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May 04

Blocking pesky rumors... with window screens!

Posted to Heard On The Street by Ken Kocher

This was a fun one, a gentleman came in the other day and asked if it were true that houses in the Historic District are not allowed to have screens on their windows. screens.JPG


The answer, of course, that this is NOT a restriction. In truth, window screens have been around since the mid-nineteenth century, though were not widespread until the mid-twentieth century. Bonar Hall, in Madison, has window screens that date to the turn of the twentieth century. For a few years in the 1920s, Farmers Hardware would advertise via a simple country character named Ezra Hawkins who would write a letter to someone in Morgan County and talk up items at the store. See a snippet of a letter to J.A. Nolan promoting window screens. No matter the history of window screens, they are a good idea!


Turns out that this particular tall tale seems to have originated from a spousal disagreement where one half of the household did not care for the look of window screens and was wielding the HPC as a sword to curtail their use! Oh well. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln: You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time!