Monday, September 30, 2013

Waterless Knox #17 -- September 30, 2013

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 ad, for Knox autos, is from Country Life, July, 1907.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

It says the Knox "will take you anywhere you want to go, as fast as you dare drive." 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Giants 2013 -- September 29, 2013

The Giants defeated the Padres today in a game with a wild finish, to secure third place in the National League West.  The Giants finished with a record of 76 and 86.  Barry Zito pitched to one batter, in what was probably his last appearance as a Giant, and perhaps the last in his career.  The Giants signed Hunter Pence, but have not yet signed Tim Lincecum. 

It was an interesting season.  There were a lot of injuries.  The one to Angel Pagan especially hurt the team.  They have played much better since he returned.  Tim Lincecum threw a no-hitter and Yusmeiro Petit almost threw a perfect game. 

I took the photo on 01-July-2007. It shows Tim Lincecum on the mound, with second baseman Ray Durham and first baseman Ryan Klesko.

Clara Bow #8 - September 29, 2013

Clara Bow and her dog Duke, from the November, 1930 New Movie Magazine

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fog Fest 2013 -- September 28, 2013

Today we went to the Pacifica Fog Fest.  We had not gone for a while.  My wife worked at the booth for Good Shepherd School and marched in the parade.  I took photos, like this one of one of the Pacifica Historical Society's cars, with a model of the Little Brown Church on the roof.  There were lots of kids. 

After the parade, I went to the real Little Brown Church to see the premiere of the Pacifica Historical Museum.  Downstairs, they had a book sale and refreshments.  In the room upstairs, they had two exhibits, on the tunnel and on surfing. 

Then I walked around and visited the Good Shepherd booth.  The kid in the Blazer the Dolphin mascot costume got a lot of attention. 

Le Blon and Marius in Thomas Vanderbilt Racer -- Septembe 28, 2013

Driver Hubert Le Blon and his riding mechanic Marius Amiel pose in their American Thomas auto before the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race.  They did not finish the race.  Le Blon went on to become an aviator and died in a crash in 1910 in Spain. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Little Brown Church -- September 27, 2013

This plaque, placed by E Clampus Vitus, stands in front of the Little Brown Church in Pacifica.  The church was built by the Presbyterians in 1910, to serve the area's growing population after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.  It served as Pacifica's police station from 1983 to 2003.  Now the Pacifica Historical Society is raising funds to make it into a city museum.

Tim Lincecum beat the Dodgers last night, in what may have been his last start as a Giant.

Tonight I was happy to see Hunter Pence win the 2013 Willie McCovey Award. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

1930 Bucciali TAV 8 Roadster -- September 26, 2013

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June to drool over their collection of classic autos.  This 1930 Bucciali TAV (Traction Avant/Front Wheel Drive) 8 Roadster may be the only surviving Bucciali.  Brothers Paul-Albert and Angelo built only 36 cars, but built each to a very high standard.  The red streaks visible along the sides of the engine compartment are storks, inspired by Paul's flying in the French Escadrille les Cigognes (Storks) during World War One.

Last night Barry Zito pitched his last game for the Giants and got the win against the Dodgers.  Some time after the game, a Dodgers fan got stabbed to death at Third and Harrison.  That is terrible.  We stopped going to Dodgers games while the Giants were still at Candlestick.  There are too many amateurs.

Tonight Tim Lincecum may be pitching his last game for the Giants. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

USA Wins America's Cup -- September 25, 2013

Oracle Team USA made an improbable comeback to defend America's Cup against New Zealand.  USA started out two races in the hole as a penalty, so they had to defeat New Zealand 11 times to win 9-8.  I think USA won 8 in a row to retain the Cup.  The 19 races were the longest series yet in a competition that goes back to 1851.  The boats were wonders of technology, but I hope they go with something smaller and cheaper next time so there will be a better field of competitors.

The image is by William A Coulter, and shows the defender Columbia and challenger Shamrock from the 1899 Cup races.  It is from the 21-October-1899 San Francisco Call:

It's Hard Work Being a Cat #75 -- September 25, 2013

I took the photo on 06-October-2012. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Richard Gordon in the Role of Sherlock Holmes -- September 24, 2013

Actor Richard Gordon played Sherlock Holmes on the NBC Network in 1930, sponsored by George Washington Coffee.  From the 12-June-1931 Radio Dial

Herb Jeffries 100 -- September 24, 2013

Herb Jeffries, the Bronze Buckaroo, sang with Duke Ellington and Earl Hines  and starred in a series of western "race movies."  Some sources claim that he was a white man who passed as black, while others claim that his Sicilian father was of partly Ethiopian descent. Does it matter? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

John Bunny as Mister Pickwick -- September 23, 2013

John Bunny was a popular performer in early Vitagraph comedies like "A Cure for Pokeritis" (1912), "Hearts and Diamonds" (1914) and "The Pickwick Papers" (1913). He was born (on 21-September-1863) to play Charles Dickens' Mr Pickwick. Bunny died in 1915 and the world mourned.  Here is a detail from a Vitagraph ad in the 20-July-1912 Moving Picture World.  Be sure to click on the image to see the larger version. 

Comic Book #27 -- September 23, 2013

The Blue Beetle has existed in various incarnations, with a variety of costumes, origins and powers, since 1939.  I usually avoided Charlton comics, but I bought the issue of Captain Atom where Ted Kord became the Blue Beetle. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grauman's Chinese #30 -- September 22, 2013

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.

 Sid Grauman himself left his hand and footprints on 24-January-1946.

The Giants played their first series at new Yankee Stadium.  Today they won on Mariano Rivera Day.  Andy Pettite started his last game.  Yusmeiro Petit started for the Giants and gave up only one run.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pulp #47 -- September 21, 2013

The cover of the September, 1938 All-America Sports Magazine. With the playoffs coming soon, there is some controversy in our house.  The Giants are out and the Dodgers are in.  Some people don't want to watch.

The Giants are playing their first series at the new Yankee Stadium.  They have lost the first two games. 

It rained hard this morning. 

The image is from a wonderful site called Cover Browser:

John Bunny 150 -- September 21, 2013

John Bunny was a popular performer in early Vitagraph comedies like "A Cure for Pokeritis" (1912), "Hearts and Diamonds" (1914) and "The Pickwick Papers" (1913). He was born (on 21-September-1863) to play Mr Pickwick. Bunny died in 1915 and the world mourned.  Here is a detail from a Vitagraph ad in the 23-May-1914 Moving Picture World.  Be sure to click on the image to see the larger version.  Note his tooth.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I'll Make My Hit With the Laughs I Give -- September 20, 2013

After he left Mack Sennett, Harry Langdon's first feature on a lucrative First National contract was Tramp Tramp Tramp, the story of cross-country walking race.

 This ad is from the 10-March-1926 Film Daily. It is one of a series of cross-country ads to parallel the race. Here he arrives in Des Moines and stands among the corn. Next stop, Omaha.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nickname #29 -- September 19, 2013

Benny Goodman, the King of Swing, grew up in Chicago, where he listened to jazz musicians who had emigrated from New Orleans and learned to play the clarinet.  He made his professional debut before he started high school.  He played with Bix Beiderbecke and other jazz pioneers.  He moved to New York and played for many bands and in many recording sessions.  When he formed a big band, he hired bandleader Fletcher Henderson to do his arrangements.  His quartet was integrated.  The big band and the small groups became great successes.  They played a concert at Carnegie Hall.  I love the recording of "Sing Sing Sing" from the concert, with Gene Krupa, Harry James and Jess Stacy.  The small groups, with Teddy Wildon, Lionel Hampton and later Charlie Christian, were pioneering examples of mixed-race groups.  Many of his musicians resented his strictness as a band leader and his use of the Death Ray, a nasty look, but his bands were always good. 

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day -- September 19, 2013

For a long time, the movies of Marion Davies were hard to find for a long time, and people got her mixed up with the character Susan Alexander in Citizen Kane. Actually, Davies was a talented actress. I have enjoyed all the movies in which I have seen her. I think she is dressed as a pirate in this image. 

Today is also the 100th birthday of actress Frances Farmer.  She is more famous for her difficult life than for her acting.  I made sure to choose a photo where she looked happy. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Be Sure to See the Whimsical Woozy -- September 18, 2013

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. This ad is from the 26-September-1914 edition of Moving Picture World.  It refers to their first two movies, The Patchwork Girl of Oz and The Magic Cloak of Oz.I like the picture of the Woozy.  It mentions that The Patchwork Girl of Oz "Will be released through the Paramount program on September 28, 1914." 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

1010 at the Embarcadero -- September 17, 2013

Double-ended PCC 1010 in Muni Blue and Gold colors, rolls into the Ferry Building station, headed towards Market Street.  I took the photo on 23-August-2013. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ferries at the Ballpark -- September 16, 2013

In July, we attended a doubleheader at Pac Bell Park.  The Giants split it with the Reds.  Here are a Golden Gate Spalding ferry and an Alameda-Oakland ferry. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Key to All California -- September 15, 2013

Southern Pacific Lines calls itself the Key to All California in this ad from the 06-September-1923 Variety.  "The Southern Pacific Lines are most intimately associated with California than any other railroad system."  The ad lists their major routes, the Sunset Route across the Southwest, the Golden State Route from the midwest to the Southwest, the American Canyon Route, which is a name I don't remember seeing before for the Overland Route, and the Shasta Route through Northern California to the Pacific Northwest. 

The Giants won again, to take 3 out of 4 in the series against the Dodgers.  

Lipton's Attempt to Lift the Cup Has Failed -- September 15, 2013

British yachtsman Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of the tea company, tried to win the America's Cup five times between 1899 and 1930, always with a boat named Shamrock.  He never won, but he was widely respected for his sportsmanship.  This article about the failure of his first challenge in 1899 is from the the 21-October-1899 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.  Columbia would defend and win again in 1901. 


In "Shamrock Weather" the America's Trophy Defender Again 

Sails Away From the Irish Challenger.

NEW YORK, Oct. 20.— Put away the cup and turn the key: cast it away even, for there will be time enough to mold another before the lock need be turned again. Twine garlands around the trophy, but scatter about it ashes, for once more it is an urn for ashes for hope, not the chalice of victory which Sir Thomas Lipton had hoped to lift.

Beaten at every point of sailing and in every sort of weather, there can be no further doubt that the Shamrock is not in the Columbia's class. One lone doubt that remains is whether there is any such thing as "Shamrock weather." That which was apportioned to her to-day was popularly regarded as the kind in which the broad-beamed Irish cutter would show to greater advantage than her narrow-waisted competitor. But from the start to finish, throughout the wild dance to the outer mark, and throughout the dipping and rearing spray-beaten thresh to windward there never was a time that superiority of the Herreshoff racer was not apparent.

"We might as well wait until Herreshoff retires from yacht-building," said a discouraged British yachtsman as he closed up his binoculars and placed them in their case. "There seems to be no use in our building challengers so long as he continues to build defenders."

Clean-cut as was this victory of to-day, it was even more glorious as a spectacle.  Imagine two superb racing yachts swaying and staggering before a wind which had the weight of half a gale in it, their swollen sails threatening each moment to bid farewell to creaking boom and buckling spar. Picture, if you can, the stream of foam which came boiling about the flying yachts as, driving before the wind and sea, they. rose buoyantly to the swells to sink stern first into the sloping valleys that came racing after them. Then home again with flat; sails, as taut as drumheads and lee scuppers knee deep in foam, one straining spar and shroud and sail and stay in a terrific effort to keep the vantage gained, the other as desperately striving to overcome the lead.  It was well worth the ten misspent days the excursionists had squandered on these other lifeless efforts "at racing, and which proved to be little more than days of fog and calm and drift.

Straight out of the north a lively wind was blowing when the two yachts arrived off the lightship. The wind had a twenty mile-an-hour gait and the Shamrock, as she dipped her green hull into the sea, had a now-or-never look about her. It was wind that Sir Thomas had been looking for, and in it all realized lay the Shamrock's last, long, lingering hope of taking away the cup. In all other sorts of weather she had been weighed and found wanting. It remained to see what she could do in wind of the kind that was blowing to-day.

The start was at the lightship and the course was a fifteen-mile run to leeward and a beat back to the finish line. Both boats were standing to the northward under mainsail and jib when the preparatory gun was fired. The wind was then too brisk for tho yachts to show club topsails, but their working topsails were up in stops and ready for setting. The Shamrock's was sheeted home three minutes after the preparatory gun was heard, the Columbia setting her staysails four minutes later.

At five minutes, to 11 came the warning gun, and the racers headed for the line, both jockeying for position  and neither gaining any decided advantage. The starting gun was fired, and the Shamrock stood across the line showing mainsail, working topsail, jib and staysail. The challenger crossed at 11:00:34. followed one minute and one second later by the defender. The Shamrock lowered her spinnaker to starboard as she crossed the line, but Captain Hogarth did not get it set until full half a minute after the Columbia's went swelling to the wind. On the other hand the Columbia had not set her working topsail, while that of the Shamrock was gradually drawing that vessel away from the Columbia.

Meanwhile the Shamrock's spinnaker was giving trouble, the sail hanging in stops a dozen feet or more from the top-mast head. This advantage was evened by the queer capers which the Columbia's spinnaker cut. The pole seemed to be too light for the great weight of the wind which the sail was carrying, and it frequently tipped at an angle so sharp that it seemed as though the spar would be up-ended. Once it went so high into the air that it looked as though the pole had been broken or that the crew were making efforts to take in sail. Despite all the handicaps of tipping booms and the absence of gaff topsail, the American boat continued to overhaul the Shamrock.  Then the Columbia broke out her topsail, and soon afterward the Shamrock's men were afforded the same old familiar view of the Columbia's stern which they had so often looked upon before.

The wind held strong and true, and the run down the wind was as pretty a yachting scene as was ever witnessed. The excursion fleet toiling along on either beam had all it could do to keep pace with the winged racers. The gallant American was still in the van as the two neared the turning point. The jib which the Shamrock had been carrying had been replaced by the largest in her sail locker, and for a time it seemed as though the Irish cutter would hold her own. but not for long. In spite of the change of canvas, in spite of everything that Captain Hogarth could do, the Columbia steadily drew away from the Irish cutter. Nearing the outer mark both made preparations for turning it. the Columbia taking in her spinnaker as she brought the buoy broad off her starboard bow, the Shamrock doffing hers half a minute later.  Luffing around the point, the Columbia stood away on the starboard tack, followed seventeen seconds later by the closely pursuing Shamrock.

The road home was the road of the rough, and immediately after heading into the wind both yachts began a lively dance over the tumbling seas. The defender was under mainsail, jib and staysail. The Shamrock, under the same sail, carried a working topsail in addition. She took that in at 12:34. the strain being too great for her rigging. Over the decks of both cutters the spray flew in sheets, and the lower edges of their mainsails were kept dark with flying clouds of spray.

No need to tell here of how or when the two boats tacked or how often they went about in thru long thresh back to the finish line. Sufficient to say that whenever one altered her course the other followed.  Tacks were frequent and at irregular intervals, but each time the Shamrock spilled the wind out of her sails, spun around upon her heels and filled on the other tack her crew saw the Columbia still farther in the lead.

The Columbia gradually widened the gap. steadily outfooting and outpointing the Shamrock, and despite that vessel's brave showing it became apparent that she was not to win. This became so evident as the two neared the finish line that the conclusion of the contest was robbed of all the sensational features which mark a closely contested event.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

At the Grove -- September 14, 2013

Pacific Theaters at the Grove is part of the Los Angeles Farmers Market Complex.  The battery-powered tram runs out front.  I took the photo during our visit in July, 2013. 

The Giants beat the Dodgers 19-3, setting the record for most runs scored at Dodger Stadium by any team.  The Dodgers will not be able to clinch the division while the Giants are there.  

Columbia Has a "Walkover" -- September 14, 2013

British yachtsman Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of the tea company, tried to win the America's Cup five times between 1899 and 1930, always with a boat named Shamrock.  He never won, but he was widely respected for his sportsmanship.  This article about his first challenge in 1899 is from the the 18-October-1899 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.  Guglielmo Marconi's use of radio to report the results to the shore is interesting. 


NEW YORK, Oct. 17.— Another victory for Columbia! But public interest will hardly survive another triumph of the sort. It lapsed with the fall of the challenger's topmast, and though a part of the excursion fleet followed the Columbia in her solitary ramble around the triangular course there were few to grow enthusiastic over a victory which accident had rendered certain. . Nor was there any applause for the Columbia when after that mishap to the Shamrock the defender continued upon her course. "Magnificent, but it is not war," was a soldier's comment on Balaklava. Mr. Iselin was plainly within his rights when he rounded out the run and claimed the victory, for Sir Thomas Lipton is signatory to an agreement wherein it is stipulated that in case of accident to either yacht the other shall continue on her course and be credited with a race should she finish. There is a deep-seated instinct which protests against the acceptance of victory through the unsuspected weakness of a piece of rigging worn by a rival craft. The hope was freely expressed that the Columbia would not claim and would not take her rights. But when it was seen that there was no intent of relinquishing the advantage gained there was a fervent hope, and one freely and frequently expressed, that the wind would die out and thus prevent the winning of a race through the mishap to a rival.

To every one who went out the disappointment: was keen. A fairer yachting day could hardly be imagined. Moreover, it was the sort of day that the Shamrock people have been wishing for, a fresh wind blowing true and a lively sea running before it. The race itself over the triangular course was another feature which attracted many. All previous efforts in this series have been fifteen miles to the windward or leeward route, but the course of to-day was to be over the triangular run, and in the fresh winds and tumbling seas the contest promised to be as thrilling as any ever witnessed in these waters.

In pure gayety of spirit the excursionists cheered and shouted and waved handkerchiefs and hats when the two racers, with boom and spar buckling to the strain of swollen canvas, went storming across the starting line. A more animated yachting picture was never witnessed than that presented by these splendid yachts dashing along the course, the foam dancing in brilliant rainbows about their weather bows, while to leeward the water swept in glassy curves from the clear knife-like stems. Under mainsail, club topsails, jib, baby jib and staysails the two clipped it along, both pointing high and footing so fast that some of the excursion boats had difficulty in keeping pace. But all set out in pursuit of the winged racers, and all were rejoicing in the prospect of, a glorious struggle, when hopes were dashed by the accident to the Shamrock. She was then the focus for all eyes, for to the many it seemed that she. was outfooting the cup defender, and it appeared also that she had reached out far, enough to cross the Columbia's bow.  A number were expecting that she would attempt that maneuver and were watching the challenger with intense interest, when a cry of dismay arose. Bending to the weight of the club topsail the Shamrock's topmast suddenly snapped and fell, precipitating the, sail's spar into a mass of wreckage, which, suspended by its wire rigging, swung to and fro with the movement of the yacht.

The disabled cutter was promptly headed into the wind, and efforts were quickly made to secure the splintered mast and bagging topsail before it had done any injury to the mainsail. The Erin, with Sir Thomas Lipton on board, promptly stood toward her crippled consort, at the same time making signals to the Shamrock's tender, the tugboat Lawrence. That vessel headed for the crippled yacht, and as soon as the wreckage had been secured a tow line was made fast and the two were headed back to port. The Erin followed and as the procession moved silently by the excursion fleet opened up its whistles and all the passengers cheered the unfortunate vessel and her plucky owner. The Erin ranged near to the Shamrock, and Sir Thomas Lipton spoke encouragingly to Captain Hogarth, who seemed to feel the accident very keenly.

To newspaper men Captain Hogarth would not attempt any explanation. All that he cared to say was that he was glad the broken mast had not come down on deck and that he was pleased no one was injured.

Apparently afraid that she would meet with a similar mishap, the skipper of the Columbia immediately after the breaking of the Shamrock's topmast ordered her baby jib taken in.

The Columbia, however, made a fine race of it, plucklly holding on to her club topsail throughout and setting her balloon jib in the final reach for home. Her time was little short of marvelous. She covered the course in 3 hours 37 minutes, the beat ten miles to windward in 1 hour 39 minutes 11 seconds, the reach to the second mark In 53 minutes 59 seconds, and the last leg In I hour 3 minutes 50 seconds.  As she crossed the finish line she let go her head sails and one of the Deer Isle sailors treated the spectators to an exhibition of daring as he climbed out over the peak halliards eighty feet in the air to loose the club topsail.

Mr. Iselin, when seen after the Columbia had run her race and reached her moorings, said that he much regretted the accident. Sir Thomas Upton declared emphatically that the Columbia was entitled to the race, and that Mr. Iselin had a perfect right to claim it. The two defeats have not discouraged him, however. He has another chance and he hopes to make that one count. The Shamrock . was towed to Erie Basin, where necessary repairs will be made.  After the new topmast has been put in place the vessel will be remeasured and will be ready for the contest Thursday.  That is to be the old fifteen miles to windward or leeward and back, and if the Columbia wins the series will have been completed without giving the Shamrock an opportunity to test her merits in her favorite point of sailing over a triangular course.


NEW YORK, Oct. 17.— News of the Shamrock's misfortune in losing her topmast was flashed ashore by Signor Marconi within a few seconds of the accident. While observers on shore endeavored in vain to peer through the haze, and even those on the Mackay-Bennett cable steamer, anchored four miles away, were in doubt as to what had happened, watchers on the Grande Duchesse saw the challenger's spar topple and fall. Before any attempt could be made to clear away the wreckage a bulletin had been sent by wireless telegraphy to the Herald and The Call.

As in Monday's race, and on days when attempts to race had been made, Signor Marconi led with the news. Every feature was reported from the time when the competing yachts began maneuvering for position at the start to the solitary finish of the Columbia. There were many Wall street operators on board, who improved the opportunity to see a yacht race and at the same time keep in touch with ths stock market.

On the way down the bay Signor Marconi tested his apparatus and made the necessary adjustments. When the two yachts approached the starting line their jockeying for positions, the sails they carried and the direction and force of the wind were reported. As the contestants crossed the line nearly abeam the time of the start was flashed ashore. When the torpedo-boat Dupont fired a gun to compel the yacht Vamoose to obey an order to go outside the guard line Signor Marconi alone telegraphed the news ashore. The fact that a boat was lowered and that the Vamoose was taken in charge was also reported. This was one of the many incidents in a day's working of wireless telegraphy.

According to watches held on the Grande Duchesse the accident to the Shamrock happened at 11:20. A minute 40 seconds later a bulletin was posted in front of the Herald and The Call oflices. While the disabled topmast dangled in the air threatening to punch in the Shamrock's mainsail, excursionists crowded about the entrances to the room from which Signor Marconi was sending his reports. Every one was anxious that the outside world should receive the earliest and most complete story of the accident, and knew that it must be sent from the Grande Duchesse. Among other news bulletins received from the shore on the Grande Duchesse was one announcing the report of an alleged battle at Mafeking, with the loss of three hundred lives to the Boers and eighteen to the British.

Returning from Hampton Roads, the cruiser New York and the battleships Massachusetts and Indiana reached this port to-day. The Indiana anchored off Tompkinsville. The New York and Massachusetts cast anchor off Thirty-fifth street, in North River. It has been reported from official sources that the New York and Massachusetts, as soon as Signor Marconi has finished reporting the yacht races for the Herald and The Call, will be equipped by him with wireless telegraphy. An exhaustive test of the system will then be made by the Government by experiments off Sandy Hook.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tom Mix #9 -- September 13, 2013

Tom Mix appears on Radio WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina.  Tom never appeared on the later radio series Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters. He was always portrayed by an actor.

From the December, 1930 Radio Digest

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Children During the American Revolution -- September 12, 2013

Today I went to Good Shepherd School in Pacifica and talked to grades 6-7-8 about Children's Lives During the American Revolution. They are participating in a DAR essay contest on the subject. I talked about how they will be writing a lot of essays in junior high, high school and college, so it important to practice certain skills:
Analyze.  Study the topic/question.  Make sure you understand the words.  Looking up the words you know and use every day might give you an idea of what to write about.  I asked if anyone there was a child.  Then we discussed the definition of "child."
Angle.  I said the person who reads the essay for the DAR might have to read hundreds.  How can you make yours stand out?  Look for a unique angle.
A___.  I said I'd fill that one in later.  After I finished, I said it was "Amuse."  If someone has to read hundreds of essays, they'll remember yours if you find a good story or anecdote to tell.

It was fun, but I am tired. 

Jesse Owens 100 -- September 12, 2013

In 1936 Jesse Owens went to Berlin to represent the United States in the 1936 Olympics.  He taught Hitler and his minions a lesson about racial superiority. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bessie Love #9 -- September 10, 2013

I have always been fascinated by the career of actress Bessie Love.  She was born in Texas.  Her name was Juanita Horton.  Her family moved to Los Angeles and she went to Los Angeles High School.  Looking for work, she met director  DW Griffith and got a small part in Intolerance.  She appeared in movies with William S Hart and Douglas Fairbanks.  She was a 1922 WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) Baby Star.  She played many leading roles, most famously in The Lost World, but never broke through until the talkies came, when she starred in The Broadway Melody.  Her career was hot for a few years, but then tailed off.  She continued to appear in small parts in movies until the early 1980s.

I like this photo, from the March, 1930 New Movie.

Sir Thomas Lipton Again Fails to "Lift" the America's Cup -- September 10, 2013

British yachtsman Sir Thomas Lipton, founder of the tea company, tried to win the America's Cup five times between 1899 and 1930, always with a boat named Shamrock.  He never won, but he was widely respected for his sportsmanship.  This article about his second challenge in 1901 is from the 05-October-1901 San Francisco Call.  The winning defender was the sloop Columbia, which had also won the previous challenge.  

NEW. YORK, Oct. 4.— With victory flags floating from her towering masthead and the ends of her spreaders in honor of her concluding triumph in the cup races of 1901, the gallant sloop Columbia returned to her anchorage to-night under the escort of the entire excursion fleet. She to-day completed her defense of the honored trophy in another stirring race with the Shamrock II over a leeward, and windward race of thirty miles, crossing the finish line two seconds behind her antagonist, but winning on the time allowance conceded,. by the Lipton boat by forty-one seconds.

For the second time she has now successfully foiled the attempt of the Irish knight to wrest from her possession the cup that means the yachting supremacy of the world. And plucky Sir Thomas Lipton, standing on the bridge of the Erin, led his guests in three hearty huzzas for the successful defender.

"She Is the Better Boat." 

"She is the better boat," he said, "and she deserves to be cheered."

The series of races just closed will always be memorable as the closest ever sailed for the cup, and Sir Thomas, although defeated, will go home with the satisfaction of knowing that his golden yacht is the ablest foreign boat that ever crossed the western ocean.

During this series of races not an untoward incident has occurred, and Sir Thomas will return to England far the most popular of all the foreigners who have challenged for the America's trophy.

To-day's race, on paper, was the closest of the series, but because of the flukiness of the wind on the beat home, as a contest of the relative merits of. the yachts, it is not to be compared with the magnificent, truly run and royally fought battles on Saturday and yesterday. The conditions of the race at the start to-day were very similar to those of yesterday.  The wind was strong, and from the shore embroidering the sea with foam and  piling up no swell -- ideal conditions for the challenger.

Every Inch of Canvas Spread.

 The racers were sent away before the wind, each carrying penalty for crossing the line after the handicap gun. No official record is kept of the time after that gun is fired, but the experts wlth stop watches estimated the Columbia's handicap at fifteen seconds and the Shamrock's at .thirty seconds. The contest of the yachts, fleeing before the wind was picturesque but not exciting. The big racers, like gulls with outstretched pinions, had every inch of canvas spread, all their light sails, including bulging spinnakers and balloon jib topsails. Their crews were gathered aft to keep the heads of. the boats up, and thereafter until the outer mark was reached it was merely a question of holding onto all the canvas and letting the wind do the rest.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Columbia beat the Shamrock before the wind last Saturday, the challenger to-day, gained, slowly, but steadily all, the way out and rounded forty-nine seconds before the defender, havirig actually gained one minute and- four seconds. Immediately after, the yachts turned. their noses into the wind for the beat home the breeze moderated and turned fluky. The skippers split tacks, each searching for wind, with the result that first one would get a life and then the other. At one-time the Columbia seemed a mile ahead when a sudden cant of the wind allowed the Shamrock to point nearer, the mark and a mile from home the challenger appeared to be leading by fully half a mile. The talent began to feel nervous, but as the yachts approached the finish the Yankee skipper by some miraculous legerdemain shoved his boat into the light air, like a phantom ship and 100 yards from home the two racers were almost on even terms.  It was a pretty sight and one seldom witnessed when they crossed rail to rail, the white yacht's bowsprit just lapping
the golden boat's mast.

Pandemonium Follows.

The usual pandemonium that attends the final Yankee victory in a cup contest followed. Whistles, sirens, bells, bands and cheers united in a grand chorus of jubilation, and J. P. Morgan's yacht Corsair added to .the terrific din by firing a national salute of twenty-one guns.

After the Columbia had hauled down her sails and set her victory flag the excursion boats crowded alongside to cheer the Yankee sailors and the winning skipper. Nor did they forget Sir Thomas Lipton or his gallant craft. In turn the crowded steamers ran alongside the Shamrock and Erin and the vanquished received almost as much honor as the victor. And thus, with felicitations all around, the twelve series of races for the old cup which the schooner America brought over fifty years ago ended with the best of feeling.

Taking his defeat gamely, Sir Thomas Lipton yet made no attempt to conceal the keenest disappointment when he talked about the races to-night on the Erin.

Sir Thomas' Disappointment.

"I am very much disappointed." he said.  "I thought that within fifteen minutes of the finish that we had won. I was as sure as my life we had won. When I looked around the situation had changed and we had lost. It was a hard blow to be so near winning and then to lose. I should like to have got one race, just by way of consolation. It is a very hard thing to be beaten by a breath— by a few beats of the pulse. It has been a severe strain on me. I have worked so hard for many months now and I am glad it is over. To have won would have been a joy greater than to-day's disappointment.  The Columbia's win to-day was fair and square and honorable. There is nothing to protest if I wanted to protest. In fact, I have a feeling in my heart that if there had been any error in judgment at all it would have been in my favor. If there had been any possibility of choice in the matter I believe the yacht club would have given me the race. Sometimes a man has the better boat, but even having it must have a wee bit of luck to win. I am very grieved indeed, very grieved, and," he added. "I should have liked to have won one race."

Hardly had the Erin's anchors touched bottom when a launch from the yacht Corsair came alongside bearing the regatta committee of the New York Yacht Club. Sir Thomas met them at the head of the gangway and as he shook hands with them individually he said:

"Gentlemen, it was a lair beat. I want to say again that you have treated me with the utmost fairness and courtesy.  You have met every wish of mine, and from my heart I thank you."

Lipton a True Sportsman. 

Commodore Lewis Cass Ledyard, chairman of the New York Yacht Club regatta committee, replied:

"Sir, we have never had a truer sportsman to deal with."

Many of Sir Thomas' guests on board the Erin crowded around. to express their sympathy at his defeat and assured him of the high place he had won in the hearts of all Americans.

"When a. man wins a heart he has won more than a cup," said one of them. There were tears in the Irish Baronet's eyes when he thanked them for their kind words. Said he:

"The words you have spoken touch me more than my defeat to-day. I tried to win the cup and I have done my best.  But better than all that. I have the good wishes of this country."

When asked about his plans for the future Sir Thomas said:

"It is too early to talk about any plans. About the Shamrock I cannot decide yet what I shall do and as to challenging again, it is too soon to think about it."

E. D. .Morgan, the manager of the Columbia, said:

"I am very happy that we won and glad that the strain is over. We certainly had to make a splendid fight for it. We had a splendid captain and a splendid crew."

The Columbia's mainsail was unbent before she came to anchor and soon after dark she was towed to City Island. Before leaving Captain Barr said:

"We did the best we could and they did the best they could and we came out first. That's all."

At the New York Yacht Club to-night Chairman Kane and Secretary Oddie were closely questioned by members regarding the sensational finish. Kane said he had difficulty in timing, the yachts, but was fortunate in sighting them at the proper range. The range was from a small white flag on the committee boat and the mainmast of the Sandy Hook lightship.  Chester Griswold, of the regatta club held the watch that timed the yachts.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Admission Day #4 -- September 9, 2013

We don't hear much about Admission Day anymore. Today is the 163rd anniversary of California being welcomed into the Union. The San Francisco Call published this cartoon one hundred years ago today, 09-September-1913. 

Gish Sisters Have Imperfect Noses -- The Gish Sisters -- September 9, 2013

New York Evening World, December 28, 1922.

"Gish sisters have imperfect noses and their lips are too large."  Jerk.  I would like to see him say that to Dorothy.  She might have rendered his nose less perfect. 

This post is part of  the Gish Sisters Blogathon hosted by Fritzi at Movies Silently and Lindsey at The Motion Pictures.   Dorothy and Lillian Gish made their motion picture debut 101 years ago on 09-September-1912.  Be sure to click on most images to see larger versions.
Sisters Lillian and Dorothy Gish made their film debut 101 years ago, on 09-September-1912.  The girls had moved to New York when their Ohio home burned down.  They got to know their next door neighbor, child actress Gladys Smith.  Lillian and Dorothy became actresses and models.  Gladys, who would soon change her name to Mary Pickford, persuaded them to visit the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company's studio at 11 East 14th Street in Manhattan.  Director DW Griffith approved of the sisters and put them to work.  The image above is from their first movie, "An Unseen Enemy."

In the first of three posts for Gish Sisters Blogathon, I featured younger sister Dorothy Gish, who is often overlooked because her sister Lillian is considered one of the greatest American actresses.  In the second post I wrote about Lillian, and in this, the third I am writing about the sisters' work and life together.  In each post, I will cobble together a variety of newspaper and magazine items, looking for interesting items about the lives of the Gish sisters. 

I don't want to appear ungentlemanly, but I should point out that the Gishes, like many people in show business, were flexible about stating their ages and years of birth.

Moving Picture World, November 21, 1914.

 Dorothy and Lillian followed Griffith from the Biograph to Reliance-Majestic and beyond.  I like the ad above which has Dorothy in a two-reeler and Lillian and Blanch Sweet, another blonde Biograph alumna, in one-reelers. 

Photoplay, March, 1915.
This item mentions Dorothy's auto accident in December, 1914.  "Both girls have proved themselves under David W. Griffith's tutelage, capital comediennes."  This is, I think, the only time I have seen Lillian referred to as a comedienne.

Photoplay, September, 1915.
Mr. DW Biogriffith.

Moving Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual, 1916. 

Lillian rated a photo in the 1916 Moving Picture Studion Directory and Trade Annual.  Some of the information is wrong. 

Photoplay, June, 1917.
Photoplay, September, 1917.

Photoplay, October, 1917.
Photoplay, October, 1917.

Griffith took Lillian and Dorothy across the Atlantic, risking attacks by German submarines, to make two movies.  Hearts of the World was a big hit that boosted the careers of both sisters.

Photoplay, January, 1918.
Bobby Harron was another Biograph alumnus.  He never got drafted.

Photoplay, July, 1918.
Photoplay's Answer Man welcomes the Gish sisters' return in Hearts of the World because he got so many letters while they were away and before the movie was released.

Photoplay, August, 1918.

The article is about Lillian, but the wonderfully lit photo shows the Gish Sisters in their dressing room.

Photoplay, February, 1920.

Photoplay, March, 1920.

DW Griffith had to leave for Cuba, so he gave Lillian the script of Dorothy's next movie, Remodeling Her Husband, and told her to direct it.  As one might expect, Lillian did a good job.  Sadly, she never wanted or got the opportunity to direct another movie.  Dorothy's leading man was James Rennie, whom she would wind up marrying.

Photoplay, June, 1921.

Lillian and Dorothy flank their mother Mary.  "The Gish Girls Talk About Each Other."

"'Dorothy likes to spend money,' said Lillian.  'I fear poverty.  I have resolved that when I am old I shall have more than one dress and three hundred dollars.'

"'All we have in common is our mother.'" 

"'Dorothy likes to go about.  She mingles with people.  I don't.'"

"'Lillian used to put beans up her nose.'  From the mask of comedy.

"'Dorothy would never keep quiet.  Once she was spanked for it.'  From the mask of tragedy.

"'Lillian cried because I was spanked.  She cried long after I had stopped.  She could always cry easily and make others cry in sympathy."

Photoplay, November, 1921.
Dorothy and Lillian's last movie with DW Griffith was Orphans of the Storm, which was adapted from an old melodrama, The Two Orphans.

Photoplay, December, 1921.

Photoplay, March, 1922.

Orphans of the Storm got a rave review from Photoplay.  "Don't miss this."

Photoplay, June, 1922.
"Lillian and Dorothy Gish, fragile girlish types entirely unlike the famous beauties of yesterday."

Photoplay, June, 1922.
While promoting Orphans of the Storm, Lillian and Dorothy visited fellow Ohioans President and Mrs Harding at the White House.

Photoplay, August, 1922.
Photoplay chose Orphans of the Storms as one of the best pictures of the year, along with Tol'able David, The Three Musketeers and Foolish Wives.  Lillian Gish ranked first on the list of best screen performances of the year.

Photoplay, November, 1922.
The mention of Tol'able David in the best pictures list above is interesting because it was produced by Inspiration Pictures, whose president, Charles H. Duell, Jr. would make a lot of trouble for Dorothy and especially Lillian.  See Lillian's post for more details.

Photoplay, September, 1923.
Dorothy and Jim Rennie pose with Lillian, after Lillian returned from Rome, where she made The White Sister for Inspiration Pictures.  She would soon head back with Dorothy to make Romola, which would be the sisters' last movie together.  Look at the larger version.  I don't know what to make of their expressions.  Do they look comfortable?

I am sorry that the sisters never appeared together in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace as Martha and Abby Brewster. 

Dorothy Gish died on 04-June-1968.  Her sister Lillian was by her side.  When Lillian died on 27-February-1993, she was buried next to Dorothy.  

Film Fun, August, 1919.
And finally, Film Fun reprinted a cartoon from the London Tatler.  I like the caricatures of Lillian Gish and DW Griffith, but I don't like the face of Dorothy Gish.  The mandolin is appropriate for The Little Disturber in Hearts of the World.  And Lillian should be taller than Dorothy. 

This post was part of the Gish Sisters Blogathon, hosted by Fritzi at Movies Silently and Lindsey at The Motion Pictures.  Thank you to both of them for all the hard work.  Thank you to everyone who visited and I encourage you to read as many posts as you can.  

My posts for the blogathon:
Post One: Have You Been Gished? -- Dorothy Gish
Post Two:  Don't You Wish You Were a Gish? -- Lillian Gish
Post Three: Gish Sisters Have Imperfect Noses -- The Gish Sisters