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With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

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In 1871, when she was twelve years old, Florence’s father, United States congressman, William Darrah “Pig Iron” Kelley, (a self-made man who renounced his business activities to become an abolitionist, a founder of the Republican party and a judge, and worked for numerous political and social reforms, including the NAACP), took her to a Pennsylvania glass factory on a tour. When she went inside she observed dirty, exhausted children laboring with pots full of acid and crouching over fires in sweltering heat. She discovered that there were over 1 million children working in these hot, crowded and unsafe conditions. Every year tens od thousands of children died or were seriously injured in work related accidents. Kelley knew something had to be done.

Kelley moved to New York City where she married a fellow member of the Socialist Labor Party, the Polish-Russian physician, Lazare Wischnewetzky in 1844. The marriage ended in divorce in December 1891, after many years of estrangement (it was said he was physically and verbally abusive). She changes her name back to ‘Kelley’, and assumes custody of the three children, who also adopt her maiden name. She left Lazare and moved to Chicago (where it was easier to attain a divorce) with her children. Soon after arriving in the city she joined Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, Alzina Stevens, Mary McDowell, Edith Abbott, Grace Abbott, Julia Lathrop, Alice Hamilton, Sophonisba Breckinridge and other social reformers at Hull House, an amazing group of women, whose faith, strength and intelligence made a huge difference in how women, African Americans, and children were regarded and treated.

In 1899 Kelley helped establish the radical (for its time), watchdog group, the National Consumer’s League (NCL). The main objective of the organization was to achieve a fair minimum wage and a limitation on the working hours of women and children. Kelley, the first head of the NCL, traveled the country giving lectures on abhorrible working conditions in the United States; this helping to educate consumers, so they in turn put pressure on companies, who were prospering off their paychecks.

An example of this type of “pressure” was the NCL White Label, thought up by Kelley. The program offered the NCL’s White Label for display in advertising and businesses to employers whose labor practices met with the NCL’s approval for fairness and safety. The NCL then urged consumers to boycott all companies that failed to meet the NCL’s standards.

[Two girls wearing banners with slogan “ABOLISH CH[ILD] SLAVERY!!” in English and Yiddish, one carrying American flag; spectators stand nearby. Probably taken during May 1, 1909 labor parade in New York City.
George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).
]

In September 1905, Kelley joined with Upton Sinclair and Jack London to form the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. Over the next few years she was a frequent speaker on American campuses. This led to meeting Frances Perkins, a students she recruited to the cause, who was eventually to become the country’s first woman cabinet minister and responsible for bringing an end to child labor in America.

[Mine Kids]

Some other groups Kelley was involved with dealt with women’s suffrage and African American civil rights issues. Kelley helped to establish the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. A committed pacifist, Kelley opposed USA involvement in the First World War and was a member of the Woman’s Peace Party (WPP) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Kelley wrote several books including, Some Ethical Gains Through Legislation (1905), Modern Industry in Relation to the Family (1914), The Supreme Court and Minimum Wage Legislation (1925) and Autobiography (1927).

Florence Kelley, 74,  died in Germantown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) on 17th February, 1932.

Florence Kelley is someone who inspires me.

-Cara


Victoria Woodhull, was born September 23, 1838, in Homer, Ohio. Her father was an itinerant con man and a thief; her mother was illegitimate, illiterate and a religious fanatic. Victoria was raised in filth and squalor, beaten and starved, given little education and exploited in her father’s traveling carnival show as a clairvoyant and fortune teller. She demonstrated psychic powers, located missing objects and people, cured ailments and was said to be a medium.

At 15, in order to escape her father’s brutality, Victoria eloped with an alcoholic doctor, 28-year old Canning Woodhull from a town outside of Rochester, New York. Dr. Woodhull was an Ohio medical doctor at a time when formal medical education and licensing were not required to practice medicine. He fathered a mentally retarded son, Byron and so botched the delivery of their daughter, Zulu (later Zula), that the baby nearly bled to death. After five grueling years, Victoria left him.

Victoria’s belief in the spirits enabled her to form alliances with such powerful men as Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, enabling her to become the first female Wall Street broker. She opened Woodhull, Claflin & Company in 1870 with the assistance of a wealthy benefactor, and her admirer, Cornelius Vanderbilt. She was also the first woman to found her own newspaper, Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, which stayed in publication for six years, and was notorious for publishing controversial opinions on taboo topics. The paper advocated, among other things, women’s suffrage, short skirts, spiritualism, free love, vegetarianism, and licensed prostitution. The paper is now known primarily for printing the first English version of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto in its December 30, 1871 edition. She spoke before Congress demanding that women be given the right to vote and finally, ran for U.S. President in 1872 against the popular incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant, and powerful newspaperman, Horace Greeley.

Victoria’s era was a difficult one for women, who had almost no rights to property or person. If a married woman worked, her wages were given directly to her husband. She could not dispose of her property upon death. If she divorced, she automatically forfeited custody of her children. Women could not enter universities, law schools or medical schools. They could not serve on juries, and they could not vote.

There were no laws to protect women from physical abuse at the hands of their husbands or fathers, although some states stipulated the size of the objects that might be used to inflict discipline. They had no right to deny their husbands sex. The professions open to women were few, domestic housework, factory work, teaching, prostitution and, for the privileged, writing.

Only women who committed adultery were subject to a jail sentence, not men. In 1868, Victoria Woodhull bravely instructed women to demand a single sexual standard and not to accept the view that sexual desire in females was vulgar. “What! Vulgar!” she said. “The instinct that creates immortal souls vulgar…be honest…it is not the possession of strong powers that is to be deprecated. They are that necessary part of human character.”

Victoria was a pioneer in diet, exercise, and dress. She adhered to the diet prescribed by Sylvester Graham (known for inventing Graham Crackers!). Graham was a sickly child and cured himself through proper nutrition. He recommended no alcohol, caffeine, meat, lard or other types of shortening. Victoria was a vegetarian.

Women of the day were thought desirable if they were delicate, frail, but Victoria advocated vigorous exercise. She rode horseback and walked at least three miles a day. She advocated drinking at least two pints of water a day and eating fresh fruits for good health.

She often wore men’s clothing and urged other women to do the same.

Victoria, used alternative medicine. She practiced homeopathy, a treatment begun by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who took a minuscule amount of a disease-causing agent and diluted it with liquid to create what he called a “spiritlike essence.” Dr. Hahnemann believed that when this substance was introduced into the body, the person would become immune to the disease. Victoria was also a well-known “magnetic healer.” The use of therapeutic magnets dates to the ancient Greeks, who used them to halt bleeding, soothe inflammation, purge infection and promote general healing.

Because Victoria Woodhull said what she thought and antagonized certain people, a campaign was organized against her. She was jailed repeatedly on charges of sending obscene material through the mail, and the press depicted her as “Mrs. Satan” and “The Prostitute Who Ran for President.”

She died on June 9, 1927 at Norton Park in Bredon’s Norton, Worcestershire, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom. She had moved there in October 1876. She met her third husband, banker John Biddulph Martin, and married him on October 31, 1883. From then on, she was known as Victoria Woodhull Martin. Under that name, she published a magazine called the Humanitarian from 1892 to 1901. As a widow, Woodhull gave up the publication of her magazine and retired to the country, establishing residence at Bredon’s Norton.

The End.

-Cara

The history of solar power is of interest to me, because again for some reason I have an innate interest in all things solar. In this entry I wrote about some of the forefathers of the solar power movement and in future entries I will bring us up to the present time.

Humans and the earth have used the sun as some sort of energy source since the beginning of time, but it was not until 1838 that Edmund Becquerel observed and published findings about the nature of certain materials to turn light into energy. This in itself did not really create much commotion, but it did bring the thought of harnessing the sun’s energy source to people’s mind.

Thirty years later between 1860 and 1881, Auguste Mouchout, a mathematics instructor at the Lyce de Tours, became the first man to patent a design for a motor running on solar energy. This invention was born out of his his concerns over his country’s dependence on coal. “It would be prudent and wise not to fall asleep regarding this quasi-security,” he wrote. “Eventually industry will no longer find in Europe the resources to satisfy its prodigious expansion. Coal will undoubtedly be used up. What will industry do then?” Well we know what they do, they discover other nonrenewable sources of energy like oil and natural gas to use up, and once that is gone then will we turn to sun and wind for our main source of energy? The issue “they” see with that is they have not figured out a way to turn an obscenely grandiose profit off the sun and air, but I would not worry too much as I am sure General Electric is working on buying the sun as we speak.

Anyway, Mouchout received funds from the French Emperor Napoleon III and with those funds he designed a device that turned solar energy into mechanical steam power and soon operated the first steam engine. He later connected the steam engine to a refrigeration device, illustrating that the sun’s rays can be utilized to make ice, for which he was awarded an awesome French Medal of Super Freshness [I tried to discover, briefly, what medal it was he won, but to no avail, so yes I did invent the French medal of Super Freshness incase you weren’t sure.]!

Unfortunately, his groundbreaking research was cut short. The French renegotiated a cheaper deal with England for the supply of coal and improved their transportation system for the delivery thereof. Mouchout’s work towards finding an alternative source of energy was not considered a priority anymore and he no longer received any funding from the Napoleon V3 [ah, isn’t that the way things go?].

I will end our solar history lesson there for today and hope you have enjoyed it so far, more to follow!

Let the sun shine in.

-Cara


Reason 80 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In the early twentieth century man learned how to extract nitrogen (fertilizer) from the air, cheaply and in large quantities. The discovery ultimately allowed 2 billion more people to inhabit the Earth and has given humans the luxury of feeding crops to livestock. Yet what gives the world abundance has, by way of nutrient runoff and acid rain, poisoned waterways from the Chinese countryside to the Ohio Valley. (Excess nitrogen promotes algae growth, robbing the water of oxygen.) In North America and Europe, lakes and rivers contain 20 times the nitrogen they did before the Industrial Revolution.

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