MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back, April 20, 2014

HISTORY: Free DDT spraying was available for rural homes in Southwest Georgia.

Mary Braswell

Mary Braswell

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

Cities along the Flint River flooded and roads as well as bridges in Southwest Georgia saw millions of dollars in damage, thanks to March’s 13.58 inches of rain. See what else was making the news in April 1948.

— As a major sponsor, The Albany Herald was making plans for the largest marble tournament ever held in Southwest Georgia. It was expected that kids from 20 counties would participate. One planned prize included an all-expense-paid trip to Greensboro, N.C. to compete with other regional champions and a chance to go to the National Marbler Tournament in Wildwood, N.J.

— The U.S. Public Health Service began spraying the interior walls, ceilings, floors, porches and outhouses of rural homes with DDT to control malaria mosquitoes and house flies. The service was free.

Which of the following made its commercial debut in 1948?

a) cat litter

b) Slinky

c) Playboy Magazine

d) Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat”

answer at bottom of column

— Lee Hardware Co. on Broad Avenue had for sale the new Velva-Cut power lawnmower. The twin-cylinder gas engine machine with adjustable wheels was made by Maytag and priced at $112.50.

— South Georgia Trade and Vocational School at Souther Field near Americus opened following a $1.5 million outlay, mostly by way of the federal government. The school was open to veterans and non-veterans. Classes offered instruction in radio repair, upholstery, wood finishing, diesel mechanics, aircraft mechanics, commercial art, neon sign production and much more. A special class for handicapped women taught the various uses of a hand loom and weaving.

— Loback Reducing Salon on N. Jackson Street offered weight loss, infra-red treatment for aches and pains as well as tanning under an ultra-violet lamp.

— Albany Post 30 American Legion sponsored the Eddie Young Royal Crown Show for an entire week. The show featured 12 acts, 12 new and modern rides (including a double Ferris wheel) as well as a trapeze act and activities for the tots.

— At the St. Louis training camp in Albany, batting practice featured a pitching machine. “The mechanical wonder, that is never troubled by sore arms, gave the boys plenty of trouble during practice.”

— Clyde and Viola Thomas, owners of The Albany Undertaking Company advertised the company’s availability at all times and a staff of five licensed embalmers including, Viola Thomas, C.W. Thomas, W.R. (Bob) Kimbrell, E.J. (Buck) Stern, Jr. and Charles M. Stern. For the best service possible, the company owned three ambulances, two hearses, a pallbearers car, a family car and a car for the minister’s use.

— The Dougherty County Department of Public Health was notified that a child was bitten by a dog while waiting on a school bus. With no full-time worker(s) to round up strays, the problem was growing larger as this report was regarding the 14th child bitten over the course of just a few months. No dog had yet tested positive for rabies but two canine heads were being examined in Atlanta and results were yet to be returned.

— Albany Coal Co. Inc. opened at its new home at 823 Flint Avenue. Aside from coal and fuel oil, the store was a Philco, RCA, Speed Queen and Sunbeam dealer.

— City Commissioners passed an ordinance banning any masked or hooded groups from parading within the city limits.

— Phoebe Putney Hospital reported that the facility was operating in the red. The increases associated with the cost of supplies, food and salaries were the chief reasons given for the financial woes of the hospital. The pay of a registered nurse in 1942 was $70 per month but as of 1948, that same position required $145 per month.

— The Albany Typewriter Exchange had on display the newest innovation in all-purpose figuring, credit balancing machines. Made exclusively by Victor Adding Machine Company of Chicago, demonstrations were available at any time during business hours.

— Unionized electricians in Albany received an across-the-board raise of 25 cents per hour. The pay for a licensed electrician in the city jumped to $2 per hour.

— While no plan was yet developed, city officials voiced their opinion that the time was right to create a system allowing for sick leave for city employees.

— A girls’ program at the YMCA was announced. Girls were allowed to use the athletic facilities on Wednesdays from 4:15 - 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:30 - 11:45 a.m. A female supervisor was present both days.

— Eugene Horne, a Sumter County attorney, spoke to the Americus Kiwanis Club regarding civil rights. The speaker declared the civil rights program to be an insult to the South and is an assumption that the people in this part of the country are incapable of administering their own affairs. He stated that, if left alone, the South would solve the racial problem in a natural way.

— Philip Morris initiated a $7 million newspaper ad campaign promoting its cigarettes with this slogan: “No Cigarette Hangover When You Smoke Philip Morris.” The ad ran in 493 newspapers across the country.

— Sno-White Laundry in Albany had the largest summer garment storage facility in Southwest Georgia. The vault was equipped with an automated fumigator and fresh air duct and was capable of keeping 3,000 garments at a steady 68 degrees through the hot summer months.

— Four new apartment buildings, each with four units, were under construction in Sylvester. Upon completion, each unit featured a living room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms and a porch. Rental preference went to veterans with or without children. Rent was set at $48 per month.

— The annual cost-per-pupil in Albany and Dougherty County for the 1947-48 school year was $90. FYI: The cost in 2010 was approximately $9,700 per pupil.

— The Food and Drug Administration sent 300 investigators on a nationwide search for contaminated glucose-saline shipments. Three cases were retrieved from Phoebe Putney. The contamination details were not specifically released but it was stated that the drug was capable of making the sick sicker or even causing death.

— City Commissioners voted to instate a $300 fee for taxi stands which included three parking spaces at no additional cost.


a) cat litter, invented by Ed Lowe and simply called Kitty Litter