02 December 2014

November 30th

This is my November 30th post.  Yes, it is a bit late.  I could tell you about the inclement weather and power outages, but my guess is a bit of old-fashioned laziness!  My bad.  But the power did go out!  Anyway...

November 30 has two odd, but cool anniversaries.  Both events should have been windfalls for the people involved, but as fate often has it, both individuals died broke. 

On November 30, 1858, John Landis Mason invented the Mason jar.  Well, technically, he invented a jar with external screw threads that allowed for a metal lid with a hermetic seal to be screwed onto the jar.  This make canning much more safe and accessible.  If it had not been for Mason, no one in Brooklyn would have anything to drink out of, not to mention all those canning blogs that would have to fold! 

I am sure you get at least one link a day on Facebook telling you all the nifty ways one might use a Mason jar. ( FUN FACT:  All Ball jars are Mason jars, but not all Mason jars are Ball jars. ) Still, John Landis Mason died broke.  His patent expired in 1879 and and he expired in 1902.  Sad but true.

On November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges became the first and only person ever hit by a meteorite. ( Well, maybe there was a kid in Africa, but we like "first and only" better and we have never seen his bruise.) I am rather fond of this story because it occurred in Sylacauga, Alabama, my sort of hometown.  I often drove past the actual house where the meteorite crashed through the roof. 

So this particular day in 1954, Ann Hodges was napping on the sofa when she heard a crashing noise, the meteorite came through the roof, destroyed the radio and hit Hodges, leaving the enormous bruise; after all the space chunk was a good 8 pounds!  After much Cold War paranoia,  the rock was returned to Hodges, who could have sold it for big bucks...but there was a glitch. She rented the house and the owner claimed the rock was hers.  So they fought over it until no one wanted it.  Hodges ended up giving it to a museum and then having a nervous breakdown, leading to and early death.

Needless to say, this was about the biggest thing that ever happened to Sylacauga... until Jim Neighbors became Gomer Pyle!

The moral of this story is:  if you get hit be a meteorite and you are a renter, share the wealth!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin