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(, I I Ifv I? I SfSJ Kl PAGE SIXTEEN UST WHALEBONE CUTTER QUITS Once Thriving and Important In dustry, Is Ended. DUE TO CHAN6IN6 FASHIONS fteorge Messmann Worked at One Ta ble In New York for 56 Years—Ha Was the Third Owner of the Busi ness—Product No Longer Used for Many Purposes for Which It Wai Once Popular, With the retirement from business recently of George Messinunn of New York, the business of whalebone cut ting in this country terminated. At one time this was a thriving and im portant industry, but of late years, what with changing fashions the In troduction of substitutes for "bone" and the frank use of metal in its place as distinguished from the sub stitution of some similar appearing substance, the whalebone trade has fallen upon evil times. Also the catch has grown constantly smaller and smaller. According to Mr. Messmann, there Is no whalebone now in the market, although there is some slight expecta tion of a little coming in in the fall. "What right whale tishlng litis been done lately has been from the West Coast, Frisco, Seattle and altogether in Pacific waters and toward the Jap anese coast," said Mr. Messmann. "The long famous New Bedford, Nantucket and Vineyard whale fishing has been out of existence for some time." Mr. Messmann, interrupted In the "winding up of his business affairs, ad mitted that he was chiefly preoccupied lit the moment with deciding what souvenirs to retain or send to those Interested in the business before his time. Mr. Messmann pleads guilty to seventy-one years, although he looks as hale and hearty as any man of fifty could wish, and, looking back to his predecessor, and his predecessor's predecessor, who ran the same busi ness in the same spot, he explained why he felt that he was the young est, as well as the oldest, cutter-up of whalebone left in the United States. "I was born In 1849, although ev erybody says I don't look It," said lie with a hearty laugh, "In New York City, and since 1864 I have been work ing right here In this shop. That is llfty-slx years. At One Table Fifty-Six Years. "In 1890 took over the business from A. J. Vetter. who retired, just as In 1866 Mr. Vetter took It over from William Forster, the owner at that time. Mr. Vetter worked for Mr. Forster, as I worked for Mr. Vetter, only I worked for Mr. Vetter twenty four years—a long time, eh? I work ed two years for Mr. Forster before that. I came here as a boy of fifteen years. For almost fifty-six years I have worked, cutting hone, at that table," continued Mr. Messmann, In dicating a heavy, rough cutting table. Those were the good old days, ac cording to the veteran whalebone cut ter, when Saturdays meant 5 o'clock, Jnst like any other day, and there were no vacations. "I worked for A. J. Vetter twenty four years with never a day's vaca tion," he said. "It was all day on Saturdays, and I never missed a day. In those days we worked for our money." The quaint brick building at 161 Duane street, which has housed the whalebone-cutting business with never a break since the year 1860, was orig inally built as a private house. Then it was used as a schoolhouse, and later descended to a trade level, be ing used for a coffee mill. "There is an extension out at the back which you can see, where they used to roast the coffee," said Mr. Messmann. In 1860 the building was taken over for the then flourishing whalebone business, which, with successive years, has been pushed up, until recently it has occupied only the two upper stories, reached by almost perpendic ular old stairs. Over the street en trance to the building hangs a plain sign with the word "Whalebone" in large white letters on a black ground. This sign is old, but new in compar ison with the one'that Is nailed up ever it, which displayed the name of A. J. Vetter until time obliterated it and the old rough board above that which at one time told the world that William Forster was in the whalebone business.. Reminder* ef Old Days. "I am going to send this." indicat ing an old mahogany desk, "to Mr. Carl Vetter in North Andover, Mass. He Is the son of A. J. Vetter. He will like to have the old desk at which his father sat, and the old clock, too," lie .added, nodding to an old-fashioned wall clock. "That clock Is still going Just the same as ever, and I personally can vouch for the fact that It has had oaly two springs since the year 1864. Once in a while lately it stops, and I jMt take It and put It in the steam box, let It get warmed up a little, and tt goes right on. Yoti can't beat that." Mr. Mesmann admitted that he wouM feel lost without the business, nie old office safe Is dated 1858 and has been used continuously In this one baalness. It is* provided with "a wonderful lock,- said Mr. Mesafiann, "no comMaatton." Ia AH day of strictly monetary transactions, the manner la which this 1'UXi.L whalebone business was handed dowa from successor to successor, as told by the veteran whalebone cutter, might be considered startling. "I had nothing when I took over this business," said Mr. Messmann, "or almost nothing. Mr. Vetter wished to retire, and he gave me everything. I did not pay him for the business— what you call the good-will—or for any of the equipment. All I paid him for was the actual stock of raw whale bone in the house. The tools, the safe, the machinery, the furniture, the good will—everything—he gave me." When asked what would become of the business, Mr. Mesmann Indicated that his foreman, John Martel, had been with the concern since 1871, and the Inference was that history might repeat itself in a limited way. Sixty Years in One Building. In speaking of the Interesting and now vanishing business of whalebone cutting and dressing, Mr. Messmann said: "Since 1SC0 this whalebone business has been continuously in this building. When we—I mean the business—first came here we sold a great deal of bone for hoop skirts. We sold it for umbrella ribs, too. That was be fort the time of the metal umbrella rib." Diving it into a drawer, Mr. Mess mann fished out a very old rib, a strip of whale bone, with square-fin ished sides, about one-eighth of an inch thick, terminating in a well shaped tip. the prototype of the mod ern umbrella's bone or horn tipped metal rib. "We sold the ribs squared off, the umbrella makers tapering the ends. It was 'CO before they used steel ribs in umbrellas. "Automobiles have caused a large decrease In whalebone sales. You don't need a whip for an auto. For merly carriages and turnouts were numerous and whips were needed. We sold a great deal of whalebone for whips." Sixty years ago, when closely set whalebones stiffened ladles' basques and bodices, and corsets, then known as stays, were formidable affairs, close-set with boning, the whalebone business flourished. Sales have been getting scarcer lately. More recently wlialebone has been sold to felt hat manufacturers, who place a thin, slen der strip Inside the sweatband to keep the hat in shape. The whalebone comes in what are technically known as "slabs"—thick, flexible strips, running to about ten feet in length, broad at the base and tapering to a blunt point. These big slabs of whalebone are sometimes variegated, so-called "white" bone be ing found here and there in streaks. "When we encounter a light streak we cut that out and lay it aside," said Mr. Messman. "In this way we as semble a quantity of whalebone of a light tone. It runs about the shade of manila paper." Mr. Mesmann showed a box of this bone, such as he had sold to dry goods stores and dressmakers' supply houses. The bone, cut in lengths of thirty-six Inches, very flexible and almost as thin as heavy note paper, was part of a lot which he used to sell to a de partment store, where It was used In ball dresses, according to Mr. Mess mann. Whalebone Bullet Probes. During the war whalebone probes' were used to search for bullets, the strip of whalebone about 14 inches long being rounded like a child's old fashioned slate peneil and then cut away to an exceedingly fine and flex ible thinness, terminating in a slightly rounded end. The whalebone is all cut by hand, with knives, and later shaped and smoothed by machinery. Whalebone is obtained from the right whale or cachelot, the bowhead and the humpbacked whale. These must not be confused with the sperm whale, from which sperm oil is taken. The whalebone of the humpbacked whale Is not considered desirable. The whalebone or baleen, as It is called, Is so placed within the jaws of the whale that he uses it for straining the small living organisms on which he feeds. Mr. Messmann treasures a slab, found tossed in with a large lot of bone, on which some member of a whaler'-s crew had evidently put In a lot of time. Graven on its polished surface is a panorama, showing heav ing billows, a full-rigged ship, whales and more whales, some of them "sounding," with Just their tails stick ing up one with his bulky head jut ting up like a cliff, with a whaleboat neatly bitten in two by his gigantic Jaws. The decorations Include a shore, with lighthouse, cottage and trees, and decorative emblems—eagles, flags and patriotic Inscriptions such as "E Plurlbus Unum," "Liberty" tod "Columbia." The last whale known to have been caught off New York, according to Mr. Messmann, was taken by Captain Joshua Edwards, off Amagansett, L. L, fifteen years ago. "I got there as fast as I could, but another man beat me to It," said Mr. Messmann. 'Sorry,' said Captain Edwards, iut I have sold It to a man from the Museum of Natural History. He paid 10 per cent more than your prlc* How mnch Is It*worth?'' "In otter words, I had to set the price for them. But I had no chance, as, no matter what I offered, they would go 10 per cent higher. Captain Edwards said the next one I should have, no matter what happened but they never got another one." King's Valet Wealthiest Man Servant An Inheritance of $60,000 from a ret ative, a fish merchant la New Zealand, makes James Dickson, first valet to King Qeorge of England the wealthiest awn servaat la the world. North Dakota Facts Assessed valuation—$1,514,000,000. Moneys and credits—$1,000,000,000. Available land surface—-40,000,000, 000 acres. No state in the Union enjoys bet ter credit or has a more substantial basis for credit than North Wakota. These are facts. North Dakota state bank resources (September 12, 1919)—$15,794,682 il. Has 717 state banks and trust com panies. Has 167 national banks. Has 477 consolidated schools, 152 in the open country. Twenty-three per cent of state ser vice by consolidated schools. Population of state (estimated) 688,000. Has six hundred billion tons of coal. Has 194 lignite billion tons Has 194 lignite mines in operation. North Dakota has best brick, tile and pottery clay deposits in the world. Produced 13,385 bushels of corn in 1919. Dairy products for 1918—$25,000. ODO. Dairy products for 1919—$50,000-, 000. There are 336 newspapers in the state. North Dakota has 600 free delivery routes. $452,000 PAID IN INCOME TAX Amount May Grow To A Figure Of Over $500,000 Bismarck—Income tax payments for the state now amount to $452,000, it THE DEVILS LAKE WORLD has been announced by A. L. Young, deputy state treasurer. The total may reach $500,000, Mr. Young said, as corporations which have a fiscal year ending July 1 are permitted to make payments after the time specified. Individuals and cor porations not availing themselves of the above privilege now are delinquent. Henry Motor Gets Largest Contract A. W. Love, local manager of the Henry Motor company, announced this morning that his .organization which is established in all parts of North Dakota and Minnesota, has secured a general contract for distribution of Scripps-Booth automobiles thruout the district. Mr. Love informed The World that the contract just closed is the largest ever given a North Dakota dealer by the General Motors Corpor ation which manufactures the Scripps Booth and other cars including the Oakland which the local agency is dis tributor for as well as the other car. BERLIN NO LONGER MAGNET Oity's Travel Bureau Urges Need of Desirable Visitors at German Capital. Berlin, Germany.—As a center of at traction for visitors from outside, Ber lin Is on the wane, said Chairman Landau of the city's foreign travel bu reau, which held its annual meeting here recently. Landau stated that although in the year under review 1,389,000 strangers visited the capital, they were on the Whole not the class of visitors that were desired. Berlin, he added, had become hated In the provinces and no traveler came to Berlin for pleasure. Moreover, there was an alarming exodus of industrial undertakings from Berlin. The authorities,-he said, must wake up and offer fairs and such like as aa Inducement for the desirable class of visitors to come to Berlin. The severest rain storms only make you appreciate Certain-teed Roofing the more'. It keeps the interiors of your house, barn or other buildings dry and prevents damage from water. Certain-teed, properly laid accord ing to the instructions enclosed in every roll, is firmly cemented together into a one-piece roof impervious to rain or snow. It provides complete weather pro tection. Certain* QBBIADnTOF QPAiriY AND tSUAKANXEEP Certain-teed Products For Sale by NORTZ LUMBER CO. Devils Lake, N. Dakota.'$$|fe Li I Certain-teed, is Impervious mm Devil Fish And A Bathing Girl Los Angeles—"Catch me if you can," laughinkly cried Miss Mary Henderson of Newburgh, N. Y., heading through the breakers at the foot of Brookg ave, Venice.. Her male companions could, and did catch her. They dived val orously and rose triumphantly with their fingers around Miss Hen derson's ankles. For half an hour the girl, an excellent swimmer, laughed heartily, as she enjoyed the sport. Then suddenly her expression changed. 'Come on, now, cut it out," she said. "I didn't tell to hold on to my ankles all day. Quit fooling." Then she cried "Help!" and fainted in the water. Her companions rushed to her aid and brought her ashore. Around both ankles of the frightened girl they found the tightened tenacles of a devil fish. RAISES STATUS OF SEAMEN International Congress Would Them on Same Legal Level as Ship Owners. to Driving Rain Certain-teed Products Corporation Certain-teed is spark-proof and fire retarding. It is guaranteed for five, ten or fifteen years, according to weight. With all its superiority. Certain teed costs less to buy, less to lay and less to maintain than any other type of good roofing. See your dealer about Certain-teed Roofing. If he hasn't enough in stock, he can get more for you quickly from a nearby Certain-teed distributing center General Offices, St. Louis •—J Wnbow* l» Pito iwl CM— Put Genoa.—The International Congress of Seamen adopted a resolution stat ing that the congress should recom mend to each nation that seamen be placed on the same legal level with ship owners. The resolution declares this could be accomplished through the repeal of all laws and the abroga tion of all treaties compelling seamen to labor against their will when a ves sel is In safety, and those providing Incarceration for seamen failing tc fulfil labor contracts. The committee on working hourg adopted the principle of the eight hour day. The delegates from Japan, Spain, France, Holland and Germany voted for the eight-hour day, while those from England, Sweden, Norway and India voted qgalnst It What You Get In the HOOSIER Jli No Extra Cost Patented Shaker Flour Sifter Hles. Wo & We can save you money when you buy home furnishings because our large ware hous ing facilities enables us to purchase in car load lots at a decided saving in original costs and freight charges and we ask only a living profit. HOOSIER S A E S I E S O S S OOSIER users have no flour sifter troub No annoying sticking or "amming" of the sifter. No chance for broken sieve wires to get into the food. 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