One thing I am enjoying about our time away from home here in Arizona is that it gives me space to work on the middle grade novel I am writing. Since the novel in set in 1907 I often have to look up facts and answers to questions . Here’s some neat stuff I’ve learned.
When pigs are in danger they bark. They squeal when they are happy and bark when they are scared.
The most common names for girls in 1907 were Mary, Margaret, Helen and Anna followed closely by Ruth and Dorothy, my mother’s name.
Most barns were red in the early 1900s and the reason why is because farmers often added ferrous oxide, or rust, to the linseed oil they used to paint their barns. Rust was plentiful on farms and acted as a poison to many fungi, including mold and moss, which were known to grow on barns. These fungi could trap moisture in the wood, increasing decay so getting rid of it was important. Teddy Roosevelt was the American President and in 1907 he was signing what came to be known as the Gentlemen’s Agreement with Japan. Large numbers of Japanese people were immigrating to the United States as laborers and in San Francisco the school board had begun to create segregated schools for Japanese children. This angered the Japanese. So they signed an agreement saying they would limit the number of people they gave passports to for American immigration purposes and in return President Roosevelt promised to end racial segregation in San Francisco schools.
A ‘sack and back’ boy was someone who worked in a flour mill carrying sacks of flour on his back and the biggest problem in mills in the early 1900s was rodents like mice and rats. Many millers in small communities also served as the town blacksmith.
A couple of women in my writing group are posting the number of words they write each day on their novels. I have set my own little goal of 500 words. I am not achieving that everyday but in my first week in Arizona I have written a whole chapter. Doing all the research takes extra time and sometimes I get so engrossed in it I don’t do much writing but it sure is interesting.