A heavy-duty Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane helicopter lifting a complete pre-fabricated house, measuring 28 feet by 44 feet, from the factory to its destination, 1970.

The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter. It is the civil version of the United States Army’s CH-54 Tarhe. It is currently produced as the S-64 Aircrane by Erickson Inc.

CH-54 Carrying F-4 Phantom


An air-to-air left side view of a CH-54 Skyhook helicopter of the 2348th Transportation Co., Mississippi Nationa Guard, transporting a damaged Marine Corps A-4 Skyhawk aircraft to Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. The aircraft was struck by lighting while parked on the flight line.



Soviet explorer, Nikolai Machulyak, feeding a polar bear and cubs with condensed milk, 1976.

The seemingly dangerous situation depicted in the image, as well as the fact that these accounts don’t always provide accurate captions, led many viewers to be a little skeptical that this was a genuine photograph. 

But this picture is quite real. It was taken near the Siberian town Cape Schmidt off the coast of the Chukchi Sea sometime in the 1970s and shows a man named Nikolai Machulyak.

Machulyak was a bit of a local celebrity at the time due to his frequent encounters with polar bears. When rumors of a man who had “tamed the beasts” reached author V. Filimonov, he set out to find him. In August 1977, Filimonov published an article about Machulyak entitled “ДРУЖБЫ ТВОЕЙ ПРОШУ” (“I Ask For Your Friendship) in the Russian travel magazine Вокруг света (“Around the World“).

Machulyak explained that a young polar bear was abandoned after a hunter killed its parent in December 1974. Machulyak fed the young polar bear, which he named “Masha,” for the remainder of the winter months until the bear left in the spring of 1975. A year later, he encountered a larger polar bear. While it seemed at first as if the bear was about to attack him, he soon realized that something quite different was happening.

Here’s how Machulyak explained the origins of this story to Around the World magazine (loosely translated via Google):

In December 1974, a Chukchi hunter killed a polar bear that devastated its yaranga. After her there was a pestoon – a young bear, which I fed for five months: she had not yet learned to hunt. Called her Masha. In the spring of 1975, she left, and almost a year later I saw her again … And suddenly this bear rushes to me. Often a person does not manage to unravel the intentions of the beast, but here I felt: this is not an attack. All bears are usually on the same face … but then I realized – Masha! I stopped her with a wand. I always carry such a wand with me. Light, sixty centimeters. Masha was at a loss – this was visible in her face, at will, bypassing the wand, approaching me. She clearly recognized me … And yet it was scary. After all, 11 months have passed since our last meeting. I immediately brought meat from the trap. She ate willingly.

The Around the World article also included journal entries that Machulyak had written about his experiences with Masha. In them, he recounts his various encounters with her, such as the time he fed her seal meat from his hands.

Masha wasn’t the only polar bear that Machulyak encountered during this period. At one point, a larger bear named “Marya Mikhailovna” pushed Masha from her den. Machulyak was able to befriend this bear, too, as well as her cubs. 

The Russian Geographical Society collected and published several other photographs of Machulyak and this family of polar bears:

Although Machulyak had multiple encounters with these polar bears, he said that he always approached with caution:

The beast is the beast. But every time I set myself up before a meeting. I mentally tell Masha, and not only to her, but to any bear: “I ask for your friendship. Here is my hand in advance — palm up, there is no weapon, there is a can of condensed milk in it that you love. You are a beautiful, strong and amiable beast to me. I want to have a friend in you, and in friendship I will not be more faithful.”

Source: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/man-feeds-polar-bear-picture/

Seems like a long time ago…

The U.S. banned inflight smoking on domestic flights of less than two hours in 1988. This was extended to domestic flights of six hours or less in 1990 and to all domestic and international flights in 2000. In 1994, Delta was the first airline in the USA to ban smoking on all worldwide flights.






Neway Auto Wash Bowl, Chicago, 1924.

Car was first run around the pool to flush mud and dirt off the undercarriage, also tightens the wooden wheels causing the wood to swell. The Auto Wash Bowl was built in Chicago in 1924 by the Neway Auto Cleaning & Service Corp., allowing drivers to run around in circles to clean off the undercarriage, after that, they drove into a stall where they’d get a proper wash by an attendant.


First car phone electronics, 1946.

In 1949, AT&T commercialized Mobile Telephone Service. At the time, only approximately 5,000 customers had the service. Calls required manual assistance by an operator. The call subscriber equipment weighed about 80 lb and required the use of a vehicle to make it mobile, and was therefore considered a car phone. Similar to a modern day Walkie-Talkie, a button had to be held down on the handset to talk and then released to listen.



The first car telephones connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network in the United States were put into service in 1946, as a response to the growing mobility of the American population in the postwar years.  Initial design of the mobile telephone itself was undertaken by the Western Electric Corporation, the prime supplier of telephone sets to the nation’s Bell System operating companies, while Bell Laboratories itself designed the overall system and set the specifications for the equipment.  At the same time, the independent telephone companies were developing their own equipment, to be supplied by Automatic Electric.  The Bell System equipment built upon an already existing mobile radio set, Western Electric’s 1945 vintage Type 38 or 39 VHF FM police radio equipment, adding a telephone style handset and a selective calling decoder, which rang a bell in the automobile when that phone’s unique number was signaled. The selective calling decoder consisted of a small wheel in a glass enclosure, with pins located at certain points around its circumference. The decoder had been developed in the 19th century for railway right-of-way signaling, was later used in ship to shore radio telephone installations in the 1930’s, and was a proven concept.  This decoder was labeled “102.” Western Electric and the Bell companies thus did not draw up an entirely new concept for a car telephone in 1946; they used proven components of other systems to create the new public car telephone service.

Mobile telephone equipment had already been in use internally within the Bell System on an experimental basis, going back before WWII,  using mobile radios such as the Western Electric Type 28 VHF equipment. One example was the Emergency Radiotelephone Service established by New York Telephone in December, 1940, which used AM on the 30-40 Megacycle band.  Based on the successful tests of that equipment, AT&T announced the creation of the General Mobile Radiotelephone Service on June 29, 1945, and applied to the FCC for authority to establish base stations in Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Washington DC, Columbus Ohio, Denver, Houston, New York City, and Salt Lake City.  One has to wonder why nothing was initially considered for California.

The FCC and the Bell companies envisioned two forms of mobile telephone service, “HIGHWAY” and “URBAN.” Both would be VHF, and both would use FM. The “Highway” service, as its name implies, was intended primarily to serve the major land and water routes that existed across the United States in the 1940’s, which would not be served by the “Urban” systems. Highway service was intended for trucks and barges on inland waterways rather than private vehicles.  Highway service was allocated 12 channels in the VHF “low band,” with the mobile equipment receiving on 35 Megacycle and transmitting on 43 Megacycle frequencies, although not all 12 channels were initially used.  The Urban equipment, as its name implies, was intended to serve mobile subscribers whose travels took them primarily within the immediate radius of a major urban center, such as doctors, delivery trucks, ambulances, newspaper reporters and so forth.  Urban equipment operated on VHF 152 Megacycles (receive) and 158 Megacycles (transmit,) and the initial FCC allocation in 1946 was for 6 channels. The separation in transmit and receive channels was necessary to provide a “half duplex” communications circuit, and allowed the telephone company base station to remain on the air continuously during the duration of the call. The first Highway system went on the air in August 28, 1946 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the first Urban system went on the air in Saint Louis on June 17, 1946.

By 1948, Urban service was available in 60 cities in the United States and Canada, with 4000 mobile subscribers, handling 117,000 calls per month.  Highway service was in place in 85 cities with 1900 mobile subscribers, handling approximately 36,000 calls per month, with most major highways in the east and Midwest covered. 

The Bell System also entered the two-way business and police radio market after the war by offering the rental of entire radio systems including their maintenance and updating.  This equipment was marked “Bell System” either in white painted letters or with water-slide decals.  Smaller police departments were encouraged to use the “Urban” mobile telephone system as opposed to a traditional dispatch system, which must have been somewhat odd in operation.  Most of the equipment rented by the Bell System affiliates was Motorola two-piece “Deluxe” equipment, FMTRU-5V “Dispatcher” and GE one-piece pre-Progress Line radios.  It is believed that the Bell System discontinued this practice sometime in the early to mid 1950’s.


Oxen and horse drawn covered wagons travel up Ute Pass in El Paso County, Colorado, 1878.


Oxen team heading up Ute Pass(U.S.24) taking supplies to the Ute Agency.


Source: 1890.

Ute Pass, from Colorado Springs to South Park. El Paso County, Colorado. 1873. – ID. Jackson, W.H. 1452 – jwh01452 – U.S. Geological Survey – Public domain image

This would have been later than 1973.


Photograph shows large crowd watching acrobat Max Schreyer doing daredevil bicycle flying stunt from long ramp, 1901.

Riding a bicycle down a narrow chute from a tower 110 feet in the air, picking up speed on the downward part of the chute and then swooping upward off the curved end of the chute.

Just before the bike left the chute, he had to propel himself from the machine and dive forward in a graceful arc to land headfirst in a water-filled tank 100 feet from the end of the chute.

Dare Devil Kid Scheyer on a stunt bike flying above Columbus Circle, New York City, November 27, 1918.

Dare Devil Kid Schreyer’s ramp mounted on the roof of a building on Columbus Circle, New York City, November 26 or 27, 1918.

View of Columbus Circle, with Dare Devil Kid Schreyer’s apparatus ready for a jump, New York City, November 26 or 27, 1918.

Source: and Source:

Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood, 1972.

Paul Newman & Clint Eastwood, photographed by Terry O’Neill, 1972.

Paul Newman was in Tucson, Arizona at the time making the movie The life and times of Judge Roy Bean for director John Huston. During the same year, Clint was also in Tucson and filming Joe Kidd for Universal pictures and directed by John Sturges.


Clint Eastwood about to eat a sandwich, 1962.


The portable cone of silence was introduced in 1966, it consisted of two large bubbles for each speaker’s head, and a long connecting tube between the two bubbles, for communication purposes. Maxwell Smart and the Chief use it to talk about Rudolph Hubert’s murder on the stage of Badeff Concert Hall but the Chief’s head gets locked in his half.

Cone of silence.

Umbrella of silence.

Closet of silence.


The Pneumatic Tube Room at Marshall Fields department store, Chicago, transporting cash and documents between departments in 90 seconds, 1947.

Don’t even have to press send.


Marshall-Fields department store, Chicago, 1947.


The Central Telegraph Office of the GPO in London, Oct 1932, showing an impressive pneumatic installation. Communications were still labour-intensive; there were 3000 employees.


In the USA there were many internal pneumatic systems in large private companies. The ladies are working the tube system of the New York Life insurance company, at 51 Madison Avenue.The containers are oval in section rather than circular, which was unusual.


The chief engineer of the Hamburger Grossrohrpost, Dr Heck, shows small-bore and large-bore pneumatic carriers to journalists.Several carrier designs were tried out; this version is shorter than most and has six wheels at each end, 1963.


It is clear that the big carriers could hold enormous amounts of mail compared with the original small-bore system.The carrier is 45 cm in diameter; this design was about 1.4 m long with four wheels at each end, 1963.


The Ingenues, an all-girls band and vaudeville act, serenading the cows in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Barn in a scientific test of whether the cows would give more milk to the soothing strains of music, 1930.


The Mountain Ice Company, circa 1895. This huge operation employed large numbers who cut ice blocks on the Lake in the winter, storing them in a mammoth wooden insulated storage building, and shipping the ice out by rail to fill the iceboxes of city dwellers in warm weather. The Ice house was located off Yellow Barn Ave, near the Silver Springs section of Landing and was owned by Theodore King. The RR tracks were a spur off the Lackawanna Line at Landing and serviced the Ice House as well as the Atlas Powder (Explosives) Co.

The Mountain Ice Company, Landing, NJ, circa 1895.

On July 12, 1912 the huge wooden ice storage building of the Mountain Ice Co. burned to the ground in a fire.


Pat Boone with crowds of fans, Akron, Ohio, 1956.

Pat Boone in Akron, Ohio at the Soapbox Derby wearing his signature white bucks. Photo: Pat Boone Enterprises

Pat Boone is a legendary American singer, composer, actor, writer and spokesman. He was a #1 pop singer in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. He sold more than 45 million records and had 38 top 40 hits, including 6 number one records, and 13 “million sellers”, or gold records. In addition, Boone appeared in more than 15 Hollywood films.

In the years immediately prior to the British Invasion, only one performer rivaled the chart dominance of Elvis Presley, and that was Pat Boone. However, Boone represented the very essence of wholesome American values. At a time when the rise of Rock ‘n Roll was viewed as a sign of the Apocalypse, Boone made the music appear safe and non-threatening. He also recorded a lot of Christian music, and even wrote the words to what is considered Israel’s second national anthem, “Exodus.”

Born Charles Eugene Patrick Boone on June 1, 1934,  “Pat” Boone was raised in Nashville, TN where he sang in church and on local TV and radio. In 1953, when they were both 19, Pat and Shirley Foley were married. Pat then graduated from Columbia University, Magna Cum Laude, in 1958. Pat and Shirley Boone had four daughters and remained married for 65 years, until her passing in 2019.

Boone made his recording debut in 1954 on Republic Records, followed a year later by his Dot Records debut “Two Hearts, Two Kisses.” In May of 1955 he notched his first No. 1 hit with a rendition of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame.” From 1956–1963 Boone accumulated nearly 54 chart appearances, many of them with two-sided hits. His most notable smashes included the No. 1 records “Love Letters in the Sand” and “April Love,” both released in 1957. He also starred in the film, April Love, which was released that same year.  Throughout his career, Boone stayed true to his Christian values and commented that he would only star in moral, uplifting films. That same year he began hosting his own ABC television series “The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom,” which featured a “who’s who” of top-name guests, including Ella Fitzgerald, Nat ‘King’ Cole, and Tony Bennett.

His numerous charitable endeavors include hosting the Easter Seals Telethon for many years, helping raise $600 million for children with disabilities. Together with their son-in-law, Pat and Shirley Boone founded Mercy Corps, one of the top ten Christian humanitarian and relief organizations. Boone continues to support many other ministries, including the Salvation Army, Bible for the World, and the Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Among his numerous awards and accolades, Boone has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2003, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.


Dick Clark, Pat Boone and Jerry Lee Lewis 1958. Source:

Pat Boone sings to the back rows. Courtesy Pat Boone.


Calamity Jane famously posed next to the grave of her friend Wild Bill Hickok on Mt. Moriah above Deadwood, South Dakota, 1903. A few months later, she would join him at his side.




Veterans of Fifth Division shooting dead jumper impersonator on the “Life Savers Parachute Jump” thrill ride at New York World’s Fair, 1940.

It was a different time… details inside.


Back of pic.


Sharpshooter Brigade practices shooting man in parachute.


Back of pic.


Parachute Jump thrill ride, 1939-40 World’s Fair, at Flushing Meadows in the Borough of Queens.


Parachute ride sponsored by Lifesavers, Worlds Fair, 1940.


Requisitioning auto graveyards and Victory program, 1942.

Hundreds of junked cars, containing tons of metal and rubber scrap were denied to the war effort by the Lenox Motor Company whose auto graveyard is at Colmar Manor, Maryland. Donovan, the owner, refused to sell at established junk prices. The material has since been requisitioned by the U.S. government, 1942.

Butte, Montana. Scrap salvage, 1942.

Washington, D.C. Scrap salvage campaign, Victory Program. After saleable parts are removed from old cars, the cars are burned in order to strip them of useless materials and to obtain metal skeleton for scrap, 1942.


Transportation of Gun Tube No. 87, near Waldo Grade on August 28, 1939 and final placement, World War Two coastal fortification, San Francisco.


16-inch gun on transport trailer, circa 1939.


Fort Cronkhite, Marin headlands.


16-inch gun and radar at Battery Townsley, Fort Cronkhite, c1948.


The mailman always delivers.

Rural carrier Lloyd Mortice created this unusual vehicle for use on his snow-bound New England route. Mortice fitted his 1926 Model-T with a steel track on the rear drive shaft, enabling him to drop either wheels or skis into place in front, depending on weather conditions. The company that sold Mortice the steel track later produced a similar vehicle based on the carrier’s idea.


Unidentified rural letter carrier with modified Model-T Ford, 1926.

An unidentified rural letter carrier poses next to a Model-T Ford vehicle with a snowmobile attachment. The vehicle is fitted with a kit advertised as the “Mailman’s Special” from the manufacturer, Farm Specialty Manufacturing Company of New Holstein, Wisconsin. It included skis that replaced the front tires and caterpillar treads that wrapped around the back tires. Rural carriers are responsible for providing their own transportation. At a time when automobiles were not yet equal to the demands of icy or snowy roads, the skis and tread kit saved carriers the expense of purchasing and maintaining a horse and sled for winter deliveries.


Rural carrier in automobile at mailbox, 1905.

An unidentified, enterprising Rural Free Delivery (RFD) carrier tries out a car on his snowy route to show off for a Post Office Department photographer. The Department hoped to encourage carriers to replace their horses and wagons with the latest in transportation technology. Few carriers did so. Vehicles at the time were not yet adequate replacements for horses, wagons, and sleds on rural roads.


Rural Free Delivery, 1910.

Postal officials encouraged Rural Free Delivery (RFD) carriers to replace their horses and wagons with the latest in transportation technology. This unidentified carrier painted his early electric-motored vehicle in the same paint and identification scheme as the RFD wagons of the era. He is, no doubt, only able to complete his wintertime rounds thanks to a snow-plowed road. Automobiles were not yet adequate replacements for horses, wagons, and sleds on rural roads.


Stagecoach with mail en route to Deadwood City, South Dakota, 1889.


Parcel Post Truck and Carrier, 1950.

City carrier delivering packages in the snow. The carrier’s vehicle was designated to carry parcels only, not letter mail. By 1949, the post-World War II boom pushed mail volumes to unprecedented heights. A large part of the increase was in parcels, as growing families looked to mail order catalogs for more and more of their household goods. Before city carriers were assigned vehicles to carry both parcel and letter mail at the same time, parcel post deliveries were made separately.


Mail van in the snow, 1953.

A letter carrier drives one of the Department’s new right-hand drive vans on the snowy streets of an unidentified city. The Department ordered thousands of new postal vehicles in the early 1950s as part of its post-war modernization plan. A variety of vehicles were ordered, including right-hand drive step vans such as this. Many of the new vehicles performed adequately, but few of the dozens of different styles ordered were re-ordered in large quantities.


US mail leaving Seward for Anchorage, Alaska, 1918.

An unidentified mail contractor with his dog team posed in front of the Brown & Hawkins store in Seward, Alaska on this photographic postcard. As the title indicates, the contractor is preparing to leave Seward with the Anchorage mail. Dog sleds transported mail in some areas of the northern United States and the Alaskan Territory during winter months. Contract carriers used these sleds across Alaska from the late nineteenth century into the early 1920s. Isolated for much of the year, remote populations sometimes relied on dog sleds for contact with the outside world. Because weight was a critical factor for the dogs, mail traveling on sleds was usually restricted to first-class pieces unless room was available for newspapers, magazines, and packages. These items were otherwise left behind until spring, when they might be transported by steamboat or wagon. National Postal Museum, Curatorial Photographic Collection Photographer: Hettel.


Photograph of postcard with mail team leaving Circle City for Ft. Gibson, Alaska, 1900.

Photograph from postcard was published by the Lowman & Hanford Stationery and Printing Company of Seattle, Washington. The postcard, #2063 in this particular series, shows contract mail carriers preparing their dogsled team to carry mail through the snow from Circle City to Ft. Gibson, in the Alaskan Territory.


Finally, a couple that didn’t deliver:

Image of wrecked Curtiss JN-4H Jenny airmail plane. Army pilot Lt. Webb is visible climbing up the underbelly of his crashed plane, 1918.


Mail truck tries to climb tree. Comm. Ave. Boston, 1927 .


(Over)Loaded logging trucks.

GMC Logging truck, Oregon, Early 1920s.


Garford truck



A loaded White logging truck Early truck logging using a White truck on a wooden fore-an-aft road at Beaver Creek, Loughborough Inlet, BC.


Northern Maine log hauling site.



Old trades of yesteryear.


Redwood Log Truckage on the Redwood Highway.


Thomas Stevens rode a Penny Farthing from San Francisco to Boston, the first cyclist to cross the United States, 1884.

In 1884 Thomas Stevens rode a Penny Farthing from San Francisco to Boston—the first cyclist to cross the United States. In 1885 to 1886, he continued from London through Europe, the Middle East, China, and Japan, to become the first person to ride around the world.


1887- Thomas Stevens completed the first worldwide bicycle trip. He started his trek in April 1884. Stevens and his trusty bike traveled 13,500 miles, arriving back in San Francisco, California almost three years later.


William A. Davidson (in sidecar) and William S. Harley show their catch made on Pine Lake, 1924.

This authenticated photo of the pair disproves the popular claim that the following popular photo is of them.

Although the photograph is a genuine one dating from that time period, the backstory commonly attached to it is not. This image first appeared online when it was posted to a web site dedicated to old photographs of Harley-Davidson motorcycles by Ross Hollibaugh. While Hollibaugh wasn’t completely certain about the image’s origins, he claimed that it showed two of his relatives posing at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Minnesota, not the titular founders of Harley-Davidson:

“I was enjoying your page with all the old Harleys and remembered that I have a photo of my cousin’s grandfather and his grandfather’s brother each sitting on the brand new 1914 Harleys that they purchased in 1914. I am not sure, but I believe the photo may have been taken at the dealership (probably not really a dealership back then, but the guy must have been an HD distributer) in Wanamingo, MN. Wanamingo is 6 miles from Zumbrota. I still have family in both Wanamingo and Zumbrota. My cousin still has the original receipt for his grandfather’s bike and he scanned a copy of it for me. You can see on the invoice that Lars Johnson of Zumbrota, MN purchased his bike for $245 and only put $10 cash down. Lars was my cousin’s (Steve Johnson) grandfather.”

The provenance of the photograph aside, a picture taken in 1914 couldn’t capture William Harley and Arthur Davidson (who were both 33 years old by then) unveiling their first motorcycle, as the initial production Harley-Davidson motorcycle had come out in 1903, and the first Harley-Davidson dealership had been opened a year later. By 1914, Harley-Davidson had entered the world of motorcycle racing.

We weren’t able to locate a comparable image of Harley and Davidson on motorcycles in 1914, but a photograph of them taken in 1924 clearly shows that the two men seen in the 1914 photograph displayed above are not the famous founders of Harley-Davidson:

Source: Snopes

USS Macon, (ZRS-5), The Navy’s Last Flying Aircraft Carrier

USS Macon ZRS-5 under construction at the Goodyear Airdock, Akron, Ohio, 1933. (US Navy)


The future USS Macon (ZRS-5) under construction in the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation hangar at Akron, Ohio, circa early 1933. Naval History & Heritage Command photo (# NH 42022).


USS Macon (ZRS-5) preparing to land.


F9C-2 hooked on trapeze (left) and stowed on hangar deck (right)


Curtiss-Wright F9C-2 Sparrowhawk, Bu. No. A9056. (U.S. Navy)


Three U.S. Navy Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawks in flight. These three aircraft formed the famous “Red, White and Blue” flight aboard the airship USS Macon (ZRS-5). The aircraft with the white band was No.9057. In this photograph which was taken on 6 July 1933, the blue-banded aircraft is in the foreground. USN Photo.


Life and death of the Ohio State Building of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Ohio State Building of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition being barged from San Francisco to San Carlos, August 16, 1916.


The Ohio Building stood at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Expo in 1915. At the end of the fair, it was floated into the sloughs of San Mateo County (now the city of San Carlos), where it slowly deteriorated. Plans for a yacht club failed. It became a speakeasy during Prohibition. This grand structure ended up as a machine shop for auto parts. In 1957 declared a fire hazard it was razed by the County.

More details at the end of the post.


Ohio State Building At The Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915. Courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Leaving San Francisco


Ohio State Building on the way to San Carlos, 1916. Courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Ohio State house after it was delivered to the mudflats at San Carlos.

Newscopy: “Roaring flames consume the Ohio Building, one of few remaining structures of 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition. The old landmark was put to torch to make way for an asphalt plant to be constructed on mud-flats near Belmont. The Ohio Building, memento of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition here and a Peninsula landmark for 40 years, was burned yesterday in the name of progress. While a crowd of more than 2000 persons watched, workmen poured fuel oil on the faded pink and white structure on the San Carlos mud-flats, then set it on fire. Flames spread quickly through the dry timber, sending up a column of smoke visible for miles. Soon the building was a huge pile of charred rubble and ashes. Sparks set eight small grass fires east of the San Carlos Airport which the San Mateo County fire department extinguished. Charles H. Berger, Belmont contractor and owner of the building, had decided the cheapest way to remove it was to burn it.
Skyline Materials, Inc. of San Francisco plans to build an asphalt plant on the site. The building, a replica of the Ohio State capitol, was erected in the Marina as one of the fair’s most splendid structures. After the fair it was bought by a promoter who planned to use it as a yachting clubhouse, and it was taken by barge to the shores of Steinberger Slough east of Belmont. Since then it accumulated a variety of wild stories during the prohibition era, with rumors it was a gambling point and a house of prostitution. With age came respectability, and in recent years it was the home of a movie company, a machine shop and a radar plant during World War II. Since then it has been unoccupied.”

Courtesy of San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Bay Darnell in Lake Lloyd at Daytona International Speedway, 1964.

Bay Darnell became the second driver to end up in Lake Lloyd after losing control of his Ford during a qualifying race for the first ARCA 250 to be held at the track. (ISC Archives & Research Center/Getty Images)


DAYTONA BEACH, FL — February 12, 1960: A wrecker operator helps remove Tommy Irwin’s 1959 Ford Thunderbird from Lake Lloyd at Daytona International Speedway. Irwin was involved in a first lap crash during the first 100-mile qualifier for the upcoming Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup race and spun off the backstretch into the lake, becoming the first racecar ever to take the plunge. He managed to scramble out unhurt before the car became submerged in the water. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives)

Tommy Irwin’s 1959 Ford Thunderbird was the first, he was involved in a crash during the qualifier for the 1960 Daytona 500 NASCAR Cup race. 


Bay Darnell in Lake Lloyd – 1964 ARCA race


Bill France Sr. (second from left) stocking fish in Lake Lloyd with Florida’s commission of game and freshwater fish, 1958. (ISC Images & Archives/Getty Images)


Miss Lillian Boyer, aerial acrobat, standing on top of flying airplane, 1922.

Lillian Boyer (January 15, 1901 – February 1, 1989) was an American wing walker who performed numerous aerial stunts that included wing walking, automobile-to-airplane transfers, and parachute jumps between 1921 and 1929.


Lillian Boyer (January 15, 1901 – February 1, 1989) was an American wing walker. Working as a restaurant waitress but eager to fly in an airplane, in 1921 Boyer was invited by two restaurant customers to take an airplane ride. On her second flight, she climbed out on the wing, beginning her career as an aerial performer. In December 1921, she began training with pilot Lt. Billy Brock, former WWI pilot and barnstormer. She performed many daring stunts and achieved great public acclaim until 1929 when federal regulations on low flying and unsafe planes forced her and many other barnstormers into retirement. Her performances included; 352 shows in 41 US states and Canada, most of them wing-walking, 143 automobile-to-plane changes and 37 parachute jumps (13 into Lake Erie). She died in 1989 at the age of 88.



Michelin parade float featuring Michelin Twins, 1909 New York automobile carnival

View of parade float featuring the Michelin Twins at 1909 New York automobile carnival parade. Signs displayed on float: “Michelin Twins” and “The Michelin tire surmounts all obstacles as usual.” Bicyclist stands in background. Stamped on back: “Spooner & Wells, Inc., photographers, telephones 3472-3473 Columbus, 1931 Broadway, New York.” Handwritten on back: “Parades–New York automobile carnival, 1909.”


World’s first “Ferris” Wheel at the Chicago Colombian World’s Fair, 1893.

The George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. wheel was created as an American response to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The diameter of the wheel was 246 feet, weighing 2000 tons. Each of the 36 cars held 60 people for a total of 2160 passengers.

The wheel was driven by two steam engines with a capacity of 1000 hp each. 36 cabs, about the size of a bus, were attached to the wheel rim. Each cabin had 20 seats and 40 standing places, and thus, the total passenger capacity of the attraction was 2160 people. Turning the wheel took twenty minutes. The wheel was taller than the tallest skyscraper of the time, but it was four times lower than the Eiffel Tower. 


On March 18, 1893, the 89,320 pound axle, forged in Pittsburgh by the Bethlehem Iron Company, arrived in Chicago. The largest hollow forging in the world at the time, it was 45 1/2 feet long, 33 inches in diameter… Four and one-half feet from each end it carried two 16 foot diameter cast-iron spiders weighing 53,031 pounds. On March 20, placing of the first tower post was completed… shortly after came the problem of raising the axle. In an amazingly short two hours, the immense axle assembly was hoisted to the top of the 140 feet high towers and placed neatly in its sturdy pillow blocks.



The SS Admiral departing the dock on the Mississippi river with Gateway Arch under construction, St. Louis, 1964.

The SS Admiral was an excursion steamboat launched in 1907 and operated on the Mississippi River from the Port of St. Louis, Missouri from 1940 to 1978. The ship was briefly re-purposed as an amusement center in 1987, and converted to a casino in 1990. The boat was dismantled for scrap metal starting in 2011.

“Diavolo performing his bicycle daredevil act before a large audience.” Conn Baker (January 31, 1871 – October 8, 1944) was an American daredevil and artist. He took up bicycle racing as a teenager in the 1880s. He soon held several world records for speed and endurance. Baker was the first person to perfect a “loop-the-loop” using a safety bicycle. He joined the Forepaugh and Sells Circus in 1901, performing under the stage name of J.C. Carter, aka, “Allo, Diavolo!” He later toured Asia, where he met his future wife Laura Calvert, a member of the Tiller Girls troupe. Baker purchased the David Beers house, a 1805 log cabin, and moved it to Norwich Avenue in Columbus to use as his studio, and later, his home; still standing, it is the oldest residence in all of Franklin County Ohio. After retiring from circus performing, he focused on his landscape painting. He was active in the Ohio Republican Party and worked for the State of Ohio Auditor’s office for many years. Photographed by Fred G, Mathiessen, 1905.

Conn Baker AKA Allo Diavolo, American Daredevil, 1905.

Source, image: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Source, title: sciencesource.com

Entitled: “Looping the Loop” shows a person going around large upright loop on bicycle. The loop the loop stunt was created by a bicycle daredevil who went by the name Allo Diavolo. To perform the loop the loop stunt a rider would ride a bicycle around a large wooden loop to loop apparatus. Some would perform the loop on roller skates and even in a car. From the top; a short arc, to ease the downward momentum for the climb, long, gradual rise, so designed to minimize the outward pressure greatest in this arc, half circle, made small so that the wheel may get past the apex with the least possible expenditure of force, wide downward art giving the least possible momentum on leaving the loop, gentle slope to the ground. According to a New York Times article on April 2, 1902, Diavolo’s spiral ellipse was 26 feet high and 18 feet wide. The ramp down to the spiral was 100 feet long, 3 feet wide, and had an angle of 45 degrees. The bicycle did not have pedals. Photographed by C.F. Pollard, 1903.


Entitled: “O.V. Babcock. Looping death trap loop. Ontario Beach Park, N.Y.” Known as the “Coney Island of western New York,” Charlotte’s Ontario Beach Park was a popular amusement area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The loop the loop stunt was created by a bicycle daredevil who went by the name Allo Diavolo. To perform the loop the loop stunt a rider would ride a bicycle around a large wooden loop to loop apparatus. Some would perform the loop on roller skates and even in a car. From the top; a short arc, to ease the downward momentum for the climb, long, gradual rise, so designed to minimize the outward pressure greatest in this arc, half circle, made small so that the wheel may get past the apex with the least possible expenditure of force, wide downward art giving the least possible momentum on leaving the loop, gentle slope to the ground. According to a New York Times article on April 2, 1902, Diavolo’s spiral ellipse was 26 feet high and 18 feet wide. The ramp down to the spiral was 100 feet long, 3 feet wide, and had an angle of 45 degrees. The bicycle did not have pedals. No photographer credited, undated.


Wagon train on Marietta Street, Atlanta, 1864.

Sherman in Atlanta, September-November, 1864. After three and a half months of incessant maneuvering and much hard fighting, Sherman forced Hood to abandon the munitions center of the Confederacy. Sherman remained there, resting his war-worn men and accumulating supplies, for nearly two and a half months. During the occupation, George N. Barnard, official photographer of the Chief Engineer’s Office, made the best documentary record of the war in the West; but much of what he photographed was destroyed in the fire that spread from the military facilities blown up at Sherman’s departure on November 15.

Civil war photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Federal soldiers by gun in captured fort, Atlanta, 1864.

Civil war photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Gen. William T. Sherman on horseback at Federal Fort No. 7, Atlanta, 1864.

Civil war photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge approach shortly after opening, 1937.

Lesser known and slightly older than the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has one of the longest spans in the United States and carries over 260,000 cars each day. Designed by Charles H. Purcell, it opened six months before the Golden Gate Bridge in 1936. After part of the East Span collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, work began on a seismic retrofit. Ultimately, the East Span was replaced and reopened in 2013.

Then a couple years later.

This c. 1936 postcard features a rendering of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge superimposed on a photographic image of San Francisco. The back of the postcard reads:

“The concrete and reinforcing steel used in constructing the bridge is sufficient to build 35 Russ Buildings (San Francisco), 35 City Halls (Los Angeles); or 35 L.C. Smith Buildings (Seattle).

The total length of the 2 ¼” suspender ropes will be 43 miles, and the total length of cable wire used will be 70,815 miles – nearly three times the circumference of the earth.

The bridge, which is the largest in the world and which cost $77,600,000 is being built for the California Toll Bridge Authority, of which Governor Frank Merriam is Chairman, by the State Department of Public Works, of which Earl Lee Kelly is Director and C.H. Purcell is Chief Engineer.

The bridge is financed entirely without taxation, its cost defrayed by sale of 4 ¾ per cent bonds issued against the prospective revenues of the bridge. These bonds have been purchased at a discount increasing the yield to 5 per cent by the Federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation and may eventually to be sold to the public.

In addition to the bonds purchased by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, financing came from the State Gas Tax Fund to be repaid out of tolls before the bridge becomes free to the public. Like a State highway, the completed bridge will be maintained out of the State Highway Fund.

Source: SFO museum

Group of men and women climbing Paradise Glacier, 1911.

Group of men and women climbing Paradise Glacier in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington/ Curtis & Miller, photographer; [between 1911 and 1920]. National Photo Company Collection. Prints & Photographs Division.

Early mountaineers on Chamonix, France, 1865.


Woman and four men climbing Glacier of the Rhone, 1860.

Ice cavern in Paradise Glacier, Mt. Rainier National Park. between 1900 and 1935. Wittemann Collection. Prints & Photographs Division.

Mountain climbing in questionable attire near Chamonix in the 1890’s


Y.M.C.A. party climbing Mt. Rainier, 1907.

Hollywood life well lived.

My hat is off to you sir.

Kirk Douglas in “Female Intrigue”, 1957

Source: Kirk Douglas.com

Kirk Douglas, wearing a swimming suit and a necklace chainlet, portrayed while lifting two girls, the paintress Novella Parigini and the actress Lilly Greco, wearing stapless bikini, on the Lido beach, Venice 1953.

Kirk Douglas is both a movie legend and a Hollywood anomaly: a star divided. Most stars lodge in our collective consciousness. Douglas, while a first-magnitude star, was never quite an indelible one, save maybe for the dimple in his chin, never one who seemed to capture the zeitgeist the way some of his contemporaries did. Arriving in Hollywood when it was transitioning from classical acting to the Method, he was part traditional actor, part Method. Handsome but occasionally petulant, he was both pretty boy and thug. He could be cool, but also explosive, both iceberg and volcano. And perhaps above all he was always both outsider and insider — the man who never quite fit comfortably into any peg-hole.

By now most Jews know that Douglas was born Issur Danielovich to two illiterate Russian Jewish immigrant parents, in Amsterdam, New York, not far from Albany. He grew up destitute, a “nobody,” as he later put it, and he grew up resentful. First out of survival and then out of professional necessity, he tried to hide his roots, as he edged from Issur Danielovich to Izzy Demsky and finally to Kirk Douglas, a name he chose for himself after graduating from St. Lawrence University and embarking on his acting career. He moved to New York, got a scholarship to the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts, found himself on Broadway, and then was lured to Hollywood when a friend and fellow Jew, Lauren Bacall, who had preceded him there, passed his name to producer Hal Wallis.

From poor first-generation Eastern European Jew to Hollywood star — Douglas’s was an assimilationist fairy tale. But the assimilation was never complete, which may have been a Jewish actor’s occupational hazard. There wasn’t much room for Jewish actors in Hollywood unless they foresook their Jewishness. Paul Muni, born Muni Weisenfreund, buried himself in make-up and other ethnic identities; it was said he answered the door in costume. Edward G. Robinson, born Emanuel Goldenberg, made his career playing Italians. Swarthy Jeff Chandler, born Ira Grossel, played Cochise in “Broken Arrow.” And John Garfield, born Julius Garfinkel, affected an average American Joe.

Douglas’ accommodation was one of the most unusual. His Jewishness was too stubborn to shake, even if he wanted to shake it, and in any case, he was extremely ambivalent about doing so. Virtually alone among Jewish stars, he played Jews, including a Holocaust victim in “The Juggler” and Israeli colonel Mickey Marcus in “Cast a Giant Shadow.” Issur was like a second self — or, maybe, a first self. And of all the divisions that roiled in him, this seemed the most significant: the division between Issur and Kirk. It gnawed at him, haunted him, rebuked him. In his autobiography, “The Ragman’s Son,” he frequently recalls episodes of anti-Semitism as Issur/Izzy and others, later, as Kirk, when gentiles thought he was one of them and could talk openly about their Jew hatred. And what emerged then, in the man and in the performances, was rage — rage at his childhood poverty, rage at his shiftless father, and rage at the anti-Semitism that surrounded him and taunted him. “There was an awful lot of rage churning around inside of me,” he confessed in “The Ragman’s Son.” Kirk Douglas was the virtuoso of rage. A lot of that was Jewish rage.

Other stars of that era, the late 1940s and 50s, brooded and seethed. It was almost de rigeur for a character to be writhing in psychological turmoil. Montgomery Clift, James Dean, and, of course, Marlon Brando were all tortured souls — misunderstood rebels, chafing against the culture and challenging the mores and aesthetics of button-down 50s America. While they did erupt under pressure — Brando’s eruptions were historic — these were always veiled cri de coeurs of men in anguish lashing out at their hurts and pleading for help.

And then there was Douglas. Douglas didn’t convey that sense of woundedness — of a man wronged by an implacable world. Douglas was just plain angry, and his characters were closer to derangement than those of any other major star. His face was often clenched, which is how impressionist Frank Gorshin would imitate him, and his famously affable grin could, and often did, instantly turn into a snarl. There is a scene in William Wyler’s “Detective Story” where Douglas, playing a cop on the trail of an abortionist, discovers that his beloved wife has had an abortion. The volcano erupts. “I would rather go to jail for twenty years,” he yells viciously, “than to find out my wife is a tramp.” It erupts again in “Lust for Life” where Douglas plays Vincent Van Gogh crossing the line into madness. It erupts in Champion where Douglas plays a hell-bent boxer who uses and discards everyone on his way to the top, and again in “Young Man With a Horn” where he turns on his mentor then descends into an alcoholic hell. Indeed, Douglas is scarcely in control of himself in many of his most famous roles.

And that is the other thing about Kirk Douglas. Though he played his share of straight arrows and men of conviction — see “Paths of Glory” or “Seven Days in May” or “Spartacus” — he specialized in unlikable characters, users and heels and no-accounts, to the point where, if no actor was ever as angry as Douglas, no actor flirted with unlikability as much as Douglas did either. He began his film career in the noir “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” as the titular heroine’s drunken, emasculated husband and continued down that road. Think of his ambitious down-at-the-heels reporter in Billy Wilder’s “Ace in the Hole” who manages to stage a media extravaganza out of a man trapped in a mountain cave, and prolongs the rescue to prolong the show, until the man dies. Or think of him in one of his three Academy Award nominated roles, Vincente Minnelli’s “The Bad and the Beautiful,” in which he plays a ruthless film producer who uses people as rungs on his ladder to success, and practically defines the role of snake. This was Douglas’s preference. “Virtue is not photogenic,” he once said. Villainy clearly was.

Even on those occasions when he played a relatively conventional hero, he was usually challenging authority. Again, “Paths of Glory” and “Spartacus” come to mind. The role he had always coveted — to the point of buying the rights to the book — was Randle McMurphy in Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which speaks to how well Douglas understood his persona. McMurphy was strong, iconoclastic, a bit addled, and angry — a pretty good description of Douglas’ screen image, though McMurphy had less malice than Douglas. Unfortunately, Douglas could never get the financing, so he turned the rights over to his actor/producer son Michael, who did, and who then cast Jack Nicholson because, he said, his dad was too old. Nicholson made a great McMurphy. It may be his signature role. You have a feeling, though, that Douglas would have brought more menace and heat to the character and more of that derangement.

The film in which he said it did come together for him was a modern Western, “Lonely Are the Brave,” in which he plays an itinerant ranch hand who tries to spring a friend from jail (where he is being held for having helped illegal immigrants) by getting himself incarcerated and then, when the friend won’t budge, beats up a deputy and escapes into the hills. A long pursuit ensues, pitting Douglas and his horse against the incursions of modernity. The film is an elegy for a way of life as well as a celebration of it. Douglas obviously identified with the doomed cowboy — with his rage, his loneliness, his anguish, his anti-authoritarianism and his anachronistic sense of selfhood in a conformist world. Douglas seemed to feel that way too, his stardom notwithstanding.

Douglas was always something of a lone wolf. While other stars had the security and support of the studio, even as the studio system was crumbling, Douglas preferred to be a free lancer. When the system finally fell, he was one of the first to form his own production company, Bryna, named for his mother, and along with commercial fare like The Vikings and Seven Days in May, he produced unusual projects, like Paths of Glory and Lonely Are the Brave, that were not obvious box office attractions. One of the accomplishments of which he was proudest was not something he did as an actor but as a producer when he claimed to have broken the Hollywood blacklist against suspected communists by hiring writer blacklistee Dalton Trumbo to pen “Spartacus” and then giving him screen credit. (Trumbo would also write “Lonely Are the Brave.”)

There are disputations over whether Douglas really deserves that credit. Trumbo’s family later said that Trumbo himself deserved it, and the film’s hands-on producer, Eddie Lewis, has said he was the one who got Trumbo. But the point is that Douglas did buck the authorities and did put himself on the line, even if the communist stigma had already begun to fade. It was certainly in character for him to do so, not least because so many of those blacklistees, though not Trumbo, were fellow Jews. It may be odd to say of an actor whose stage name was Scottish and who didn’t emit any apparent ethnicity, that as well as being one of the angriest stars and often one of the most unlikable, he may also have been the most Jewish of stars in the 50s and 60s before ethnicity became voguish. I think that is because just as Barbra Streisand would transform Jewish otherness into a generalized otherness for her audience, Douglas transformed Jewish resentment into a generalized resentment for his audience.

From kirkdouglas.com

City Hall subway station, New York, 1904.

City Hall subway station, New York, 1904.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

New York, USA – January 30, 2016: City Hall Subway Station in Manhattan. Landmark station built in 1904 to inaugurate the NYC Subway system.

The now-abandoned subway station. Felix Lipov/Shutterstock

Ticket office, City Hall subway station, New York, 1904.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

U.S. mail truck used in snowy mountain sections of Nevada County, California, 1940.

Source: Library of Congress

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.


High res. Shorpy version.

Alaska Highway mail truck, 1919.


Saving SF Victorians, 1977.

Original Cool Old Pic of the Day Club post December 18, 2014 

This precarious moving of venerable Victorian buildings was documented by photographer Dave Glass in November 1970 San Francisco. What’s pictured here is essentially the result of a thirty year urban renewal scheme for the Western Addition neighborhood, particularly the Fillmore District, which after the Second World War had become a cultural center for the city’s African American community that had also survived the 1906 earthquake and fire. Overcrowding and a high proportion of low-income families had designated the area as a slum and it was slated for redevelopment. A “nice new neighborhood” was promised by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and in the mid 1950s and 60s, entire blocks were cleared, destroying nearly 2,500 Victorian gems.

I actually tracked this specific building down on Fillmore St. near Sutter.

Hard to get a good pic with all the trees nowadays.

And finally, an example of one of the thousands of Painted Ladies in the process of being demolished…

Equipment of the American Red Cross playground at Elbasan, Albania where five hundred children are enjoying the happiest days of their lives. It was constructed under an American Nurse’s direction with two tree stumps and several rough hewn poles. Four Albanian mountaineers supply the motive power, 1920.



A home made Ferris Wheel. Erected on the American Red Cross playground at Elbasan. The picture shows American Nurses who took a trip to prove its safety to the children. The children in Albania never knew how to play or work either until the Red Cross came. Here at Elbasan 500 youngsters are playing American games and learning useful trades under Red Cross direction. The nurses are Miss Sara W. Crossley of Cape Charles Va. and Miss Eleano Wilson of New York City, 1920.


Children’s playground on roof of large New York store while mothers are shopping; Pony and swings, 1919.


N.Y. Playground, 1910.


Young Serbia at Play. Thanks to the American Red Cross the children of Serbia are playing again. After feeding the Serbs the Americans provided playgrounds. Here are the children using a real American swing  for the first time, 1919.


C.H. Milano – Ross School 5′ 3/4″ graded schools, Plaza playground, 1925.


Cool old street scenes from around the country and world.

Street scene, Washington, D.C., 1915.

Street scene, Crane, Texas, 1939.

Street scene, Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1940.

Street scene, Muskogee, Oklahoma, 1939.

Street scene, Waco, Texas, 1939.

Street scene, Chinatown, San Francisco, 1896.

Street scene, Valdez, Alaska, 1906.

Street scene, Lima, Peru, 1908.

Street scene, Spencer, Iowa, 1936.

Street scene, Bombay, India, 1922.



All photos from Library of Congress.

People watch in amazement as the Los Angeles Aqueduct water starts flowing down the cascades into the San Fernando Valley. The smoke in the background is from canon fire upon the gates opening.

It is estimated that over 30,000 people attended the opening day ceremonies of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. They came to watch the Owens Valley water cascade into the San Fernando Valley, November 5, 1913.

Crowds cheer as Owens River water cascades down the channel into the Valley for the first time.

Nov. 5, 1913: Crowd of about 25,000 arrives at the new Los Angeles Aqueduct on opening day. This photo was published in the Nov. 6, 1913 Los Angeles Tmies.

Crowds arrive for the historical opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. They came by Southern Pacific trains ($1 roundtrip from the Los Angeles terminal), in automobiles, wagons and buggies – and also on horseback.

Source: waterandpower.org/museum

San Diego’s original Victorian-style railway depot, built in 1887 for the California Southern Railroad Company, is razed to make way for the opening of the new Santa Fe Depot, 1915.

The clock tower of the original Santa Fe depot at Bay and Broadway is pulled to the ground by a steel cable attached to two yard locomotives as part of the grand opening celebration on March 7, 1915.

California Southern’s San Diego passenger terminal as it appeared toward the end of the 19th century. An early predecessor of the San Diegan is waiting to depart.

The first San Diego & Arizona Railway through passenger train arrived at the Santa Fe Depot on Dec. 1, 1919, to open the line.


Spectators divide their attention as the Mount Hermon High School football team in Massachusetts hosts Deerfield Academy November 24, 1965.

Associated Press photo

The Game Must Go On!

Nov. 19, 2015 — Fifty years ago on Nov. 20, the Mount Hermon football team was hosting arch-rival Deerfield Academy when the already-emotional game took a very unexpected turn.
Flames shot out of Silliman Hall, the science building behind the bleachers. With firefighters still on their way to the scene, administrators huddled on the sidelines and decided the best way to ensure the crowd’s safety was to keep them in the stands.

So an atmosphere of calm prevailed, spectators stayed in their seats, and the season-ending game didn’t flame out. Instead, players continued passing and running, and the band played at halftime, as Silliman Hall smoldered in the background.

“It seems really odd that people would keep playing football in front of a fire,” admits NMH Archivist Peter Weis ’78. “But the fire was contained pretty quickly, and Silliman was farther away from the spectators than the photograph makes it appear. It’s not as if people in the stands could turn around and toast marshmallows.”

Deerfield won the football game. But a bigger win was scored by newspaper executive Robert S. Van Fleet, father of football player Jim Van Fleet ’66. His now-iconic photo was chosen as Associated Press Sports Photograph of the Year in 1965. Half a century later, it’s still reproduced often.

Source: NMH Archives

As the propeller of this Rex Smith aeroplane is engaged, the pilot seems excited, while his passenger does not, 1912.

Early passenger airplane flight. Senorita Lenore Rivero with US aviation pioneer Tony Jannus (1889-1916) in a Rex Smith airplane in 1912. This flight was one of several made by Jannus with female passengers over Potomac Park, Washington DC, USA, in 1911. Rivero was the daughter of the Cuban minister to the USA. This flight reached a height of 23 metres. Rivero’s skirt is tied down, and the propeller is about to be started. Jannus made a number of pioneering airplane flights, including celebrity and air exhibition flights, and making the first scheduled airline flight. He died in a crash over the Black Sea during World War I.

Photograph from the Harris and Ewing collection, Harris & Ewing, photographer. RIVIERO, SENORITA LENORE. WITH ANTHONY JANNUS; IN REX SMITH AEROPLANE. , 1912. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016863243/.

Test pilot George Aird flying a English Electric Lightning F1 ejected at a fantastically low altitude in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK, 13th September 1962.

Thanks to Daily Mirror Reference MP_0018484

Mr G P Aird AFC a test pilot with the He Havilland Aircraft Company, ejecting from Lightning P1B XG 332 on 13 September 1962. He was on finals for an emergency landing at Hatfield, following A double reheat fire warning occurred about 15 miles North East of Hatfield. George was making a normal powered approach, unfortunately he had to position for runway 06 as the wind was from the northeast. His approach to Hatfield was from the NE. The runway was short by Service standards so the manually operated barrier had been erected at the northeast end of 06. At about 10 seconds from touchdown, at about 100 ft, the aircraft suddenly pitched nose up and, since there was no response to the controls, he ejected. The aircraft crashed on the airfield, broke up and caught fire.

“The story behind a famous photograph of an ejection from a Lightning. – The photograph opposite was taken by Jim Meads on 13 September 1962. It was published in newspapers all around the world at the time and, as it was so widely seen, it naturally caught the attention of manufacturer Martin-Baker.At the time Jim lived next door to de Havilland test pilot Bob Sowray in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and on this day both of their wives had gone clothes shopping in London. Bob had mentioned that he was due to fly a Lightning that day, and later Jim’s children asked if they could go to watch the flight. Although Jim was a photographer, he wouldn’t usually take his camera on an outing like this. However, on this occasion he decided he would get a picture of his neighbour flying. The camera he took had just two exposures on it.The spectators found a good vantage point close to the threshold of de Havilland’s Hatfield airfield, and waited for the Lightning to return. As XG332 came in on final approach, at around 200ft high its nose pitched up and the pilot ejected. The Lightning had become uncontrollable after an engine fire had weakened a tailplane actuator.Jim took one photo soon after the ejection, and as can be seen caught the pilot inverted with his parachute still unopened and the Lightning plummeting earthwards close to him. The tractor driver heard the bang of the ejection seat and is seen after quickly turning around to look at what was going on, no doubt very relieved he wasn’t working further over in the field. Jim’s one remaining picture recorded the subsequent plume of thick black smoke after the jet had crashed.Fortunately the pilot survived after coming down in a greenhouse full of tomatoes. He suffered multiple breaks of his limbs and cuts from the shower of glass that rained down on him after going through the roof of the greenhouse. However, it hadn’t been Bob Sowray at the controls; he had decided to let fellow test pilot George Aird carry out the flight.XG332 was one of 20 pre-production Lightnings and first flew on 29 May 1959. It was used throughout its flying life by BAC and de Havilland for Firestreak and Red Top trials, and its crash occurred while it was on latter programme. With many thanks to Jim Meads for kindly supplying original prints of the images.”

Text and photos: http://www.eyemead.com/noise-1.htm

I don’t know which way is up, Control room of the UB-110 German submarine, 1918.


From War History Online:

The twin-screw German submarine U.B. 110 was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg. …

The U-boat’s forward diving rudders jammed in the up position; her port motor short-circuited; and fuel tank was damaged. When she came to the surface, exuding oil, the destroyer GARRY rammed her twice and hit her with several bursts of gunfire. With the upper works torn open, the U-boat rolled over and sank. Thirteen survivors were picked up. …

She was towed on the 19th December 1918 from Wallsend to the Northumberland Dock at Howdon and was subsequently sold as scrap.

The album of photographs, taken by Frank & Sons of South Shields, documents the U.B. 110 in extensive detail. The photographs provide a rare glimpse into the mechanics and atmosphere of the raised German submarine. …

The album is from 1918 and documents the U.B. 110 before she was scrapped…