Friday, April 29, 2011

1932 Duesenberg Model J Rollston Torpedo Berliner -- April 29, 2011

San Francisco's Academy of Art University has a fine collection of classic cars available for study by its design students. They shared the collection at the 2010 San Francisco International Auto Show. Here is one of my favorites, a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Rollston Torpedo Berliner. DSCN6421.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Revenue Cutter Bear -- April 28, 2011

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

From the 02-February-1895 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Benny Bufano #7 -- April 27, 2011

Hillsdale Mall developer David Bohannon commissioned sculptor Benny Bufano to provide sculptures to decorate the new mall in San Mateo. Bufano opened a studio on the mall site in 1955 and created ten of his famous animal sculptures. I took this photo of "Seal" on 13-December-2010. Note the blue eyes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Steamer Yale -- April 26, 2011

The Harvard and the Yale were fast steamers brought from the east coast by the Pacific Navigation Company to operate between San Francisco and San Pedro, the port of Los Angeles. They sailed the route from 1910 until World War One, then from 1921 until 1931, when Harvard hit rocks near Point Arguello and sank. I always thought Yale and her sister were beautiful ships. This article, from the 22-December-1910 San Francisco Call, describes the Yale's first trip on its California route.


Departure of Steamer Yale for South Opens Ocean Express Passenger Service

Turbine Vessels Expected to Do Big Business and Rivals May Cut Rates

With the arrival and departure yesterday of the steamer Yale the new express passenger service between San Francisco and Los Angeles became a fact, and the Pacific navigation company, became a factor in the fight for the coast passenger business. It is believed that the Yale and its twin sister, the Harvard, will draw largely from the rail business of the Southern
Pacific, and it is expected that before many days, the Southern Pacific's San Francisco and Portland steamship line, which has recently extended its service to San Pedro, will meet the new arrivals with a cut in rates. The other lines running south may follow suit, and a war such as followed the appearance on this run of the St. Croix is fully expected.


It was not believed that the Pacific navigation company could get its ships into service so soon after their arrival from the Atlantic, and the arrival on schedule time of the Yale made the
rival lines situp and take notice. The Harvard will be here Saturday, and next week the new service will be in full operation.

The Yale is something new on this coast. Those who made the trip on the steamer from the Atlantic have no fears of the Yale's ability to take care of itself and maintain. its schedule between here and San Pedro in all kinds of weather. In addition to being faster than anything on the coast outside of Uncle Sam's torpedo boat destroyers, the Yale and Harvard are equipped with all the comforts and conveniences to be found in a first class hotel, and the schedule has been arranged to suit the convenience of the greatest number.

The Yale brought only 150 passengers from Los Angeles, but sailed at 5 o'clock with 450. The steamer has accommodations for 800 first class passengers, and the Pacific navigation officials are confident that they will get a big share of the business.


The passengers who made the first trip on the Yale were specially enthusiastic about the a la carte system of supplying meals. The quality of the food and the service were both pronounced first class. As for the ship itself the Yale was a revelation. The run from San Pedro was made in 18 hours, the fastest on record. The Yale left four hours behind the Harriman steamer Beaver, passed the Beaver as if the latter was standing still, and was tied up at Pacific street wharf for several hours before the Beaver showed up. On the run from San Pedro the Yale maintained a speed of 23 knots for three consecutive hours, and the passengers 'said that there was an entire absence of vibration, and that the steamer maintained a steadiness that would have done credit to a church.

The Yale is a triple screw steamer and is equipped with Parsons turbine engines of 12,000 horsepower. The Yale and the Harvard can make 24 knots an hour, but will be able to maintain
their schedule with a 20 knot gait.

May Make Six Weekly Trips.

[Special Dispatch to The Call]
SAN PEDRO, Dec. 21. — The big passenger steamer Harvard will be ready to go into commission Friday and will be in command of Captain R. Jepsen, recently in command of the steamer Governor.

Captain Harry Goodall will remain at this port to supervise the traffic at this end of the line and will have as his chief of staff Henry Speyer, who came out from New York as first officer on the Harvard. Speyer was first officer, of the steamer Roanoke when that vessel first began to run to this harbor.

It is said that if passenger and freight traffic develops as is expected the Yale and Harvard will each make six trips a week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter #4 -- April 23, 2011

Happy Easter, everyone. I took this photo of Stella Pilgrim's Good Shepherd statue at Good Shepherd Church on 12-June-2010.

Easter Vigil -- April 23, 2011

Today we went to Mazzetti's Bakery and picked up some Easter goodies. Relatives were visiting from out of town. It was raining when we went to Easter Vigil. I took this photo last year, when the weather was nicer, on our way to Easter Vigil. I handed out candles before mass. It was a nice ceremony tonight.

Yesterday we were sad to learn that Patricia Volan, Principal of Good Shepherd School for many years, is retiring at the end of the school year. She has done great things for the school.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pulp #23 -- April 22, 2011

FBI agents Klaw, Kerrigan and Murdoch were the Suicide Squad in Ace G-Man Stories from 1939 to 1943. They managed to survive a series of suicide missions. Their methods were not delicate. The image is from Phil Stephensen-Payne's wonderful Galactic Central (

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Presidential Motorcade -- April 21, 2011

Tuesday night I read in the paper that President Obama was coming to town. As I walked to work on Wednesday, I saw bundles of barriers staged along Mission. In the afternoon, the police closed off Howard at Third. He was going to stay up the street at the Intercontinental. This morning, he was going to a breakfast function at the Saint Regis, at Third and Mission. When I got off BART, there was a group of protesters at Third and Market.

Before nine, we saw that Howard had been blocked again at Third, and that Third had been blocked at Folsom. I surmised that the President might come the wrong way down Howard. This proved to be true. He is in the second limousine, visible between two light poles in the photo.

I had a meeting at ten, so didn't get to see him leave.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Comic Book #4 -- April 20, 2011

I have mentioned it before, but I always enjoy seeing the Axis leaders get their comeuppance. One of the most famous examples occurs on the cover of the March, 1940 Captain America Number 1. I thought this was appropriate, considering today's birthday. The image comes from a wonderful blog, Hitler Getting Punched (

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Slapstick #8 -- April 19, 2011

"With Mr. Charles Chapin as Archibald Binks, the inebriate." Charlie Chaplin made his first visits to America as a member of Fred Karno's pantomime company. Alf Reeves later worked closely with Chaplin on his movies. "Ladies' Night in a London Club" sounds like a variation on "The Mumming Birds," in which Chaplin played a drunk who repeatedly interrupted a variety show.

The ad, from his second US tour, comes from the 14-June-1913 Washington Times. I wish the photo had scanned more clearly.

Later that year, Chaplin signed a contract with Mack Sennett's Keystone company to go into the movies. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Note that Sunday, an out-of-town baseball game will be presented on a board in the theater.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fire and Earthquake Anniversary #4 -- April 18, 2011

The are expecting only one survivor this year.

There was a 3.8 earthquake south of Pacifica in the afternoon. I didn't feel it, but my daughter reported that the windows rattled sharply in Daly City.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Giants World Champions -- April 16, 2011

Yesterday at lunchtime I walked by the ballpark and took a photo of the wall near the Left O'Doul gate, where the Giants record various records. This one lists the teams' World Series wins, against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1905, the Yankees in 1921 and 1922, the Washington Senators in 1933, the Cleveland Indians in 1954 and the Texas Rangers in 2010.

Today we went to Palm Sunday mass at 5pm.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Door #9 -- April 15, 2011

The Ross Building on Montgomery Street is on the site of the Ross House, San Francisco's finest hotel before the Palace opened down the street in 1875.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Baseball Card #1 -- April 14, 2011

Many early Japanese baseball cards were printed on thick cardboard and used to play menko, a game where a player throws down a card to try to flip his opponent's card.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alley #18 -- April 13, 2011

Ewer Place extends west from Mason on a steep block between Sacramento and Clay Streets.

We had a brief burst of heavy rain this morning. Then it cleared up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Civil War 150 -- April 12, 2011

On the morning of 12-April-1861, Confederate forces commanded by Brigadier General PGT Beauregard started bombarding Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, where Major Robert Anderson and his men had held out since December. The Confederates started firing before a relief expedition tried to resupply and reinforce the fort. Anderson's small force, with a limited supply of shot and powder, could not offer much resistance. Anderson surrendered the fort on 14-April-1861, saving the fort's flag, which he was able to raise with his own hands during a ceremony four years later, on 14-April-1865.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sidney Lumet, RIP -- April 11, 2011

I had forgotten what a great variety of movies that Sidney Lumet had directed. Here is Henry Fonda playing the US President in Fail Safe. The Wiz is a movie as different from Fail Safe as a movie can be. Then there are Serpico, The Pawnbroker, Network, Long Day's Journey Into Night. That's a pretty good track record.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Giants World Series Ring Ceremony -- April 10, 2011

Before yesterday's game, the Giants had a World Series ring ceremony. Mike Murphy got the first one, then other clubhouse men and the coaches. Each player received a ring, then the Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie MCovey, Gaylord Perry and Orlando Cepeda. Juan Marichal and Monte Irvin will get theirs later. The broadcasters received rings during the game.

The broadcasters mentioned that the president of the Hall of Fame had brought items given by the Giants for each of their previous World Series wins. He had a 1905 pin that belonged to Turkey Mike Donlin, a 1911 watch fob, and a 1921 medal. The 1922 ring, seen above, was the first given to World Series Champions. There were also rings from 1933 and 1954.

The Giants played a stressful game and finally won on a two-run hit with two outs in the ninth.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rogier van der Weyden -- April 9, 2011

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde was born in Nymegen, Holland in 1813. He went on to live a remarkable life of achievement in the sciences and the arts. He died in America in 1895. He wrote the articles which gave this blog its name.

In Part 6 of his memoir, Reminiscences of an Active Life (, he says "The old master Roger Van der Weyde is one of the ancestors of the family."

Rogier van der Weyden was a Fifteenth Century painter in the Netherlands. With Easter coming, I thought it was suitable to include Rogier's painting "The Descent From the Cross," which is currently in the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid. The figures display more emotion than I am accustomed to seeing in such an early Northern Renaissance painting. Mary, the Mother of Jesus swoons at the foot of the cross.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Giants Home Opener #2 -- April 8, 2011

At lunchtime I took a walk towards the ballpark. There were lots of people. I saw a couple of airplanes towing large signs. Several people were selling non-approved shirts and hats. One guys saw me walking back towards to office and said "Change your mind?" I was on a conference call when the F-15s flew by.

When I left the office, I checked the score on my Blackberry. The Giants were ahead 3-1 in the top of the seventh. When BART popped out where I could check again, they were ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth and Wilson was pitching. Shortly after I left the BART station, he let the Cardinals go ahead. The Giants tied it in the bottom of the ninth, and finally won in the 12th.

I reminded me of last year's home opener.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nickname #1 -- April 7, 2010

Newly elected Mayor of San Francisco, James Rolph, Jr, Sunny Jim, poses with his long-suffering wife, Annie, in an image from the 27-September-1911 San Francisco Call. Sunny Jim, a bon vivant, would be elected to ten two-year terms as mayor. During his administration, many important public works came to fruition, including the Hetch Hetchy water system and the Twin Peaks and Sunset Tunnels for the Municipal Railway. He left to become Governor of California, but died in office.

He gave money to school kids, rides to anyone who needed them, especially pretty girls, and completely ignored Prohibition.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Going-Away Lunch -- April 6, 2011

Today we had a going-away lunch for a cooworker. We're going to miss him, but he's leaving for a good opportunity in another area of the company. We went to the Osha Thai on Third Street. I had Pad Thai and Leechee Ice Tea. I had never had Leechee Ice Tea. It was good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Layover -- April 5, 2010

I got to take a walk at lunch time today. I found double-ended PCC 1010 in Muni Blue and Gold colors and Ventotto 1815 from Milano laying over by the Ferry Building. The wind was rising and it became cloudy later.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Train Station #33 -- April 4, 2011

The Southern Pacific opened its Sixteenth Street Station in Oakland in 1912. It is currently in very poor condition. This is from the May, 1914 Pacific Service Magazine, published by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Firehouse #42 -- April 3, 2011

Company 16 is on Greenwich between Steiner and Fillmore. I like the red paint. I took the photo on 22-March-2010.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Magic #4 -- April 2, 2011

Harry Houdini was a pioneer in escapology. He went to cities and invited challenges from jailers and sailors and employees of various businesses. In this ad "HOUDINI ACCEPS" a challenge from the employees of the Bon Marche Store, who will build a packing case. I'd like to see "Fred's Monkey Actors."

The ad is from the 18-September-1907 Los Angeles Herald. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Icarus of Twentieth Century -- April 1, 2011

From the 27-October-1911 San Francisco Golden Gate Gazette.

Icarus of Twentieth Century Follows the Wake of the Hawk

Student of Aeronautics Has Touched the Sky

[Special Dispatch to The Gazette]

SAN JOSE. Oct. 26. -— The Wright brothers are not the only students of aviation who believe that man will eventually soar as easily as the buzzard high above the earth.

Long before Wilbur Wright announced that his brothers were experimenting with a motorless aeroplane, Capt. George H. Schoedsack of this city, originator of the rolling lint brush, devised a pair of wings patterned after those of the hawk. These are strapped to the: body, with a corset-like arrangement and by an ingenious system, of pulleys the wearer is able to exert all of the strength of his arms and legs into the flapping of the wings.

Schoedsack has tried hops from small elevations and has worked out balance and other problems. This Saturday at Noon he will attempt a more ambitious flight from the 21st floor of the Gazette Building at Third and Market Streets. The public is invited to observe his experiment.