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Saturday, September 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: State rests in Wobbly buttons case

The state concluded its case against 28 members of the Industrial Workers of the World –  Wobblies, as they were known – for the crime of wearing Wobbly buttons, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
The state concluded its case against 28 members of the Industrial Workers of the World – Wobblies, as they were known – for the crime of wearing Wobbly buttons, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

The state concluded its case against 28 members of the Industrial Workers of the World – Wobblies, as they were known – for the crime of wearing Wobbly buttons.

The prosecutors submitted a sheaf of radical Wobbly literature, which they said proved that the Wobblies were in favor of insurrection and sabotage.

George Vanderveer, the Wobblies’ attorney, said that this literature was outdated and no longer represented the Wobbly position.

Vanderveer was preparing to present his case, which he said would prove that the defendants were not disloyal or advocates of violence.

The men were arrested under a controversial new law that prohibited the display of banners, stickers or buttons for radical organizations. The constitutionality of this law had yet to be tested.

From the electricity beat: The Washington Water Power Co. took out an advertisement promoting a new and exciting concept: “Cook With Wire – Instead of Fire.”

The company was touting the new Westinghouse Electric Range, which had some innovative features. “It has a thermostat which turns off the heat when it reaches the desired temperature.” This concept surely appealed to people who had spent their lives fiddling with wood and dampers.

The new stove also had a “a clock you can set – and at the time designated, the current will turn on.”

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