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From the Vault

By Staff | Sep 18, 2015

July 7, 1905

“Cheese Cause of Fight”

Germantown. Pa.- A small piece of Limburger cheese, carefully secreted in the blouse of a small schoolboy, was the cause of what promises to be a sensational rumpus in the education circles of Germantown.

Anthony Billhardt, 10 years old, is the boy in the case, and others involved in the consequences following his taking a bit of the cheese to school are his mother; Miss Hempie, the principal of the Bringhurst School, of Germantown; and John W. Brooks, president of the sectional school board. If the threats made by Mrs. Billhardt are carried out, the courts will also be involved. She said that she interned to have the teacher arrested on a charge of assault.

According to Mrs. Billhardt, when Miss Hemple discovered the boy in school with the offensive cheese, she told him he smelled bad, and, after ordering him to take off his blouse, sent him home. The rest of the incident, as told by Mrs. Billhardt, occurred as follows:

“I immediately took my child back to the school and asked the principal why she had sent Anthony home. She grabbed me by the arm and forced me out into the hallways. I then smacked her in the face. Miss. Hemple picked up a book and threw it and hit me on the head. I then grabbed her by the hair, then went home.”

– Author unknown

Sept. 16, 2015

Even in 1905, parents would overreact to their children being punished. I’m mostly shocked that an article from Pennsylvania could make it all the way to Rugby during this timeframe.

Imagine how differently it would have been handled today. Back in 1905 it was settled and ended with a fist. They simply handled things differently. Thinking more about it, it is odd she sent the child home right away, instead of putting the cheese somewhere else, or letting him eat it right then and there. And humiliating the child probably didn’t do Miss Hemple a lot of good in the long run. If this happened today, you can just imagine the media fiasco this would create. And it surely would not have ended simply with a fist. No, if they did fight, they would have most likely ended up in court together. And the surveillance footage of them fighting would more than likely go viral.

And finally, I have actually never heard of Limburger cheese before. So I decided to Google what it is, and what it tasted like. And Yahoo Ask did not disappoint with someone, with a deactivated account, giving instructions on how to find something that smells and tastes just like it. “Find a really dirty homeless person, one who has not washed in two weeks, and ask to suck on their armpit.” All I know about the author is that his or her username is Jay. But he or she sure sounds classy, huh?

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