshe liand toward a small
ln ap o whltcy green curly looking leaves
and tendrils The marketer she -who
knows good things and knows when there
ore to be good things burst into an ex
clamation of Joy and clasping her hands
gurgled one expressive cry Dandelions
Ycsra assented the market woman
settling herself and spreading licr jklrts
with a flourish that bespoke volumes of
self complacency Yrsin dandllne I
sho had trouble gittln it too Mighty
tejous work mighty tejous Jes diggln
in de mud an plckln olf little leaves
mighty tejous
How much queried the marketer
-Well honey beins Its you an you
got sense enough to know dandllne wen
kin have da f u
you Jsecs it I guess ycu
ten cents
It was a small strawberry basket full
and not too full nt that but the marketer
tatd that at this season It was cheap and
I would not dispute her for worlds for
Khc knows
Then we made the rounds of the market
women There were no other wild greens
In There was kale a plcnty and the
over present and common spinach Of
beet tops and turnip tops and radish
tnn too there were none as we knew
but then these rrc hardly wild greens
They arc good eating so the marketer
affirmed when properly cooked and In
the season when they flourish they may
be had for the asking In the market
where the greatest anxiety seems to be
to get rid of them Hut these aro com
mon and well known Of tho wild kind
tboco that the small colored boy and girl
co forth with knives nnd baskets to gath
er from the commons about the suburbs
there were none Later In tho season they
will be piled up In their fresh verdancy
crisp and good to look upon savory and
tempting to tho taste It properly pre
Every child knows the young dandelion
sprouts tho first to appear on the lawns
and commons and around the house Tho
marketer Is authority for the statement
thst the gathering of greens is a matter
only done well by one who has a genius
for it I know the cooking is When the
dandelion has grown old It may be boiled
with bacon hut In JU young days it Is
delicious as a salad willed in bacon fat
with vinegar and a soupcon of sugar nnd
dressed with egg Then it Is that its
culiar medicinal quality evidenced by its
slight bitter taste has fullest play
Dandelion salad lady softly drawl
the women in the market Mighty good
fu dc blood lady rack yo plcxlon good
Another salad savory to the taste and
pretty to the bight Is the small poke
salad Poke in its adolescent stage is a
close rival to asparagus in taste always
1 cooked right Of course there are peo
ple who prefer asparagus but they have
not had the proper training or else they
have been unfortunate in having a cool
whose soul could not reach the heights
necessary- to the careful appreciation of
the possibilities of poke salad A few
weeks from now the market women will
proudly display little bundles containing
slender short shoots with a few tiny
leaves This is poke poke salad which
when boiled and served with cream
sauce 13 a dish so the marketer avers fit
for the gods Later on when the leaves
on the stems are stronger poke 13 best
cooked as cabbage Is cooked but the real
epicure docs not care much for it In that
stage Gathering it too Is as tedious an
operation as gathering dandelion To the
uninitiated there is nothing especially In
teresting about various tiny shoots which
spring under your feet in your rambles in
the country but the small boys and girls
and the market people know them and
dig carefully around them pulling up the
succulent stalks from the earth
After dandelion and poke the aristo
crats of greendom came a long list of
various wild greens that are best when
mixed together and cooked with bacon
ham or better still the coarse salt bacon
of the West In a little whl the hill
above llowardtown tboso about Ana
costla and the extended streets will be
filled with patient stooping forms gather
ing an early harvest
Now there Is mustard The marketer
she who knows It all says there Is noth
ing to e qual a dish of mustard greens
There arc two kinds that which grows
about houses with its brilliant jellow
lower and the wild black mustard that
flourishes in waste places and must not
be eaten at all The former grows In this
section only around tho habitation of
man but deponent saycth it is not so in
California and Japan There fields and
fields of it stretch golden to the gaze as
far as cje can reach
Then there Is narrow dock which grows
In small clumps nnd Is most edible when
forming a part of a mixed mess It Is
not to bo confounded with broad dock
which grows in great clusters with gigan
tic leaves spreading out like some tropi
cal weed The broad dock is coarse and
poisonous although it 13 reputed by theso
herb wiseacres to have wonderful cur
ative properties when applied in poultices
Very like the narrow dock in appear
ance is the wild lettuce which every little
girl whomever played at housekeeping
knows at once Year cultivated lettuce
grown in frames and under the most
favorable auspices my bo delicious but
there is nothinc en the marketer affirms
to equal the slight bitter tang of the
little crinkly leaves ot the wild lettuce
Shepherd sprout and lambs quarter arc
twin brothers As their names would
suggest they ere dainty soft and mild
to tho taste The cae grows la loug
stalks about a foot high the other mod
estly seeks the seclusion of the ground
but they are both of soft grayish green
hue tender to the touch easily wilted
and delicate as to flavor
Dot unless you know positively dont
attempt to pick your greens yourself Get
someone versed in the lore to do it for
jou for there aro myriad weeds and
leaves which to the unsophisticated
might pass muster but which would
prove rankest poison or If not coarse
and acrid to the taste Then having got
ten your peck or half peck full settle i
yourself to an hours work picking them
over removing dead leaves roots bit3 of
dirt and stray suspicious stalks and
leaves Then after they have been care
fully washed In a half dozen waters no
less the marketer says they are ready
for the cooking with plenty of meat
sonlug and red pepper pods I
to the Library of Cougrcs3
VISITORS city of books are
In general unacquainted with the
Inner workings of that vast es
tablishment They know that If they call
for a book they will obtain It providing
It is in its proper place in a remarkably
short space of time considering the mag
nitude cf tho bookcases each one of which
is as large as a good sized oOce building
It i3 by means of the extremely Ingeni
ous mcthanlsm of the pneumatic tubes
and automatic book carriers that thU
quick service Is rendered po stible The
pneumatic lubes are operated by com
pretscd air shooting short leather cases
two Inches In diameter In a le rf scndi
between stations These tubes run from
the central desk in the main leading room
to each of the nlno decks or btorics In
each stack
Having received a readers ticket the
desk attendant In tho stack finds on he
shelves the volume wanted nnd plaecs It
on one or the automatic carriers which
arc constantly movins on an endless
chain and which traverse the entire
height of each stack The carrier delivers
the book at tho reading room desk to be
handed to the reader When returned by
him It may be at once sent back to tho
stack by the same machine
The book carrier consists of a pair of
parallel endless sprocket chain3 operat
ed by nreans ot an electric motor at a
rpced of 100 font per minute The chains
rn over ut such size that the
book trays hanging on trunnions between
the chains may pass freely over the axles
at the several changes of direction along
the route
The course cf the carrier Is wholly In a
vertical plane from a pair of overhead
sheaves eight feet above tho reading
room floor at the reading room desk ver
tically downward to the cellar of the
building thence horizontally below tho
celling to tho center of the book stack
where it turns vertically upward pass
ing through all the stories to tha top ot
the stack to a pnir of sprocket sheaves at
that point whence it returns to the read
ing room by a parallel route
Kighlecn book trays are suspended tc
the chains at equal Intervals They nre
constructed largely of aluminum for
lightness the remainder faein of bra33
or iron The tray bottoms consist ot a
horizontal set of parallel brass fingers
five eighths of an inch apart attached to
the back of the tray and turning up slight
ly In front to prevent the books ironx pro
jecting over
This tray thus panes flatwise through
similar Hat sets of teeth or toothed racks
as they may be called located at the
UST take a commercial dictionary
and everything Ju find named
in It can be found among the
articles which passengers leave
In the sleepers said the lost property
man of the Pullman Company to a Times
man Yes even babies have been dis
covered among the left and deserted ar
ticles handed in by the conductors I
think I can safely say that about the
only things which have failed to reach
this companys museum aro flasks with
whisky in them and boxes of cigars
Somehow ur somehow else these articles
liavo never been turued In to await
claimants I suppose pcoplo aro more
careful of theso commodities than of
All our conductors and porters are re
quired to turn In all the property they find
during a trip and of course If they
found flasks of whisky and cigars they
would not fall to turn them in They
give the name of tho car the date ot
tho trip the points of starting and des
tination and the names of the articles
they find Then the Articles are sent hero
to tho museum and examined ticketed In
ventoried and numbered
When a patron writes and says he left
an article on ono of our cars we write
back and ask him to glvo the exact date
the route tho placo at which ho cm
barked and tho station nt which Ue left
tho car We also Insist on a full descrip
tion of tho article and any additional do-
tall or data ho may be able to give This
is all necessary In order to prevent fraud
nnd to protect ihe real owners as there
aro occasions when fraud Is attempted
I remember on one occasion a
drummer got up hurriedly ono
morning and dressed rapidly in order to
get oif at a small station down on tho
Southern It appears that tho drummer
had been celebrating the night before and
was In somewhat of a dazed state that
morning In bis haste arid dazed condi
tion he neglected to take his watch and
money from beneath his pillow In the
berth It happened that a thoroughly new
nnd green porter was on the car and
when he made up the drummers berth he
found the watch and money He didnt
keep quiet and turn the find over to the
conductor but yelled out that someone
had gone off and left his watch and
money Two or three men still In their
berths looked out and sized up tho situa
A few stations beyond tho cluctor of
the sleeper received a telegram from tho
drummer stating his loss and requestln
that the watch and money be left vvlth
the station agent nt the next meal sta
tion This was done the conductor tak
ing a receipt from the station agent
Tho day after we received n letter
from n man who said he had left his gold
watch gold link chain and money In berth
No C on such and such a day and that
ho had left tho train at 7 oclock In the
morning at a certain station The matter
was looked up the conductor nnd porter
Interrogated and then we wroto tho man
and asked him for more details Wo also
telegraphed tho station agent who re
plied that be knew the drummer and had
even examined the articles and maila
him identify them beforo delivering and
taking bis receipt We ne tt beard any
thing further from the fellow who filed
the claim by letter but I am convinced
he was one of the men who heard tin
porter jell out that some ono had left
his watch and money in the berth
About the queerest find was that of a
baby Tho conductor who found it was a
single man and didnt know very muci
about babies He wrs also a nervoui
man and didnt tiara say n word to the
porter or the train onductor or the pas
sengers because be feared the wor3t He
was satisfied that the baby had been put
on board nt n certain station by a person
who had stepped on and off tho car dar
ing the few minutes that the train stopped
there He had frequently had to stop at
that statiou and knew several persons
there Perhaps the mother had delib
erately waited for his train
That conductor concocted every scheme
to get rid of that baby and finally man
aged to leave It on the sleeper when the
other conductor took charge at Atltnta
for New Orleans ard of course the last
conductor had to turn it in That baby
was finally sent to an orphanage by tho
lullman Comrany and an annual appro
priation was made for Its care and sup
port It was known as the Pullman baby
Any and every old thing can be found
on the shelves in the lost property room
Wo never have an old boss salo like the
express comyanles nnd the Iostofilcc De
partment but we keep tho things until
they are called for and if they are never
called for why we keep them anyway
minnl station In the reading room and at
j each stack dec At tho deck station two
such racks aro provided one at the de
I parting and th other at the arriving part
of the chain tor tho automatic delivery
and taking on of books In tho reading
room these two rackj arc both on the
descending part cf tbe chain one below
I the other one sloping inward the other
All taking en and delivery by tha trays
occurs In the two vertical portions of the
route To- this purpose a pair of planed
vertical stationary iron guides are pro
vided which aro engaged by the travel
ing tray3 through lubricated grooves or
jaws on the sidc3 rigidly guiding the
tray3 in th ir course
The caraclly of the trays is the equiva
lent of n quarto three and one half inches
in thickness A3 it arrives at the delivery
station it3 contents are combed off and
slid into a softly padded boT
The automatic action of the traveling
trayo is secured through a set of ten
movable spurs or keys on the back one
for each of the nlno stack deck stations
and one general key When a book la
taken on a dial is set by hand by which
tliu general key is withdrawn and the
tray prevented from responding to any
call to take on another Look along its
way until its load Is discharged If the
book Is proceeding from the reading room
to a stack deck tho corresponding key
for that deck is also projected and In
sures correct delivery The capacity of
the carriers may bo increased by adding
trays along the chains
It is perhaps not generally known that
the sending of a book from the Library to
the Capitol requires little more time
than sending It to one of tho desks In
the reading room Through a subter
ranean tunnel between both buildings
runs a small flexible endless vlre cable
passing over large sheaves at either ex
tremity of the route and having attached
to it at opposite ends of tho loop grooved
trolleys which ruu between a pair of rails
parallel to each other and to the cable
throughout the whole cour3s of a quarter
of a mile Including that over and under
the sheaves
To each of the two trolleys Is hung a
carrier large enough to hoi 1 a bound vol
ume of newspapers or a leather pouch
of similar shape and capacity for books
and other matter The carriers consist
of a set of deep parallel hook3 similar to
the hanging human hand with the lin
gers turned upward nearly to the top
Doing hung from the top like a pendu
lum It travels always In an upright po
sition Its loads are therefore taken on
by passing upward through a correspond
ing toothed trough end delivering down
ward through a toothed raclc
Tho printing olllce and bindery form an
interesting feature ot the Library which
Is unseen by tho average visitor Theso
rich lady do ycu knew what I would do
I would iDcnd a heap o money buyln
greens from roomatlcky old cullud pus
sons for de dear Lawds own sake un
decd would I
Which seems a good thing for the ladles
to remember next Christmas
They are a good natured and merry
hearted people those curbstone hucksters
and their wily little efforts to catch trade
and flatter customers Into buying their
poor bits of wares would be laughable if
It wasnt some way sad
The old time picturesqueness of tha
race has been almost entirely effaced by
tho conventional shirt waist and skirt
and the once famous bandana handker
chiefs have given way to hats except on
the heads of an old ex slave here and
there Once in a while too an old-fashioned
sunbonnet is In evidence but tha
average headgear is a rusty old hat that
may belong to a man or child and which
suggests the idea that the wearer had
grabbed up the first thing handy beforo
driving Into town
Enjoy Their Pipe and Baccy
The majority of tho elder women smoke
and surely nobedy could have tho heart
to find fault with the happy hearted old
souls for takin comfort with their cob
pipes and baccy
When they aro not selling to custom
ers they chatter as Jcyously as robn3 in
springtime and their laughter Is delicious
to hear
As most of the colored hucksters ara
long past middle age It 13 evident that
tho younger generation docs not Intend
to follow In their ways Colored boy3
and girls like tho sons nnd daughters of
the white farmers throughout Maryland
and Virginia prefer to try their fortunes
in town so that the time Is not far dis
tent when this last relic of the old-fashioned
negro life with Its picturesque and
lovable traditions will pass away leav
ing this prosaic world a little tho worsa
for Its going
are really branches of the Govcrnmsnt
Printing Office though they are devoted
solely to the Library Here in tho print
Ins office aro printed the eatilssuj cards
now being struck off nt the rate oT 223
titles a day averaging nary 709C0 a
year Eook3 aro rt present bsrfng cata
logued in about ono diHren
languages end dialects Of thes thirty
fiVe have already catered into tha worc
of tho printing oiCcc The coapo3itor3
and proofreaders have therefore to bo
especially accomplished
Seventy thousand titles a year on the
basis of the present tokens Involve af
aggregate of at least SCCOOOO card3 Th4
miscellaneous forms and circulars for tho
general Library and for the copyright
office ara millions in totals of copies
The force of the printing office consists
of nineteen persons
Forty nine skilled workers are employ
ed In the bindery Most of the serials
received are bound but of the SjO odd
current newspapers only about one-quarter
the leading American and certain ot
tho foreign nre bound The others aro
not destrojed but laid away In loosg
covers for possible binding later
Serventy scven persons aro at work In
the catalogue division one of the most
remarkable departments in the conduct
of the library Tho function of a classi
fier in a library Is In brief to arrango
the books upon the shelves In orderly
sequence Dut In a library which is to bo
used and which Is to grow tho arrange
ment must be som tMng more than or
derlyIt must be systematic and It must
be elastic that is expansive It must
bring together books on the same sub
ject nnl within that subject book3 by tho
same author and It must give alpha
betic or under certain subjects chronol
ogical sequence to the authors it must
also designate each Volume by a symbol
which will permanently Identify its loca
tion and yet permit of the Insertion In
the group of later additions with their
appropriate symbols each also self-explanatory
and precisely locative
The lator In cataloguing and the diffi
culty vary extraordinarily with the char
acter of tho book Current American
novels by known authors pure romance
romance not dealing with any special
question in history or ethics may be
catalogued at the rate of fifty or slvty a
day A single work In science may re
quire a half day if by composite au
thors or including various subjects per
haps several weeks
The mere Identification ot the nathor
or the determination of the proper biblio
graphic statement may Involve references
to various authorities the determination
of the subject entry may Involve a de
tailed and careful examination of the con
tents There is no limit to the knowledge
useful to the cataloguer he must to be
eminent In his line be a person of vvldo
reading and accomplishments

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