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January 22, 1910


May Be DeRake's or Halley's, and
Resembles a Woman's Hat With
Willowy Plume.

The "comet" appeared last evening with great brilliancy as seen from Kansas City. It was slightly west of southwest, and was first visible about 6 o'clock. It remained in sight until near 6:30 o'clock when it became obscured by the clouds. The smoke of the city prevented it being very brilliant although it was quite noticable in the western sky.

There are various statements regarding this comet and various theories have been advanced regarding it. Prof. Woods of Washburn College, Topeka, says it is De Rake's comet, while others say it is Halley's. But who is De Rake? is a question on the lips of the average citizen. Be that as it may, the comet, no matter whose personal property, is visible in the soutwestern sky.

A dozen people went to the roof of the Scarritt building last evening about 6 o'clock to catch a glimpse of the comet. It really was a beautiful sight in the gathering twilight, and but for the smoke and the thin fleece of clouds which soon hid it from sight would have been visible for an hour or more. Its motion was barely perceptible except as one watched it past the corner of some fixed object.

The tail was a faint band of light trailing behind the main body of the comet, increasing in breadth as it receded and slightly curving toward the south. The impression received from the general appearance of the comet was that of a woman's modern white hat with its willowy plume on a windy day.


November 12, 1909


Telephone Companies to Furnish
Free the Forecast Hereafter.

The Kansas City weather bureau in the Scarritt building will put out, beginning today, a new form of weather map and report. It will give the forecasts for thirty-six hours in advance.

A note on the bulletin states that through co-operation with the United States weather bureau, the Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company and the Kansas City Home Telephone Company and their connecting lines will furnish free, upon request, the weather forecasts and special warnings after 10:30 a. m. daily, except Sunday, to subscribers in Kansas and Missouri.

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June 12, 1909



Three Hundred Young Women Will
Raise Money for Establishment
of Pasteurizing Plant to Re-
duce Infant Mortality.

Every Good Citizen Will Wear One of These Tags Today.

The campaign for pure milk for the babies will begin this morning when 300 young women, decorated with blue ribbons, will take possession of the town and ask money from the liberal-minded, in exchange for tags which will render them immune from further solicitation.

Stands will be placed in the main entrances of every large office building, each one in charge of a patroness and a limited staff comprised of two or three women and a policeman. Behind a table on which will be heaped the tags will be a large milk can to be filled with money from the contributions. Their campaign will begin at 9 o'clock this morning and cease at 5 o'clock this afternoon.

The money to be raised today will be used in equipping a plant for pasteurizing milk for what might be called the infant trade. Rabbi Harry H. Mayer, president of the pure milk commission of this city, declares hundreds of babies die here annually from diseases contracted by drinking milk taken out of tainted cans or which has otherwise been exposed to germs.

Two years ago a pasteurizing plant was established in the Associated Charities building and six sub stations for milk distribution were opened in the two Kansas Citys. The milk is hermetically sealed in three six and eight-ounce bottles. It is not given away, but sold for just enough money to pay for operating the plant. The commissions considered that, should the milk be given away, proud poor people would look with disfavor upon it as making themselves objects of charity.

Besides the women stationed in buildings, motor cars carrying a bevy of women and possibly a policeman will make the tour of the wholesale district morning and afternoon, so that none who are willing and anxious to give may lose the chance.

The police detailed by the board of police commissioners will go direct to the office of Charles Sachs, 631 Scarritt building, for instructions this morning, and they will carry the tags and blue ribbons to the women of the outposts. Tonight they will return the milk cans with their precious burden to Mr. Sach's office.

Mrs. H. H. Mayer will be personally in charge of the campaign as the representative of Rabbi Mayer, president of the pure food commission.

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March 20, 1909



Madly Jealous Because She Went
With Another man, Charles
Hunter Wounds Wife at
Parents' Home.

The short wedded life of Charles Hunter, 19 years old, and his wife, Myrtle Hunter, 17 years old, came to a probably tragic end yesterday morning when in a quarrel, the boy-husband shot his wife with a derringer at the home of her parents, 1713 Madison avenue.

Mrs. Hunter lies at the general hospital, where the physicians say she will not live until morning. The husband gave himself up yesterday afternoon to the police, and is in the matron's room at police headquarters where he will not make a statement to the prosecuting attorney.

No one was at the home of the girl's parents except the young couple. They had been married since Christmas, but had not lived together for several months. On several occasions Hunter had visited his wife, but on each occasion the interview generally ended in a quarrel. About 11 o'clock yesterday morning, neighbors heard a shot, and a moment later Mrs. Hunter rushed out of the house and ran to the home of Mrs. Emma Hodder, 1715 Madison avenue. The front of her kimono was covered with blood.


"He shot me," she gasped, and sank to the floor. She carried the derringer in her hands. The Walnut street police ambulance was called, and after giving her emergency treatment, Dr. Ralph A. Shiras took her to the general hospital.

In the meantime Hunter rushed out of the house into the alley, and it was three hours before the police were able to locate him. At last Albert F. Drake, an attorney with offices in the Scarritt building, called police headquarters and said Charles Hunter was ready to give himself up. Charles McVey, desk sergeant, took Hunter from the Scarritt building to police headquarters. In the chief's office he was questioned by an assistant prosecuting attorney, but would sign no statement.


"We haven't' been happy since our marriage," Hunter said later as he sat in a cell in the matron's room. His hands were folded across his breast, and he looked the picture of despair. He is small and looks a mere boy. "She has been going with other fellows," he continued, "and last Wednesday I saw her with someone. That made it more than I could bear. Last night I called on her and we quarreled. When we parted I walked the streets until morning, and in a sort of a trance I went back this morning.

"I don't know how I came to shoot her. I do know that I had a derringer, and that I must have aimed it at her. As soon as I shot I clasped her in my arms and then ran out.

I went down the street a short distance and then determined to go back. I backed out and then walked downtown. I went to Mr. Drake's office, who laughed when I told him that I had shot someone."


At the general hospital the youthful wife laid the blame on her husband.

"I'm going to die," she said faintly about the middle of the afternoon, "but I don't care very much. Charley and I have never been happy. He called this morning and commenced to quarrel. Suddenly he pulled out a pistol and shot me.

" 'Tell them that you did it,' he whispered as he took me in his arms and rushed out doors."

Mrs. Frank Scanlon, the mother of the girl, says that Hunter entered the house after she had left in the morning. She said that he had often threatened Myrtle, and that she was afraid to leave alone.

"I felt like something was going to happen when I left this morning," she said.

Hunter has been employed at the Hippodrome at odd times. He lives with an uncle, Claude Rider, at 1728 Troost avenue.

At the general hospital last night, the youthful wife lay on one of the beds in the surgical ward. She was suffering intense pain but still retained all of her faculties.

"Did they get Charley?" she asked. "Well I'm glad they did for he meant to shoot me."

Mrs. Scanlon, the girl's mother, was at her bedside all night.

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February 23, 1909



Two Separate Institutions at Denver
for Sufferers of All Races and
Creeds -- First Patient
a Catholic.

Interest in the exhibit of the National Society for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, now going on in the Scarritt building, Ninth street and Grand avenue, under the auspices of the Jackson county society, increases. Yesterday and last night over 3,000 persons attended.

On account of the large attendance at the stereopticon lecture and the discussions by prominent local physicians in the evening, it has become necessary to double the capacity of the lecture hall.

Last night the meeting was under the auspices of the United Jewish Charities, with Rabbi H. H. Mayer in the chair. Rabbi Mayer told his audience what the Jewish people are doing in the fight against the great white plague. He spoke of its ravages among his people, especially in the sweat shops and the poor tenements of New York, where those from foreign lands live and work.

"The National hospital at Denver," he said, "is now managed and maintained wholly by the Jews, yet it is open to the unfortunate of all religions. Only two questions are asked of the applicant -- 'Is the disease in its first stages?' and 'Are you unable to pay for treatment?' It might be interesting to know that the first patient admitted was a Catholic. We have another institution in that city, a hospital for those in the advanced stages of the disease."

Rabbi Mayer then told his hearers that if they knew any person who needed treatment in these institutions to send them to Jacob Billikopf, local superintendent of the Jewish Charities, where they would be examined, classified and placed upon the waiting list for admission.


"Consumption," he said in closing, "is only a symptom of modern civilization. It is a result of modern crowded and herded conditions in the great cities. That was its beginning, and it has spread like a pestilence."

Dr. Jacob Block, who followed Rabbi Mayer and spoke on "The Economic Value of Prevention," agreed that tuberculosis, or consumption,, is a disease of civilization. He then told of the advancement of bacteriology and what it had accomplished in the battle against this and other germ diseases.

W. L. Cosper, in his stereopticon talk last night, informed his audience that the tubercle bacillus, the germ of tuberculosis, is a vegetable germ. It is not a wiggling thing, but has no vitality, is inert and must be raised by dust or other method to get into the system, where it multiplies by dividing. In an hour one germ will become thousands, each doing its amount of damage to the person with the run down system or the unhealthy mucous membrane. A person in good health, he said, will get rid of all kinds of disease germs by his natural resisting powers.


In speaking of tuberculosis in cattle and hogs, Mr. Cosper said that it had been found that about 1 per cent of cattle and 2 per cent of hogs were infected. At the great packing houses, through government inspection, such carcasses are destroyed, but in smaller communities where a butcher kills his own animals there is no inspection. A Nebraska butcher told Mr. Cosper that he had frequently found animals with diseased organs like those he saw at the exhibit. "But I never sold that meat," he said. "I always laid it aside and made sausage from it."

The germ of tuberculosis shown under the microscope is attracting much attention at the exhibit. Germs which cause green and yellow pus, diphtheria, typhoid fever, anthrax and tuberculosis are being cultivated in tubes on what is known as "culture media." Many of them have become so thick that they can be seen with the naked eye -- where there are millions of them. They are safely bottled.

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February 19, 1909



More Than 2,000 Persons Attend
on Opening Day -- Kansas Univer-
sity Medical Department
Well Represented.

The exhibit of the National Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis opened in the Scarritt building, Ninth street and Grand avenue, yesterday and will continue for two weeks under the auspices of the Jackson county society. W. L. Cosper, who has charge of the exhibit, said last night that in the matter of first day's attendance, Kansas City had broken all records, over 2,000 people visiting it yesterday afternoon and evening.

While the rooms were opened to the public during the afternoon, the exhibit was opened formally last night by Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., who made a short address.

The mayor said that before many weeks model play grounds for children would be completed here. That, he said, is a step toward health and happiness. He told the audience that the city had voted $20,000 of bonds for the erection of a tuberculosis sanitarium on the hills east of the city, and the building of bungalows there for the convalescent. He also told of the work of the tenement board, and said said that its members, all busy citizens, should be thanked for giving their time and labor to the city for nothing. The mayor also stated that his hospital and health board was now strictly enforcing the spitting ordinance, which had long been neglected.


"If a policeman yanks you down to the station for spitting on a street car," he said, "don't lose your temper. He is only doing his duty, and you must agree that it is right."

Frank P. Walsh, president of the Jackson county society, presided. In the absence of Dr. W. S. Wheeler, health commissioner, he introduced E. W. Schauffler, who told what tuberculosis is, and how it may be cured if taken in time.

"It is contracted," he said, "generally in inhaling the germ which is blown into your face with the dust of the street, in the workshop or at the room. It is often introduced through food and sometimes by contact. It always produces death of tissue or bone. Three things are essential for its cure -- pure air, sunshine and good food."

The doctor said that "the American people are the greatest spitters in the globe, possibly made so from the tobacco chewing habit."

On account of the breaking of a lense Mr. Cosper was unable last night to give the steropticon lecture. Tonight, however, and every night for the next two weeks, views will be shown and prominent physicians will speak.

The meeting today will be in charge of the tenement commission. Walter C. Root, chairman, will speak on housing conditions in Kansas City, and the inception and spread of tuberculosis. Dr. Oh. H. Duck will speak in the evening. It is expected that Dr. McGee of Topeka, Kas., may be here with his stereopticon lecture on tuberculosis.


That the exhibit alone, without the lectures, has begun to bear fruit, was shown by a little incident yesterday afternoon. Two men emerged from the room talking. One of them cleared his throat and was just in the act of expectorating on the sidewalk when he stopped.

"I guess I'll spit in the gutter after this," he said to his friend, "I've just learned something."

The University of Kansas, Rosedale, has several interesting specimens on view, such as tuberculosis glands, kidneys, hearts, etc. One jar shows a healthy lung, another the organ after being attacked by tuberculosis, and a third jar of a lung which had been affected and later cured of the disease.

A physician from the school explained the exhibit last night. In his pocket he carried a small tube in which he said "are as many tubercle bacilli, the germ which causes tuberculosis, as there are sands in the sea."

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November 20, 1908


Warrants Out for Two Former Cooks
in Scarritt Restaurant.

Carbolic acid in the form of disinfectant containg a large portion of the poison was put into a kettle of soup and a lard can in the Scarritt building restaurant some time between Wednesday afternoon and yesterday morning. It was discovered as soon as the force of cooks got to work in the morning, for the odor was so strong that it could not be mistaken. All the food to be served at the restaurant was then inspected before the first customer was served, but no other poison was discovered.

W. S. Waterman and G. J. Teck, proprietors of the place, at once made complaint to the prosecuting attorney, with the result that warrants were issued from the court by Justice James B. Shoemaker for R. A. Bell and Fred Gaddis, who formerly worked at the place. The proprietors said the men, both cooks, were discharged yesterday afternoon. Bell and Gaddis are charged in the warrants under a statute which makes it a penitentiary offense to mix poison with food with the intent to kill human beings. Five years is the maximum sentence which may be inflicted under that statute.

About half a gallon of the disinfectant had been poured into the soup and lard, so the owners of the restaurant reported.

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September 17, 1908


Kansas City Friends of Governor
Organize in His Behalf.

The Folk-for-senator club was organized in the offices of Judge E. P. Gates, Scarritt building, yesterday and the following officers elected: President Judge E. P. Gates; vice presidents, E. L. Scarritt and J. B. Sampson; treasurer, Walton H. Holmes; secretary, Arthur F. Jacoby; chairman executive committe, F. P. Walsh.

The club offices, in the Scarritt building arcade, will be opened today and kept open until after the election. It is the intention of the organization to exert every influence to bring about the election of Governor Folk for senator, and to accomplish this will hold meetings in almost every city and villiage in the state.

During the meeting yesterday about forty were in attendance and marked enthusiasm was shown

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April 9, 1908



Slept in a Zinc Lined Wagon Bed,
Which Was Also Her Bath Tub.
Widow of Dr. A. P. Reed of
Raytown -- Disappears.

"Sixty-five years old, tall, slender and of stately bearing. Has gray
eyes and gray hair. She wore a long black jacket buttoned down the side
and a black skirt. Around her neck she wore a black and white spotted
handkerchief. She had on a lavender colored hat covered with a heavy
veil. In her left hand she carries a dark tan chatelaine and over her
right arm she carries a raincoat. Beneath her woman's attire will be found
man's underwear, a pair of man's trousers -- rolled up -- and a vest. She
also wore a pair of man's slippers and white socks."

The foregoing description was given to the police late yesterday afternoon as that of Mrs. Olive Reed of 1240 Penn street, widow of Dr. A. P. Reed, who was shot and killed on his farm near Raytown, Mo., in March, 1907, by William Robertson, a neighbor. Mrs. Reed was served with papers yesterday morning ordering her appearance before the probate court at 2 p. m., where inquiry was to be made into her sanity.

Shortly after a sheriff had served the papers Mrs. Reed dressed as described and left the house, after giving the key to her basement rooms to Mrs. A. D. Miller, from whom she rented.

"Those people out there are still nagging at me all the time," she told Mrs. Miller, "and now they have got me into trouble again. Here's the key to my rooms. Take good care of my little pony down there, as my heart and soul are set on it. Feed and care for my dog, too. If I don't come back you will get money from my lawyer, W. R. Moore, in the Scarritt building, for feed, and keep on caring for my things."


When court opened at 2 p.m. Mrs. Reed was not present, but there were nearly a dozen witnesses from Raytown and here in the city to tell of her many peculiarities, and she was declared insane by a jury. W. H. Gibbens, a Humane officer who has had the case in charge, then took up the matter with the police in an effort to locate the missing woman.

Mrs. A. D. Miller of 1240 Penn street said that Mrs. Reed moved into her basement December 12 last, and that she had not seen a peaceful day or night since. Believing that she was being constantly pursued, Mrs. Reed boarded up all the windows leading into her basement rooms and then went outside and piled agaisnt the windows all the rubbish she could find.

Her bed in the basement was a wagon bed, lined with zinc and filled with mattresses and bed clothing. In that the demented woman slept without ever taking off her combination of man's and woman's attire. To the zinc-lined wagon bed Mrs. Reed had a top made, also covered with zinc. Mrs. Miller said Mrs. Reed dragged the wagon bed to a tin shop several blocks away to have the work done. Her object, she told, was that the wagon bed might be used as her coffin after she was dead. The wagon bed is on a small truck so that it may be moved about the crowded room.

In the basement room with Mrs. Reed was a crippled Mexican dog, which she kept constantly covered up in a box, and a bay and white spotted pony about three feet high, over which was tied a blanket.


'I never saw the pony until last Friday," said Mrs. Miller. "Then she came leading it in the back way to her rooms. She paid $135 for it, and what she's going to do with it the Lord only knows. In a small back room she has a cart five times too big for the little pony, which she paid $25 for. I don't know how she got it in there. I didn't see her. She also uses that wagon bed for a bath tub in the summer, she said."

In Mrs. Reed's "apartments" is the largest assortment of worthless junk ever seen in so small a space. Yet the woman paid to have it all moved in from Raytown. She has tin pans, tin cans, broken glass jars, pieces of rusty screening, rags galore and everything that might be seen in a box out behind a woodshed. She would not part with a single article.

In the room with the combination wagon bed-bed-bath tub is an old piano tightly locked. The back of the piano is nailed up and parts locked with padlocks -- "to keep mice and rats out," she said. During the "dreary, weary watches of the night" Mrs. Reed was wont to open her piano and run the scale with irregular time over and over again. All the while she would quarrel with imaginary persons about the cost of the instrument and whether or not it was paid for.


There was a heater and also a gas stove for cooking purposes in the basement rooms. Although they were the property of Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Reed disconnected both and sold them to a second-had dealer. Then she built a fire in a tin bucket in the middle of the floor, filling the whole house with smoke and alarming the inmates.

Mrs. Miller said that she believed the demented woman went to a bank yesterday and withdrew a sum of money from a safe deposit vault. Mrs. Reed never got any mail, Mrs. Miller said, and never had a caller, yet she was prepared for both -- outside the door. Hanging high up on her door was a mail box; on a slate by the door are these directions:

"Leave your messages for Mrs. Reed on other side of slate when she is absent from home. Light candle below the slate to see how to write me."

It is believed by some that the tragic death or Dr. Reed last year h ad unsettled Mrs. Reed's mind. Many Raytown citizens say that she has been "a little peculiar" for years. Where she has gone is not known; but as her insanity is at the acute cunning stage she may give the police a good chase before they get her. Mrs. Miller said she never went out unless heavily veiled.

"I managed to get along with the woman and was not afraid of her until recently," concluded Mrs. Miller. "Then she told me that she would surely shoot me if I didn't keep out of my own hall. Then I took the matter up with the Humane Society. It will take some time to remove all the boards and tinware from my basement windows."

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January 12, 1908


Not Gas Enough for Downtown Boil-
ers, but Scarritts Found a Way.

The secret of the smoke consuming device used in the Scarritt building has been discovered. The building does not burn coal or anything else. "We are often asked how we keep our great stack from smoking," said Ed C. Scarritt yesterday. "The fact of the matter is we get our light, heat and elevator power from an outside company. This saves us all sorts of trouble, as well as giving us the advantage of space in the basement that we can turn into money."

The limited supply of natural gas accounts for so many smoky chimneys at present. Next year, according to James B. McGowan, there will be gas enough to keep up the downtown boilers, after which this ought to be a smokeless city.


October 4, 1907


Workman on Scarritt Building Meets
With Strange Accident.

Louis Optiz, an electrician 24 years old, met with an unusual accident while working in the sub-basement of the Scarritt building yesterday. He was working with some wires when he accidentally came in contact with a live one. The wire would have caused him no trouble had it only touched his clothing, but it struck a metal fastening on his suspender.

The current consumed the metal in a flash. The blaze set fire to the man's clothing and he was severely burned along the right side, arm and shoulder. Dr. W. L. Gist, at the emergency hospital, dressed the injury and Opitz was taken home by a friend. He lives at 915 Central street.

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September 9, 1907


Firemen Called to Scarritt Building
to Abate Cloud of Smoke.

There was a fire scare at the new Scarritt building, Ninth and Grand avenue, about 7:30 o'clock last night. It being Sunday evening, few of the tenants were in their offices. A still alarm was turned into fire headquarters. Outside the building there was nothing to account for the presence of the firemen. Janitors had told the few tenants when they had taken alarm when they saw the firemen enter the building that there was no danger.

It all came about form a janitor heating some water on a temporary stove in the basement preparatory to taking a shave. He had his razor laid out, the strop was hanging on a nearby nail, and all that was needed was hot water with which to make a lather. Finally the water on the stove reached the boiling point, and the janitor reached to take it off. The pan was hot, and he burned his fingers. He attempted to deposit the pan of water on a table as quickly as he could. As he leaped, his elbow struck the stove pipe, and disjointed a section of it. A moment before he had thrown in a fresh shovelful of coal, and dense, black smoke issued from the disjointed section of pipe. It filled the basement and began to curl in dense volumes up through the open ventilators in the sidewalk.

Someone in the Rialto building saw the smoke coming from the sidewalk, and turned in the alarm to fire headquarters. By the time the firemen reached there, the pipe had been put back in place, and most of the smoke had been blown form the building. The janitor heated another pan of water, and finished his Sunday shave.

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September 2, 1907


The Attorney Struck by a Passenger
Train and May Die.

Milton J. Oldham, 2905 Euclid avenue, an attorney with offices in the Scarritt building, was struck and dangerously hurt by a westbound passenger train on the Santa Fe railroad, at Turner, Kas., at about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

Oldham had been visiting Mrs. Emma Moffett, of Turner, during the day and had just sepped behind one train, only to get in front of another. He was thrown several feet by the cowcatcher and was unconscious several hours. Mr. Oldham was put on board a Kansas City bound train and put in care of Dr. D. E. Clopper at Argentine. It was found that he sustained internal injuries, from which he may die.

Mr. Oldham was placed temporarily in the Argentine Young Men's Christian Association rooms last night, and will be sent to a hospital in Topeka this morning.

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July 21, 1907




Petticoat Lane a Sizzling
Pathway for Shoppers

Petticoat Lane is the hottest place in town. Petticoat Lane is one block in length, running east and west, between Main and Walnut streets -- or, more plainly put it is the main thoroughfare between several of the large department stores of the retail downtown Kansas City.

At 4:45 o'clock yesterday afternoon the mercury registered 106 at the northeast corner of Eleventh and Walnut streets. This intense heat was general in Petticoat Lane. Just around the corner in Walnut street at Eleventh, on the west side of the street, it was a trifle over 3 degrees cooler.

The regular afternoon crush of women shoppers was on yesterday afternoon in Petticoat Lane, to and from the various department stores in that district. P. Connor, the United States weather forecaster at the Scarritt building at Ninth street and Grand avenue, remarked:

"The sun's rays beat down on Petticoat lane all day long. The pavement is smooth and reflects the heat. Then the summer southwest breeze picks up the heat and hurls it against the buildings on the east side of the street. That accounts for the cooler temperature on the west side of Walnut street, just off Eleventh street."

And while the sun's rays beat down upon the pavement in Eleventh street, better known as Petticoat Lane, thousands of shoppers walked and rewalked through the block all the long, hot afternoon. The women carried fans and liberally patronized the soda fountains which are located alluringly near the open doors of the drug stores -- and all thought yesterday was the hottest day ever.

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