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This Week in Marblehead History: 1907

Here's a look back at the stories that were making headlines on this week in 1907.

Every Tuesday, Marblehead Patch digs through the Marblehead Messenger microfilm archives at to find out what was happening this week in local history.

In 1907:

Life Boat Race Draws a Crowd:

In December 1907, a race between the town's old and new life boats drew a crowd of local residents to the shoreline. The boats reportedly started from "the opposite foot of Commercial Street and raced down the harbor to a line abreast Jack's Rock."

The contest was "spirited and close" but the new life boat finished two length ahead. "The new craft was heavier than the old, as it had its air tanks and guards in place, but this was more than offset by the way the old boat leaked."

Shop at Salkins & Laskey, located in the Mugford Building:

An advertisement for Salkins & Laskey clothing store said "Our Santa Claus is a common sense old fellow, happy, hearty and healthy himself and bent on seeing others just as well off." The store claimed to have "everything in gentlemen's wear you can think of, and no Christmas present is appreciated so much as a useful one."

Cultivating Garden Products by Electricity:

In 1907 Marblehead, the use of electricity to cultivate farm and garden products was a practice on the rise. According to a story in The Messenger, "one method of experiment has been to stretch a wire netting across a field high enough not to touch the growing plants and circulate through it an electrical current. in other experiments, the soil has been electrified by wires under and around the roots."

Purchase Telephone Insurance:

The New England Telephone & Telegraph Company encouraged local residents to purchase telephone insurance. The insurance, according to their advertisement, "guards against physical and mental wear and tear; saves steps to the grocer's or the provision dealers; brings the doctor in life-or-death emergencies; provides instantaneous communication with police or fire departments; and gives a mental satisfaction from the mere knowledge of its presence in your house."

Grocery Prices:

Even in 1907, the holiday season meant purchasing mass quantities of food from local grocery stores. The Salem-based Cobb, Bates & Yerxa Co. took out a full-page advertisement to promote the food they had in stock. Here's a look at some prices:

  • Regent Flour - $7.75 for a barrel
  • Mixed Drops and Broken Candy - 13 cents a pound
  • Best Mixed Nuts - 18 cents a pound
  • Malaga Table Raisins - 25 cents a pound
  • Butter - 32 cents a pound
  • Mince Meat - 60 cents for a gallon jar
  • Eggs - 25 cents a dozen

Do you recognize any of these locations, names or events? Let us know in the comments section below.

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