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Industrial South 1879-1913

1913 - The Mint Closes

Charlotte's Mint closes. It never again manufactured money after the Confederate soldiers left. Since 1867, is had been used to measure and analyze, or assay, gold. Now the building will be used by the Red Cross and by the Charlotte's Women's Club.

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1888 - First Black Hospital

Good Samaritan Hospital is aptly named. It is reported to be the first hospital in the U.S. for black patients. Mrs. Jane Wilkes, a nurse whose husband, Captain John Wilkes ran Mecklenburg Iron Works, heads the hospital's fund-raising efforts. Hundreds of miles away in New York, Mrs. Wilkes' relatives donate money to the Charlotte facility. They, too, are Good Samaritans.Good Samaritan Hospital

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1913 - Railroad Expansion

The network of railroad lines serving Charlotte grows as the Norfolk and Southern Railroad reaches from Virginia to the Queen City by way of Raleigh and Albemarle. Like spokes of a wheel, rail lines expand in eight directions from Charlotte. Passengers, freight and goods travel farther than ever before.

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1890 - Edison meets Latta

February 22, 1890 - Inventor Thomas Edison dines at the home of Edward Dilworth Latta, for whom the new Dilworth neighborhood is named. Soon, Latta will hire Edison's company, General Electric, to develop Charlotte's electric trolley line.

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1903 - Flight in Kitty Hawk

December 17, 1903 - On a windy bluff on North Carolina's outerbanks, Orville Wright takes flight in a powered airplane. He is the first person to accomplish this feat. His 100-foot trip lasts 12 seconds. Orville and his brother, Wilbur, traveled here from their Ohio bicycle shop to take advantage of the coastal winds at Kill Devil Hills.

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1903 - First Free Library

<p>January 31, 1903 - Since 1891, Charlotte&#39;s library has charged a subscription fee of 50 cents per month. Today, the city&#39;s first free library opens. Northern steel executive Andrew Carnegie has given Charlotte $25,000 to start the library. The city must promise to provide $2,500 each year to operate it. Carnegie also donates money for a separate library designated for black patrons. When a tax dispute arises in 1939, the Charlotte Public Library will be forced to close for one year.

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1905 - Charlotte Grows

October 20, 1905 - Attorney Edward Randolph Preston hosts a meeting that begins the Greater Charlotte Club. With a motto that urges citizens to Watch Charlotte Grow, the club is a forerunner of the modern-day Chamber of Commerce.

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1899 - First Horseless Carriage

On December 5, Charles Wadsworth, who with his brother James operated a livery stable on North College Street, became the first person to drive a gasoline-powered car in Charlotte. As it passed along Tryon Street  . . . crowds followed it, noted the Charlotte Observer in a story the next day.

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1903 - North Charlotte

Even with streetcar transportation nearby, mill owners must provide a place to live for families who work at the mills. Near the Highland Park Mill #3, 200 houses become part of the growing North Charlotte community. 

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1880 - Traditions Fade Away

The old ways of the Catawba Indians are dying out. The young people of the tribe have learned English and no longer want to speak their native Catawba language. Missionaries have taught them to practice the white man's religion. Some even marry white settlers. It will be many years before the Catawba Indian culture again flourishes.

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