Daily Almanac for Wednesday, September 20, 2023

By Brenda June Temple

On this date in 1892, Frank Schuman patented wire safety glass. Frank Shuman in 1907. By Frank Shuman – Hagley Museum and Library., Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org


Frank Shuman (/ˈʃmən/; January 23, 1862 – April 28, 1918) was an American inventor, engineer and solar energy pioneer known for his work on solar engines, especially those that used solar energy to heat water that would produce steam.

In 1892 Frank Shuman invented wire glass safety glass. Additional patents were issued relating to the process of making wire glass and machines for making wire glass. In 1914 Shuman invented a process for making laminated safety glass, called safety glass, and manufactured by the Safety Glass Company. In 1916 he patented a “Danger Signal” for railroad crossings, as well as the use of liquid oxygen or liquid air to propel a submarine.


Ember Days happen four times a year at the start of each season. Traditionally observed by some Christian denominations, each set of Ember Days is three days, kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Ember Days for 2023
September: 20, 22, 23
December: 20, 22, 23

Ember Days for 2024
February 21, 23, 24
May 22, 24, 25
September 18, 20, 21
December 18, 20, 21

These three days are set apart for fasting, abstinence, and prayer. The first of these four times comes in winter, after the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13; the second set comes with the First Sunday in Lent; the third set comes after Whitsunday/Pentecost Sunday; the four and last set comes after the Feast of the Holy Cross. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:

“Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.”

Which means:

“Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, are when the quarter holidays follow.”

In Latin, Ember Days are known as the quattuor anni tempora (the “four seasons of the year”). Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for three successive months.

As with much folklore, this is grounded in some common sense since the beginning of the four seasons cue the changes in weather as well as a shift in how we keep harmony with the Earth and respect our stewardship of the Earth, our “garden of Eden.”“

Question of the Day

Where do all those recycled telephone books go?

Many are used to make things such as compact disc covers.

Advice of the Day

Brush the hair at least twice weekly and shampoo once a month. —The 1914 Old Farmer’s Almanac

Home Hint of the Day

To protect a new house under construction from termite infestation, especially in a forested area, install aluminum flashing fashioned to fit between the concrete foundation wall and the wood sill above it.

Word of the Day

Halcyon Days

About 14 days of calm weather follows the blustery winds of autumn’s end. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed them to occur around the time of the winter solstice, when the halcyon, or kingfisher, was brooding. In a nest floating on the sea, the bird was said to have charmed the wind and waves so that the waters were especially calm during this period.

Puzzle of the Day

I move incessant to and fro, Obedient to Moon and Sun, But though I serve both high and low, All wait on me, I wait on none. (What am I?)

The tide


  • David Ross Locke (journalist) – 
  • George Bird Grinnell (naturalist) – 
  • Upton Sinclair (author) – 
  • Maxwell Perkins (editor) – 
  • Red Auerbach (basketball coach) – 
  • Anne Meara (actress) – 
  • Donald Hall (poet) – 
  • Sophia Loren (actress) – 
  • Guy Damien Lafleur (hockey player) – 
  • Ray Gozalez (poet) – 
  • Gary Cole (actor) – 
  • Kristen Johnston (actress) – 
  • Spencer Locke (actress) – 
  • Harley (giant anteater, Caldwell Zoo, Texas) – 


  • Jacob Grimm (folklorist) – 
  • Benny Baker (comedian) – 
  • Jule Styne (songwriter) – 
  • William Rosenberg (founded Dunkin Donuts chain) – 
  • Polly Bergen (actress) – 


  • Navigator Ferdinand Magellan left Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain, for Spice Islands– 
  • Slave trading abolished in Washington, D.C.– 
  • Elisha Otis sold his first elevator– 
  • Frank Schuman patented wire safety glass– 
  • Billie King defeated Bobby Riggs in a tennis match in Houston, Texas, billed as the Battle of the Sexes– 
  • Cal Ripken, Jr. took the day off for the first time in 16 years and ended baseball’s ironman streak at 2,632 games– 


  • The Adirondack Tornado traveled 275 miles, starting over Lake Ontario, moving through New York State, and ending as a waterspout on Lake Champlain– 
  • 4.88 inches of rain drenched Berne, Indiana– 
  • Snow and 28 degrees F in St. Johsbury, Vermont– 
  • Frost in Dublin, NH– 
  • Peoria, Illinois, had its first summer freeze on record– 

COURTESY www.almanac.com