Friday, August 30, 2019

Short History of Roads and Highways



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Sample Chapter - Short History of Roads and Highways - Charles Brady King (February 2, 1868 – June 22, 1957)

Sample Chapter
Short History of Roads and Highways
Charles Brady King (February 2, 1868 – June 22, 1957) 
The son of John Haskell and Matilda C. Davenport King, Charles was native to Angel Island, California. His father had served as a general during the American Civil War. When John retired from the Army in 1882, the family moved to Detroit, where Matilda's family lived. King attended Trinity College in Port Hope, Ontario for two years, after which he enrolled in the Cascadilla School in Ithaca, New York. In 1887 he entered Cornell University until his father passed away in 1888. After his father's death, he returned to Detroit. He took a job at a railroad car manufacturing company, the Michigan Car Company. He attended the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 to exhibit the pneumatic hammer and brake beam that he had invented for use on railroad cars. During the exhibition, he saw a horseless carriage built by Gottlieb Daimler. He was inspired to build his own horseless carriage.
First Car in Detroit
In his spare time, King designed and built what many think is the first car in Detroit. King spent the next few years building the car and tested it in private from 1895 until he officially unveiled it on March 6, 1896. It was during this time that he helped organize the first automobile club in the United States, the American Motor League. He drove the car in a circuit around downtown Detroit, which many feel was the first horseless carriage in Detroit and possibly the state of Michigan.
Joined Early Automobile Companies
King joined the Olds Motor Works sometime around 1900, but only stayed there for a short time. He next joined the Northern Manufacturing Company, where he designed many of the cars manufactured by that company. He started his own automobile company, the King Motor Car Company, in 1910. Always the innovator, King designed the first American car with left hand steering and the first practical V-8 engine. He left the company in 1912.
Other Endeavors
In addition to being an innovative automobile designer and manufacturer, King was also a poet, architect, painter, musician and yachtsman. He founded the forerunner of the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, an organization called the Automobile Old Timers in 1939. Henry Ford, who had witnessed King's first ride in 1896, received help from King when he built his first horseless carriage. He also mentored Ransom E. Olds and other early automobile manufacturers. He helped design and build a yacht, the Lady Frances, which featured many new innovations. His other inventions included jackhammer, the lubricated pulley system, and the car steering gear.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sample Chapter - Gardener's Guide to Compost - Garden Soil Types

Gardeners Guide to Compost
Garden Soil Types - A Quick Soil Primer
Soil is the top several inches of the earth's crust. Soil is necessary for civilization to exist, as it supports the plant life that sustains forests, plains, agriculture and other habitats. Five basic factors influence the formation of soil, the bedrock, climate, local fauna and flora, topography and the passage of time. The gardener will find three layers of soils underlying their garden, the topsoil, and subsoil and parent material. The parent material is the minerals that originally formed the soil. The subsoil is the intermediate level between topsoil and the parent material and will have some qualities of both. The topsoil is the part that concerns most gardeners.
In the Dirt
On average a soil will contain about twenty-five percent air, forty-five percent mineral matter, twenty-five percent water and about five percent organic matter. These levels can vary according to soil type, location, rainfall and other factors. The average soil will include a number of organisms that live in it. These include earthworms, grubs, fungus, bacteria and plant roots.
Topsoil
Topsoil is the first layer of soil, and is the major concern of the gardener. Topsoil can range from a thin layer over the underlying subsoil, or several inches. Good garden topsoil can contain between two and ten percent organic matter. A good garden soil must have the following qualities:
Good aeration, to allow root penetration and allow oxygen to penetrate the soil
Porous enough to allow drainage, but not so porous as to allow soils to dry quickly
Moisture retentive
Soil Composition
Improving Topsoil
The major effort of the gardener should be to work constantly to improve the topsoil quality and fertility. Fertile, loose topsoil will produce healthy, fast growing plants. Healthy plants will suffer less insect damage, have fewer diseases and produce top quality vegetables with maximum nutrition. Poor management of topsoil can cause them to erode away quickly, exposing the less desirable subsoil.
The gardener will encounter six basic types of soils:
Loam
Clay
Silt
Chalk
Sand
Saline
Note, there are other soil types, but these are the most common.

Loam
Loam is the ideal type of soil for most types of agriculture. This soil will have about equal quantities of sand, silt and clay. It will also boast a high organic content. A good loam has all the qualities listed above, will warm quickly in the spring, be easy to cultivate and is ideal for the greatest number of plant types. The gardener constantly replenishes the organic, humus content of the soil. The gardener can use his fingers to test loam soil. The soil should be dark in color that is smooth to the feel and have a slightly gritty feel. A ball formed by pressing the soil together should crumble easily.
Clay
Clay particles are quite fine and create a tightly packed soil. Clay is high in nutrients and retains water well. It will take clay soils longer to warm in the spring and since these soils have good water retention, they tend to dry out slow. A clay soil will form a ball that does not crumble easily. Damp or wet clay soil is sticky to the touch. It is harder to cultivate, especially when wet as it has a tendency to stick to garden tools. Clay soils will grow good plants, as it is fertile. Improve using mulches, compost or green manure crops to add organic matter. Adding organic matter will also improve drainage.
Silt
Silty soils are silky to the touch and will leave a soil stain on the fingers. These soils heat up slowly in the spring. These soils are quite fertile and have excellent water retention. However, because of this trait, they compact easily and sometimes plants have a hard time extracting nutrients from the dense soil structure. Some plant roots will rot in these soils. If better drainage can be achieved, possibly by using raised beds, silt soils can make an excellent garden site. As with other soils, use compost, mulches and green manures to add organic content.
Sand
Made up of quartz, silica and other minerals, sandy soils feel gritty to the touch. Sandy soils allow water to drain away quickly and escape by evaporation. They tend to be low in fertility. It will not form a ball when rolled between the hands. Plants have difficulty using any nutrients in the soil, as they drain away quickly. These soils do warm up in the spring quickly and are easy to cultivate. Adding compost, using green manures and mulches can increase the quality of a sandy soil.
Peaty Soils
Peaty soils are dark and have a spongy, damp feel when compressed. Its high acidic content leads to slower decomposition of plant matter, leading to lower soil fertility. These soils also heat up quickly in the spring and have excellent water retention. Because they tend to stay wet, the gardener should supply some drainage like tiling it or use raised beds. Using lime or wood ashes can raise the ph level. Add compost or manure to increase soil fertility. These soils make excellent garden soils.
Quick Soil Type Test
Pour a trowel full of soil into a glass jar. Fill with water and shake well. Allow this to settle for several hours. In clay and silt soils, the water will remain cloudy. A layer of soil particles will form on the bottom of the jar. In peaty soils, several particles will float on the surface, some will sink to the bottom and the water will remain cloudy. In sandy soils, the water will be clear and a layer of sand will form at the bottom of the jar. A loam soil will leave the water mostly clear. The bottom should have several layers of soil particles on the bottom of the jar.
Soil PH
The ph scale indicates whether a soil is acid, neutral or alkaline. The ph range scale runs from 0 - 14, with soils below 7 classified as acidic and over 7 as alkaline. Most vegetable crops prefer a range between 5.5 and 7.0. The gardener can use a test kit from a garden supply store to test the ph. Use lime, or wood ashes to correct soil that is too acidic. Use aluminum sulfate to correct alkaline soils. Use care using these materials, as it is easy to overcorrect.

The Lookout Tower System




Short History of Fire Fighting
The Lookout Tower System
Fire was a common problem in the vast forests that covered the United States. In the years before the founding of the United States Forest Service in 1933 many private lumbering companies, townships and State Forestry organizations had fire lookout tower systems in place. During the 1930's the United States Forest Service, using Civilian Conservation Corps workers, began building fire towers. The first fire towers were simply platforms in tall trees with a ladder steps nailed into the tree leading up to them. Over time, they refined the design to reflect that of the fire towers still visible in many state parks, forests and National Parks across the country. Idaho had the largest number of fire towers in the United States, with a total of 966. 196 of these towers still exist. The equipment and facilities surrounding the fire tower included communication equipment, a psychrometer, an alidade, a cabin or guard station, a latrine, and a garage.
Communication Equipment
The communication equipment could include a telephone, radio or both. Since most of these lookout towers were located in remote areas they often served as the communications link between the rural population and the outside world. Many times the telephones or radios were the first ones installed in the area. Telephones required the installation of miles of cable that then had to be maintained between the various towers.
Psychrometer
The tower man used an instrument called a psychrometer to measure the relative humidity. This was important to know as the lower the relative humidity, the greater the fire danger. The psychrometer uses two thermometers, a dry one and a wet one, to determine humidity. The tower man measured the temperature difference between the wet thermometer and the dry thermometer and calculated the humidity using a special chart.
Alidade
The alidade is a circular device invented for use in surveying and map making. It consisted of a circular disc that had compass points marked around outside edge. Two vanes with sighting slits on opposite sides of the wheel attached to a rotating wheel, also on the outer edge of the disc. This is called a swivel range finder. A thin steel rod, called a sighting wire, connected the vanes. A printed topographic map was glued to the disc. The alidade was located in the center of the cabin. When the tower man sighted smoke, he could line up sighting wire with the smoke. The tower man then fixed the precise location of the tower by using a mathematical calculation measuring the angle of intersection with another nearby tower. The tower man could then dispatch a fire crew to the fire's location.
Cabin or Guard Station
Usually located at the base of the tower, the cabin housed the tower man during times of high fire danger. Usually it was a two room cabin.
The Tower Man
The tower man spent many hours at the top of the tower during periods when fire danger was high. At other times the tower man helped survey land lines, mark timber, route signs and worked on forest maintenance projects. When fire danger was high, the Forest Service hired local farmers to help staff the tower. During these times they would sometimes station a small fire crew near the tower that could be dispatched out as soon as a fire was sighted. During dry weather there would sometimes be four or five fires a day for these crews to extinguish. Usually staffed by men, women also made up a portion of the tower man ranks, especially during World War II. The tower man had to pass a vision test and be physically fit enough to climb the tower several times a day. In addition to watching for smoke plumes, the tower man coordinated fire crews while they were out fighting a fire, kept records of the fires, kept weather records, cleaned the privy and maintained the grounds around the tower.
Obsolete
The advent of using airplanes and other modern methods of detecting fires has made the fire tower obsolete. Only nine fire towers remain in Indiana.
Follow this link to see the list.

Short History of Fire Fighting




Description:
Projected Publishing Date - 10/5/2019
A short history of firefighting.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Indiana's Counties






Description:
Publishing Date To Be Announced
Sample Chapter 
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Preview Chapter - Indiana's Counties - Joseph Hamilton Daveiss


Joseph Hamilton Daveiss  (March 4, 1774 – November 7, 1811)
The son of Joseph Daviess and Jennett McKee, Joseph was a native of Bedford County, Virginia. In 1779 the Daviess family moved to Danville, Kentucky and studied at Harrodsburg Academy. After reading law, the Kentucky bar admitted him in 1795. He was a fugitive from the law for a short time after serving as a second in a duel. He successfully argued his case and later became United States District Attorney for Kentucky. Daviess became aware of the Burr conspiracy in 1806 and wrote President Thomas Jefferson numerous letters about it. He managed to bring charges against Burr in Kentucky, but the charges were dismissed. With hostilities from the Amerindians on the rise, Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison put out a call for recruits. Daviess came to Indiana to enlist and Harrison commissioned him as major of Kentucky volunteer dragoons. During the battle he sensed an exposed position in the American lines and led a charge against the warriors that threatened it. He succeeded in his manuvour, but it cost him his life, as a warrior shot him through the breast. Daviess is interred in the Tippecanoe Battlefield Memorial, Battle Ground, Tippecanoe County.
Daviess County Indiana is named in honor of Joseph Hamilton Daviess

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Preview Chapter - Short History of Public Parks - English Deer Parks


Preview Chapter
Short History of Public Parks
English Deer Parks
The English Deer Park gave rise to the first English parks. After the successful Norman invasion in 1066, the invaders confiscated most of the lands held by the former Anglo-Saxon nobility. At first the Norman kings had exclusive right to establish a deer park. Since serving venison at banquets was a sign of great status, many of the minor nobles also desired them. The kings eventually allowed the nobles to establish their own deer parks to supply venison to their guests. To establish a deer park, the noble had to acquire a document called a "licence to empark," from the king. The noble usually placed the park inside, or near, a royal forest. They surrounded the park by a ditch. A high bank with a stone, brick or wooden fence at the top bounded the ditch. the construction prevented deer from leaving the park. Sometimes the noble built a device called a deer leap outside, which allowed wild deer to enter the park, but not escape. Most of the time these were illegal, as it could deprive the king of his deer that roamed the open forest. Many nobles built hunting lodges inside the park, many of which were protected by moats. Inside the park was a mix of wild pasture land, forest and heath. The trees consisted of mainly oaks, whose acorns provided winter forage for the deer. Many of the ancient oaks now living in England were preserved inside these parks. the nobles imported deer from the European continent to stock their parks. Native red deer roamed the forests outside. The usual method of hunting deer was to drive them into nets. After slaughtering them, they became the "noble meat," of feasts. Historians estimate that at their height, around 1300 AD, deer parks occupied about 2% of the English countryside.  Many of these parks were abandoned after the deer park became unfashionable after the 1642 - 1651 English Civil War. Some were used as fields to grow crops, some reverted to wild lands and some found use as parks. Many of these parks are still in existence. 

Short History of Public Parks




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Publishing Date TBA

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Underground Railroad in Napoleon, Indiana


From:
A History of Napoleon, Indiana

Underground Railroad in Napoleon
Residents of Napoleon, Indiana played an important role in the Underground Railroad system that developed during the years before the Civil War.
Underground Railroad in Indiana
The Underground Railroad was a vast network of people in the North and South who aided fugitive slaves in their flight from slavery. In Indiana the route stretched from communities on the Ohio River to the Michigan border. From Michigan the fugitives fled to Canada and freedom. Forefront in this movement was groups like the American Colonization Society and the Quakers. Many of these groups used agents to go south of the Ohio River to aid slaves wishing to flee.
The Underground Railroad in Ripley County
Many communities in Ripley County served as conduits for the complex Underground Railroad system that developed from about 1820 through the end of the Civil War in 1865. Escaping slaves had several routes from which to choose, depending upon the region they originated. The largest percentage of refugee slaves passing through Southeastern Indiana would have escaped bondage in Tennessee or Kentucky. Others filtered up from the Deep South states of Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana. The route escaping slaves took when fleeing bondage was never a static route; it changed constantly due to many factors.
The Michigan Road
The Michigan Road, completed in 1837, passed through Napoleon and provided a route from Madison on the Ohio River and Michigan City, in the extreme northern part of the state.  Slave bounty hunters traveled the road, searching for runaway slaves. This necessitated a great deal of ingenuity on the part of the Underground Railroad system participants to hide the fugitives on their flight north to Canada and freedom.
Napoleon's Role
Historical lore indicates that several houses and businesses were involved in the Underground Railroad system and were equipped with a variety of trap doors and hideaways that hid fugitive slaves as they fled. The Railroad Inn and the Elias Conwell structures played a role in the system. Many times slaves in hiding could hear conversations between bounty hunters and residents as the hunters searched for signs of runaways.
Underground Railroad Map
The Ripley County Tourism Bureau publishes a map that details five loops that identify important sites that were part of the Underground Railroad system in Indiana. Trail 5, the Napoleon Route, shows seven spots in and near Napoleon that were part of the movement.

Trail 5 - The Napoleon Route
This tour includes Underground Railroad activity in the village of Napoleon. The route travels north from Versailles on US Route 421 to Napoleon, with side spurs on the Michigan Road and Millhousen Road. It returns to Versailles via US 421.
Trail Stop 1 - Old Michigan Road
Trail Stop 2 - Red Ware Potters Isaac Morris
Trail Stop 3 - Rail Road House
Trail Stop 4 - Barbara Fox
Trail Stop 5 - Mill Pond Thicket
Trail Stop 6 - Elias Cornwall Home
Trail Stop 7 - Barrackman Inn
For more information of the Ripley County Tourism map, visit this link.
https://ripleycountytourism.com/business-directory/4369/underground-railroad-driving-trails/

A History of Napoleon Indiana

A History of Napoleon Indiana



Description:
Projected Publishing Date:
10/19/2019


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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Friendship Flea Market


Friendship Flea Market
The next Mossy Feet Book show will be at the Friendship Flea Market in Friendship Indiana. The Flea Market runs 9 days, September 15 - 22
See you at the Flea Market
The hours run from 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friendship Flea Market
6491 IN-62, 
Versailles, IN 47042



































Friday, August 23, 2019

Preview Chapter - History of Gardening and Agriculture - British Agricultural Revolution

Preview Chapter
History of Gardening and Agriculture
British Agricultural Revolution
Generally, historians term the years between 1750 and 1880 as the British Agricultural Revolution. Many give credit to men like Jethro Tull, who invented a seed drill, Charles "Turnip," Townsend, who advocated new methods of crop rotation, and Robert Bakewell, who promoted new livestock breeding and irrigation methods as the leaders of this "revolution." Others disagree on the importance of these men's roles. Few dispute that between these years improved British farming methods led to improved agricultural productivity. The new four year crop rotation adopted during these years certainly played an important role, as did the introduction of Dutch and Rotherham swing (wheel-less) plough also played an important role as did improved transportation systems like the railroad and steam boats that greatly expanded a farmer's market area. Selective breeding of livestock gave rise to bigger animals that matured faster. The advent of modern fertilizing practices also improved land productivity, allowing increased crop yields. The increasing productivity of farms meant fewer people were needed on the farms. It also allowed an increase in British population. These two developments led to an increase in the number of workers leaving the farms to work in the cities. This, in turn, fueled the Industrial Revolution, which many historians term the beginning of modern civilization.

Short History of Gardening and Agriculture



Description:
Proposed Publishing Date:
9/18/2019

Preview Chapter - British Agricultural Revolution
Preview Chapter - Cotton
Preview Chapter - Mechanical Reaping
Preview Chapter - Steam Powered Farm Equipment
Buy Direct from Author
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Other Books in the Series
A History of the Transportation Revolution
History of the Telephone 
A History of Time
Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language
Short History of Fire Fighting


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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sample Chapter - Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language - Origin of Language

Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language
Origin of Language
Before there could be the written word, books and libraries, an oral language had to develop among humans. The origin of language remains one of history's deep-set mysteries. Linguists, psychologists, and biologists researching the origin of language have few clues to aid them in their quest. Obviously, no fossilized remains of spoken words remain, however scientists do have fossilized human remains to study. From this evidence, researchers can study the changes of human brain size, vocal cord development and other key factors in language development. Most researchers agree that sometime around 50,000 - 100,000 years ago something important happened because during that period art, ritualized objects and certain aspects of a civilized culture begin appearing. Around that time the vocal tract, which includes the mouth, tongue, and throat, changed shape. This permitted the human to use language like we know it. Many scientists think that language developed during that time, though it could have existed earlier in some form. Some think people learned to speak over a short period of time, however others believe it developed over a longer time, possibly arising out of sign language. They believe this system still exists among humans on certain levels. Others believe the ability to speak derived from a 'proto-language' that arose, allowing individuals to string individual words together to form a cogent thought. A form of proto-language still survives in young children learning to speak and in many people that try to communicate when they do not speak each others language. Scientists continue to research the origins of language and someday may discover how humans learned to master this important ingredient to human civilization.

The Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language

Description:
The Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language tells the story of printing, language, books, writing and libraries. Learn about the development of ink, papyrus, parchment, paper and the story of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press.

Preview Chapter

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Softbound Price - $8.99

Other Books in the Series
A History of the Transportation Revolution
History of the Telephone 
A History of Time
Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language

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