Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- December 1, 2020


I just put the December, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: Ornaments at the Christmas in San Francisco store at Pier 39 Santa delivering presents on a single-ended cable car. August, 2017.

2. On the Decorated Cable Cars page: A ten year update on the 2010 Giants Victory Parade.

3. Also on the Decorated Cable Cars page: Cars decorated for Christmas 2020 despite the pandemic shutdown.

4. With Christmas coming, it's a good time to visit the late Joe Lacey's article Christmas on the Cables (21st anniversary this year), and the Decorated Cable Cars page.

5. Added News item about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Ten years ago this month (December, 2010):
1. The picture of the month: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner rides a motorized cable in the Giants Victory Parade on 03-November-2010.

2. On the Decorated Cable Cars page: The 2010 Giants Victory Parade.

3. On the UK page: A new article about the London's Euston to Camden Incline, an endless cable incline which took trains from Euston Station to Camden Town

4. With Christmas coming, it's a good time to visit Joe Lacey's article Christmas on the Cables, and the Decorated Cable Cars page.

5. Added News and Bibliography items about an attack on a cable car conductor

6. Added Bibliography item: an obituary for William Frost, retired Cable Car Division Electrical Shop Foreman

Twenty years ago this month (Fall, 2000):
1. Picture of the Quarter: Geary and Market

2. Roll out Excerpts From The Octopus page.

3. Join more webrings: Funicular, Trolley & Interurban, Tram, and International Transportation.

Coming in January: On the Chicago page: More about the Chicago City Railway

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-December-2020)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Bette Midler 75 -- December 1, 2020



Singer actress and comedian Bette Midler was born 75 years ago today, on 01-December-1945.I think I first heard her music on KFRC. Later, I learned about her comedy and acting. We went to see The Rose at the Metro on Union Street. When my daughter was young, we all loved Hocus Pocus.  



Monday, November 30, 2020

COVID-19, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- November 30, 2020



We are still sheltering in place at home. By late November, over 12.7 million Americans had been infected and over 260,000 had died.

At the end of November, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties moved back to Purple on the California watch list. The third wave of COVID-19 is raging through nearly every state. 

Some idiots still refuse to wear masks. Restaurants that reopened for indoor dining have had to go back to outdoor dining. In Los Angeles, they have also banned outdoor dining. 

Early in the month, Good Shepherd Church in Pacifica started to have 11am mass in the gym, livestreamed with an option to sit in our car. We have been doing that. Now that we are back in the purple, mass will be outside with a car option. 

 My wife and daughter, both teachers, are leading hybrid classes, with some students in the classroom and others on a Zoom meeting. 

My COVID-19 beard is reaching Andrew S Hallidie length. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Wild Seas Don't Annoy These Passengers -- November 29, 2020


Seattle Star, 26-November 26-1920

In 1920, a Goodyear blimp began weekend flights from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. Passengers went ashore in a motorboat. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Duryea Wins the Great Motocycle Contest -- November 28, 2020


Fort Worth Gazette, 29-November-1895

On a cold, snowy Thanksgiving Day, 28-November-1895, the first automobile race in the United States, sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald, took place. The vehicles were supposed to drive from Chicago to Evanston and back. Notice that the word "automobile" does not appear in the article. 

Wins the Great Motocycle Contest
The Result May Mark the Beginning
of a New Era in Dirt-Road

Chicago Nov 28. -- The Charles Duryea gasoline motocycle finished first in the Times-Herald's contest for prizes amounting to $5000.

The contest was in every respect the most novel, the performance of the winning vehicle the most remarkable in the history of the motor vehicle contests.

Monday night Chicago was visited by a blizzard of snow and slush that buried the roads and prostrated half of the telephone and fire alarm wires in the city. Wednesday the weather moderated and when the races started the streets were twelve inches deep in snow slush and mud.

In the face of this six motocycles made the start. The Duryea of Springfield Mass.; the Morris and Salem electrocycle; the Muller motocycle of Decatur, Ill.; the R. H. Macy of New York; the De La Vergne of New York and the Sturgis electrocycle of Chicago.

Thousands witnessed the fight of these vehicles against the fifty-four miles of slush which constituted the course from Jackson park to Evanston and return.

Five of the contestants passed through Lincoln. Duryea started at 8:55 and passed the auditorium, a distance of eight miles, an hour later. He made the finish at 7:18 p. m., completing the course in ten hours and twenty-three minutes. For miles on the West Side the boulevards were almost unbroken fields of snow bank and slush.

The fight for speed honors was between Duryea, Muller and Macey. Duryea is an American Inventor and his motor is a radical departure from that of the foreign type used on the wagons of his two competitors.

The carriage with which he made the race was manufactured two years ago. Since that time Mr. Durvea has made many improvements on his motor, but was unable to complete the work on the new vehicle which he had entered for the contest. He accordingly made the run with the old motocycle. The prizes will be awarded on the showing made in the road race, and in the scientific tests which have been made under the supervision of the best experts in the country.

For ten days these tests have been in progress and have been followed with great interest from hundreds of manufacturers from all parts of the United States. These tests will prove of great value. The Paris-Bordeaux race was worthless from a scientific standpoint, but the contest just closed may result in the establishment of reliable data concerning motocycle manufacture. The Muller came in second.

Horseless Age, January, 1896

Friday, November 27, 2020

Chevrolet, The Product of Experience -- November 27, 2020


Richmond, Kentucky Daily Register, 06-November-1920

My father was a Chevy man. He would have liked the FB 20. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Bird's First Recordings As a Leader, 75 Years -- November 26, 2020



75 years ago today, on 26-November-1945, Charlie Parker, sax player, composer and music visionary, made his first recordings as a leader for Savoy Records. Charlie Parker and his friend Dizzy Gillespie were two of the founding fathers of bebop. Bird influenced everyone.

There is some debate about who was there. Bird's friend and co-conspirator, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie,  mostly played the piano. Young Miles Davis played the trumpet most of the time. 

These records became very influential.

Thanksgiving 2020 -- November 26, 2020



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 26-November-1896 Thanksgiving Number. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Pilgrims' Progress -- November 25, 2020



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936. Here is the cover of their 1914 Thanksgiving Number.

Monday, November 23, 2020

J. D. Maxwell in Eight-Cylinder Maxwell Racer -- November 23, 2020


Motor Way, 11-November-1906

That is a lot of engine. Jonathon Dixon Maxwell founded the Maxwell-Briscoe  company. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Dublin Has a Bloody Sunday -- 21-November-1920


Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, 22-November 22-1920

100 years ago today, on 21-November-1920, Irish Republican Army soldiers assassinated several British undercover intelligence agents. Later in the day, the unionist Black and Tans attacked a crowd in a football stadium, massacring men, women and children. Still later in the day, three IRA men were arrested and taken to Dublin Castle where they were beaten and shot dead while "attempting to escape." 


Many Dead as Black And
Tans Fire on Crowds At
Ball Game in Croke Park

Reprisals Succeed Killing of British Army Officers in
Gresham Hotel -- Police Had Armored Car and Machine Guns --
Several of Wounded Have Fatal Injuries.

(By EARLE C. REEVES, International News Service Staff Correspondent)
London. Nov. 22 -- More than thirty persons were killed, including 14 army officers and Black and Tan policemen, and 70 were wounded in the terrific outbreak of assassination and reprisal violence which marked "Bloody Sunday" at Dublin, according to a Dublin dispatch to the Evening News today.

Later advices telling of further killings during the night Indicated that the death list might exceed thirty.

A civilian was shot to death in Mount Joy Square at midnight while on his way home.

Two corpses were picked up in Merrion street. A dead man was found in a house near Croke Park. He is believed to have been killed at the park and carried into the house.

A ministerial council was summoned during the morning to discuss the latest Irish outbreak.

The situation Is more menacing than ever before and the Daily Mail reports that the government is making hasty preparations to send heavy troop reinforcements into Ireland. English officials express fears that the campaign of assassination may spread from Ireland to England.

There was intense military activity at Dublin throughout the night.

Many arrests were made.

Fires broke out and there was much shooting.

The curfew regulations at Dublin have been tightened and all train service has been suspended. The mail service via Kingstown, has been suspended also.

The disorders spread outside of Dublin to Drangin, where a civilian was killed in a clash between policemen and Republicans. A number of arrests were made.

Premier Lloyd-George, War Secretary Winston Churchill and Sir Hammar Greenwood. secretary for Ireland, are keeping in constant touch with Dublin Castle by telephone and wireless.

"It is incumbent upon the government to crush the Irish murder campaign and martial law throughout Ireland seems the only sure remedy," said the Morning Post.

The two main attacks on Sunday occurred at the Gresham Hotel where a number of army officers, who had taken part in recent courts martial of Sinn Feiners, were living; and at Croke Park. Sniping broke out at Croke Park during a football match and Black and Tan policemen opened fire upon the crowd.

The attack upon British army officers at the Hotel Gresham was carefully executed and after the shooting most of the assailants immediately disappeared. Nearly all of the officers were in bed when the Sinn Feiners broke into the hotel.

Official dispatches from Dublin Castle say that the trouble at Croke Park was precipitated by Sinn Fein lookouts posted on the top of the fence surrounding the Park. The lookouts were said to have opened fire upon the British soldiers and Black and Tan policemen without warning. There was only a narrow entrance to the Park and panic broke out when the men, women and children spectators made a wild dash for the opening. According to the Daily Herald's Dublin correspondent, the shooting of civilians by Black and Tan policemen at Croke Park was a veritable massacre.

The Black and Tan policemen broke down the barriers around the park and opened fire indiscriminately upon a crowd of women and children," said the Daily Herald despatch.

From other sources, it was learned that the British soldiers and Black and Tan policemen that invaded Croke Park were accompanied by armored cars bearing machine guns. The officers explained that they were looking for two men who had taken part in the killing of army officers at the Gresham hotel during the morning. When the armed forces opened fire upon the crowd, many men, women and children were thrown to the ground and trampled in the rush. Eleven of the wounded were said to have received fatal injuries.

Captain Crawford of the motor repair depot of the army service corps. who was living at- the Gresham hotel with his wife, had a narrow escape. His experience was thus described by the Dublin correspondent of the Daily Express:

"A band of men stopped a hall porter and ordered him to show them Captain Crawford's room. They found the officer sitting beside his bed reading a newspaper. The raiders accused . him of being a Secret Service agent and threatened to shoot him. After menacing him with their pistols for a while, the men departed, warning Captain Crawford to leave Ireland at once if he valued his life.

According to an official announcement by Dublin Castle, there were two different bands of men who attacked army officers and British officials. One consisted of 25 men; the other of 12.

The official announcement said that in addition to the officers killed, four others were desperately wounded.

Dublin Castle said that the high British military officials feared reprisals and special precautions had been taken to prevent them.

"The outbreak was a foul culmination of murderous wickedness on both sides," said the Daily Mail, commenting upon the 'wholesale killings. "Reprisals cannot succeed. They have already brought chaos and shame to England."

"Incalculable harm has been done to the cause of Ireland," said the Times.

Sir Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland held a long conference with Premier Lloyd-George to devise means of checking the terrific growth of Irish violence.

Following the wave of assassination and reprisal violence on Sunday, Dublin was taken over by British troops. The Dublin population spent a night of terror. Street fighting broke out between Sinn Fein volunteers and Black and Tan policemen and many were wounded on both sides. Several Sinn Feiners were captured. Troops surrounded Dublin while policemen in the city made numerous raids, arresting large numbers of persons.

Threats of assassination have been made against officials of the Irish office. All of the officials are armed. A triple guard of policemen surrounds the Irish office.

In addition to the attack upon British officers and officials in Dublin on Sunday morning, when 14 were killed and the reprisal attack by Black and Tan policemen at Croke Park Sunday afternoon, when many civilians were killed and wounded, Dublin Castle today reported outbreaks in other parts of Ireland where several persons were shot to death.

A detachment of Black and Tans were ambushed near Leat. One was killed and the others were seriously wounded.

Constable Kearney was dangerously wounded at Dewry. Subsequently Black and Tans raided the town. The telegraph wires became silent during the morning and at noon the Irish office announced that no further details had been received of Irish outbreaks.

An earlier dispatch from Cork said that British soldiers and Black and Tans were making wholesale raids. Sinn Fein leaders at Cork claim to have information that the British authorities plan to equip automobiles with poison gas projectors for the protection of military lorries from ambuscades.

The body of an unidentified officer was found near Cork early today.

Near Knappagh, a boy was killed by shots which were said to have been fired from a military lorry.

Raids continued at Dublin throughout today. British soldiers occupied Mansion House (the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin) and several leading hotels. All non-resident British officers were recalled to the barracks at Dublin and other Irish cities.

Advices received at 3:10 this afternoon, put the number of dead in Ireland since Saturday at 31.

Troops and Black and Tan police in armored cars surrounded the Cork city hall, Carnegie hall, the Corn Exchange building and all the county buildings at Cork. Search was made for public documents, but it was found that many of the official papers had been removed by unknown persons during the night.

Stan Musial 100 -- November 21, 2020



Stan the Man Musial, the greatest Cardinal player, was born 100 years ago today, on 21-November-1920. I don't remember him playing, but I remember people saying what a nice guy and a wonderful hitter he was. Willie Mays said Musial was always a gentleman "who understood the race thing" and took care of him at the All Star Game. Brooklyn fans, who hated everyone, gave him his nickname, and appreciated the way he accepted Jackie Robinson and integration.

He served in the Navy at the end of World War II.

I have never read anything bad about him.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Capsized in a Hurricane -- November 19, 2020


San Francisco Call, 09-February-1899

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call.


Nomad Capsized and
All Perished.


December, '97, the Vessel Left China
for This Coast and Drifted
Ashore Bottom Side Up on
Hawaii Last Month.

The fate of the missing schooner Nomad has at last been solved, and another mystery of the sea cleared up. All that was left of the vessel washed ashore on the island of Hawaii last month and conviction will now be borne in on a widowed and childless woman, who has persisted in hoping against hope for nearly a year. Mrs. McAllap of this city had her husband, two sons and daughter aboard the schooner and all of them perished in the wreck.

The Nomad was built by Hall Bros, of San Francisco at Port Blakeley, and was launched in August. 1897. She was rigged as a four-masted schooner and her tonnage was 485 net. She was 168 feet 4 inches long, 37 feet 6 inches beam and 12 feet 8 inches deep, and as handsome a craft as ever sailed out of Puget Sound.

She was loaded with lumber and early in September sailed for China in command of Captain John W. McAllep. The captain's daughter. Miss Helen McAllep, had been ailing for some time and it was decided that she should make the trip with her father. Mrs. McAllep disliked to part with her daughter, but the welfare of the child outweighed the mother love. With Captain McAllep also went his two sons, Weston C. McAllep, who shipped as carpenter, and George H. McAllep, seaman. The entire family, with the exception of the mother, was therefore aboard the Nomad when she capsized.

The other members of the schooner crew were: C. W. Soderstrum, mate; Charles Looman, second mate; Fred Holmes, cook; R. Visentini., R. Thompson and G. Olsen, seamen, and L. E. Bloodgood, cabin boy.

The Nomad made a quick run across the Pacific and from Shanghai Captain McAllep wrote, saying he was going to bring the vessel home in ballast. On December 7, 1897, the schooner sailed and a year ago, this month, when nothing had been heard from her. The Call exclusively pointed out the fact that she was overdue and at the same time published a cut of the vessel. This picture was worked up by Mr. Coulter from the plans in Hall Bros.' office, and is the only one of the Nomad in existence.

In June, 1898, when the schooner was given up for lost, the hull, bottom up, was supposed to have been seen off Coos Bay. On June 23, In latitude 43.15 north, longitude 129.50 west. Captain Christenson of the schooner Eliza Miller sighted a large vessel bottom up. From the description he furnished Hall Bros., the builders were satisfied the wreck was that of the Nomad, but nothing was known for certain until the hull went ashore on the Island of Hawaii.

Ship captains think that when making this run to the Sound from Shanghai Captain McAllep followed the great circle. This would bring him off the coast of Alaska, when the storms, of January and February were doing so much damage to shipping. The schooner being lightly ballasted turned turtle in a squall and all hands perished.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 09-February-1899

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Virginia and Truckee Railway -- November 17, 2020


Gardnerville Record-Courier, 05-November-1920

The Virginia and Truckee connected Reno with Carson City and Virginia City in Nevada. A branch ran from Carson City south to Minden. The railroad was very profitable while the Comstock Lode was producing silver and gold. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Bierstadt -- The Golden Gate -- November 15, 2020


I have always enjoyed the paintings of Albert Bierstadt. He painted "The Golden Gate" in 1900. It is preserved in a private collection. 

Friday, November 13, 2020

Comic Book -- Dick Powell, Adventurer -- November 13, 2020



A-1 Comics number 22, published in 1949, featured movie star Dick Powell during his film noir period. I would like to read this one. Powell started out in movies as a singer and juvenile lead. Around 1944, he decided to change his image. He played Philip Marlowe in Murder My Sweet and went on to play many detectives and other tough guys. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Happy Veterans Day, 2020 -- November 11, 2020


Washington Evening Star, 11-November-1920

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

This is the 102nd anniversary of Armistice Day. All the men and women who served in World War One are gone, but we can still remember their sacrifices.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Pulp -- Battle Stories -- November 9, 2020



The cover of this 1930 issue of Battle Stories features "Barrage," a First World War tale by Arthur Guy Empey, who was a prolific writer for the pulps. His most popular character was Terrence X O'Leary, a soldier who became a soldier of fortune, and a flier. Later O'Leary starred in science fiction stories. Empey was a member of the US Cavalry who resigned to volunteer for the British Army during World War One. He was wounded during the Battle of the Somme. When the US entered the war, he tried to rejoin the Army, but was rejected because of his wounds and possibly because of some disparaging comments about American draftees. He wrote a book, Over the Top, about the war:


Sunday, November 8, 2020

Alex Trebek, RIP -- November 8, 2020


Alex Trebek, the host of the only game show I watch, Jeopardy, has died. My sympathy to his family.  He handled answers and contestants smoothly, and I don't remember him mispronouncing anything. 

I take the Jeopardy test every time it comes up. I was called in for an audition once. Last time I took it, they said they would get back to me in two weeks. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

They Won/We Won -- November 7, 2020


 It took a lot of counting, made slower by the great flood of absentee ballots, but the networks have finally called the election for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He has always seemed to be a good guy and she will be the first female vice president and the first of African or Asian descent. Great crowds of people are celebrating in the streets of many cities. 


The Skipper Leaned Out So Far -- November 7, 2020


Washington Times, 23-November-1920

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Why Can't a Krow, Krow? -- November 5, 2020


Washington Times, 07-November 1919

I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Don't Forget to Vote -- November 3, 2020


If you haven't done it already, please vote. The future of our nation depends on it.

Monday, November 2, 2020

KDKA 100 Years -- November 2, 2020


Radio-TV Mirror, November, 1951

100 years ago today, on Election Night, 1920, Pittsburgh radio station 8ZZ, belonging to Westinghouse, broadcasts election results. Frank Conrad, who had experimented with radio broadcasting, helped to create the transmitter. A few days later, the station became KDKA, which is still on the air in Pittsburgh. 

Radio-TV Mirror, November, 1951

Sunday, November 1, 2020

November, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- November 1, 2020

I just put the October, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: Ten years ago, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series for the first time since moving to San Francisco in 1958. One window of Car 28 exhorted Giants' rookie catcher Buster Posey.
2. On the Decorated Cable Cars page: Cable car 28 decorated for the Baseball Postseason. Ten year anniversary.
3. Added News items about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a newly discovered section of Cal Cable conduit

Ten years ago this month (November, 2010):
1. The picture of the month: Fear the Beard -- A decorated window on Powell/Mason Car 28

2. On the UK page: A new article about the City and South London Railway, the first successful tube railway, which planned to use cable traction. I found some nice illustrations of the system as it was built

3. Added more about J M Thompson (no relation), who was involved in promoting and building cable car lines in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon to the Who page: His full name, a photo, and a brief biographical sketch from the Street Railway Journal

4. On the How page: A photo of a Washburn and Moen wagon used to deliver cables in San Francisco

5. Added News item about a 60 Minutes report about the 1906 movie A Trip Down Market Street. I updated my own page about the film with a 29-March-1906 newspaper article about the Miles Brothers requesting permission to make the movie.

Twenty years ago this month (Fall, 2000):
1. Picture of the Quarter: Geary and Market

2. Roll out Excerpts From The Octopus page.

3. Join more webrings: Funicular, Trolley & Interurban, Tram, and International Transportation.

150 years ago this month:

On 15-November-1870, the failed West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway in New York City was sold at auction

125 years ago this month:

On 11-November-1895, the Market Street Railway discontinued its Ellis Street line.

75 years ago this month:

On 10-November-1945, an O'Farrell/Jones/Hyde car was forced to stop behind a stalled auto near Lombard. The cable car lost its grip on the cable and ran away backwards down the hill. There were no passengers on the car. Unable to regain control, Gripman EJ Howard and conductor EC Steffen jumped. The car ran a block past the end of the track at Beach and hit the South End Rowing Club.

Coming in December: On the Decorated Cable Cars page: On the Decorated Cable Cars page: A ten year update on the Giants' 2010 World Series victory parade

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-November-2020)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Kevin Barry 100 Years -- November 1, 2020


Richmond, Kentucky Daily Register, 29-November-1920

100 years ago today, on 01-November-1920, the British hanged 18-year-old Irish patriot Kevin Barry. He had been tortured in an effort to get him to reveal the names of his companions in an attack on an army truck that resulted in the death of three soldiers. 

An Irish Lad's Patriotism

Washington Nov. 29 -- A reward of $5,000. full protection and secrecy, and a free pass to any part of the world, -- or death by hanging -- this was the choice given by the British military to Kevin Barry, 18 year old Irish patriot, recently executed for alleged complicity in the Irish troubles.

A letter received today by Mrs. R. E Reardon, 3326 Thirteenth st., from her mother, the widow of an Irish magistrate, gives an intimate picture of the last movements of the young Irishman. The letter quotes' one prominent in public affairs in Dublin as supplying the facts. It was mailed on November 12.

"Kevin Barry was hanged for having attacked a lot of fully armed soldiers and taking their rifles," said the letter. "The day before his death a conditional reprieve arrived from Premier David Lloyd George.

"He was taken out of his cell by two officers ; the scaffold with the rope dangling from the roof, was shown him;.

"If, however, he gave the names of his comrades, he was to get $5000 for each name, full protection, absolute secrecy, and a free pass to any part of the world. He listened attentively, pointed to the scaffold and said :

"I am quite satisfied with the arrangements. They seem to be perfect. Now, take me back to my cell and let me prepare for eternity. I hope never to see any of you again, either here or there."

Barry was a medical student, and the only child of a widowed mother. ' .'

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween 2020 -- October 31, 2020



Happy Halloween, everyone. The 02-November-1963 cover of The New Yorker features a Charles Addams cartoon of a duck hunter spotting a formation of witches. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

National Cat Day -- October 29, 2020


Tigerlily wishes everyone a happy National Cat Day.

COVID-19, Masks, Fires, Church, Baseball and School -- October 29, 2020


San Mateo County moved to Purple on the California watch list. COVID-19 is raging through several rural states. Many idiots refuse to wear masks. 

Some restaurants have reopened for indoor dining, but only at 25% capacity. 

The Dodgers reached the World Series. 

My wife and daughter, both teachers, are heading back to the classroom soon. 

The fire up north, burning since August, is 100% contained, but still burning. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

How Wambsganss Made Star Play of Series -- Triple Play, Unassisted -- October 28, 2020


Brooklyn Eagle, 11-October-1920

Well, darn it, the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. This was the Dodgers' first appearance and first win since 1988. I guess this was a fitting conclusion to a bizarre season. 

100 years ago this month, the Cleveland Indians beat the Dodgers, often called the Superbas or the Robins, in the World Series. Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss made the first, and so far the only, unassisted triple play in a World Series game. There have been only 15 unassisted triple plays in the Major Leagues since 1900. 

When Wambsganss was interviewed for Lawrence Ritter's classic book The Glory of Our Times, he complained that the unassisted triple play in the World Series was the only thing most people remembered about him. 

How Wambsganss Made Star Play Of Series -- Triple Play, Unassisted

Here is a diagram of the triple play made by Bill Wambsganss, second baseman of the Cleveland Indians, in the fifth inning of yesterday's game with Brooklyn. It is the first three-ply killing ever made In a World Series and the second in major league history. Kilduff and Miller were on second and first bases with nobody out. when Mitchell drove a hot liner toward right center. The ball shot like a bullet three steps to the right of Wambsganss and about four feet over his head. The Cleveland baseman leaped high in the air and pulled the ball down with his gloved hand. He stumbled as he landed back on his feet, but recovered his balance and ran over and touched second, doubling up Kilduff, who was on his way to third as shown in the picture. Miller was close up to second when Wamby stepped on that base, but was not quick enough in turning back toward first and was run down and tagged. A fuller description of the remarkable play will be found In Thomas S. Rice's column in the Sporting Section.

James Randi, RIP -- October 28, 2020



Magician, escape artist and investigator James Randi has died, unless he is pulling our legs. I loved his book Conjuring


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Hudson River Day Line -- October 27, 2020


New York Evening World, 02-October-1920

The Hudson River Day Line ran steamships from New York City to Albany. The boats were popular because day-time running allowed people to watch the scenery. 

Marine Review, 01-September-1904

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Friday, October 23, 2020

Reduction in Prices of Ford Products -- October 23, 2020


Washington Evening Star, 06-October-1920

The Ford Motor Company repeatedly lowered the price of the Model T.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Accident at the Montparnasse Railway Station, Paris -- October 22, 2020


Engineering, 01-November-1895

125 years ago today, on 22-October-1895, a train entering the Montparnasse Railway Station in Paris, failed to stop and crashed through a wall. Falling debris killed a poor woman on the street. The crew and the passengers all survived. 

San Francisco Call, 17-November-1895


Elevated Train Crashes Through a
Station and Falls to the Street.

A remarkable accident occurred about two weeks ago in Paris, by which an engine and tender were precipitated from an elevated platform at the Montparnasse station. The train rolled into the train shed at a rate of about thirty-five miles an hour without being able to arrest itself, crashed through the bumpers at the end of the track, as well as the front wall of the station, and after traveling about forty-five feet tumbled into the street below, the engine fairly on its nose. Fortunately at this moment the air brake was put on and the rest of the train was prevented from going over. It was to this circumstance that the 123 passengers in the coaches owe their lives. As to the engineer and fireman they were saved by being thrown from the engine at the first shock and the only fatality, strange to say, that resulted from the whole affair, was the killing of a merchant in the street below by the fall of a block of stone detached from the wall by the shock. The cause of the accident -- quite the most singular in French railway annals -- is attributed to a defect in the hand brakes, which, strange to say, are always used on French trains, save in cases of emergency, when the air brakes are called into play, and in this case the air force could not be applied quickly or effectually enough.

Chicago Ball Players Accused of Conspiracy -- October 22, 2020


Morgan County, Tennessee Press, 22-October-1920

100 years ago today, on 22-October-1920, a grand jury indicted eight members of the Chicago White Sox and five gamblers for fixing the 1919 World Series. 

Thirteen Are
Indicted for
Ball "Fixing"

Seven Members of White Sox,
Three Former Players, Boxer
And Two Gamblers Are
Named by Grand Jury.

Chicago, Oct. 29. -- Two indictments charging 13 persons with operating a confidence game and conspiracy were returned in court today by the grand jury investigating the base ball scandal.

Seven members of the Chicago White Sox, three former base ball players, a boxer and two gamblers were named in the true bills voted recently,

The charges grew out of the alleged "fixing" of last year's world's series between the White Sox and Cincinnati.

Those indicted are:
Eddie Cicotte, Joe Jackson, Claude Williams, Fred McMullin, George Weaver, William Burns, Oscar Felsch and Charles Risberg, White Sox players: Arnold "Chick" Gandil. former White Sox player; Hal Chase, former New York Giants; Abe Attell, former boxer; Joseph "Sport" Sullivan of Boston; and Rachael Brown of New York.

The conspiracy indictment contains five counts, including charges of conspiracy to obtain money under false pretenses and to injure the business of the Chicago American league base ball club.

Three Confess.

Cicotte, Jackson and Williams Confessed to the grand jury they had accepted bribes to lose the series last year, and named the others as parties to the plot.

Extradition papers have been prepared by the state's attorney for the 13 and efforts will be made immediately, it was announced, to obtain their return to Chicago. Attell is reported to be in Canada; Cicotte in Detroit, Gandil in Texas, Jackson and Weaver in North Carolina.

True bills against three owners of base ball pools were voted today by the special Grand Jury Investigating base bell.

Owners of the Great Western, Universal and American-National pools are named In the bills. All are Chicago men.

Chief Justice McDonald announced that he would fix bail at $5,000 on each Indictment or 10,000 for each of those named.

To Meet Again Nov. 6.

Investigation of the pools resulted from numerous complaints received by the Grand jury from men holding winnings, who were unable to collect on their slips.

The special grand jury adjourned late today until November 6, when it will be dissolved unless further evidence Is brought up for consideration.

Those against whom true bills were voted today are:
William Chellue, Martin Carlin and F. C. Walters, all of Chicago,

While the grand jurors were returning the indictment before Chief Justice Charles A. McDonald. Ban Johnson, president of the American league, turned over to Assistant State's Attorney Hartley Replogle a letter from a Kansas City sporting editor alleging that "Frog" Thompson, Kansas City gambler received a telegram, from Claud Hendrix, Chicago Cub player advising, him to "bet $5,000 on the opposition" in the game between Philadelphia and Chicago here August 29. It was the circumstance surrounding the Cubs defeat on that data that started the base ball gambling investigation. The Kansas City letter also alleges that Thompson received a telegram from Hal Chase, who was then In California, confirming the Hendrix message.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Satisfied Users of Reo Speed Wagon -- October 21, 2020


Richmond Times-Dispatch, 31-October-1920

Among the "Satisfied Users of Reo Speed Wagons" was the "Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Emporia, Va.."

Monday, October 19, 2020

Coulter -- Skeleton Steamer Beaver -- October 19, 2020


San Francisco Call, 23-May-1895

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call.

Captain Mathew Turner, the ship builder, has lately turned out two steamers for Alaskan waters which are now being shipped thither on the brig Geneva. One is the Alice, 160 feet long and about 400 tons burden, she contains over 100,000 feet of lumber and is being loaded onto the brig in sections.

The other is the little stern-wheel steamer Beaver. She weighs just seventeen tons, but when stripped of her boiler and wheel for hoisting aboard the Geneva, she will balance the scale at twelve tons. She draws about fifteen inches of water and is admirably fitted for the shallow tributaries of the Yukon, where she will be used. The vessel is of twenty tons burden and her engine is about thirty horse-power. She is without house or deck and her machinery, completely exposed, gives her an uncanny and skeleton-like appearance.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Huell Howser 75 -- October 18, 2020

Popular historian Huell Howser was born 75 years ago today, on 18-October-1945. Howser shared his enthusiasm about life and history and nature with all of us on California's Gold and other programs.  I loved the way he would focus on tiny details and talk to anyone about their lives.