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Tales from the Morgue, 1922: Trouble with license plates and a home is robbed

Tales from the Morgue

What would happen today if we ran out of license plates? Perhaps the expiration date on that temporary paper tag gets extended, but those temporary tags aren't very durable.

It's hard to imagine that happening, but it did in 1922.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Sunday, April 9, 1922:

Pima County Uses Up Supply of Auto Tags

Pima county's allotment of automobile license plates is exhausted, according to an announcement made yesterday at the office of County Assessor Vic S. Griffith.

Until new plates arrive the office will issue cardboard tags, which will be taken up as soon as the new metal plates arrive from St. Paul, on or before April 15. The metal tags left St. Paul, Minn., yesterday en route to Tucson.

Up to noon Saturday licenses for 3705 cars had been issued.

Copper tags will be issued in 1923, it was announced at the assessor's office.

In the same edition of the Star, there was a report of a "daring night robbery."

Burglars Almost Strip House in Daring Night Robbery


Alarm Cloth Is Taken Along With Other Articles

In one of the most daring burglaries perpetrated in Tucson in many months, several hundreds of dollars' worth of silverware, bedding and woman's clothing was stolen from the home of Sam B. Bradner, of 125 East Sixteenth street, Thursday night, according to announcements made last night by police and sheriff's officers.

The authorities were withholding the news of the burglary in the hope that some of the goods might be recovered. Up to a late hour last night, however, none of the stolen property had been found, and the officers believed that the articles had been taken out of town. News of the burglary was given out by Chief of Police Dallas S. Ford and Deputy Sheriff F. C. Wright.

The robbers drove up to the Bradner home, stopping in the alley west of the house. Making a slit through the screen on the back porch, they lifted the larch and entered. They then forced the bolt of the kitchen door, and made their way into the house. The burglary took place some time between 7:30 and 11:30, while the family was away from home.

Jewelry on a dresser and some silverware in the kitchen were overlooked by the thieves.

The list of stolen articles includes a black tuxedo suit, a black frock suit, a pair of shoes, a half dozen solid silver teaspoons, half a dozen solid silver butter knives, four silk shirts and six collars to match, a pink sild evening dress, a white evening dress, a white georgette waist, trimmed with blue and beading, a plain white georgette waist, three other waists, a dark blue taffeta dress, trimmed with blue and gold, a silk dress, a wool dress, a tailor-made coat, a dimity dress, a crepe dress, a linen skirt, a sheet, a blanket, a comforter, six suits of underwear, a red coat, an alarm clock with radium numerals, a light brown bathrobe, and a lady's gray raincoat.

Mr. Bradner was a member of the first state legislature, and was at one time secretary of the state livestock sanitary board. At present he is engaged in the manufacture of potato chips.

One hundred years later, a reader may wonder what a "waist" was, besides a part of a human's anatomy.

In women's fashion a "waist" was a blouse that often ended at the waist and was worn over a skirt. The style was more popular before the 1920's, but in Tucson it is likely that a woman would still have several in her wardrobe unless she had access to unlimited funds to update her wardrobe every year. The term also sometimes referred to a shirtwaist-style dress.ย 

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991. 

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Online producer

Johanna Eubank is a digital producer for the Arizona Daily Star and She has been with the Star in various capacities since 1991.

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