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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: New details emerged on the dangerous ‘weight-reducing machine’ that trapped a woman and broke her arm

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

More details emerged about the “weight-reducing machine” that went haywire in a Spokane clinic, badly injuring an unfortunate patient.

The Gardner Reducing Method machine consisted of “more than 100 round sticks, approximately an inch and a half in diameter, attached at both ends to heavy endless metal chains.”

“The sticks roll around freely, giving a kneading effect,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle wrote. “By means of a lever, the operator of the machine puts the desired rotary compression on the patient, who is seated in the midst of the revolving rollers.”

Unless, of course, the poor patient gets tangled in the sticks and chains, which is what happened in this case. Emergency responders found the woman caught tight in the machine, her left arm broken and painfully bruised.

The woman once again refused to divulge her name. Who can blame her?

From the character beat: In a recurring section titled “Facts and Fancies of Interest to Women,” a writer attempted to dispel a gross generalization about the character of blondes – and then proceeded to spread a long list of other gross generalizations.

“Belief that blonds are fickle has gained wide credence among persons who do not understand them,” wrote the author. “Although no more fickle than brunettes, they do love variety. Blonds have more ideas, are radiant, active, quick-thinking and always ‘on the go,’ but are inclined to avoid tasks that require concentration on one thing for a long period. … Blonds seldom are deep students, although they acquire a general knowledge of many subjects.”

The writer went on to say that “blonds are good mixers, make friends readily, are usually optimistic, creative, sociable and are excellent leaders.”

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