Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Hillsdale Mall developer David Bohannon commissioned sculptor Benny Bufano to provide sculptures to decorate the new mall in San Mateo. Bufano opened a studio on the mall site in 1955 and created ten of his famous animal sculptures. I took this photo of "Rabbit" on 13-December-2010.
Monday, March 28, 2011
I have mentioned it before, but I always enjoy seeing the Axis leaders get their comeuppance. On the cover of Batman Number 18, August-September, 1943, Batman and Robin use a large firecracker to celebrate the Fourth of July and blow up Emperor Hirohito, Adolph Hitler, and Benito Mussolini. The cover promotes the sale of War Stamps and War Bonds, to pay for the war effort.
It didn't rain today. It was cold.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
From the 26-November-1895 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view.
The Hatch Brothers, originally from Monticello, New York, founded the Monticello Steamship Company to operate ferries from Vallejo to San Francisco. Learn more about it on my ferryboat site: http://www.cable-car-guy.com/ferry/
THE RATE WAR OPENED
The Steamer Sunol Carried Passengers to Vallejo for Ten Cents.
NO CUT ON THE OTHER BOATS.
Southern Pacific Officials Angry Because Their Steamer Is Not Patronized.
The rate war between San Francisco and Vallejo is in full blast. Passengers can now travel at any price ranging from 10 cents to $1. The lower rate is charged on the steamer Sunol, owned by Piper, Aden, Goodall & Co., 25 cents is the fare on the steamer Herald, owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, while 75 cents, the round trip, is charged by Hatch Bros on the steamer Monticello. The rate by the railroad is $1 each way.
The merry war began yesterday afternoon and strange to say the railroad steamer was not patronized. The steamer was there and the train agents were only too willing to sell tickets, but the people would not buy them. When it began to near sailing time there were only four passengers in the Herald, while the Monticello had about twenty and the Sunol sixty in their respective cabins. The owners of the latter boat depend principally on their freighting business and have only gone into the passenger trade to protect themselves. The $5 or $10 they will make out of the latter traffic will just about pay for the extra coal and that is all they expect or hope for, according to R. J. Q. Aden, one of the members of the firm.
The Monticello was the first to get away yesterday. She left promptly on time and was well up the bay before the Sunol got under way. The latter went away with a rush, and Captain Dye was confident that he would catch the opposition before Selbys was reached. The Herald remained at her moorings until the last minute, waiting to pick up any belated passenger who might come along. Once a start was made the captain seemed to be in no hurry, and the chances are that the railroad boat was a bad last on the run to Vallejo.
Agent White of the Southern Pacific is vary much worked up over the new state of affairs. He considers the cutting of rates a suicidal policy and holds up his hands in horror at the idea of carrying passengers on a three hours' run to Vallejo for 10 cents when they can get the same rate for a half-hour trip to Fruitvale or a fifteen-minute run to Oakland. According to him the railroad had no fight with the owners of the Sunol, and he cannot conceive why they wanted to come in and cut the rate to 10 cents.
"We don't want a rate war," said H. Hatch of Hatch Bros., "but now it is on we will stay with it. 1 don't know whether we will cut rates or not, but I suppose it will come to that in time. We are giving the people of Vallejo, Port Costa and Mare Island a good service, and I think they appreciate it. If they desert us and patronize the 10-cent boat why well and good, that may end the fight, but time will tell."
A. E. Pryor of Piper, Aden, Goodall & Co. says the 10-cent rate has come to stay. It costs only a few dollars more for coal with which to make time, and the steamer might just as well be carrying passengers at 10 cents a head as not. And so the merry war goes on.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
141 PERISH IN FIRE SCORES DIE BY JUMPING FROM BURNING FACTORY.
Fire Marshal's Inquiry Reveals Fact
Workroom Was Death Trap -- 86 Victims Are Identified.
New York. Of the 141 employees, mostly girls and women killed in a fire in Triangle Shirtwaist factory at the corner of Greene street and Washington place Saturday, 86 have been identified.
Seventy of the bodies were those of girls and young women, the remaining sixteen those of men. There are 12 injured in the hospitals. Scores of others more or less seriously hurt were taken to their homes.
The building was occupied by a number of factories , and at least 1,500 persons were at work when the fire started.
The victims were either burned to death or were crushed into lifeless forms on the pavements when they leaped to escape the swift rush of fire<>
Not since the burning of the excursion steamer General Slocum , off North Brother's Island In 1904 , when 1,020 persons perished, has the city been so excited by a fire horror.
At least fifty of the victims were killed by leaping from the windows of >the seventh floor, and floors above.
Many perished in the flames on upper floors, remaining, afraid to leap until the fire surrounded them.
A great crowd gathered around the scene of the fire. Factories in the neighborhood were soon emptied of their employes.
Some of the revelations, brought out >by Fire Marshal Beers in his public inquiry into the causes of the fire show that the poor girls in that panic rush to escape from the flames found traps at every turn.
It seemed that the very arrangement of the workroom was a trap, with 700 women, jammed back to back at their machines. When the panic started, the narrow aisles became blocked with chairs and the girls were in confusion before they even started for the doors. Then there was a scarcity of exits, the inward opening doors and the death-trap "fire escapes."
"The fire, without any question, started from a cigarette or a match thrown into a pile of lawn clippings -- light cotton stuff , " said Marshal Beers.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The image comes from the excellent site AceCovers:
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
From the 20-May-1911 San Francisco Call.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I received the Criterion Collection DVD of Jacques Tati's M. Hulot's Holiday for Christmas. I had only seen it in a poor print on television. The images were beautiful and the sound was as clear as Tati intended it to be. The recurring piece of music brought back memories of summers that I have never even experienced.
M. Hulot's Holiday has many features of a silent comedy, but sound is a critical element of the movie. There is dialog, but it is never important to the story, since there is not a story. Most of the time it is another background noise. Some sounds are apparently never noticed by the characters, like the oomph noice made by the swinging door to the dining room.
Many things happen, a pretty girl arrives, Hulot tries to go horseback riding with her, they are the only ones who dance at a masked ball while almost everyone else listens to a depressing speech on the radio, but it all leads nowhere. At the end, Hulot can't even get to say goodbye to her. It all reminds me of the long summers when I was a kid, even though we never went to a place like this.
The disc includes a 1936 short, "Soigne ton gauche" by René Clément, which stars Tati as a farm worker who daydreams about being a great athlete. When a boxer knocks out his two sparring partners, Tati joins him in the ring, trying to read a "How to Box" book.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Here, thanks to Google Patents, is an example of one of his many patents, in this case for a pneumatic fire alarm signal.
PETER H. VANDER WEYDE, OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
PNEUMATIC FIRE-ALARM SIGNAL.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 242,803, dated June 14, 1881.
Application filed August 31,1880. (No model.)
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, Peter H. Vander Weyde, of the city of Brooklyn, Kings county, State of New York, have invented some im provements in Pneumatic Fire-Alarm Signals, being an improvement on the invention for which Letters Patent were granted, No. 213,536, dated March 25, 1879, which improvements are set forth in the following specification.
My invention consists in a peculiar method of starting a pneumatic fire-alarm by the melting of a separate piece of an easily-fusible alloy, consisting of four parts bismuth, two of lead, one of tin, and one of cadmium, described in the patent granted to me March 25, 1879, No. 213,536, and which melts at as low a temperature as 140° to 150° Fahrenheit, which can still be lowered by the addition of arsenic, gallium, or mercury in small quantities. I obtain thus an automatic fire-alarm without the intervention of electric currents, in the manner described in the adjoined drawings.
Figure 1 of the drawings illustrates my invention. Fig. 2 is a modification for which I intend to make separate application for Letters Patent.
The piece of alloy may have the form of a small block, A, placed over a hole in a plate, C C, and preventing the plunger B from entering this hole. This plunger may be propelled by a weight, as shown in H, or by springs, as shown in K and O. It may also be retained by suspension from above, the links being secured by a pin of the same alloy. This plunger may enter a cylinder like a pump-piston, and so cause by its descent a wave of compressed air to be propelled in a system of tubes, T T, with which it is connected; but I find it more reliable to cause this plunger to act upon a flexible membrane placed under the plate C C. This membrane may be rubber, or even very thin sheet metal. It is stretched over a funnel-shaped piece, E, attached to the series of tubes T T, and will by its depression send a wave of compressed air through the same. These tubes are at their extremity attached at the office of a hotel or warehouse, cabin of a ship, &c., to the signal-receiving alarm box Q by means of the lever L, acted upon by the flexible diaphragm M, which, by bulging outward by the wave, will start the wound-up alarm-clock contained in the box and ring the bell D or give any other kind of audible or visible alarm.
It is evident that such an alarm will be started as soon as any of the thermostats A supporting the weight H or springs K and O melts by the heat of an incipient fire. If, however, several such thermostats are attached to the same series of tubes, the effect of the compressed-air wave upon the membrane M, working the alarm, would be diminished in case all the other membranes were allowed to expand or bulge out. This, however, is effectively prevented by the rigid perforated plates C C, placed over all the diaphragms except that of the receiver M L Q.
It is evident that, instead of the elastic membranes described or piston arrangement referred to a kind of small bellows could be used, or any other device which will permit of a sudden slight depression of the air and send an air-wave through the tubes.
Experience has shown me that it is desirable not to close hermetically this system of tubes and connecting diaphragms, because in that case atmospheric changes in temperature or pressure will cause the membrane to bulge outward or inward in proportion that the temperature ascends or descends, or the pressure decreases or increases, which in either case interferes with the proper operation. In order to prevent such interference, I make one small pin-hole in the tubes or in an additional short tube, N. This will not in the least interfere with the propagation and proper action of a sudden wave, as this has no time to spend itself through so small an aperture, while it will allow the interior air to be kept always in equilibrium with the external air, whatever be the changes of the thermometer and barometer, because they always take place very gradually and have time to diffuse themselves through the small aperture referred to. It is advisable to place these thermostats at the ceiling, near the staircases or elevator-shafts, and, in general, in such places as are most likely to be reached first by the ascending currents of hot air, which always precede an incipient fire.
The greater reliability of iron tubing over stretched wires for communicating the alarm-signals referred to is self-evident.
What I wish to secure by Letters Patent is —
1. The combination, with a pneumatic fire alarm tube, of a plunger retained by a piece or plate of fusible alloy, which, by its melting, will cause the plunger to be propelled by a weight or spring and act upon a diaphragm, bellows, or on an air-pump, and operate the signal, in the manner set forth.
2. The combination of the pneumatic tube, the flexible diaphragm, plunger, and plate of fusible alloy with a rigid perforated plate, as A, between the diaphragm and the plate of alloy, which prevents reflex action between the various diaphragms, as set forth.
P. H. VANDER WEYDE.
J. W. Lasperre,
L. B. Heuser.