Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hiram M Chittendon Locks -- July 31, 2010

One of the highlights of our trip to Seattle was a visit to the Hiram M Chittendon Locks. This photo shows a group of boats waiting for the lock to let them down to the next level. Beyond the lock is the spillway and the Fish Ladder.

We gave blood today.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bill's Place #2 -- July 30, 2010

Today we had lunch at Bill's Place on Clement. I have been going there since shortly after it opened in 1959. I had the Giant's Burger, which I had never tried before. It was good. I took the photo on 31-January-2009.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Downtown Disney -- July 29, 2010

We just got back from consecutive visits to Seattle and Disneyland. We had a nice room on the 9th floor of the Dream Tower of the Disneyland Hotel. This tower had just been refurbished. The room was nice, but there was not as much drawer space as there had been in the old configuration. I took this photo early one morning. Monorail Blue sits between the Lego Store and Downtown Disney Station, probably paused for a photo opportunity. Crews are setting up for some kind bicycyle/skateboard exhibition that went on over the weekend and caused all sorts of noise and mess.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seattle Visit -- July 28, 2010

We just got back from consecutive visits to Seattle and Disneyland. We had never been to Seattle before. The weather was foggy in the mornings, which I enjoyed, and sunny but not too warm in the afternoons. We splurged on a nice hotel, the Alexis, at First and Madison, so we were able to walk everywhere, including the Pike Place Market. I took the photo at First Avenue and Pike, where the cable cars of the Front Street Cable Railway turned from First to Pike.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Remember the 1898 State Fair at Sacramento -- July 27, 2010

An ad for the California State Fair, from the 03-September-1898 San Francisco Call. This year's fair is very early.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #37 - July 25, 2010

My daughter took this photo on 24-April-2010. She calls it "Reading the Paper." All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fastest Launch on the Water -- July 24, 2010

From the 27-January-1895 San Francisco Call. WA Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. This one shows the Satellite, a steam launch. Doctor V. P. Buckley was later a member of the Board of Health.


The Crack Steam Craft Which Is Being Built for Dr. Buckley.


The Boat Will Make Eleven Knots an Hour— The Trial Trip.

The steamer Farallon, which arrived a few days ago from Puget Sound ports, brought from Seattle the hull and frame of a launch for Dr. V. P. Buckley, the well-known physician of this city. A few days ago the little craft was taken to the Union Gas-engine Company, where an engine is now being made for her. The Satellite is the name of the new launch, and before the season is over it is predicted that she will have passed everything in the bay. The vessel itself is a thing of beauty, but it is her lines which catch the yachtsman's eye. The graceful sweep of the white cedar hull, the sharp bow and overhanging stern give indications of what she can do, and, if the gas engine meets the requirements, the Satellite will be the fastest boat of her class on the bay.

The designer of the novel craft, for she will be a novelty in these waters, is R. T. Engelbrerht, now of Seattle, but formerly of this city. When only ten years old he was whittling models of boats, and, although his father's wealth and position were such as to give him his choice of vocation, he wanted nothing better than a boatshop. He became a crank on the subject, and has traveled all over the United States and studied the art of boat building in the best-known ship and navy yards.

Last year Dr. Buckley owned the Hirondel. and Attorney George A. Knight tried in vain to beat him with the Arrow. The aquatic attorney vowed to build a launch that would beat everything the physician could produce, and he has now a great bay-sweeper in course of construction. Dr. Buckley heard of Engelbrecht, and decided to try him. He became interested in the boat-builder, and was astonished when told what he could do. The result was that a contract was given for the Satellite, and Dr. Buckley is more than pleased with his bargain.

When completed the launch will be one of the most thorough little crafts afloat. She is 35.6 feet in length over all, but so beautifully is she proportioned that she does not appear to be more than 25 feet. Her extreme beam is 6 feet 8 inches; depth at bow 5.1 feet, at the stern 6 feet and amidships 4 feet. She is copper-fastened throughout, and is the first vessel ever built on the coast in which plugs have been used in stead of putty. Her rails and stanchions are of ash and her deck is seven-eighths inch fir, soaked in hot linseed oil. Her interior is a gem of art as well as of utility, and when the furnishings are in place, the Satellite will be a creditable little floating palace. There are three cabins, of which the bulkheads can be removed at will, throwing the entire vessel into one large apartment in curly maple and hardwood finish. The cabins will be lighted with incandescent lamps and the vessel will carry a 32-candle power headlight. Two bunks are in the saloon and there are two others forward.

The propeller will be a 30-inch screw with a 44-inch pitch, and the engine will be 12 horsepower with a speed of 11 knots an hour. The vessel can be steered from the side by the engineer, or forward without him. One of the peculiarities of the engine is that one lever starts, stops and backs the launch. The gearing is to be of buckskin, so that the craft will run almost without noise. A small dynamo and storage batteries will rest forward of the engine to operate the electric lights.

The Satellite will make her trial trip in about three weeks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Waterless Knox #9 -- July 23, 2010

The Waterless (air-cooled) Knox automobile was manufactured in Springfield, Massachusetts. I like the name Waterless Knox. It reminds me of a Doctor Seuss character. This 1905 ad is from a wonderful site called Vintage Ad Browser:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Joe Dimaggio -- July 21, 2010

Joe Dimaggio, one of the greatest baseball players, grew up in San Francisco. One of my grandfather's younger friends played against him at North Beach Playground. I took the photo at the San Francisco Wax Museum on 04-August-2007.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grauman's Chinese #12 -- July 19, 2010

Comedy team Bud Abbott and Lou Costello left hand and foot prints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese on 08-December-1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. My daughter and I have done "Who's on First" together since she was very young. DSCN4148. I took this on 18-July-2009.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pulp #14 -- July 18, 2010

The Phantom Detective was an early recurring pulp character. Richard Curtis Van Loan, a wealthy playboy, served as a masked detective. He lasted from 1933 to 1953.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Alaska Pacific Steamship Company -- July 17, 2010

The Alaska Pacific Steamship Company later merged with other companies to become part of HF Alexander's Pacific Steamship Company, the Admiral Line. The company offerred coastwise service from San Francisco north to Seattle and south to San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles.

Friday, July 16, 2010

KLSI 89.3 FM #4 -- July 16, 2010

I have written about KLSI before. KLSI Moss Beach used to be associated with two other stations, WAZQ in Key West, Florida and KAQQ in Midland, Texas. Midland has been gone from their announcements for a while. Some time they also lost Key West and stopped playing Florida commercials. Now they call themselves "Pacifica's Only Local Radio Station" and have their own minimal website:

The Giants had a nice ceremony before the game to honor Jon Miller, who is going to the Hall of Fame. Lon Simmons spoke. Miller introduced his three children and one sang the National Anthem.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dress Rehearsal -- July 15, 2010

Yesterday I walked by the Temporary Transbay Terminal and AC Transit was holding a dress rehearsal. Buses drove around in circles and around the block. People with flags and Slow/Stop sign were directing traffic. Here is bus 3115 on the Main Street side. Buses were also lined up along the street on Main.

Today it was warm. The SemiCon West conference across the street was very large this week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day #1 -- July 14, 2010

The City of Paris Dry Goods Company, founded by the Verdier family, was a major department store in San Francisco. I was sad when the store closed in 1970 and sadder in 1980, when Neiman Marcus tore down the store, saving the rotunda but moving it to the corner.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Signs of the Times #34 - July 13, 2010

A sign at the East Bay Terminal announces the impending move to the Temporary Terminal on 07-August-2010. I took the photo on 07-July-2010.

This is post number 700 in my blog.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Alley #9 -- July 11, 2010

Looking west on Natoma from First Street, along the back of the East Bay Terminal. Signs say that the move to the temporary terminal will take place on 07-August. The curving ramp in the distance was built to take Key System, Interurban Electric Railway, and Sacramento Northern suburban and interurban trains to Rincon Hill and the Bay Bridge. Now it carries AC Transit, Greyhound, and Muni 108-Treasure Island buses.

We have family visiting from out of town. We had a nice dinner last night.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Why the Photographer Asked Burrelle -- July 10, 2010

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. Among his many accomplishments was taking some of the first Daguerreotypes in the United States. PH's son Henry Van Der Weyde served in the Union Army during the Civil War and later emigrated to England, where he became a popular photographer and a pioneer in taking photographs with artificial light.

This article, from the 11-May-1905 Los Angeles Herald, concerns PH's grandson, William Manley Van der Weyde, who followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and uncle. The Burelle's, founded by Frank Burelle in 1888, is still in business as BurellesLuce Clipping Service ( Hetty Green, "The Witch of Wall Street," was a businesswoman who was reputed to be a miser. Jim Farley was a famous provider of strikebreakers to business and industry.

The photo is from the December, 1898 Broadway Magazine.

Why the Photographer Asked Burrelle

W. M. Vander Weyde, the New York photographer whose name appears on so many remarkable pictures, is the originator of a specialty. After many years' experience as a professional photographer he now directs all his efforts on the "hard to get" people. These are the celebrities like Hetty Green and Farley, the strike breaker, who do not care to have anyone know what they look like. These people do not want to be photographed and yet Vander Weyde has recent photographs of both.

Talking of the matter the other day, this specialist said: "I guess I get pictures that others cannot because I go after people at the right minute. And I want to say right here that I attribute about three-quarters of my success to one thing."

"What's that"? asked the questioner eagerly.

"I want to give every possible bit of credit to a firm called 'Burrelle's.' Burrelle has a big establishment in this city where he conducts the largest press-clipping bureau in the world. What has press clippings to do with my idea? I'll tell you. I want to know every prominent man and woman who is to visit America in the future. I want to know every big event that Is going to take place. If it is a national banquet, I want to know who will preside; if it is an international wedding, I want to know the clergyman who will officiate; if it is a yacht race, I want to know who will be prominently connected with it. Burrelle reads every paper published and from these papers he furnishes me the information months and sometimes years in advance. In this way I am able to get at people sometimes half a year before others in my line wake up to the realisation that these especial photographs will be needed. Burrelle is the secret of success and people in all sorts of business would do well to connect with Burrelle quickly."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hark the Herald #9 -- July 9, 2010

I took this fuzzy photo of the Western Pacific's Feather River Route herald onthe nose of F7 913 at the California State Railroad Museum in April, 2010. My dad did some geologic work in the Feather River area and was very fond of it.
Yesterday everyone bailed out of work a little before 4, hoping to get somewhere on BART before the demonstrations got started about the Mehserle verdict. The Eastbound platform at Montgomery was jammed with people.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Savannah Grand Prize of the AAA 1908 -- July 7, 2010

I like pre-WWII race cars, especially pre-WWI cars. The 1908 Grand Prize of the American Automobile Association in Savannah, Georgia, was the first Grand Prix race held in the United States. The FIAT driven by Louis Wagner won.

The poster is from a wonderful site called Vintage Ad Browser:

At lunctime today I took a walk to the East Bay Terminal and took some photos. It is closing in early August. I walked past Kate O'Brien's on the way there and a bunch of people were standing on the sidewalk watching Spain vs Germany in the World Cup semi-final. As I walked back, they all let out a shot. Spain must have scored.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Door #1 -- July 5, 2010

The Monadnock Building is on Market Street near Third. In this photo, which I took on 26-September-2007, the DeYoung building across the street is reflected in the windows. The Monadnock Building was designed by Frederick H Meyer. Construction began before the 18-April-1906 Earthquake and Fire, and finished in 1907. There is an interesting mural in the lobby, showing famous San Franciscans.

Fireworks were relatively quiet last night. It was warm today.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day #4 -- July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July to all. The photograph of silent movie actress Colleen Moore comes from Her bobbed hair inspired imitators all over the world.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Train Station #24 -- July 3, 2010

The original Northwestern Pacific Railroad depot in Sonoma burned down in 1976. This replica opened in 1978 as the home of the Depot Park Museum, operated by the Sonoma Valley Historical Society ( The museum has a nice collection. A string of freight cars and a caboose sit by the platform. I took the photo on 08-April-2010.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Firehouse #33-- July 2, 2010

I took the photo of Station 1 of the Schell-Vista Volunteer Fire Department, near the town of Sonoma, on 08-April-2010.

Work was quiet today. On the way home, the 5-car Millbrae train was very crowded.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gusty Wind Prevents Flight of Biplane Across the Golden Gate -- July 1, 2010

William "Ivy" Baldwin was a remarkable character. When he appeared in this photo from the 28-August-1910 San Francisco Call, he was 44 years old, considerably older than most pioneering aviators. He had been a circus acrobat, a balloonist, and a tightrope walker. He flew balloons for the Signal Corps during the Spanish American War. In 1910, according to another story, he had given up on ballooning because no one paid any attention. He felt he could make more money with his Curtiss airplane. This particular attempt to fly across the Golden Gate did not work because high winds kept the ship from leaving the ground in Fort Baker. He had not made the flight by the end of the year. Somehow he managed to live until 1953.