Famous quotation about the weather in San Francisco (Duluth in 1900) and a mystery volume with restricted access in Google Books

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 11 22:52:12 UTC 2011

Garson, Eighteenth Century Collections Online contains one volume of this
magazine only (1793).

I could not find the passage in question.

On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 6:35 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Famous quotation about the weather in San Francisco (Duluth
> in
>              1900) and a mystery volume with restricted access in Google
> Books
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The periodical "The Sporting Magazine; or Monthly Calendar of the
> Transactions of the Turf" was the first English sporting periodical,
> and it was published between 1792 and 1870 according to Wikipedia an
> occasionally reliable website. So why is the following digital volume
> locked up in Google Books?
> http://books.google.com/books?id=qRQGAAAAQAAJ&
> The images were created from a copy at Oxford University. GB does not
> give a date or any other bibliographic data about this mystery volume.
> I cannot find the volume at HathiTrust. I do not know how to search
> for it at the Internet Archive because I have been unable to extract a
> date. The volume interests me because it contains the following
> excerpt:
> All admit this to have been the most open winter in their remembrance.
> Beresford, when asked if he ever knew such a Winter, replied with his
> usual quickness, "Yes, last Summer."
> http://books.google.com/books?id=qRQGAAAAQAAJ&q=Beresford#search_anchor
> I sent a message to Google to request the full display of "The
> Sporting Magazine" volume. If some list member can extract a date from
> this book or has a suggestion for obtaining access please let me know.
> Here is some additional background for this topic. I am exploring the
> following well-known saying attributed to Mark Twain: The coldest
> winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
> Multiple references state that there is no compelling evidence that
> Twain is responsible for this saying. However, the references also
> note that Twain did write a letter containing the following:
>  ...anywhere is better than Paris. Paris the cold, Paris the drizzly,
> Paris the rainy, Paris the damnable. More than a hundred years ago
> somebody asked Quin, "Did you ever see such a winter in all your life
> before?" "Yes," said he, "Last summer." I judge he spent his summer in
> Paris.
> - letter to Lucius Fairchild, 28 April 1880, reprinted in Mark Twain,
> The Letter Writer
> http://www.twainquotes.com/Paris.html
> The quotation in "The Sporting Magazine" may help to illuminate the
> history of the quip used by Twain. If someone wishes to offer an
> interpretation for the term "open winter" I would like to hear it. My
> guess is that the phrase refers to the existence of a large number of
> competitive race horses.
> I am also tracing jokes matching the template of the San Francisco
> saying. Here are the two earliest I have found so far in 1900 and
> 1901:
> Cite: 1900 June 17, Duluth News-Tribune, [No article title], Page 12,
> Column 3, Duluth, Minnesota. (GenealogyBank)
> One of these days somebody will tell that mouldy chestnut about the
> finest winter he ever saw being the summer he spent in Duluth, and one
> or these husky commercial travelers, who have been here and know all
> about our climate, will smite him with an uppercut and break his
> slanderous jaw. The truth will come out in time.
> Cite: 1901 June 17, Morning Herald, Interesting Experiences Of Local
> Man Who Deals in Weather - Exciting Incidents That Do Not Appear In
> His Records, GBK Page 6, Column 2, Lexington, Kentucky.
> (GenealogyBank)
> Another assignment was to Duluth, Minn., where he learned to
> appreciate rapid changes in temperature. He says the coldest winter he
> ever experienced was the summer he spent in Duluth.
> Over a span of more than one hundred years many locations were
> substituted into this joke including: Milwaukee, Two Harbors, Grand
> Marais, Puget Sound, Buffalo, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.
> Thanks for any help
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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