Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 28° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Local man’s gasoline locomotive eyed for trench warfare

A Spokane man’s invention was underconsideration for use in trench warfare on the Front. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A Spokane man’s invention was underconsideration for use in trench warfare on the Front. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A new gasoline locomotive invented by a Spokane man was under consideration for use in trench warfare in France.

Inventor R.L. Dickerson said he had already built three of the locomotives in his Western Iron Works factory for use in mine and tunnel work, and more were under construction.

The locomotives had three speeds each way, forward and back, and the operator shifted gears as in an auto.

From the war beat: Mrs. Ches Thuness, a London pianist, visited Spokane and told reporters, “London’s all right, but America is better, after months of dodging the bombs of Zeppelin raids across the waters.”

She said the English people do not seem to be bothered by the possibility of a raid at any time – but they walk with their eyes cast skyward.

She was married to a Spokane man, a violinist, and played concerts all over the world under the stage name “Rita Varr and Ches Tunis, pianist and violinist.”

From the movie beat: Evelyn Brent, one of the “beauties of filmdom,” arrived in Spokane to take the ingenue role of Nancy in the Washington Motion Picture Corp.’s first production at its Minnehaha studios.

The Spokesman-Review described her as “a brunette with unusually clean-cut features, graceful and of ideal slenderness.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.