I was cataloging this book today (2011.008.0031) and started reading through some of the provisions from the City of Salem’s General Charter and Ordinances in 1912, here are some of the most disturbing and absurd.

Minors Prohibited in Noodle Houses, No. 777

An ordinance regulating Chinese and Japanese noodle restaurants and prohibiting minors from frequenting, loitering about or attending such restaurants after certain hours of the day.

Section 1:

[Regulating Noodle Houses] That all Chinese or Japanese noodle restaurants within the corporate limits of the City of Salem, Oregon, shall be provided with clear glass windows or doors, fronting upon the street, and shall be so arranged as to afford an unobstructed view of the interior of such restaurant from the street, and it shall be unlawful for any such restaurant to have any painted windows, screens, blinds, booths, boxes or closed rooms for the purpose of obscuring persons in such restaurant or preventing the patrons thereof from being observed by persons passing along the street.

Barbed Wire Prohibited, No. 432

An ordinance prohibiting the erection and maintaining along any street or alley line or across any street or alley, barbed wire or barbed wire fencing…Any person violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction before the City Recorder, shall be fined in any sum not less than $2.50 nor more than $20.00, and in default of the payment…shall be imprisoned in the city jail one day for each $2.00 of such fine.

Wearing of Hats in Theatres, No. 352

An ordinance to prohibit any person from wearing hats and head covering in the theatres or other places of amusement during the performance.

Section 1:  No person shall wear any hat or bonnet or other head-covering within any licensed theatre or other place of amusement in the City of Salem, during the rendition of any program on the stage or platform of said theatre or other place of amusement, but every such hat, bonnet or other head-covering shall be removed from the head by the person wearing the same, during the time of performance in said theatre or other place of amusement, or during the rendition of the program on the stage or platform of said theatre or other place of amusement; provided, that the above inhibition shall not be held to include skull caps, lace coverings or other small or closely fitting headdress or covering, which does not interfere with or obstruct the view of the stage or platform of such theatre or other place of amusement, of persons in the rear of such wearers, which in such theatre or other place of amusement.

This also was a misdemeanor offense.