1907: A Very Bad Year
In 1907 a bout of speculation on Wall Street ended in failure, triggering a particularly severe banking panic. J.P. Morgan was again called upon to avert disaster. By this time most Americans were calling for reform of the banking system, but the structure of that reform was cause for deep division among the country’s citizens. Conservatives and powerful “money trusts” in the big Eastern cities were vehemently opposed by “progressives.” But there was a growing consensus among all Americans that a central banking authority was needed to ensure a healthy banking system and provide for an elastic currency. http://www.federalreserveeducation.org/fed101_html/history/index.cfm
Knickerbocker trust one of the largest banks in The United States at the time went bankrupt. Nelson Aldrich senator Rhode Island revises American financial system. aka Lehman Bros, Goldman Sachs, FANNIE, FREDDIE–you get the picture.
Senator Borah Idaho Citing that “4% of the people of the United States own 80% if its wealth,” Borah advocated the lowering of tariffs to promote world trade, inflationary monetary measures such as paying depositors to put their money in circulation and reissuing silver, and, most importantly, the destruction of monopolies, which were “bleeding our people white.”
http://www.kevincmurphy.com/williamborah3.html date accessed 5/25/2007
1907 CULTURE and ART
Figure 1 Mit alle zibn finger
1907 Marc Chagall These were years of hardship and poverty for Chagall. In Bakst’s studio he had his first contact with the modern movement, which was sweeping Paris, and it liberated his inner resources. His pictures of this early period are lyrical evocations of his childhood. In Study for Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers, Chagall presents us with the Jewish fascination with numbers. Art historian Sandor Kuthy suggests that the Yiddish folk expression Mit alle zibn finger, used to indicate the entirety of energy used in completion of a task explains this strange physical anomaly in the painting. http://www.answers.com/topic/marc-chagall He would later become a leader in the avant-guard.
1. Matisse painted his “Red Madras Headdress” which featured his wife as the model. The painting later became part of the Albert C. Barnes collection. [see 1925, Barnes] Matisse also painted “Blue Nude” in this year.
(WSJ, 11/28/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 7/9/01, p.A26)
The model is Masam Matisse
Figure 2 Matisse Red Madras Headdress
Figure 3 Matisse Blue Nude 1907
Wassili Kandinsky Focusing on the first half of his career, the exhibition begins with a series of early landscapes inspired by the exquisite Bavarian countryside and folk imagery from Russian fairy tales and legends. It then explores how Kandinsky’s style evolved after he moved to Germany and co-founded the groundbreaking Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group.
1907 Milestones: Public Works and Utilities
Building the MacArthur Bridge
At the turn of the century, St. Louis had two bridges over the Mississippi River, the Eads and the Merchants. The Terminal Railroad Association, a group that owned much of the rail infrastructure in the St. Louis area, owned both. The TRRA took advantage of this monopoly by charging what were considered to be excessive tolls. The issue came to a head when St. Louis hosted the 1904 World’s Fair. The city decided to build a public bridge over the Mississippi to break the monopoly.
Figure 4 Free Bridge
Work began on the St. Louis Municipal Bridge in 1909. Piers were built, and steel was ordered. The three main steel spans were in place by 1912. At that time, funding ran out, and three successive bonding issues failed to pass during elections. As a result, the bridge sat without the approaches being built. The only part that was finished was the 6-foot wide walkway, which hung off the downstream side of the structure (it has since been removed, but the brackets that supported the walkway are still in place and visible in one of the photos below). Several hundred people a day crossed the bridge on foot. Funding kicked in again after several years, and the roadway on the upper deck was competed. Now known as the Free Bridge, it opened to auto traffic in 1917. The city and the TRRA were still feuding, so the TRRA put a defacto boycott on the bridge. It was not until 1928 that an agreement was reached, and trains started to use the lower deck. The bridge was in full operation by 1931.
Despite being a city owned “Free Bridge”, a small toll was added in 1932. The money was used for depression relief. The bridge was renamed the General Douglas MacArthur Bridge in 1942 after the famous general. The bridge was designated as the route for US-66 from 1929 to 1935, having taken over that roll form the McKinley Bridge, and then giving it up to the Chain of Rocks Bridge. It was designated City US-66 from 1936 to 1955. http://www.johnweeks.com/upper_mississippi/pagesC/umissC15.html
1900: The first experiments using lime and ferrous sulfate as water purifiers are conducted.
1904: The Water Division begins adding milk of lime (Ca (OH)2 ) and ferrous sulfate (Fe2SO4) to purify the water.
1908: A new Coagulant House is built at Chain of Rocks Plant to store lime and ferrous sulfate.
1911: Edward Wall is named Water Commissioner.
In 1911, Mr. Wall was made Water Commissioner. He immediately began to envision improvements and expansion of the Water Works to the 1930’s. A new intake was built mid-stream, and slightly upstream from the original raw intake. He also promoted the conception of a filter plant as a final step in the purification of the Water, which comprised Primary and Secondary Coagulation, followed by filtration and chlorination.
1907 Union Electric Ameren
The Ashley plant downtown has been providing steam for downtown businesses for 3 years; it is still in operation today.
Eight percent of U.S. households are wired for electricity. It took until the 1920’s until most homes were wired with electricity. My uncle who grew up in rural Texas didn’t have it in his home until he was a teenager in the 1950’s.
Other famous trusts
International Harvester 1902
Capitalized at $120 million, the merger acquired other concerns as its lines diversified. The federal government brought action against the company, and in 1914 the Supreme Court found the company an illegal combination under the Sherman Antitrust Act and ordered division of the company’s property among independent corporations (United States v. International Harvester Company, 214 U.S. 987).
http://www.answers.com/topic/international-harvester-company date accessed 5/25/2007
1907 Anaconda Copper
Amalgamated Copper Company War of the Copper Kings. Greed, corruption, bribery and fraud, insiders getting fabulously rich while workers get robbed. That was the great battle for Butte, Montana, at the dawn of the twentieth century when it was the richest hill on earth. Copper was the treasure, eagerly sought after for wiring the modern world, and the hard rock below Butte was riddled with veins of the precious metal. Open pit or strip mine. Nation’s largest Superfund site.
Thomas Edison, autodidact, and inventor of so many modern conveniences conceived of the modern R&D (research and development) laboratory and financed it all with private capital. There were no government grants in those days.
Blaise Pascal, this French philosopher is a favorite off my son Ted so I had to work him in here some how. It is 245 years since the death of this French mathematician. People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.
You always admire what you really don’t understand.
It is 2194 years since the birth of Archimedes another favorite.
Summing an infinite geometric series
I dedicate this series of articles to my children.
I thank to the superb editing skills of Dr. Lisa Balbes
Without whom these articles would have been unintelligible.