A lot of the really amusing things in the historical life turn up while doing research. As an example, Bill (my spouse) was looking for data about 19th-century industries in Hartford. So he opened up our copy of The Memorial History of Hartford County, Connecticut, Vol. I (a 700-page leatherbound tome printed in 1886) to Section XI, “Manufactures and Inventions.”
And there, at the bottom of page 563, he read about the inventions of Dr. Apollos Kinsley of Hartford, which included:
a card-machine. It was run in a small building a little back from Main Street and above Asylum Street, and the motive-power was furnished by a sort of treadmill operated by dog-power. There were usually eight or ten dogs, which went on in relays.
Now that’s Yankee ingenuity at work!