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Inducing the gay and frolicsome lumberjack to stop in Duluth

From the March 22, 1909, Duluth Evening Herald:

Auto ride for drunks
New police patrol will be in service next week
“Free ride with every jag” for every woodsman

Duluth’s new automobile police patrol wagon is due to arrive in the city next Friday. After a few trial trips on local hills, it probably will be put in active service the following Monday.

For several years past certain interests in Duluth have been trying to devise ways and means to induce the gay and frolicsome lumberjack to stop off here and spend his money.

It is a recognized fact that fewer woodsmen spend their time and money in the Zenith City now than formerly. There are reasons for this. One is that most of them, several years ago, were paid off in Duluth, where now they are paid at the camps. Another is that inducements are now held out to buy tickets from the nearest depot straight through to the Twin Cities, and they stop off in Duluth only a few hours.

But this spring the situation should be different. The police have solved the problem of the saloon men. What other city in the state can offer a lumberjack a free automobile ride as a grand climax to the customary spree? It isn’t every woodsman that gets a chance to ride in such style, and as soon as the news of Duluth’s new auto patrol gets noised through the north woods, it is expected, upon the breaking up of the camps, that there will be a rush of lumberjacks to Duluth. No longer will they buy through tickets to the Twin Cities. They will be content to spend their good money in Duluth, and will be happy in the knowledge that, the drunker they get, the better will be their chances of a ride in the auto patrol to the police station.

The new patrol wagon was designed especially for the Duluth hills. It is of high power, and guaranteed to be able to make the steepest grade in the city without difficulty. The maximum speed is twenty miles an hour, and the minimum is four miles an hour. The city is safe in buying the machine, for the purchase is made under an absolute guarantee that it will prove satisfactory. If anything goes wrong within a year the municipality will be able to gets its money back. The auto is given on thirty days’ trial and an experienced man is sent along to run it for that length of time, and to teach police department drivers the details of operation.

6 Comments

emmadogs

about 6 months ago

Indeed -- what other city can offer a lumberjack both a grand climax and a Directory of Amusements??? Plus continuing commentary on their punctuation errors??? No other city. That's right. I don't see why VisitDuluth doesn't run with this.

baci

about 6 months ago

They are lumberjacks ... and that's OK. (Someone had to say it.)

piker

about 5 months ago

It would be nice if this article wasn't written in such an obtuse manner. It's somewhat difficult to discern what they're trying to say.

Ramos

about 5 months ago

I'm pretty sure it's satire. The police have a new paddy wagon, and the story is pretending that it's a fun new ride for drunken lumberjacks. I was unclear about the article's meaning, too, until I came to this passage:

They will be content to spend their good money in Duluth, and will be happy in the knowledge that, the drunker they get, the better will be their chances of a ride in the auto patrol to the police station.
That was not written with a straight face.

Zeito

about 5 months ago

If you look at the article for "Police Van" on Wikipedia the first image in the history section is of what I would assume to be the very same patrol wagon.

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