Saturday, February 28, 2015

Over the Top -- Chapter VII -- February 28, 2015

Arthur Guy Empey was a member of the US Cavalry who resigned to volunteer for the British Army during World War One. He was wounded during the Battle of the Somme. When the US entered the war, he tried to rejoin the US Army, but was rejected because of his wounds and possibly because of some disparaging comments about American draftees. He wrote a book, Over the Top, about his experiences during the war. With the 100th anniversary of the war, I thought it might be interesting to post his story. Empey later became a prolific pulp magazine author, a movie star and producer, and a playwright.

From "Tommy's Dictionary of the Trenches" by Empey:
Bully Beef. A kind of corned beef with tin round it. The unopened cans make excellent walls for dugouts.
Lance-Corporal. A N. C. O. one grade above a private who wears a shoestring stripe on his arm and thinks the war should be run according to his ideas.

CHAPTER I -- From Mufti to Khaki
CHAPTER II -- Blighty to Rest Billets
CHAPTER III -- I Go to Church
CHAPTER IV -- Into the Trench
CHAPTER V -- Mud, Rats and Shells
CHAPTER VI -- "Back of the Line"


JUST before dozing off, Mr. Lance-Corporal butted in.

In Tommy's eyes, a Lance-Corporal is one degree below a Private. In the Corporal's eyes, he is one degree above a General.

Every evening, from each platoon or machinegun section, a Lance-Corporal and Private goes to the Quartermaster-Sergeant at the Company Stores and draws rations for the following day.

The "Quarter," as the Quartermaster-Sergeant is called, receives daily from the Orderly Room (Captain's Office) a slip showing the number of men entitled to rations, so there is no chance of putting anything over on him. Many arguments take place between the "Quarter" and the platoon Non-Com, but the former always wins out. Tommy says the "Quarter" got his job because he was a burglar in civil life.

Then I spread the waterproof sheet on the ground, while the Quartermaster's Batman dumped the rations on it. The Corporal was smoking a fag. I carried the rations back to the billet. The Corporal was still smoking a fag. How I envied him. But when the issue commenced my envy died, and I realized that the first requisite of a non-commissioned officer on active service is diplomacy. There were nineteen men in our section, and they soon formed a semi-circle around us after the Corporal had called out, "Rations up."

The Quartermaster-Sergeant had given a slip to the Corporal on which was written a list of the rations. Sitting on the floor, using a wooden box as a table, the issue commenced. On the left of the Corporal the rations were piled. They consisted of the following:

Six loaves of fresh bread, each loaf of a different size, perhaps one out of the six being as flat as a pancake, the result of an Army Service Corps man placing a box of bully beef on it during transportation.

Three tins of jam, one apple, and the other two plum.

Seventeen Bermuda onions, all different sizes.

A piece of cheese in the shape of a wedge.

Two one-pound tins of butter.

A handful of raisins.

A tin of biscuits, or as Tommy calls them "Jaw-breakers."

A bottle of mustard pickles.

The "bully beef," spuds, condensed milk, fresh meat, bacon, and "Maconochie Rations" (a can filled with meat, vegetables, and greasy water), had been turned over to the Company Cook to make stew for next day's dinner. He also received the tea, sugar, salt, pepper, and flour.

Scratching his head, the Corporal studied the slip issued to him by the Quarter. Then in a slow, mystified voice he read out, "No. I Section, 19 men. Bread, loaves, six." He looked puzzled and soliloquized in a musing voice:

"Six loaves, nineteen men. Let's see, that's three in a loaf for fifteen men,—well to make it even, four of you'll have to muck in on one loaf."

The four that got stuck made a howl, but to no avail. The bread was dished out. Pretty soon from a far corner of the billet, three indignant Tommies accosted the Corporal with,

"What do you call this, a loaf of bread? Looks more like a sniping plate."

The Corporal answered:

"Well, don't blame me, I didn't bake it, somebody's got to get it, so shut up until I dish out these blinkin' rations."

Then the Corporal started on the jam.

"Jam, three tins—apple one, plum two. Nineteen men, three tins. Six in a tin, makes twelve men for two tins, seven in the remaining tin."

He passed around the jam, and there was another riot. Some didn't like apple, while others who received plum were partial to apple. After awhile differences were adjusted, and the issue went on.x

"Bermuda onions, seventeen."

The Corporal avoided a row by saying that he did not want an onion, and I said they make your breath smell, so guessed I would do without one too. The Corporal looked his gratitude.

"Cheese, pounds two."

The Corporal borrowed a jackknife (corporals are always borrowing), and sliced the cheese,— each slicing bringing forth a pert remark from the on-lookers as to the Corporal's eyesight.

"Raisins, ounces, eight."

By this time the Corporal's nerves had gone West, and in despair, he said that the raisins were to be turned over to the cook for "duff" (plum pudding). This decision elicited a little "grousing," but quiet was finally restored.

"Biscuits, tins, one."

With his borrowed jackknife, the Corporal opened the tin of biscuits, and told everyone to help themselves,—-nobody responded to this invitation. Tommy is "fed up" with biscuits.

"Butter, tins, two."

"Nine in one, ten in the other."

Another rumpus.

"Pickles, mustard, bottles, one."

Nineteen names were put in a steel helmet, the last one out winning the pickles. On the next issue there were only eighteen names, as the winner is eliminated until every man in the section has won a bottle.

The raffle is closely watched, because Tommy is suspicious when it comes to gambling with his rations.

When the issue is finished, the Corporal sits down and writes a letter home, asking them if they cannot get some M.P. (Member of Parliament) to have him transferred to the Royal Flying Corps where he won't have to issue rations.

At the different French estaminets in the village, and at the canteens, Tommy buys fresh eggs, milk, bread, and pastry. Occasionally when he is flush, he invests in a tin of pears or apricots. His pay is only a shilling a day, twenty-four cents, or a cent an hour. Just imagine, a cent an hour for being under fire,—-not much chance of getting rich out there.

When he goes into the fire trench (front line), Tommy's menu takes a tumble. He carries in his haversack what the government calls emergency or iron rations. They are not supposed to be opened until Tommy dies of starvation. They consist of one tin of bully beef, four biscuits, a little tin which contains tea, sugar, and Oxo cubes (concentrated beef tablets). These are only to be used when the enemy establishes a curtain of shell fire on the communication trenches, thus preventing the "carrying in" of rations, or when in an attack, a body of troops has been cut off from its base of supplies.

The rations are brought up, at night, by the Company Transport. This is a section of the company in charge of the Quartermaster-Sergeant, composed of men, mules, and limbers (two wheeled wagons), which supplies Tommy's wants while in the front line. They are constantly under shell fire. The rations are unloaded at the entrance to the communication trenches and are "carried in" by men detailed for that purpose. The Quartermaster-Sergeant never goes into the front-line trench. He doesn't have to, and I have never heard of one volunteering to do so.

The Company Sergeant-Major sorts the rations, and sends them in.

Tommy's trench rations consist of all the bully beef he can eat, biscuits, cheese, tinned butter (sometimes seventeen men to a tin), jam, or marmalade, and occasionally fresh bread (ten to a loaf). When it is possible, he gets tea and stew.

When things are quiet, and Fritz is behaving like a gentleman, which seldom happens, Tommy has the opportunity of making dessert. This is "trench pudding." It is made from broken biscuits, condensed milk, jam—a little water added, slightly flavored with mud—-put into a canteen and cooked over a little spirit stove known as "Tommy's cooker."

(A firm in Blighty widely advertises these cookers as a necessity for the men in the trenches. Gullible people buy them,—-ship them to the Tommies, who, immediately upon receipt of same throw them over the parapet. Sometimes a Tommy falls for the Ad., and uses the cooker in a dugout to the disgust and discomfort of the other occupants.)

This mess is stirred up in a tin and allowed to simmer over the flames from the cooker until Tommy decides that it has reached a sufficient (gluelike) consistency. He takes his bayonet and by means of the handle carries the mess up in the front trench to cool. After it has cooled off he tries to eat it. Generally one or two Tommies in a section have cast-iron stomachs and the tin is soon emptied. Once I tasted trench pudding, but only once.

In addition to the regular ration issue Tommy uses another channel to enlarge his menu.

In the English papers a "Lonely Soldier" column is run. This is for the soldiers at the front who are supposed to be without friends or relatives. They write to the papers and their names are published. Girls and women in England answer them, and send out parcels of foodstuffs, cigarettes, candy, etc. I have known a "lonely" soldier to receive as many as five parcels and eleven letters in one week.

Next: CHAPTER VIII -- The Little Wooden Cross

Friday, February 27, 2015

News of the Week February 27, 1915 -- February 27, 2015

The 27-February-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"English troops on cycles patrol coast on watch for Zeppelins.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  I can't tell what kind of gun they are towing.  I like the three-bicycle hitch. 

"Wrecking elevator shaft at Phillipsburg, N. J.  Copyright 1915 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Newsreels loved shots of smokestacks, buildings, towers and grain elevators getting demolished. 

"The grounded bark Hougomont off Fire Island, N. Y.  Copyright 1915 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Hougomont, a four-masted steel barque, was known as a hard-luck ship which frequently grounded and ran into other problems.  In 1932, a storm badly damaged her rig and her sunken hull now serves as a breakwater near Stenhouse Bay in Australia.

"Captive balloon used by French at Thann, Alsace.  Copyright 1915, by Pathe News."  Both sides used captive balloons for artillery spotting. 

"Wreckage of orphanage at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Copyright 1915, by Pathe News." At least 20 orphans were injured when a building collapsed at the Saint Alphonsus asylum during a hurricane. 

"Wreckage caused by German bombs at Yarmouth, England.  Copyright 1915 by Universal
Animated Weekly."  We saw the Hearst-Selig News Pictorial version last week.  This may be from 19-January-1915, the first Zeppelin attack on British soil:


Clary Terry died.  He played with everyone. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wallace the Untamable Lion Subdued by Captain Cardono -- February 26, 2015

Four years after we saw Wallace the Untamable Lion terrorize the residents of Scranton, Pennsylvania (, we find him in San Francisco at the Chutes, a popular amusement park.  Wallace was "Subdued by Captain Cardono."  At this time the Chutes were on Haight between Cole and Clayton. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The United States Tug Pawtucket -- February 24, 2015

The drawing is from the 18-November-1898 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view.

The USS Pawtucket served the Navy until 1946, mostly in Puget Sound. 

Brilliant Event at Mare Island.
Little Heather Baxter Does the Christening — Gunboat Yorktown Is Placed in Commission.

Special Dispatch to The Call.
VALLEJO, Nov. 17.— The tug Pawtucket, intended for use at Port Orchard naval station, was launched at Mare Island this afternoon in the presence of many people, including all the workmen of the yard and hundreds of visitors from Vallejo. A military air was lent to the proceedings by the presence of a battalion of marines and sailors from the barracks and war yesterday under the command of Lieutenant Commander C. A. Adams.

The hour set for the launching was 8 o'clock, and at that time Commodore J. C. Watson, commandant of the yard; Commodore Albert Kautz, commanding the Pacific squadron, and a number of other naval officers and the ladies of their families stood on a platform surrounding little Heather Baxter, the 5-year-old daughter of Naval Constructor Baxter, who had been selected to christen the tug.

The tug had been wedged up early in the afternoon and was only held by a few shores on the sides and the dog shores on the cradle supporting the vessel. Everything except the latter was cleared away and at 3 o'clock Constructor Baxter cut a wire supporting a heavy weight which knocked the dog shores away and the tug began to glide toward the water. At that moment the dainty sponsor cried in a clear voice, "I name thee Pawtucket," and swung the bottle of wine against the steel prow with a crash that shattered it.

The tug gathered momentum as she sped down the ways and dipping easily as she entered the water floated gracefully into the stream. She was greeted with a deafening salute of steam whistles and cheers which drowned the sound of the two naval bands playing "The Star-Spangled Banner," which met the raising of the tug's flags as she struck the water. The launch was a complete success in every way and Constructor Baxter, who superintended it, was the recipient of warm congratulations.

The gunboat Yorktown was afterward placed in commission under command of Lieutenant Chauncey Thomas, in the absence of Commander C. S. Sperry. The ceremony was quite elaborate. The following officers reported for duty on the vessel: Lieutenants Thomas. Minnett and Clarke, Ensigns
Standley. Knox and Wurtzbaugh, Assistant Paymaster Perkins, Chief Engineer Cleaver and Assistant Engineer Snow. The other officers will report for duty in a day or two.

Monday, February 23, 2015

1924 Hispano-Suiza Model HBC Tulipwood Torpedo -- February 23, 2015

We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  This 1924 Hispano-Suiza Model HBC has a torpedo body built by Nieuport, the airplane manufacturer for André Dubonnet, of the aperitif-making family.   He wanted an extra-light body suitable for racing or travel, so the frame of the body is covered with strips of thin tulipwood.  (051/dsc_0096)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Study in Scarlet -- What is It? -- February 21, 2015

Last month we saw that the 11-January-1894 Scranton Tribune carried a series of teasers about A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes novel.  This month we'll look at the 12-January-1894 issue.  The top of the first page above is from the 11th.  The 12th was the same. 

A box on page two had this.  I like the finger. 

On pages three and four, "A Study in Scarlet" appeared between several items. 

Also on page three.

Page four describes Sherlock Holmes' major skill. 

And finally, this box appeared on page 8. 

More next month in this blog. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

News of the Week February 20, 1915 -- February 20, 2015

The 20-February-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Ruins of the Town Hall at Union Hill, N. J.  Copyright 1915, by Pathe News."  A fire early in the morning of 31-January-1915 damaged the business district and destroyed the town hall.

"Cottages after the sand storm at Salisbury Beach, Mass.  Copyright 1915, by Pathe News."  I haven't found anything about this event. 

"Testing the barge in which President Wilson will lead the fleet through Panama Canal.  Copyright 1915 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The United States planned to have a grand international naval pageant through the canal in March, in conjunction with the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. 

"Italian earthquake victims being rushed to Rome.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  A massive earthquake hit Italy between Rome and Naples in January, 1915.  Some people saw it as a divine warning to stay out of the war. 

"Scene in the Krupp Gun Works at Essen, Germanay.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Friedrich Krupp AG made a nice profit from the war. 

"View of Yarmouth, England, after its bombardment by Zeppelins.  Copyright 1915 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  This may be from 19-January-1915, the first Zeppelin attack on British soil:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

World's Fair Opened Today -- February 19, 2015

Klamath Falls Evening Herald, 20-February-1915

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  I am posting this article from the 20-February-1915 Klamath Falls Evening Herald today because I have the News of the Week to post tomorrow. 

World's Fair Opened Today
President Starts the Panama - Pacific Exposition
Flash From Washington Begins Period of Golden Opportunity for Pacific Coast

United Press Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 20 -- The Panama-Pacific International exposition opened its doors to the world here today.

The mandate, throwing wide the gates, came direct from President Wilson at Washington, over the transcontinental telephone line. The mandate was in the form of a congratulatory message and his voice carried splendidly over the three thousand miles of wire. An electric magaphone (megaphone - JT) then carried the president's words to every part of the 645 acres covered by the exposition and the big show was on.

President Wilson was unable to be here in person to participate in the historic celebration of the completion of Uncle Sam's mighty waterway, but he was represented by a member of his cabinet -- Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane, a California product.

The crowd attending the opening ceremonies came from the four points of the compass. Exposition officials estimated that 500,000 people would pass through the turnstiles before the end of the day. It undoubtedly was the largest crowd ever to attend any exposition on its opening day.

Today's celebration was not confined to California alone. Factory whistles and bells in scores of cities and towns throughout the United States joined with other noise-making devices in letting the country know that the Panama-Pacific exposition was open and that San Francisco and California were ready to entertain the people of both hemispheres.

"On Time"

Two years ago President Charles C. Moore promised that the exposition would be complete in every respect on the opening date and he fulfilled his promise so far as the exposition proper was concerned. The landscape work was complete, the courts and buildings finished and their exhibits in their places. The Zone, the exposition's amusement place, is the biggest thing ever attempted in its line. There is still some work to be done on the amusement buildings, but this work will be completed, according to the contractors, within two weeks.
Fleet Fires Salute

The Pacific Coast battleship fleet opened the day by booming a 31-gun salute. This was the signal for hundreds of other craft in the harbor and the clamor continued for nearly an hour. The guns of the Presidio fort also joined in the demonstration and every factory whistle in the bay district tooted continuously for thirty minutes. Every street car and church bell and every automobile horn in the city also contributed to the noise making. Scores of drum corps bands went about the city awakening the citizens at dawn.

All San Franciso was awake and dressed by 7 o'clock.

The local Japanese and Chinese colonies alone had more than 1,000 men, women and children in line. Bands, and plenty of them took part, the idea being to have music at all times for the marchers.

Dedication ceremonies and felicitations followed President Wilson's telephoned mandate. These were participated in by Secretary of the Interior Lane, Charles C. Moore, president of the exposition; Hiram W. Johnson, governor of California;; dignitaries of foreign nations, and Mayor Rolph. The ceremonies were held on a stand erected under the celebrated tower of jewels. The speeches and congratulatory remarks occupied more than an hour and then the inspection of the eleven exposition palaces was on.
Over 60,000 Exhibits

There are more than 60,000 separate exhibits in the big exposition palaces lining the long avenues of palms and tropical gardens. It cost $50,000,000 alone to build the exposition palaces and the exhibits are valued at $350,000,000. In addition to 42 foreign nations and the Federal government, nearly every state in the Union sent exhibits.

While Germany, Austria, England, Servia and Belgium are not nationally represented, they have extensive exhibits in the various buildings. Other nations, like France and Japan, increased, rather than diminished their participation because of the war.
Zone is Joy Street

The Zone represents an outlay of more than $10,000,000. It extends for nearly a mile and is lined with huge spectacular and mirth-making devices. It is the costliest amusement street ever built at a world's exposition. Some 7,000 people are employed in this section alone.

One of the most interesting features of the Zone is the miniature reproduction of the Panama Canal. Visitors sit on a revolving platform which takes them slowly around a miniature Isthmus of Pana, from ocean to ocean and back again, seeing the Panama Canal from every viewpoint and acquiring a perfect knowledge of its workings.

Tonight the carnival spirit will have its first hilarious fling when the city and its guests will throng the Zone and dance in the exposition year. At dusk a lever will be thrown, releasing a stream of electrical energy generated in the Sierras 200 miles away, illuminating the fountains and buildings by a new, indirect method, the lights themselves being concealed. This is regarded as one of the great beautifying triumphs of the exposition. In addition, more than 100 searchlights will be employed to add to the brilliancy of the night displays.

The exposition will remain open, including Sundays and holidays, until December 4, 1915.

Story of the Exposition

San Francisco won the government's support for its exposition against determined opposition by southern congressmen who wanted to center the Federal appropriation on a proposed exposition in New Orleans. The work of preparing for the exposition, which had been suspended pending this decision, then went forward with renewed energy.

Ground was broken January 1, 1913, on a stretch of sand covered with debris and old structures. More than 70 acres were reclaimed from San Francisco bay. Six hundred and thirty acres of marsh land were converted into a veritable garden.

Under the director of the department of landscape gardening, the former arid waste was made to bloom until today, when the fair opened, flowers were blossoming everywhere on the grounds.

War Didn't Stop Work

When the great European war broke out last summer, it was predicted by some that the attendance of the San Francisco fair would be seriously affected. President Moore, of the exposition company, denied this and declared today that if the war affected the exposition at all it would be advantageously.

Thousands of persons who have been in the habit of visiting Europe every spring or summer will visit San Francisco and California this fall, he believes, so that, instead of being affected adversely, the fair will really be helped. Railroad officials are preparing to accommodate tremendous crowds of tourists and local hotel men assert that their reservations during the coming months bear out the railroad's forecast.


  • Celebrates the completion of the Panama Canal.
  • Gates open at 9 a. m. Saturday, February 20; close Saturday, December 4, 1915.
  • Forty-three states and forty-two foreign nations represented officially, other nations by individual exhibitors; more than have been present at any other exposition in history.
  • Investment represented, $50,000,000.
  • Concentration of exhibit palaces a triumph of ground plotting.  Contains the largest frame building under one roof in the world -- Machinery hall.
  • Transportation facilities are available to handle fifty thousand visitors an hour to and from the exposition gates.
  • Hotel facilities ample for any number visitors.  Reasonable rates guaranteed.
  • Covers an area of two and one-half miles in length by one-half a mile in width along shore of San Francisco bay.

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 20. -- The Liberty Bell was rung today for the second time in three quarters of a century, and telephone instruments were arranged to convey the sound to the exposition grounds at San Francisco, where the fair opened today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Baseball Stories -- February 18, 2015

Pitchers and catchers report today.  This is the cover of the Spring, 1940 Baseball Stories.  Pitchers don't have high leg kicks like this today because base runners are more likely to steal now than they were then. 


I went to the Bentley Reserve Building (Old Federal Reserve) for ashes today. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grand Mardi Gras Ball -- 17-February-2015

New Orleans Daily Democrat, 22-February-1879

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone.  Mardi Gras was late in 1879, when the Globe Theater at Perdido and Baronne did not give "their Annual Grand Fancy Dress and Mask Ball" until February 25. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Presidents' Day 2015 -- February 16, 2015

Happy Presidents' Day, everyone.  John Adams, our second president, was a leader of the revolution and the early republic.  Thomas Jefferson's followers vilified him as a monarchist, but he was a firm believer in republican government and Enlightenment ideals. 

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Greg Minton -- February 15, 2015

Inspired by the book Few and Chosen: Defining Giants Greatness Across the Eras by Giants great Bobby Thomson and Phil Pepe, I thought I would devote my nickname meme to Giants players for the past several months. This is the end of the string. 

Last month I wrote about right-handed relief pitcher Hoyt "Sarge" Wilhelm.  This month I was going to write about a left-handed Giants relief pitcher.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any with a good nickname.  Jeremy Affeldt certainly deserves one. 

Instead I will write about another right-handed Giants relief pitcher Greg Minton, the Moon Man.  He made the Giants a lot more fun in the 1980s. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Saint Valentine's Day -- February 14, 2015

Cupid uses a roadster instead of a bow and arrow. 

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936.  Here is the cover of their 15-February-1929 edition.  Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Friday, February 13, 2015

News of the Week February 13, 1915 -- February 13, 2015

The 13-February-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Testing French caterpillar gun at Vincennes, France.  Copyright, 1915, by Pathe Daily News." The wheels of the gun carriage have feet, which should make it easier to cross muddy areas like the whole Western Front. 

"Germany's Crown Prince, photographed in Belgium.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly." Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, eldest son of Kaiser Bill, was a goofy looking man who did not inspire confidence.  At the beginning of the war, he commanded the German Fifth Army, then Army Group German Crown Prince.  He did a poor job. 

"New German army being drilled at Frankfurt, Germany.  Copyright 1915 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial." Every year, a new generation of conscripts became available, along with volunteers. 

"Indian boy scouts at Carlisle Military Academy.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News." The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was a major boarding school for Native Americans.  Olympic Champion Jim Thorpe was an alumnus.  The school was run with military discipline. 

"Examining cotton bales with X ray in hunt for contraband.  Copyright, 1915, by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial." I don't know where this is taking place.

"England's heaviest field guns going to the front.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly." I wonder if they are BL 60-pounders. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Birthday, President Lincoln -- February 12, 2015

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 206th birthday. My favorite president.  This year we will observe the sesquicentennials of the end of the Civil War and his assassination by the coward John Wilkes Booth. 

"Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure."

-- Giuseppe Garibaldi, 06-August 1863 letter to Lincoln

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In New Orleans -- February 11, 2015

Tagliches Cincinnatier Volksblatt, 27-January-1915

Take the Louisville and Nashville Railroad from Cincinnati to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  I suspect that this German-language newspaper may have gone out of business once the United States entered World War One. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Stockton Tunnel -- February 10, 2015

Municipal Railway of San Francisco By Martin Samuel Vilas

"Looking up Stockton St., from South Portal of Tunnel."  On 29-December-1914, the Stockton Street Tunnel and the San Francisco Municipal Railway's F-Stockton streetcar line were both inaugurated by Mayor Sunny Jim Rolph.  The tunnel and the streetcar line were meant to improve access to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. 

Today Muni is excavating the Central Subway under this location to improve access to Chinatown. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ferryboat King County Will Operate on Lake Washington -- February 9, 2015

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11-November-1899

Ferry King County was built in Madison Park in Seattle.  It sailed from Madison Park to the suburb of Kirkland. 

Ferryboat King County Will Operate on Lake Washington.

WORK on the big ferryboat now being built by the board of county commissioners to ply on Lake Washington is rapidly progressing. The timbers of the boat are in place and the planking almost done, Moran Bros, who have the contract for the boat, are now working on the machinery, which will soon be taken out and placed in position.  The big ferry is being built on the shores of the lake near Madison street. She will be one of the finest craft of her kind on the Pacific coast, and will cost more than $60,000 complete. It is expected that she will make her trial trip early in the spring and will be running regularly by July 4.

The operation by the county of a public ferry on the lake will open to the merchants of Seattle a market that at present they reach only to a limited extent. It will pave the way, it is thought, for a large increase in the population of the farming district east of the lake. County Auditor Evenson is one of the warmest friends of the ferry scheme as a part of a "trunk" system of county roads which he advocates.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Portland and Puget Sound Express -- February 7, 2015

Tacoma Times, 14-January-1915
The Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company was a Union Pacific subsidiary that operated lines from Portland, Oregon into Washington and Idaho. 


After 5 o'clock mass, we went to the 40th anniversary all-classes reunion at Good Shepherd School.  It was nice to see many of the people again. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

News of the Week February 6, 1915 -- February 6, 2015

The 06-February-1915 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Carrying wounded away after riot at Roosevelt, N. J.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe Daily News."  On 19-January-1915, police shot strikers at the American Agricultural Chemical Company.  They killed four and wounded ten others.

"French troops retreat from Ypres, Belgium.  Copyright, 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Fighting took place around Ypres throughout the war. 

"Roads in Loum, Belgium, in awful condition because of rains. Copyright, 1915, by Pathe Daily News."  I don't know of a town called Loum in Belgium.  The European winters during World War One were some of the worst during the 20th Century. 

"Ready to stow a torpedo in the K-5, new U. S. submarine.  Copyright, 1915 by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  K-5 operated along the east coast the in the Caribbean until 1923. 

"Pres. Tenner, Gary Herman and Pres. Johnson, baseball kings.  Copyright, 1915, by Hearst-Selig News Pictorial." John K Tener was the president of the National League.  Garry Herrmann was president of the National Baseball Commission.  Ban Johnson was the president and founder of the American League.  The three men made up the National Commission, which ran baseball before the position of Commissioner was instituted in 1920. 

"The German Zeppelin 'Victoria Luise' in flight.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  LZ-11, Viktoria Luise was a pre-war passenger Zeppelin taken over by the German Army.  We saw Viktoria  Luise star in a 1912 movie:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Disappearance Explained -- February 5, 2015

From Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, Including Trick Photography, edited by Albert Allis Hopkins. In the Vanity Fair illusion, a lady is looking at herself in a mirror.  After she is momentarily masked by a screen, she is seen to have vanished. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Unconditional Submarine Warfare -- February 4, 2015

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 04-February-1915

Pressed by a tight British blockade, the Germans declared unconditional submarine warfare on 04-February-1915.  Neutral ships, including American ships, would be sunk without warning. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Curtiss CT-1 -- February 3, 2015

The Curtiss CT-1 (Curtiss Torpedo Bomber) was built for a US Navy competition.  It won the competition, but no more examples were built.  The airplane's thick, cantilevered monoplane wing was unusual in the early 1920s. 

The images are from the 1922 Aircraft Yearbook. Be sure to click on the images to see larger versions. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day 2015 -- February 2, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day, everyone.  This groundhog does not look very happy.  For some reason he reminds me of Alfred Hitchcock. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Something New for Long Winter Evenings -- February 1, 2015

Saint Louis Republic, 02-December-1900
This ad touts the "New 1901 Model" of "Thomas A. Edison's Phonograph."  "Join one of our phonograph clubs."