Friday, April 30, 2021

International Jazz Day, 2021 -- April 30, 2021

Happy tenth annual International Jazz Day. We have Herbie Hancock to thank for this.

COVID-19, Vaccine, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- April 30, 2021

In April I received my second injection of the Pfizer vaccine. Only one Pfunny side effect. 

Rates of infection are still high, but rates of death have generally declined. By late April, 143k Americans had been vaccinated. 30% of Americans have been fully vaccinated. 

The single shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine was put on hold to investigate a small number of blood clot problems. It was back in business by the end of the month. 

Speaking of back in business, Muni Metro and F-line historic streetcar service may resume on May 15. The Powell-Hyde cable car line may return to service during the late summer.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Michael Collins, RIP -- April 29, 2021

Astronaut Michael Collins, who stayed aboard the Appolo 11 command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin visited the Moon on the LEM, has died. Several people have remarked that Collins had the perfect personality for taking care of business.

Albert Bierstadt -- Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California -- April 29, 2021

Smithsonian American Art Museum

I have always enjoyed the paintings of Albert Bierstadt. "Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California" was painted in 1868.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Coulter -- Clipper Lancing -- April 28, 2021


San Francisco Call, 01-November-1896

From the 01-November-1896 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view.

The Lancing Was Formerly
a Smart Ocean
Two Years Ago She Was Sold
and Transformed Into a
Sailing Ship.

Narrow Escape During a Brush With
the Progreso Off the Golden

The British ship Lancing now discharging at Green-street wharf is one of the handsomest vessels in port. She was originally a steamer and was built for the French Transatlantic Company a quarter of a century ago. At that time the vessel was known as the Periere, having been named after the millionaire president of the company. She cost nearly a million dollars to build and at that time was the fastest vessel on the run between Europe and New York. Her best average was sixteen knots an hour, but during the last run from Swansea to this port under sail the vessel made as good as 18 knots on many occasions.

After posing as a record-breaker for five years the Periere was ousted from her proud position by some of the new trans-Atlantic liners and later she was sold to a syndicate. Captain Hatfield, her commander, took charge of the vessel and changed her into the present magnificent specimen of marine architecture. She is fitted with water ballast which can be loaded or unloaded at the rate of 100 tons an hour. The cabin accommodations are of the best and all in all the Lancing is one of the finest and most commodious vessels that come to San Francisco.

Captain Hatfield is well known here, and a more genial or better-liked master does not come to this port. On this occasion he is accompanied by his wife and daughter.

The erstwhile steamer, and now smartest sailing vessel afloat, nearly met her fate on the 21st inst. She was almost in collision with the steamer Progreso, and both vessels carry marks of the encounter. Talking about the matter yesterday Captain Hatfield said:

"It was just after midnight, and a high wind was blowing. We were feeling our way toward the Golden Gate when all of a sudden there was a cry of 'Light on the starboard bow!' Before the echoes had ceased an immense steamer came rushing out of the gloom and a disastrous collision seemed inevitable. The Lancing's helm was put hard over, and it seemed an eternity before the ship fell off. "We just cleared the steamer's bowsprit and cathead while our forebrace fouled his bridge.

"I could almost have jumped aboard as she passed our stern and rushed out of sight into the fog. The whole affair only took up a minute of time and nothing could have saved either vessel if they had come together. "

Captain "Alec" Swanson brought the Lancing into port. She came in under sail and at the time, the bar was breaking.

"I never handled a finer vessel in my life, and she is the 'dryest' ship I ever set foot on," was the pilot's comment.

Captain Hatfield was lost in thought for a moment and then he said: "Captain Swanson, the ship can take care of herself for a few moments; let's go and splice the mainbrace."

"No, sir, " was the answer. "When I meet you ashore we'll have a drink together, but not at sea. What I meant by a dry ship is that, in spite of her beam, I have never crossed the bar when it was breaking in a vessel that takes as little water aboard as this one."

The accompanying sketch is drawn from a picture furnished Mr. Coulter by Captain Hatfield.

The steam whaler Orca got in from the Arctic yesterday. Although only away eight months, Captain McGregor has made the best catch of the season. The Orca brings back 14,000 pounds of bone, 450 barrels of oil and many fox and bear skins. There were several desertions at Point Hope; but the men came back, and Captain McGregor put them back on the payroll and said nothing. Some of them managed to reach Forty-mile Camp, and are now living on the bounty of those who have a little to spare in that isolated spot.

"The buffaloes and the whales are going out together," said Captain McGregor yesterday. "It is only here and there in the Arctic that you will find a whale, and it is only here and there on the plains that you will find a buffalo. Sometimes you will run across a herd, like we did, and then you will do well, but more frequently you will get nothing. Whaling in the Arctic is played out, and I think that next year many practical men will have a try at the Antarctic.

Admiral Daniel J Callaghan Society -- April 28, 2011

Tonight I attended the tenth annual meeting of the Admiral Daniel J Callaghan Society of my high school, Saint Ignatius College Prep. Tonight's meeting was held as a Zoom call. Captain Dennis Murphy (Ret), my classmate, interviewed former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John M Richardson (Ret). They spoke about faith, service and the current situation of the Navy around the world. They both recalled serving as diplomats in foreign ports. 

After the talk, SI students who had won the Callaghan Society essay contest received their awards. 

Admiral Callaghan, SI 1907, won a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, where he died on the bridge of the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco. The San Francisco survived the battle and was repaired at Mare Island. She served throughout the war. Her shell-torn bridge is preserved as a monument at Land's End in San Francisco. I took the photo on 07-January-2012.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Rogers Hornsby 125 -- April 27, 2021

Hitter, infielder, manager and hall of famer Rogers Hornsby was born 125 years ago today on 27-April-1896. He wa a great hitter and a difficult human being. Only Ty Cobb had a higher lifetime batting average.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Friday, April 23, 2021

Warren Spahn 100 -- April 23, 2021

Pitcher Warren Spahn was born 100 years ago today, on 23-Apri-1921. He was a combat engineer during World War Two. His career in the majors lasted from 1942 to 1965, with three years out for the war. He played mostly for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, but played for the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants during his last season.

I don't remember him as a player, but I grew up hearing people talk about him. On 02-July-1963, Spahn faced the Giants. Spahn and Juan Marichal faced each other for 16 innings with no score until Willie Mays hit a home run in the bottom of the 16th. Spahn was 42. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Famous Mamie Smith and Her Celebrated Jazz Hounds -- April 21, 2021


Saint Paul Appeal, 16-April-1921

Mamie Smith was a pioneering blues and jazz singer. Her recording of Perry Bradford's "Cray Blues" sold over a million copies in the first year. Over time, her Jazz Hounds included many famous musicians.

Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram, 21-April-1921

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

George Floyd's Murderer Convicted/Walter Mondale, RIP -- April 20, 2021

I was happy to learn that the police officer who killed George Floyd was convicted of his murder. A lot of people were worried that he would be acquitted. I don't see how anyone could think kneeling on a man's neck for 9 minutes and 27 seconds is a good idea. 

Perhaps our country is moving in the right direction.

I was sad to learn that former Vice President Walter Mondale has died. I voted for him in 1984. He was a decent guy. When he served with Jimmy Carter, Mondale may have been the first vice president to serve as an active partner, as Joe Biden did with Barack Obama, Dick Cheney did with George W Bust and Al Gore did with Bill Clinton. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

Coca-Cola -- Missed His Train -- April 19, 2021


New York Evening World, 01-April-1921

Coca-Cola ads for the Spring. The ad about tea is puzzling. It must have been intended to appeal to Presbyterians.

Durant Weekly News, 15-April-1921

The Presbyterian of the South, 20-March-1896

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Comic Book -- Tom Mix Western -- April 17, 2021

Fawcett Comics published Tom Mix Western from 1948 to 1953. Many covers featured a colorized photo of Mix, who had been dead for almost eight years when the comic began.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pulp -- Complete Novel -- April 15, 2021

Tom Mix was the biggest cowboy star in silent movies. He and his wonderful horse Tony had many adventures in Fox films. Complete Novel Magazine featured them both in a novelization of the 1928 Fox Film Daredevil's Reward.

Brownsville Herald, 21-October-1928

Brownsville Herald, 21-October-1928

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Al Green, 75 -- April 13, 2021

The Reverend Al Green, who has a gift from God, was born 75 years ago today, on 13-April-1946. His songs were some of the first that I came to love on the radio.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lynching is Murder -- April 11, 2021

Adersonville, South Carolina Intelligencer, 29-April-1896

 I have found Rev EE Bomar's sermon reproduced in many places. I do not know what happened to his fourth point. The man lynched at Broxton Bridge was accused of stealing a bible from a church. The mob also lynched his mother.

"Thou Shalt do no Murder"--Timely Text
for all the Preachers In the State.

Aiken Journal and Review, March 4. Sunday night at the Baptist Church the Rev. E. E. Bomar preached a sermon on lynching, of which we give below an abstract. The fine audience present listened with close attention to the words of the preacher. His text was from Exodus, one of the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt do no murder." The preacher said:

Some think that this not a proper theme for a preacher in his pulpit.. Such would divide all the world into men, women and preachers. But a preacher is not a man apart from all the world ; a hermit is, a priest is, or may be, but a preacher, never. He must be one of the people, and while not of the world, not worldly-minded, he must yet be in the world.

If it is objected that the theme is sensational, the reply is, so is crime. That sentiment is faulty which makes pets of preachers and insists that they should always dress in the latest style, and preach only tender, hortatory sermons. Sin is a dirty thing, and he who really deals with it, meets it and fights it, must throw away his gloves and his dress suit and meet it as it is.

We have precedent for denunciatory sermons. Before Jesus was John the Baptist; before the Gospel, Sinai and the law. The apostle Paul in his letter to Titus says: "Put them in mind to be subject to rulers," and again in writing to the Romans, "Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God." And yet again : "These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority."

Therefore I think it my duty to preach on this theme, and I advance as the distinct topic of the discourse this proposition: Lynching is never justifiable, not even in the most aggravated cases. I know what it is to feel the indignation which animates a mob against a man guilty of a terrible crime, for I have witnessed (both times by chance) two lynchings. I know that this may be brought home even to me at some time, but for all that I say that lynching is never justifiable in a well governed State like South Carolina. Plausible excuses are given, but none that justifies. Some say there's no use in talking about it, but I say there is use, and I will talk. There is need of enlightening public sentiment, and it is for that I plead, for the sentiment which stands on principle and refuses to justify lynching, no matter how aggravated the crime. I know that lynching is a sort of wild tribute to justice. If men did not care for purity and sobriety they would never lynch men for rape and murder. I know also that the state of our society is different from that of our sister States. I am not here to slander my own State and uncover her shame. I love her too well for that. But certainly she is guilty. Her own people have trampled on her laws and in the name of justice have overturned the throne of justice. The simple truth is that in the name of righteousness they have done unrighteousness; in the name of sobriety they have been guilty of lawlessness; in the name of safety, murder.

The preacher then went on to show why lynching is wrong. He gave five reasons, some low and some as high as heaven, which all can remember and think on. Lynching is wrong because it is a costly thing, a dangerous thing, a foolish thing. It sets at defiance the laws of the country, insults sobriety and, in the eyes of God, is nothing more or less than murder.

1. This lynching is apt to prove costly. A part of Section 6, Article 6, of the Constitution reads as follows:

"In all cases of lynching when death ensues the county where such lynching takes place shall, without regard to the conduct of the officers, be liable in exemplary damages of not less than two thousand dollars to the legal representative of the person lynched." This is a very practical and sordid consideration, but necessary in view of the assertion sometimes made that lynching is the easiest and cheapest way to get rid of notorious criminals.

2. It is a dangerous thing. It is not always true that mobs get the right man. Frequently it becomes known in after years that they got the wrong man. How can a frenzied mob do justice ? The state of mind which renders lynching possible makes true judgment impossible where there is any doubt. An angry mob is like a pack of bloodhounds let loose. If they do not get the right man, they will seldom rest content until they get somebody.

3. It is foolish; it is folly; it is useless. For the sense of justice which makes; possible lynching and really justifies it will also procure conviction in a legal trial. It is a favorite argument of those who justify lawlessness that our Courts are corrupt and that convictions cannot be obtained. I grant all the annoyance of the law's delay, all the influence of legal proceedings, all the one-sidedness of some maxims and principles, and, even all the stupidity of jurors and witnesses, and still I refuse to believe that the average jury in South Carolina would fail to convict a man so clearly guilty of crime that men threaten to arise and sometimes do crime to execute summary judgment on him. What, then is the use to take the law into our own hands ? Do we not by that act slander that sense of justice which abides in the breast of almost every common farmer in the State? For one I refuse to believe it, that our Courts are so corrupt that a man clearly guilty can get off by the quibble of the law. But we are not left to conjecture; we have a case in point. Some years ago in Spartanburg County a man killed his brother-in-law in which the public thought was cold-blooded murder, brought on by the murderer's own crime. Immediately the slayer was arrested and lodged in jail. Bail was refused him, though he was a man of large means. The indignant public in the neighborhood where the crime was committed, could not wait for him to be tried. They attempted to take him from jail to lynch him, but they failed. The officers, the militia and the law-abiding citizens resisted and kept back the mob. Was justice defeated? No, the criminal was in due time tried and, in spite of all that money and the best legal talent in the State could do, he suffered the extreme penalty of the law. This case, well known, and of but recent occurrence, shows that, our Courts are not so corrupted as these enemies of law would have us believe.

Again, lynching sets at defiance law and sobriety. It is a great misfortune. I had almost said the greatest, when a generation arises without respect for law and no evidence for justice and its officers. Lynching derides law; it spits in her face, takes from her her crown and tramples her garments under foot. Disregard for law, when it becomes an established sentiment, tends to make people either Ishmaelites or Indians. If our Courts are nothing, and our laws to be set aside for the unrestrained sentiments of every mob, the hand of every man must be against his felbws. Lynching for rape makes possible lynching for murder, and lynching for murder makes possible lynohing for minor offenses, and lynching for such things as stealing a Bible from a church makes possible the taking of individual private revenge in the home of law and order. If we tolerate lynching for the worst offence we may be sure that the mob will tolerate it for smaller offences. If we invoke the aid or submit to the patronage of lawlessness we must taste the consequence and not complain when lewd fellows of the baser sort really rule the land. Lynching is hypocrisy; it is the devil pretending to look after the public good.

5. Lastly, lynching is murder. That is all of it and the end of it. If one man takes the law into his hands, or two, and kills another, no one raises a question of guilt in that case. It makes no difference because a mob does the work of one man. Individuality and responsibility are not lost in a crowd. All lynchers are murderers, guilty in the sight of God and by the laws of our country. They are cowardly murderers, assassinators, striking in the dark, working often behind masked faces, no one daring to assert his individuality. They are weak murderers; no one of them will do what together they all do. They lean upon one another in their weakness. They pay no attention to the cries of the guilty. They even add torture, and while they sometimes make a mock of God by giving their victims a chance to pray, they more often add torture of some kind. Yes, lynching is murder; unabashed murder, cowardly murder, pitiless murder. God, the avenger, heard the cries of that man who was taken from the train at Windsor a few nights ago. God saw the end of the victims of Broxton Bridge, and God will avenge.

What concerns us is that his vengeance will fall on all also if we at all justify these acts, and do not do all in our power to bring the guilty ones to justice. Therefore I plead for correct views and a healthy sentiment on this subject; that we shall stand on principles when temptation comes; that we shall always support the law, and especially do I ask that God-fearing people will never countenance lawlessness in silence, look, or word, but remember the law, "Thou shalt not kill."

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Prince Philip, RIP -- April 10, 2021

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has died at 99. We keep losing World War Two veterans. He served in the Royal Navy and left in 1952, when Elizabeth II became Queen, with the rank of Commander. He was famous for saying things that were politically incorrect, but he was a good man, willing to serve in the shadow of his wife. 

The Queen and the rest of the royal family have my deepest sympathy. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

The Skipper of the Trolley is Mighty Blame Proud -- April 9, 2021

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains.

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 05-April-1921

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Gun That Throws Shell Thirty-Five Miles -- April 7, 2021


Cordova, Alaska Daily Times, 20-April-1921

Disappearing guns, actually guns mounted on disappearing carriages, were extensively used by the United States Army Coast Artillery Corps, which was tasked with defending our harbors. The dissapearing carriage allowed the gun to pop up from behind a parapet, fire and then drop behind the parapet, driven by the gun's recoil. There the gun could be reloaded in relative safety. Very few new ones were installed after World War One.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Kinky My Elbow -- April 5, 2021


Washington Times, 02-April-1921

I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. The marcel wave was a popular style for ladies' hair. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Washington Times, 03-June-1918

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter 2021 -- April 4, 2021


Life Magazine, 06-April-1922

Happy Easter, everyone. 

 The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936. Here is the cover of their 1922 Easter Number.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Baseball's Greatest Star -- April 3, 2021

Washington Times, 24-April-1921

100 years ago this month, this guy named Babe something was coming to Washington, DC to play the Senators, who are referred to here as "Griffmen" because Calvin Griffith owned the club.

Washington Times, 06-April-1921

Cartoonist Rube Goldberg: "The Stage Is All Set For Babe Ruth's New Home-Run Record."

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April, 2021 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- April 1, 2021


The Cable Car Home Page will be 25 years old in November.

I just put the April, 2021 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: A 1974 United Airlines ticket jacket. (Source: SFO Museum Collection, Gift of Thomas G. Dragges, 2011.051.329)
2. On the Kitsch page: Two more TWA posters; A puzzle; two patches; two stamp cachets; a Giants World Series pin
3. On the Cable Car Models page: The Metal Earth Model
4. Added News item about the potential return of the cable cars
5. Changed toy cable car picture on the main page to shelves of toy cable cars.

Ten years ago this month (April, 2011):
1. The picture of the month: A menu cover from the San Francisco Cable Car Room on Western Pacific's California Zephyr.

2. On the Kitsch page: A photo of shelves of toy cable cars; a Hard Rock Cafe pin; an Avon after shave bottle; a Starbucks gift card, a 1947 membership card from the Citizens' Cable Car Committee; a menu cover from the Western Pacific's California Zephyr Cable Car Room; more pictures of toy cable car 28; and a mysterious silver ingot

3. On the Who page: On the Cable Car Models page, a model of a California Street cable car by OcCre; another view of a Lefton model of a Cleveland grip car

4. On the Cal Cable page: Thank you to Mike Coppack of the Poway-Midland Railroad, I made a correction of some dates on that page and added information about their Car 17, which is under restoration

5. Added News and Bibliography items about Powell Street outages

6. Changed toy cable car picture on the main page to front view of Number 28.

Twenty years ago this quarter (Spring, 2001):
1. Picture of the Quarter: Will Clark riding on cable car

2. Add more items to the Kitsch page, including stamps and magazine advertisements.

3. Add Selected articles from Manufacturer and Builder Magazine (1880-1884) to the Miscellany page.

4. Update How Do Cable Cars Work? page. Changed images to thumbnails. Added girder rail image from Randy Hees and other new images.

5. Bob Murphy provided a photograph of the Gertrude Street Cable Winding House, which I added to the Melbourne article. Peter Vawser provided additional information about Melbourne cable tramways.

6. Add links to Kavanaugh Transit site, North American Vintage Trolley Systems and many others.

7. Add News and Bibliography items about a truck knocking down Seattle's Iron Pergola.

8. Add News and Bibliography items about Angel's Flight runaway accident. Also updated the Los Angeles Area Funiculars page.

9. Move Kalakala article to my ferry web site.

10. Change toy cable car picture on the main page to car 51.

11. Move "The Los Angeles Cable Railway" article from Scientific American (courtesy of Tom Ehrenreich) to another server.

Coming in May, 2021: On the Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: On the Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A ten year update on Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway.

100 years ago this month:

Financially strapped United Railroads was reorganized as the Market Street Railway

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-April-2021)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

Inventor and Bird-Like Flying Bicycle -- April 1, 2021


Metropolis Daily Planet, 03-June-1928

Successful Flight of Birdlike
Contraption Followed Secret Work at Home.
Ocean Hop to Paris Next.


Special Dispatch to The Planet

NEW YORK. June 2.—Folks in West Egg, Long Island, know now what young George White was up to during those six months when he was working on some secret contraption in his father's cellar. In the best Dick Merriwell tradition, the young man kept the cellar padlocked and the basement window boarded up, so nobody could find out what he was doing.

Now the town learns, from St. Augustine. Fla. that the busy and secretive Mr White was making himself a flying bicycle. and furthermore that it has flown 30 miles an hour for eight tenths of a mile.

With flapping "feathered" wings of transparent celluloid, this rig approaches nearer the original Icarian model— which has stirred the imagination of man for thousands of years than the more businesslike and less poetic outfits which finally got man into the air.

It is contoured like a bird and the inventor seeks a perfect simulation of bird flight in ascent, descent and guidance. Foot treads, flapping the wings, supply the power.

News of the first successful flight attracted little public interest. It has since been learned that Mr White is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a former Army aviator and instructor in flying and an indefatigable student of airplane design. Hence, news of his continued experiments at St. Augustine have caught the attention of technicians and designers here and his operations are being closely watched.

Predicts Ultimate Success.

Prof. Alexander Klemin of the Guggenheim School of Aeronautics of New York University, said he was astounded with White's achievements and saw no reason why the inventor would not eventually develop a foot-propelled flying machine, modeled on bird flight, that could cross the Atlantic Ocean.

It was said by friends of White here that the experiments now being made in Florida are preliminary studies and the attempt at Trans-Atlantic flight will be made after a schedule of fundamental experiments has been carried through.

While Mr. White is equipped with the knowledge of aerodynamics which the last 20 years have made available, his creation is entirely novel, having nothing in common, in propulsion, guidance or control, with airplanes now in use.
The machine weighs 137 pounds and its inventor says it could be built for $350.

Has Artificial "Feathers."

The 14-foot wings are built with a skeleton of strong, light chrome molybdenum covered with non-inflammable celluloid. The skeleton, showing through the transparency, gives it the appearance of a pre-historic flying monster. Artificial "feathers" on the upper surface, made of strips of molybdenum, further the bird-like appearance. Mr White contrived to increase the forward momentum gained, as in bird flight, by the upward strokes of the wings comparable to the action of an oar in sculling a boat forward. This theory is regarded as an entirely new idea by technicians here, and it is agreed that if Mr White proves its soundness he will have made a valuable contribution to aerodynamics.

Mr White is financing himself in his experiments. He sends word to his friends here that he will send them a telegram as soon as he lands in Paris.

Metropolis Daily Planet, 03-June-1928