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This Week In History, 10-9-14


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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1914, 100 years ago


The use of wide tires on wagons have made hauling easier, and improved and packed, rather than cut ruts in the roads. The farmer who still uses narrow tires for heavy loads is not only wasting time and horse energy, but is guilty of cruelty to animals and the destruction of public highways. The relation between weight of load and width of tires and the maintenance of roads in each section should be carefully considered and fixed by local regulations.


The town of Spencer was visited by a devastating fire that broke out about one o’clock on Monday morning. One of the principal business blocks was destroyed before the flames could be checked. The Grand Hotel building, in which was located the post office, and the Smith building, adjoining, were completely destroyed. The total loss is estimated at about $45,000. Very few articles were saved. The hotel building was covered by $14,000 insurance.


The fire originated in the Smith building and quickly spread to those adjoining. An insufficient supply of water handicapped the fire fighters who endeavored to keep the flames from spreading. In this, they were successful and the conflagration was confined to one block.


No loss of life was reported from the fire, though many escaped the burning buildings in their night clothes. The new reservoir being built will furnish fire protection, it is believed. It covers several acres of ground.


It will be remembered that about three years ago, the block by the railroad was burned out. The whole city was almost destroyed about 25 years ago, while 15 years ago it was visited by a very destructive fire.


 1964, 50 years ago

Rubber Fabricators, Inc., has been an important part of the life of Calhoun County for the past ten years--1964 being their 10th anniversary year.


The company was featured in the fall issue of “Business Communications,” publication of C&P Telephone Co. of West Virginia. The article tells of some of the company’s work.


The Freedom-7 space capsule, which carried Commander Alan B. Shepard on America’s first manned sub-orbital space flight, now rests in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Inside the capsule is a special one-man life raft made by Rubber Fabricators, Inc., of Grantsville.


Rubber Fabricators manufactures all types of rubber life saving equipment, which it sells to the governments of the U.S., Canada, Australia, Portugal, Holland, Norway, and Indonesia, and to private consumers in the U.S. The company was founded in 1954 by Rand C. Flemming, who is now president.


Rubber Fabricators is starting to manufacture the Steinke Hood, a diving bell-life jacket that will become standard equipment on all U.S. sub-marines. The hood is inflated in the submarine with regular air. The wearer breathes the air on the way to the surface and then removes the hood and uses the rest of the apparatus as a life jacket. By supplying the wearer with air, the hood allows him to escape from a great depth and to rise to the surface without developing the “bends.”


For civilian consumers, Rubber Fabricators makes an inflatable sports boat. Deflated it weighs 55 pounds. Inflated, it is over 10 feet long and can take a five horsepower motor.


Another new product is a handsome sports vest that inflates to become a life jacket.


Rubber mattresses, protective clothing, and shelters are a few of the other products of this energetic West Virginia company.


1989, 25 years ago

Calhoun General Hospital will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Congressman Bob Wise will be the keynote speaker in ceremonies from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Master of ceremonies is Joe Cain. Others who will speak include Dr. Juanito Aya-Ay and Grantsville mayor Saundra Johnson.


The public will be able to tour a HealthNet helicopter and ambulance from 8 to 10 a.m. Tours of the hospital begin at 9:30 and 11:50.


This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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