Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pocket notepad to keep track of duck and turkey eggs in 1925

This red pocket notepad – which is just 2½ inches wide – was distributed as a complimentary product by the Lancaster Chemical Company.

The company, which was based in both Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Perryville, Maryland, manufactured "High-Grade Animal Bone Fertilizers." There were special formulas for tobacco and vegetables, potatoes, wheat and other crops.

The blank pages inside the book were used long ago by a farmer who wanted to keep daily track of his or her Pekin duck eggs. The first page, shown below, indicates that anywhere from 1 to 5 duck eggs were produced each day between February 25 and March 31 in 1925.

The next two pages detail the daily totals in April (which ranged from 2 to 5) and May (in which there wasn't a day with more than one egg until the 13th).

After that, there were only a few scattered reports from days in June and early July. Overall, the best month seemed to be April, when there were nine days with five eggs and fifteen days with four eggs.

The middle pages of the notepad are blank. Toward the back, there are some other interesting pages. One has the following:

Duck eggs set
April 10th 42
April 28th 56
May 29th 30
June 9th 5
July 8th 11

Another focuses on the economic side of the equation:

Duck Eggs Sold
March 14th 1 dozen @ .35 .35
March 21st 1½ dozen @ .35 .53
March 28th 2½ dozen @ .35 .88
April 13th 2 dozen @ .35 .70
May 18th 1 dozen @ .35 .35

Finally, there is a page focusing on an different type of egg:

Turkey Eggs Set
April 28th 31
May 7th found turkey with 11 eggs
May 12th set turkey on 12 eggs
May 29th 18
May 30th found turkey with 11 eggs
August 8th found turkey with 12 eggs

We don't seem to put much focus on the turkey egg industry in the United States today. Mostly because, although they're very healthy, they're too expensive and not economical to mass-produce. To read more about turkey eggs, check out "Why don't Americans eat turkey eggs?" on Slate and the "Eating turkey eggs?" thread on the message board.

In the meantime, I'll close with a photo of some Pekin ducks. They are way too cute to eat but, sadly, about 95 percent of the duck meat eaten in the United States is Pekin duck (even though they make wonderful pets).

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