Daily Almanac for Sunday, October 9, 2022

On this date in 1855, Joshua Stoddard received a patent for a calliope. Here is a Calliope (file photo)


Joshua C. Stoddard (August 26, 1814 in Pawlet, Vermont – April 4, 1902) was an American inventor. He was educated at the public schools, and became noted as an apiarist. He also turned his attention to inventing, and on October 9, 1855, patented (U.S. Patent 13,668) the steam calliope, used on Mississippi River steamboats. It was originally known as a “steam piano”, with Stoddard forming the American Steam Piano Company [sometimes referred to as the American Steam Music Company] in Worcester, Massachusetts. His first instrument, consisting of a steam boiler, a set of valves, and fifteen graded steam whistles played from a pinned cylinder, reportedly could be heard for a range of 5 miles (8.0 km). The Worcester City Council banned him from playing it within the city limits because it was so loud.

He also invented the Stoddard horse-rake, patented in 1879. More than 100,000 of his rakes were produced. Other inventions included a fruit-paring machine, a hay-tedder and a fire escape system, patented 1884.


Leif Eriksson Day

In A.D. 1000, long before Columbus, Eriksson led a Viking voyage westward from Greenland and reached the coast of North America, in what is now Newfoundland. He named his discovery Vinland. Although Eriksson is not officially credited with the European discovery of America, ever since 1964 U.S. presidents have had the option of proclaiming October 9 as Leif Eriksson Day.

Full Hunter’s Moon

Native Americans named October’s Moon the Hunter’s Moon because it was the time to hunt in preparation for winter. Other tribes called it the Travel Moon and the Dying Grass Moon. See Almanac.com/moon-october for more information!

Question of the Day

How much is a rick of firewood? Is it half a cord?

No, rick is actually a description of the way a cord of wood is stacked. A cord of wood measures 4x4x8 feet, or 128 cubic feet, and a standard cord is piled in a 4×8-foot stack, or rick. Rick also refers to a stack of any other material, such as hay, left out in the open air.

Advice of the Day

Start adding horseradish and raw onion to your sandwiches to help prevent winter colds.

Home Hint of the Day

To correct the dents that furniture leaves in carpets, place an ice cube in each dent and allow it to melt overnight. While the carpet is still damp, fluff up the fibers with your fingers.

Word of the Day


Either of the two points where a body’s orbit intersects the ecliptic. Ascending: The body is moving from south to north of the ecliptic. Descending: The body is moving from north to south of the ecliptic.

Puzzle of the Day

He sits and (Blank) over his (Blank). (The two 5-letter words to fill the blanks share the same letters.)

1) mopes 2) poems


  • Lewis Cass (politician) – 1782
  • Camille Saint-Saens (composer) – 1835
  • Myron Herrick (politician) – 1854
  • Leonard Wood (physician) – 1860
  • Charles Rudolph Walgreen (merchant) – 1873
  • Jacques Tati (director) – 1908
  • E. Howard Hunt (author) – 1918
  • John Lennon (musician) – 1940
  • Jackson Browne (musician) – 1948
  • Tony Shalhoub (actor) – 1953
  • Scott Bakula (actor) – 1954
  • Steve Ovett (runner) – 1955
  • Brandon Routh (actor) – 1979
  • Zachery Ty Bryan (actor) – 1981
  • Tyler James Williams (actor) – 1992


  • Oskar Schindler (businessman) – 1974
  • David Dukes (actor) – 2000
  • Charles Guggenheim (filmmaker) – 2002
  • Jan Hooks (actress) – 2014


  • The Collegiate School, later renamed Yale University, is founded in Connecticut.– 1701
  • Joshua Stoddard received a patent for a calliope– 1855
  • The nation’s first working underground oil pipeline was completed between Oil Creek and Pithole, Pennsylvania– 1865
  • American Humane Association organized– 1877
  • The Washington Monument opened to the public– 1888
  • 7.7 earthquake struck Kodiak Island, Alaska– 1900
  • Deadly fire leveled Baudette and Spooner, Minnesota– 1910
  • First electronic blanket manufactured, Petersburg, Virginia– 1946
  • In Bolivia, Che Guevara is killed while leading a Cuban-sponsored guerrilla force– 1967
  • Cape Kennedy restored to original name of Cape Canaveral” in Florida”– 1973
  • A meteorite struck a car in Peekskill, New York– 1992
  • Starting on September 28, Lloyd Scott, a 41-year old former firefighter and professional football player from Rainham, London, dived through the depths of Loch Ness for 12 days to complete on this day the world’s first ever underwater marathon. Lloyd wore an 80-kilogram diving suit throughout the 26-mile adventure– 2003
  • The new U.S. $20 bill, with its faint tinge of peach color in the background, made its way into bank vaults and consumers’ pockets– 2003


  • Damaging hailstorms hit Montana, causing $7.5 million in crop damage– 1944

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