Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015 -- October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween, everyone.  The 28-October-1906 cover of the Sunday Magazine of the Minneapolis Journal features a Harlequin with a pumpkin. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

News of the Week October 30, 1915 -- October 30, 2015

The 30-October-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"'Smoke eaters' of Philadelphia give demonstration of fire equipment.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  I enjoy going to watch firemen demonstrate their equipment. 

"U. S. Submarine F-4 raised from the waters of the bay of Honolulu.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  SS-23, US submarine F-4, sank near Honolulu on 25-March-1915.  Her entire crew of 21 died.

"Four K-type submarines leave for Honolulu.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Incorporated."  Four K-class submarines sailed from San Francisco for Hawaii on 03-October-1915.  K-3, 7 and 8 were built by San Francisco's Union Iron Works.  K-4 was built in Seattle. 

"The first meeting of the Naval Advisory Board held at Washington, D. C.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Thomas Alva Edison was President of the The Naval Consulting Board. 

 "Terrible hurricane strikes New Orleans, causing great damage.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  1915 was a bad hurricane season.

"President Wilson and his fiancee, Mrs Norman Galt, at a world's series ball game.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Incorporated."  Wilson became the first president throw out the first ball at a World Series game, when the Boston Red Sox played the Philadelphia Phillies at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia.  Wilson was a big baseball fan. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Over the Top -- Chapter XI --October 29, 2015

Arthur Guy Empey was a member of the US Cavalry who resigned to volunteer for the British Army during World War One. He was wounded during the Battle of the Somme. When the US entered the war, he tried to rejoin the US Army, but was rejected because of his wounds and possibly because of some disparaging comments about American draftees. He wrote a book, Over the Top, about his experiences during the war. With the 100th anniversary of the war, I thought it might be interesting to post his story. Empey later became a prolific pulp magazine author, a movie star and producer, and a playwright. 

When he says "I glanced again at my wrist-watch. We all wore them and you could hardly call us 'sissies' for doing so."  Before the war, men wore pocket watches.  Wristwatches were considered unmanly.  

From "Tommy's Dictionary of the Trenches" by Empey:  
"Clicked it." Got killed; up against it; wounded.
"Funk Hole." Tommy's term for a dugout. A favorite spot for those of a nervous disposition.
Minnenwerfer. A high-power trench mortar shell of the Germans, which makes no noise coming through the air. It was invented by Professor Kultur. Tommy does not know it is near until it bites him; after that nothing worries him. Tommy nicknames them "Minnies."
Parados. The rear wall of a trench which the Germans continually fill with bits of shell and rifle bullets. Tommy doesn't mind how many they put in the parados.

CHAPTER I -- From Mufti to Khaki
CHAPTER II -- Blighty to Rest Billets
CHAPTER III -- I Go to Church
CHAPTER IV -- Into the Trench
CHAPTER V -- Mud, Rats and Shells
CHAPTER VI -- "Back of the Line"
CHAPTER VII -- Rations


ON my second trip to the trenches our officer was making his rounds of inspection, and we received the cheerful news that at four in the morning we were to go over the top and take the German front-line trench. My heart turned to lead. Then the officer carried on with his instructions. To the best of my memory I recall them as follows: "At eleven a wiring party will go out in front and cut lanes through our barbed wire for the passage of troops in the morning. At two o'clock our artillery will open up with an intense bombardment which will last until four. Upon the lifting of the barrage, the first of the three waves will go over." Then he left. Some of the Tommies, first getting permission from the Sergeant, went into the machine-gunners' dugout, and wrote letters home, saying that in the morning, they were going over the top, and also that if the letters reached their destination it would mean that the writer had been killed.

These letters were turned over to the captain with instructions to mail same in the event of the writer's being killed. Some of the men made out their wills in their pay book, under the caption, "will and last testament."

Then the nerve-racking wait commenced. Every now and then I would glance at the dial of my wrist-watch and was surprised to see how fast the minutes passed by. About five minutes to two I got nervous waiting for our guns to open up. I could not take my eyes from my watch. I crouched against the parapet and strained my muscles in a death-like grip upon my rifle. As the hands on my watch showed two o'clock, a blinding red flare lighted up the sky in our rear, then thunder, intermixed with a sharp, whistling sound in the air over our heads. The shells from our guns were speeding on their way toward the German lines. With one accord the men sprang up on the fire step and looked over the top in the direction of the German trenches. A line of bursting shells lighted up No Man's Land. The din was terrific and the ground trembled. Then, high above our heads we could hear a sighing moan. Our big boys behind the line had opened up and 9.2's and 15-inch shells commenced dropping into the German lines. The flash of the guns behind the lines, the scream of the shells through the air, and the flare of them, bursting, was a spectacle that put Pain's greatest display into the shade. The constant pup, pup, of German machine guns and an occasional rattle of rifle firing gave me the impression of a huge audience applauding the work of the batteries.

Our eighteen-pounders were destroying the German barbed wire, while the heavier stuff was demolishing their trenches and bashing in dugouts or funk-holes.

Then Fritz got busy.

Their shells went screaming overhead, aimed in the direction of the flares from our batteries. Trench mortars started dropping "Minnies" in our front line. We clicked several casualties. Then they suddenly ceased. Our artillery had taped or silenced them.

During the bombardment you could almost read a newspaper in our trench. Sometimes in the flare of a shell-burst a man's body would be silhouetted against the parados of the trench and it appeared like a huge monster. You could hardly hear yourself think. When an order was to be passed down the trench, you had to yell it, using your hands as a funnel into the ear of the man sitting next to you on the fire step. In about twenty minutes a generous rum issue was doled out. After drinking the rum, which tasted like varnish and sent a shudder through your frame, you wondered why they made you wait until the lifting of the barrage before going over. At ten minutes to four, word was passed down, "Ten minutes to go!" Ten minutes to live! We were shivering all over. My legs felt as if they were asleep. Then word was passed down: "First wave get on and near the scaling ladders."

These were small wooden ladders which we had placed against the parapet to enable us to go over the top on the lifting of the barrage. '' Ladders of Death" we called them, and veritably they were.

Before a charge Tommy is the politest of men. There is never any pushing or crowding to be first up these ladders. We crouched around the base of the ladders waiting for the word to go over. I was sick and faint, and was puffing away at an unlighted fag. Then came the word, "Three minutes to go; upon the lifting of the barrage and on the blast of the whistles, 'Over the Top with the Best o' Luck and Give them Hell.'" The famous phrase of the Western Front. The Jonah phrase of the Western Front. To Tommy it means if you are lucky enough to come back, you will be minus an arm or a leg. Tommy hates to be wished the best of luck; so, when peace is declared, if it ever is, and you meet a Tommy on the street, just wish him the best of luck and duck the brick that follows.

I glanced again at my wrist-watch. We all wore them and you could hardly call us "sissies" for doing so. It was a minute to four. I could see the hand move to the twelve, then a dead silence. It hurt. Everyone looked up to see what had happened, but not for long. Sharp whistle blasts rang out along the trench, and with a cheer the men scrambled up the ladders. The bullets were cracking overhead, and occasionally a machine gun would rip and tear the top of the sand bag parapet. How I got up that ladder I will never know. The first ten feet out in front was agony. Then we passed through the lanes in our barbed wire. I knew I was running, but could feel no motion below the waist. Patches on the ground seemed to float to the rear as if I were on a treadmill and scenery was rushing past me. The Germans had put a barrage of shrapnel across No Man's Land, and you could hear the pieces slap the ground about you.

 After I had passed our barbed wire and gotten into No Man's Land, a Tommy about fifteen feet to my right front turned around and looking in my direction, put his hand to his mouth and yelled something which I could not make out on account of the noise from the bursting shells. Then he coughed, stumbled, pitched forward, and lay still. His body seemed to float to the rear of me. I could hear sharp cracks in the air about me. These were caused by passing rifle bullets. Frequently, to my right and left, little spurts of dirt would rise into the air, and a ricochet bullet would whine on its way. If a Tommy should see one of these little spurts in front of him, he would tell the nurse about it later. The crossing of No Man's Land remains a blank to me.

Men on my right and left would stumble and fall. Some would try to get up, while others remained huddled and motionless. Then smashed-up barbed wire came into view and seemed carried on a tide to the rear. Suddenly, in front of me loomed a bashed-in trench about four feet wide. Queer-looking forms like mud turtles were scrambling up its wall. One of these forms seemed to slip and then rolled to the bottom of the trench. I leaped across this intervening space. The man to my left seemed to pause in mid-air, then pitched head down into the German trench. I laughed out loud in my delirium. Upon alighting on the other side of the trench I came to with a sudden jolt. Right in front of me loomed a giant form with a rifle which looked about ten feet long, on the end of which seemed seven bayonets. These flashed in the air in front of me. Then through my mind flashed the admonition of our bayonet instructor back in Blighty. He had said, "whenever you get in a charge and run your bayonet up to the hilt into a German, the Fritz will fall. Perhaps your rifle will be wrenched from your grasp. Do not waste time, if the bayonet is fouled in his equipment, by putting your foot on his stomach and tugging at the rifle to extricate the bayonet. Simply press the trigger and the bullet will free it." In my present situation this was fine logic, but for the life of me I could not remember how he had told me to get my bayonet into the German. To me, this was the paramount issue. I closed my eyes, and lunged forward. My rifle was torn from my hands. I must have gotten the German because he had disappeared. About twenty feet to my left front was a huge Prussian nearly six feet four inches in height, a fine specimen of physical manhood. The bayonet from his rifle was missing, but he clutched the barrel in both hands and was swinging the butt around his head. I could almost hear the swish of the butt passing through the air. Three little Tommies were engaged with him. They looked like pigmies alongside of the Prussian. The Tommy on the left was gradually circling to the rear of his opponent. It was a funny sight to see them duck the swinging butt and try to jab him at the same time. The Tommy nearest me received the butt of the German's rifle in a smashing blow below the right temple. It smashed his head like an eggshell. He pitched forward on his side and a convulsive shudder ran through his body. Meanwhile, the other Tommy had gained the rear of the Prussian. Suddenly about four inches of bayonet protruded from the throat of the Prussian soldier, who staggered forward and fell. I will never forget the look of blank astonishment that came over his face.

Then something hit me in the left shoulder and my left side went numb. It felt as if a hot poker was being driven through me. I felt no pain—just a sort of nervous shock. A bayonet had pierced me from the rear. I fell backward on the ground, but was not unconscious, because I could see dim objects moving around me. Then a flash of light in front of my eyes and unconsciousness. Something had hit me on the head. I have never found out what it was.

I dreamed I was being tossed about in an open boat on a heaving sea and opened my eyes. The moon was shining. I was on a stretcher being carried down one of our communication trenches. At the advanced first-aid post my wounds were dressed, and then I was put into an ambulance and sent to one of the base hospitals. The wounds in my shoulder and head were not serious and in six weeks I had rejoined my company for service in the front line.    

Next:CHAPTER XII -- Bombing 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Cranky Kahului -- October 27, 2015

San Francisco Call, 24-May-1895.
William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.   

The "cranky" steamer Kahului has discharged her sugar at the refinery, completing the task without tipping over.  When she came into port she seemed to be scudding along on her port beam ends.  She still had the list when she went to the refinery, and it was hoped that she would remain in that condition until sufficient sugar was taken out of her to put her on an even keel. She took a roll to starboard and her masts banged into the shed. She carried the same list when she left the refinery and went sailing sidewise down the bay yesterday to the Great Admiral to take in her coal.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bob Kane 100 -- October 24, 2015

Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, was born 100 years ago today, on 24-October-1915. I've been a fan of Batman since I first saw the television show and read the comic strip and the comic books back in the 1960s. Superman has his powers because he was born on another planet. Spiderman has his because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Batman is a self-made man.

Friday, October 23, 2015

News of the Week October 23, 1915 -- October 23, 2015

The 23-October-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Vernon Castle, the famous dancer, takes a lesson in hydro-aeroplaning.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Vernon Castle and his wife Irene were pioneers in popularizing ballroom dancing.  He was raised in England and emigrated to America when he was about 13.  Vernon wanted to do his part in the war and took flight lessons.  After a farewell performance in early 1916, he went to Britain and joined the Royal Flying Corps.  After making over 300 combat missions and shooting down two enemy aircraft, he was sent to Canada to train new pilots.  After the US entered the war, he came to America to train pilots.  He died after crashing while trying to avoid another airplane.  Irene carried on as an actress.

"A scene from the Rookies encampment at Ft. Sheridan, Chicago, Ill.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  Fort Sheridan, which closed in 1993, was a mobilization and officers' training center.

"Ex-President Taft visits $2,000,000 Columbia highway at Portland, Ore.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Construction of the Columbia River Highway started in 1913 and was finished in 1922. 

"Members of the G.A.R. march in gand review at Washington, D.C.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Incorporated."  The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Army veterans, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the end of the Civil War with an encampment in Washington, DC on 27-September-1915.  This is the first item we have seen from the International Film Service Incorporated. I think it was Hearst's project to replace the Hearst-Selig News Pictorial. 

"Bandmaster of popular recruiting band presented with status at London, England.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  The British used many methods to encourage enlistments. 

"Two victims of submarine F-4 disaster arrive at San Francisco, Calif.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  SS-23, US submarine F-4, sank near Honolulu on 25-March-1915.  Her entire crew of 21 died. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1936 Mercedes Benz Model 540K Cabriolet A -- October 21, 2015

 We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  The 1936 Mercedes-Benz Model 540K Cabriolet A had a body by Sindelfingen.  It has a mechanical supercharger.  (051/dsc_0108)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jelly Roll Morton 125 -- October 20, 2015
Great American composer and pianist Jelly Roll Morton may have been born 125 years ago today, on 20-October-1890 in the Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans.  His name may have been Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe or LaMenthe or something else. He told many wonderful stories about himself and some were probably true.  He said that he invented jazz.  He didn't, but he had a lot to do with its growth and increasing sophistication.  He spent time in San Francisco, playing in the Barbary Coast, where he owned a club called the Jupiter. He said the cops drove him out of town.  I would like to write a story about that. 

I heard "Doctor Jazz" played on the radio one Saturday morning when I was very young and I think that was what got me interested in jazz.

I learned something about music by listening repeatedly to this piano solo and then to Fletcher Henderson's arrangement for Benny Goodman. 

I liked the use of sounds in the opening of this one.  The Red Hot Peppers influenced the coming big band era. 

His music influenced everyone in jazz, but had a particularly strong effect on the traditional jazz movement in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lu Watters and Turk Murphy played many of this tunes.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Highest Priced Serial Ever Published -- October 19, 2015

Washington Evening Star, 13-November-1914

Arthur Conan Doyle's last Sherlock Holmes novel, The Valley of Fear, was touted as "The highest priced serial ever published." 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vault of Horror 26 -- October 17, 2015
EC was famous for its horror comics, The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear and Tales From the Crypt. That's a nice auto. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

News of the Week October 16, 1915 -- October 16, 2015

The 16-October-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Gothamites watch Boston fireboats give special display.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   What were Boston fireboats doing in New York?  I couldn't find anything about it.

"Harry Ford discusses subway Plan with Secretary of State Daniels.   Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I may be mistaken, but that looks like Henry Ford.

"Subway cave-in at Seventh Avenue and Twenty-fourth St., New York.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  An entire block collapsed on 22-September-1915. 

"President Wilson returns to Princeton, N. J. to vote at primaries.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Before he was President of the United States and Governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson had been the President of Princeton University. 

"Streets of Syracuse flooded as a result of washout.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Onondaga Creek flooded in Syracuse, New York in September, 1915.

"Scene of recent subway cave-in, in New York City.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  Mutual reported on the same collapse as Universal. 

Motography, 09-October-1915.
Pathe reported on the same collapse. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Two-Legged Charlie and Ferry -- October 15, 2015

Two-Legged Charlie poses with a Golden Gate ferryboat and the Bay Bridge.  I took the photo on 21-September-2015. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pulp -- Ghost Stories -- October 13, 2015
Halloween is coming soon and yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the execution of Nurse Edith Cavell by the Germans, so I thought the December, 1929 issue of Ghost Stories would be appropriate.

I wrote about her death:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Edith Cavell 100 Years -- October 12, 2015

Chicago Day Book, 27-October-1915
100 years ago today on 12-October-1915, a German firing squad executed British nurse Edith Cavell.  Cavell had stayed in Belgium after the German occupation.  She helped Allied prisoners escape to neutral countries.  The Germans gave her a "trial" and then shot her.  The Allies made a lot of her case in propaganda.  The Germans said they had to do it to protect their soldiers. 

Happy Columbus Day, 2015 -- October 12, 2015

Happy Columbus Day to those of you who still remember it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Father Paul Capitolo, SJ, RIP -- October 11, 2015

I was sad to learn about the passing of Rev Paul F Capitolo, SJ, my Sophomore year counselor at Saint Ignatius.  Everyone loved Father Capitolo.  He used to help at Good Shepherd Church.  My daughter loved being an altar server for him.  I last spoke to him at the Downtown Business Lunch in 2011, where they spoke about his retirement.  I asked him what he would be doing. He said he was not looking forward to being around other retired Jesuits -- being around the kids kept him young.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Harry "Sweets" Edison 100 -- October 10, 2015

Happy birthday to Harry "Sweets"  Edison, remarkable trumpeter born on 10-October-1915.  He played with Count Basie and various Basie alumni for many years after.  I remember him playing up until he died in 1999. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

News of the Week October 9, 1915 -- October 9, 2015

The 09-October-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Harry K. Thaw arrives in San Francisco after cross country drive.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  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.  He was found not guilty because he was legally insane.

"Pageant to raise money for university at Dallas, Texas.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Perhaps this has something to do with Southern Methodist University, which opened on 22-September-1915.  The school immediately launched a campaign throughout the south to raise $1,000,000 for its permanent endowment.

"Wreckers board schooner dismantled by hurricane, Key West, Fla.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Galveston, Texas got wrecked by a hurricane.  It must have been a bad season.

"World's biggest jack-knife bridge constructed at Chicago, Ill.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."   I'm not sure which bridge this is.  Chicago has a lot of bascule bridges.

"Solemn ceremonies at burial of victims of Submarine E-13 sunk by Germans.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  HMS E13 ran aground in Denmark and was attacked by German torpedo boats.  The Germans kept firing at the men in the water after the British abandoned ship.  14 men were killed and one was missing. 

"Scene of dynamite explosion at Ybor City, Fla.  Copyright 1915, by Mutual Weekly."  A saloon blew up on 11-September-1915.  It cold have been related to labor unrest. 

John Lennon 75 -- October 9, 2015

Happy 75th birthday to the late John Lennon, who was the favorite Beatle of many people.  I went to school with people who tried to look and dress like him.  Many of them made fun of me.  Despite that, I have always liked his music.
He could draw and write poetry and act and sing and play and write music.  Despite his many talents, people always seemed to be trying to tear him down.  I recently read an essay claiming he wasn't a very good musician.  People get jealous.
He certainly did bad and selfish things, but so have lots of other artists, and other human beings.
I suppose some of the disdain comes from people who don't like Yoko Ono.  But I remember when that jerk murdered him.  I saw people more hurt and upset by the death of Elvis Beatle than they were when Elvis Presley died.

Ringo Starr is my favorite Beatle:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Southern Pacific Makes Travel Carefree and Enjoyable for Theatrical People -- October 7, 2015

Variety, 20-December-1932

I have always loved the Southern Pacific's sunset logo.  Here the company offered its services to theatrical people. Vaudeville and the "legitimate" stage probably could not have operated as they did without the railroads. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

El Gran Houdini -- October 5, 2015

Cine-Mundial, August, 1918

Escapologist Harry Houdini wanted to expand his exposure to the public, so he began to appear in movies starting in 1918 with the serial The Master Mystery. It was shown around the world. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Feast of Saint Francis, 2015 -- October 4, 2015

Benny Bufano's "Saint Francis on Horseback" stands at Hillsdale Mall.  Saint Francis was one of Benny's favorite subjects. 

Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.

Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.

No second death can do them harm. Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Birds Are Flying South -- October 3, 2015
Aviation was a hot topic in 1927 after Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic.  the cover of the 24-November-1927 shows what appears to be a well-off lady heading south for the winter, like a migratory bird.  The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936.

Congratulations to Matt Duffy, the first rookie to win the Willie Mac award.  Many previous recipients were at the ballpark, along with Willie McCovey, who is in a wheelchair. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

News of the Week October 2, 1915 -- October 2, 2015

The 02-October-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

 "English and French commissioners seek loan for allies.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The Allies depended on US loans to continue buying US food and material.

"Famous warship Portmouth set on fire to get iron from hull.  Copyright 1915 Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  USS Portsmouth was a sloop of war launched in 1843.  She served in the Mexican War and the Civil War.  On 09-July-1846 a detachment of her marines raised the US flag in the plaza of Yerba Buena, now called San Francisco.  The plaza is called Portsmouth Square.  After serving as a training ship and a quarantine ship, she was burned in Boston on 06-07-September-1915.

"Sant' Anna leaving New York for Italy.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Italian reservists headed back to Italy on the French liner Sant Anna, which had been launched in 1912.  She became a troopship in 1915.  Sant Anna caught fire on 12-September-1915 in mid-Atlantic.  People suspected German sabotage.  She made it to Europe.  She was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on 11-May-1918.  605 died. 

"Dr. Dumba, Austria-Hungary Ambassador, leaving the Embassy.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  The Ambassador tried to foment trouble among his nationals working in US steel plants.  He said that they could prosecuted for helping the enemy. 

"Envoys from the allies arrive in New York to negotiate big loan.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I assume these are the same men seen in the first photo. 

"President Wilson throws out the first ball, at opening of baseball park.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  I'm guessing this is the opening of Braves Field in August.  On 09-October-1915, Wilson became the first president throw out the first ball at a World Series game, when the Boston Red Sox played the Philadelphia Phillies at the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia.  Wilson was a big baseball fan. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Okeh Electric Records, October 1, 2015

Talking Machine World, February, 1928

Okeh made many jazz and dance records.

 Frankie Trumbauer was a saxophone player who wrote, arranged and lead.  His orchestra usually included his friend, cornetist Bix Beiderbecke.  Bix was a major figure in 1920s jazz.  He influenced many later trumpet players.  "I'm Coming, Virginia" also featured guitarist Eddie Lang, who is listed above as "Ed."   

Miff Mole was a jazz trombonist who often led bands. 

Boyd Senter was a reed player who frequently led a group called the Senterpedes.  Eddie Lang was a pioneering jazz guitar soloist. 

Violinist Joe Venuti frequently worked with Eddie Lang.  Joe Venuti was famous for his quirky sense of humor. He sent Wingy Manone, the one-armed trumpet player, a gift of one cufflink.