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Observations from the archives, 1914: Edison phonograph demonstrated

1914, 100 years ago: The matter of hiring teachers was again one of the principal matters up for consideration at the school board meeting in Alexandria. Many of the present teachers have offers from other schools, which they consider promotions and may accept. … I.J. Jacobson, Jeweler, Evansville, advertised a concert Edison phonograph: “It will make your home more attractive.” Jacobson will gladly demonstrate this wonderful instrument with a variety of Edison machines and records. Prices range from $22 to $90. Edison Blue Amberol records are 50 cents each.

1964, 50 years ago: Vernon Maack, director of the Alexandria Area Technical School, announced that a medical laboratory assistant course will be offered starting in July. … An opportunity to view the latest in home furnishings, appliances and equipment will be at the Paris-themed home show, “Le Exposition Alexandria.” Grand prize for the show is a Magnavox, now on display at Carlson’s Music Center. … Theodore Lee went to work for Parkers Prairie Boat Works in 1927 and purchased the business five years ago. Every spring he starts the current year’s quota of cedar-strip fishing boats with rough cedar planks in five-quarter-inch thickness, which are then ripped into the one-half inch slats that are used. He says that 1,000 board feet of cedar will yield eight of his 16-foot hunting boats.

1989, 25 years ago: Howard Fremling, president of Howie’s Oil, a wholesale gas supplier based in Alexandria, said gas price increases began after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced a 20 percent cutback in production late last year and the price of crude oil increased to more than $22 a barrel. He explained that an OPEC production cutback causes worldwide oil prices to increase and in turn, wholesalers pass on the increases to retailers, who then raise gas prices at local pumps. Many have blamed the nation’s worst oil spill near Valdez, Alaska on the price increases. … Twenty-three French students departed Alexandria for two weeks in France on the Intercultural Student Experiences (ISE) sponsored tour. Anne Riggs and Doug Sandberg, instructors, are accompanying the group.

2004, 10 years ago: Kevin J. Kopischke, who has served as vice president of the Alexandria Technical College since 1991, is one of three finalists for president. His name has been advanced to the chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), James H. McCormick. … Since the resort heyday of the 1960s and 1970s, when as many as 200 resorts dotted the Douglas County lakeshores, the number has fallen steadily. Today, fewer than 60 remain in the county said Lakes Area Marketing Inc. group chair Joe Martin, who owns and operates Big Foot Resort on Lake Mary.

Just for fun – 1914, 100 years ago: Peck and Henderson will carry a complete line of bakery goods, ice cream and fruit, and serve light lunches. This will be known as the Quality Bakery and Lunch Room, living up to their new motto of cleanliness. … 1964, 50 years ago: A total of 24 diamond hopefuls have reported for snow-hampered baseball drills at the Brandon High School. Lettermen include Pat Shea, John Roers, Doug Hopfner, Charles Lorsung and Mike Ziegelman, who are all juniors.

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Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.