Sunday, December 9, 2018

Comic Book -- Black Cat -- December 9. 2018
Christmas is coming.

In 1941, Harvey Comics introduced The Black Cat, a Hollywood actress whose father was a silent Western star and whose mother was a stuntwoman.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Jim Morrison 75 -- December 8, 2018
Singer, poet and songwriter Jim Morrison would have been 75 years old today.  He was born on 08-December-1943.  I remember hearing The Doors on the radio and being impressed by his voice.  I don't remember being impressed by his lyrics, but they were catchy. I liked Ray Manzarek because he wore glasses and played keyboards. He died in 1971, around the time that Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin also died.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor Day, 2018 -- December 7, 2018
77 years ago a sneak attack by forces of the Japanese Empire sank or damaged much of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in the territory of Hawaii. The Japanese Empire came to regret doing this.

Dreadnought USS Nevada (BB-36) was commissioned in 1916.  She went to Ireland to protect convoys during World War One. She was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked in 1941. She was damaged, but was repaired. She was at D-Day and again protected Atlantic convoys.  She was at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Motography, 30-November-1915
"A scene from Hearst-Selig News Pictorial showing the U. S. S. "Nevada" making its first trip. Copyright 1915, International Film Service Inc."

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pete Shelley, RIP -- December 6, 2018
Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks has died.  I used to hear them on KUSF when it played punk and related music.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Pulp -- Air Stories -- December 5, 2018
"Capt. Kidd Rides the Skies..."  By the time this was published, there were not a lot of full-rigged ships sailing the seas.

Monday, December 3, 2018

British Ship Balclutha Nearly Goes on Rocks -- December 3, 2018

San Francisco Call, 16-June-1900
William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. Square rigger Balclutha is preserved at the San Francisco Maritime Museum at the Hyde Street Pier. Right now she is in a drydock receiving maintenance. 

Owned in San Francisco.

The British ship Balclutha, which arrived in this port from Newcastle, N. S. W., last Sunday, is now a San Francisco-owned ship. The well-known house of J. J. Moore & Co. are now the managing owners and the vessel will run between here and the colonies in the lumber and general merchandise trade. Captain Hatfield of the Balclutha is an old-timer in San Francisco. He Is part owner of the Lancing and his son-in-law is master of that well-known ship. On his reappearance on the coast last Monday Captain Hatfield had to signalize his return. Owing to the fog and absence of all signals the Balclutha was almost on top of the Farallon rocks before Captain Hatfield knew where he was. The lead, however, told the old navigator that he was close to land and by the time the seals and sea fowl gave a warning the Balclutha was on the other tack and the danger was past.

I took the photo of Balclutha on 19-October-2010.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December, 2018 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- December 1, 2018

I just put the December, 2018 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server: 

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: The Emporium, a now gone-but-not-forgotten department store across the street from the turntable at Powell and Market used to sponsor a yearly Christmas parade. Muni would decorate cable car 504 Santa's sleigh. Santa would ride down Powell Street in his sled atop the roof. That must have been a thrilling ride. Here we see "conductress" Mary Ball and "Jimin-E," an Emporium employee on the back platform. (source: Trolley Topics, December, 1950).
2. With Christmas coming, it's a good time to visit the late Joe Lacey's article Christmas on the Cables (20th anniversary this year), and the Decorated Cable Cars page. Added list of cars decorated for Christmas, 2018.
3. On Walter Rice's A Photo Album of 1970s Cable Car Supporters: Added a Hughes Airwest advertisement car card from the cable car centennial.
4. Added News item about a podcast interview with Val Lupiz, Frank Zepeda and Jeremy Whiteman
5. Added News and Chronology items about cable car crews being issued masks because of smoke from a fire in Butte County and then the cars being taken off the street and the Cable Car Museum being closed because of unhealthy air quality
6. Added News and Chronology items about the Cal Band riding a Blue and Gold cable car to promote the Big Game.
7. On the UK page: Updated the status of the East Cliff Railway in Bournemouth in the Cliff Lifts article. Added News story about the current situation.
8. On the Cable Car Lines in Colorado page: An update about the current status of the Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway, a cog railroad

Ten years ago this month (December, 2008):
1. Picture of the Month: A Val Lupiz night view of car 60, which he had decorated for the holidays, at California and Drumm on 04-December-2007.
2. On the San Francisco page: Articles about the 1886-1887 strike against the Sutter and Geary Street lines, which include reports about the Sutter Street superintendant's plug uglies shooting at people in the street and at least two grip cars, one from each company, getting blown up with dynamite
3. With Christmas coming, it's a good time to visit Joe Lacey's article Christmas on the Cables (10th anniversary this year), and the Decorated Cable Cars page.
4. Also on the Cable Car Models page, more information about Norm Pythian's cable car simulation
5. On the Cable Cars in the Pacific Northwest page, Peter Ehrlich took a photo of a sign telling the history of the Yesler Way line. Thanks to Peter for the photo

Twenty years ago this month (December, 1998):
1. Picture of the Month: "A Sunday Load"
2. Add excerpts from article "The Parks of San Francisco" and "A Sunday Load" picture to the SF Miscellany section
3. Add California & Powell accident to news & bibliography
4. Fix some typos
5. Added "Christmas on the Cables" by Joe Lacey to the SF page.

125 years ago this month, on 04-December-1893, In New York City, the Third Avenue Railroad's Third Avenue line opened for service

Coming in January, 2019: On the Other California Cities page: A ten and twenty year update on the Second Street Cable Railway, the first cable traction line in Los Angeles

On my San Francisco Bay Ferryboats page: I added an item about a Golden Gate ferry that rammed the wharf at the Ferry Building:

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-December-2018)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 30-November-2018)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 30-September-2018)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Friday, November 30, 2018

George Bush, RIP/Alaska Earthquake -- November 30, 2018
The elder President Bush has died.  I voted against him, but looks a lot better than today's Republicans.  We was a naval aviator during World War Two.

Anchorage was hit by a 7.0 earthquake today.  Lots of damage.  My dad often spoke about the 1964 quake, because he was stationed near there in the army.  Unlike 1964, there was not a tsunami.

Monaco 19 Avril 1931 -- November 30, 2018
I like this poster for the 1931 Grand Prix auto race in Monaco.  Louis Chiron won driving a Bugatti Type 51.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Madeleine L'Engle 100 -- November 29, 2018
Madeleine L'Engle was born 100 years ago today, on 29-November-1918.  I think I first read A Wrinkle in Time while I was in high school.  I'm not a fantasy/science fiction fan, but I enjoyed it. I read A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time while I was in college. She was a Christian Universalist, which got some of her books banned in Christian schools.  "I cannot believe that God wants punishment to go on interminably any more than does a loving parent. The entire purpose of loving punishment is to teach, and it lasts only as long as is needed for the lesson. And the lesson is always love."

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Unwarranted Arrest of a Boy -- November 27, 2018

San Francisco Call, 19-November-1900
Unwarranted Arrest of a Boy.

Joe Tobin, an eleven-year-old boy, was arrested yesterday afternoon and charged at the City Prison with petty larceny. The youngster picked up a baseball which had been batted over the Harrison street fence during a game at the Eighth street grounds and was taken into custody by Policeman Tracy. Considerable indignation was expressed by the authorities at the police station at the officer's unwarranted action. It has been; the custom of the baseball management to allow the finder of a lost ball to keep it or secure admission to the game by returning it. The prison-keeper refused to lock the boy in a cell and allowed him the freedom of the corridor.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ricky Jay, RIP -- November 26, 2018

Magician and actor Ricky Jay has died.  I enjoyed Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

Canadian Pacific -- World's Greatest Travel System -- November 23, 2018

xxxThe CThe Vintage Graphic Design and Poster Art
The Canadian Pacific was not merely a railroad.  It also operated steamships and later an airline.  To encourage people to ride their trains, they built a series of resorts, incluing the Banff Hot Springs Hotel.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 -- November 22 2018
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm grateful for health and life, my family, and my coworkers.

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936. Here is the cover of their 20-November-1931 Thanksgiving Number. It represents a turkey who awaits his fate like a condemned criminal.

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

White Album 50 -- November 21, 2018
Fifty years ago tomorrow, on 22-November-1968, the Beatles released the double album The Beatles, which everyone calls The White Album.

I heard it on the radio and at the houses of friends whose families could afford it.

I loved the airplane sounds.

Monday, November 19, 2018

You -- Buy a Liberty Bond Lest I Perish -- November 19, 2018

cph 3g08032 //
The cost World War One greatly exceeded the normal budget of the Federal Government. The four Liberty Loans sold war bonds to raise money. This poster from the Library of Congress has Lady Liberty demanding that people buy a Liberty Bond.

Some people feel that images of the Statue of Liberty are insulting to our so-called president.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

Roy Clark, RIP -- November 16, 2018
I was sad to hear that master picker Roy Clark had died.  He could play country or jazz or classical or whatever else he wanted.

My dad and I used to watch Hee Haw together.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Ragtime Cowboy Joe -- November 15, 2018
It's not really a rag, but I like it.  When a young cousin wearing a cowboy outfit visited the composers, one was inspired to write the song.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WaaTeeKaa is Gone -- November 14, 2018

I returned to the office after working from home for a stretch.  The guy in the next cubicle asked me if I knew what had happened to the railroad car which housed the Bechtel Museum.  I looked out the window and saw the empty tracks.

The Bechtel Museum is usually housed in a railroad car in the plaza behind the company's headquarters. The Bechtel family lived in a railroad car, the WaaTeeKaa, at remote job sites in the 1920s. This car, originally from the Chicago, Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha, was restored to externally resemble the WaaTeeKaa as a gift to Steve Bechtel, Senior and his wife Laura in 1988.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stan Lee, RIP -- November 12, 2018
I was sad to learn that Stan Lee has died.  He started out at Timely Comics, filling inkwells for artists.  He became a writer.  Stan Lee became a writer with a story in Captain America #3.  Lee became an editor before he served in the Army during World War Two.

When superheroes fizzled after the war, Lee wrote stories in many genres for Atlas, the successor of Timely.

Atlas became Marvel in the early 1960s.  When superheroes came back, Lee worked with artist Steve Ditko to create Spiderman.  I did not appreciate Marvel comics because they seemed to be trying very hard to be current and hip.

Lee eventually became editor-in-chief.  After he retired, he served as a spokesman for the company and made cameos in Marvel-related movies.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Armistice Day 100 -- November 11, 2018

New York Sun, 11-November-1918

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans out there. Thank you for your service to your country.

100 years ago today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice went into effect and the fighting stopped.  In the US, the day was known for many years as Armistice Day.  


WASHINGTON, Monday, Nov. 11.-- Armistice terms have been signed by Germany, the State Department announced at 2:45 o'clock this morning.

The World War will end this morning at $ o'clock, Washington time (11 o'clock Paris time). The armistice was signed by the German representatives at midnight. This announcement was made by the State Department at 2:50 o'clock this morning.

The terms of the armistice, it was announced, will not be made public until later.

Effort Will Be Hade to "Fortify Freedom Won by People."
Paris Paper Calls Now Chancellor "Type of Pan-German Imperialist."

Paris, Nov. 10. -- A despatch from Berlin through Zurich says that Prince Maximillian Baden and all of the bourgeois ministers resigned because of the troubles in the interior of Germany. Frledrich Ebert. the German Socialist leader, has been definitely recognized as Chancellor.

In the new German Government there will be only three representatives for the majority parties, namely Erzberger, Gothein and Richthofen. The other posts will be occupied by Socialists and Independents.

Chancellor Ebert in a proclamation says he plans to form a people's government which will endeavor to bring about speedy peace and to fortify the freedom which the people have won.

He declared that Prince Maximilian of Baden had transferred the Chancellorship to him, all the Secretaries of State having given their consent. The new Government, he added, would be in agreemnt with the various parties.

The Temps to-day concludes a sketch Ebert as follows:

"He shares the ruling passions of the German. He Is a type of pan-German Socialist, not to say an imperialist."

Friend of Kaiser Exposed in Berlin Paper.

Special Cable Despatch to THE SUN.
Copyright, 1918; all rights reserved.

Paris, Nov. 10. -- A sensation has been created in German military and official circles by publication by Edward Bernstein yesterday in the Berliner Tageblatt of revelations showing that Gen. Kelm, president of the German Military League and friend of the former Kaiser, had been in the pay of the Krupps since 1901.

Last week Bernstein accused Kelm before the Reichstag and the General denied briefly. Bernstein then proved, by showing excerpts from the Krupp books, that the account had existed for eighteen years and that millions of marks had been paid to Gen. Kelm in return for munition contracts.

"This man thus received millions from the first German munition factory." concludes Bernstein. "This is the factory which Wilhelm so frequently honored with visits. The crimes of the house of Krupp against the German people are many and even heavier are those of Gen. Kelm. The leading spirits in this enterprise will soon be called to account before a high court of the people for having; systematically prepared the universal massacre which has entailed the defeat of Germany."

By the Associated Press.

Harbin, Nov. 8. -- It is reported that a train of forty-two cars carrying ammunition, grenades and twelve Japanese guns, despatched from Harbin recently for the Volga front, has been blown up between Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk.

One French officer, two French soldiers and three Czechs were killed, while eighteen Czechs were, wounded. Bolshevik railroad men are accused.


London. Nov. 10 -- The Government tonight issued a statement that the Minister of Reconstruction will announce the Government's general reconstruction policy to Parliament on Tuesday.

In the meantime elaborate instructions have been given for the slowing down of munitions production and the replacement of the workmen, with a scheme of donations for unemployment to remain in force for six months.

Gain of 3 Miles in Blow Extending From Sedan to the Moselle.
Stenay Taken by Storm and Another Advance Made Toward Conflans.

By the Associated Press.

With the American Forces on the Meuse Front. Nov, 10, -- The First and Second American Armies in their attacks to-day, extending along the Moselle and the Meuse, advancing on a front of approximately 115 kilometers (seventy-one and a half miles). French troops operating under the American command also advanced at various points.

The captured territory includes the German stronghold of Stenay, Grimaucourt, cast of Verdun, and numerous villages and fortified positions in Lorraine.

Aroused by repeated German raids and local attacks during the last few nights west of the Moselle, the Second American Army in its initial attack crashed down on the Germans early this morning with artillery preparation lasting several hours. Then the infantry forged ahead, advancing at places for more than three miles.

Stenay Taken by Storm.

The Germans fought desperately, using their machine guns, but were forced to give ground almost everywhere along the entire front. Stenay, around which the Americans had been held up for a week, was stormed and taken in hard fighting. It was strongly fortified and was stormed from the south. The Americans swept forward against streams of machine gun bullets and artillery fire from the hills northeast of Stenay.

The entire district in the region of Stenay was flooded by the Germans, who dammed the canals and rivers. The Americans, crossing the River Meuse from below, took Stenay in a great northward push.

New Chancellor Begs That Germany Be Saved From Anarchy

WASHlNGTON, Nov. 10. -- The following proclamation and manifesto by Friedrich Ebert, the new German Chancellor, were sent out by the German wireless station at Nauen and picked up to-day by the naval radio stations in this country:


New Government has taken charge of business in order to preserve the German people from civil war and famine, and in order to enforce its just claims of self determination. This task I can accomplish only if all authorities in all civil offices in towns in landed districts lend to it a helpful hand.

I know it will be hard for many to cooperate with new men who now have to lead business of the empire. But I appeal to their love for our people. If organization of public life stops in this serious hour then Germany would be prey of anarchy and most terrible, miserable. Therefore, lend together with me and your help to our country by continuing work in fearless and unrelenting manner, everybody in his position until hour has come that relieves us of our duty.


CITIZENS: Former Chancellor Prince Max of Baden, with assent of all the secretaries, has charged me to carry on business of Chancellor.

I am going to form new government, with parties, and shall report within brief delay about results to public. New government will be government of people. Its endeavor must be to bring to people peace as quickly as possible, and to confirm liberty which it has gained.

Citizens: I ask for the assistance of you all in heavy tasks which await us. You know how seriously war threatens approvisionment (?) of people which is first condition of political life. Political revolution ought not disturb approvisionment of land districts nor to disturb production of food nor its transportation into towns, but to foster it.

Scarcity of food means looting and plundering, with misery for all. The poorest would suffer in the most heavy fashion. Workingmen in industries would be hit most severely. Whosoever take away food or other objects of necessity or means of transportation necessary for their distribution commits heaviest sin against all.

Citizens: I urge you all to leave streets, and provide for quiet and order. EBERT.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Paradise Lost -- November 10, 2018

We were on our way to Five O'clock mass at Good Shepherd and I stopped to take a photo of the setting sun.  There is a huge fire in Butte County that has destroyed the town of Paradise is burning down towards Chico.  It is said to be the third biggest fire in California history.  There are other fires in Ventura County and Malibu. Someone is setting smaller fires in Golden Gate Park.

The air is full of smoke, even at the beach.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Pulp -- The Shadow -- November 9, 2018

When I was a kid, Gene Nelson on KSFO played old radio shows at night. He often played episodes of The Shadow. At some point, I found a copy of Jim Harmon's The Great Radio Heroes in the library and read that the Shadow was a very different character in the pulp magazines. That character sounded more interesting. The whole "clouds men's minds" didn't make a lot of sense, but wearing dark clothes and hiding in the shadows sounded cool. Later still, I got to read reprints and found that they were pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Joni Mitchell 75 -- November 7, 2018
Singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell was born 75 years ago today, on 07-November-1943.  She is a proud product of Canada.  Her music was all over KFRC when I was young.  I learned to recognize her voice and the unique features of her music.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

Revenue Cutter Bear and Whaling Bark Alice Knowles Making Port -- November 5, 2018

San Francisco Call, November 12, 1899
This drawing is from the 12-November-1899 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.

Revenue Cutter Bear was built as a sealer in 1874. In 1884, the United States Revenue Service purchased her to serve as a revenue cutter in Alaska. She served the Revenue Service and the Coast Guard as a cutter on and off until 1943. She paid yearly visits to San Francisco for refitting and replenishment. While there, she helped with recovery operations after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. After WWII, she was refitted to serve again as a sealer, but didn't sail much. She sank in 1963 while being towed to Philadelphia to be converted into a restaurant.

The Bear and Alice Knowles at Home
A Good Catch Made by the Whaler. Smart Run of the Ship Columbia. A Drunkard's Double Escape.

The revenue cutter Bear and the whaling bark Alice Knowles both got home from the Arctic yesterday. The Bear stopped at Seattle on the way down. On her way down from the Sound she ran into a heavy southeaster and for two days was hove to. A thunder and lightning storm played around the cutter while she was hove to, and a number of the crew I got electrical shocks. The officers say that many an electric storm has been their portion in other parts of the world, but this is the first one they ever experienced on the coast of California.

While the Boar was at Nome the people were very much exercised over the non-arrival of the steamer Laurada. She had many passengers and a full cargo of provisions aboard and was long overdue. The news of the wreck of the vessel was known here, but not at the gold fields. The Bear made an extended search and found the wreck on St. Georges Island. The crew had got all the ship's stores, all the passengers' baggage, about fifty tons of cargo, 500 sheep and several steers ashore. All the passengers were landed and many of them went to Nome on the Cleveland, while the women came back home on the Corwin.

The story about chasing whalers and firing shots after them because they had liquor aboard is laughed at by the officers of the. Bear. They say that a few Indians were arrested for illicit distilling, but no whalers were chased. Quite a number of criminals were picked up along the Alaskan coast and transported to Sitka, but the tales of their crimes were told long ago in The Call. The Bear, in company with the McCulloch, will go from here to San Diego and winter there.

The Alice Knowles had a successful season in the frozen north. She brings back 560 pounds of whale-bone. 470 barrels of sperm oil arid 430 barrels of whale oil. There were no casualties during the cruise.

There will he a number of changes in the revenue service during the next few days. Captain Frank Tuttle, now !n command of the Golden Gate, takes the Bear, and Lieutenant Jarvis, who brought the cutter from the north, goes East. Lieutenant A. Buhner of the Thetis takes the Golden Gate; Lieutenant C. S. Cochrane, of the Thetis goes as navigating officer of the Bear. Lieutenant H. Ulke of the Bear goes to the McCulloch and Assistant Engineer J. I. Bryan of the Thetis goes to the Golden Gate. The Thetis is to be brought over from Sausalito and anchored in the cove between Meiggs wharf and Black Point, where she will in future act as a receiving ship.

Two of the overdue fleet got in yesterday. The Arcata and South Portland from Coos Bay had a hard time of it and were S4 hours making the run, or nearly ; a day and a half longer than usual.

J. Sullivan of 447 First street was twice treated at the Harbor Hospital yesterday morning. At 6:00 a. m. he was brought in from the corner of Bryant and Second streets suffering from alcoholism and several lacerated wounds. He was fixed up and left the hospital. An hour later there was another call from Bryant and Second streets for the ambulance and it was Sullivan. again. This time he had a fractured skull and may die. Late yesterday afternoon he was removed to the City and County Hospital.

The ship Columbia arrived at Tacoma yesterday, having made the run from San Francisco In the splendid time of five days

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Wilfrid Owen 100 Years -- November 4, 2018
Wilfred Owen, army officer and war poet was killed 100 years ago today, on 04-November-1918.  While leading his troops on the Western Front, he was severely wounded and shell shocked.  At the Craiglockhart War Hospital, he met fellow war poet Siegfried Sassoon.  After he was discharged from the hospital, Owen could have spent the rest of the war on light duty, but he insisted on returning to the front.  He felt that it lent weight to his reporting on the terrors of the war.  He was awarded the Military Cross for an action at Joncourt.  He was killed one week before the Armistice, during an action at the Sambre-Oise Canal.

Most of his poems were published after the war. Siegfried Sassoon helped to get them into print.


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Bob Feller 100 -- November 3, 2018

Bob Feller, great pitcher of the Cleveland Indians and WWII Navy vet, was born 100 years ago today, on 03-November-1918. The Indians brought him up when he was 17, in 1936.

My father was a big fan. He got to see Bob Feller and Satchel Paige pitch in Municipal Stadium.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Over 100 Killed in Wreck During Strike -- November 1, 2018

Arizona Republican, 02-November-1918
The Malbone Street wreck was one of the worst public transit accidents in the US.  


(By the Associated Press)
NEW YORK, Nov. 1. -- One hundred bodies had been taken late tonight from what is known as the Malbone street "tunnel" on the Brighton Beach line of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company where a five car train running at high speed jumped the track on a curve and struck the side wall with such terrific force that the first car was demolished, and the others "buckled" until they were jammed against the roof of the tunnel.

The train which carried nearly 900 passengers, was in charge of a "green" motorman.

Rescue workers declared they believed more bodies were buried under the wreckage and that the death list of men, women and children might reach 120. Probably twice that many were injured, many of them seriously.

District Attorney Lewis of Kings county, declared the accident was due to recklessness on the part of the motorman who had been employed as a train dispatcher and was pressed into service because of the strike which went into effect today after the company had refused to reinstate 29 discharged union employes.

"The motorman is gone," Mr. Lewis said. "The claim adjusting department appears to have kidnapped him."

Police Commissioner Enright echoed the assertion of Mr. Lewis. "The accident appears to have been the result of a 'green' motorman running his train at an excessive rate of speed. The police now are searching for this man."


Lewis said warrants will be issued for the arrest of all officials of the corporation who could be held responsible for the disaster. An investigation of the wreck was in progress late tonight at the offices of the public service commission. The Brooklyn Rapid Transit company had made no statement concerning the wreck and four hours after it occurred ignorance was professed of exactly what had happened.

The wrecked train was packed to the gates with home-going men, women and children. Service on the company's lines was materially reduced because of the strike and every train which left the Brooklyn bridge was literally jammed by the thousands of delayed residents of Brooklyn who also fought to get aboard.

Hours after the accident it was difficult to determine exactly how it happened. The crash came in a dark tunnel and the hysterical survivors were unable to give a coherent account of their experiences. Many of them insisted that a second train had plowed into the rear of the one which had carried them and this was the theory of District Attorney Lewis until he had carefully sifted the evidence at his command. He finally determined, however, that only one train was involved.


Mr. Lewis and the police asserted that the train was running fully 40 miles an hour when it took the curve and plunged into the concrete sidewall of the tunnel. It was difficult for them to believe at first, they said, that there could have been such heavy loss of life unless two trains had been involved. The tunnel was completed only recently and it was declared that only a motorman familiar with the line could have negotiated the curve safely even at a moderate speed.

When the first car jumped the track it side-swiped the west wall and ran along the ties for nearly 100 feet. The cars behind crashed through it and then buckled against the roof and fell.

The tragedy marked the first day of a strike called by the company's motormen to force the reinstatement of 29 members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers as ordered by the national war labor board.

Officials of the company professed three hours after the accident to have no definite information as to its cause. They said no reports had been made to them by members of the train crew. "There is no doubt." Mr. Lewis said, "that the motorman of the loading (leading? - JT) train was going at a high rate of speed when he made the turn into the cut. The front car jumped the track and buckled. The train following ran into the stalled one."'

Unused to Road

According to survivors of the wreck the motorman evidently was unused to the road, as he was compelled to back up at one point, when he had taken the wrong switch.

Both trains were jammed with passengers as the strike had resulted in a material reduction in service and consequent delay.

Immediately after the crash the wrecked cars burst into flames adding to the terror of those who had escaped injury and increasing the peril of those pinned in the wreckage.

Police reserves from a dozen stations were rushed to the scene of the accident and they immediately sent in calls for all the ambulances in Brooklyn while Manhattan hospitals were asked for assistance. The fire department also was called upon to aid the injured and remove the dead.

Rescue Work Retarded

Rescue work was retarded by the. fact that the crash occurred in a deep cut.

It was difficult for relief workers or survivors to clamber up and down the steep concrete walls of what is known as the Malbone street "tunnel."

The injured and dead were carried up ladders taken from fire apparatus. Charred bodies were placed in burlap bags to shroud them from the gaze of the thousands of persons who gathered within a few minutes after the collision, policemen and firemen were mobbed by frenzied men and women. There was a ghastly glow that arose only to die again, leaving the victims of the wreck in darkness. The first rescuers found the rear car with its nose pointed upward. It was half turned on one side and from its windows hung girls and women who had been crushed in the moment of the impact.

The rescuers climbed over dead bodies to get to those who still lived. But in the fore part of the car they found bodies wedged so tightly that it was impossible to remove them without first cutting away the framework of the car. Firemen with axes hewed their way to the imprisoned dead and hurt.

Through the rescuing force there came Msgr. John T. Woods of the Holy Cross Church, in Flatbush. With him was the Kev. Francis Coppinger, his assistant. The priests pushed their way through the tunnel and began administering to the dying the last rites of the church. When this act of mercy was no longer valuable they joined the workers and aided in bringing the dead and the injured to the street.

In the forward cars the rescuers found the half burned bodies of men and women, and stretchers which were lowered to the bottom of the cut were used to take to the surface such as yet showed signs of life.

Those who first reached the scene found girls and women with their arms locked about one another pinned beneath the seats that had been torn and broken and partly burned. In the second car they found passengers pinned against the roof, against the sides and beneath the seats. Some of them transfixed with splinters of broken wood and others had been badly cut by flying glass.

Gruesome Sights ln Wreckage.

Some things rescuers saw were indescribable in any detail. One or two examples only are necessary to give some idea of the nature of the worst traction disaster New York ever has known.

Several burlap bags were filled with severed arms and legs and carried up the ladders the firemen had rigged to the street. One man spoke with horror of seeing five heads, severed from bodies. When the crash came a woman victim apparently put her hands to her head instinctively. Her body was found with the head severed, but the hand still grasping the hair. Many bodies were impaled on splintered walls of the coaches, as if on jagged spears.

All of the available policemen and firemen of Brooklyn were hurried to the spot. The police and firemen dropped ladders at the north end of the cut. Burlap bags were used to encase the bodies that were taken from the wreck, and in the street above all of the ambulances and other vehicles that could be commandeered were kept in waiting to take the bag covered corpses to the Kings county morgue, to Ebbets Field and to the Snyder avenue police station.

Thousands of persons blocked the street above the cut. Hysterical women, waiting for men, women and girls who were known to be due at home at that hour, pressed eagerly forward to see the bodies. It was with the greatest difficulty that the police prevented the excited women from tearing the burlap bags from the bodies in order that they might ascertain whether they contained the bodies of their own kin.

As the excitement grew the number of police reserves at the scene increased and more firemen were called to aid. The first police detail that went into the cut found twenty-eight dead in one pile. Some of them were women, with three or four children in the group. The rescuers lighted bonfires in the black tunnel, building them from wreckage of the splintered cars, to enable them to carry on the work of rescuing the injured and getting out the dead. Then there came automobiles, which turned their headlights like so many searchlights in a sea fight from the open cut into the tunnel.

The wreck filled the tunnel so completely that in many cases it was necessary to carry the dead through the tunnel to the Prospect Park station at Lincoln road, a distance considerably further than that to the open cut at Malbone street. Bodies taken from the rear of the train, however, were carried the short distance to the open cut and lifted up to be carried across Flatbush avenue to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Motor Corps ambulance girls, with their auto ambulances and cars, did valuable work. There also came all of the available ambulances in Brooklyn, both public and private. Among the firemen who came to work with might and main at the rescue task was one company from Cortelyou road, which alone brought out thirty-five bodies.

There were many conflicting stories as to what had happened. Eyewitnesses were sure that a second train had crashed into the first after it had come to grief, but the police investigation of the physical facts did not carry out this view. Borough Inspector Murphy, Inspector McElroy and Capt. E. M. Gallagher, who were early on the scene, said that the first car of the train was badly smashed, the second was even worse than the first and the third was but a mass of kindling wood. The fourth was a wreck and the last, or fifth car of the train, alone remained on the tracks.

In the yard along the tracks clothing of all descriptions was scattered. Shirtwaists, torn from their wearers in the frenzy of the fight for life, were found along the tracks, and one woman had evidently lost her entire skirt, Papers and magazines that had been read by the passengers littered the right of way.

500 Police Seek Bodies.

The 500 policemen, taken from every precinct of Brooklyn, worked manfully to rescue the injured and to bring the bodies of the dead to the streets. There they impressed into service every passing automobile, and the bodies, which were wrapped in the burlap bags, were taken to the big lobby of the grandstand at Ebbets Field, the Brooklyn National League baseball park, as well as to the morgue of the King's County Hospital and the police station at Snyder avenue.

The Edison Electric Illuminating Company sent to the scene a special wagon that carried four powerful searchlights. The lights played glaringly upon the wreck scene and followed the rescuers as they brought up body after body, Relatives of persons who were thought to be on the train jammed the streets. Many of them, hysterical, herded about the morgue, the police station and the baseball park long after midnight seeking some tidings of their loved ones.

In the meantime the officials of the B. R. T., including President Timothy S. Williams, Vice-President Dempsey and Chief Engineer Mendel were at the offices of the Public Service Commission, where there was also a delegation of the striking motormen and all five Commissioners. They were making an effort to arrive at a settlement of the pending strike.

The B. R. T. officials and the strikers remained at the meeting but Commissioners Whitney, Kracke and Ordway hurried to the scene of the wreck. Chairman Hubbel and Commissioner Hervey continued hearing the testimony concerning the strike. The B. R. T. officials at the meeting refused to talk for publication concerning the wreck but they asserted that no green motorman had been on duty during the day.

There has been for some time much comment among the passengers of the B. R. T. over the character of the rolling stock employed on the lines, especially on the Brighton road. Old wooden cars, many of them with ornate carving that is associated with the recollection of the '90s, have appeared from oblivion to do duty. It was taken for granted that these were a makeshift to serve until the new subway work is done, when steel cars will be used.

The police searchers found in the wreckage a pocketbook that held the card of Hazel G. Watts, 48 East Thirty-second street, and the same pocketbook contained a letter addressed to Sue Landingham, Tampa, Fla. ln another case they found an insurance card made out to Sophie Jacowitz. showing payments amounting to $12.50, together with a Christmas card.

Bodies In Bad Condition.

At the Kings County Hospital, where eighty-three bodies are in the morgue, it was announced that no one would be permitted to view the remains until to-day because of the terrible condition in which the bodies were recovered. It was thought that by to-day something might be done to render them recognizable. The hospital authorities thought that the injured might reach 125, but they could give no adequate estimate because every hospital in Brooklyn held some of the unfortunates.

Passengers who escaped injury ran from the first cars to the Prospect Park station and made their way to the street. They were white and trembling -- a procession of those who had looked upon death in one of its ugliest forms. The haste with which the majority of the survivors hurried away, in contrast with the usual New York habit of joining a curious throng, led to comment from the police and the ambulance surgeons. It spoke eloquently of the horror of the accident.

From a clerk of the Department of Charities and Correction came the last estimate of the dead. He said that members of his force had been sent to the scene and that they had accounted for 120 dead. These bodies, he averred, had been actually counted.

About the Snyder avenue station many persons gathered as early as 10 o'clock. In the crowd were many who had relatives on the train. Just before midnight the police read to the uneasy citizens a list of the identified dead. Now and then there came a sob from some woman in the room, and one man dropped fainting to the floor. He was taken to a hospital.

Before the Kings County Hospital stopped the night inspection the police permitted a long line to pass before the bodies in the morgue. A number of women fainted and there were many exclamations of anguish as relatives were recognized.

Mayor Hylan Visits the Wreck.

Mayor Hylan went at midnight to the scene of the wreck, where he entered the tunnel and made a minute inspection. Inspector Murphy of the Police department accompanied him. When the Mayor had finished he sent word to Commissioner Enright to send men to all B. R T. terminals and to prevent any motormen who had not three months experience from taking out a train.

In a statement made after 1 o'clock this morning in the office of the Public Service Commission Col. Timothy S. Williams, president of the B. R. T. said he had heard that Motorman Lewis was an experienced man and not a green employee, as had been previously stated. He said:

"Really there is nothing I can say. I was trying to get to the scene of the accident, but I was detained here by a discussion of the strike settlement. The motorman in charge of the train was an experienced motorman, I have heard. I don't know his name.

"I really feel too sad to say anything. I can't add anything as to the causes of the accident. All I know about it is what I have have been told by Commissioners Ordway and Kracke. I was on my way here to the Public Service Commission rooms when I first learned of the accident I did not know of its seriousness then. None of us did. I cannot account for it from what these gentlemen tell me."

It was called to Mr. Williams's attention that the man in charge of the train was a dispatcher.

Calls Motorman Reckless.

Harry K. Lewis, District Attorney of Kings county, gave out the following statement at the Snyder avenue police station early to-day:

"The accident was undoubtedly due to the recklessness of Motorman Anthony Lewis, who was incompetent and his incompetency must have been known to the officials of the road who directed him to take out the train. From the information in my possession he was travelling at a highly excessive rate of speed around this curve and disregarding the signals. When his car jumped the track the second, third and fourth cars were buckled and smashed.

"These cars -- that is, the second, third and fourth cars -- were old style wooden couches, at least twenty-five years old. The first and the rear cars were motors. This was a five car train. All the cars were loaded to the gates with people.

"The motorman disappeared. A general alarm was issued for him and I ordered his arrest. Turner, the conductor, is under police surveillance at his home. He was injured In the accident. The officials of the road will be ordered to my office forthwith.

"My information is that one of the claim adjusters of the road spirited away the motorman."

Admits 30 Mile an Hour Speed.

Mayor Hylan, District Attorney Lewis had Anthony Lewis, the motorman of the wrecked train, who had been arrested at the Thirty-sixth street depot of the B, R. T., arrived at the Snyder avenue police station at the same time. The motorman was at once taken to a back room and questioned. When the Mayor left at 2 o'clock this morning he said Lewis admitted that he had never run a train over the Brighton line before.

"Motorman Lewis admitted that he was going at a rate of thirty miles an hour before entering the cut," the Mayor said. "He told us that the cars swayed and hit the cement side walls before leaving the track. Lewis declared he had been working ten hours and said he had to make a living. After the smash, the motorman told us, he helped to remove some of the dead and injured from the first car and then stood about for a few minutes until he felt so nervous that he went to the Thirty-sixth street depot, where he made a report. Then he went home and remained there until he was arrested."

Sam Rossof, 39, 2936 West Fifth street, Coney Island, a guard on the train, also is charged with homicide.

Mike Turner, conductor, is detained as a material witness.

Col, Williams and other B. R. T. officials are ordered to appear at District Attorney Lewis's offices at 9 o'clock this morning for examination.

Employees and Company Reach Understanding Early This Morning.
By Evening About Half of the Places of Men Who Quit Were Filled.

An agreement has been reached between the B. R. T. and its employees and the strike has been settled, according to an announcement by Public Service Commissioner Hervey shortly before 2 o'clock this morning.

In obedience to the strike order issued Thursday night by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, 250 motormen employed on the subway and elevated lines of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company quit their places yesterday morning. Their action had the effect of hampering the service, to a considerable extent in the early hours, but by the time the heavy traffic from Manhattan to Brooklyn had begun in the evening, about half the strikers' places had been filled by men drawn from elsewhere on the system.

J, J. Dempsey, vice-president of the B. R. T., figured last night that the system had been able to operate its subway and elevated trains at about 85 per cent. of normal in the rush hours. His agents were out all of yesterday recruiting men to take the places of the strikers, and he said he was sure the trains would be run on normal schedule to-day.

The company, although unable to recruit all the substitute motormen it needed, was able to take care of much of its traffic by running more cars to the train than has been the custom for several weeks.

The strike was called as a result of the refusal of the company to take back twenty-nine motormen recommended for reinstatement by the Federal War Labor Board October 28. In a statement given out yesterday Col. Timothy S. Williams, president of the company, said that the recommendation of the War Board had been referred to the B. R. T. Employees Benefit Association.

The Federal War Board, of which Ex-President Taft is chairman, has thus expressed itself in regard to the Employees Benefit Association:

"The form of the association seems to have been changed from time to time, but one feature which has persisted is that the president of the company has appointed the president of the association and the president of the association has either himself conducted its elections or appointed other persons to do so."

Recalls Park Avenue Tunnel and Other Accidents.

None of the many wrecks in the history of New York city's transportation lines can equal last night's disaster in magnitude. The most serious accident in the past occurred on January 8, 1902, when a New York Central train from White Plains crashed into the rear of a train from South Norwalk in the tunnel at Fifty-eighth street, killing fifteen persons and injuring thirty-five others, some of whom died later.

In the history of the elevated lines the worst disaster was that of September 11, 1903, when twelve persons were killed and forty injured on a Ninth avenue elevated train which took the curve at Fifty-third street at high speed as the result of a confusion of signals.

On December 9, 1914, a Ninth avenue elevated local, carrying hundreds of passengers, crashed into an express train standing at the 116th street station. Two men were killed in the panic that ensued and about eighteen other persons were injured.

A motorman was killed and eleven passengers injured In a rear end collision between two Third avenue elevated trains just north of the 145th street station on June 5, 1916.

In another rear end collision on the Brooklyn Rapid Transit line on October 18, 1915, twenty persons were hurt. On June 27 of the same year fourteen passengers were injured when a Vanderbilt avenue surface car smashed into the rear of a stalled Culver line train at the Van Sicklen station, Coney Island. Several other accidents on the L lines in recent years resulted in the injury of about a score of persons.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 02-November-1918

November, 2018 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- November 1, 2018

OpenSFHistory / wnp37.04185.jpg
I just put the November, 2018 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: At the corner of Fillmore and Broadway, Fillmore Hill counterbalance car 623 waits for passengers to transfer from a 22-Fillmore streetcar before it plunges down the hill. Photo circa 1940. (Source: OpenSFHistory / wnp37.04185.jpg).
2. On the San Francisco page: A ten and twenty year update on San Francisco's Fillmore Hill Counterbalance
3. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: A note about the movie La La Land, which includes a scene shot on Angels Flight while it was out of service.

Ten years ago this month (November, 2008):
1. Picture of the Month: A postcard shows two Fillmore Hill counterbalance cars during the White Front era
2. On the San Francisco page: Updates to the article about the Fillmore Hill Counterbalance, including two newspaper articles about accidents:
- Car Crashes Down Fillmore Hill/Fastenings Give Way and Passengers Narrowly Escape Serious Harm (San Francisco Call, Wednesday, August 8, 1906)
- Cars Crash Together On The Fillmore Hill/Rod Gives Away, but Cable Holds and Serious Mishap Is Averted (San Francisco Call, Monday, July 8, 1907)
3. On the Cable Car Models page, photos of a large wooden model of Powell Street car 16 recently unveiled at the Cable Car Museum
4. Also on the Cable Car Models page, more information about Norm Pythian's cable car simulation
5. Added a Chronology item about a plaque placed at the powerhouse of the Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company by the The Friends of the Cable Car Museum
6. Added News and Bibliography items about a loose strand stopping Powell Street service

Twenty years ago this month (November, 1998):
1. Picture of the Month: Broadway, NY accident.
2. Add Broadway, NY picture and two Cal Cable wreck photos to How page
3. Add information about bells & brakes to the How page
4. Add thanks to Joe Lacey and quote him on bells on the How page
5. Add article about Fillmore Hill counterbalance to the SF Miscellany section
6. Add information about turntable helpers to news & bibliography
7. Add link to EHRA, replacing SF Online link
8. Add link to Rick Russel's The Trolley Stop and Seashore Trolley Museum pages.

125 years ago this month, on 01-November-1893, Oakland's Consolidated Piedmont Cable Company went into receivership. It was reorganized as the Piedmont and Mountain View Railway

125 years ago this month, on 05-November-1893, a train of the Chicago City Railway killed actor Daniel J Hart on State Street, near Jackson

100 years ago this month, on 11-November-1918, the Armistice ended World War One

Coming in December, 2018: Christmas on the Cables.

On my San Francisco Bay Ferryboats page: I added another "Ferry Tales" column from the San Francisco Call
The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-November-2018)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-October-2018)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-October-2018)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Willie McCovey, RIP -- October 31, 2018

The great Giant Willie McCovey has died.  I used to love watching him on television and at Candlestick Park.   McCovey batting fourth allowed Willie Mays to do many of the things that he did batting third. Everyone loved Willie McCovey when I was growing up. Some people liked McCovey more than Willie Mays because McCovey had started out in San Francisco. I loved watching him hit line drives. I loved watching him stretch out to take a throw at first.

I was shattered when he went to the Padres in 1974. I was very happy when he came back in 1977. He earned the Comeback Player of the Year award.

We were at a game at Candlestick in 1980, one of his last, I think, when he reached first base. I don't remember who was hitting behind him, but suddenly McCovey took off for second; it looked as if he was trying to steal the bag. Because of knee problems, it had been a long time since he had stolen a base. The stadium went silent, the catcher threw the ball to second, and he was out. It turned out to be a broken hit and run play.

Willie McCovey is in the Hall of Fame, where he belongs. Despite mobility problems, he spent a lot of time at the ballpark and shared his wisdom with the players. Every year the Giants players and coaches vote to give the Willie Mac Award to a player who embodies Stretch's qualities of leadership and spirit.

I took the photo of Willie McCovey's statue, across China Basin, also known as McCovey Cove, from the ballpark on 21-September-2007.

Halloween 2018 -- October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween, everyone. The 01-November-1947 cover of The New Yorker shows a sculptor working on an important  commission.

Monday, October 29, 2018

World Series 2018 -- October 29, 2018

The Giants had a poor season with lots of injuries.  It was nice to see the Dodgers lose to the Red Sox in the World Series.

A Witch Takes a Ride -- October 29,, 2018

The Golden Age Of Illustration
Halloween is coming.

A witch takes a ride in a chauffeured auto in this 1908 postcard.  

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Princess Sophia Sinks and 350 Souls Probably Perish -- October 25, 2018

Alaska State Library, John Grainger Photo Collection, P255-79-79.

Canadian Pacific liner SS Princess Sophia is sometimes called the Titanic of the West.  She ran aground on a reef near the north end of the Inside Passage early in the morning on 24-October-1918.  Sometime on the afternoon of the 25th, she sank with all hands.  



The Canadian Pacific passenger liner Princess Sophia sunk at sometime between 8 o'clock last night and 7 o'clock this morning, and in all probability every one of the 343 souls on board met watery graves in Lynn Canal. The only possibility that some of those on board were saved is the chance that life boats were launched during the night and reached shelter with their human cargoes. This possibility is regarded as remote by those familiar with the storm that was raging all last night in Lynn Canal.

The fateful message bringing the news of the greatest disaster that ever has occurred in northern waters was received at Juneau at 9:25 o'clock this morning. It came from the United States Lighthouse Tender Cedar, and it held out no hope for those on the ill-fated Canadian liner. The message, referring to the Princess Sophia, said:

"Driven over reef during night. Only masts showing. No survivors."

With the King and Winge the Cedar immediately began the search for the passengers -- the living, if any, the dead if none survived.


This afternoon a wireless dispatch says the Cedar had picked up four empty and capsized life boats from the Princess Sophia, and the King and Winge one. The King and Winge had recovered one body, a woman, unidentified.

The Princess Sophia ran ashore on Vanderbilt reef, four miles from Sentinel Island, at 2 o'clock Thursday morning. Since that time the weather has been too rough to transfer passengers. Boats have been lying by all the time. Yesterday the storm became terrific. Boats that were lying by sought shelter at night. At 8 o'clock Capt. Locke of the Princess Sophia sent a wireless dispatch to General Agent Lowle which said the passengers' conditions were normal, that the vessel was not taking water, but that it was too rough to transfer passengers. That is the last that was heard from the scene until 7 o'clock this morning when the Cedar, which had been compelled to seek shelter, wired that she was leaving for the Princess Sophia. About two hours later came the fateful wireless dispatch saying that the vessel had sunk and that there were no survivors. The circumstance that the Princess Sophia was blown over the reef leads to the conclusion that the climax of the disaster came at high tide, about 4:30 this morning.

The story, of the last hours of the doomed vessel and her hundreds of human souls will probably never be told.

The disaster is probably the worst that ever has occurred in northern waters. There seems hardly a chance that a single life has been saved to tell the tale.


At 3:20 this afternoon the customs house received a message from the lighthouse tender Cedar that four capsized boats had been picked up. The King and Winge picked up one unidentified body of a woman. The message said the boats were still cruising around Sentinel and Lincoln islands in the hopes of finding some survivors.


Every available boat at Juneau and vicinity has been sent to the scene of the disaster. The Princess Alice will be due here at 8 o'clock, and she will leave immediately. Among those who will leave on the Princess Alice for the wreck will be Gov. Thomas Riggs, Jr.


Following is the list of passengers who engaged passage nt Skagway on the Sophia for tho Outside, contain ing the names of many well known Alaskans:
J. F. Pugh
Mrt. J. A. Segbers
A. S. Bourne
H. A. Somerset
G. A. Niles
Thomas Hennesey
H. E. Pardin,
C. Castleman
R M. Hall
F. E. Soule
Mrs. F. Beaton and two children
D. A. McDonald
J. M. Colver
R. H. Davie and wife
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Henry
Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Pinska
William Scouse
Mrs. C. J. Perkins
W. C. Sharon
H. B. Parkin
T. M. Turner
W. S. Amalong and wife
Geo. L. Sholpeth
W. Harper and wife
F. W. Elliott
Mrs. A1 Winchell
T. E. Sanford
W. H. Grove
I. Labrie
Geo R. Hendrix
A. W. McQueen
S. J. Baggerly and wife
E. M. Bell and wife and two children
John Zacarelli,
T. E. Thorsen
O. Backman
J. Laird
Peter Gurkovitch
J. P. Anderson and wife
Mrs. Geo. Markus and baby
W. Murphy
J. J. Nichols
W. T. McArthur
U. G. Myers
James Dubois
J. F. Kelly
S. A. Nelson
O. Poppert
O. F. Mayhood
W. H. Smith
J. W. Hellwinkle
M. S. Eades and wife
S. M. Dalby
M. Davis
F. L. Gibbs
H. M. Swarts
C. Knutson
Johm Eyre
R. Young
T. D. Tolbert
Geo. Milton
L. A. Hansen
W. L. Liber
John Schenck
Mario Calomdia
Chas. Guy
Jack Haynes
Fred Beyer
B. Vanvalkenbcrg
C. W. Zylstra
J. Crone
G. M. Dano
Carl Headlund
E. Seniff
A. Pallison
G. S. Leavitt
H. Lawless
H. Hennett
H. Russell
E. Taggart
W. F. Shaw
J. E. Garner and wife
A. R. Garner
Charles Holmes
L. M. Lea
C. H. Lisson
Charles Craven
P. W. Peterson
Chas. Chinquist
Sam Chinquist
0. E. Tackstrom and wife and two children
A. J. Grenny
W. A. Thompson
J. C. Green and wife
A. W. Walker
D. Satomeyer
J. Santine
J. Bowker
Fred Smith
Joe Able
C W. Barlow
H. Rutherford
O. D. Pratt
Guy McCraib
J. E. Clark
Sam Koines
J. Howard
T. Mavins
Frank Wheeler
F. Aftaiken
Nick Peterson
W. W. Shillinglaw
W. P. Smith
W. P. Smith. Jr.
J. McNeil
Thomas Neilson
H H. Vandccarr
Mrs. Charles Cousins
B. Wilkinson
Geo. Tribe
Mrs. Dan Gilis
Thomas McMahon
R. H. Smith
N. G. Blythe
H. Davies and wife
C. J. Bloomquist
H. M. Bridges and wife
Don Paterson
R. McLachlin and wife
J S. Chisholm and wife
C. H. Wilkinson
J. Christensen
M. Stange
Tom Sinich
James Hallmark
E. S. Ironsile
E S. Ironside
A. R. McLean
William McWalters
Fred Steinberger
John McLeod
Frank Brown
Mrs. James Hall
W. A. Foster
Alex HcLeod
T. Kakawa
J. R. Young
W. H. McDonald, wife and three chiildren
Walter Barnes
Alten Barnes
Mrs. C. J. Vifquian and child
W. J. O'Brien, wife and five children
E. J. Johnson and wife
Mrs. Anna Lenez
Capt. A. Stewart
Geo J. Baker
A. W. Kindall
A. Campbell
M. Stewart
C. S. Chinery
T. L. Hoering
W. L. Idgett
A. S. Winkler
J. Maskkell
Capt. J. Alexander and wife
William Haggerty
H. A. Robertson
R. C. Haws
P. Vint
C. E. Kilway
R. McTavish
Capt J. P. Douglas
Mrs. W. S. Carr
Geo. Howey
A. D. Lewis
E. G. Wheeldon
H. Strain
J. W. Brown
H. J. Kenyon
A. W. Anthony
R. Findley
D. King
Geo. Shimada
A H. Southerland
J. J. Flanagan
Mrs. M. Vary
Miss E. Vary
Arthur Johnson
Sam Sorensen
P. Trucco
J. A. Clark
Thomas Milne
O. A. Gidlund
Thomas J. Collins
R. Hager
J. King
Leo Ryan
J. Trainor
A. Fleming
J. S. Smith, wife and two children.
C. E. Watron
C. S. Verrill
G. C. Randolph


L. Heinzcr
Elmer Stitzel
Ninto Climinto
H. Wrigle
R. Mestcn
Chas Nelson
Jim George
William Staples
Sam Brown
P. Kontes
E. M Nelson
Joe Vite
C. C. Salt
J. L. Clay
Thomas Wishart
M. Moyer
P. McCaskey
O. H. Strupp
C. C. Faires
C. W. Porter
G. W. Wares
E A. Wendt
A. J. Smith
N. Dole
C. A. Paddock
C. W. Shiarlin
K. Tsuvi


The Canadian Pacific asks for 10 competent volunteer seamen to search the shores and beaches for survivors for the Princess Sophia. They are asked to report at the United States Customs House before six o'clock this evening or after seven o'clock.

Wireless Message from Cedar Received at 9:25 a. m. by the Local United States Custom Office:

"Driven over reef during night. Only masts showing. No survivors. Will cruise Lynn Canal to leeward. Blowing strong. No wind with snow. King and Winge assisting."

It is believed that the reference to strong wind was that the wind was blowing strong during the night, but this morning that it was snowing and there was no wind.

Last Message Sent.

The last message received from Captain J. P. Locke was sent to the local agent here at S o'clock last night, and reads:

"Steamer Cedar and three gas boats standing by. Unable to take off passengers. Strong northwest wind blowing. Cannot back off reef. Main stenmpipe broken; not taking water. Condition of passengers normal."

The Sophia carried a crew of 75 and there were 268 passengers on board. With a number of boats sent from Juneau this morning, the remaining hope is that some of the boats from the Sophia may have been launched during the night allowing some of the passengers at least to escape to the nearby coast.

Lone Fisherman Reports.

Charles Duffy and Frank O'Brien of the Juneau Ferry & Navigation Co. left for the scene of the wreck on Thursday morning, arriving there at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. The men report bucking a heavy gale for eight hours on their way and on arriving near the wreck found the seas so high that no small boat could get near her.

They put behind the Sentinel Island light house and conferred with Light keeper Charles Bohn, who stated that he had kept the glasses constantly on the wreck and up to that time no one had left the ship. Three boats were standing by at the time the Fisherman was behind Sentinel Island, the Amy, Peterson and Estebeth.

Having no food or blankets on board, the men left at 4 p. m. for Eagle River. About seven o'clock Thursday night, they report having seen the light house tender Cedar appear, hut nothing else could he seen after that hour owing to the heavy fall of snow.

Started for Home.

At ten o'clock on Friday morning, the Lone Fisherman started for Douglas, realizing that nothing could be done. They arrived in port at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon and stated that the storm and seas began getting worse from ten o'clock Thursday morning. They report the snow and storm so blinding on Friday forenoon, that the Lone Fisherman narrowly missed piling up on Portland Island. The captain of the Lone Fisherman said that the seas were over 30 feet high and could not get around Sentinel Island yesterday. The King and Winge was there and could not get around Sentinel Island.

Seventy-five in Crew.

Thorn wore 75 members of the crew of the Sophia. The officers are:
Captain J. P. Locke.
Pilot -- J. Shaw.
Purser -- C. G. Beadle.
Chief Engineer -- John Almonds.
First Officer -- Frank Gosse.
Chief Steward -- James King
Stewardess -- Miss Browning.

It is believed that the second officer is a man named Murphy, but of this the local agent was not quite certain.

John F. Pugh Aboard.

Among the passengers was John F. Pugh, collector of United States customs, for Alaska.

Boats Sent There.

Boats sent to the scene this morning by Agent Lowle were the Pacific, Sitka. the Hegg, Wilson, Anita Phillips, Apex, Amy, Lone Fisherman and Adolphus. On the scene already were the King and Winge, Excursion, Elinor, Elsinor, Estebeih and the light house tender Cedar.

Hope Is Held Out.

This morning some hope was held out from the fact that during the night the officers may have been able to launch some of the boats and make for the shore. Boats have been instructed to search Auk Bay and all of the surrounding shores for signs of passengers landing. It will probably be late tonight before definite news is heard of the resuit of the searching boats.

Other Wreck Notes.

First aid instruction books were secured from Red Cross headquarters and were sent out on the boats in case of emergency.

The two cannery tenders at Auk Bay were notified and asked to leave for the wreck.

Dr. A. H. Sargeant and P. H. Bagley. formerly of the United States Hospital Corps left on the Adolphus and will make their headquarters on the Cedar.

Sophia Built in Scotland.

The Princess Sophia was built at the Fairfield Ship Building Yards in Glasgow. Scotland.

Her gross tonnage was 2319 tons; length 245 feet, width 44 ft. and depth 18 ft. The Sophia was a single-screw steamer, burning oil fuel.


A. D. Pinska is a brother of M. A. Pinska, the Dawson and Fairbanks merchant.

William Scouse is a Hunker Creel mining man who has taken one of the largest fortunes out of the Klondike, and is heavily interested in Seattle and Vancouver real estate. He lives in Seattle during the winter and is a member of the Arctic Club.

John Zacacarellis is a Dawson Merchant.

M. S. Eades is proprietor of the Royal Alexandria Hotel at Dawson and is heavily interested in Seattle.


Vanderbilt reef is located about four miles from the West shore and a little over three miles from the East shore of the mainland on Lynn Canal. North and Benjamin Island are the nearest points of land to this reef. Bridget Cove on the East shore of the mainland and Point Whitney on the west shore are the nearest landing places on the mainland. If it were possible to round Point Whitney, survivors could find a good harbor in St. James Bay. With the prevailing winds and tides all familiar with those waters are of the opinion that the boats or wreckage would first touch on Lincoln Island or be thrown against North and Benjamin Islands. The distance to Vanderbilt reef to Lincoln and Ralston Islands are about the same as to the Sentinel Island light house.


Among the passengers were the wife of George Marcus, of the N. C. Company at Fairbanks and daughter Virginia, who were planning to stop off at Juneau and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Ray G. Day. A wire was received from the father of Mrs. Marcus today that he was unable to get passage on the Sophia, but that "Dorris and Virginia were aboard the Sophia."


The fishing schooner Monaghan arrived in port at 4 p. m. and reported that they know nothing of the wreck but on passing Lincoln and Shelter Islands saw many pieces of wreckage and the water was covered with oil.

J. C. Rathbone, who was in Dawson this summer and stranded in Skagway with a number of the passengers who left there on the Princess Sophia but who secured passage himself on the City of Seattle, identified many on the passenger list of the Sophia.

"This disaster wipes many of the best people of the Interior," said Mr. Rathbone.

W. J. O'Brien, agent for the Canadian Pacific Railway in Dawson, Mrs. O'Brien and their five children were aboard the boat.

D. A. McDonald of Dawson was on his way to Victoria with 18 horses.

George Milton, one of the passengers, is manager of the Five Finger coal mine.

Capt. J. C. Green of the Yukon, Capt. C. J. Bloomquist of the Dawson, and R. H. Davies, purser of the Dawson, were among the Yukon river boat people on their way South.

J. E. Clark is the Clerk of the Court of the Fourth Division at Fairbanks.

H. S. Parkins Is manager of a cold storage company at Dawson.

E. S. Ironsides is the Collector of Customs at Dawson. He is accompanied by his mother.

Mrs. C. J. Vifquian is the wife of the traffic manager of the White Pass at Dawson.

Mrs. M. Vary and Miss E. Vary were on their way to Prince Rupert to visit Mrs. Vary's daughter who is with the Grand Trunk office, and her son. who Is farming in Saskatchewan. who had leave until November before leaving for overseas with the Canadian forces.

Message Received

Mr. Lowle said that he received no word from either the Sophia or the Cedar between eight o'clock last night and seven o'clock this morning. The message received from the Cedar at seven o'clock in the morning said that she had sought shelter during the night and that she was leaving for the Sophia. At 8:30 Mr. Lowle received the wireless from the Cedar which brought news of the disaster.


It is thought possible that J. E. Clark should be J. A. Clark, the prominent lawyer and member of the firm of Clark and McGowen of Fairbanks.


Whereas. It has pleased Almighty God to visit the Territory with a calamity which has reached in and touched the heart of each and every citizen through personal bereavement either of beloved family or cherished friend, and

Whereas, the wind-swept waters of Alaska have closed over the gallant steamship Princess Sophia, leaving no known survivors of passengers or crew; and

Whereas, death has brought untold sorrow to all Alaskans unable yet to realize the far-reaching effects of the disaster.

Therefore. I, Thomas Riggs, Jr.. Governor of Alaska, do request that as a mark of respect to our beloved dead and to the crushed and broken families, all flags in the Territory shall be placed at half mast for a period of three days, that all churches shall conduct memorial services and that each person believing in a just and merciful God, knowing how little and helpless are we all, shall ask for guidance and strength to be of such service as can be given.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Territory of Alaska, in Juneau, the capital, this twenty-sixth day of October, in the year of Our Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighteen and of the independence of the United States the One Hundred and forty-second.

By the Governor:


Ex-officio Secretary of Alaska

Alice on Way North.

VANCOUVER. Oct. 26. -- The Princess Alice left here today to get the Sophia's passengers.

Wreckers Leave Victoria.

VICTORIA, Oct. 26. -- The wrecker Tee(? - JT) has left here to assist the Sophia.

Skagway Daily Alaskan, 16-November-1918

This ad from a Skagway newspaper lists upcoming sailings, including the one on October 23.