1909 Fun Facts, Trivia and History
Top Ten Baby Names of 1909: Mary, Helen, Margaret, Ruth, Dorothy, John, William, James, George, Robert
US Life Expectancy: (1909) Males: 50.5 years, Females: 53.8 years
Firsts, Inventions and Wonders:
Condé Nast Inc. was founded by Condé Montrose Nast.
Max Factor was founded by Maksymilian Faktorowicz.
The first pig to fly was on November 4, 1909. Pioneering English aviator John Moore-Brabazon (The 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara) flew with the pig in a basket, attached to his plane.
The “customer is always right” slogan was created by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London, in 1909 to give overall better customer service.
Carlisle Trust Bank opened the first Christmas Club, saving money specifically for Christmas gifts.
The Oval Office was constructed in 1909.
Philadelphia’s Shibe Park (later Connie Mack Stadium) opened.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed.
The Hudson Motor Car Company (1909 – 1954) was founded.
New York was first mentioned as “The Big Apple” in a 1909 book The Wayfarer in New York by Edward S. Martin.
Soren Sorensen created the pH scale in 1909 while working for Carlsberg Beer. The development was used to control the acidity of the beer and minimize problems in fermentation.
Abercrombie & Fitch published their first catalog.
The superstition that saying “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit” when waking on the first day of the month to bring good luck , was originated in 1909.
The first president to drive an electric car was William Howard Taft.
364,545 Pianos were sold in the United sates, the all-time record.
The Most Popular Singers and Artists of 1909 include:
Henry Burr, Arthur Collins, Byron G. Harlan, The Hayden Quartet, Ralph Herz, Harold Jarvis, Ada Jones, Harry Lauder, Harry Macdonugh, Billy Murray, Will Oakland, The Peerless Quartet, Prince’s Orchestra, Arthur Pryor’s Band, Blanche Ring, Manuel Romain, John Philip Sousa’s Band, Frank Stanley, Elise Stevenson, Harry Tally, Nat Wills, Walter Van Brunt
Charts based on Billboard music charts.
Pop Culture News:
The Eiffel Tower was originally planned to be demolished in 1909, but was saved because it was re-purposed as a giant radio antenna. And in 1913, the tower transmitted a signal all the way to Washington DC.
Alice Ramsey was the first woman to drive across the United States, in 1909. It took her 59 days.
Harry Houdini wrote a book in 1909 called “Handcuff Secrets“in which he revealed many of the tricks behind his famous escapes.
Henry Ford offered his Model T automobile few options. “Any customer can have a car painted any color they like, as long as it’s black”.
Joan of Arc receives beatification by the Roman Catholic Church. She was canonized as a saint on May 16, 1920.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in 1909, and the Indianapolis 500 started in 1911.
Ty Cobb lead the American League in home runs, without hitting a single one over the fence.
Warren Remedy (1905-1912), a Smooth Fox Terrier owned by Winthrop Rutherfurd, was awarded Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club for the third straight year in a row (1907, 1908, 1909), the only dog to do so.
The 1909 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is the highest valued card ever, last auctioned off at over $2.1 million in 2012. He ended production of his card because they were distributed by a tobacco company, and he didn’t want to be associated with smoking.
The first International Women’s Day was held as a socialist political event in New York City in 1909.
The world’s oldest operating airport, in College Park Maryland, was established when Wilbur Wright arrived there to train two officers in the US Army.
Founded in 1902, Cadillac joined General Motors.
The Eton Wall Game is played on a narrow strip 110 meters long up against a wall. The idea is to move the ball along the wall with your feet and score a goal at the far end. Goals are very rare, the last one scored was at the annual St Andrew’s Day match was 1909. Other matches end up with a goal every ten years or so.
Construction of the US Navy base began at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Mark Twain (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) predicted his own death in 1909 “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.” He died in 1910, a day after the comet returned.
There is a conspiracy theory that Egyptian treasures and tunnels were found in the Grand Canyon in 1909 and subsequently covered up by the Smithsonian. The area in question has numerous Egyptian landmark names and is currently off-limits to all hikers.
In 1909 the presidential salary was $75,000. Adjusting for inflation, that’s about $1.7 million, or more than four times the current presidential pay of $400,000.
The US government had a “Conscience Fund” where people could send money if they felt guilty. The largest sum ever received was from 1909 when someone mailed in $18,669.
The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster in Illinois killed 259 men and boys.
Milton Hershey being unable to have children founded the Milton Hershey School for orphans in 1909. He donated 30% of all future Hershey profits. It now has 7 billion in assets, and continues to serve orphans in financial need. Milton also prohibited it’s use in any advertising.
Nobel Prize Winners:
Physics – Guglielmo Marconi and Karl Ferdinand Braun
Chemistry – Wilhelm Ostwald
Medicine – Emil Theodor Kocher
Literature – Selma Lagerlöf
Peace – Auguste Marie François Beernaert and Paul-Henri-Benjamin d’Estournelles de Constant
Popular and Notable Books From 1909:
1. The Inner Shrine by Basil King
2. Katrine by Elinor Macartney Lane
3. The Silver Horde by Rex Beach
4. The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart
5. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine by John Fox Jr
6. Truxton King by George Barr McCutcheon
7. 54-40 or Fight by Emerson Hough
8. The Goose Girl by Harold MacGrath
9. Peter by F. Hopkinson Smith
10. Septimus by William J. Locke
Other Books of Note:
The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly
A Pluralistic Universe by William James
American Prose Masters by W.C. Brownell
World Series Champions: Pittsburg Pirates
Challenge Cup Champs: Ottawa Hockey Club
U.S. Open Golf: George Sargent
U.S. Tennis (Men/Ladies): William Larned/Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Arthur Gore/Dpra Boothby
NCAA Football Champions: Yale
Kentucky Derby Winner: Wintergreen
Boston Marathon Winner: Henri Renaud Time: 2:53:36