A fisherman at Belfast has stirred up a deal of strife in that town because, so it is alleged, he was using short weight scales in selling lobsters. When a man is getting 24 or 25 cents a pound for lobsters and then trying to gain three or four ounces to each pound, it is time most anyone raised a remonstrance.

• “Gee, but this is cold,” remarked the traveling man as he drew up before the fireplace at Charles Mahoney’s hotel the other night. “Yep,” said Charles, “but not as bad as ’twas last night. This morning I gathered 32 bushels of frost off the lawn and put it in the refrigerator. It saves the ice bill. Expect to get about half as much tomorrow, my wife froze her toe last night.” The traveling man looked at Charles, but said no more about cold weather.

50 years ago, 1958

Lewiston and Auburn gasoline dealers are engaged in still another “war” in which the price now has dipped to what some dealers said was their price from the large oil companies.

This is 23 cents a gallon and this price was posted at one large Auburn dealer’s pumps yesterday. Several other dealers, especially in the area of Minot Avenue beyond Court Street, posted prices of 23.9 cents a gallon and reported last night that if the 23 cent price nearer in town held today their posted prices would come down to meet it.

25 years ago, 1983

It’s been a long time since anyone called oil the fuel of the future.

According to a recent report by the Office of Energy Resources, Mainers burned less than 179 million gallons of oil for residential heating last year, compared to 306.5 million gallons in 1972. Yet while consumption dropped 42 percent in 10 years, the total amount spent for home heating oil zoomed from $81 million in 1972 to $216 million last year – an increase of more than 250 percent.

The case against oil is well-known by now. Since most of the state’s oil is imported, the supply is subject to the whims of OPEC and other producers. And while prices have been held down by the worldwide recession, a major recovery could easily send the price shooting upwards again.

Nevertheless, oil is still the most used single heating fuel, and with prices apparently stabilized (as low as 94 cents a gallon) for at least the foreseeable future, many people are taking another look at oil heat.

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