Thursday, May 6, 2021

Langley Aerodrome No. 5, 125 Years -- May 6, 2021


Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
By Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents · 1898

125 years ago today, on 06-May-1896, Professor Samuel P Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, made two successful flights with his unmanned, steam-powered Aerodrome No. 5. This article from the 12-May-1896 Washington Evening Times, describes the successful tests. 

Professor Langley Succeeded in
Making a Long Flight.
He Will Next Send Up a Crew of
Three -- The Invention Given
Two Trials.

The big flying machine constructed by Prof. Langley of the Smithsonian Institution has made a successful half-mile flight.

He has been quietly conducting his momentous experiment, but bits of his secret are already cropping out.

Last Wednesday he and his assistants took their model down the Potomac to the quiet bay where they have hitherto conducted their experiments.

The machine was given two trials. At the first it flew 1,000 feet and was in the air one and one-half minutes. At the second it flew over half a mile.

The model is about four feet long, with a six-foot wing expansion. Prof. Langley believes he is now nearly ready to build a practical flying machine large enough to carry a crew of three and to make an extended flight.

It is estimated that the construction should not be undertaken with less than a fund of $100,000.

Prof. Alexander Graham Bell, it is understood, has been supplying a large share of the money for the experimental work, in which not less than $50,000 has already been expended.

At the close of open-air work last year Prof. Langley's machine had made a flight of about 300 feet, but it was easily overturned by cross air currents.

This difficulty has been so nearly overcome by automatic appliances that it is reported the machine is practically perfected. If Prof. Langley should inform Congress that he had solved the problem and wanted money to build a machine he might get it.

By James R Hansen · 1898

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Happy Cinco de Mayo, 2021 -- May 5, 2021

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín led the Mexican army which defeated the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

"The national arms have been covered with glory" General Zaragoza wrote in a letter to President Benito Juárez. Some people credit this defeat with preventing French interference in the US Civil War.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Krazy Kat -- And Now I Discover the Law of Love -- May 3, 2021


Washington Times, 03-May-1921

I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Various laws are discussed in this installment. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Washington Times, 03-June-1918

Saturday, May 1, 2021

There is Power in a Union -- May 1, 2021


Today is International Workers' Day. God bless the grocery workers, the transit operators, the medical workers, the janitors, the farm workers who have kept working during this pandemic. We owe them a great debt.

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


Street Railway Journal, June, 1893

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

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

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: Market Street Railway manufactured its own wire ropes at the Market and Valencia powerhouse using this scary-looking piece of machinery. (Source: "San Francisco, the Birthplace of the Cable Railway" by Charles B Fairchild, Street Railway Journal, June, 1893)
2. On the Cable Car Lines in San Francisco page: "San Francisco, the Birthplace of the Cable Railway," by Charles B Fairchild, >The Street Railway Journal, June, 1893. A detailed article about transit in San Francisco.
3. On the Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A ten year update about Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway, including an image of and excerpt about the corner of Fifth and Walnut Streets, where many lines, cable, electric and horse, came together.
4. Added News item about the pandemic and the potential return of the cable cars

Ten years ago this month (May, 2011):
1. The picture of the month: Vine Street Cable Railway car 258 is shown at Vine and Molitor Streets in Cincinnati, with a grip on display
2. On the new Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A new article about Cincinnati's Vine Street Cable Railway.
3. Added News and Bibliography items about a Powell/Hyde shutdown and the passing of gripman Floyd Moore

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 June, 2021:

 On the Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A ten year update on Cincinnati's Mount Auburn Cable Railway.

125 years ago this month:

May 01 - The Portland Cable Railway was cut back to the trestle.
May 27 - A cyclone tore the roof of the powerhouse of the Peoples' Railway of Saint Louis

75 years ago this month:

May 20 - The San Francisco Municipal Railway raised its basic fare from $0.07 to $0.10.

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page: