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Part 5 : In October, Tribuna Sanford’s 2-month birthday passed without celebration. The little foundling had been ill for a few weeks. The doctor blamed a change in diet. It seemed certain that the girl would recover soon.
[read part 1] | [read part 2] | [read part 3] | [read part 4]
Alas, a change in diet was not to blame. On Nov. 5, the Tribune reported this heart-breaking development:
Surgery circa 1915: A patient at St. Barnabas Hospital in Minneapolis is surrounded by doctors and nurses, most of whom appear to be observers, none of whom were wearing masks.
"The watchful crowd in the balcony," according to the caption accompanying the photo, "is most likely composed of hospital benefactors and community dignitaries. It was not uncommon for hospitals to perform exposition surgeries when the surgeon was famed for successfully completing a new or difficult procedure or when the surgical case was unusual. A portion of this photograph around the patient has been purposely obscured by the photographer, but judging by the small size of the leg being held by one of the attending physicians it is likely this operation is being performed on a child."
(Image courtesy of Metropolitan Medical Center Historical Library)
More to come ... Part 6: A happy Christmas.
From the Minneapolis Tribune, a disappointingly brief report on the health risks of swapping gum and the educational benefits of allowing fresh air into classrooms:
|A photo from about 1918 -- note the Junior Red Cross poster on the wall -- shows students in a Minnesota classroom learning to wash their hands. (Image courtesy of Hennepin County Library's Minneapolis Collection)
|A school in Chippewa County, Minn., in about 1915. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)
Be sure to catch Kim Ode’s marvelous piece on the canoe craze of the early 1900s in Minneapolis. “At one time,” she writes, “the number of couples cuddling in canoes grabbed headlines, spawned park police patrols and saw metaphorical lines drawn in the sand about naughty boat names such as Kismekwik, Skwizmtyt (sound it out) or Kumonin Kid.”A Tribune story from 1912 lists more of the names declared by the Minneapolis Park Board to be unacceptable:
Owners to Be Notified at End of Season to Rename Craft.
|Canoes packed with paddlers packed Lake Calhoun in about 1912. (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)
|The gents in this postcard from about 1912 seem nice enough. But wearing a tie instead of a life jackets shows poor judgment. Am I wrong, ladies? (Image courtesy of mnhs.org)
Part 4: Nearly two weeks after she was left on the counter of a Minneapolis confectionery, the little foundling continued to be the talk of the town. This update appeared on Page 5 of the Tribune.
[read part 1] | [read part 2] | [read part 3]
This story snapped and slithered its way onto the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune:
Trainer in Danger from Fangs of Big Rattler He Was Showing.
Same Reptile Slinks Into the Lake Street Station in Afternoon.
The skepticism of a visitor at the “Reptile World” show at the Lake Street festival last night came near causing the death of Montana Jack, snake trainer. He was bitten by a poisonous rattlesnake when he attempt to prove that the reptile had not been defanged.
“Jack” was demonstrating methods of handling the snakes to a crowd, when one spectator declared that the reptiles had all been deprived of their fangs and that they were perfectly harmless. Grabbing the largest of the dozen rattlers from the bottom of the pit, Jack declared he would prove that the snakes were poisonous.
In forcing open the snake’s mouth it slipped from his grasp for a moment and buried its fangs in the fleshy part of the man’s left arm.
He wanted to treat the bite by his own method, but the police took him to Dr. George E. Thomas. He will recover.
Yesterday afternoon half a dozen policemen in the Fifth precinct station believed they were “seeing things” when the same snake, which had escaped from the tent, slid into the station. There was a scramble for the doors and tops of desks and chairs, and for a few minutes the rattler was in full control of the situation. Then it continued on its way and noiselessly slid out of the rear door into the alley.
It was captured a short time afterward in the grass in the rear of 3032 Third avenue south.
I was unable to find a photo of Montana Jack or any other snake handler of the early 1900s in the Star Tribune's rich archive of photos. But -- snakes alive! -- how about the caption on the back of this 1937 photo: "Radioman from KSTP interviewing a cobra snake." Tell us more, dear archives, tell us more!