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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Kate's Brief History

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Naperville 1920 Flashback: Big Fires Start the Year


Fire activity doubled in 1920 with three big fires occurring in the first three months. While the city normally faced maybe 10-12 fire events a year, there were 20 fires in this start to the new decade.  

At the time, fire department boasted one motorized chemical engine and the “Joe Naper” hand pumper in addition to the traditional bucket brigades. Naperville’s fire department was established in 1874 when there was no city-wide electricity or water and sewer system and not even a street numbering system for addresses.

These improvements, however, were in place by the early 1900s. The city also purchased a 1916 International Chemical Engine, the first that wasn’t powered by a team of horses. The chemicals in the Chemical Engine were a soda-acid combination that helped propel water onto a fire.

According to records, most of the fires that year were related to chimneys, perhaps due to an exceptionally cold winter, but of note were three major fires. The main infirmary at the Edward Tuberculosis Sanitarium burned in February, which was listed in the log as due to crossed wires. Personnel tried to save the recently-installed x-ray machine, but unfortunately they couldn’t drag it far enough away from the falling debris. In early March, there was a fire in a factory on the Hunt Estate and a second fire mid-month at the Judge Goodwin mansion known as Heatherton.

While these three fires caused a total of $1.75 million worth of damages, no lives were lost – at least not in the fires. Judge Goodwin died in Chicago on the same night that his home burned down and there has been plenty of speculation about that coincidence.  A Fire and Water Engineering book from that year says the fire is “believed to be incendiary.” One rumor suggests that the Judge’s servant was instructed to destroy Mrs. Goodwin’s inheritance once she was widowed. The Heatherton property was eventually purchased by North Central College with financial assistance from Peter Kroehler and is currently home to the fieldhouse.

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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.

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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