Pat Shingleton: "Popping Pop and Covered Bridges"
The sun is 868,000 miles across and is about 100 times the diameter of our planet. From our childhood to now we have a greater appreciation of the sun's power. We made our own root beer. The brothers would retrieve a mixing crock from the basement and Mom would mix a root beer extract with sugar and yeast. After cleaning pop bottles, we'd funnel-in the root beer and manually cap them. The next stage included placing the bottles in the sunlight, spinning them occasionally to eliminate the sediment. It took four days to get the effervescence just-right. Before the fourth day, some of the bottles would explode. The power of sunlight and the power of the yeast gave us an extra pop in our soda-pop. Another item from days-of-old...The shade of a tree or building can reduce temperatures by eight degrees. The Ellwood City Area Historical Society Newsletter devoted an issue to the first covered bridge that connected Ellwood City, PA with Hazel Dell, a smaller village on the north side of town. The length of the bridge was 165 feet with a width of twelve feet eight inches. The width was determined to accommodate the size of buggies and wagons. These covered bridges were constructed to provide shelter for travelers during inclement weather. Also in the newsletter was the use of the spring house that preserved milk and meat from spoiling during the warm summer months in addition to supplying fresh spring water.
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