1917’s Flyover Prohibition Campaign Fails To Take Off

“Vote Dry October 15th” Those words would appear on the underside of the wings of an airplane scheduled to fly across the state in 1917. The plane’s tail would be painted in red, white and blue stripes. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people. Her work has been recognized by International Literacy Association, American Library Association, National Council for Social Studies, and FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

Iowa Woman Wrestles Across the the Country in the 1930’s

“Let him stay there. Maybe he can catch his wife when she comes flying over the ropes,” Clara (Muscles) Mortensen issued that statement to the husband of her wrestling opponent Mildred Burke in a bout in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1937. Mortensen was defending her five-year reign as women’s world wrestling champion, when she encountered Burke’s husband, Billy Wolfe, at ring-side shortly after being tossed out of the ring by Mildred. When Wolfe tried to block Mortensen’s way back to the ring, Mortensen fought back. “I jabbed him in the stomach with my elbow.

Early Twentieth Century Iowa Woman Blazes Trails Working for the Railroad

“My advice to women who wish to rise in the railway field would be to miss no opportunity to learn. Such opportunities must be more than welcomed, they must be sought,” Daisy Oden told Railway World magazine in 1915. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people. Her work has been recognized by International Literacy Association, American Library Association, National Council for Social Studies, and FDR Presidential Library and Museum.

Typewriter Created by Iowan Receives Rave Reviews at 1893 Chicago World Fair

Some called it the fastest and best typewriting machine in the world. It was destined to revolutionize the business world. What was this marvelous invention that everyone was talking about in 1893? It was a duplex typewriter invented and patented by Iowan Adolphus S. Dennis, a former teacher at the Commercial College in Iowa City. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.

World War II Victory Garden Mania Hits Iowa

“Own your own victory garden and four room house,” a Davenport realtor suggested to buyers in a local newspaper ad in spring 1942. All over the state businesses used the victory garden campaign to sell their products and services. Seed and gardening stores offered free seed packets and information pamphlets to customers to entice customers to plant victory gardens. Clothing stores advertised slacks for women to wear while tending their victory garden. A Charles City nursery advertised for “Victory Garden Salesmen” to help sell products to “make healthy American workers and fighters.”

Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.