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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Kate's Brief History

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Naperville 1920 / 2020 - Setting the Stage


According to contemporary reports, a wild winter storm greeted the new year as 1920 dawned in Illinois. The President was Woodrow Wilson. The Governor was Frank Lowden. With World War I wrapping up, the nation was intending to go back to normal, but normal was anything but in the 1920s.

WWI ended in November of 1928, but the Treaty of Versailles didn't
actually take effect until January 10, 1920. The last soldiers were coming home from overseas, having experienced more of the world than their parents or grandparents ever had. Many of the women who had filled in for their menfolk were reluctant to take off their trousers, put their dresses back on and return to the kitchen. Patriotism was high across the nation.

But patriotism was morphing into a nationalism that sowed suspicion. The rise of communism, socialism and fascism in Europe raised fears in the U.S. The first "Red Scare" raids in November 1919 and January 1920 were to oust leftist leaders and political and labor radicals. Immigrants were looked at differently and there were calls to close the borders to immigration. The Ku Klux Klan, once a Confederate social club, adopted an "Americanism" creed that embraced intolerance not only for immigrants, but also for blacks, Catholics, Jews and various practices they deemed "immoral."

So what was it like during this time in little Naperville?

Naperville was incorporated as a city in 1890 and by 1912 was a commission form of government with a mayor and several commissioners instead of aldermen and wards. Mayor Charles B. Bowman was a professor at North-Western College (later renamed North Central College). His commissioners were Alexander Grush (who owned a meat market), Robert Enck (who was in coal supply), Charles Rohr (who was a florist), and C.C. Coleman (who was a druggist.)

The men met at the "new" city hall after moving from their location above the jail and firehouse which was located about where the Apple Store is on Jefferson. The local Masons had just built a new building in 1916 (the Naperville Running Company building) and had moved out of their rooms above the First National Bank. That building, now La Sorella di Francesca, became the new city hall.

Naperville's quarries were no longer being worked, so the main employer in town was the Kroehler Manufacturing Company, renamed in 1915 as the Naperville Lounge Company started incorporating other factories.

While Edward Hospital doesn't look anything like it did in 1920, it did exist as a popular Sanitarium. The YMCA, which does still boast its original building, had been completed in 1911 and even allowed women to use the facilities at certain times of the week. Another landmark from the 1920s that still exists in some form today is Nichols Library, which was built in 1898.

George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" while Mark Twain is supposed to have replied "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." Comparing 1920 to 2020 is certainly an interesting exercise that may be useful as well!

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Using Tech for Book Marketing

Don and Kate Gingold

 

Kate and husband Don have been building websites since 1996 for all sorts of clients, including authors.

As the Internet has evolved, producing books and marketing them has become much more complicated. Whether traditionally-published or self-published, authors today need to know their way around websites, blogging, social media and other online marketing tools.

Kate regularly writes about online marketing for Sprocket Websites and provides tips and techniques for entrepreneurs, small- to medium-business owners and not-for-profit directors. Since being an author today is not really different from being an entrepreneur with a small business, most of those tips are just as useful to authors.

Frequently Kate also writes about tips specific to authors, some of which are available here.

Just-for-Authors Website

Author Website

There are so many website options out there today. You can spend $10,000 or build one for free. And it's tough for most folks to figure out how much website they really need. 

Sprocket Websites put together an website package that provides a custom solution for an author's specific needs. We know what's important to successful book marketing so we made it easy to upload book images, summaries, reviews and of course, sales links. There's a calendar and a blog tool as well.

Check out all the details and you'll see why this is the perfect website for author success.

The Sprocket Report

The Sprocket Report is published every other week with Internet marketing tips, tools and techniques. The archive features articles from 2011 up to the present. You are welcome to read how business owners are using technology to market themselves and apply those tips to your author business.


 

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