Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©1998 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Laurel Crook and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

November 5, 1998

The following has been excerpted from an article written by columnist Stephen H. Wildstrom in the June 17, 1996, issue of "Business Week."

CD-ROMS have a certified lifetime of ten years...and...according to the National Media Lab, magnetic tape is good for five to 20 years, conventional CDs up to 50 years and archival microfilm for 200 years. The longevity champ: print on acid-tree paper. It should last 500 years. Print also avoids what University of Michigan data expert John Gray calls "the problem of unstable technology"--the likelihood that media will outlive the devices that can read them.

Something to seriously consider: Suppose you put all your data on CD-ROM and your descendant 50 years from now wants to know what is on it. Will he find a machine that can read it? Some years ago it was said that the 1960 census was put on "the (then) state of the art" machine, and now there are only two machines able to read it. One is in the Smithsonian, and the other is in Japan. Stick with paper is our advice.

Mary Smith Fay, former Carmian and genealogist par excellence, has been accorded yet another honor. She was recently honored by the Zachary Taylor Chapter of the Texas Society of the War of 1812 as an Outstanding Person Who Has Promoted Awareness of the War of 1812. A dinner was given in her honor in Houston, Texas. Fay is honorary vice president of the National United States Daughters of 1812, the author of "War of 1812 Veterans in Texas" and numerous articles on the genealogy and history of the male and female veterans of the War of 1812, and is a distinguished lecturer on the War of 1812.

At a January 1965 dinner meeting of the White County Historical Society, longtime Carmian librarian Etta Brandt remembered the Carmi Fire Department of earlier days:

The Carmi Volunteer Fire Department's hose reels were pushed by hand. Later, when John Griffen Sr. was made captain, the hose reels were fastened on the back of a horse-drawn dray, so a bit faster time was made to a fire.

The fire bell called the men to gather for a fire. One tap on the bell meant the First Ward, two taps meant the Second Ward and three taps meant the fire was in the Third Ward.

When the fire bell rang, all the children would gather and follow the Fire Department to the fire to watch the firemen put out the fires.

I read it somewhere: They call it take-home pay because there is no other place you can afford to go with it.

The Genealogy Library is open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays.
Write us at PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821.

Notes from the Genealogy Library
White County Historical Society
located downstairs in the Ratcliff Inn, downtown Carmi

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Updated by Laurel Crook, 12 Oct 1998

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