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Friday, October 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: City wins seized German cannon in World War I Victory bond drive

UPDATED: Fri., May 24, 2019, 7:28 a.m.

Spokane came from behind on the final day of competition in the sales of Victory bonds and won a seized German cannon, the Spokesman-Review reported on May 24, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane came from behind on the final day of competition in the sales of Victory bonds and won a seized German cannon, the Spokesman-Review reported on May 24, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane came from behind on the final day of competition and won a seized German cannon.

Communities across the United States had been in a frenzy promoting the sales of Victory bonds for weeks. The bonds were used to help pay for the the country’s involvement in World War I. Quotas were set for cities and those that exceeded them had a chance to win a cannon.

Spokane was competing with other western cities of between 75,000 and 200,000 people: Tacoma, Oakland and Salt Lake City. All those cities topped 100% of their quota. Tacoma was said to have had an insurmountable lead but Spokane had a strong finish topping the other cities by selling 111.4% of its quota. There was no word what Spokane would do with the cannon.

From the transportation beat: The Berry Airship company was planning to test a new kind of dirigible in Spokane that included a new invention.

H.C. Berry, president of the company, said the blimp, 150 feet by 30 feet, would be equipped “with my invention for the displacement of air to produce additional driving power.” He hired Lt. J.B. Vail, “a recognized engineer and aviator who fought over the German lines for months” to take the first flight.

“With this dirigible equipped with my air-displacement invention it would be possible to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 12 to 14 hours without a stop, as numerous models, some of them weighing 3,000 pounds have demonstrated,” Berry said.

From the innovation beat: The Inland Concrete Flower Pot factory on Freya Street had begun production of a “no-ice food cooler.”

W.E. Parmelee, manager of the company, said to make it work, a container inside the cooler needed to be filled with water each morning.

“The entire principle of this is evaporation. The hotter the day, the cooler the inside of this jar – for the more evaporation there is of the water, the lower the temperature of the air right around the evaporating water.”

Jim Kershner is on sabbatical.

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