Adventures in Research: Tear Gas and Salesmanship

Posted by ractrose on 4 Oct 2014 in Nonfiction

Clip art of gas mask

My Curious Reading

Adventures in Research
Tear Gas and Salesmanship






From the NYT of September 25, 1936. “Tear Gas War on Bootleg Miners.”

During this period the coal mines in Pennsylvania, racked by strikes, were infiltrated by bootleggers, miners illegally harvesting coal to sell, generating an income they would otherwise have lacked in the midst of the Depression. The mine owners hatched a plan to smoke them out with tear gas. The Senate’s Lafollette Subcommittee held hearings on civil liberties violations.

A. S. Ailes, Vice President of the Chemical Co. of Cleveland, testified that he had gassed himself 1000 times, insisting upon the harmless nature of his company’s product. He stated, “I am sorry we have strikes. I am sorry we have Communists in the country.”

Rival chemical firms aggressively promoted their products to corporations as a means of arming themselves pre-emptively. Ignatius H. McCarty, a Chemical Co. salesman had himself appointed as a special officer to the San Francisco police, so that he could demonstrate the use of his company’s gas equipment.

“He said he had demonstrated much of it during the San Francisco waterfront strike, largely to overcome the sales efforts of his competitor representing the Federal Laboratories.”



Tear Gas
Digital painting of curious kitten signature image to My Curious Reading

Theft and Trousers





Congratulations! You’ve found a bonus poem!

OIl painting of fallen Buddha faceEasel with painting in progress


The Structure We Believe


One warning one shiver

The structure we believe

Remains sound


Springs dampen the recoil

Thrust back on the tidal bore

Bones in age yield too little

End of day’s cast in glass

Eye stares back, and after hours radio comes

On river boats and traffic stalled

Songs and news about this and that

Want to see no more


More weight and gravity

Near liquid under pressure

Unheeded the offspring

Retreats higher and farther

The caretaker does not report

The hand has let the brake go free

Wind begins to race and seasons

Unfettered engine forth


Iron reinforcements for plans in concrete

A moment’s infinite fall of leaves












(2014, Stephanie Foster)




%d bloggers like this: