[Ads-l] Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jul 19 09:36:19 EDT 2018


Bill Mullins posted a July 25, 1895 citation for "Financial
Rainmakers" that included a single-panel cartoon depicting rainmakers
employing fancifully labeled devices based on the free coinage of
silver. For example, the cannon rammer was labeled "16 to 1" which
referred to the exchange ratio for silver and gold coins. Here is a
clipping showing the cartoon. Peter Reitan's message included a link
to a version of the same cartoon that appeared later on November 7,
1895:

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21997547/silverrainmakers/

Stephen Goranson has pointed to thematically pertinent precursors.

This message also points to precursor citations for this metaphorical
framework. The term "rainmaker" does not appear directly in these
citations, but I think they help to illustrate the emergence of the
modern sense of "rainmaker"; a "rainmaker" causes increased economic
activity.

The proponents of the coinage of silver believed that the circulation
of additional coins would enable greater economic activity and prevent
the pains of an economic contraction. Strict adherence to a gold
standard might cause debilitating deflation they believed.

The linkage of free coinage and rainmaking occurred via the comical
phrase "free coinage of rain" which was printed in August 1893 and
later. The July 1895 cartoon humorously illustrated the combination of
free coinage and rainmaking.

Date: August 2, 1893
Newspaper: The Indianapolis News
Newspaper Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Article: Short untitled item
Quote Page 4, Column 3
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
What the country would really like to have is a free coinage of rain.
[End excerpt]


Date: June 8, 1894
Newspaper: The Miami Republican
Newspaper Location:
Article: Untitled short item
Quote Page 3, Column 2
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
We hereby demand the free coinage of rain in unlimited qualities for a
short season for this section of Kansas. If we don't get it within
reasonable time, we will organize a Coxey army and march to
Washington.
[End excerpt]


Date: April 25, 1895
Newspaper: The Western News
Newspaper Location: Stockton, Kansas
Article: Untitled short item
Quote Page 4, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
The people of Rooks county are a unit in favor of the free coinage of
rain, during the coming season, at a ratio of 1 to 16--one rain every
sixteen days.
[End excerpt]


Date: April 26, 1895
Newspaper: The Guthrie Daily Leader
Newspaper Location: Guthrie, Oklahoma
Article: Untitled short item
Quote Page 2, Column 1
Database: Chronicling America
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063952/1895-04-26/ed-1/seq-2/

[Begin excerpt]
The Leader desires to go on record as being in favor of the free
coinage of rain.
[End excerpt]

Date: June 22, 1895
Newspaper: The Kansas Star (The Wichita Star)
Newspaper Location: Wichita, Kansas
Article: Short untitled item
Quote Page 1, Column 3
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt]
The good rains of the past two weeks have made the farmers of Sedgwick
county more money than all the silver conventions held this year, can
make for them. We stand for the free and unlimited coinage of rain.
[End excerpt]

Garson


On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 7:29 PM, Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe.
>
>
> I would find that position more convincing if the piece appeared in Pawnbrokers' Gazette, where the target reader might look more kindly on rainmakers who brought clouds that obscured the economic sun.
>
>
> Full context would be helpful in analyzing it.
>
>
> The year of the cite, 1891, is interesting.  That is the earliest year in which "scientific" rainmakers made big news.  The government and military carried out elaborate rainmaking tests using balloons, kites, gas explosions, dynamite and rickarack explosives (or something like that) - hence the "tarriff bomb" allusion.
>
>
> The cartoon accompanying the 1895 rainmaker cite about the "free silver" "rainmaker" charlatans comically illustrates what the rainmakers looked like, but labels the various devices with "free silver" economic slogans.
>
>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21943136/elizabethville_echo/
>
>
> Ironically, when President Cleveland cut funding to the government rainmaking experiments in a cost-cutting move necessitated by a bad economy made worse by tarriffs, rainmaking was a victim of the same "tarriff bombs" that obscured the economy in the 1891 commentary.
>
>
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/21943029/juniata_sentinel_and_republican/
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:59 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in revenue)
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain = clients (that bring in
>               revenue)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Yes, Peter, there is some difference, though perhaps a transition obtains. =
> Rainmakers were often seen as charlatans. And in the 1891 case, the sun is =
> indeed said to go away for some folks, but for others presumably cash flows=
>  in to the pawn shop, here presented as disreputable. maybe.
>
> Stephen
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <..> on behalf of Peter Reitan <...>
> Sent: Monday, July 16, 2018 2:03 PM
> To: ...
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain =3D clients (that br=
> ing in revenue)
>
> I read these two "rainmaker" cites as being different from the current sens=
> e of the partner who make it rain by bringing in the paying clients.
>
> The 1891 Springfield Republican cite is backwards, the "rainmaker" makes th=
> e economic sun go away with clouds caused by tariffs.
>
> The Dixon Evening Telegraph citation refers to charlatans, who are as disho=
> nest as con-artists who pretend to bring rains for a fee.
>
> ________________________________
> From: Stephen Goranson<...>
> Sent: =FD7/=FD16/=FD2018 10:07
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU<...>
> Subject: Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain =3D clients (that bring in r=
> evenue)
>
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -------------------=
> ----
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <...>
> Poster:       Stephen Goranson <...>
> Subject:      Re: Antedating rainmaker WAS Re: rain =3D clients (that bring=
>  in
>               revenue)
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ----
>
> Maybe relevant:
>
> "...These as a rule make fairly good wages when they work, but every little=
> =3D
>  while some rain-maker comes along and by discharging a few tariff bombs dr=
> =3D
> ives their financial sun under a cloud...."
>
>
> Springfield Republican, page 5
> Publication Date:
> December 6, 1891
> Published as:
> Springfield Republican
> Location:
> Springfield, Massachusetts
> Headline:
> Springfield News And Comment. Pawnbrokers And Their Shops. Peculiarities In=
> =3D
>  The Business Which Has Its
> Article Type:
> News/Opinion
>
>
> S. Goranson
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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