100 years ago in Spokane: A vacuum salesman got ‘cleaner than any rug I ever demonstrated on’ after a bootlegging scheme went bad

Frank Wright, a 35-year-old vacuum salesman, had heard that bootlegging was an excellent get-rich-quick scheme.

“There wasn’t much money in the vacuum cleaner game at that time,” he said. “So I decided to take a flyer in booze.”

He bought a new car and headed over the Canadian border. He made one smuggling trip successfully, but the next time he was nabbed by federal agents. He lost the booze, the car and had to pay a steep fine.

Still, he decided to get back into the game on a smaller scale.

Unfortunately, two Spokane dry squad officers overheard him offer to deliver three quarts of liquor to a Spokane customer. They waited outside the house and nabbed him when he delivered the liquor.

He told the judge that the get-rich-quick scheme was a bust. He paid $85 a case for illicit booze, but was able to sell it for only $100 a case.

“Couldn’t even make good wages, and was about to give it up when you grabbed me,” he said in court. “I’m cleaner now than any rug I ever demonstrated my vacuum cleaner on, and that’s going some.”

The unsympathetic judge sentenced him to 10 days in jail and a $250 fine.

From the music beat: Anita Patti Brown of Chicago, known as “the colored prima donna of America,” was in Spokane to give a concert at the Bethel AME Church.

Her program included a number of spirituals, including “My Lord, What A Morning,” “Weepin’ Mary,” “Bye an’ Bye,” and “Last Rose of Summer.”

So on this day

(From onthisday.com)

1690: The clarinet is invented in Nuremberg, Germany.