Friday, July 31, 2015

E-Embarcadero Debut -- July 31, 2015

Muni, with the cooperation of the Market Street Railway, inaugurated its new E-Embarcadero line.  It will run from Jones and Beach to the Caltrain Station at Fourth and King.  It can only run with double-ended cars because there is no loop at the Caltrain terminal.  The two Blackpool boat trams, shown at the 2013 Heritage Festival, were there for the inauguration today, but won't run on the line because Muni operates them as single-enders.  At present, the line will only run on weekends. 

Congratulations to the Market Street Railway for the years of hard work to get this line going. 

Muni operated the original E-Union line.

News of the Week July 31, 1915 -- July 31, 2015

The 31-July-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Scenes of devastation caused by cyclone at Cincinnati, Ohio.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  A big storm on June 24 caused damage throughout the Midwest. 

"Harry K. Thaw after jury has declared him sane.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Harry Kendall Thaw was the son of a rich industrialist.  Harry had mental problems.  On 25-June-1906 he murdered architect Stanford White, who had been involved with Evelyn Nesbit, Thaw's wife, who had been a chorus girl and a model.  Thaw's attorney had him declared legally insane, which was not a stretch.  The caption may contain a typo, or this was after Thaw's mother wanted to go with temporary insanity so the family would not be stigmatized. 

"'Little' Billy McCarthy, one year old and weighing 85 pounds.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I couldn't find anything about the poor kid. 

"Lindy Lee, said to be a perfect specimen of Chimpanzee, stars as a motion picture actor.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   I couldn't find anything about the poor chimp, either. 

"Locomotives wrecked to amuse crowd at Emeryville, Calif.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   In 1896, William George Crush came up with the idea of staging a head-on collision of two locomotives to create a spectacle.  Scott Joplin composed "Great Crush Collision March" in honor of the first attempt, in Texas.  I think this collision took place as part of a Fourth of July celebration. 

"The railroad starts a campaign for protecting the public at Long Island City, N. Y.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  The Long Island Railroad posted signs warning people to stop, look and listen at railroad crossings.  Operation Lifesaver carries on the work today. 

This is the first week that has not included any stories about World War One. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Giants vs Brewers -- July 29, 2015

Today we went to our first game this season at ATT Park.  Jake Peavy pitched well, but left with the game tied 0-0.  The Giants scored five runs in the 7th to take the game 5-0.  We got to see Nouri Aoki in person for the first time.  The weather was warm, but we were up under the overhang, so it was comfortable. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Napa Valley Wine Train -- July 27, 2015

Sunday my wonderful wife and I took a nice ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train as a late anniversary celebration. We splurged and rode in the dome car. The service was good, the food was great and the scenery was beautiful. Here is a shot of Alco (Montreal Locomotive Works) FPA-4 73 backing onto the train at Saint Helena. They run two locomotives back-to-back from Napa to Saint Helena. Then the engines run around to the other end of the train for the return trip. The locomotives made the same Alco burbling noise as the SF Belt Line locomotives, but they don't belch big clouds of black smoke because they burn compressed natural gas.

More to come on my Park Trains and Tourist Trains page:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

New Cat #21 -- July 25, 2015

I took the photo on 22-July-2015.  Click on the image to see a larger version. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

News of the Week July 24, 1915 -- July 24, 2015

The 24-July-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Liberty Bell starts for the Panama Fair.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   This caption is with the wrong photo.  It belongs with the one in the lower right-hand corner.  San Francisco school children raised money and persuaded Philadelphia to allow the Liberty Bell to travel to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. 

"U. S. S. Wyoming passing under Brooklyn Bridge.   Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Dreadnought battleship USS Wyoming (BB-32) later served with the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet.  She trained many gunners who served during the Second World War. 

"Cornell beats Leland Stanford University in rowing championship race.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  The Cornell crew defeated Stanford at Poughkeepsie on 04-July-1915. 

"Firearms taken from prisoners in Chicago police stations thrown into the lake.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   I hope this doesn't cause people to go diving. 

"Heavy storm leaves toll of death in Cincinnati.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   A big storm on June 24 caused damage throughout the Midwest. 

"Observation train at Cornell race.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  This caption belongs with the photo in the upper left-hand corner.  Rowing fans watch the race at Poughkeepsie from stands built on railroad cars. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

EL Doctorow, RIP -- July 22, 2015

I was sad to learn of the death of EL Doctorow.  I read Ragtime many years ago and enjoyed the way he mixed history and fiction.  I knew who Evelyn Nesbitt and Standord White and Harry K Thaw were before I read the book.
Later I enjoyed The March.  I wish someone would make it into a movie.

Friday, July 17, 2015

News of the Week July 17, 1915 -- July 17, 2015

The 17-July-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Italian recruits rally to colors in Rome, Italy.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Italy entered the war on 23-May-1915. 

"Yale wins great victory over Harvard in regatta.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Yale defeated Harvard at New London, Connecticut on 25-June-1915. Last week we saw the Hearst-Selig News Pictorial version. 

"Tremendous ovations given to the ambassador by Italians in London, Eng.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  The Italians must be celebrating their entry into the war.

"Working to save flood swept railroad in Kansas.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The The Topeka State Journal on June 19 reported "All Rivers in Kansas Full and Still Are Rising" and "State's Railroads Awash." 

"Sculptor John Flanagan designing the medal of award for the Panama-Pacific Exposition.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  This is a repeat of an item from last week, where we also saw an example of the medal. 

"Preparing to raise an automobile truck, which recently slipped over a bridge in Chicago.   Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."   This is also a repeat of an item from last week. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Heureux Jour de Bastille 2015 -- July 14, 2015

New York Tribune, 14-July-1915
Happy Bastille Day, everyone.  This editorial is from the 14-July-1915 New York Tribune.  I guess their stylebook spelled "Bastille" as "Bastile." 

On Bastile Day.

For many millions of men and women removed from the battle lines of the present conflict the national holiday of France will this year seem the most splendid in French history since the day on which the people of the Old Monarchy appeared at the gates of the Bastile and battered in that breach in the walls of tyranny which has never been closed.

In our own day there has come to France for the third time in her wonderful history the duty to defend civilization against the inroads of destructive barbarism. As she supplied at once the battleground and the resistance in the repulse of the Saracens at Poitiers, of the Huns in the Plain of Chalons, hard by the fields where the World War is still raging, France in last August and September bore the burden of one more assault upon the whole structure of our own culture and civilization.

In the confused and disproportionate bulletin of the early days of the war we, like the English, failed to grasp the magnitude of French effort, the stupendous character of the conflict which was fought along the Marne. To Belgian heroism, to British participation, we assigned importance far beyond the reality, A little shamefacedly, but with full and frank acknowledgment, the British press and public men are now making their amends.

For in that great opening act of the war it was France and France alone that bore the burden. Belgian resistance crumpled in a few brief days. The something less than a hundred thousand British troops who shared in the campaign from the Sambre to the Marne were but a chip on the wave of German invasion. It was France, rising from defeat, from the depression stretching back to Sedan and Gravolotte, who met the whole flood, stemmed it, rolled it back, settled the issue of the war in the opening days, assured to Europe the endurance of that democracy which the French Revolution brought to the Continent, to mankind.

Even at this near date there is small reason to question that in all future time the Battle of the Marne will take its place with that of Marathon in human history. A barbarism that was rolled back In the remoter struggle aimed at the destruction of the Hellenic beginnings, which are the foundation of all we know and reverence and live by. For all who believe in democracy, in liberty, equality, the right of men to live their own lives, of nations and races to follow their own ideals and their own culture, for all who believe in the gospel of "sweetness and light" and repulse the doctrine of "terribleness," and the idea of the "Superman," the theory of a right to rule vested in a chosen race and a superior people, the Battle of the Marne was an authentic sign of deliverance.

And for that we have France to thank. Upon her, unready as democratic states must always be, fell the full fury of more than 2,000,000 men, equipped with all the weapons, provided with all the utensils, furnished with all the requisites that the supreme genius of a nation whose gift for organization and capacity for concentration upon its purpose have never been equaled could supply. To meet this storm France had little more than half as many soldiers; she lacked the equipment, the preparation, the whole armory of warfare possessed by her tremendous foe.

Yet through opening defeat, in the hours when the thunder of German artillery shook the hills of Paris, when French cities were in flame and new hordes of flying peasants and terror-stricken women and children filled all the roads leading from the north, France never trembled, never lost courage, never for a single moment thought to desert the cause for which every Frenchman felt himself fighting, the cause of which his ancestors had fought against the Saracen and the Hun, the fight which France made against Europe for her own gospel of democracy in the days of the Revolution and won, not for herself but for mankind.

And at the Marne the issue of the war was decided. Years may yet pass before Germany is conquered. She may never be beaten to her knees. She may come from the struggle without the loss of a province, as France emerged from the Revolution intact. But German domination of Europe was a dream impossible of realization when Von Kluck and Von Bulow led beaten masses back across the Marne and through the hills of Champagne. The victory of ideas was assured, the triumph, the persistence of the ideas which are American as well us French and British was no longer in doubt when the French troops from Paris to the gates of Nancy leaped forward to the charge and to the advance in the early days of September.

Nearly a year has passed since those terrible days and it is still France who is holding the line. Russia has advanced and retreated. England has still fallen far short of her share in the world struggle. Early hopes of speedy victory have faded. But from Switzerland to Flanders the French line has held all that it won in the Battle of the Marne and added thereto new fields, new hectares of the fatherland, won back at the cost of incredible effort and sacrifice.

And in all this terrible time, when more then a million and a half of Frenchmen have gone to death, foreign prison or the hospital, there has come from the French people not a murmur. There is about the silence of forty million! something more impressive, more terrible than all the thunders of protests that come from other nations. It is as if a whole race had with complete unity of mind recognized that its final hour had come; that the issue joined was one of life or death, and in that realization had gone forth to battle, not boastfully, not animated by overconfidence or unwarranted optimism, but with the complete foreknowledge that only victorious could they, could France, survive.

All this means more to us in America more than we have yet seen, than we shall realize for years to come. Alone of all the nations at war France is a democracy in the full sense in which we are. Her armies are armies ruled by her citizens, officered by her sons without regard to rank in social scheme. Her equality is our equality, her ideals are our ideals. Her revolution and ours have permeated and penetrated the whole structure of our respective national lives. The dreams of world peace, disarmament, arbitration which we have cherished and sought to champion France has hailed and served, her very weakness last August was due to the fact that her statesmen and her citizens, like our own, had listened too willingly to the voice of those who would have them believe possible what Franco longed to see accomplished.

If France had failed the German idea would not necessarily have conquered the world permanently. To believe this is to believe that all that centuries have won can be lost in an hour and that mankind does not advance through all the ages. But it would have meant that all over the world, in America as in Europe, all men of all races would have had to send their sons to the barracks, civilization would temporarily have had to give the soldier first place. We should not have been able to live according to the will of our race, hut according to the necessities imposed from without.

But France did not fail. Rather she won not her fight alone, but our fight. She saved the democracy she had bestowed upon Europe. She held the line of our civilization against the magnificent but destructive barbarism of the German idea. She not only held the line, but she threw the invader back. After the Battle of the Marne the Teutonic dream of world power was as completely shattered as that of Napoleon was destroyed at Leipsic. Had France done no more, had she died in doing it, her service would have been out of proportion to her responsibility. Hut she did more; she is doing more now. Alone of the foes of Germany she is to-day at the height of her task.

Happily on this, Bastile Day, the whole world is beginning to appreciate the magnitude of French service. Indeed, nowhere more frankly than in German ranks does French courage, devotion, efficiency find just appraisal. And in America, for our ancien ally, who gave her sons and her treasure that our Revolution might succeed can there be anything but homage and admiration for the nation which is once more fighting, and fighting for what millions of us believe is the cause of mankind, for liberty, for the ideas and the ideal which we hold are our own quite as much as they are French?

Friday, July 10, 2015

News of the Week July 10, 1915 -- July 10, 2015

The 10-July-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Preparing to raise an automobile truck, which recently slipped over a bridge in Chicago.   Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."   I couldn't find anything about this incident. 

"Official welcome to first train in the underground railway at Brooklyn, N. Y.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  On 22-June-1915, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company opened its first subway line, which still operates as the Fourth Avenue Line of the BMT Division. 

"Yale wins from Harvard in the annual regatta at New London.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Yale defeated Harvard at New London, Connecticut on 25-June-1915. We saw them practising last week, also in a Hearst-Selig News Pictorial. 

"Tremendous enthusiasm marks the opening of Chicago's new Speedway track.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The board racetrack in Maywood, Illinois opened on 11-June-1915 with a 300-mile race won by Dario Resta. 

"Sculptor John Flanagan designing the medal of award for the Panama-Pacific Exposition.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  John Flanagan created the official medal of award of the fair in San Francisco.    See an example of the medal below. 

"Scions of men who fought at Bunker Hill celebrate the 140th anniversary of the battle.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Bunker Hill Day is celebrated on June 17. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

2015 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest -- July 9, 2015

My cable for transferring pictures from the camera is not working, so photos and videos will have to wait.

1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2005 champion Byron Cobb and defending champion Trini Whittaker, who won in 2012 and 2013 wound up in a tie. Trini Whittaker won the first tie in 2012. Byron Cobb won a ring-off, earning his sixth title in the 52nd annual Bell Ringing Contest on Thursday, 09-July-2015 at Noon in Union Square. Scotty Bastable of CBS Local won the amateur division for the 6th consecutive year, raising funds for AIDS research.

The weather was cloudy and cold. There was a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Motorized car 62 (former Cal Cable Jones Street shuttle car 61) was temporarily renumbered 52 in honor of the 52nd annual Bell Ringing Contest.

Freeman and the Slot Blades, a Cable Car Division employee group, accompanied by Abel and the Frisco Project, performed some good San Francisco soul and funk music.  Emcee Deb Durst explained that ringers are judged on:

Ed Riskin of the San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority, said the men and women of the Cable Car Division have "unique skills you don't find on the civil exam." He also spoke of the two crew members who have recently been injured on the job. Byron Cobb rang the bell before and after a moment of silent prayer for the injured men.

Representatives from media outlets rang the bell in the amateur portion of the competition.
•Shaaron Resendiz from El Mensajero rang for the San Mateo County Sheriff's Youth Program. She did a nice combination of ringing and dancing.
•Brandon Mudd of Comcast rang for United Way. He rang to "We Will Rock You" and "Eye of the Tiger" while his assistants, one of whom wore a star costume, threw items like tee shirts and hats to the crowd.
•Lil Miss Hot Mess rang for Causa Justa. She got the crowd excited.
•Scotty Bastable rang for the AIDS Research Institute at UCSF. He and his 5 dancers performed to "Uptown Funk."

The non-profit organization results:
•3. Shaaron Resendiz. She earned $200 for her charity.
•2. Brandon Mudd and Lil Miss Hot Mess tied for second. Both charities received $300.
•1. Scotty Bastable won for the sixth consecutive year, earning $500 for his charity.

The professional competition:
•Jorge Lacayo - Third time contestant.
•Ken Lunardi - 1997, 2002, and 2006 champ announced that he is retiring after 25 years, so this was his last performance.
•Leonard Oats - 2007, 2008 and 2009 champion. He tied for first in 2012 and lost a closely contested ring-off.
•Singh B Rai - Third time contestant.
•Charles Monday - Second time contestant
•Byron Cobb - 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2005 champ.
•Trini Whittaker - 2012 and 2012 champ. Before he rang, he danced to "Uptown Funk."

The professional competition:
•3. Leonard Oats
•2. Trini Whittaker - He won the ring-off in 2012
•1. Byron Cobb

Jennifer Williams, Miss Cable Car 1968, was a judge. After the contest, I had a chance to chat with her and meet her daughter.

Then I had to rush back to work.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ringo Starr 75 -- July 7, 2015

Happy 75th birthday to my favorite Beatle, Ringo Starr.  People forget that he is a great drummer.  I thought he was the best actor in their movies.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day 2015 -- July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July to all.

I have always been a fan of George Harriman's comic strip Krazy Kat.  Here we see Offisa Pup and Ignatz Mouse enacting their eternal conflict, this time with a firecracker. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

News of the Week July 3, 1915 -- July 3, 2015

The 03-July-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"N.Y.A.C.'s summer season opens at Travers Island, N. Y.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  The New York Athletic Club held its Spring games at Travers Island on 05-June-1915.  The New York Athletic Club owns the island. 

"President Wilson speaks at the Flag Day exercises at the Treasury Building.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."   Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. 

"Jitneys carry car strike crowds in Chicago.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Chicago transit workers went on strike on 13-June-1915.  The mayor agreed to arbitrate and service resumed on June 16. 

"Secretary of State Bryan, who resigned, and Robert Lansing, who took his place.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  William Jennings Bryan, famous for losing three presidential elections, served as Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State until The Lusitania was sunk by the Germans.  Bryan, who favored pacifism, disagreed with Wilson's tone towards Germany.  Robert Lansing became the new Secretary of State. 

"Dr. Bernhard Dernburg, unofficial spokesman for the Kaiser, leaves for Europe.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."   Dernburg, a German politician, presented German propaganda in the United States. 

"Yale crew trains for regatta with Harvard.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Yale defeated Harvard at New London, Connecticut on 25-June-1915.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Synchronized Machine Gun -- July 1, 1915

100 years ago today, on 01-July-1915, German Leutnant Kurt Wintgens, flying an early model Fokker Eindecker shot down a French Morane-Saulnier Type L Parasol scout near Lunéville, France.  This was the first victory of an airplane filing a synchronized machine gun through the propeller arc.  The French observer fought back with a carbine, but could not hold off the better-armed German airplane. 

Wintgens later received the Pour le Mérite.  He was a rare fighter pilot who wore glasses.  He was killed in action on 25-September-1916. 

In July, 2010, we visited the Museum of Flight near Seattle.   I took this photo in the Personal Courage Wing, which features airplanes, mostly fighters, from World War One and World War Two. This is a reproduction of a Fokker E.III, a later model than Wintgens flew in 1915.