Thursday, September 30, 2021

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

New cases are still rising, especially in states with Republican governors who have been ignoring the pandemic.

Good Shepherd Church in Pacifica revived the 5pm Saturday mass in September. Turnout has been low.

The Giants were the first team to win 100 games.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Dr Lonnie Smith and Commander Cody, RIP -- September 28, 2021

I was sad to learn that Dr Lonnie Smith, Hammond B-3 artist, has died. He made many great recordings with George Benson.

I was also sad to learn that George Frayne, Commander Cody of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, has died. One of my favorite band names. They made some of my favorite country rock.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Kissell Kar Climbs 50% Grade Carrying Five Passengers -- September 27, 2021

Arizona Republican, 23-March-1916

Automobile builders still like to use San Francisco hills for their advertisements. The products of the Kissel Motor Car Company were advertised as "Kissell Kars" or "KissellKars." Kissells were expensive cars known for their quality. I must confess I had to look up Duncan Street to remember where it is.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel/Giants' 100th Win -- September 25, 2021

Yesterday we went to Saint Mary's Cathedral to see Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition. A conference room in the cathedral had high def images of the frescoes printed on special cloth. I visited the chapel in 1977. It was nice to see the images so much closer.

Later in the evening, the Giants beat the Rockies for their 100th win. They were the first team to reach 100 this season. The magic number was eight. 

Today the Giants won again the the Dodgers lost, so the magic number is six.

New Cat #91 -- September 25, 2021

I took the photo on 03-September-2021.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Melvin van Peebles, RIP -- September 24, 2021

Filmmaker, author and musician Melvin van Peebles has died. So far, the obituaries that I have read have rightly discussed his influential independent movie career and his successful plays. No obituary has mentioned that he had been a San Francisco cable car gripman. He wrote a successful book called The Big Heart.

F Scott Fitzgerald 125 -- September 24, 2021

At least one source says that today would have been F Scott Fitzgerald's 125th birthday. He was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been a favorite writer since high school. He spent his last years in Hollywood writing screenplays. His marriage to Zelda Sayre was complicated.

Three Comrades was the only movie that was released with a writing credit for Fitzgerald. His name is visible in tiny print on this poster. 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Bierstadt -- Estes Park, Colorado -- September 23, 2021

Private Collection

I have always enjoyed the paintings of Albert Bierstadt. He painted "Estes Park, Colorado" in 1869.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Music Will Be Furnished by Brownlee's Jazz Band -- September 21, 2021

New Orleans Herald, 22-September-1921

Norman Brownlee, a veteran of World War One and World War Two, had a long career in jazz in the New Orleans area. He led Brownlee's Orchestra of New Orleans and played with other ensembles.

New Orleans Herald, 08-September-1921

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Like Oranges? Drink Orange Crush -- September 19, 2021

Lakeland Evening Telegram, 22-September-1921

Orange Crush was created in 1911. Now and then I enjoy a Diet Orange Crush.

Americus Times-Recorder, 03-September-1921

Friday, September 17, 2021

Coca-Cola -- Noontime or Anytime, No Other Beverage Can Equal It -- September 17, 2021

Imperial Valley Press, 09-September-1921

Workers enjoy a Coke on their lunch break.

Rock Island Argus, 29-September-1921

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Jon Hendricks 100 -- September 16, 2021

Jon Hendricks, one of the pioneers of vocalese was born 100 years ago today, on 16-September-1921.  He was a veteran of the D-Day landings in World War II. 

I like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.  I never got to see his show, Evolution of the Blues, while it played at Keystone Korner for five years.

Mamie Smith 75 Years -- September 16, 2021

Saint Paul Appeal, 16-April-1921

Mamie Smith, a pioneering blues and jazz singer, died 75 years ago today, on 16-September-1946. 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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Great Crash at Crush -- September 15, 2021

Kansas City Daily Journal, 16-September-1896

125 years ago today, on 15-September-1896, at the town of Crush, Texas, which existed for one day, two trains of the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad had a head-on collision, on purpose. William G Crush, appropriate name, was a passenger agent for the railroad. He had the idea, inspired by an earlier demonstration in Ohio, that the railroad would gain publicity and make money by staging a crash for people to view. The railroad made money by selling excursion tickets. The collision of the two locomotives, each pulling six boxcars loaded with railroad ties, resulted in both boilers exploding and sent debris flying towards the audience. Two people were killed and at least six were badly wounded. A photographer lost an eye. The Katy fired Crush, but hired him back the next day. Other people staged collisions, but kept the spectators farther away.

Great ragtime composer Scott Joplin wrote a march about the crash. 

A Planned Collision In Texas Injures
Nine Spectators.

Waco, Tex., Sept. 15. -- The prearranged collision, which has been so extensively advertised, took place to-day at Crush, Tex., fourteen miles north of this place, on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway.

There were six cars behind each engine and the, wreck of both engines, as well as seven cars, was complete. Nine of the spectators were badly injured by falling wreckage, two probably fatally. It is estimated 50,000 people witnessed the collision.

Daily Ardmoreite, 16-September-1896

The Katy Head-Ender Witnessed
Yesterday by Thirty Thousand People
Several Persons Injured.

The big head-end collision on the Katy came off yesterday as per schedule, and was witnessed by 30,000 people. The wreck was complete, both boilers exploding, and resulting in nine persons being injured by flying missiles, two or three of whom are seriously if not fatally wounded. The Dallas News gives a detailed account of the affair in graphic style, from which we cull the following. After describing the gathering of the crowd, the News says:

"Four o'clock, the hour scheduled for the collision, came along, but all the specials had not arrived, and a postponement of one hour was inevitable. At 5 o'clock the two trains met at the point of collision and were photographed.

Then one of the trains backed up the hill on the north and the other one up the hill on the south. Everything was now ready. The smoke was pouring from their funnels in a great black streak, and the popping of the steam could be distinctly heard for the distance of a mile. People were standing on tiptoe, from every point of vantage, trying to see every movement of the wheels that were soon to roll to destruction. The officials of the road were grouped about a little telegraph office not fifty feet from the place of contact with watches in hand, waiting for the whistle which would tell them that the trains were ready to start on the fatal journey. At 10 minutes after 5 Crush raised his hat and a great cheer went up from the throats of all the people.

The rumble of the two trains, faint and far off at first, but growing nearer and more distinct with each fleeting second, was like the gathering force of a cyclone. Nearer and nearer they came, the whistles of each blowing repeatedly, and the torpedos which had been placed on the track exploding in almost a continuous round like the rattle of musketry. Every eye was strained and every nerve on edge. They rolled down at a frightful rate of speed to within a quarter of a mile of each other. Nearer and nearer, as they approached the fatal meeting place the rumbling increased, the roaring grew louder, and hundreds who had come miles to see found their hearts growing faint within them, and were compelled to turn away from tne awful spectacle.

Now they were within ten feet of each other, the bright red and green paint on the engines and the gaudy advertisements on the cars showing clear and distinct in the glaring sun.

A crash, a sound of timbers rent and torn, and then a shower of splinters.

There was just a swift instance of silence, and then as if controlled by a single impulse, both boilers exploded simultaneously and the air was filled with flying missles of iron and steel, varying in size from a postage stamp to half a driving wheel, falling indiscriminately on the just and unjust, the rich and the poor, the great and the small.

The wonder was that there was not more broken heads and bleeding hearts. How so many escaped is little short of miraculous.

On the photographer's stand, not more than 100 feet from the track, which experience has shown was dangerously near, were grouped the photographers, the reporters of the News, and several railroad officials. Here the shower was particularly strong, and one of the photographers, Mr. Dean of Waco, will lose one of his eyes as the result of a sudden meeting with a small piece of flying steel.

When those nearest the scene had time to collect their faculties and look about them, all that remained of the two engines and the twelve cars was a smoking mass of fractured metal and kindling wood, except one car on the rear of each train, which had been left untouched.

The engines had both been completely telescoped, and contrary to experience in such cases, instead of rising in the air from the force of the blow, were just flattened out. There was nothing about the cars big enough to save except pieces of wood, which were eagerly seized upon and carried home as souvenirs.

It took the great crowd at least a minute to realize what had happened, and then with a united yell they scrambled over the dead line, through the brush, tearing down barbed wire fences and knocking down wooden ones in a wild attempt to get to the smoking heap of debris. That the ruin was so complete they could not at first believe. It was only after they had thoroughly investigated the situation that they comprehended in full the breadth and scope of what they had seen and then began the relic-hunting phase of it. Everything that could be carried away was laid hold of, and it would be safe to say that of the 30,000 on the grounds 25,000 of them are saving souvenirs of their excit ing day's adventure.

Monday, September 13, 2021

I Voted No on the Useless Recall Election/Giants in Playoffs -- September 13, 2021


Today I left my ballot in the drop box at the Pacifica Recreation Center. I voted no on the stupid, useless election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.  

And later in the evening, the Giants beat the Padres 9-1 to secure a spot in the playoffs at the earliest date ever. The Giants are 94-50. 

Single Deputy Rescues Negro -- September 13, 2021

Americus Times-Recorder, 09-September-1921

At least a law officer saved the victim in this case. 

Rope Around Neck When He
Interrupts Mob Bent On

MONROE. La., Sept. 9.—Deputy-Sheriff Humble, of Columbia, La., is credited with rescuing single-handed Jim Jones, a negro, from a mob bent on lynching the negro for assault with intent to kill a white, man. When overtaken by the officer, the mob (was - JT) said to have had a rope around the neck of the negro.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

09/11 Twenty Years -- September 11, 2021

The alarm went off at 05:29. I switched the radio from FM to AM and tuned into KCBS. They reported that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center. Thinking of the bomber that hit the Empire State Building, I said it had to be an accident.

After I got dressed, I went downstairs and turned on the television, which I very rarely do in the morning, and they said another airplane had hit the other tower. Then I thought it couldn't be an accident, but I didn't understand how hijackers could force a pilot to fly his airplane into a building. Later on we learned that the hijackers had been flying the planes.

There weren't as many people as usual on the bus to work. I think I heard about the plane that hit the Pentagon while I was there. My manager told us that we could go home if we wanted to. My wife was working and my daughter was in school, so I didn't see a reason to leave.

We couldn't get any news on the internet, but I plugged in my radio and we all listened.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Happy Admission Day, 2021 -- September 9, 2021

We don't hear much about Admission Day anymore. Today is the 171st anniversary of California being welcomed into the Union. The San Francisco Call published this cartoon on 09-September-1913. 

Comic Book -- Mystery in Space -- September 9, 2021

This issue of DC's Mystery in Space features a World War One-era pursuit plane serving as Earth's last defense against an alien invasion. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Pulp -- Amazing Stories -- September 7, 2021

Hugo Gernsback's Amazing Stories may have been the first magazine dedicated to science fiction. On the cover of the Fall, 1928 issue we see ants interrupt a picnic.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Toonerville Trolley -- They Wooden Lissen To Me -- September 5, 2021

Perth Amboy Evening News, 20-September-1921

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains.
Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 05-April-1921

Friday, September 3, 2021

Krazy Kat -- Uncle Tom's Memory is Honored -- September 3, 2021

I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Washington Times, 03-June-1918

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier -- September 1, 2021

Washington Evening Star, 11-November-1921

I went to Good Shepherd School in Pacifica and talked to Junior High kids about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They are participating in a DAR essay contest on the subject. I talked about the background, of honoring people who died in wars, and how the industrial war of World War One required bigger memorials. They asked good questions.

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

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

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

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: Ten-time grand champion Carl Payne gives an exhibition at the 2016 Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest. Defending champ Byron Cobb stands to the left. Photo by Joe Thompson.
2. On the Who Was Important in the History of the Cable Car? page: A new article about Carl Payne, the ten-time champion of the Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest
3. On the Los Angeles area funiculars page: A 1962 magazine article about Angels Flight,
4. Added News items about the return of the cable cars and more about the pandemic resurging

Ten years ago this month (September, 2011):
1. The picture of the month: Electric streetcars ride up and down Cincinnati's Mount Adams Incline.
2. On the new Cable Car Lines in Ohio page: A new article about Cincinnati's Inclines.
3. Added News and Bibliography items about the Powell Street Promenade.

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 October, 2021: On the Cable Car Lines in the UK page: More about the cable-operated Glasgow District Subway.

100 years ago this month (September, 1921):
September 13 - The government of Brazil nationalized the partially cable-operated São Paulo Railway

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

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