Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pieces of our past -- Part 2

We go through modern life, often not remembering when the ordinary about us was anything but that. We've just "always had" running water, paved highways and television, right?

Sometime in 1926, the federal government gave radio station WKBV the right to broadcast at any time it wanted. The Brookville newspapers carried the "good news to the listeners of WKBV." The station manager, William Knox, said that "due to the consideration for the listeners of this community," the station would broadcast only one night a week, even though licensed to be "on the air at any time if he so desires."

The status of radio in those early days is perhaps alien to us now, but the government kept a tight rein on the medium.

For the record, WKBV's origin was Brookville. A few years after he set up shop, Knox moved his station to Connersville, probably to take advantage of more advertising opportunities. Later, the station moved its transmitter to Richmond, where it broadcasts today on 1490 on the AM band.

The letters WKBV actually stand for "William Knox, Brook-Ville."

*   *   *

Ah, electronics .... Franklin County prepared for the 1950s like all other towns did, by installing better street lights, sewers and traffic signals.

In 1950, the good news came for Sheriff Jim Hixon.

Franklin County
Sheriff To Get
Two-Way Radio

"The County Council approved a special appropriation of $2,500 ... for the purchase of a two-way radio for the department.

"Plans call for the installation of a central transmitter in the sheriff's office in the Court House, a remote control line to the jail and a receiver and transmitter for the sheriff's car. Thus the sheriff making a run could be in instant touch with the office, which in turn could contact state police at Connersville, Rushville and Shelbyville. In order to operate the station, Sheriff Hixon would have to apply to the Federal Communications Commission for an operator's license. Lawrenceburg and several nearby community are also installing sheriff's radios."

Another $600 would let the Brookville town police hook up with Hixon, the report continued. That was to require a different meeting, a different council and a different budget.

Again, federal oversight of radio communications, a system that is still largely intact today.

*   *   *

The tooth, the whole tooth .... a voluntary program in the fall of 1950 proposed to take advantage of new science in dental hygiene.

Hey! Kids! Look What It
Says - No Toothaches

"A lot of kids in Brookville are going to have fewer toothaches if they take advantage of the opportunity to have sodium fluoride applied to their teeth this summer.

"Letters and request slips will be sent home .... Parents are urged to cooperate in signing and returning the request slips. There will be no charge for the application.

"A series of four applications of a 2% solution of sodium fluoride when applied to children's teeth will reduce the incidence of decay by at least 40%. Children in grades one to eight and pre-school children who will be eligible for school in September, will receive this treatment.

"School buses will be provided to bring children from rural communities into the Lew Wallace School for treatment. Cards will be sent to parents informing them of the date and time their children will be picked up."

Curiously, it would be another 5 years before Procter and Gamble committed funds to researching a fluoride-based toothpaste. A mid-50s study at Indiana University finally netted the first stannous-fluoride toothpaste, Crest.

*   *   *

Beware of the bite .... The early 1950s were a test for Whitewater Valley residents, one that had potentially fatal consequences.

Health Officer
Issues Warning
About Rabies

"Dr. H.N. Smith, Franklin County health officer, has issued the following statement regarding rabies being prevalent here and in other counties.

"Rabies is very common in animals and in our county several dogs have been killed with the disease. In man, rabies is fatal. One exposed to a rabid animal can be protected by taking vaccine.

"People should be careful of all stray dogs. If your dog does not act natural he should be penned up. If the animal is alive at the end of a week, he does not have rabies. If someone has been exposed to a rabid animal, the head should immediately be sent to the State Board of Health for examination.

"In destroying a rabid animal, do not destroy the brain as this is the only organ where the disease can be diagnosed.

"To protect you and your children, all stray dogs not muzzled will be destroyed by the Sheriff or any officer."

Dr. Smith did not mention a rabies vaccine administered to animals. Hell, we never paid any attention to stray dogs in Fairfield.

Too late now.


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