Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 -- December 31, 2012

The Giants won the World Series.  I did not have high hopes when closer Brian Wilson had to undergo his second Tommy John surgery in April, and outfielder Melky Cabrera, their most consistent hitter, got suspended in August.  

The Occupy Movement has not been as active this year, but has carried on in many places.  The rebellion in Syria has grown.

I have enjoyed the regular monthly series. 

In January I wrote about the latest Treasures set from the National Film Preservation Foundation, Treasures From the American Film Archives, The West.  I participated in a 2010 blogathon which raised money to preserve two of the short films in the set.  I did my small part for the Internet Strike. 

In February I stopped the monthly Benny Bufano series.  I will pick it up again on an irregular basis as I photograph more of his sculptures.  We celebrated the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.  San Francisco's Old Clam House celebrated its 150th birthday.  SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) broke ground in Petaluma.

In March I started a monthly series of railroad ads.  

In April I posted a week of articles on the Titanic to commemorate the 100th anniversary of her sinking.

In May I participated in the third annual For the Love of Film blogathon: For the Love of Hitchcock.  I did five articles on Hitchcock in movie industry annuals.  We also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

June was an exciting month.  Matt Cain pitched a perfect game against the Houston Astros on 13-June-2012.  This was the first perfect game in the history of the Giants.   Later in the June, the Giants swept the Dodgers in a three-game series.  This was the first time they had done that.

Also in June, I revived a monthly series of photos of classic cars from the 2010 San Francisco International Auto Show.  

On 24-June-2012 I celebrated the fifth anniversary of this blog. 

In July I reached the fifth anniversary of the cat pictures. Three Giants were elected to start on the All Star team, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera.

Also in July I revived the monthly series of pulp magazine and comic book covers.  

In August, during the London Olympics, I posted a series of newspaper articles about Jim Thorpe.  I resumed the Grauman's Chinese series.  I also started a new series of ads for the Oz Film Manufacturing Company.  Caesar's Italian Restaurant closed. 

In September I moved to a new office building.  I miss hearing the sirens from Station One.  I talked to school kids about the topic of the DAR essay contest: unsung heroes of the Revolutionary War.  We celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. 

Also in September, I stopped the monthly door series.  I'll probably make it an irregular series.  I started a short series within the slapstick series to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Keystone. 

In October, the Giants won the World Series, sweeping the Detroit Tigers.  I went to the parade.  BART celebrated its 40th birthday, and we observed the 50th anniversary of the start of Vatican II.  I stopped the monthly alley series.

In November, I was happy to see President Barack Obama get reelected.  Giants catcher Buster Posey was named National League MVP.  I started a new series of ferryboat photos. I attended a festival of historic vehicles that was part of the celebrations leading up to Muni's 100th birthday. 

In December, the San Francisco Municipal Railway celebrated its 100th birthday.  Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck died.  

Among the items in the series on the Van Der Weyde family were a Scientific American obituary of Dr P. H. Van Der Weyde, an obituary of son Nicholas J Van Der Weyde, and photos by his son Henry and his grandson William.  I may reduce the frequency of this series one of these months.

Inspired by the America's Cup trials, I included some images of yachts in the WA Coulter series.  I'll do more in 2013. 

I see I did not mention the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida.  We don't know the whole story, but there is injustice there.  I did mention at least a couple of the terrible mass shootings that have taken place.  The NRA has helpfully suggested that the answer is more guns.  Teachers should be armed.  Firemen should be armed.  Everyone in a movie theater should be armed.  Violence begets violence.  The NRA used to be a good organization that taught responsibility.  It has become an agent of evil. 

The image shows Texas-born actress Florine McKinney, who appeared in many movies including Horse Feathers with the 4 Marx Brothers.  It comes from the wonderful site LucyWho (

Sunday, December 30, 2012

1929 Auburn 8-120 Convertible Coupe -- December 30, 2012

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.

This 1929 Auburn 8-120 Convertible Coupe makes me think of an F Scott Fitzgerald story. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ghost Sign #14 -- December 29, 2013

This may not be a ghost sign, because the Old Ship Saloon has been open at Pacific and Battery since 1851, when it opened in the beached ship Arkansas.  On the other hand, Henry Klee took over in 1897, so he is only on the premises in spirit. 

We took BART to the Embarcadero and walked out Davis to Pacific.  Christmas decorations were being taken down at some buildings.  We walked up Pacific, where I took this photo, to Grant.  We went over to Ross Alley and the Fortune Cookie Factory, which had a line out the door.  We got some cookies for family.  We went to a store on Grant to get a scroll calendar for my mom.  Then we went to the Irish Bank for lunch.  We stopped by Macy's to see the animals in the windows, then took BART back. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

San Francisco Municipal Railway 100 -- December 28, 2012

On 28-December-1912, the A Geary Street line of the San Francisco Municipal Railway began service.  Mayor Sunny Jim Rolph operated the first car from Geary and Kearny.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway was the first significant muncipal transit company in the United States, opening its first electric streetcar line, the A Geary, on 28-December-1912. Muni had been preceeded by the West Seattle Municipal Railway (1900-????) and the Monroe, Louisiana, Municipal Street Railway (1906-present), which is still operating as the Monroe Transit System

Today, in honor of the 100th birthday, Muni is offering free rides to all. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

For the Klondike Trade -- December 27, 2012

From the 25-December-1897 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image to see a larger version. 


Captain Goodall Says Few Suitable Steamers Are for Sale.

He Purchased the Cottage City, Curacoa and Valencia While East.

 Captain Charles Goodall of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company returned from the East yesterday. The company's experience with last season's rush to the Klondike showed them that they could not hope to handle next season's business with the present fleet. Accordingly Captain Goodall accompanied by his son Harry and chief Engineer Lacey of tho Umatilla visited New York and Philadelphia to have a look at the vessels for sale and to purchase whatever ones might be suitable for the Alaskan trade. The Cottage City and the Curacoa were purchased for the Pacific Coast Steamship Company and the Valencia for the Pacific Steam Whaling Company. The Cottage City is now several weeks on her way to San Francisco and the Valencia sailed on the 20th and the Curacoa on the 23d inst. All three steamers called at Baltimore and bring from that port a load of coal for San Francisco.

"There are plenty of steamers for sale in the East," said Captain Goodall, "but very few of them are suitable for trade on this coast.  All the vessels that are of any account are engaged in regular trade and only those that are superannuated are offered for sale.  We looked at dozens of steamers whose engines and boilers were from seventeen to twenty years old and the repairs on them necessary for a voyage around the Horn would cost almost as much as a new ship. The Curacoa, Valencia and Cottage City were the vessels most suited for business on this coast and they were accordingly purchased. The Curacoa has accommodations for thirty-four first-class and about thirty steerage passengers. At the present time she averages ten knots an hour.  On her arrival in San Francisco the Howden system of forced draft will be put in and then we anticipate that the steamer will have no trouble in averaging twelve knots an hour. We have not yet decided whether to put her on the Mexican or Alaskan route. Should she go on the former run her present passenger accommodations would be ample, but should we send her to Alaska additional accommodation would have to be put in. The new steamer Senator now being built by the Union Iron Works was intended for the Mexican trade, but should we decide to put the Curacoa on that route then the Senator will be sent to Alaska.

"The Valencia purchased for the Pacific Steam Whaling Company has a speed of ten and a half knots an hour and accommodation for thirty-six first-class and twenty-five steerage passengers. She will be overhauled and her passenger accommodations completely remodeled and increased. In a measure, she will take the place of the steamer Jeanie, now ice-bound in the Arctic. She will run between here and Copper River, her passengers making their way to Klondike over the Copper River trail. She will also act as a tender to the canneries and will, therefore, be of use after the Klondike season has closed."

The Valencia is a sister steamer to the Caracas, which went ashore at Yaquina Bay shortly after her arrival on
this coast and became a total wreck.  She is in command of Captain Lord, who also brought the Caracas out here from the East. The Pacific Steam Whaling Company have also purchased the Excelsior and chartered the Alliance for the St. Michael trade.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #66 -- December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day. 

I took this photo today. 

Yesterday we encountered heavy rain as we drove around to visit family. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas #6 -- December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, everyone. Peace on Earth and goodwill to men (women, and children).

Rube Goldberg's "Foolish Questions No 2,448,589" comes from the 25-December-1912 San Francisco Call.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve #2 -- December 24, 2012

Actress Clara Bow prepares her Christmas gifts.  I love the glasses.  The image is from the wonderful site LucyWho:

There was a big storm yesterday.  Our power went out in the early afternoon.

Today it was sunny, but not warm.  There were not many people on BART in the morning.  The office was quiet.  My new manager let us leave at Noon.  BART was busier on the way home.  I wrapped more presents.

We went to 5 o'clock mass at Good Shepherd.   There were lots of people.  Father Jess talked about his recent trip to the Holy Land and how it didn't do much for him till he put the commercialism out of his mind. 

When we got home, I found a jury duty summons in the mail. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Number -- December 23, 2012

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936.  Here is the cover of their 05-December-1930 Christmas Number. I like the dog.

The image comes from (  

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Storm Clouds -- December 22, 2012

There was a strong wind all night.  It rained during the morning.  The rain stopped in the afternoon, so we drove to Half Moon Bay, had lunch, and did some shopping.  I'm going to miss driving along Devils' Slide.  After we got home, there was hail. 

I took the photo on our way to 5 o'clock mass at Good Shepherd.  Father Jess talked about the Archdiocesan Appeal, and how we still need $11,000. 

We had dinner at Guerrero's. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Comic Book #19 -- December 21, 2012

 Superman gives Santa Claus a helping hand on the cover of Action Comics #105, February, 1947.   

The image is from the wonderful site CoverBrowser (

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grauman's Chinese #21 -- December 20, 2012

In July, 2012 we paid a return visit to Hollywood and Grauman's Chinese Theater.  Sid Grauman was a San Francisco showman who came to Los Angeles and built three major houses, the Million Dollar, the Egyptian, and the Chinese. The theater has hosted many film premieres, but is most famous for the hand and footprints (and hoofprints and nose prints and other types of prints) in the forecourt.

Child actress Shirley Temple left her hand and footprints on 14-March-1935.  The next month she would turn  seven.  Immediately above her is fellow child star Freddie Bartholomew and to his left is Jane Withers, who also acted when she was a child.  Shirley Temple went on to serve as a diplomat. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pulp #38 -- December 19, 2012

The Spicy pulps from Culture Publications, Spicy Adventure, Spicy Detective, Spicy Mystery and Spicy Western, were too intellectual for some people, but they remained popular for several years. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Greatest Comedy Ever Seen -- December 18, 2012

This year we mark the 100th anniversary of the Keystone company.  Here is an ad for an early Keystone  release, a full reel of "Stolen Glory," from the 12-October-1912 Moving Picture World.Here is an example of the Keystone people taking advantage of an actual event, the GAR parade, to capture a big crowd scene. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Tree is Up #3 -- December 17, 2012

We got the tree up on Saturday but it took me till tonight to get the train set up.  The pink candle got lit at mass yesterday. 

I took the day off today and did some Christmas shopping, including buying a new stove.  Ours stopped working on Sunday. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Waateekaa Decorated for Christmas -- December 16, 2012

I took this photo of the Bechtel Family Museum decorated for Christmas on 28-November-2012.  The Bechtel family lived in a railroad car, the WaaTeeKaa, at remote job sites in the 1920s. This car, originally from the Chicago, Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha, was restored to externally resemble the WaaTeeKaa as a gift to Steve Bechtel, Senior and his wife Laura in 1988.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Patchwork Girl of Oz #3 -- December 14, 2012

"The new Plant of the Oz Film Company, conceded to be the most completely equipped and best appointed in California if not in America."

The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, located in Los Angeles, was formed in 1914 to produce movies based on stories by L Frank Baum, the creator of The Wizard of Oz.  The company made some movies, but was not a financial success. The ad is from the 11-July-1914 edition of Moving Picture World. It includes an image of their studio, on "Santa Monica Boulevard from Gower to Lodi streets."  Pierre Couderc, "direct from the Folies-Bergere," played the lead role in their first feature, The Patchwork Girl of Oz. He went on to write and direct movies.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

There was a shooting rampage in a Connecticut grammar school. This followed a rampage in an Oregon shopping mall and a massacre in a Colorado movie theater. Some people say this is not the time to "politicize" an event like this. If not now, when are we supposed to talk about how easy it is for unbalanced people to get guns and ammunition?  When are we going to address the issue of caring for people with mental illnesses? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nickname #21 -- December 13, 2012

This item is adapted from a 26-November-2010 post. 

E-M-F (Everitt-Metzger-Flanders) was an American automobile manufacturer that ran into quality-control problems. Just as FIAT stood for "Fix It Again, Tony," E-M-F was said to stand for "Every Morning Fix It." Studebaker took over in 1910 and continued to sell E-M-F cars until 1912. This story, from the 16-November-1910 San Francisco Call, talks about a stock E-M-F Model 30, nicknamed Polar Bear, that set a class record in Atlanta.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ferry Peralta -- December 12, 2012

Alameda/Oakland ferry Peralta backing out of Ferry Building Gate E on 10-December-2001.  I was surprised when they named the Peralta, because that had been the name of a Key System ferry which had been cursed with bad luck.  After the fireproof boat burned, it was rebuilt into streamlined ferry Kalakala which had a long career on Puget Sound.  The new Peralta has had a fairly quiet career. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Only Line -- December 11, 2012

This ad, from Railway Agent, February 1899, touts the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, one of America's oldest, as "the only line to Eastern cities via Washington."  I have always enjoyed reading about the early history of the B&O. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

I. B. Woodbury's Ballad Entertainment -- December 10, 2012

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. This item about a musical performance is from the 17-October-1850 New-York Daily Tribune.  He was not from Germany.  The image comes from the February, 1893 issue of Manufacturer and Builder.

Musical. -- I. B. Woodbury's Ballad Entertainment takes place this evening at Rutgers' Institute, Madison st. Mr Vander Weyde, pianist and composer, from Germany, will assist in the performances.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Firehouse #62 -- December 9, 2012

Daly City Fire Station 91 sits across Lake Merced Boulevard from Westlake Joe's.  The station was built in 1952.  I took the photo on Christmas Day, 2011. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Playing Tourist #5 -- December 8, 2013

Today we played tourist. I had some one-day Muni passes that we needed to use by the end of the year.  We parked at Daly City BART and rode to the Embarcadero.  We stopped at the Hyatt Regency to look at the Christmas village in the central fountain.  We caught a California Street cable car whose decorations were sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony.  We got off at Taylor and found that a concert was about to start at Grace Cathedral, so we moved on.  Huntington Park was not decorated.  I guess it has not been since a friend retired.  We went to the lobby of the Fairmont and looked at the Christmas tree and the giant gingerbread house. 

We walked down Mason to the cable car barn.  This was the first time I had seen the new Chinatown Recreation Center completed.  It looks nice.  We liked the lions sitting in one window.  In the barn, we saw that the Powell Street cable was stopped.  A group of shopmen was splicing the cable.  It was interesting to watch.  We had a chat with Jose Godoy, who was excited about a new cable car book and a patch he had designed to celebrate Muni's centennial. 

We caught a Powell-Mason car out to Bay and Taylor, were I took this photo of car 16, whose decorations were sponsored by Ghirardelli Chocolate.  We had pumpkin pancakes at the IHOP.  We walked along Fishermans' Wharf, which was very crowded.  The crab smelled good. 

We got in line for a Powell-Hyde car at Hyde and Beach.  We waited about 45 minutes, but the view was nice.  We got on a car sponsored by the Buena Vista.  As we waited to leave, someone came on the radio to plead for traffic control around Union Square.  The Powell Street cable had been repaired, so we made it all the way to Post before traffic stopped completely.  We looked at the animals in the windows at Macy's, then got back on BART. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor Day #3 -- December 7, 2012

71 years ago a sneak attack by forces of the Japanese Empire sank much of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in the territory of Hawaii. The Japanese Empire came to regret doing this.

Among the ships sunk was the battleship Oklahoma, shown here in a 1930s postcard view passing Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.  USS Oklamoma (BB-37) was commissioned in 1916.  U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. Photo #: NH 84546-KN

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Train Station #54 -- December 6, 2012

The train station in San Luis Obispo was built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1942.  It now serves Amtrak trains 11 and 14 (Coast Starlight) and Pacific Surfliner.  It is the northern terminal for the Surfliner from San Diego.  I took the photo during our visit in July. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck, RIP -- December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck, a native of the Bay Area, died.  I remember seeing him and the quartet on television.  They were integrated, which was remarkable, and they looked like accountants, but they made wonderful music.  When I heard them on KJAZ or elsewhere, I knew there was something different about them.  This is sad news. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Master Mystery -- December 4, 2012

Escapologist Harry Houdini wanted to expand his exposure to the public, so he began to appear in movies starting in 1918 with the serial The Master Mystery.  I recently got to see it on a DVD set from Kino.  It doesn't make much sense, but this is typical of serial plots.  I liked the robot, Q the Automaton.  Its gang was called the Emissaries of the Automaton. Great name. William Desmond, star of the accompanying feature, was an early cowboy actor.

The ad is from the 21-October-1919 Bemidji Daily Pioneer.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wings -- December 3, 2012

 This ad, from the November, 1928 Moving Picture Magazine,  touts Paramount's production of Wings, directed by Wild Bill Wellman, who had flown fighter planes in World War One.  I first saw it at the Avenue Theater, accompanied live on the Mighty Wurlitzer by Bob Vaughn.  The flying scenes are wonderful.  Clara Bow and Jobyna Ralston were the feminine leads.  Gary Cooper had a small part which led to bigger things.  The ad mentions that Wings was an early movie with a sound track of music and sound effects. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Enterprise Finished With Engines -- December 2, 2012

USS Enterprise, CVN-65, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, retired yesterday.  I remember when she was stationed at the Alameda Naval Air Station.  I used to watch her sail through the Golden Gate. 

This photo shows Enterprise sailing towards the Golden Gate Bridge in 1974.  She had to wait till low tiede to clear the deck of the bridge.  U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tanforan and Rain -- December 1, 2012

This morning we were going to go downtown but it was raining.  We went to Tanforan and did some shopping.  The rain had stopped by the time we got home, but started again much harder when we left for 5 o'clock mass.  It was the monthly youth mass.  Kids did the collection.  We had dinner at L&L Hawaiin Barbeque. 

The photo of actress Kathryn Crawford, who appeared in late silents and early talkies and who later became an interior decorator, is from the wonderful site LucyWho (