Underwear sales can be economic indicator

Q: When did underwear become part of one’s apparel? — Anonymous.
A: Both genders almost always have worn underwear, including “bloomers,” popularized by women’s advocate Amelia Jenks Bloomer in the late 1850s, and the 1868 “union suit,” with the buttoned flap in the back.
In 2008, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan revealed men’s underwear is an economic indicator.
Men, he said, will buy underwear in good times, but will wear worn underwear if they fear bad times. Sure enough, when things went down in 2008, men’s underwear sales dropped 12 percent.
Any glance at women’s underwear must include a brief about Carl Cary “C.C.” Anderson, once a Fremont salesman.
In 1904, he opened the C.C. Anderson Underwear Co. at 118 E. North St., Fostoria, to take advantage of the trend toward mass-produced clothing.
There, about 300 seamstresses worked six days a week producing chemises, which sold for up to 70 cents, and petticoats, which sold for up to $1.
After hiring nearly all the Fostoria women available, Anderson added a Findlay factory with 200 jobs in 1905, expanding the three-story Smith & Maginnis Block building at 820 N. Main St., which still stands.
Then a big man in underwear, he planned a 200-worker factory in McComb, but the bottom fell out.
Anderson was elected to Congress in 1908 and left the business behind. Successors at the renamed Ohio Muslin Underwear Co. found a $200,000 debt, mostly loans to Anderson made in the company’s name.
They filed for bankruptcy in 1909. Three years later, at age 35, Anderson was killed in a car accident while campaigning near New Riegel. — Mark Donaldson, Hancock Historical Museum, Findlay; various sources.
Q: Why does my newspaper sometimes not have inserts such as Parade, Dash, Athlon Sports or American Profile? — Anonymous.
A: It means our inserting machine failed to do its job.
It is supposed to “stuff” pre-printed inserts, including advertising inserts, into every newspaper as they come off our press.
Sometimes, the machine misses one, but catches its mistake. Sometimes, it doesn’t. It often runs so fast that operators don’t catch it either.
A carrier occasionally adds a missing insert, but they, too, are hard to spot.
Solution? If you’re missing any insert, call us at 419-422-5151.
Q: Have another of the language’s 10 best sentences from “The American Scholar”?
A: From “The Things They Carried,” stories from the Vietnam War, by Tim O’Brien, 1990:
“In many ways, he was like America itself, big and strong, full of good intentions, a roll of fat jiggling at his belly, slow of foot but always plodding along, always there when you needed him, a believer in the virtues of simplicity and directness and hard labor.”
Q: Where did Rx, meaning a prescription, come from?
A: Most say Rx is from the Latin word recipe, meaning “take.”
Others, however, say it comes from the Eye of Horus, an ancient Egyptian symbol associated with healing powers. — History.com.
Q: What did Mark Twain (1835-1910) say?
A: “We have not the reverent feeling for the rainbow that the (native American) has because we know how it is made. We have lost as much as we gained by prying into that matter.”
Pry as you like to Send an E-mail to justask, or Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.


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