Thursday, October 17, 2019

Elijah Cummings, RIP -- October 18, 2019

I was sad to learn that Representative Elijah Cummings of Baltimore has died. He fought for voting rights, civil rights and social justice. Many people have commented on his kindness and many have called him a mentor.

He was very impressive when he chaired the Oversight and Government Reform Committee looking into the crimes of our so-called president. I am sorry that Representative Cummings will not be here to participate in the impeachment.

Loma Prieta Earthquake, 30-- October 17, 2019

[H.G. Wilshire, U.S. Geological Survey]

Thirty years ago today, I was at work in an office building at Fourth and Howard.  I usually left for home at 5pm, but I was debugging a series of programs that I was writing, trying to figure out why the output counter on one program did not agree with the input counter on another.  I was anxious to get home  to see the third game of the World Series between the Giants and the Oakland Athletics.  At 5:04pm, the building began to shake.  Several people ran to look out the windows.  I told them to get away from the windows and find some cover. 

The emergency team would not let us leave the floor.  My sister, who worked in the same office, and I were able to get out after a while.  I needed to catch BART to Daly City, but I figured it was down and I wanted to make sure my sister got home safely.  I later learned that my manager was on the crowded platform at the BART station when it went completely dark.  Eventually the emergency lights came on. 

My sister and I walked to the East Bay Terminal.  We saw a lot of broken glass.  We got on a 38 Geary.  It wasn't dark yet, so we saw damaged stores and terrible traffic.  We got off at Geary and Park Presidio.  I walked with her down to California Street, hoping to catch a 28-Nineteenth Avenue to the Daly City BART station.  I saw that traffic on Park Presidio was virtually stopped, so I decided that the bus was not coming soon. 

I walked out California Street.  It was starting to get dark and lots of people had candles on their stairways.  All lights were out.  The weather was warm and the air had a nice smell.  I walked up to my parents' house.  I knocked and then opened the door with my key.  I said "It's me."  "Who?" said my mother.  I explained.  Their house was not damaged, except for  some glasses leaning against the door of the china hutch.  I tried to call home and couldn't get through.  I asked if I could borrow their car.  I asked my mother to keep trying the phone.  She got through later. 

I drove carefully to the beach because the traffic lights were out.  I drove along the Great Highway, Skyline and Highway One.  The lights were out all the way.  When I got home to Pacifica, the lights had just come on.  My wife and daughter were ok and the house was not damaged.

They had been watching the game and saw the famous interruption before the power went out. 

I don't remember much of that night.  I called my parents to let them know I had made it home. 

The next morning I called my manager and he said we were supposed to stay home.  This was before we had remote access.  We drove to Daly City BART to get my car, then on to my parents' house.  We returned their car and checked to see if they were ok.  My wife was able to rescue most of the glasses leaning against the inside of the china hutch door. 

On Thursday, they let some of us volunteer to clean up the office.  We had to wear hard hats.  The building had big X-shaped beams in the windows.  Huge bolts had popped out of them and were lying on the floor.  I hadn't noticed on Tuesday, but many of the file cabinet drawers were open, especially the ones that contained heavy listings of programs.  I don't remember how long we stayed or what we did. 

On Monday we were able to go back to work, but in cubicles on the other side of the floor.  Many people were nervous about the bolts which had popped out.  I found the answer to my counter problem right away.  All of our batch processes, running in a data center on Fifth Street, had run without problems.  I later learned that the only system that had gone down was an Atalla device that fell over. 

After a few days, Wells Fargo said we were moving out.  Many people speculated that Wells wanted to break the lease and this was a good excuse.  The building continued to be used for years until it was torn down for Moscone West. 

We moved to the top floor of the data center on Fifth Street.  We worked in a big bullpen.  This required adjustments because we were accustomed to working in cubicles.  We didn't have voicemail.  In February, they moved half the team, including me, to a building in Oakland.  We learned that the previous group had moved out because of asbestos  contamination.  The other half of the team moved to a building at Third and Howard. 

Two years later, I transferred to another group in the building at Third and Howard.  I stayed there till 2012, when we moved to a building on Fremont.  This year we moved to a building on Market.

The photo, from the US Geological Survey, shows the collapsed Cypress Structure in Oakland.  One of my coworkers lost his partner there. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Friday, October 11, 2019

Fires and Power Outages -- October 11, 2019

PG&E did a poorly managed power shutdown this week to try to cut down on wildfires during high-wind periods. I would like to see them spend some money on tree trimming and modernizing their infrastructure.

There are some large fires in Southern California because of the Santa Ana winds.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Ginger Baker, RIP -- October 6, 2019
Ginger Baker, drummer for Cream, Blind Faith and other groups, has died. He was influenced by jazz drummers.  He had a bad temper; he once tried to stab Jack Bruce during a performance.

Friday, October 4, 2019

With a Big List to Port -- October 4, 2019

San Francisco Call, 19-November-1896
This drawing is from the 19-November-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.

Although Now on an Even
Keel No One Will
Insure Her.

What will be done with the British tramp steamer Amarapoora is still a matter of doubt. The underwriters refuse to insure her and in consequence the owners of the cargo aboard will not allow the vessel to sail. That the Amarapoora is top heavy there can be no doubt.

All of Monday she lay in the stream with a list to port. Yesterday with the transfer of several tons of cargo from port to starboard she straightened up and is now on an even keel. Every inch of space on the steamer has been utilized and a schooner has been chartered to take away the freight left on Lombard-street wharf which she could not carry. All day she lay with steam up, but no satisfactory understanding could be reached, so the Amarapoora had to remain at anchor. She is one of the longest vessels in port for her beam, being 350 feet long and only 20 feet broad, while her depth of hold is 11 feet. The chances are still that the captain will have to dock her again and take off some of the deck load.

Feast of Saint Francis, 2018 -- October 4, 2018

Today is the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. I took the photo at Saint Veronica's parish in South San Francisco on 24-February-2019.

"Lord make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

"O divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And its in dying that we are born to eternal life."

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Jessye Norman, RIP -- October 1, 2019

I was sad to learn that soprano Jessye Norman has died.  She had a distinctive voice.

October, 2019 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- October 1, 2019

I just put the October, 2019 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: A 1918 view of the Court Flight in Los Angeles (Source: Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection).
2. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: Ten and twenty year updates about Court Flight, including some newspaper items and a postcard of the Santa Catalina Island Incline Railway
3. Added News item about the return of the cable cars after the Cable Car Gearbox Rehabilitation project.

Ten years ago this month (October, 2009):
1. Picture of the Month: A circa-1930 view of Court Flight, showing the sandwich shop which provided additional revenue to the line.
2. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: More about the Court Flight including a photo of Court Flight, an entry from a WPA guide, and some contemporary newspaper articles:
- Court Flight Delayed by Rain (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, January 1, 1905)
- Court Flight Real Estate Ad (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, January 8, 1905)
- Court Flight Fights A Competitor (Los Angeles Herald, Saturday, January 14, 1905)
- Court Flight Approved (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, August 13, 1905)
- Court Flight In Progress (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, August 27, 1905)
- Court Flight to Open Monday (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, September 24, 1905)
- Court Flight a Success (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, October 15, 1905)
- Court Flight Tax Plea (Los Angeles Herald, Tuesday, June 26, 1906)
- Court Flight Inspires Hotel (Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, October 21, 1906) Court Flight Losing Money (Los Angeles Herald, Friday, February 8, 1907)
3. Also on the Los Angeles area funiculars page: Another postcard of the Santa Catalina Island Incline Railway
4. Added News item about two new cable car videos, one for kids and one about the bell ringing contest. Created a new section on these and other Cable Car Videos on the San Francisco detail page
5. Also News and Bibliography items about a collision at Washington and Mason

Twenty years ago this month (October, 1999):
1. Picture of the Month: Powell and Mason, 1880's
2. Roll out More Ferries and Cliff House Pictures page
3. Roll out Los Angeles area funiculars/Court Flight and Catalina on the Other California Cities page
4. Add RR Extra to links
5. Add news item and bibliography item about a loose strand
6. Updated SF Roster page

Coming in November, 2019: On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: A ten and twenty year update about the Los Angeles and Mount Washington Railway

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-October-2019)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Taking a Break. 2019 -- September 30, 2019

I find that I need to take another break. Some regular items like the cat pictures will continue unabated.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Thank You, Boch -- September 29, 2019

Today Bruce Bochy managed his last game for the Giants.  The Dodgers won, but there were wonderful tributes to Bochy at the ballpark and on video.

See Twice as Much of the West -- September 29, 2019

Life, 26-February-1940
The Southern Pacific encouraged people to ride their trains to the second season of San Francisco's Golden Gate International Exposition.

Friday, September 27, 2019

What the High Cost of Living is Bringing Us To -- September 27, 2019

New York Evening Tribune, 14-September-1919
This cartoon complains about the high cost of living in New Orleans, which is a common problem after full employment during a war.  "Remember that our barbers have joined the procession of price-boosters."

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Monday, September 23, 2019

Top Liner Rag -- September 23, 2019
Scott Joplin, James Scott and Joseph Lamb were the three most important composers of classic ragtime. Joseph Lamb was the only one of the three who was not African-American. "Top Liner Rag" was considered one of his "heavy" rags.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Statue of Liberty...Aerial View -- September 21, 2019

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

Friday, September 20, 2019

Youth Strike 4 Climate -- September 20, 2019

Martin Place, Sydney. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
I was happy to see that millions of kids all over the world took to the streets to try to move governments and businesses to do something about climate change.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

400th Anniversary of the Voyage of the Mayflower -- September 19, 2019
Monday I went to Good Shepherd School in Pacifica and talked to Junior High kids about the "400th Anniversary of the Voyage of the Mayflower." They are participating in a DAR essay contest on the subject. I talked about how the Mayflower and the Pilgrims were not very important in US history but became a major cliché in the 19th and 20th Centuries. I talked about how the kids should think about their senses when they write their essays, especially smell. It was fun, and they asked good questions. After, I was very tired.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Bruce Bochy 2000 -- September 18, 2019

Congratulations to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who won his 2000th game as a manager when the Giants beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park 11-3.

Before the game, Carl Yastrzemski threw out the first pitch to his grandson, Mike, who is making a good impression with the Giants.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Which the Skipper Could Throw Beneath the Wheels -- September 17, 2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 23-September-1919
I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Ric Ocasek, RIP -- September 15, 2019
I was sorry to learn that producer, songwriter and singer Ric Ocasek has died.  He brought a distinctive sound to Cars records.  Cars videos turned up all the time on MTV.

Comic Book -- Dick Tracy -- September 15, 2019
Feature Books started in 1937. Each issue was devoted to a single comic strip character. Chester Gould created Dick Tracy in 1931. The stories became famous for colorful criminals and lots of violence. By the time I read it in the San Francisco Chronicle, there were strange stories set on the Moon with all sorts of odd technology. I remember a story about a mummified corpse that particularly disturbed me. A room in a neighbor's attic reminded me of the setting of that episode.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Eddie Money, RIP -- September 13, 2019
Eddie Money was very popular in the San Francisco Bay Area when I was a kid.  I remember hearing his music on KFRC.  Some of my friends must have bought his albums, but I don't remember.  He died and a bunch of friends and family members are bummed.

Pulp -- Argosy -- September 13, 2019
Frank Munsey's weekly Argosy is considered to be the first American pulp magazine. Johnston McCulley created Zorro and many other characters.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

09/11 -- September 11, 2019

The alarm went off at 05:29. I switched the radio from FM to AM and tuned into KCBS. They reported that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. Thinking of the bomber that hit the Empire State Building, I said it had to be an accident.

After I got dressed, I went downstairs and turned on the television, which I very rarely do in the morning, and they said another airplane had the other tower. Then I thought it couldn't be an accident, but I didn't understand how hijackers could force a pilot to fly his airplane into a building. Later on we learned that the hijackers had been flying the planes.

There weren't as many people as usual on the bus to work. I think I heard about the plane that hit the Pentagon while I was there. My manager told us that we could go home if we wanted to. My wife was working and my daughter was in school, so I didn't see a reason to leave.

We couldn't get any news on the internet, but I plugged in my radio and we all listened.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Admission Day 2019 -- September 9, 2019

Los Angeles Herald, 09-September-1919
We don't hear much about Admission Day anymore. Today is the 169th anniversary of California being welcomed into the Union. The Los Angeles Evening Herald published this "photographic cartoon" one hundred years ago today, 09-September-1919.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Transcontinental Railway Completed -- September 8, 2019

Daily Alta California, 08-September-1869
150 years ago, on 08-September-1869, the transcontinental railroad was truly completed when a train of the original Western Pacific Railroad ran from Sacramento to Alameda, where passengers could board a ferryboat to San Francisco.  This article describes the first return train. The Niles Canyon Railroad operates a surviving portion of the line. 


Passengers on the train for Stockton and Sacramento over the Western Pacific Railroad, yesterday morning, left this city at seven o'clock reached Stockton at 12 noon; left at 12:15 and arrived at Sacramento at 1:37. The train consisted of four passenger cars, and when it left the ferry pier carried about forty passengers, but when it reached Sacramento it was crowded, a large number of passengers having been picked up en route. Beyond San Leandro, going toward Stockton, the track is laid so hurriedly that fast running time cannot now be made, of course, but the work of putting down the ballast is going rapidly forward and trains will soon make as good time this side of Stockton as between that city and Sacramento - 48 miles -- which is now run in an hour and twenty-two minutes. The road from Stockton to Sacramento is in splendid condition, and the rest of the road will soon be as good, when fast time will be made. Next week passengers bound East overland will leave this city and proceed directly to the junction of the Central Pacific Railroad, without stopping at Sacramento. Passengers from Sacramento, bound East, will be taken up to Brighton, where the overland train will be made up. The trains leave this city regularly every morning at 7 and 3:30 P.M. The train from Sacramento (leaving that city at 3:30 P.M.) arrived here at 10:30 last night.

Daily Alta California, 08-September-1869

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Aerial Lights Seen Flitting in San Fernando Valley -- September 7, 2019

San Francisco Call, 30-November-1896

There were many sightings of unidentified flying objects in the United States during the late 1890s. I wonder what people saw. John L Davie, a Populist, was Mayor of Oakland from March, 1895 to March, 1897. 

This is our ninth report from the San Francisco Call.

18-November-1895: "Claim They Saw a Flying Airship"
23-November-1896: "The Great Airship That is Startling the People of Many Cities"
24-November-1896: "The Apparition of the Air"
25-November-1896: "Mission of the Aerial Ship"
26-November-1896: "The Mystery Again Seen at the Capital"
27-November-1896: "It Is to Be Used to Destroy the City of Havana"
28-November-1896: "Attaches a Balloon to the Warship of the Air"
29-November-1896: "Viewing the Mysterious Aerial Lights From the Dome of the State Capitol"

Aerial Lights Seen Flitting
in San Fernando
Brief Review of the Remarkable
Developments of the Past
Sees No Cause for Surprise in the
Claim That Aerial Navigation
Is Possible.

It is now about ten days since the first report regarding the elusive and mysterious aerial lights came from Sacramento. Since then developments in reference to them have been rapid and sensational, but mystery still surrounds the object and the human agency that are said to be responsible for ther appearance.

At this time the history of the myth, phenomenon, airship or whatever it may prove to be, will bear a brief review. This is given that the readers of THE CALL may the more readily and intelligently grasp the present situation.

Incredulity, deep and general, greeted the first report which credited the lights to an aerial voyager. Next it was announced that George D. Collins, an attorney of this City, was the legal representative of the inventor and manipulator of the wonder of the starlit sky. This honor Mr. Collins did not disavow, but was unconquerably obdurate when it came to a question of disclosing the name of his client, the location where the marvel was put together, or the place where it found exemption from the eyes of the curious.

The knowledge that this interesting information was lodged in his legal custody caused him to be besieged by newspaper reporters, speculators, investors, cranks and a horde of curiosity-seekers. Under the pressure thus put upon his time and patience, be made numerous statements relative to the matter that was absorbing public attention and his connection therewith.

Unfortunately these statements, as published in the various newspapers, did not fit together quite as accurately as a scientifically constructed edifice should. Among other things he allowed it to be inferred that a Dr. E. H. Benjamin had aided in the construction of the invention.

Meanwhile reports continued to come to hand daily of strange and luminous visions. Men well and most favorably known in scientific, official, professional, business and educational circles claimed to have seen these nocturnal visitations of moving lights at great altitudes. None, however, appear to have secured a clear view of the body to which it was supposed these aerial lights were attached, though most observers of the phenomenon stood ready to assert that they were guided in their course athwart the horizon by human power. Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose furnished the most frequent and startling descriptions of the mystery,

Suddenly came the news that ex-Attorney-General W. H. H. Hart had been substituted for Mr. Collins as the legal custodian of the secrets and destinies of the reputed airship.

This was followed by the announcement, on the authority of General Hart, that the airship mystery was only incidental to a full-fledged and extraordinary filibustering scheme for the capture or destruction of Havana, the stronghold of the Spanish authorities in Cuba, by the use of dynamite. He further informed the startled public that the aerial warship to be used in this enterprise would be designed to carry half a ton of dynamite, in addition to its necessary appurtenances and crew. He also, over his own signature, averred that two airships were now in readiness to sail the ethereal blue, and that another, on modified and improved plans, was in course of construction. As soon as this last-mentioned craft was completed and the crew made thoroughly acquainted with its handling it was to take flight, he said, to Havana, there to aid the Cubans in their struggle for independence.

For his advocacy of the use of dynamite General Hart was taken to task by the Bulletin, which was tentatively abetted by the Examiner. This attack elicited a spirited and martial-toned rejoinder. The fear in the public mind now is that the scene of war may be transferred from the carnage-stained fields of Cuba to the unoffending columns of the local newspapers.

Shortly after the name of Dr. E. H. Benjamin appeared in connection with the mystery of the air he disappeared from his lodgings at 633 Ellis street, where he had lived for two years, leaving nothing more than a carefully locked trunk behind. Yesterday morning he called for his bag and then "flew the coop," as the detectives phrase it, leaving no trace as to his future movements, but on the contrary taking precautions to cover his tracks.

Saturday night reputable people of Alameda aver that they saw the floating lights, and an electrician states it bore all the characteristics of an electric light.

Anderson, a town about ten miles south of Redding, lays claim to the honor of a visit from the aerial nondescript on Saturday night.

Mayor Davie contributes some pertinent philosophical reflections to the literature of the topic of the day.

Dispatches from Los Angeles last night state that the strange lights have been seen in the neighborhood for the past few days.

General Hart had something further to say yesterday on the use of dynamite in war.

"In the event that an airship could be made to destroy a city," he said, "that in itself would firmly establish the peace of the civilized world. It would be realized that it would be no use to fight against such means. The very fact that such a thing could be done would bring about universal peace. The result would be that the nations would resort to arbitration in all matters of international differences. It would no longer be a matter who has the biggest cannon and who can shoot the farthest. There would be no use for navies or fortifications, and thus would be brought about absolute peace."

He also took occasion to explain that the 120-mile flight referred to in yesterday's CALL was made with the larger airship. The smaller one, he added, is capable of moving much more rapidly. By going with the atmospheric currents and using the electric power at the same time, he claimed, it can attain a speed of forty to fifty miles an hour.

One point that has been noticed is that Attorney Hart intimated several days ago that the course of the airship would be southerly and dispatches confirmatory of this were last night received from Los Angles.

The Mysterious Lights Made Their
Appearance on Saturday
Night Last.

Alameda had another spell of excitement over the airship on Saturday night, when the mysterious light that has been puzzling residents of the towns about the bay made its appearance over the southern portion of the Encinal city.

Shortly after dark the family of a gentleman living at Versailles station, while observing the heavens from the southern windows of the house saw a big white light suddenly appear high in the air about over Bay Farm Island. It seemed to flare out in a second as though something that had obscured it had suddenly been removed. All watched with breathless interest while it rose, passing rapidly westward meanwhile to a greater height, where it seemed to pause for an instant. It then turned toward the south and passed on in that direction.

It appeared about the size of a man's head when first seen, but grew smaller and smaller until it passed out of sight. The time that elapsed between the first appearance and the disappearance was about twenty minutes, and all agreed that it seemed to lurch from side to side as it went southward.

A gentleman visiting at the house, who has had considerable to do with electric light power, and who saw the aerial mystery, is convinced that it could have been nothing else than an electric light of great power.

Her Citizens Claim to Have Seen
the Aerial Mystery In Its

REDDING, Cal., Nov. 29. -- Anderson, located about ten miles south of Redding, is either in line with other cities of the coast or else her citizens have the same "night owl" proclivities, for it is current talk that the aerial monster passed over Anderson last evening about 20 minutes past 8. Her citizens claim to have seen the stranger in its flight.

It was first observed from the corner of East Center and Ferry streets by a reputable citizen noticing a peculiar light in the westward. He called the attention of others to the seeming phenomenon, and quite a crowd collected. It was generally conceded that this must he the long-talked-of airship. Its course was south and west, and the lights soon disappeared in the south. The light was large and brilliant and seemed to move in a steady course.

Mayor Davie Says Some Pointed
Things About a Current
Topic of Interest.

OAKLAND, Cal., Nov. 29. -- Mayor Davie has seen a phase of human inconsistency during the past week that has amused him. It is best told in his own words:

"Whether there be an airship cruising nightly over this neighborhood," said his Honor to a little group of friends yesterday, "is only a secondary matter with me at this time. If there be not one now, I am convinced that the problem of aerial navigation will soon be solved. What is now interesting me is the peculiarities of some newspapers and some newspaper readers.

"Early Sunday, as you all know, we find on our doorsteps small libraries which are called daily newspapers. We look through them and find that a good portion of them is occupied with the marvelous things that scientists perfect and prophesy. During the past few months this has been more the case than ever before. The newspapers publish all these things as facts, profess to believe them, and the majority of their renders accept them as truth. Being somewhat of a scientist myself, I am led to believe in many things that now appear improbable. But I have a precedent for it.

"A year ago if any one had told me that they could produce a ray of light that would photograph my watch through a wooden box would I have been called an ass for doubting him? Yet I have seen this very thing done. We have all read of the progress of aeronautics, and yet when a thousand reputable citizens declare that they have seen some kind of a machine navigating the skies, and believe their eyesight as proof that some one has done what the newspapers have told us for years is only a matter of time, most of those papers try to make us believe that they have been fooling us with their probabilities, and that their stories of scientific prophecies are all fool stories.

"Several years ago there was an old inventor named Dr. Seering who lived in this city. One day I hear a conversation between him and the late Walter Blair, who built the Piedmont cable road. Seering told Blair not to think of putting his fortune into an expensive trench in the ground as in a short time electric-cars would be running all over Oakland. Blair laughed at the idea, put his trench in the ground and put his fortune into it, and electricity was substituted on his system after the road had been sold by the Sheriff.

Dr. Seering fell dead on the street here about two years ago, but a few weeks before his death he told me that with aluminum and electricity an airship would soon be a certainty. I don't say this as proof that there is a successful airship now in use, but I will say that if I were to read in to-morrow's paper absolute proof that one has been constructed, I should not be any more surprised than Walter Blair was after he saw his mistake."

The Aerial Wonder Appears to the
People of San Fernando

LOS ANGELES, Cal., Nov. 29. -- The operator of the California airship seems to find the climatic conditions south of Tehachapi very favorable for the evolutions of his bird-like machine.

Persons whose occupations keep them up late into the night relate experiences of having seen strange and peculiar lights during the past three nights moving about near the summit of the mountains or crossing the valleys at a rapid rate.

These visitations have heretofore been witnessed by only a few persons, but to-night scores of residents of East Los Angeles saw the flitting light in the direction of Pasadena moving along the foothills toward Santa Monica.

A CALL correspondent took great pains this evening to verify the reports about the lights, and is now thoroughly satisfied that some very unusual spectacle was seen by a large number of persons, all of whom gave substantially the same description of what they saw, and there can no longer be any question but that some figure of huge outline and carrying a light has been seen, in the San Fernando Valley and along the foothills extending from the valley to Santa Monica.

Motorman Millsap of the Downey avenue car line, which runs into East Los Angeles, gave the best description among the many interviewed. He is quite sure that what he saw is an aerial machine operated by a human being.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Perilous Trip of the Sloop Mack -- September 5, 2019

San Francisco Call, 13-April-1896
This drawing is from the 13-April-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.

Perilous Trip of the Sloop Mack
All the Way From San
Luis Obispo.
An Encounter With the Gale That
Wrecked the Blairmore Off
Pigeon Point.

R. S. Eaton and C. Church, two young men from Morro, a little town a few miles north of San Luis Obispo, have just finished a noteworthy and very perilous feat in navigation.

In a twenty-foot sloop, only three feet deep, but illy fitted up for even small cruises in the bay, these adventurous young men sailed from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco, arriving here yesterday after a series of perilous and exciting adventures.

The purpose of this 200 miles voyage by sea, in what is practically an open boat, was to gain neither notoriety nor a wager. Church, the older of the two, is a married man with three children. He had met with reverses at home; work and money alike were scarce, so he set out to seek -- if not his fortune, at least a living -- in the new gold fields of Alaska. He, expects to do boating for hire in the northern waters, and perhaps some prospecting on the side.

Lacking the necessary funds with which to purchase a boat, and being a good mechanic, he built the present craft at Morro and sailed her to this port, where she will be shipped to Alaska on the steamer Albion, which sails Thursday.

His companion came along simply to help him out on the trip, and will return home by the next steamer.

The boat, which is named the Mack, is 20 feet overall, 18 feet on the water line, 6 feet beam, 3 feet deep and is fitted with a steel centerboard 4 feet high and 5 feet long.

She is staunchly built, her entire frame being of oak, and her only upper works consists of a curbing 10 inches high, which extends from a few feet forward nearly aft, making her practically an open boat. For ballast she carries pig iron placed beneath the floor.

Her spread of canvas is as follows: Boom 19 1/2 feet, hoist 12 feet, gaff 8 feet and a small working jib.

What makes the trip all the more remarkable is the fact that the boat bad no sooner taken her initial dip into the water from the stocks than the mast was stepped, sails bent, provisions stored and the men were off on their risky trip. They rowed a mile out from land, when sail was hoisted for the first time. They had yet to learn how she would act under her spread of canvas and whether she was tight or leaky, but they adjusted their compass, got the charts out and were ready to meet the worst -- which was not long in coming.

The first day out they encountered a stiff northwester that tossed the little boat about like a feather in the wind, but she managed to maintain her equilibrium, and, as the storm became more boisterous, they squared away and made for port San Simeon, which they reached in safety.

They made no more stops after leaving San Simeon until they reached Monterey Bay, where they put in and replenished their stock of provisions.

After leaving Monterey Bay their troubles began afresh and wore enough to quail the nerve of the bravest.

While scudding along under full sail, to a stiff breeze, the throw halyard carried away and the mainsail became useless. To remedy this it was necessary to climb the slender mast and reef a new rope through the block.

While one of the men was aloft fixing the tackle a heavy swell struck the side of the boat, and, the man's weight on the mast caused the craft to careen over until she became almost filled with water.

The sun was sinking in the horizon and in the distance were the outlines of a steamer bearing down on them.

They had no lanterns aboard to signal to the vessel, and their sail was out of order. Darkness was rapidly approaching and the lights of the steamer kept getting nearer and nearer.

They whipped out their oars and commenced rowing for dear life to get out of the course of the steamer, but they were badly handicapped by their boat being full of water, and when the steamer passed them she was not more than 200 feet away.

"It was a close shave," said Eaton, in speaking of the trip yesterday, "but we were placed in a still more perilous position later on.

"When off Pigeon Point we ran into the storm that sunk the Blairmore in the bay. "We had only the jib set, and a 200 pound rock attached to a long rope was payed out to keep the boat up to the wind. It was very squally and the waves were as big as mountains and seemed to be coming in three or four different directions.

"They kept continually breaking over the boat, and our bedding and ourselves were soaking wet. The boat was rapidly filling. Then all of a sudden three huge waves, each coming in a different. direction, met underneath the boat and fairly raised it out of the water. She dropped with a thud down between two waves, but owing to the centerboard she still maintained her upright position.

"It was a trying ordeal, but we both kept our heads, and by careful maneuvering we came through in safety.

"No, neither of us ever sailed along the coast before. We steered by our compass, and got our bearings by comparing our charts with places on land in the daytime, and at night we could tell where we were by the lighthouses along the coast. It was my first trip to sea, but Church is quite a navigator, having sailed on the lakes and around San Luis Obispo. We cooked on an oil-stove, and one handled the boat while the other slept.

"We were five days in making the trip, and in the daytime kept close inshore and at night we steered well off to be out of reach of any snags.

"All the way up it was exceedingly cold, and at times we became so benumbed that we couldn't pull on a rope."

The little boat is now lying in the placid waters of Mission Bay, and resembles very much a small fishing-boat.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Monday, September 2, 2019

Ardenwood Railfair 2019 -- September 2, 2019

Yesterday we went to the 20th annual Washington Township Railroad Fair at Ardenwood Farm in Fremont. The weather was hot, so we didn't stay very long. Turnout was lower this year, perhaps because of the heat. We saw 1890 Porter 0-4-0 Ann Marie push a flatcar carrying an agricultural plow. Ann Marie could not pull a passenger train for the public again this year because of issues about some state rules. They hope to resolve the situation for next year. Ann Marie made some runs back and forth near Ardenwood Station. Kids love the chance to ride a train and don't care what is pulling it.

Labor Day, 2019 -- September 2, 2019
Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September, 2019 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- September 1, 2019

Los Angeles Herald, 29-March-1901
I just put the September, 2019 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: A view of the planned Angels Flight in Los Angeles (Source: Los Angeles Herald, March 29, 1901).
2. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: A ten and twenty year update about Angels Flight, including some newspaper items
Ten years ago this month (September, 2009):
1. Picture of the Month: An early Angels Flight advertising flier, including a photo of Colonel JW Eddy, who built the line and operated it
2. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: More about the Angels Flight, including photos from Joe Lacey, tickets, and an old flier, and several contemporary newspaper articles:
3. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: Two contemporary newspaper articles about the Mount Lowe incline
4. On the Motorized Cable Cars page: A strange-looking double decker
5. Added News item about a new animated video, "Cubbie the Cable Car"
6. Added link for MunsonWorks, a manufacturer of inclined elevators

Twenty years ago this month (September, 1999):
1. Picture of the Month: Angel's Flight.
2. Roll out Los Angeles area funiculars/Angel's Flight on the Other California Cities page
3. Add link to new site from the Friends of the Cable Car Museum
4. Add cable car sudden stop to news & bibliography
Coming in October, 2019: On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: Ten and twenty year updates about Court Flight and the Catalina inclines

125 years ago, on 19-September-1944, a cable tramway began running between King and Ocean Streets, Sydney, New South Wales.

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-September-2019)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The 1619 Project -- August 31, 2019

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the New York Times have joined to create the 1619 Project.  In August, 1619, the first enslaved Africans arrived in the English North American colonies, at Point Comfort, Virginia.

Some crazy racists pretend they do not understand why the Times is dredging up this old story.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

See the World's Greatest Fleet -- August 29, 2019

Omaha Bee, 05-April-1908
The Union Pacific Railroad invited Omahans to ride the Overland Limited to San Francisco to see the Great White Fleet.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Canal Street, New Orleans -- August 27, 2019

Canal Street in New Orleans once had four tracks for streetcars, like Market Street in San Francisco. Then Canal Street had none, except for one block used by the Saint Charles Avenue line. Now Canal Street has two tracks for most of its length.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

The London-Paris Air Service -- August 25, 2019

Flight Magazine, 28-August-1919
100 years ago today, on 25-August-1919, the first scheduled air service between London and Paris began service. The company used DH 4s and DH 16s, which were based on the DH 9A light bomber but with a wider fuselage. 


Monday last saw the inauguration of the daily air service between London and Paris organized by Messrs. Aircraft Transport and Travel, Ltd. Two Airco machines set out from this side and one machine from Paris.

An Airco 4 machine, fitted with Rolls-Royce engine, left Houslow at 9.10a.m.; it was piloted by Lieut. E. H. Lawford and carried Mr. G. M. Stevenson-Reece, of the Evening Standard, as well as a full load, including a number of daily newspapers, a consignment of leather from a London firm to a firm in Paris, several brace of grouse and a considerable number of jars of Devonshire cream. It arrived at Le Bourget, the Paris Terminus, at 11.40.

At 12.30 p.m. an Airco 16 fitted with Rolls-Royce engine left Hounslow for the regular journey to Paris, the landing being made at 2.45 p.m. Major Cyril Patteson was the pilot and four passengers were carried.

One Machine -- an Airco 4A -- left Paris at 12.40 p.m. and, piloted by Lieut. J. McMullin, with Lieut. Lawford and Mr. V.M. Console of the Daily Mail as passengers, it arrived at Hounslow at 2.45 p.m.

Although the Handley Page service does not start its regular running until Monday next, a preliminary trip was made last Monday. The machine used was of the twin-engined type and the pilot was Maj. Foot, while the 14 passengers included Mr. L.A. Northend of the The Times; Maj. C.C. Turner, Daily Telegraph; Mr. E.A. Perris of the Daily Chronicle; Mr Harold Begbie, Daily Chronicle; Mr. Tourtell, Daily Express; Mr. Bartholomew, Daily Mirror; and Mr. Crosfield, Daily News.

The machine started from Cricklewood at 8.20 a.m., called at Hounslow for Customs formalities, was away at 9.20 a.m., and landed at Le Bourget at 1.15 p.m. Owing to difficulty in obtaining petrol the return journey was postponed to the following day.

New Cat #68 -- August 25, 2019

I took the photo on 18-August-2019.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Oliver Hazard Perry 200 Years -- August 23, 2019

Alexandria Gazette and Daily Advertiser,  29-September-1819
200 years ago today, on 23-August-1819, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry of the US Navy died  of yellow fever while returning from a diplomatic visit to Venezuela.  The enlisted men of the Third West India Regiment were of African birth or descent.  He was buried in Port of Spain, Trinidad and his remains were moved to Newport, Rhode Island in 1826.  

DIED, On Monday evening, the 23d inst. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, of the United States Navy, at the early age of 34. He was dispatched by his government with the Ship of War John Adams and Schooner Nonsuch, on a mission to Angostura, the seat of the Insurgent Government of the Main. After staying there some time, the John Adams sailed for this Port, leaving Commodore Perry, with the schooner Nonsuch, at the before mentioned place, until the object of his mission should he fulfilled, when this was accomplished, he hastened to join the John Adams, and in two days arrived at the mouth of the Orinoco, from Angostura, and embarked on board the Schr. Nonsuch.— He had before embarking, a slight attack of fever which rapidly, increased after the vessel sailed ; and notwithstanding every exertion which was made to shorten the voyage, and hasten his arrival at this place, where every assistance and convenience could he procured, they were upwards of five days on the passage. As soon as the Nonsuch had anchored in the Gulf, at which time his fever had arrived to an alarming crisis, he was removed to the John Adams, and in a quarter of an hour breathed his last, in his death his country will have to lament the loss of one of her bravest and most intelligent Naval Officers—private society, that of one of the most accomplished of its members. He has left a widow and four children (who reside in Newport, Rhode Island) to deplore his untimely fate, by whom, and his brother officers, he will long be remembered with love and regret.

On the following day his remains were attended to the grave with every mark of attention an4 respect on the part of the Civil and Military Authorities, and the inhabitants of this Town in general. At 4 o’clock, P. M. the 3d West India Regiment was marched to the King’s Wharf, to receive the corpse, and, about 5 o'clock, the boat, with the body, left the John Adams, that ship firing minute guns until its arrival at the Wharf, when Fort St. Andrew commenced the same ceremony. which continued until the Procession reached the Burying Ground. The following was the order of the Procession :—

The Chief of Police, and his Deputy.
The 3d West India Regiment, with arms reversed—the Officers with white scarfs and hat-bands.
The Band of the Regiment, playing the Dead March in Saul
The Commandant of the Garrison and his Staff, with scarfs and hat-bands.
Alcaldes of Barrios. Alcaldes of Barrios.
Three Officers Horseback, as Bearers. Three Officers Horseback, as Bearers.


The Officers of the John Adams, and Nonsuch, two and two.
A great number of respectable Inhabitants as Mourners—two and two.
One hundred and twenty men of the crews of the John Adams and Nonsuch, two and two.

On arriving at the entrance to the Burying Ground, the troops filed off. and formed a line for the Procession to pass through.— the Funeral Service was performed by the Rev. Mr Clapham. in a solemn and impassive manner; and, after the body was committed to the grave, the troops fired three vollies of musketry. in the usual manner—the whole body of the attendants on the Funeral, retiring from the Burying Ground with every mark of sympathetic grief for the premature death of a gallant man, a good parent end citizen, increased by the consideration of his eminent rank in society. His personal appearance was imposing, having been a man of large stature.

The Public will perceive the impression made on the minds of the American Officers, from the attention paid to the Funeral of their late commander, by the following communication, which has been handed to us for insertion :—

“ The Officers of the United States' vessels John Adams and Nonsuch, tender their grateful acknowledgements to the Inhabitants of Port Spain, for their kind and respectful attention to the Funeral rites bestowed on the body of their late Commander, Commodore Perry. The disposition manifested by all classes was highly in unison with their feelings, and merits their warmest thanks.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Sensation Rag -- August 21, 2019

Scott Joplin, James Scott and Joseph Lamb were the three most important composers of classic ragtime. Joseph Lamb was the only one of the three who was not African-American.  Lamb's first published rag was "Sensation a Rag."  It was published by John Stark and arranged by Scott Joplin.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor -- August 19, 2019

Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, attacked and degraded immigration and the Statue of Liberty. Referring to the poem by Emma Lazarus, Cuccinelli, who ancestors must have come through Ellis Island, said the US is only interested in immigrants who can "stand on their own two feet" and "not become a public charge." Later he said "Give us your tired, your poor" only applies to Europeans. Shame on him.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Pup and the Dirigible Hangar -- August 17, 2019

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 05-August-1919
I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains, but I am interrupting the series this month for a different cartoon by Fox.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Woodstock 50 -- August 16, 2019

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Three Days of Peace and Music took place 50 years ago, on 15-17 August, 1969.  I wasn't very old and I was on the West Coast, so I didn't hear much about it while it was going on.  I remember jokes about it in Mad Magazine.  I didn't get to see the movie on its first run, but I saw it a few theaters.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Comic Book -- Planet Comics -- August 15, 2019
Fiction House comics were famous for having lovely women on the covers. The contents were not always so creative. Planet Comics was the first science fiction comic book.  Fiction House also published Planet Stories, a pulp.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

George Shearing 100 -- August 13, 2019
Pianist and composer George Shearing was born 100 years ago today, on 13-August-1919.  He was blind, but it didn't seem to slow him down.  He composed "Lullaby of Birdland."

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Pulp -- Planet Stories -- August 11, 2019

Fiction House published Planet Stories, a pulp, and Planet Comics.  Both usually featured attractive women on their covers.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Preservation Hall Jazz Band -- August 10, 2019

Last night we parked at the Performing Arts Garage and walked down to the SFJazz Center.  The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed in the big auditorium.  This was the first time we saw that no member of the band was older than me.  The older gentleman in the hat in the photo above, Charlie Gabriel, did not appear. There was a special guest appearance by Cuban singer Eme Alfonso.

The auditorium was nice.  We had seats in row F, which was the first row behind the tables.  The floor was cleared for dancing.  The band played two sets.  Eme Alfonso sang during the second set.  Clint Maedgen played the tenor sax and sang.  Branden Lewis played the trumpet and sang.  He had family in the audience.  Ronnel Johnson played the trombone.  It is sad to see  how shy and withdrawn he is.
Kyle Roussel played piano and electric piano.  Ben Jaffe, son of Alan, played stand-up bass. Walter Harris played wonderful drums.

My wife, remembering that when we visited Preservation Hall in 2014, there were no drinks, no chairs and no bathrooms, was happy that SFJazz has drinks, chairs and bathrooms. She expected the band to play more traditional jazz, but enjoyed their driving rhythm and funky sound.

On our way home, we met crowds leaving the Outside Lands Festival.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Viewing the Mysterious Aerial Lights From the Dome of the State Capitol -- August 9, 2019

San Francisco Call, 29-November-1896
There were many sightings of unidentified flying objects in the United States during the late 1890s. I wonder what people saw. Antonio Maceo Grajales was a Cuban rebel leader. I like the discussion of the ethics of bombing civilians from the air.

This is our eighth report from the San Francisco Call.

18-November-1895: "Claim They Saw a Flying Airship"
23-November-1896: "The Great Airship That is Startling the People of Many Cities"
24-November-1896: "The Apparition of the Air"
25-November-1896: "Mission of the Aerial Ship"
26-November-1896: "The Mystery Again Seen at the Capital"
27-November-1896: "It Is to Be Used to Destroy the City of Havana"
28-November-1896: "Attaches a Balloon to the Warship of the Air"

Over His Signature the
Attorney Tells of His


(And Again the Brilliant Shafts
Are Sighted Speeding Above
the Bay Counties.


Spectators in Haywards Insist on the Aeronautic
Theory -- Professor Cross, the Linguist,
Adds His Evidence.

No one has as yet identified the aerial voyager that is supposed to be displaying the mysterious lights that have shone down upon startled gazers in various parts of the State, but the number of those who have seen what they are ready to swear was an airship is constantly growing larger.

While even many of those who have seen the flitting and gleaming lights are not prepared to decrare they are carried by a full-fledged aerial craft they admit they can account in no ordinary way for the phenomenon.

There is, therefore, yet ample room for the mystery to be proved a fake, a hallucination or a verity. Meanwhile, and until the mystery is completely solved, THE CALL will continue to chronicle the news relating to it, taking nothing from nor adding anything to the reports it receives. Whenever definite and conclusive proof. however, is received. it will be given freely, fully and fairly, whatever it chances to establish.

General Hart received a visit yesterday from one of the men who, he stated, has been making trips with the mysterious inventor in his aerial vessel. This general declined to give any information of these trips. He stated, however, that this man and another mechanic in the services of the inventor had gone to the workshop of the inventor to assist in the work of completing a third and much improved craft. This remodeled vessel would be completed, he expected, in about a week.

It was to be a great improvement on the two airships already built, and when it has been properly tested was to be at once dispatched for the scene of its deadly purpose (Havana), which was to be overwhelmed with a shower of dynamite. Considerable time will be consumed, according to the statement of General Hart, in making the crew who are to go on the novel expedition familiar with the working of the vessel.

General Hart has contributed a full statement regarding his connection with the reputed warship of the air and tells some new and interesting things therein in regard to it. He also takes up the defense of the Cuban patriots in a most patriotic and martial spirit.

Professor M. S. Cross, dean of the University of the Pacific, now adds his testimony to that of the believers, and Haywards people of prominence tell some additional startling stories.

The Dean of the University of the Pacific Testifies to the Passage of
the Conqueror of the Air.

Professor M. S. Cross, dean of the University of the Pacific and professor of ancient languages, is one of the best-known scholars and linguists in the United States. He is a brother of Senator Cross of this City. He stands very high in the estimation of all students and professors, so that his testimony on the aerial wonder will be received with profound attention. The following telegram, giving his opinion on the subject, was received yesterday:

SAN JOSE, Cal., Nov. 28 -- Professor M. S. Cross, dean of the University of the Pacifc, confirms the story of tbe airship's passage over East San Jose Thursday night Professor Cross is known in this vicinity as a careful and conservative man of unimpeachable veracity, and his testimony has won scores of doubting Thomases over to a firm belief in the existence of an aerial craft in this vicinity. The fact that the head of a Methodist representative educational institution on this coast has been fortunate enough to view this nocturnal visitor has well nigh silenced the scoffers.

"It was just about 7 o'clock on Thursday evening when my attention was called to the strange light in the air," said Professor Cross. "I was visiting at the residence of Professor Worcester and was called into the yard by him to view the airship. Whether or not it was an airship of course I am not prepared to say, but certain it is there was a rapidly moving light in the heavens far too large and bright to be an electric street light. To my eye it appeared to be about six inches in diameter. It was moving in a southwesterly direction and apparently at a high rate of speed.

The motion was not steady. It wavered and swerved, rising and falling slightly. The motion, however, was not that of a balloon. I have frequently watched balloons in the air, and the motion of this light was in no way suggestive of the manner in which I have always seen them behave. Moreover, it was a quiet night. What slight breeze there was I think was from the south. Yet this light traveled rapidly in a southerly direction. As it left us the light seemed to broaden. This suggested to us that there might be two lights which an the craft swung broadside to us joined rays and gave the appearance of a wide streak of light."

Professor Cross is confident that it could not be either a balloon or a natural heavenly body that he saw. "I will be very much surprised," he declared, "if something more than a balloon is not found to have been floating about. I see nothing very wonderful in the construction of an airship. From experiments already made there seems to be every reason to hope for success in aerial navigation."

The point where Professor Cross viewed the ship is about two blocks distant from where John Bawl, whose account appeared in yesterday's CALL, saw it, and the two accounts tally precisely in point of time, direction and general movements. The ship was nearer the earth when Bawl viewed it.

A Mysterious Light Traced From a
Canyon of the Palomares Valley.

OAKLAND, Cal., Nov. 28. -- The residents of Haywards are convinced that the peculiar thing, airship or something else, that they have been watching pass over their town on numerous occasions, has its home somewhere among the canyons of Palomares Valley.

To-night the marvelous light was observed in such a manner as to forever set aside the idea that it is a star. Two parties, several miles apart, observed it. To one it was to the eastward and to the other it passed westward. When notes were compared it was agreed that it had passed over between the two observers.

Ed O. Webb, who is known all over the county as a man not prone to make assertions unless be can back them up informed George Oakes, editor ot the Haywards Journal, that he saw the airship traveling through the heavens in the direction of Castro Valley Wednesday evening about 9:30 o'clock. The brilliant lightly (sic - JT) was plainly seen at his home and also by other members of the family.

Fred Hoyt also saw the light as it was floating leisurely along in the direction of the Liedel place, near San Lorenzo. He was so interested in watching the moving object and would no doubt have solved the mystery had he not lost his balance and fallen into a ditch that he did not see was in his path.

Carl Mohr furnishes the most startling information. He told Mr. Oakes that he saw the airship rise from a canyon near his place Thursday evening about 7 o'clock and proceed in the direction of San Francisco, and also saw it return. Mr. Mohr is very positive in his statement, and firmly believes that the machine is being housed near Lone Tree Cemetery.

About the clearest statement yet made regarding the mysterious airship comes from C. S. Long, C. W. Everett and H. Liedel, three of the best-known citizens of Haywards, who were crossing tne railroad track at the depot in a buggy Tuesday evening, about 6:30 o'clock, when their attention was attracted to an exceedingly bright light in the direction of the bay and they watched it for some time. It was moving very rapidly, and while they could not swear that it was an airship they do not hesitate to say that it completely puzzled them.

"I was going home about 7 o'clock," said Mr. Hooson, "when I met my brother, who called my attention to a remarkable light in the heavens. At the first glance I could see it was a powerful electric light. It was slightly south of east and was moving steadily across the country toward the bay. I have not been a believer in the published accounts of airships, but must now say that I have seen something that was not natural to the skies.

"The light was not a steady light like a star, but flickered like our arc lights here on the streets, and it looked like one of them some distance away. One peculiar feature of the light was the way it changed from time to time.

"It appears as if the operator of a searchlight was placing red and blue glass before the light occasionally so as to make the light more noticeable to any one who happens to be looking into the heavens. No star has ever done that in the past and I am not ready to believe that one is doing any such capers at present. If this was the first time the lights had been seen here I might not think so much of it, but residents have been seeing a light come from the hills on a number of occasions and make its way across the heavens toward the south. It was only corroborative of these to-night when I saw it"

Editor George A. Oakes was another who saw the visitor to-night from his residence in the northern part of Haywards.

"I saw the light to-night for the first time," said he, "and am sure it was no star or fire balloon. It passed east of town and appeared to go across the bay, as if headed for lower San Francisco. The white light was not steady, and changed to a red occasionally. It is more than I can solve, and must be some one who has finally solved the problem of aerial navigation."

Jesse Hooson, a student at St. Mary's College, had a good view of the visitor at Haywards to-night.

"I was startled," said he, "on coming along the street to-night to see a very bright light in the heavens. It was like an arc electric light, and, naturally, I stood watching it. The thing was moving toward the southwest with the wind at first, hut changed its course several times, and finally came up into the wind for some distance. It finally disappeared over toward Redwood City. The thing seemed to be operated by some one to see how it would answer a helm or guiding apparatus of some kind."
These parties already referred to saw the machine to the eastward. Now comes a story from a man who was evidently on the other side of it.

Steve Morrison of Haywards was in San Ramon, and coming home to-night he saw the aerial visitor in such a manner as to fix its location approximately. "I was driving over the hills from San Ramon," said he, "when I noticed a very bright white light in the sky west of me. It looked like an arc electric light, but was too high in the heavens for that, and then I knew there were no arc lights out in that part of the country. It was a surprise to me and I watched the thing very carefully. I first noticed it as I came up out of one of the small valleys and could see it move about until I went Into another."

Marshal Ramage of Haywards tells a story which may result in clearing up the mystery of the affair. "It has seemed very strange that this mysterious light should be seen in this vicinity so often. It is possible that the thing, whatever it may be, is being kept up here somewhere. I know of only one place where it would be possible for an airship to be worked out, and I can hardly believe that even there the material could have been taken in without exciting some suspicion, James Spiers, of the firm of Hinckley Spiers and Hayes of San Francisco, resides out in the Palomares Canyon, and is quite an inventor. His sons are great students also, and it might be that they have been at work on something of this kind, and have succeeded in getting a ship that will really travel through the air.

"I recently had a talk with a man who worked for them this summer, and he told me that a new trail had been constructed from the house up to the table land near the crest of the hill and in a canyon. I know the place, and it is hidden entirely from view and would be an ideal place for such work.

"I asked him what the trail was being constructed for, and he said he asked the same question and was told that all that was required of him was to do the work and not worry about what it was for. After this he completed the work without further questioning. He does not know to this day what the trail was built for, and I know of no one who has ever been on the place or on the new trail."

An interesting story was told by W. H. Warren in Crane's store on Thirteenth street. Warren is encaged in the chicken business above the Zeile place. According to his statement he has succeeded in inventing a machine that he states he made a trip in, reaching: the height of 100 feet. This took place at San Pedro not over a month or so ago. He is quite a young man and a clever machinist. He has a complete working model capable of carrying one man. It is made in the shape of a cigar, with a round head, and built of a light frame covered with tin and fitted with wings, and a tail like a fan.

The machinery is worked with gasoline. A trial trip was made and was a success.

The inventor objects to exhibiting his machine, as he has not yet secured a patent on it. He says he secured his idea from watching the flight of the seagull. The machine is now in San Francisco. He has not yet used electricity, but admits that it would be a great improvement.

George R. Toyne, who interviewed Warren for the Haywards Journal, said to-night that Warren had a partner whom he had sent to Oroville to see if he could learn anything of the plans of the new airship for the purpose of comparison.

His Martial Spirit and Patriotism Expressed With the Ardor
of a Soldier.

All of General Hart's martial ardor and spirit of liberty was aroused when he read the editorial in the Bulletin of Friday evening which called him to task for being a party to the proposed use of dynamite for the purpose of destroying Havana. The article in question reads as follows:

A man of former prominence in this State is announced through a paper of standing as the agent or attorney of a man who proposes to destroy the city of Havana with dynamite. In apparent unconsciousness of the horror with which dynamite plots are regarded in all parts of the civilized world this degenerate invites a subscription of $10,000,000 to furnish the means by which a rich, populous and beautiful city may be destroyed.

At a time when the world is devising ways to prevent wars with their Inevitable consequences, this man, whom the people once honored with their votes for a high office, plans a scheme by which the horrors of war may be increased a hundred fold. Whether or not the plan is practicable does not matter. It tends to familiarize the public mind with methods of destruction that have been considered too horrible to contemplate. Assassination is a playful manifestation of hate compared to this plan of wholesale murder. And all for what? It is not proposed to do evil that good may come of it. It is not proposed to offer a sacrifice of lives in a forlorn hope to promote a righteous cause.

The assassins of tyrants have been in darker periods represented as acting under a delusion that robbed assassination of its infamy. But this California lawyer, this man who was at one time the head of the Department of Justice for this great State, now proposes to make murder a speculation. For a sum of money he proposes to destroy the capital city of the most populous island in the West Indies. This proposition is made without any seeming sense of its monstrosity. It is discussed with the same disregard of moral sense the hired bravado exhibits when asked to name his price for murder.

It is no wonder that an eminent clergyman said in his Thanksgiving discourse that California is noted for the startling irregularity with which society advances. If this eminent clergyman had seriously considered the dynamite proposition he might have added that California is noted also for the startling irregularity with which civilization leaps backward into the dark ages. The fact that a proposition of this nature could be placed before the people of this State is a reflection upon our civilization. The least measure of punishment that could be anticipated from a self-respecting community would be a protest that would make the State an impossible place of residence both for the originator of the infamous proposition and for the agents of dissemination.

That law and journalism should have combined to make the destruction of great cities a legitimate speculation is much to be regretted. It is the province of law to teach how evils mny be remedied through the exercise of reason. It is the province of journalism to show how society may lawfully protect itself from nil kinds of desperadoes and anarchists. But in this case a lawyer uses a newspaper to familiarize the public mind with a scheme that an average jailbird could not contemplate without horror.

The day for the promulgation of this project was badly chosen. It was a day when peace and good will were being invoked in public meetings and private residences. The churches were open that the people might be taught the blessing of peace and charity. In public halls all through the city the poor were invited to partake of the cheer of the season. On such a day the conscience of the people was startled by a proposition to wipe a great city off the face of the earth in consideration of the sum of $10,000,000.

Commenting thereon yesterday he said:
"My attention has been called to the editorial in the Bulletin of last night. All I have got to say in reference to it is that the destruction of Havana by dynamite is not half as horrible as the press dispatches of the butcheries of Cubans by the Spanish authorities.

"Of course, in the event that Havana was to be attacked by the airship with dynamite sufficient time would be given for non-combatants to leave the city.

"The apathy shown by the Government of the United States in extending belligerent rights to the Cubans, in view of the atrocities of the Spaniards toward the Cubans and American citizens, is such that it is not to be wondered at that the genius of American invention should discover a means whereby justice can be done to those heroes who are fighting for independence against the oligarchy of Spain."

"For my part, I consider it far more noble to aid a struggling people like the Cubans, who are trying to free themselves from the oppressions of Spain, even though by dynamite, than to be silent and say nothing and practically wink at the atrocities shown the Cubans by the Spanish authorities.

"In the event that it should become necessary to capture Havana, either with artillery or dynamite, it would no doubt be horrible for those who are located in that city. But at the same time if it is necessary to destroy Havana in order that the Cubans may earn their liberty Havana will be destroyed. And, notwithstanding the Bulletin, I predict that within ninety days Havana will be destroyed unless it surrenders to the Cuban forces.

"It appears that the Bulletin is greatly afraid of dynamite, yet we all know that the Government of the United States has been experimenting with dynamite guns for months, and, in fact, they have reached such a point of perfection that it is proposed to use it in guns for harbor defenses in the United States.

"Does the editor of the Bulletin think it is proper for the United States to throw a few hundred pounds of dynamite at some foreign vessel and sink her or blow her up and kill or maim those on board, and that such an act is not proper for the Cubans, who are fighting for liberty? We would simply be trying to keep a vessel out of one of our harbors, while the people of Cuba are fighting for the most precious boon of mankind. I submit that it would be more proper for the Cubans to use dynamite than for the United States to destroy a foreign vessel with a dynamite gun.

"In the event, as I have heretofore stated, that the airship should be used for military purposes in and around Havana it would be better to haw a base of operation within thirty or forty miles of Havana.

"There is no doubt that Maceo would throw dynamite into Havana giving them ample notice of that purpose. But suppose that he should give such a notice it is quite evident that the Spanish authorities would pay no attention to it. They would simply remain there and doubt the feasibility of the airship and the horrors of dynamite until they actually felt it, Therefore it seems to me that if the Bulletin would use a little more force in trying to persuade the Government to recognize the belligerent rights of Cuba it might save itself the horror of hearing that a few hundred people had been destroyed by dynamite.

"It seems to be the American policy of late to permit all kinds of atrocities and to permit its citizens to be trampled upon in foreign countries without making more than a mere protest. As an American citizen who has known something of the horrors of war, I protest against such a policy, and for one say that it is necessary for the Cubans to begin using dynamite. The sooner they use it the better it will be for Cuba and American civilization.

"Certainly the generalship shown by Antonio Maceo and his associates and the fact that the part of the island of which they have control has opened free schools on the system of the public schools of the United States convince me that Maceo would be warranted in using anything that God has created or man invented to give to the people or Cuba their political rights and freedom."

The attention of the Examiner has also been attracted to the Bulletin's editorials, and it comments thereon yesterday as follows:

An evening contemporary gravely criticizes ex-Attorney-General Hart for his scheme to destroy Havana with dynamite dropped from a cruiser of the air. The scheme is rather blood-curdling, considered as practical warfare, but it is extremely interesting from the point of view of romance. The romantic quality is highly developed in General Hart. Personally he would not hurt a fly. He never did hurt one, as far as known. But he received his nomination to office as a hero accustomed to revel in carnage on ensanguined battlefields.

What more natural than that his mind should dwell on new deeds, even gorier than those whose narration gave him his fame ? The exercise will please him, and it will do nobody any harm.

We can think of no one better qualified to be the custodian of an airship than General Hart. Our evening contemporary is wrong to chide him for the use he proposes to make of his charge. The more exciting he can make its programme the more the gayety of the commonwealth will be promoted. A reference to the airship was medicine that soothed even "California's" gloom on Thanksgiving night.

To this the Bulletin in its editorial columns last nigh; rejoined as follows:

The Examiner gently chides the Bulletin for having taken the proposition to destroy Havana by means of an airship seriously. The scheme our contemporary admits to be rather blood-curdling, but is considered interesting from a romantic point of view. It Is not supposed that military authorities have been greatly disturbed by menace of the airship. In fact, General Weyler is more intent upon defending Havana from the insurgent forces than from the California general who derives his title from a civil office. But there are lots of people in the world who do not weigh either men or propositions scientifically. They take a man seriously if he takes himself seriously. It Is not likely that California has heard the last of this dynamite scheme. It will be dilated upon us illustrating the characteristics of our people. The romance of the proposition will be visible indistinctly, if at ail, through the smoke of a series of dynamite explosions.

People are now curiously awaiting further developments in this paper warfare, with sympathy leaning toward the side of the Cubans' advocate and defender.

Graphic Story Told by George
Scott, Assistant to the Secre-
tary of State.

George Scott, assistant to Secretary of State Brown, was at Sacramento on the night of the first reported visit of the aerial wonder to that city. He gives a graphic account of what he witnessed.

"Three friends and myself were standing in front of the Capitol," he said, "when the strange light first met our gaze. I said that I saw the light moving in the southeastern part of the city toward the northwest, but some one in the group ridiculed the idea.

"He said it looked like a light in some distant house on the hills, and that the appearance of its moving was due to the mistiness of the atmosphere.

"I had the key of the building in my pocket and suggested that we go up into the dome and take a look at the phenomenon. We climbed up and there saw the lights very distinctly, sweeping across the sky toward the northwest. There were three of the lights, and they appeared to be attached to some body, of which we could only discern a dim outline.

"It's no use trying to tell me that there is no airship," he sententiously concluded.

Attorney Hurst of Woodland Satis-
fied Himself as to a Strange

WOODLAND, Cal., Nov. 28. -- M. D. Hurst, a well-known lawyer of this city, discerned a bright and unusual light in the skies about 10 o'clock last night, traveling in a southwesterly direction from Woodland. Nearly all Mr. Hurst's neighbors also witnessed the phenomenon. Their first impression was that the mysterious light was a group of stars, but closer observation convinced them that this was wrong. The lights appeared to be electric and were watched for an hour.

Mr. Hurst is fully satisfied that if the mysterious object was a mechanical contrivance it could not have been operated by a person on the ground. He watched it upward of an hour from a window in his home. He does not pretend to say that it was an airship, but insists that it was not stars. Two Salvation Army officers, who were driving from Knights Landing to Woodland, corroborate Mr. Hurst.

Heard Them Talk.

UKIAH, Cal, Nov. 28. — E. G. Case, grand chief ranger of the Ancient Order of Foresters of the Pacific jurisdiction, and William Held, official stenographer of the local Superior Court, left this afternoon for Potter Valley, a small town twenty miles north of this city.

A telephone message was received from Held at 7:30 o'clock to-night containing the startling information that they had seen an airship when within two miles of their destination. The two gentlemen were driving along in a double team when the airship passed so close to them that their horses were frightened.

The gentlemen distinctly saw the aerial wonder. It was cigar-shaped and was evidently suspended from a balloon.

A Full Statement Made Over the Signature of the Attorney for the
Alleged Cuban Filibuster.

In reference to the airship which has been puzzling and astonishing many of the people of California I will say this:

I have not seen it personally, but have talked with the man who claims to be the inventor. I have spent several hours with him. He has shown me drawings and diagrams of his invention and I am convinced that they are more adapted for the purpose for which he claims them than any other invention making such claims that I have ever seen.

It seems to me that the evidence that THE CALL has been enterprising enough to collect in reference to this airship, the character of the people who have seen the same, the fact that it moves against the currents of air as well as with them, the fact that it has the power to dart from side to side or forward, ought to convince the people that there is something in the invention.

I asked the gentleman who claims to be the inventor what his desires were in regard to carrying on the business, and he stated that he did not desire any money ; that he didn't ask or want any one to invest in it ; that he was not a citizen of California, and that he had come here to perfect and test his airship as the climate and currents of air were most suitable to his purpose. He further stated that he had progressed so far since coming to California that California certainly was entitled to the honor of its invention, as it was in quite a crude state when he first came here; that he had two airships already constructed. One, he said, was of large size, capable of carrying three persons, the machinery, the fixtures and 1000 pounds of additional weight, and another that was much smaller, capable of carrying one man, the machinery, fixtures and 500 or 600 pounds of other matter.

He also stated that he was a cousin of Mr. Linn, who was Antonio Maceo's electrician, and that he is expected to take it to Cuba for the purpose of aiding in the capture of Havana as soon as he could perfect it and acquaint his associates with the handling of it.

He was a man of dark complexion, dark eyed and about 5 feet 7 inches in height and weighed about 140 pounds. He looks considerably like the gentleman playing the part of Arion, the aerial acrobat, but is a little taller.

He claims to have three assistants with him, all of whom are mechanics; that he uses two kinds of power, gas and electricity; that his lights are sometimes produced by electricity and some times by gas, with the aid of reflectors.

He claims to have moved 120 miles at one flight and in a little less than six and a half hours, and at that time was not going wholly with the currents ; that he uses electricity for propelling his vessel against the wind, and uses gas largely in going with the air currents. He does this in order to save power.

He proposes to build another airship, and in fact one of the parties interested with him has told me that they are now at work on the third airship, which is to be more commodious and more perfect than the other two, and that it would be so constructed that in the event the machinery got out of order and it should fall into the water it could be used as a boat by detaching a portion of the airship. When this is completed and ready for use the inventor intends to leave California for Cuba.

So far as the electrical power is concerned, the Fargo electric storage battery is of sufficient capacity, as to power and lightness, to furnish the requisite power for aerial navigation, and the inventor proposes to use this power in connection with the other for his operations. The battery can be stored to its full capacity, which is 20 horsepower, in 17 minutes.

I am of the opinion that this airship will be a success, and that its success is far more probable at this time than the Morse telegraphy was at the time he first offered the same to the public.

So far as the public is concerned this inventor does not ask any one to invest in the enterprise. Perhaps this may be evidence of insanity. I will admit that this is the first time to my knowledge that anybody had anything in California in which he did not want anybody to invest money.