Monthly Archives: July 2011

America’s Roadside Evangelist

Before there were interstates, when everyone drove two lane roads at leisurely speeds, Burma Shave signs were posted all over the countryside in farmers’ fields. Five small red signs with white letters, about 100 feet apart, each containing 1 line of a 4 line couplet……and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving […]

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Time to put a berry basket to good use

Wild berry picking was once a common summer activity throughout Appalachia, and before the advent of Styrofoam or plastic containers the homemade bark berry basket was just the thing to haul your treasures out of the woods with. No point in going home to fetch a bucket when you can just peel some bark off […]

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It was like a bachelor party that had gone bad

Please welcome guest authors Patricia Graham and Verna Humphrey, co-authors of the recently published “Hillbilly Tales from the Smoky Mountains and Other Homespun Remedies, Proverbs, and Poetry” (E-Booktime LLC). Ms. Graham holds a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Spanish literature from Western Carolina University. She has had poetry published with Milestone Publications, […]

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Listen Here: Appalachian History Weekly podcast posts today

We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. You can start listening right away by clicking the podcast icon over on the right side of your screen. If you’d rather grab the show off itunes for later listening, click here: We open today’s show with a frontline seat at the 1920 […]

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Cyrus McCormick did not invent the mechanical reaper

It has become common knowledge that Cyrus H. McCormick invented and manufactured the mechanical reaper, but it was actually his father’s genius as a simple inventor that led to the family’s riches and renown. According to research compiled by Norbert Lyons, Cyrus’ mother Polly encouraged her husband Robert to give Cyrus his inventions as a […]

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