Sunday, November 29, 2015

Over the Top -- Chapter XII --November 29, 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. 

Christy Mathewson was a great pitcher for the New York Giants.  

From "Tommy's Dictionary of the Trenches" by Empey:  
Bomb. An infernal device filled with high explosive which you throw at the Germans. Its chief delight is to explode before it leaves your hand.
"Hand grenade." A general term for a bomb which is thrown by hand. Tommy looks upon all bombs with grave suspicion; from long experience he has learned not to trust them, even if the detonator has been removed. 
"Jam Tin." A crude sort of hand grenade which, in the early stages of the war, Tommy used to manufacture out of jam tins, ammonal, and mud. The manufacturer generally would receive a little wooden cross in recognition of the factthat he died for King and Country.
 "Mills." Name of a bomb invented by Mills. The only bomb in which Tommy has full confidence,—and he mistrusts even that

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"
CHAPTER VII -- Rations


The boys in the section welcomed me back, but there were many strange faces. Several of our men had gone West in that charge, and were lying "somewhere in France" with a little wooden cross at their heads. We were in rest billets. The next day, our Captain asked for volunteers for Bombers' School. I gave my name and was accepted. I had joined the Suicide Club, and my troubles commenced. Thirty-two men of the battalion, including myself, were sent to L-----, where we went through a course in bombing. Here we were instructed in the uses, methods of throwing, and manufacture of various kinds of hand grenades, from the old "jam tin," now obsolete, to the present Mills bomb, the standard of the British Army.

It all depends where you are as to what you are called. In France they call you a "bomber" and give you medals, while in neutral countries they call you an anarchist and give you "life."

From the very start the Germans were well equipped with effective bombs and trained bomb-throwers, but the English Army was as little prepared in this important department of fighting as in many others. At bombing school an old Sergeant of the Grenadier Guards, whom I had the good fortune to meet, told me of the discouragements this branch of the service suffered before they could meet the Germans on an equal footing. {Pacifists and small army people in the U. S. please read with care.) The first English Expeditionary Force had no bombs at all but had clicked a lot of casualties from those thrown by the Boches. One bright morning someone higher up had an idea and issued an order detailing two men from each platoon to go to bombing school to learn the duties of a bomber and how to manufacture bombs. Non-commissioned officers were generally selected for this course. After about two weeks at school they returned to their units in rest billets or in the fire trench as the case might be and got busy teaching their platoons how to make "jam tins."

 Previously an order had been issued for all ranks to save empty jam tins for the manufacture of bombs. A Professor of Bombing would sit on the fire step in the front trench with the remainder of his section crowding around to see him work.

On his left would be a pile of empty and rusty jam tins, while beside him on the fire step would be a miscellaneous assortment of material used in the manufacture of the "jam tins."

Tommy would stoop down, get an empty "jam tin," take a handful of clayey mud from the parapet, and line the inside of the tin with this substance. Then he would reach over, pick up his detonator and explosive, and insert them in the tin, the fuse protruding. On the fire step would be a pile of fragments of shell, shrapnel balls, bits of iron, nails, etc.—anything that was hard enough to send over to Fritz; he would scoop up a handful of this junk and put it in the bomb. Perhaps one of the platoon would ask him what he did this for, and he would explain that when the bomb exploded these bits would fly about and kill or wound any German hit by same; the questioner would immediately pull a button off his tunic and hand it to the bomb-maker with, "Well, blime me, send this over as a souvenir," or another Tommy would volunteer an old rusty and broken jackknife; both would be accepted and inserted.

Then the Professor would take another handful of mud and fill the tin, after which he would punch a hole in the lid of the tin and put it over the top of the bomb, the fuse sticking out. Then perhaps he would tightly wrap wire around the outside of the tin and the bomb was ready to send over to Fritz with Tommy's compliments.

A piece of wood about four inches long and two inches wide had been issued. This was to be strapped on the left forearm by means of two leather straps and was like the side of a match box; it was called a "striker." There was a tip like the head of a match on the fuse of the bomb. To ignite the fuse, you had to rub it on the "striker," just the same as striking a match. The fuse was timed to five seconds or longer. Some of the fuses issued in those days would burn down in a second or two, while others would "sizz" for a week before exploding. Back in Blighty the munition workers weren't quite up to snuff, the way they are now. If the fuse took a notion to burn too quickly, they generally buried the bombmaker next day. So making bombs could not be called a "cushy" or safe job.

After making several bombs, the Professor instructs the platoon in throwing them. He takes a "jam tin" from the fire step, trembling a little, because it is nervous work, especially when new at it, lights the fuse on his striker. The fuse begins to "sizz" and sputter and a spiral of smoke, like that from a smouldering fag, rises from it. The platoon splits in two and ducks around the traverse nearest to them. They don't like the looks and sound of the burning fuse. When that fuse begins to smoke and "sizz" you want to say good-bye to it as soon as possible, so Tommy with all his might chucks it over the top and crouches against the parapet, waiting for the explosion.

Lots of times in bombing, the "jam tin" would be picked up by the Germans, before it exploded and thrown back at Tommy with dire results.

After a lot of men went West in this manner, an order was issued, reading something like this:

"To all ranks in the British Army—after igniting the fuse and before throwing the jam tin bomb, count slowly one! two! three!"

This in order to give the fuse time enough to burn down, so that the bomb would explode before the Germans could throw it back.

Tommy read the order—he reads them all, but after he ignited the fuse and it began to smoke,— orders were forgotten, and away she went in record time and back she came to the further discomfort of the thrower.

Then another order was issued to count, "one hundred! two hundred! three hundred!" but Tommy didn't care if the order read to count up to a thousand by quarters he was going to get rid of that "jam tin," because from experience he had learned not to trust it.

When the powers that be realized that they could not change Tommy, they decided to change the type of bomb and did so—substituting the "hair brush," the "cricket-ball," and later the Mills bomb.

The standard bomb used in the British Army is the "Mills." It is about the shape and size of a large lemon. Although not actually a lemon, Fritz insists that it is; perhaps he judges it by the havoc caused by its explosion. The Mills bomb is made of steel, the outside of which is corrugated into forty-eight small squares which, upon the explosion of the bomb, scatter in a wide area, wounding or killing any Fritz who is unfortunate enough to be hit by one of the flying fragments.

Although a very destructive and efficient bomb, the "Mills" has the confidence of the thrower, in that he knows it will not explode until released from his grip.

 It is a mechanical device, with a lever, fitted into a slot at the top, which extends half way around the circumference and is held in place at the bottom by a fixing pin. In this pin there is a small metal ring, for the purpose of extracting the pin when ready to throw.

You do not throw a bomb the way a baseball is thrown, because, when in a narrow trench, your hand is liable to strike against the parados, traverse, or parapet, and then down goes the bomb, and, in a couple of seconds or so, up goes Tommy.

In throwing, the bomb and lever are grasped in the right hand, the left foot is advanced, knee stiff, about once and a half its length to the front, while the right leg, knee bent, is carried slightly to the right. The left arm is extended at an angle of 450, pointing in the direction the bomb is to be thrown. This position is similar to that of shotputting, only that the right arm is extended downward. Then you hurl the bomb from you with an overhead bowling motion, the same as in cricket, throwing it fairly high in the air, this in order to give the fuse a chance to burn down so that when the bomb lands, it immediately explodes and gives the Germans no time to scamper out of its range or to return it.

As the bomb leaves your hand, the lever, by means of a spring, is projected into the air and falls harmlessly to the ground a few feet in front of the bomber.

When the lever flies off, it releases a strong spring, which forces the firing pin into a percussion cap. This ignites the fuse, which burns down and sets off the detonator, charged with fulminate of mercury, which explodes the main charge of ammonal.

The average British soldier is not an expert at throwing; it is a new game to him, therefore the Canadians and Americans, who have played baseball from the kindergarten up, take naturally to bomb throwing and excel in this act. A six-foot English bomber will stand in awed silence when he sees a little five-foot-nothing Canadian out-distance his throw by several yards. I have read a few war stories of bombing, where baseball pitchers curved their bombs when throwing them, but a pitcher who can do this would make "Christy" Mathewson look like a piker, and is losing valuable time playing in the European War Bush League, when he would be able to set the "Big League" on fire.

We had had a cushy time while at this school. In fact, to us it was a regular vacation, and we were very sorry when one morning the Adjutant ordered us to report at headquarters for transportation and rations to return to our units up the line.

Arriving at our section, the boys once again tendered us the glad mitt, but looked askance at us out of the corners of their eyes. They could not conceive, as they expressed it, how a man could be such a blinking idiot to join the Suicide Club. I was beginning to feel sorry that I had become a member of said club, and my life to me appeared doubly precious.

Now that I was a sure enough bomber, I was praying for peace and hoping that my services as such would not be required.

Next: CHAPTER XIII -- My First Official Bath 

Friday, November 27, 2015

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

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

"Testing funs at a famous American munition plant.  Copyright 1915 by Mutual Weekly."  Perhaps this is the Watervliet Arsenal, where many naval guns were developed. 

"Great Crowds gather in Chicago to Witness 'wet' parade.  Copyright 1915, Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  There was a large anti-prohibition parade in Chicago on Sunday, 07-November-1915. 

"Governor Elliott N. Major of Missouri takes flight in balloon.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Elliot W (not N) Major was Governor of Missouri from 1913 to 1917.

"Dario Resta and his mechanician win Harkness Trophy.  Copyright 1915 by Mutual Weekly."  On 03-November-1915, Dario Resta, driving a Peugeot, averaged 105.39 mph for 100 miles at Sheepshead Bay to win the Harkness challenge cup.  I can't find the name of his riding mechanic. 

"Governor Whitman of New York attends christening of the Naval U. S. flying boat.  Copyright 1915 by Mutual Weekly."  This may be the christening by Governor Charles Whitman's daughter Olivia of a flying boat presented by Curtiss to the New York Naval Militia. 

"Mrs. Tom Thumb celebrates her 74th birthday.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Lavinia Warren Stoddard was the widow of PT Barnum's General Tom Thumb, Charles Stratton.  The general died in 1883. 

1937 Mercedes-Benz Model 540K Special Roadster -- November 27, 2015

 We visited the Blackhawk Museum in June, 2013 to drool over their collection of classic autos.  The1937 Mercedes-Benz Model 540K Special Roadster was known for beautiful styling and high performance.  The roadster body was built by the Mayfair Carriage Company in London.  The car originally belonged to Nazi champagne salesman Joachim von Ribbentrop when he was ambassador to the Court of Saint James.  (051/dsc_0110-0111)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 -- November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I'm grateful for health and life, my family, and my coworkers.

The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936. Here is the cover of their 22-November-1923 Thanksgiving Number. It represents a Pilgrim placed in the stocks as punishment for gluttony. 

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Cat #25 -- November 25, 2015

I took the photo on 07-November-2015. 


 Willie Mays was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mr. Herbert Kelcey and Miss Effie Shannon in William Gillette's Original Version of Sherlock Holmes -- November 23, 2015

Town Talk, 03-August-1907

The first actor to become famous for playing Sherlock Holmes was American William Gillette. He played Holmes more than 1300 times, in a play he wrote himself, from 1899 to 1932. Other people toured in the play during times when Gillette was busy elsewhere or retired.  He retired frequently.  I wrote about him on my other blog:

Town Talk, 03-August-1907
"This is the first time in history of stock in San Francisco that this great play has been essayed."  A stock company would perform several different plays during a period, often during the summer.  The September, 1902 Theater Magazine said Herbert Kelcey and Effie Shannon would tour with Sherlock Holmes in cities that had not yet been visited by William Gillette in the play.

Herbert Kelcey played Sherlock Holmes.

Effie Shannon played the heroine, Alice Faulkner. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Jon Carroll Retires -- November 21, 2015

Jon Carroll has retired after 35 years as a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle.  I have been reading Chronicle columnists since I learned to read.  I always read Herb Caen and John McCabe, and usually read Stanton Delaplane and Art Hoppe.  I didn't read every one of Jon Carroll's columns, but I read most of them, especially the cat columns.  I hope he has a happy retirement from the five a week grind.  At least the Chronicle still has Mick LaSalle, Leah Garchick and Ben Fong-Torres. 

Updated later:  I forgot to mention Mondegreens.  As soon as Jon Carroll wrote about them, I knew what he meant.  I thought I was the only person who misheard song lyrics.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

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

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

"War game on famous Common in which 'foes' are repelled.  Boston, Mass.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Are those quarter staffs?

"Ensign Lee H. Harris, U. S. N., instructor of aerial corps.  Copyright 1915, Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  I can't find anything about Ensign Lee H Harris, who poses in front of a flying boat.

"New Junior police force organized in Brooklyn, N. Y.   Copyright 1915 by Mutual Weekly."  I don't know anything about this one.

"Winston Churchill, who inaugurated the fammous Dardenelles expedition.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty, civilian chief of the Royal Navy.  The Dardanelles Expedition is most famous for the debacle at Gallipoli.  Churchill lost his job because of it.

"U. S. submarine E-1 skimming over the water at high rate of speed.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Commissioned in 1912, she was the first submarine to test a gyrocompass.  She also tested making underwater radio transmissions. 

"Chicago Newsboys entertained at Lincoln Park Menagerie.  Copyright 1915, Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Many big cities had special days for their newsboys.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Joe Hill 100 Years -- November 19, 2015

100 years ago today, on 19-November-1915, Joe Hill was murdered by the State of Utah. Joel Hägglund was born in Sweden and came to America. He worked all over the country and became an organizer for the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World). He wrote songs.

He was accused of murdering a storekeeper and his son in Salt Lake City.  He did not do it, and there was little evidence, but the state refused to listen to pleas to pardon him or change his sentence.  Hill did not fight for acquittal, wanting to serve as a martyr for the cause.  He was shot by a firing squad.  He is remembered.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pulp -- Nick Carter Library -- November 17, 2015

Nick Carter was a detective who appeared in dime novels, pulp magazines, radio shows, movies and a television pilot. I remember seeing a Czech movie called Dinner for Adele at the Clay, which had Nick Carter in Prague. I wanted to make a Super-8 Nick Carter movie but could never get it organized.

Here is an example of a dime novel from the Nick Carter Library

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company -- November 16, 2015

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 13-February-1898

The Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company operated lines from Portland, Oregon into Washington and Idaho. Union Pacific took control in 1898, and merged it with the rest of the system in 1936.  The Oregon Short line was a UP subsidiary which was supposed to provide the shortest route from Oregon to Wyoming. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paris and Union Square -- November 15, 2015

Friday was a tough day.  Terrorists simultaneously attacked several locations in Paris, killing more than 100 people.  I was impressed to see Parisians using the #PorteOuverte hashtag to offer shelter to people who were stuck out in the streets.  I was especially impressed by the Sikh community, who opened their temples to people who needed a place to go.

Around 3pm, a double-deck tour bus on Post near Mason ran away, hitting a bicycle and dragging the rider two blocks towards Stockton.  It hit several more cars until it ran into the construction site for the new Apple Store at Stockton.  Here is a photo I took on Thursday.  I didn't catch the union members picketing.  I hope they are ok.  I was amazed to hear that no one was killed.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Booker T Washington 100 Years -- November 14, 2015

Washington Evening Star, 15-November-1915
Educator Booker T Washington was very influential in the African American community and in the wider culture in the early 20th Century.  When I was growing up, his reputation had diminished, but I believe that he did a lot of good things for America.  

Dr. Booker T. Washington Founder of Institute for Colored Race, Succumbs.
Man Who Was Born in Slavery Achieves Fame as Leader of Thought and Endeavor. 

TUSKEGEE, Ala., November 15.  -- Funeral arrangements were being completed today for Booker T. Washington, the noted negro educator and founder of Tuskegee Institute, who died here, yesterday of a nervous breakdown. Services will be held at the institute Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock, followed by internment in the institute grounds. The body will lie in state all day tomorrow.

Thousands of Alabamians, in addition to prominent educators and others from various parts of the country, are expected to attend the funeral. A special train will be run from Montgomery to bring state officials and others.

Messages of condolence reached the Washington home here today from throughout the country. They came from leaders of thought and endeavor in all walks of life.

While it is officially announced that the question of a successor will not be considered until after the funeral, the names of Emmett J. Scott, confidential secretary to Dr. Washington ; Warren Logan, treasurer and Dr. Ainsworth. business manager of the institute, are being mentioned in this connection. Scott, who for eighteen years has been closely identified with Dr. Washington in his work, is said to be the most likely successor.

Fatal Illness Develops.

The negro leader had been in failing health for several months, but his condition became serious only last week, while he was in the east. He realized the end was near, but was determined to make the long trip south to bear out his oft-expressed statement that he had been "born in the south," had "lived all my life in the south and expect to die and be buried in the south."

Accompanied by his wife, his secretary and a physician, Washington left New York for Tuskegee at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon. He reached his home Saturday midnight and died at 4:40 o'clock yesterday morning.

Specialists who had examined Washington said he was suffering from nervous breakdown and hardening of the arteries. His last public appearance was at the National Conference of Congregational Churches, where he delivered a lecture October 25.

He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren. His brother, John H. Washington, is superintendent of industries at Tuskegee Institute.

Was Born a Slave.

Booker T. Washington was born in slavery near Hales Ford, Va., in 1857 or 1858. After the emancipation of his race he moved with his family to West Virginia. He was an ambitious boy and saved his money for an education.  When he was able to scrape together sufficient funds to pay his stage coach fare to Hampton. Va.. he entered Gen. Armstrong's school for negroes there and worked his way through an academic course, graduating in 1875.  Later he became a teacher in the Hampton Institute, where he remained until 1881. when he organized an industrial school for negroes at Tuskegee.  He remained principal of this school up to the time of his death.

The institute started in a rented shanty church and today it owns 3,500 acres of land in Alabama and has nearly 100 buildings valued at half a million dollars.

Washington won the sympathy and support of leading southerners by a speech in behalf of his race at the cotton states exposition in Atlanta in 1895. Of undoubted ability and breadth of vision, his sane leadership enabled him to accomplish more for and among the negroes of the United States than any other negro of his time.

Gains Fame as Author.

In addition to his prominence as an educator, Washington gained considerable fame as an author. He received an honorary degree of master of arts from Harvard University in 1896 and was given an honorary degree of doctor of laws by Dartmouth College in 1901.

An incident of Washington's career made him a figure of national prominence during the administration of President Roosevelt. He sat down to lunch with the President at the White House, either by formal or informal Invitation. There was a storm of protest, particularly from the south, but in spite of the resulting hostility shown toward him by many white persons, Dr. Washington continued to exert a widespread influence toward the betterment of his people.

Col. Roosevelt's Tribute.

OYSTER BAY. N. Y.. November 15 Col. Theodore Roosevelt made the following statement on the death of Booker T. Washington:

"I am deeply shocked and grieved at the death of Dr. Booker T. Washington.  He was one of the distinguished citizens of the United States, a man who rendered greater service to his own race than had ever been rendered by any one else and who, in so doing also rendered great service to the whole country. I mourn his loss and feel that one of the most useful citizens of our land has gone."

Suggestion to Negro Business Man

MOUND BAYOU, Miss., November l5 -- Charles Banks, vice president of the National Negro Business League, of which Booker T. Washington was president. has sent telegrams to member of the league urging that all business enterprises conducted by negroes in the United States be closed for an
hour Wednesday as a mark of respect to Dr. Washington.

Memorial Services at Charleston.

CHARLESTON. W. Va.. November 15 -- Memorial services for the late Booker T. Washington will be held Wednesday morning at the hour set for the funeral at Tuskegee. Leading negro citizens from all parts of the state, where Dr. Washington resided after being freed from slavery, are expected to be present.

True Story Told at Last of Booker Washington's Luncheon at White House

The death of Booker T. Washington, the noted colored educator and founder of Tuskegee Institute, at Tuskegee, Ala., yesterday recalls the nation-wide comment that followed Washington luncheon with President Roosevelt In the White House in the summer of 1902. Many stories of how the colored educator came to be the President's guest at luncheon have been printed, and most of them, it is asserted, have been largely guesswork.

The true version of the affair was related today by a lifelong friend of Washington, who lives here.

The account of the incident given by this relator follows:

"While Vice President, Col. Roosevelt had become interested in the colored man and the great work he was conducting among the negroes of the south. Early in the summer of 1902 a vacancy occurred on the federal bench in Alabama.  One morning Booker T. Washington arrived in the National Capital and immediately called on a friend here, a white man, with whom he had been in the habit of taking council, and remarked that he a had. received an invitation to come to Washington immediately for a conference with President Roosevelt. He added that he had no idea of what was wanted of him, but he felt that the invitation was in the nature of a command, and that he should come.

Asked to Recommend Judge.

"That night about 10 o'clock he returned to the office of this friend and related the following story: The President had explained to him that there was a vacancy on the federal bench in Alabama and that he (the President) wanted Washington to recommend a man for the place. The President explained that if Washington would make a recommendation the President would look no further. 1 "Washington then remarked that he knew of a man who would make a good judge and would certainly be acceptable to the colored people of the state.

The man he mentioned was Thomas G. Jones, who had been Governor of Alabama and who resided at Montgomery,

"The President then said to Washington in substance: 'I will offer this place to Jones provided you will act as my messenger. I want you to go to him and say to him that you are authorized to offer the place to him and to say to him that if he is appointed, it will be solely on your recommendation.

"Washington undertook the mission. He left the National Capital that night for Alabama, and three days later returned here early one morning.

"About luncheon-time he went to the White House to report that former Gov. Jones had accepted.

"He found the President at luncheon, however, the White House attendants (the executive offices were then in the White House proper) informed the President that Mr. Washington was here. Mr. Roosevelt immediately asked the colored man to come into he dining room. According to the story, as told by Washington to his friend here, the President was lunching alone.

President Roosevelt Insisted.

"'Sit down and have lunch with me,' said the President.

"'No thank you: I have been to luncheon,' was the response the colored man made.

"The President, however, insisted that Mr. Washington should take a seat at the table and have a bite with him. while the message from Mr. Jones was being delivered. Reluctantly, as Mr. Washington afterward said, he did sit down, and participated in the luncheon while he made his report.

"This version of the luncheon story disposes of the popular impression that President Roosevelt in a formal way invited the colored educator to luncheon at the White House. After the country began to discuss the luncheon some of the friends of Mr. Washington advised him to make public the true story of the affair, but he never did, and Mr. Roosevelt also left the public free to draw its own conclusions."

Friday, November 13, 2015

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

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

"Luther Burbank, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford meet at San Francisco Exposition.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Inventor Edison met botanist Burbank for the first time in October.  Henry Ford often vacationed with Edison.  Here they pose at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. 

"Great quantities of opium are destroyed in San Francisco, California.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Smugglers found a good market for opium smuggled from China. 

"C. A. Youngren, inventor of a new life saving garment.  Copyright 1915 by Mutual Weekly."  I can't find anything about him.  An O. A. Youngren received a patent for a "life preserver" in 1921.  It may be the same person. 

"Mexican Bandits wreck train at Olnite, Texas.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  A Saint Louis, Brownsville and Mexico got derailed by Mexican bandits and looted on 18-October-1915.  The engineer died in the crash and the fireman was scalded.  One rider was shot and killed while the bandits robbed the passengers.  

"A scene from the Hearst-Selig News Pictorial showing conspirators who plotted to destroy U. S. ships carrying arms to Allies.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Inc."  German agents tried to plant explosives on ships carrying war materials. 

"A scene from Hearst-Selig News Pictorial showing the U. S. S. "Nevada" making its first trip.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Inc."  USS Nevada (BB-36) went to Ireland to protect convoys during World War One.  She was at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked in 1941.  She was damaged, but was repaired.  She was at Iwo Jima and D-Day and again protected Atlantic convoys.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Allen Toussaint, RIP -- November 12, 2015

I was sad to learn about the passing of Allen Toussaint, great composer, performer and producer from New Orleans.  I remember when he worked with the Meters.  He later produced all sorts of acts.  He did a lot to raise money after Hurricane Katrina.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day, 2015 -- November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans out there. Thank you for your service to your country.

This is the 97th anniversary of Armistice Day.  I am trying to pay attention to the Centennial of World War One in this blog.  All the men and women who fought in the war are gone, but we can still remember their sacrifices. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Newmann the Great -- November 9, 2015

That is a great poster.  C A George Newmann was a mentalist.  He was born in Minnesota and at the age of 13 performed as Newmann the Boy Wonder.  He featured hypnosis and mind reading in his act.

Princeton Union, 17-March-1904

Newmann toured throughout the Midwest.  He played Princeton, Minnesota on 18-March-1904. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Swashathon -- November 7, 2015

Fritzi at Movies Silently is hosting Swashathon -- A Blogathon of Swashbuckling Adventure to honor
the 100th anniversary of the film debut of Douglas Fairbanks.

My entry on my other blog is about the Robin Hood of the West. O Henry's Cisco Kid:
"Cisco Kid Was a Friend of Mine." 

Friday, November 6, 2015

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

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

 "Laying of keel of the 'California,' the first electrically propelled battleship.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  USS California, built at Mare Island, commissioned in 1921, was one of the dreadnaughts parked in Battleship Row when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Her crew fought hard, two were posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, but she sank at her moorings.  California was refloated and patched so that she could sail under her own power to Puget Sound, where she was extensively rebuilt.  She returned to battle in June, 1944 and participated in the island-hopping campaign.

"Special demonstration of new army transportation methods at San Diego, Calif.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  The US Army was testing trucks for transporation.

"Results of serious landslide at the Culebra Cut, Panama Canal.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  A series of landslides blocked the Panama Canal.  Stories in October newspapers estimated that it might be closed until January. 

"President Wilson lays cornerstone of Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington, Va.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  In October, President Wilson laid the cornerstone of a Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. 

"A view from the Hearst-Selig News Pictorial of 'Shadow Lawn,' President Wilson's new summer home.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Inc."  Shadow Lawn, in New Jersey, was President Wilson's Summer White House. 

"Scene from Hearst-Selig News Pictorial, showing the Rookies being attacked, at Chicago, Ill.  Copyright 1915, International Film Service Inc."  This must have been a National Guard training exercise. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sopwith Triplane -- November 5, 2015

A reproduction of a Sopwith Triplane, a nimble fighter flown mostly by Britain's Royal Naval Air Service.  The "B" Flight of Number 10 Naval Squadron was called The Black Flight because their planes were painted black and named things like "Black Prince" and "Black Death."  All the pilots of the flight were Canadians, and it produced some of Canada's greatest aces like Raymond Collishaw.

After they saw the Tripe, the Germans wanted their own triplane fighter.

In July, 2010, we visited the Museum of Flight near Seattle.   I took this photo in the Personal Courage Wing, which features airplanes, mostly fighters, from World War One and World War Two.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Novel -- Entertaining -- Instructive -- November 3, 2015

Bisbee Daily Review, 19-November-1914

100 years ago, ballroom dancing was very popular.  The Columbia Phonograph Company offered Columbia Dance Instruction records for $0.75 each. 


"All Columbia records will play on Victor talking machines.  Likewise all Columbia Grafanolas will play Victor records." 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Searchlight Rag -- November 1, 2015
Scott Joplin composed many famous ragtime tunes.  "Searchlight Rag," published in 1907, is not a famous one.  It is named after the town of Searchlight, Nevada, where a gold rush in the first decade of the 20th Century had drawn some of his friends.