Sunday, January 31, 2016

Catholic Schools Week, 2016 -- January 31, 2016

Today is the start of Catholic Schools Week.

I'm grateful that my parents put me in Catholic schools for 12 years.  I'm also grateful to my teachers. 

Good Shepherd in Pacifica gave our daughter a great education and continues to do the same for many other children. They are having an open house today from 11am to 2pm.  The school is worth considering if you live in or near Pacifica:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gelett Burgess 150 -- January 30, 2016

Happy 150th birthday to San Francisco writer, poet and prankster Gelett Burgess.  He was born in Boston on 30-January-1866.  His most famous composition was "The Purple Cow":

I never saw a purple cow
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one!

He and his friends dumped a pro-prohibition statue into the bay.  He published a literary magazine, The Lark.  He wrote "The Ballad of the Hyde Street Grip." Read it or listen to it on my cable car site:

Friday, January 29, 2016

News of the Week January 29, 1916 --January 29, 2016

The 29-January-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Allegheny River reaches a flood stage of twenty-one feet during recent storms.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  The Allegheny River passes through Pittsburgh.

"State militia arrive at East Youngstown, Ohio to quell riot.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  Steelworkers at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company went on strike because of intolerable working conditions and starvation wages.  The workers made $500 a year while the company paid a 12 percent dividend. 

"The old river packet 'Kanawha' strikes pier and sinks at Parkersburg, W. Va.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  Steamer Kanawha sank on 06-January-1915.  At least eight passengers died.

"U.S.S. Flagship 'Virginia' leaving Charlestown Navy Yard with fleet for Southern waters.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  USS Virginia (BB-13) was a pre-dreadnaught battleship commissioned in 1906.  She was part of the Great White Fleet.  During World War One she escorted convoys.  She was decommissioned in 1920 and sunk in 1923 as part of General Billy Mitchell's bombing demonstrations. 

"Rear Admiral Robert E. Perry and a committee choosing a site for aerial patrol station.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."  Robert Peary and Matthew Henson had reached the North Pole in 1909.  In 1916 the retired Admiral was chairman of the National Aerial Coast Patrol Commission, which advocated the use of coastal patrol aircraft. 

"Employees of East Youngstown are paid off while under guard.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  See above. 

Paul Kantner, RIP -- January 29, 2016

I was sad to learn of the death of Paul Kantner, one of the founders of the Jefferson Airplane.  I used to ride the bus past their house on Fulton Street.  A friend's mother was upset that they painted it black, because it had been her grandparents' home. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Super Bowl Alert -- January 28, 2016

Things have been messy down at the end of Market.  The street is closed at Beale.  Beale is now a two-way street with several buses going north, including the 38-Geary and the F-Market bustitution. 

Now there are two 50s on the Ferry Building. 

In fact there are 50s up and down Market Street and all over the place. 

The F line street cars run only along the Embarcadero, cut off from Market Street by the Super Bowl Village. 

F buses, articulated and single, run from Castro to Don Chee Way, by the museum. 

Its not a train, its a streetcar.  This sign is on the shelter on Don Chee Way. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Over the Top -- Chapter XIV --January 27, 2016

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:  
Covering Party. A number of men detailed to lie down in front of a working party while "out in front" to prevent surprise and capture by German patrols. Tommy loves this job, I don't think!
Lewis Gun. A rifle-like machine gun, air cooled, which only carries 47 rounds in its "pie-plate" magazine. Under fire when this magazine is emptied you shout for "ammo" but perhaps No. 2, the ammo carrier, is lying in the rear with a bullet through his napper. Then it's "napoo-fini" (Tommy's French) for Mr. Lewis.
"Napoo-Fini." Tommy's French for gone, through with, finished, disappeared.

"Napper." Tommy's term for head.

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


I HAD not slept long before the sweet voice of the Sergeant informed that "No. 1 Section had clicked for another blinking digging party." I smiled to myself with deep satisfaction. I had been promoted from a mere digger to a member of the Suicide Club, and was exempt from all fatigues. Then came an awful shock. The Sergeant looked over in my direction and said:

"Don't you bomb throwers think that you are wearing top hats out here. 'Cordin' to orders you've been taken up on the strength of this section, and will have to do your bit with the pick and shovel, same as the rest of us."

put up a howl on my way to get my shovel, but the only thing that resulted was a loss of good humor on my part. We fell in at eight o'clock, outside of our billets, a sort of masquerade party. I was disguised as a common laborer, had a pick and shovel, and about one hundred empty sandbags. The rest, about two hundred in all, were equipped likewise: picks, shovels, sandbags, rifles, and ammunition.

The party moved out in column of fours, taking the road leading to the trenches. Several times we had to string out in the ditch to let long columns of limbers, artillery, and supplies get past.

The marching, under these conditions, was necessarily slow. Upon arrival at the entrance to the communication trench, I looked at my illuminated wrist-watch—it was eleven o'clock.

Before entering this trench, word was passed down the line, "no talking or smoking, lead off in single file, covering party first."

This covering party consisted of thirty men, armed with rifles, bayonets, bombs, and two Lewis machine guns. They were to protect us and guard against a surprise attack, while digging in No Man's Land.

The communication trench was about half a mile long, a zigzagging ditch, eight feet deep and three feet wide.

Now and again, German shrapnel would whistle overhead and burst in our vicinity. We would crouch against the earthen walls while the shell fragments "slapped" the ground above us.

Once Fritz turned loose with a machine gun, the bullets from which "cracked" through the air and kicked up the dirt on the top, scattering sand and pebbles, which, hitting our steel helmets, sounded like hailstones.

Upon arrival in the fire trench an officer of the Royal Engineers gave us our instructions and acted as guide.

We were to dig an advanced trench two hundred yards from the Germans (the trenches at this point were six hundred yards apart).

Two winding lanes, five feet wide, had been cut through our barbed wire, for the passage of the diggers. From these lanes white tape had been laid on the ground to the point where we were to commence work. This in order that we would not get lost in the darkness. The proposed trench was also laid out with tape.

The covering party went out first. After a short wait, two scouts came back with information that the working party was to follow and "carry on" with their work.

In extended order, two yards apart, we noiselessly crept across No Man's Land. It was nervous work; every minute we expected a machine gun to open fire on us. Stray bullets "cracked" around us, or a ricochet sang overhead.

Arriving at the taped diagram of the trench, rifles slung around our shoulders, we lost no time in getting to work. We dug as quietly as possible, but every now and then, the noise of a pick or shovel striking a stone, would send the cold shivers down our backs. Under our breaths we heartily cursed the offending Tommy.

At intervals a star shell would go up from the German lines and we would remain motionless until the glare of its white light died out.

When the trench had reached a depth of two feet, we felt safer, because it would afford us cover in case we were discovered and fired on.

The digging had been in progress about two hours, when suddenly, hell seemed to break loose in the form of machine gun and rifle fire.

We dropped down on our bellies in the shallow trench, bullets knocking up the ground and snapping in the air. Then the shrapnel butted in. The music was hot and Tommy danced.

he covering party was having a rough time of it; they had no cover; just had to take their medicine.

Word was passed down the line to beat it for our trenches. We needed no urging; grabbing our tools and stooping low, we legged it across No Man's Land. The covering party got away to a poor start but beat us in. They must have had wings because we lowered the record.

Panting and out of breath, we tumbled into our front-line trench. I tore my hands getting through our wire, but, at the time, didn't notice it; my journey was too urgent.

When the roll was called we found that we had gotten it in the nose for sixty-three casualties.

Our artillery put a barrage on Fritz's front-line and communication trenches and their machine gun and rifle fire suddenly ceased.

Upon the cessation of this fire, stretcher-bearers went out to look for killed and wounded. Next day we learned that twenty-one of our men had been killed and thirty-seven wounded. Five men were missing; lost in the darkness they must have wandered over into the German lines, where they were either killed or captured.

Speaking of stretcher-bearers and wounded, it is very hard for the average civilian to comprehend the enormous cost of taking care of wounded and the war in general. He or she gets so accustomed to seeing billions of dollars in print that the significance of the amount is passed over without thought.

From an official statement published in one of the London papers, it is stated that it costs between six and seven thousand pounds ($30,000 to $35,000) to kill or wound a soldier. This result was attained by taking the cost of the war to date and dividing it by the killed and wounded.

It may sound heartless and inhuman, but it is a fact, nevertheless, that from a military standpoint it is better for a man to be killed than wounded.

f a man is killed he is buried, and the responsibility of the government ceases, excepting for the fact that his people receive a pension. But if a man is wounded it takes three men from the firing line, the wounded man and two men to carry him to the rear to the advanced first-aid post. Here he is attended by a doctor, perhaps assisted by two R. A. M. C. men. Then he is put into a motor ambulance, manned by a crew of two or three. At the field hospital, where he generally goes under an anaesthetic, either to have his wounds cleaned or to be operated on, he requires the services of about three to five persons. From this point another ambulance ride impresses more men in his service, and then at the ambulance train, another corps of doctors, R. A. M. C. men, Red Cross nurses, and the train's crew. From the train he enters the base hospital or Casualty Clearing Station, where a good-sized corps of doctors, nurses, etc., are kept busy. Another ambulance journey is next in order—this time to the hospital ship. He crosses the Channel, arrives in Blighty—more ambulances and perhaps a ride for five hours on an English Red Cross train with its crew of Red Cross workers, and at last he reaches the hospital. Generally he stays from two to six months, or longer, in this hospital. From here he is sent to a convalescent home for six weeks.

f by wounds he is unfitted for further service, he is discharged, given a pension, or committed to a Soldiers' Home for the rest of his life,—and still the expense piles up. When you realize that all the ambulances, trains, and ships, not to mention the man-power, used in transporting a wounded man, could be used for supplies, ammunition, and reinforcements for the troops at the front, it will not appear strange that from a strictly military standpoint, a dead man is sometimes better than a live one (if wounded). Not long after the first digging party, our General decided, after a careful tour of inspection of the communication trenches, upon "an ideal spot," as he termed it, for a machine-gun emplacement. Took his map, made a dot on it, and as he was wont, wrote "dig here," and the next night we dug.

There were twenty in the party, myself included. Armed with picks, shovels, and empty sandbags we arrived at the "ideal spot" and started digging. The moon was very bright, but we did not care as we were well out of sight of the German lines.

We had gotten about three feet down, when the fellow next to me, after a mighty stroke with his pick, let go of the handle, and pinched his nose with his thumb and forefinger, at the same time letting out the explosion, "Gott strafe me pink, I'm bloody well gassed, not 'alf I ain't." I quickly turned in his direction with an inquiring look, at the same instant reaching for my gas bag. I soon found out what was ailing him. One whiff was enough and I lost no time in also pinching my nose. The stench was awful. The rest of the digging party dropped their picks and shovels and beat it for the weather side of that solitary pick. The officer came over and inquired why the work had suddenly ceased, holding our noses, we simply pointed in the direction of the smell. He went over to the pick, immediately clapped his hand over his nose, made an "about turn" and came back. Just then our Captain came along and investigated, but after about a minute said we had better carry on with the digging, that he did not see why we should have stopped as the odor was very faint, but if necessary he would allow us to use our gas helmets while digging. He would stay and see the thing through, but he had to report back at Brigade Headquarters immediately. We wished that we were Captains and also had a date at Brigade Headquarters. With our gas helmets on we again attacked that hole and uncovered the decomposed body of a German; the pick was sticking in his chest. One of the men fainted. I was that one. Upon this our Lieutenant halted proceedings and sent word back to headquarters and word came back that after we filled in the hole we could knock off for the night.

This was welcome tidings to us, because--

Next day the General changed the dot on his map and another emplacement was completed the following night. The odor from a dug-up, decomposed human body has an effect which is hard to describe. It first produces a nauseating feeling, which, especially after eating, causes vomiting. This relieves you temporarily, but soon a weakening sensation follows, which leaves you limp as a dish-rag. Your spirits are at their lowest ebb and you feel a sort of hopeless helplessness and a mad desire to escape it all, to get to the open fields and the perfume of the flowers in Blighty. There is a sharp, prickling sensation in the nostrils, which reminds one of breathing coal gas through a radiator in the floor, and you want to sneeze, but cannot. This was the effect on me, surmounted by a vague horror of the awfulness of the thing and an ever-recurring reflection that, perhaps I, sooner or later, would be in such a state and be brought to light by the blow of a pick in the hands of some Tommy on a digging party.

Several times I have experienced this odor, but never could get used to it; the enervating sensation was always present. It made me hate war and wonder why such things were countenanced by civilization, and all the spice and glory of the conflict would disappear, leaving the grim reality. But after leaving the spot and filling your lungs with deep breaths of pure, fresh air, you forget and once again want to be "up and at them."

Next: CHAPTER XV -- Listening Post

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

WaaTeeKaa Shrouded in Mystery -- January 26, 2016

The Bechtel Museum is housed in a railroad car in the plaza behind the company's headquarters.   The Bechtel family lived in a railroad car, the WaaTeeKaa, at remote job sites in the 1920s. This car, originally from the Chicago, Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha, was restored to externally resemble the WaaTeeKaa as a gift to Steve Bechtel, Senior and his wife Laura in 1988.

On Juanuary 14, a  crew started to erect a tent over WaaTeeKaa.  We stood in the window of our office and speculated why they might be doing it.  I suggested that the roof of the wooden car could have developed a leak during our big storms, or they want to protect it from the upcoming Super Bowl festivities. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

New Cat #27 -- January 25, 2016

I took the photo on 16-January-2016.  I like her little white gloves. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mad Number 117 -- January 23, 2016

I don't usually write about football, but with the Super Bowl coming, I might as do this.  Alfred E Newman splits the goal posts on the cover of the March, 1968 Mad Magazine

Friday, January 22, 2016

News of the Week January 22, 1916 --January 22, 2016

The 22-January-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Horses at Boston waiting to be shipped to the French Government.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."   I have mentioned it before, but the armies still depended greatly on animal power.

"Gas explosion wrecks an oil tank steamship, Aztec, in its New York dock.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  On 04-January-1916, Norwegian steamer Aztec blew up in Brooklyn, where she was docked.  Several crewmen were killed and injured.  The ship had carried a load of gasolene to France. 

"Major-General Bell, who has just taken command of the Western division of the U. S. Army.  Copyright, 1916, Mutual Weekly."  George Bell, Jr. was a West Point graduate who commanded the El Paso District during the border troubles.

"Pittsburgh police department takes motion pictures of the rogues it captures.  Copyright 1916 by Paramount News Pictures."   I think I have seen this one before.

"Fair swimming fans of Chicago go bathing in Lake Michigan despite ice and snow.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  I wouldn't do that.

"Italian line 'Guiseppe Verdi' arrives in New York armed to repel submarines.  Copyright 1916 by Pathe News."  Verdi was a new liner armed with two three-inch guns.  There was controversy about arming civilian ships.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trips Festival 50 Years -- January 21, 2016

Fifty years ago, on 21-January-1966, the tribes gathered at San Francisco's Longshoreman's Hall for the Trips Festival.  I don't remember this, but I do remember later events in Golden Gate Park, which we could hear from our back yard.

Years later I read Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.  I better understood many things I had heard about when I was a kid, about Ken Kesey, Stewart Brand and the Merry Pranksters.  The Festival went on for three days.  The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company performed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pulp -- Football Stories -- January 19, 2016
I don't usually write about football, but with the Super Bowl coming, I might as do this...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Overland Limited -- June 17, 2016

San Francisco Call, 18-June-1911

An ad from the 18-June-1911 San Francisco Call touts the Southern and Union Pacific's investments which sped the time of the Overland Limited from Chicago to San Francisco by 4 1/2 hours.  These investments included the Lucin Cutoff across an arm of the Great Salt Lake.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Monte Irvin, RIP -- January 16, 2016

I was sad to learn of the passing of Giants great Monte Irvin.  He played in the Negro Leagues for the Newark Eagles and was an All Star five times.  Newark won the Negro League World Series in 1946.  His Negro League career was interrupted by Army service during World War II.

In 1949, Irvin and Hank Thompson were the first two African American Giants players, if you don't count the men John McGraw tried to pass off as Native American.  Irvin was an outfielder who could hit, run, field and throw exceptionally well.  He was a Major League All Star once.

When Willie Mays joined the Giants in 1951, Irvin was his mentor.

Irvin played in the Major League World Series in 1951 and 1954.  He played for the Cubs in 1956 and retired in 1957 because of a back injury. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

News of the Week January 15, 1916 --January 15, 2016

The 15-January-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Results of a French aeroplane raid on Germany.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Both sides were practicing aerial bombardment. 

"A German freighter captured by Russia sails from New York with ammunition for the allies.  Copyright, 1915, Mutual Weekly."  Several German freighters were taken over by the allies. 

 "The leading magnates of organized baseball assemble at Cincinnati and declare peace.  Copyright, 1915, 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.  I assume peace was declared after the Federal League folded.

"Oxen used to distribute milk in Roseland, New Jersey.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Distributing milk by ox sled must have been rare for this to be considered newsworthy.

 "Colonel E. M. House leaves for Europe on diplomatic mission.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Edward Mandell House was a friend and adviser to Woodrow Wilson.  He frequently performed informal diplomacy.

"The famous Seventh U. S. Cavalry leaving San Francisco for the Mexican border.  Copyright, 1915, Mutual Weekly."  The Seventh Cavalry, Custer's old unit, served in the Mexican Punitive Expedition.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

David Bowie, RIP -- January 14, 2016
Monday morning the clock radio went off.  I switched the radio to AM and tuned in to KCBS.  The lead story was the passing of David Bowie.  I said "No, it was his birthday the other day."  He had just released a new album. 

I thought of a friend who had died of AIDS.  He transferred into our class at Saint Monicas when his family moved from Hong Kong.  He was a big fan of David Bowie before Bowie had a hit here.  I might have heard "Space Oddity," but I wouldn't swear to it.  Derek wore his hair the way Bowie did at the time and dressed as much like him as he could.  I learned from a Facebook toast by a classmate that years later Derek introduced her to David Bowie at a party.  I was happy to read that.

I liked the way he kept changing his looks and his clothes and his music. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ching Ling Foo and His Own Company of 14 -- January 13, 2016

New York Tribune, 13-July-1913

Ching Ling Foo (Chee Ling Qua) was a Chinese-born magician who toured the United States in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies.  Here he played at Oscar Hammerstein's Paradise Roof Garden.  Roof Gardens were popular during the summer as a way to escape the heat.

Ina Claire was a popular actress.  Aida Overton Walker, Queen of the Cakewalk, was an African-American performer and the wife of Bert Williams' partner, George Walker.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Albatros D.Va -- January 11, 2016

When I was a kid, someone gave me a book about World War One airplanes.  I virtually memorized it. The Albatros D.Va was one of a long series of fighters from the German Albatros company, but it was not a success.  The D.Va had sesquiplane wings which tended to shear off when diving too fast.  It looks pretty cool with the dragon on the side, but the plane was generally unpopular with German pilots.  This is a reproduction. 

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.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Steady Rain -- January 9, 2016

After some years of drought, we are nearly up to year-to-date average.  We had heavy rain for four days and now we are having lighter rain every other day.  It is a nice change. 

Actress Leila Hyams appeared in Freaks and Island of Lost Souls.

Friday, January 8, 2016

News of the Week January 8, 1916 --January 8, 2016

The 08-January-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.

"Welcoming Yoshito, 122nd Emperor of Japan in Kyoti, Japan.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  Yoshihito was crowned Emperor on 10-November-1915, succeeding his father, Meiji.  Yoshihito suffered from health problems throughout his reign.  Yoshihito's son Hirohito became regent in 1921.  Yoshihito died in 1926.  I assume that Kyoti means Kyoto.

"Roger W. Babson conducts outdoor office in zero weather.  Copyright, 1915, Mutual Weekly."  Babson was an eccentric entrepreneur who founded three universities and colleges.  I don't know what he was doing outside in zero degree weather. 

"Ex-Bandit Al Jennings in New York City.   Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Jennings was a former bank and train robber who once shared a prison cell with O. Henry.  Jennings later starred in some movies.

"Two immense grain elevators in Pennsylvania are destroyed by fire.  Copyright, 1915, Paramount News Pictures."  I have not been able to find any details about these fires.

"Christmas trees shipped from Maine woods.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I wonder if they still travel by rail. 

"A view of U. S. flagship Pennsylvania.  Copyright 1915 by Universal Animated Weekly."  Dreadnaught USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) was launched on 16-March-1915.  During the Pearl Harbor attack, she was in drydock, but her anti-aircraft guns fought back.  15 of her crew were killed, but she was able to sail to San Francisco for repairs.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Clear As a Bell -- January 7, 2015

New York Tribune, 30-April-1916

The Sonora Phonograph Company was founded in New York City in 1913.  The Sonora Phonograph won a gold medal at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Maple Leaf Rag -- January 5, 2016

IN Harmony ID:
"Maple Leaf Rag," published in 1899, was Scott Joplin's most famous and influential composition.  I once put together a mix tape made up entirely of recordings of this tune.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ferry Building Number 50 -- January 3, 2015

In late December, "1915" disappeared from the tower of the Ferry Building, replaced by "50" for the upcoming Super Bowl.  I find it interesting that this is the 50th Super Bowl, but they are not going to identify it with a Roman numeral "L."  Instead, they are using Arabic numerals.  Using "L" would have improved kids' knowledge of  Roman numerals. I'm going to miss the 1915.  I took the photo on 29-December-2015. 

I took this photo on 03-March-2015. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

News of the Week January 1, 1916 --January 1, 2016

The 01-January-1916 Motography featured "News of the Week as Shown in Films," with items from current newsreels.  Unfortunately, someone tore an item out of the page behind.

The caption is missing from the left-hand photo, but I see a heavy-duty railroad flatcar with the barrel of a large artillery piece, either on its way to a ship or a coastal defence fortification.

"C., M. & St. Paul installs electric engine at Butte, Mont.  Copyright, 1915, Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  The Milwaukee Road (Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Railroad) opened its Pacific Coast extension in 1909, but found it difficult to operate because of steep grades and bad weather in the mountain passes.  They electrified part of the line in Montanna and Idaho in 1914 and 1915. 

The left-hand picture is missing completely.

"First Trial of the United States amphibious automobile.  Copyright, 1915, Mutual Weekly."  Delia The Motor Duck was designed and built by Michael de Cosmo in San Francisco.

"Water falls make motive power at Great Falls, Mont.  Copyright, 1915, Hearst-Selig News Pictorial."  Hydroelectric plants supplied the power for the Milwaukee Road's Pacific Extension.

"Crow Reservation Indian chiefs visit the capitol.  Copyright 1915 by Pathe News."  I assume they are from the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana.

What the World Did Last Year -- January 1, 2016

Bismarck Daily Tribune, 01-January-1916
The Review of 1915 mentions many items covered in this blog in 2015, including the first transcontinental telephone call, William Jennings Bryan resigning as Secretary of State, the death of Booker T Washington, the sinking of the Lusitania and the killing of Nurse Edith Cavell by the Germans.