Premiums Given For Horses, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep

This post is rated NV-17: No Vegetarians under 17 years of age…

For those of you who have never made it to the end of one of my long-winded posts, this is your chance. Today’s post is just to share an interesting artifact from the butcher shop and to introduce the topic of a future (and likely long-winded) post.

Here is a photo of the 1960’s era item, which measures approximately 6 inches by 15 inches:

This is what a display ad looked like before the internet: you printed your advertisement on something useful like a clock, calendar, bottle opener, or in this case a thermometer. Yes, this is real, although the fact that it looks completely unbelievable is one of the reasons I really like it (I also enjoy the juxtaposition of the somewhat faded but clearly enthusiastic “Wanted!” with the subject at hand).

The first unbelievable thing is that the phone number for this business is 79. Now, by the time I was using the telephone you had to dial (and yes, the phone had a rotary dial) an entire 4-digit number.  That’s right, you could call anyone in town by dialing a 4-digit telephone number (for a good laugh on this topic watch this Louis CK clip – the rotary phone part is 30 seconds in).

Of course the other unbelievable thing is that there was a company that would come and collect dead animals – or in the case of the butcher shop, collect all the unusable parts (bones, guts, trimmings) – and pay you for them. You’ll notice the company name has the word ‘rendering’ in it, but since this is a pet-friendly blog I won’t mention what these parts might have been rendered into.

The other (and more valuable) byproduct was cowhides (I know it’s unpleasant to think about all this, but you know you love your leather shoes and jacket so suck it up). In a future post I’ll discuss the dirty job of preserving the hides until they were sold, and the importance of good timing to success.

Have to go for now, time to feed the dog…

-Steve

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