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Great Days in Dayton 18
Turn of the Century

“Great Days in Dayton”

Reproduced on these pages is the full script of a “Great Days in Dayton” broadcast.  All music and sound effect “cues” are indicated just as they appear on the working scripts used by the cast.  The sponsor hopes that you will find interesting these dramatized episodes from the life story of your city.

“Great Days in Dayton” is a Presentation sponsored by

The Dayton Power and Light Company





[Theme.  Starts fortissimo, then fades behind…]


ANNOUNCER:  “Great Days in Dayton!”


[Music:  Swells and fades behind…]

ANNOUNCER:  Each Sunday afternoon at this hour we turn back the pages of history to present, in play form, a chapter from the story of Dayton.  We hear the voices of Daytonians of long ago; we re-live with them events which had much to do with building the Dayton we know today.  We believe that these historical dramas have brought to present-day Daytonians a better knowledge and understanding of our city’s past.  Yet this has not been the principal purpose of these programs.  What we have tried to show, more than historic event, has been the part played by a conscious civic spirit in the development and growth of our community.  It is the belief of our sponsors, The Dayton Power and Light company, that the future of Dayton lies in the hands of every one of us …that if we keep alive and even strengthen our will toward civic advancement, Dayton will be assured of future achievements still greater than those of the past.  (PAUSE).  And now for today’s play, which will be introduced by your narrator, Mr. Charles McLean.                 

   MUSIC [Swells and fades behind…]

NARRATOR:  The latter years of the Nineteenth Century witnessed the steady development of Dayton’s community life.  Our recent plays have shown how our city government greatly improved the police and fire service, giving them a professional status which assured new standards of public safety.  During the same period Dayton saw its first paved streets.  Thoroughfares which were deserts of dust in dry weather, and muddy bogs when it rained, began to show surfaces of brick and wood block.  The use of electricity increased rapidly, and perhaps its outstanding manifestation was found in the electric street car, which soon replaced the old horse cars on all save the least traveled lines.  The Miami and Erie Canal, which had served as a principal means of transportation and an important source of wealth for more than half a century, came at last to the end of its usefulness.  Rail transportation, with its much greater speed, finally did away with the slow-moving canal boats.  (PAUSE.)  Other changes took place in our community toward the turn of the century, and some of these we present in today’s play.  As usual, and for obvious reasons, some of the characters in our story are fictional, though others are taken from real life.  (PAUSE.)  We take our first episode today from the marking of an important milestone in Dayton’s cultural advancement…the establishment of our public library in a permanent home of its own.  Many Daytonians now living will remember Miss Electra Doran, who served the Dayton libraries for nearly half a century, and whose devotion to her work was largely responsible for the excellence of our libraries today.  We join Miss Doran on an evening in January, 1888, as the dinner guest of her friends, Alice and Paul Fisher.  [Music: Fades out.]



   [Table sounds.]

ALICE:  I didn’t realize, Electra, that Dayton has had public libraries almost since its beginning.

PAUL:  Neither did I.  But then I’ve never been much on libraries.  All those books…they sort of scare me.

ELECTRA:  Paul, they don’t.  And, anyway, they shouldn’t.  They’re our books.  They belong to you as much as to anyone in Dayton.  Our library is really public now, though it wasn’t in the beginning.  Still, there were Dayton citizens in the very earliest days who saw that books could play an important part in Dayton’s community life.  There were Benjamin Van Cleve, Reverend William Robertson, Dr. John Elliott, William Miller, and John Folkerth.  They were the true founders of our libraries.  More than eighty years ago, back in 1805, they founded the first library society in Dayton.  [Fades out and in.}



VAN CLEVE:  Whereas, the establishment of public libraries tends to promote useful knowledge and is conducive to the good and happiness of society, the subscribers do hereby associate themselves into the Social Library Society of Dayton.

ELLIOTT:  That’s a good preamble, Ben, but I wonder if we couldn’t make it the public library society of Dayton.  Maybe we could get the town council to support it with tax funds.

ROBERTSON:  I’m afraid of that, Dr. Elliott.   People feel that we’re pretty heavily burdened with taxes now, and I’m afraid that the voters would balk at supporting a library from public funds.

VAN CLEVE:  I agree with that, Reverend Robertson.  We’re chartered as a library society under the state law…the first library to be chartered in Ohio…and later on that will give us a good reason to ask for public support.  But for the present, I think we’ll have to operate privately.

ELLIOTT:  But we’re not going to restrict the membership, are we?

VAN CLEVE:  Oh, no.  Anyone who pays the annual subscription fee can be a member of the society and use our books.

ROBERTSON:  We’d better have some rules to protect books.  They’re valuable, and they’re hard to get.

VAN CLEVER:  Yes, I think so.  We won’t have many books to start with, so I think we’d better limit all members to taking out one book at a time.

ELLIOTT:  So do I.  And no one should keep a book for more than three months.  If they keep it any longer, they should be fined. 

ROBERTSON:  How about damage to books?  Lots of people are pretty careless.

VAN CLEVE:  I know.  I’ve written a rule to cover that.  Here it is:  [Reads.]  Damage done to a book while in the hands of a member shall be assessed by the librarian at the rate of three cents for a drop of tallow on a page, or for folding down a leaf, and so in proportion for any other damage.

ELLIOTT:  That sounds fair to me.  Now, where are we going to keep our books?

VAN CLEVE:  Newcom’s Tavern, I suppose.  That’s convenient for everyone.

ROBERTSON:  Too convenient, if you ask me.  And George Newcom has too much to do to keep his eyes on a shelf full of books.  I think we should keep them at your house, Ben.

VAN CLEVE:  But I live on the very edge of town, the corner of First and St. Clair Streets.

ELLIOTT:  Anyone who can’t walk that far doesn’t want to read a book very badly.   I agree with Mr. Robertson.  The books should be kept at your house, Ben.  People have to go there anyway to get their letters.

ROBERTSON:  That’s right.  Benjamin Van Cleve…postmaster and librarian of Dayton.

ELLIOTT:  And schoolmaster, too.  You’ll be right busy, Ben.

VAN CLEVE:  I certainly will.  It makes me wonder how I’m going to get any farming done.  Still, I’m sure a library will be a good thing for Dayton, and I guess I can handle the extra work.  [Fade out and in.]



ELECTA:  So you see, our libraries do go a long way back, and we really trace back to them because their books were always passed on to each new library association.  After the first one disbanded there was the Dayton Lyceum Association, organized in 1833.  They were very active, had meetings every week.  Their old programs list lectures, essays and discussions on all subjects except theology and the politics of the day.

PAUL:  That’s a good idea.  I wish we could put it into effect in our new Board of Trade.  It seems to me that no sooner do we get a good discussion going on business in Dayton than someone has to introduce politics.  After that, it’s a free-for-all.

ALICE:  You should spend your evenings at the library, instead, Paul.  It’s quiet there.

PAUL:  I tell you I’m afraid of books.  Classics…Shakespeare and Milton and…all the rest of them.  Now, if you had some good books on industrial subjects, I’d be interested.  I’d like to know what other manufacturers are doing about gasoline engine design, particularly with a view to the horseless carriage.   I’m doing some experimenting myself at the factory and…

ELECTRA:  But we have, Paul.  And we’re going to have more.  A public library isn’t meant to supply just the classics…at least ours is not.  In the ten years I’ve been at the library, we’ve been working all the time toward a better collection of books that will be interesting and valuable to Dayton industries. We think that’s a very important part of a library’s duty, especially in a city like Dayton, where there are so many factories.

PAUL:  Will the factory people come in for your books?

ELECTRA:  You will, won’t you, now that you know we have them.  And so will others.  But we’re not going to wait for them to come.  I have an idea that a public library shouldn’t be a place where books are kept.  Instead, it should be a place from which books go out.  The books we circulate are the ones that do good, not the books that stay on the shelves.  We’re making plans to find out just what books each factory needs and then get those books.  And, once we have them, we’ll take them directly to the factories and set up small branch libraries…make reading and study just as easy as we can.

ALICE:  Can you do the same thing for the schools?

ELECTRA:  Of course.  We have thousands of books that should be circulated in every school in Dayton, and in the township and county schools.  Some day, if I can persuade the library board to do it, we’ll have wagons that will take our books out…bring them to the people’s attention, instead of waiting for people to come in and ask for them

PAUL:  I passed the new library building this morning.  It looks big enough to hold all the books in the world.

ELECTRA:  It’s big enough now.  We have only about twenty-five thousand books.  But I want to see the library grow and grow until the new building is much too small.

ALICE:  I suppose we’d better start if we’re going to be in time for the exercises.  It’s almost eight o’clock now.

ELECTRA:  Oh, yes, I had no idea it was so late.

ALICE:  Now, Paul, remember…you promised to go.

PAUL:  Yes, yes, I’m going with you.  Though I warn you…I won’t feel at all at home in a library.  I’ll probably go to sleep during the middle of someone’s speech.

ALICE:  You’d better not.  [Fade out and in.] 



[Buzz of conversation.]


VOICE:  Ladies and gentlemen:  It is a pleasure to introduce the president of our library board, Mr. Charles H. Kumler, who will tell us something of our new library building.  [Applause.]

KUMLER:  Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen.  (PAUSE.)  Wisdom hath at last built for it a house, and we meet tonight to exchange congratulations over its completion, and by these ceremonies to dedicate this structure to those uses for which it was reared.  The erection of a building solely for the uses of the library was for years the leading thought of its friends.  No definite action was taken, however, until August, 1883, when a committee from the Board of Education reported a plan for a permanent library home…a home to be durable, useful and beautiful.  Through the liberality of our City Council, the present site of the building was secured free of cost, and it is peculiarly fitting that this building should stand on the ground made forever public by the generosity of Dayton’s first citizen, Daniel C. Cooper.  Our public library is a building fittingly framed together, in whose completion the hopes of years are found realized.  Its proportions, massive and splendid, are enriched with a beauty no less pleasing than the interest which its grandeur inspires.  No advantage of convenience or comfort is wanting.  Let us hope that this building, whose dedication has called us together, and which will hereafter be the home of the public library, represents the highest type of good character, and the best qualities of honored citizenship; that those unselfish efforts and noble sentiments of progress which gave birth to this structure, may always be found alive in this community, reaping rewards as rich and ample as this house, the pride and glory of us all  [Music: Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  The pride of Dayton people in their new public library building would have been mixed with a great measure of surprise if they could have foreseen the vast increase in library size and facilities under the guidance of Miss Doren and later librarians.  Twenty-five thousand volumes occupied the shelves when the building was dedicated in 1888, and there was ample room for all needed library work.  Today Dayton’s wealth of books has increased almost sixteen-fold.  Nearly fur hundred thousand volumes are contained in the main library in Cooper Park, in the five branch buildings and in the special school libraries.  And even so, space is at a premium.  The reading habits of the Dayton public, fostered by the intelligent guidance of the library staffs over a long period of years, have formed new book demands…demands which are met today by an every-increasing store of books on our library shelves.  (PAUSE.)  We turn now to another major change in Dayton’s community services…a vital improvement in the provisions for public health.  Little was thought, sixty years ago, of definite safeguards for the health of the citizenry as a whole.  Sickness was common, held to be an inevitable part of the business of living.  Few thought that the community as a city could take definite steps to prevent or reduce it.  Yet such a sentiment was stirring, and within the last decade of the century it bore fruit.  We find one of the originators of the public health movement in Dr. Herman Morris, Dayton physician.  It is late at night in the year 1889.  Dr. Morris is returning from a call on one of his patients.  [Music: Fades out.]



[Carriage sounds.]

MORRIS:  Whoa!  Whoa, Dolly!

DAN:  Doctor, you sure is late.  Someone must be powerful sick.

MORRIS:  You needn’t have stayed up, Dan.  Yes, it’s Mrs. Paul Fisher.  She’s pretty sick.  More of the fever…doesn’t seem to be any end to it.  Is. Mrs. Morris asleep?

DAN:  No, sir.  She done sat up for you, like she mostly does.

MORRIS:  Tst, tst. Tst!  And it’s after two o’clock.  Take the horse, Dan, and be sure to wake me at six.  I have an early call to make.

DAN:  Yes, sir.  Good night, sir.  [Door opens.]

MORRIS:  Martha, dear, you shouldn’t have waited for me.

MARTHA:  I couldn’t sleep.  I always worry when you’re out late.  How is Alice?

MORRIS:  She’s very sick.

MARTHA:  Was it what you thought?

MORRIS:  Yes, typhoid fever.

MARTHA:  She won’t …die, will she?

MORRIS:  I don’t know.  You never can tell. But I think not.  I talked with Paul.  I think I know where she got it.

MARTHA:  Where?

MORRIS:  At Paul’s father’s house.  The old man insists on using an open well.

MARTHA:  Isn’t it a shame?

MORRIS:  It’s worse than a shame.  It’s a crime against public health, when Dayton has such a good artificial water supply.  I’m going over and talk to old Mr. Fisher tomorrow.

MARTHA:  He’s pretty crotchety, isn’t he?

MORRIS:  Yes, but it’s time he heard some plain talking, and he’s going to hear it from me.  [Fade out and in.]  [Door opens.]



NANCY:  Good morning, Dr. Morris.  Come right in.

MORRIS:  Good morning, Mrs. Fisher.  Is Mr. Fisher here?

NANCY:  Yes.  Sam!  Doctor Morris is here to see you.

FISHER:  [Coming on]  Good morning, Doctor.

MORRIS:  Good morning.  Mr. Fisher, your daughter-in-law, Paul’s wife, is very sick.

FISHER:  Nancy said she wasn’t feeling so well.

NANCY:  Yes, I was over there yesterday.

MORRIS:  She’s much sicker than she was then.  She has typhoid fever.

FISHER:  Lots of people seem to be down with it these days.

MORRIS:  Have you any idea where she got it?

FISHER:  Not in the least, Doctor.

MORRIS:  I have.  I think she got it by drinking water from the well here in your back yard.

NANCY:  Why, Dr. Morris!

FISHER:  That’s impossible!  That well gives the purest water in Dayton…has ever since it was dug seventy years ago.  You just let me draw a bucket of it for you, and you’ll see how pure it is.

MORRIS:  You can’t tell purity by sight, or by taste either, Mr. Fisher.

FISHER:  Then how can you tell?

MORRIS:  In your case, by the results.  You like to have your children and grandchildren visit you…for Sunday dinner and at other times.  Well…during the last year or two there have been four cases of typhoid in your family.

FISHER:  But I tell you that three generations of Fishers have drunk that water and thrived on it.

MORRIS:  Perhaps the early Fishers did.  Your well was pure then.  But it isn’t now.  When Dayton was a small village, you could sink a well almost anywhere and get all the pure water you needed.  Dayton’s deep gravel subsoil acted as a regular reservoir.   But the trouble is that that same gravel has been acting as a channel for waste all these years.

FISHER:  Shucks!  Everyone knows that good gravel soil makes the best filter in the world.

MORRIS:  It does make a filter for some things and to some extent.  But it doesn’t work in Dayton any more.  There are too many people living here, houses crowded too close together.  A well like yours, Mr. Fisher, can be a source of sickness for everyone who drinks from it.

NANCY:   I told Sam he ought to put in the city water when the pipes were first laid.

FISHER:  Seemed like a foolish expense to me.

MORRIS:  It would have been a smaller expense than the sickness you’ve had in your family already…and much smaller than the sickness you will have if you go on using that well.

FISHER:  Well, I don’t see…

NANCY:  Sam Fisher, you listen to Dr. Morris!  You’re not too old to learn.  And if he says we should put in city water, you put it in.  The very idea!  Risking the health of everyone in the family just because you’re so proud of a bucket of well water.

[Fade out and in.]



[Buzz of conversation.]  [Gavel.]

VOICE:  The Board of Trade will hear now from Dr. Herman Morris.  [Applause.]

MORRIS:  I realize, gentlemen, that people are never anxious to listen to doctors…at least not until they get sick, and not always then.  [Laughter.]  But I’ve come before you with a matter that affects the whole welfare of Dayton.  I know that you want this to be a bigger and more prosperous city.  But our immediate need is to make Dayton a more healthful city.  The records of the medical profession show that sickness is increasing here…and particularly typhoid fever.

WILSON:  There’s always been some typhoid here, Doctor.

MORRIS:  I know that, Mr. Wilson, but the number of cases is increasing steadily, almost alarmingly.  And you all know the cause…impure drinking water.

WILSON:  I thought Dayton’s water was perfectly pure.

MORRIS:  The city water is pure.  But well water isn’t.  I know there aren’t as many open wells in Dayton as there used to be, but there are enough of them to cause a lot of sickness.  And it isn’t merely a matter of danger for people who drink from those wells.  Those same people can carry typhoid.  If they work in restaurants and kitchens, handling the food that other people eat, they may cause an epidemic.

WILSON:  What do you recommend, Doctor, a city ordinance forcing people to close their wells and use city water?

MORRIS:  I doubt if that can be done effectively.  What Dayton really needs is a complete system of sanitary sewers.  Until we get them the whole subsoil of Dayton, and every open well, will be inconstant danger of contamination.

WILSON:  That will mean increased taxes and a fight in the council.

MORRIS:  I know that.  But it will save Dayton money in the end.  The cost of sickness, both in private homes and hospitals, is a lot more now that the cost of building and maintaining a good disposal system.

WILSON:  But is this really a matter for the Board of Trade, Doctor?  Wouldn’t it be better handled by the medical profession?

PAUL:  Mr. Chairman.

VOICE:  Mr. Paul Fisher.

PAUL:  I think this is very definitely our business.  I know we can count on the full co-operation of the medical profession, but the way to get at the city council is from the standpoint of general community betterment, and especially the kind of betterment that attracts new business and new people to Dayton.  If we get behind this movement, Dr. Morris, will the doctors supply us with complete data on the city’s public health?

MORRIS:  We’ll be glad to, Mr. Fisher.

[Music:  Fades in and behind…]



NARRATOR:  This great step toward better public health in Dayton was taken in 1890.  Open wells disappeared; the use of city water became almost universal.  And a complete network of sanitary sewers was laid throughout the city.  Since then these provisions have been recognized as prime necessities of public health, and have been extended with each new addition to the city’s area.  Today nearly four hundred miles of sewers guard the health of every man, woman and child in Dayton.  (PAUSE.)  And now we turn to a new industrial development which marked the closing years of the Nineteenth Century.  Then as always the pioneer spirit which produced new inventions was met with ridicule, yet this one was destined to have an almost immeasurable effect on every citizen of Dayton.  Again, this time in the late Eighteen Nineties, we find Paul and Alice Fisher together in their home.

[Music:  Fades out.]



PAUL:  Sure, it will work. It just takes time; that’s all.

ALICE:  Well, perhaps, Paul, but people have been talking about horseless carriages for years, and some people have even tried to build them, but you don’t see them on the streets.

PAUL:  You will, though.  You’ll see hundreds of them right here in Dayton…maybe thousands.

ALICE:  What does Mr. Barrett think about it?

PAUL:  He thinks I’m crazy.  And that’s the trouble with the Barrett Iron Works.  Old George Barrett doesn’t know the meaning of the word “progress.”

ALICE:  I hope you haven’t told him that.

PAUL:  No, but I’m going to unless he’s willing to let me carry on my experimental work.

ALICE:  But, Paul, you’re working with Mr. Barrett’s factory, and his money too.

PAUL:  And it will be his horseless carriage to make and sell, once I get it to working.  He ought to be willing to risk some money for that.

ALICE:  Now, Paul, please don’t go deliberately against him.

PAUL:  I’m afraid it’s that or going by myself.  I’ll see what I can do with him though. [Fade out and in.]

 [Factory sounds.]



PAUL:  There, Bill, I think the chain is tight enough now so that it will stay on the sprockets.  Turn her over, will you?  [Engine cranked…repeat.}

BILL:  She sure is hard to start.  Sure you’ve got the gasoline turned on?

PAUL:  Yes.  Wait till I look at the spark adjustment.  [PAUSE.]  Now, try her again.  [Engine cranked…starts.]

BILL:  There she goes.

PAUL:  Come on, climb aboard.  We’ll ride across the shop floor.

BILL:  Not me.  She might get away from you and go right through that brick wall.

PAUL:  I wish she had that much power.  Here I go.  [Engine sound up and fade.]

BILL:  By golly, she does go!  Not too fast, Paul!

PAUL:  [off:]  She’s all right.  Here I come back.  [Engine sound up and on…crash!]

BILL:  Just like I said.  She’ll go, all right, but you can’t stop her.  She certainly smashed the work bench.

PAUL:  The clutch wouldn’t release. We’ll have to find out why.

BILL:  We’re going to find out something else first.  Here comes old man Barrett.

BARRETT:  [coming on]: Mr. Fisher, I thought I told you there was to be no more experimenting with horseless carriages in this factory.

PAUL:  You did, sir, but I thought that by the time you got back from New York I’d have it working.  And it does work, Mr. Barrett.  I just ran it across the floor and back.

BARRETT:  Yes, and see what you’ve done.  Smashed the machine itself…which is good riddance, I’d say…and smashed a work bench besides…to say nothing of the time you’ve wasted.

PAUL:  But Mr. Barrett, it takes time to make things work.  And it isn’t as if I were trying to work out some new scientific principle.  Listen, please!  We build a good reliable gasoline engine and…

BARRETT:  Then why can’t you be satisfied with doing that?  Why do you have to clutter up my factory with the wreck of a horseless carriage?

PAUL:  Mr. Barrett, how many gas engines do you suppose were built before someone built one that would work?

BARRETT:  That has nothing to do with it.

PAUL:  I’m sorry, sir, but it has.  It has everything to do with it.  I know that with the right kind of design and construction I can build an automobile that will work. I’ll make mistakes and have troubles of all kinds, but in the end I’ll do it.

BARRETT:  I’ve told you before, Fisher, that you’re attempting the impossible.  If you want to do that yourself, I suppose it’s your own business.  But you can’t do it in my factory, on my time, and with my money. 

PAUL:  Then I’ll do it on my own time and money.  I’ll have plenty of time, anyway.

BARRETT:  Very well, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

PAUL:  I won’t.

BARRETT:  That’s all, Mr. Fisher.  [Footsteps.]

BILL:  Are you fired, Paul?

PAUL:  I guess so.  (PAUSE.)  Bill, how would you like to come to work for me?  I can’t pay you as much as you’re making here, but while my money holds out I’ll pay you what I can.

BILL:  Sure, Paul, I’ll do that.  I like working with you. [Fade out and in.]



ALICE:  Oh, Paul, dear, you didn’t quit, did you?

PAUL:  No, I guess you’d say that old man Barrett fired me.

ALICE:  Couldn’t you have done what he wanted?

PAUL:  I could, I suppose, but I wouldn’t.  I’m not the first man to be fired because he had an idea and insisted on working it out.  Barrett’s trouble is that he wants to make money now, this year, this month.  And he can do that building his gas engines, because someone else did the early experimental work.  But I want to do something new.  And if I succeed, along with other men who are working on automobiles all over the country, I’ll have helped launch a business bigger that Barrett ever thought of.

ALICE:  What will we do in the meantime, Paul?

PAUL:  We’ll live on a mechanic’s pay, instead of a superintendent’s.  You’d be surprised how many people do that.  I’ll get a job in one of the other factories.  Then I’ll set up a small shop in our own stable and go on with my experimental work in my spare time.

ALICE:  Paul, dear, I was worried at first…about your losing your job, I mean…but honestly I’m glad you’re doing this.  I’ll do anything I can to help you.

PAUL:  Well, I was pretty sure you would.  [Fade out and in.]

  ­­­                                                                                                __________


[Shop sounds.]


BILL:  It’s too bad, Paul, that we can’t put bicycle tires on her. These hard rubber carriage tires shake a man to pieces when she gets to going ten or twelve miles an hour.

PAUL:  I know, Bill, but we’ll have to wait for that.  Bicycle tires are too light; they blow out.  But someone will begin making heavier tires pretty soon.   All right, crank her up and we’ll go for a ride.  [Engine cranked…starts.]

BILL:  This two-cylinder engine is sure better than the old one-lunger.

PAUL:  Yes, and some day we’ll have them with four, six and eight cylinders…maybe more.

BILL:  I don’t know about that.  The more cylinders the more trouble it looks to me.  I’ve crawled under this thing so many times that I feel like I’ve spent most of my life on my back.

PAUL:  Climb aboard, and we’ll go down Main street.

BILL:  And have everyone see us, like we did yesterday?

PAUL:  That’s just what I want.  Here we go.  [Engine up and continues.]

BILL:  She’s going all right.  Here we are six blocks from home and she hasn’t balked yet.  Now for Main street.  [Bell off.]

PAUL:  I’d better pull over for that street car.  We can’t go that fast.  [Street car passes.]

BILL:  No, nor as fast as horses.  Her comes Walter Baxter with his bay team.  Look at them stepping!  [Clatter of carriage.]

BAXTER:  [off.]  Get a horse, Paul, get a horse!

PAUL:   Hello, Walter.

BAXTER:  Want to race?

PAUL:  Not today.

BAXTER:  I guess not.  [Laughs.]  Or any other day.  Well, good-bye, Paul.  I’m in a hurry.  And remember what I told you, get a horse!

   [Laugh.]  [Carriage recedes.]

BILL:  That guy makes me sort of sore, Paul.

PAUL:  I can stand it.  We’ll do our laughing later on.  [Clatter of machinery.]

BILL:  There goes that clutch again.

PAUL:  Yes, that’s it.  We’ll have to get out.

BILL:  Get out and get under.  Get our and get under.  Well, they say exercise is good for a man.  [Laughter coming on.]

VOICE:  Get a horse!…What’s the matter, Paul, taking a rest?  Maybe they’ve lost something…Yes, maybe it’s their horse. [Laughter.]

STODDARD:  [coming on]:  Let me through, please, let me through.  Mr. Fisher?

PAUL:  Yes.

STODDARD:  I’m John Stoddard, of the Stoddard Manufacturing Company.

PAUL:  Yes, sir, I recognized you.

STODDARD:  You’re a persistent young man, Mr. Fisher.

PAUL:  George Barrett thought I was just stubborn.  He fired me.

STODDARD:  Yes, I heard about that.  But you’ve gone on working just the same, haven’t you?

PAUL:  Yes, I’ve kept at it pretty steadily.

STODDARD:  How’s it going?

PAUL:  Well, you can see.

STODDARD:  You mean it’s stopped.

PAUL:  Yes, and that’s what impresses most people.

STODDARD:  But you get it started again, don’t you?

PAUL:  Yes, each time it breaks down I learn something.  The next time I make a part a little stronger, or change the assembly in some way.   And then…maybe…I don’t have that trouble any more.

STODDARD:  I see.  Do you think your machine is practical yet?

PAUL:  To manufacture and sell?  No.  Each time I take it out I go a little farther, or a little faster, or have less trouble, but it still isn’t practical.  It takes time and money, and trying one idea after another.  I still have a long road ahead of me, I’m afraid.

STODDARD:  I’m not so sure of that.  Our factory manufactures agricultural implements, but a lot of our machinery might be used to make automobiles.  And our machine shop is well equipped for experimental work.  How would you like to come over there and go on with your work?

PAUL:  It would take time and money, Mr. Stoddard.  There are still a lot of mistakes to be made.

STODDARD:  That’s what I’ll expect you to do…make mistakes and learn by making them.  Then, some day, we’ll have a machine that’s really practical, and we’ll start manufacturing and selling it.

PAUL:  I’ll appreciate the chance to do that…work things out in my own way.

STODDARD:  How long do you think it will take to perfect your machine?

PAUL:  Oh, I’ll never do that! And neither will anyone else.  As long as anyone is working with automobiles, there will always be something to be done better.

                                                                       Music: [Fades in and behind…] 



NARRATOR:  With the dawn of the Twentieth Century, the automobile came into its own.  And Dayton, always a center of good manufacturing, shared largely in the early history of the motor car industry.  The Stoddard-Dayton, the Speedwell, the Courier and later the Maxwell…all these were cars that bore the label, “Made In Dayton.”  And they continued to add to Dayton’s manufacturing fame until large mergers in the automobile industry drew a great part of the business to a single center at Detroit.  But even then Dayton remained, and still remains, an automotive center.  Delco starting, lighting and ignition…perhaps the greatest single contribution to the convenience and reliability of motoring…had its inception in Dayton.  And other Dayton concerns have made, and now make, a wide variety of automotive products.   (PAUSE.)  Next Sunday we shall present, “First Flight,” a play based on the story of the Wright Brothers.  It is the story of one of the greatest scientific achievements of all time…the realization of man’s age-old dream of conquering the air.

MUSIC: [Swells and fades behind…]



ANNOUONCER:  These programs, which tell in dramatic form the history of our city’s progress, are brought to you by The Dayton Power and Light Company.  Our sponsors feel that they, too, have had a part in Dayton’s progress through the long years during which they have supplied natural gas, electric light and power, and city steam, to the homes, businesses and industries of Dayton.  It is their hope that these historical dramas will inspire all of us to a keener realization of civic spirit as the vital force in the progress which Dayton is destined to make in the future.  (PAUSE.)  These programs originate in the auditorium of the Dayton Art Institute, where we would like to have you, your family, and your friends as our guests at one of our broadcasts.  Tickets are free, and may be obtained at the ground floor offices of the Gas and Electric Building, 25 North Main street.  (PAUSE.)  All dramatic roles in these productions are played by members of the Dayton Civic Theatre professional company.  Your narrator was Charles McLean.  Your announcer is Morton DaCosta.  Be sure to tune in next Sunday afternoon at five o’clock, over Station WHIO, for “Great Days in Dayton!”


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