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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah

The impact of science and invention,   pp. 21-[28] PDF (1.6 MB)

Page 21

                   AND INVENTION
W E HAVE referred to the simplicity of life and organization
           in Cunningham's day in contrast to the complexity of
           social organization in the 195o's. Neenah in the '7os was
           quite sufficient unto itself. Today the life of the Twin
Cities and its adjoining townships is melded.
  For instance, every working day about an equal number of people
cross and recross Nicolet Boulevard going to and from their work.
Therefore, typical Menasha industrial enterprises, employing sub-
stantial numbers of Neenah citizens, find a logical place in this sketch.
  Not only that, we reach beyond to Appleton, the source of our elec-
tric power. It was on the bank of the Fox River at Appleton that the
first hydroelectric station in the world was instituted in 1882.
  Nor can we get into the detail of our undertaking without a bird's
eye glimpse of the wonderful changes that have come to pass during
the 8o years since Mr. Cunningham laid down his pen. In his day the
oil lamp, the dirt road, the horse and buggy, the cistern in the base-
ment, the neighborhood well and the outside toilet characterized the
life of the time.
  The shopping radius was pretty much limited by walking distances,
except for the one day of the week when farmers drove to town with
their produce and hitched their horses, while their wives shopped in
the village stores.
  The steam engine was a commonplace in 1878, but electricity, with
all the gadgets and services made possible by that newly-found power,
came into being during the era now under observation. Conveniences
such as electric refrigeration, that displaced natural ice, entered
within the memory of many not-so-old residents. Air conditioning and
electric washers for clothes and dishes were introduced subsequent to
World War I.
  The telephone :-who of us can visualize life without it, yet that in-
valuable means of communication did not come into general use until

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