This branch of the Austrian Hesch family is descended from Johann Hesch and his wife Marya (Schlinz) Hesch, who came to America from Oberschlagles, Bohemia with three sons: Paul, Mathias, and Anton. +++Johann & Marya settled in Buffalo County, Wisconsin but moved to Pierz, Mn in about 1885. .+++Mathias settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin and moved to Pierz in 1911. +++Anton never married but farmed with his dad in Agram Township, where he died in 1911.+++And Paul, my great grandfather, settled five miles away, in Buckman, Minnesota. He died there in 1900.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Technical World in 1905

"Look out, Mercury!  You'll get a shock!"
It's fascinating to read what the newest, most exciting technologies were in 1905, and how well they were understood (or not)  by the staff writers at Technical World Magazine.  It eventually became Popular Mechanics magazine, so features that worked here were kept...i.e., a few pages of recent inventions that were published with what seems to be no skepticism whatsoever, and of  course, the pages and pages of ads for all things technical were included from the get-go.

Anyway, we're trying to figure out when cars became a fairly normal sight in Buckman.
Yeah, it'd be well after publicity stunts like this happened in Michigan, but still before 1927 or so, since that's when Mom said she learned to drive, at the age of 12.  She talked, too, about being in a car accident when she was still a teenager--someone named Zupfer smacked into her in Buckman, and her left upper arm ached sometimes because of was her "Zupfer Arm" all her life.  So, there were other cars around by then...

 THIS is the scientific method we use to date stuff in Hesch history, see?
I didn't realize that the Duluth Aerial bridge was built 106 years ago.  Reading the article, I think the writer didn't understand the concept of a lift bridge, or how ships could pass under it--it's referred to as a ferry bridge, and that "this method of crossing streams would gain popularity in America".  The writer spouted gibberish for more than a page!

OK, here's what Wikipedia has to say about the Duluth lift bridge:

Several different transportation methods were tried, though they were complicated by the weather.  Ferries could work in the summer, but ice caused problems in colder months. A swinging footbridge was used, but was considered rather rickety and unsafe......
....New plans were later drawn up for a structure that would ferry people from one side to the other. This type of span, which is known variously as an aerial transfer, ferry, or transporter bridge......
When it was completed in 1905, the Aerial Bridge's gondola had a capacity of 60 short tons...and could carry 350 people plus wagons, streetcars or automobiles. A trip across the canal took about one minute, and the ferry car moved across once every five minutes during busy times of the day.  However, a growing population on Minnesota Point, a greater demand for cars, and an increase in tourism soon meant that the bridge's capacity was being stretched to the limit.

The Aerial Lift Bridge dominates the Canal Park skyline. (2005)
A remodeling was planned that would remove the gondola and incorporate a lifting platform into the structure.....Reconstruction began in 1929.  In order to ensure that tall ships could still pass under the bridge, the top span had to be raised to accommodate the new deck when raised. The support columns on either side were also modified so that they could hold new counterweights to balance the weight of the lifting portion. The new bridge first lifted for a vessel on March 29, 1930.
The bridge can be raised to its full height in about 3 minutes, and goes up 25 to 30 times daily during busy parts of the shipping season. The span is about 390 feet, or 120 meters. As ships pass, there is a customary horn-blowing sequence which is copied back. Long-short-long-short means to raise the bridge, and Long-short-short is a friendly salute.

 I still think the Technical World writer didn't have a

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