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100 years ago in Spokane: Turkeys found to be inflated with bicycle pumps

From our archives,

100 years ago

Spokane’s health officer said he had discovered a new and insidious Thanksgiving scam.

Some local grocers were inflating their turkeys with bicycle pumps.

This made scrawny turkeys look nice and plump.

Apparently, the grocers were sticking a hollow needle under the skin of the turkey and then pumping air into them.

“We would advise the public to look over the turkeys and press them with their fingers,” said the health officer. “If the impression puffs right out after the finger is lifted, it is pretty certain that air is underneath the skin.”

One grocer who was caught with an inflated turkey said that it was only for “advertising purposes” for birds on display and he was not actually selling these turkeys to the public.

From the puppy love beat: An editorial in The Spokesman-Review warned of a growing high school “evil”: Undue familiarity between boys and girls.

“In every city, tragic instances are recounted in whispers of young lives wrecked” through undue familiarity.

The editors said students might accuse them of “old-fogeyism,” yet it was imperative that school officials enforce “modesty of dress” and “avoidance of social engagements” on weeknights.


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