Baltimore Evening Sun (23 May 1911): 6.


Headline from The Evening Sun of April 13:


Greater Baltimore Committee Confident Of Raising Sum.


Business Men To Give 2 Per Cent. Of Salary—Boomer’s Work Ends This Week.

Oh, la, la!

Again, what has become of the Hon. Tom Richardson’s magnificent plan for a mass-meeting of school children?

And of the Hon. Henry F. Baker’s plan to scare Governor Crothers, that ruthless earthling, out of his boots?

What Baltimore needs:

Less booming.
More common sense.

Perhaps the utter prohibition of booming would work a hardship upon persons who find it a royal road to parochial eminence. But certainly the vice should be regulated. As things stand now, any man is free to practice it as he listeth, without the slightest regard to his fitness or his technique. He may, in his effort to make himself a hero, spread broadcast the grotesque falsehood that Baltimore is on the verge of commercial syncope, and so do the city incalculable injury. And he may, if he is clever enough, start or join in a new boom for the mere purpose of advertising himself.

What is needed is some legal enactment that will fix the rights and responsibilities of the boomer. I submit the following ordinance—not that I think it quite fills the bill, but because a start must be made:

An Ordinance to regulate the practice of booming or boomery within the limits of the City of Baltimore, and to license boomers.

Be it enacted by the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore,

(1). The Mayor of Baltimore, by and with the advice and consent of the Second Branch of the City Council, shall appoint a commission of three (3) discreet and honorable men, each of whom shall have paid into the hands of the City Collector, as taxes upon real or personal property, the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more during each of the ten (10) calendar years preceding the year in which he is nominated and appointed; and of the three (3), one (1) shall be designated by the Mayor as secretary of the paid commission and one (1) as president thereof; and the said three (3) men, thus nominated and appointed, shall constitute the Board of Boom Inspectors of Baltimore City.

(2). The said Board of Boom Inspectors of Baltimore City shall hold a meeting at least once in every calendar year, at some convenient place in the City Hall of the City of Baltimore, for the examination, licensing and bonding of boomers, archboomers and broom-masters.

(3). Any citizen of Baltimore, having reached the age of forty (40) years and being sound in mind, wind and limb, as proved by certificates from at least twelve (12) allopathic physicians in good standing, shall be eligible to present himself to the said Board of Boom Inspectors of Baltimore City for examination and licensing; provided, however, that no such candidate shall be examined until he shall have given the said Board satisfactory evidence that he has paid into the hands of the City Collector, during each of at least fifteen (15) years preceding, the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more as taxes upon real or personal property owned, held, seized or possessed by him.

(4). Every candidate so qualifying shall be subjected forthwith to a rigid examination by the said Board of Boom Inspectors, extending over at least six (6) days of five (5) hours each, and covering his practical knowledge of all matters relating to the commerce and government of the City of Baltimore. He shall he examined, in particular, as to his knowledge of freight rates, advertising rates, single and double entry bookkeeping, the laws of Maryland, the ordinances of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore city, the statutes of the United States relating to interstate commerce, the history of Baltimore, the population and trade statistics of the United States for the fifty (50) years next preceding the year of his examination, and the natural laws governing trade currents, supply and demand, immigration and the movement of population. In addition he shall be examined as to his ability to read and write the English language and his capacity for public speaking before intelligent audiences. Finally, an effort shall be made to determine what measure of common sense he possesses, if any.

(5). If, after much exhaustive examination, the said Board of Boom Inspectors shall be of the opinion that the said candidate is competent to organize, conduct, manage or assist a boom, there shall be issued to him, over the seal of the said Board, a license to practice within the limits of the city at Baltimore for one calendar year, a, boomer, arch-boomer or boom-master; provided, that before the said license shall issue the said candidate shall pay to the secretary of the said Board a fee of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), and shall deposit with the said secretary a bond, properly executed. for one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), as security for his good behavior; the said bond to be forfeited to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore for the use of the people of Baltimore, in case the said licensed boomer, arch-boomer or boom-master, in the course of his booming, spreads or causes to be spread any false report or rumor regarding the trade, commerce or government of the City of Baltimore, and in particular any report or rumor that the said City of Baltimore is on the verge of disaster.

(6). But not more than one such license, as aforesaid, shall be issued by the said Board of Boom Inspectors in any one calendar year. It shall, however, be lawful for any licensed boom-master to employ, at his own charge and expense, not more than ten (10) sub-boomers, puffers or press agents, and these press agents, at their discretion, may keep the newspapers supplied with portraits of the said boom-master and with affecting articles upon his zeal.

(7). The members of the said Board of Boom Inspectors shall be paid the sum of five hundred dollars ($500) each per annum for their services, and each shall be allowed, in addition, the sum of fifty dollars ($50) per annum for the purchase of stimulants and for other necessary expenses. (8). Any person who practices booming in Baltimore city without first obtaining a license and giving bond as heretofore provided in this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall pay, on conviction, a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or be confined in the Baltimore City Jail for three (3) years, or both. (9). And be it ordained. that this Ordinance shall take effect from the date of its passage.

More freight seen on street-car platforms:

A pot of glue. Two suitcases.
A dishpan. A side of bacon.
A bag of hard Two large fish
crabs (alive). (smelly).
A street broom A can of oil (greasy).

In the meantime, while we are talking about Maryland Week, Seeing-America-First and many excellent things, what’s become of the Star-Spangled Banner celebration for 1914?—Merchants and Manufacturers’ Association Bulletin.

O woe!

And still they come—those belated contributions to the dictionary of synonyms for “beard.” For example:

Fringe. Bamboo.
Viburnum. Lilacs.
Golden rod. Thicket.
Life lines. Cow catcher.
Cronjes. Oom Pauls.

Enough! Not another one will be printed!

H. L. Mencken