Monday, January 31, 2022

Zane Grey 150 -- January 31, 2022

Motion Picture News, 21-May-1921

Zane Grey was born 150 years ago today, on 31-January-1872. He was a popular Western novelist. I had read about movies made from his stories, so I took a few novels out from the Anza Branch Library. It turns out that he was not a very good writer, but he did produce interesting characters and descriptions. Many of his short stories and novels were made into movies. We once visited his cabin near Payson, Arizona some years before it burned down. 

Last year on my other blog I had a Zane Grey Week: 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Yerba Buena Becomes San Francisco -- January 30, 2022

The Annals of San Francisco
by Frank Soulé, John H. Gihon, James Nisbet. 1855.

175 years ago today, on 30-January-1847, Lieutenant Washington A Bartlett, USN, who was the Alcade of the tiny settlement of Yerba Buena, proclaimed that the name of the settlement should change from Yerba Buena to San Francisco. It still uses this name today.

Catholic Schools Week, 2022 -- January 30, 2022

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. My wife teaches there, and I feel proud to be a part-time member of the faculty. 

The school is worth considering if you live in or near Pacifica:

Saturday, January 29, 2022

COVID-19, Vaccine, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- January 29, 2022

The Omicron variant of the TrumpVirus is the main source of infection in the United States. The hospitalization and death rates seem to have peaked. Most of the deaths are occurring with people who were not inoculated.

I had my first COVID-19 test. Negative.

One Sunday we went to mass by watching the 11am live stream.

I have been teaching coding to my wife's Third Graders at Good Shepherd School as a volunteer. In January, I started teaching coding to grades 2 and 4.

The major league owners have locked out the players.
Barry Bonds was on the regular Hall of Fame ballot for the last time. He was rejected again.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Roof Crash Buries Knickerbocker Theater Audience -- January 28, 2022

Motion Picture News, 28-January-1917

On the evening of 28-January-1922, during a huge blizzard, snow that had accumulated on the roof of Crandall's Knickerbocker Theater caused the roof and the balcony to collapse. 98 people died and 133 were injured. 



Infantry Summoned from Fort Myer to
Help Maintain Order, as Fifth
Alarm Reinforces Firemen


Panic Follows Spread of News as Streets Are
Roped Off to Hold Back 10,000 Frantic
People -- Guards Ordered to Shoot

From 150 to 500 persons were entombed under tons of snow and wreckage when the roof of Crandall's Knickerbocker Theater, Eighteenth street and Columbia road, northwest, collapsed at 9:10 o'clock last night.

Shortly before midnight fourteen injured persons had been removed from the debris and estimates of the dead ranged from fifty to 100. Police stated shortly after 10 o'clock that at least 100 were dead, but it was impossible to corroborate this.

Police Reserves Called.

Five alarms for fire were turned in in rapid succession. and police reserves from all precincts were requisitioned to aid in the work of rescue.

A crowd, estimated at from 3,000 to 10,000, lined all streets adjacent to the theater and overwhelmed the first police arrivals. The Seventy-first Company, Sixth Regiment of Marines, was placed on guard duty at 11 o'clock with orders to shoot at the first sign of disorder or rioting. Soldiers from Walter Reed Hospital also were used to keep back the frantic crowds.

Within a few minutes after the weight of snow on the roof of the theater caused the collapse, nearby physicians opened their homes to accommodate the injured, many of whom were assisted out of the wreckage by volunteer workers. Householders threw open their home and provided blankets and wraps for the injured.

Shortly after the arrival of the police Columbia Road was roped off from Biltmore street to Eighteenth street in the belief that the north wall of the playhouse, which swayed perilously in the wind would crash in on the wreckage.

Police and firemen, disregarding the menace of the swaying wall worked in the piles of mortar, bricks and concrete to dig out the dead and injured.

One of the first of the injured taken out wag a small boy, hardly more than 12 years old. He was pinned from the waist down under twisted wreckage hut retained consciousness. He was unable to speak, however, and his name was not learned.

Ambulances from Emergency, Casualty, Sibley and George Washington hospitals were pressed into service and several ambulances from Walter Reed Hospital brought army surgeons and doctors to lend aid.

Despite the blizzard, some of the escaped audience estimated that at least 500 persons were in the theater. Others placed the audience as high as 1,500. Police were inclined to accept the 500 estimates as nearer the truth. None of the attaches of the theater could be located to give official estimates of the number of tickets sold.

Rescuers were hampered by the swirling snow. Hundreds of jacks were being used to lift the debris. Large portions of the fallen roof remained Intact, making it necessary to dig with picks and crowbars to get to those imprisoned underneath.

Two priests. the Rev. Thomas Walsh, of St. Thomas' Church and the Rev. William Carroll, of St. Paul's Church, administered the last rites of the Catholic church to the dying who could not be reached. Kneeling in the snow and wreckage the two priests alternately prayed and gave their strength in lifting beams from the injured.

Few Make Escape.

A small number managed to escape before the roof crashed. The biggest part of the audience were well down in. front, and few were able to take advantage of the momentary warning given by the roofs supports when they gave way.

The first body to be taken from the ruins was that of Mrs. B. A. Covell, 52. The next victim was a 10-year-old child. The child was crushed and believed fatally hurt.

The roof first began to give sway from the balcony. It swung down, almost touching the heads of the frightened patrons, seemed to hesitate a moment in its deadly drop, then buckled and fell on top of the orchestra seats.

Men and women screamed and tried to jump from their seats, but the falling roof caught most of them. Then, as the sound of crashing and wrenching timbers and girders died away, a stunned silence fell over the scene.

Several persons passing on the street came running toward the theater when they heard the noise of the crash. Soon the smothered moans and shrieks of the injured could be heard coming from under the wreckage.

Two children, Francis and Jack Duncan, 15 to 12 years old, respectively, who had gone to the movie theater without their parents, are believed under the wreckage.

The theater is of brick, has a capacity of 2,000, and was constructed in 1919. Fire apparatus was kept in preparation to act quickly at the first sign of fire, but the fireproof construction tended to minimize this danger.

Troops Rushed to Scene.

Company K of the sixty-fourth Infantry, Fort Myer, reached the theater at 10:45, having made the trip by motor. They used ambulances in rushing troops to the scene and these vehicles were pressed into service to carry the injured to the hospitals.

Officials of Walter Reed hospitals sent about twenty ambulances.

When news of the calamity spread over downtown Washington, there was a rush of anxious relatives to the District Building to inquire for more definite information. But they could not reach the District Building by telephone for twenty-five minutes after the roof crashed, owing to the number of messages from the vicinity of the theater for "help."

Immediately after the crash, police communicated with the other amusement places and warned the managements of danger and informed them of the Knickerbocker Theater accident, several playhouses shortened their shows.

Theater Without Pillars.

The Knickerbocker Theater was constructed on the plan of the "modern" theater style without pillars to block the view of the audience from any part of the house. Steel trestle supported the roof and walls of the building which was built of concrete under fireproof plans.

It is said that the seating capacity was in the neighborhood of 1,500. being the largest "residence" theater in the District. The playhouse had a balcony that seated about 500. When the roof crashed in the balcony fell under the extra weight, hurling the people to the first door.

A staff of about 30 employes operated the theater.

At 11:30 o'clock The Herald was appealed to for assistance in getting hack-saw blades and acetylene torches to clear away the steel girders. The railway companies and the War Department were appealed to. The first torch was rushed to the scene by Augustus Forsberg, of Eighth and Water streets southwest, upon being appealed to by The Herald.

Dr. J. L. Thompson. 1735 Twentieth street northwest, reported before midnight that scores are still pinned beneath the debris, many of whom are conscious and directing their own rescue. He was one of the first physicians to reach the theater.

One of the first problems faced by the rescuers was to get water to the injured. This was done about an hour and a half after the roof crushed in, carrying the balcony with it.

Washington Herald, 28-January-1922

The crowd was watching a comedy, Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford, based on a popular novel and play. Frank Borzage directed. 

Moving Picture World, 26-November-1921

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Nellie Bly, 100 Years -- January 27, 2022

Pioneering investigative journalist Nellie Bly died 100 years ago today, on 22-January-1922.

Widely Known Writer
Remembered for Record-Breaking
Trip Around the World.

NEW YORK. Jan 27 -- Nellie Bly, in private life Mrs. Robert L. Seaman, one of the special writers on the staff of the Evening Journal, died today of pneumonia In St. Mark's Hospital.

She became ill two weeks ago and shortly afterward was taken to the hospital from her room In the Hotel McAlpin. She sank steadily and yesterday no further hope was held out for her recovery.

Nellie Bly occupied a unique place in the world's journalism for nearly two-score years, and the reputation she made in the eighties by her record-breaking trip around the world for a New York newspaper remains undimmed today.

Men and women in all corners of the United States knew her as a great ministering angel to humanity. Her dally mall contained many grateful letters from persons who had been helped by her words of advice, inspiration, and wisdom.

Nellie Bly knew life as few newspaper writers of the day. The background of her knowledge of human fraillties, sacrifices, joys, was the extraordinary newspaper life she had led since she began writing in Pittsburgh about forty years ago. She had always been a feature writer and had appeared on the public platform many times in behalf of good movements to which she decided to give her energetic support.

She waged a sensational fight against gambling and more recently wielded her powerful pen in an agitation against capital punishment. She heard the cry of homeless boys, the blind, and the destitute; and her forceful articles in their behalf brought about many much-needed reforms.

Nellie Bly covered political conventions for many years and her articles were tremendously popular. She knew the political game as few women writers of today.

Nellie Bly was fifty-six years old and had led a tremendously active life. She was a newspaper writer, from her early youth, managed two large corporations for a time, and in her after life returned to newspaper work with as great an avidity as she had shown in her younger days.

The thing that made her famous was her trip around the globe in 1889 in seventy-two days, six hours and eleven minutes.

She undertook the trip to prove that Jules Verne's famous romance, "Around the World In Eighty Days," could be matched in reality.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Al Capone 75 Years -- January 25, 2022

American criminal Al Capone died 75 years ago today, on 25-January-1947. Good.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Warren Zevon 75 -- January 24, 2022

Some time after we graduated from high school, a friend introduced me to the music of Warren Zevon. He particularly liked "Excitable Boy," "Lawyers, Guns and Money" and "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner." 

Warren Zevon was born 75 years ago today, on 21-January-1947. He died far too young.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Cat Flies to Paris -- January 23, 2022

Washington Times, 08-January-1922

Note the use of "limousine" for a passenger-carrying (or cat-carrying) airplane.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Rex the Mental Wizard -- January 21, 2022

East Oregonian, 11-January-1922

Something about this ad for Rex the Mental Wizard reminds me of Nightmare Alley. We recently saw the original again and I hope to see the remake.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Gibson, Star Catcher, 'Ruth' of Negro Game, Stroke Victim at 35 -- January 20, 2022

Washington Evening Star, 21-January-1922

Josh Gibson, the great Negro Leagues slugger who never got to play in the major leagues because of the color line, died of a stroke 75 years ago today, on 20-January-1947. He was 35 years old.
Gibson, Star Catcher,
'Ruth' of Negro Game,
Stroke Victim at 35

The booming bat of Josh Gibson, famed Negro slugger who was rated by Hans Wagner as one of the greatest natural hitters in baseball history, has been silenced. The home-run king of the Negro National Baseball League and a crack catcher with the Washington Homestead Grays since 1938, died of a stroke at Pittsburgh on Sunday at the home of his mother.

Often called the Babe Ruth of colored baseball, Gibson several years ago was rated by Clark Griffith, president of the Nats, as worth $100,000 to any major league club. A right-handed hitter, he threw out opposing runners from a kneeling position and led the Negro National League in batting with a .393 mark in 1945.

Gibson broke into Negro professional baseball at the age of 13 with the Pittsburgh North Side Red Sox in 1927. He started playing with the Grays in 1930, later switched to the Pittsburgh Crawfords and rejoined the Grays in 1936.

Frequently a battery mate of the veteran Satchel Paige, noted Negro pitcher, Gibson blasted four home runs in a game against the Memphis Red Sox at Zanesville, Ohio, in 1936. He was a familiar figure to Negro fans at Griffith Stadium and smashed some of the longest hits ever to clear Forbes Field fences at Pittsburgh.

Thirty-five years old, Gibson played baseball throughout the year, traveling to Mexico, Cuba, Canada and South America, and was voted the most valuable player in the Mexican Winter League in 1942. Gibson is survived by his wife, two children, a sister and a brother.

Julia Morgan 150 -- January 20, 2022

Julia Morgan, the first woman to receive an architect's license in California, was born 150 years ago today, on 20-January-1872.  She performed many commissions for the Hearst family, most famously Hearst Castle, which I hope to visit one day. 

The Hearst Building at Third and Market in San Francisco, seen above, was built in 1909-1911. In 1938, Julia Morgan redesigned the facade. I took the photos of the building and its entrance on 18-December-2008.

Sara Holmes Boutelle's Julia Morgan, Architect.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Coulter -- The Missing Link -- January 19, 2022

San Francisco Call, 22-April-1895

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. Click on the image for a larger view. 

A Compound Engine Can Be
Run Economically With
One Valve.


The Missing Link Is the Fastest
Little Craft of Its Kind
on the Bay.

"Can a compound engine be run with only one valve?" is a question that has engrossed the attention of engineers for over a generation. The overcoming of the difficulty meant the doing away with a steam chest and receiver, and a consequent saving in fuel, space and weight.

J. L. Bonner, master mechanic of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad Company, has solved the problem, and his launch "The Missing Link" is a practical illustration of the fact. The launch is one of the whaleboats of the old steam whaler Orca. It has not been altered in any way except to take out a thwart in order to make room for the engine, and to bore a hole in the stern to allow working room for the propeller shaft. That the experiment is a success is proven by the fact that with 200 pounds of coal on board and twenty-five passengers, the Missing Link can average ten knots an hour for forty-eight consecutive hours. On a run of one or two hours and with the steam kept at a pressure of 250 pounds, she can easily make thirteen knots an hour, and is consequently by far the fastest launch in the bay.

The Missing Link is thirty feet long and six feet beam. In the Custom-house she is registered three tons net, and is consequently the smallest steam vessel that has ever received a license from Uncle Sam. Her engines weigh exactly ninety-six pounds, and Engineer Bonner's son carried them from the machine shops to the whaleboat on his back. The boiler is about half the size of an ordinary cooking stove, and at first glance it seems ridiculous that steam sufficient to drive a thirty-foot boat thirteen knots an hour could be generated in such a small space. The fact is that every ounce of steam is used as it is made, and it only costs 15 cents an hour to run her. It would be almost impossible to burst the boiler, as it has stood a pressure of 1500 pounds to the square inch.

The engines and boilers were built by Messrs. J. L. Bonner and C. G. Ny during their spare moments. In talking about the matter yesterday Master Mechanic Bonner said: "My idea was to get something fast, machinery that was almost noiseless and a great saving in space and weight. In order to do this I had to construct a compound engine with a valve that would work the steam over twice, thus saving a steam chest and a receiver.

"There is only one valve in the launch instead of two, so therefore she is called the Missing Link. Anyone who can keep steam up and water in the boiler can run one of these boats, as the Missing Link is practically automatic. With seventeen gallons of water in her tank and 200 pounds of coal in her bunkers she will run for forty-eight hours and cover 500 miles. All her machinery is of the simplest kind, and her engines could be duplicated in twenty-four hours on a lathe. The appliance is much cheaper than a gasoline engine, much safer, and far greater speed can be obtained. The engine and boiler would be particularly useful in lifeboats on ships and also in whaleboats. A lifeboat with machinery in her similar to the Missing Link could tow half a dozen rafts and other ship's boats for days, while on a whaler it would be indispensable in towing whales to the ship and boats back after an unsuccessful hunt."

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

News of Wireless Talking Activities and Developments -- January 18, 2022

New York Evening World, 23-January-1922

Radio was becoming a hot topic in 1922.

New York Evening World, 23-January-1922

The station that started as WJZ is now known as WABC. It was owned by Westinghouse. WDY was owned by RCA. Note that Frankie Frisch (The Fordham Flash) of the New York Giants was giving a talk. Pittsburgh station KDKA was a pioneering station which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020. I wonder why the Governor of Kansas was speaking. Radio station IXZ was operated by the Clark University Radio Club of Worcester, Massachusetts.

New York Evening World, 23-January-1922

Monday, January 17, 2022

Happy Birthday, Doctor King 2022 -- January 17, 2022

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."

Betty White 100 -- January 17, 2021

Betty White would have been 100 years old today. She was born on 17-January-1922. During World War Two, she participated in the American Women's Voluntary Services. She started working regularly on television in 1949. I remember her on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Lots of people were looking forward to celebrating her birthday, but she died just a few weeks ago.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Byte Magazine -- January 16, 2022

I used to subscribe to Byte Magazine: The Small Systems Journal. The July 1977 edition had one of my favorite covers.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Bierstadt -- Rocky Mountain Landscape -- January 15, 2022

White House Historical Association

I have always enjoyed the paintings of Albert Bierstadt. He painted "Rocky Mountain Landscape" in 1870. It is in the collection of the White House Historical Association.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Ronnie Spector, RIP -- January 14, 2022

Ronnie Spector has died. I liked the records she made with Phil Spector. I admire his wall of sound, but he was a terrible person. I'm glad she ran away before he killed her. The Ronnettes resembled some of my Italian American cousins. She went on to make a nice comeback.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Bumstead's Worm Syrup -- January 13, 2022

Norwich Bulletin, 20-January-1922

Tapeworms are parasitic flatworms that like to set up a cozy residence in your digestive tract. They can grow to be quite long. Bumstead's Worm Syrup offered a cure.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

It's a Battery B Affair -- January 12, 2022

Norwich Bulletin, 20-January-1922

This ad has one of the early references that I have found to "Dixieland Jazz." Battery B, stationed in Norwich, Connecticut, may have been of the 56th Coast Artillery Corps, 31st Artillery Brigade.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

It Keeps Teeth White, Breath Sweet and Throat Clear -- January 11, 2022

Alaska Daily Empire, 31-January-1922

I mostly gave up on chewing gum after I grew my moustache, but I do like a stick of Juicy Fruit or Doublemint now and then. I have never liked Spearmint. The mascot is creepy.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Moxie Horsemobile -- January 10, 2022


Editor and Publisher, January, 1923

The Moxie Horsemobile was a popular promotional gimmick for the soft drink.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Genuine and Unadulterated Coca-Cola -- January 9, 2022

Lexington Dispatch-News, 26-January-1922

Rexall was a cooperative that sold franchises to independently-owned drugstores. I remember seeing the signs all over the place when I was a kid. The Harmon Drug Company touted improvements to its "already up-to-date Sanitary Fountain," which featured Coca-Cola and other cold drinks, along with ice cream. Sounds good to me. 

Update 13-January-2022. 
I found another nice one.

Maysville, Kentucky Public Ledger, 27-January-1922

Saturday, January 8, 2022

David Bowie 75 -- January 8, 2022

David Bowie was born 75 years ago today, on 08-January-1947. 

I remember when he died in 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 post 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.

 I remember going to the Bridge Theater in San Francisco to see Nick Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth with David Bowie. It left a big impression on us.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Alvin Dark 100 -- January 7, 2022

Great Giants shortstop and manager Alvin Dark was born 100 years ago today, on 07-January-1922. Willie Mays gave Dark and Eddie Stanky credit for helping him to adjust when he joined the Giants. When Dark managed the San Francisco Giants, some Latin players felt that he divided the team and did not respect them. Some racist fans called them "Alvin's Darkies." He was a veteran of the USMC and a vocal Christian.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Capitol Insurrection One Year -- January 6, 2022

One year ago today I was deeply ashamed to see CNN refer to a "Trump Mob" as it stormed the Capitol. 

Congress was meeting to accept the votes from the electoral college. Trump invited his supporters like the Proud Boys to come to Washington. He held a big rally to stir up the morons, still claiming that the election had been stolen. Several Republicans were going to contest the results, but then the "Trump Mob" of domestic terrorists invaded the Capitol. They set up a gallows to hang the Vice President, who was presiding. One woman was shot and killed. Legislators were evacuated or locked in the gallery. Capitol policemen were killed or seriously injured. The Capitol had not been attacked since the War of 1812. 

The Capitol Police were not prepared. At first, the National Guard was not called up. 

Our so-called President has checked out and people were seriously discussing invoking the 25th Amendment or having another impeachment. 

After he posted another lying video that sort of asked the protesters to back off, Twitter suspended Trump's account.  It was about time. 

In the year since, congressional committees have been holding hearings. A number of members of the mob have been sentenced to jail. A report yesterday said that 300 of the traitors are still unidentified. 

James Fisk, Jr., Shot -- January 6, 2022

Wheeling Daily Register, 08-January-1872

150 years ago today, on 06-Janury-1872, Edward Stokes shot his former partner Big Jim Fisk in Manhattan's Grand Central Hotel. Fisk died the next morning. Stokes was tried three times and eventually convicted of manslaughter. Stokes and Fisk's former mistress, Josie Mansfield, tried to blackmail Fisk with letters Fisk had written to Mansfield. Fisk had worked for Daniel Drew in their successful attempt to take over the Erie Railroad. Both men were deeply involved in corruption, but Fisk was respected by the common people of New York. 

New York, January 6. 
James Fisk, Jr., Shot.

Jas. Fisk, Jr., was shot by Ed. C. Stokes, his opponent in the well-known Fisk-Mansfield suit, at the Grand Central hotel, shortly after four o'clock this evening. Definite particulars of the shooting have not yet been ascertained, hut it is learned that Fisk has received three shots in the breast, and is now believed to be dying. His wife, who is in Boston, has been telegraphed for, to come on to this city immediately. Coroner Young has been notified to proceed to the hotel and take an ante-mortem deposition.

An urgent telegram has been sent to Mrs. Fisk at Boston, requesting her to come on, if necessary in a special train. Mrs. Hooker, Fisk's sister, to whom he is so deeply attached, arrived at the hotel shortly after the occurrence, and at once installed herself as nurse. Her presence seemed to greatly relieve the wounded man. Mrs. Stokes, who is a very estimable lady, is said be in Paris. The American Press reporter visited Mr. Stokes in his cell. The prisoner was found lying on a hard couch. In answer to the inquiry whether he wished to make a statement, he said, in a good-natured tone, "I am sorry that I cannot gratify your laudable curiosity ; but I have just had a consultation with my counsel, and his special request was that I should make no response to the reporters or even to the coroners."

The witnesses detained by the coroner are Thomas Hart, a guest of the hotel, the stage driver of the hotel, the door-keeper, and one of the bell boys.

At 11 o'clock this evening Fisk was sleeping under the influence of morphine with his pulse beating at 75. One of the physicians is of the opinion that the wound will not prove fatal, but his confreres are of opinion that the patient can't possibly recover. The shooting was doubtless caused by the way things were going in Court. The case at Yorkville this morning went against Stokes and it was intimated that the Grand Jury would probably indict both Stokes and Mrs. Mansfield as blackmailers. The wound is of a terrible nature. The pistol is a large-sized revolver and the wound is like that of a ball from a Minie rifle. The doctors have very little hopes of recovering the ball and mortification it is expected will set in. Fisk took his injuries bravely, never flinching from the sharp probe of the surgeon in the vain attempt to find the ball.

Later. -- The whole community was thrown into a state of excitement at a late hour this evening bv the intelligence that Col. Jas. Fisk, Jr., had been shot, and probably fatally wounded by E. C. Stokes. It appears that after the examination of the Fisk Mansfield case, this afternoon, Stokes left court room in a carriage and proceeded to the neighborhood of the Grand Opera House, in Twenty-third street, where he remained for some time. Shortly after Mr. Fisk left the Erie office in the Opera House building, entering his carriage. Stokes did not follow him, but immediately drove to the Grand Central Hotel, which he was seen to enter at about 3:30. Fisk's carriage arrived at ten minutes after four, and the Colonel alighted at the ladies' entrance to pay a visit to Miss Morse. He was ascending the stairs leisurely, when he discovered Stokes standing at the head of the stairs with a pistol in his hand. The door keeper states that almost immediately two shots were fired, and that Fisk leaned against the wall, saying "I am hurt; I am badly wounded." Stokes waited some seconds at the head of the stairs, then turned and walked coolly to ihe ladies' parlor, where he threw his pistol on a sofa, and then quietly descended the staircase leading to the office. The clerks and proprietor had heard the report, and were on the alert. As Stokes passed the office he turned towards Mercer street, exclaiming, "I guess there's somebody hurt upstairs, and then broke into a run towards a barber shop. The proprietor of the hotel shouted, "Stop that man!" to the hall-boys and porters, who started after Stokes, catching him just as he was turning into the barber shop, and brought him back and detained him till an officer arrived, when he was taken to the fiiteenth precinct station house and locked up in the captain's room.

A number of guests, porters, &c., meanwhile arrived at the scene of the tragedy, and Col. Fisk was lifted up and carried to room No. 113, where he was laid on a sofa. He was very cool and collected, and gave hasty instructions to send for a number of persons. In a few minutes he was undressed and had at his bedside Doctors Foster, Wood, Fryhlen, Taylor, White and Marsh. Severai other physicians arrived later. On examining the wounded man, the right arm was found shot through, and a wound was discovered three inches above the navel and two inches to the right of the medium line downwards, at an angle of forty-five degrees. The wound was probed, but the surgeons failed to discover the ball. The chances were pronounced to be against the Colonel's recovery, and his death from exhaustion or peritonitis is deemed probable. The wounded man heard the decision calmly, and immediately sent for David Dudley, who on arrival drew up Fisk's will, which was duly attested. Callers now began to pour in. one of the first being Wm. M. Tweed, who remained with him till a late hour. Jay Gould, Peter B. Sweeney, Miss Morse and her mother, whom he had come to visit, and several of Mr. Fisk's family were the only persons admitted to the dying man's chamber, but messages were sent flying all over our city and in every direction.

At a quarter of five, after the occurrence, the hotel was thronged by the multitude for intelligence, and a large force of police was detailed to preserve order and to prevent intruders from penetrating the wounded man's chamber. Nearly every politician of note in the city was in the vicinity of the building during the evening. At 6 o'clock Superintendent Kelso, learning that Fisk's case was desperate, telegraphed to the twenty-eighth precinct station house for Coroner Young, who arrived and immediately proceeded to take the Colonel's ante-mortem statement. The following is an ante-mortem deposition of Jas. Fisk, Jr. Being sworn, he says: I feel I am in a very critical condition; I hope I will recover. This afternoon at 4:10 I drove up to the Grand Central Hotel; I entered by a private entrance, and when I entered the first door I met a boy of whom I inquired if Miss Morse was in; he told me Mrs. Morse aod her youngest daughter had gone out, but he thought the other daughter was in her grandmother's room. I asked him to go up and tell the daughter that I was there. I came through the outer door and was going up stairs, and had gone up about two steps, when on looking up I saw Ed. Stokes at the head of the stairs. As soon as I saw him I noticed that he had something in his hand, and in a second of time I heard a pistol, saw a flash and felt a ball enter my abdomen on the right side. The second shot was fired immediately after, which entered my left arm. When I received the first shot I staggered and ran towards the door, but noticing a crowd gathering in front I ran back on the stairs again. I was brought up stairs in the hotel. I saw nothing more of Stokes till he was brought before me by the officers for identification. I fully identify Edward Stokes as the person who shot me.
[Signed] Jas. Fisk, Jr.

The jury found a verdict in accordance with the facts.

New York, January 7, 2 a. m. -- At one o'clock this morning Col. Fisk was in a sound sleep, anodynes having been administered to him. About midnight a consultation of physicians was held, and they decided not to attempt to probe the wound again, for fear inflammation would set in. The wound is healthy in appearance and no blood is passed by the victim. At eight o'clock to-morrow morning another consultation will be held. Dr. Carrectan states that the wound is very critical, but there are hopes of his recovery, as all the symptoms are favorable. A crowd surrounds the station where Stokes is confined.

Wheeling Daily Register, 08-January-1872

Death of Col. Fisk.

New York, January 7. -- Col. Jim Fisk, Jr., died at 11 o'clock this morning from the injuries received yesterday afternoon at the hands of Ed. Stokes. Early this morning the first ominous change appeared in the patient's condition. He had lain upon his side during the entire night, breathing heavily, but up to 6 o'clock he had not developed any alarming symptoms save that around his eyes were dusky rings that seemed to show some danger. About six he grew a little restless ; his face assumed greater pallor, and his breathing was less easy and regular. On feeling his pulse, Dr. Fisher found it had grown more rapid, marking one hundred.

A half hour later Col. Fisk said something in a broken tone, and then closed his eyes. The change in his face had grown more apparent; the pallor was more death-like, and the moisture appeared upon his forehead. His pulse was over one hundred, and the physicians stood by the bedside watching the patient anxiously. At 7 o'clock it was first announced that the danger of his demise was very great, and when, a quarter of an hour later, his wife with her father and one or two friends arrived, the doctors could give her but little hope.

Long after the usual hour Saturday night the hallways, corridors and parlors of the Grand Central Hotel were thronged by eager crowds, anxious to obtain the latest particulars regarding the dying prince. The solicitude evinced for the restoration of the heir to the English throne could not be more sincere than that for Jim Fisk. Men of sterling worth in business circles and in the professions declared that few could be so badly spared as he, and spoke with the utmost concern of the great and positive loss to the community which his death would occasion.

Frequently during the night waiters and officers of the house were sent to seek chamber No. 214, and returned with cheering news of the condition of the sufferer. Gradually, however, when it became known that he slept and that no important change was expected during the night, the least interested watchers thought it most prudent to retire to their homes and await the result that the wound might bring forth. Unfortunately his condition verified the predictions of the most ill foreboding. At 11 o'clock a consultation of the most distinguished surgeons resulted in a conclusion which, though not positively holding out to any certainty, was regarded as of good omen and favoring the possibility of escape. Drs. Wood, Sayers, Crane, Steele and Fisher made a most careful examination of the wound and finding that the bullet had passed far beyond reach did not dare to continue to probe for it. The ball was extracted from his arm about the bend of the elbow; it was a most murderous missile; was as large a? a rifle ball and had been discharged from a navy Colt revolver, four-barreled, and is now in possession of the coroner who will produce it at the inquest.

The intense agony endured during the surgical examination was relieved by opium and morphine. The relief from the powerful action of the drug was instantaneous, and whenever its effects were dying out the patient craved for nn increased supply. Under its influence he dropped into a heavy slumber, and it was arranged that the doctors should watch by the bedside of Fink during the night. None were admitted to the room save the necessary attendants, and his immediate friends retired. The sufferer was awakened every half hour, and a little water administered, after which he would immediately relapse in his death-like sleep. At 4 A. M. he awoke of himself and designated his condition as very comfortable. He attempted to rise on his pillow for the purpose of more comfortable adjustment, and upon being enjoined of the necessity to keep absolutely quiet and immovable, he smilingly remarked that it was rather hard, but supposed he would have to submit. Dr. Fisher described his demeanor as most stoical and appearing utterly indifferent to the danger. The medical attendants sought to avoid conversation, and with a view of quieting his patient answered in monosyllables the questions put by him about the crowd, the excitement and the manner in which his wounding was received by the public; he did not once allude to Stokes, and after a broken conversation of this character had continued for about a quarter of an hour he aroused as if from a deep thought, and turning eagerly to the physicians, asked, "Do you think it an even thing that I will live?" Dr. Fisher, wishing to encourage him, replied, "Most assuredly I do; and if you only keep up the courage and manly fortitude you have hitherto exhibited, there can be no doubt of your recovery." Gratified by the favorable views, Col. Fisk appeared to settle down in a peaceful sleep; a few minutes passed and the watchful doctor detected heavy, stentorious breathing, which was not auspicious; placing his hand on the shoulder of the patient, he endeavored to arouse him. He rolled his head from side to side and adopted all the expedients be could resort to for the purpose of awakening him, but to no purpose. The state of comatose became more confirmed, and an examination of the dilated pupils of the eyes showed they were irresponsive to the light. Dr. White came in this moment and having consulted for a moment with Dr. Foster, he was of opinion that death must immediately ensue, at the farthest within a few hours. Messengers were at once dispatched, and the telegraph brought into requisition to summon his friends and relatives. In the meantime no effort was spared to break up his insensible condition, and though the physicians knew what was to be expected, they labored steadily till death seized the victim, at 10.47 in the morning. At different times between 4:30 and the moment of dissolution, his relations and friends were constantly arriving, among them being Mrs. Fisk, who had been hastily summoned from Boston; a female friend, Mrs. Harriet; Col. Fisk's brothers-in-law, Messrs. Sanderson and Asterin; Mr. Baldwin, surgeon of the Ninth regiment, and others. Mrs. Fisk was entirely overcome and had to be borne into the sitting room attached to the bedchamber where every attention that could be paid was devoted to her further relief. By her urgent request she was led back to the bedside of her husband, and was present when he breathed his last.

Within a brief time news of his death was known all over the city, and an immense crowd gathered in the vicinity of the hotel. Police were stationed at the bottom of the main stairway of the hotel, and no one was permitted to enter without permission from the proprietor, until the remains had been prepared by the undertaker. A plain, rosewood casket was prepared in which the remains were placed. The face looked as natural as in life ; no expression of pain was visible, and his moustache was waxed, &c., precisely as when the Colonel was alive. The body was laid out in state for some time, and the public were allowed to view the remains during the afternoon. The body was removed from the hotel to the late residence of Mr. Fisk. At 9 o'clock to-night a post mortem examination of the remains was made. The funeral takes place to-morrow from St. Mark's Church, and the remains will be conveyed to Brattleboro, Vt., for interment.

Stokes was removed to the Tombs this morning where he is now confined. The building is guarded by a strong force of police, the idea having gained credit that the members of the Ninth regiment, of which the deceased was Colonel, would attempt to lynch the prisoner. Stokes will not see any reporters, and remains silent on the subject of the murder. He thinks he will be out of prison before three weeks are over.

The murder was the all-absorbing topic of conversation in the city today, and in the streets and railroad cars and places of public resort no other subject was thought of. At the Grand Opera House and other offices of the Erie Railroad flags were displayed at half mast, and on every side expressions of sympathy for the victim were to be heard.

Considerable anxiety was felt to night in regard to the safety of Stokes. At times it was rumored that a large body of employes of the Erie railroad would come to the city and attempt to lynch him; also that members of the Ninth regiment would sack Mrs. Mansfield's house. General Shaler, commander of the National Guards, had an interview with the police authorities this evening. A large force of police was sent to Mrs. Mansfield's house with instructions to admit no one to the premises nor permit Mrs. M. to depart. The Tombs is also strongly guarded and by to-morrow it is thought the popular indignation against the murderer will have subsided. The driver of the coach which took Stokes to the Grand Central Hotel has been found, and not the slightest evidence is lacking to convict the murderer. The will of Col. Fisk was made public this evening. He leaves the bulk of his property to his wife; to his father and mother he leaves each an annuity of $3000 ; to his sister he leaves $100,000 in stock of the Narragansett Steamship company, and $2000 per annum to each of the Morris sisters until such time as they marry. The funeral services will commence at half past one o'clock, and it is expected that the entire First Division will follow the remains, although no official programme has been made public.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Lynching and the Dyer Bill -- January 5, 2022

Dallas Express, 07-January-1922

Representative Leonidas C. Dyer, a Republican from Missouri, introduced a bill to control lynching and got it passed by the House on more than one occasion, but each time it was denied by the Southern Senators. The Dallas Express was an African-American owned newspaper.


The American lynching record for 1921 has just been announced and from a study of it we find that mob murders have increased rather than decreased; that law and authority are weaker this year than in former years; that bestial impulses have held greater sway over the American people in the year just closed than in 1920.

The statement compares the records of 1920 and 1921 thus: officers of the law prevented 56 lynchings in 1920; they prevented 72 in 1921. There were 63 actual lynchings in 1921 as compared to 61 in 1920. Of the number of lynchings occuring in 1921, 62 occurred in the South and 1 in the North. 59 of the victims were Negroes and 4 were white; of the Negro victims 2 were women. 19 or less than 1/3 of the victims were charged with rape.

Unless the American people have retrogressed much they will take small pleasure in the contemplation of this record of barbarism which in its frightfulness surpasses the barbarities which the early settlers of this country suffered at the hands of Indian tribes which boasted no civilization and aspired to no world leadership. It is a record which, when carefully considered together with the thousands of other instances of mob activity which have occurred during the past year, should cause true lovers of orderly proceedure to shudder for tne welfare of America during the coming years.

An increase of savagery in the "land of the free and the home of the brave" which since 1889 has done 3,433 persons to death without due process of law, means an increased speed in the easy descent to a reigm of unbridled passion and license from which state the ascent to a state of decent living will be far more laborious.

And the wonder of it is that in those communities where this savagery is most pronounced, there is the greatest opposition to an attempt at its control.

Almost coincident with the publication of the lynching record comes the announcement that the Dyer Bill, now pending a vote in Congress, is being fought by every known means by representatives of those states in which lynchings have been most frequent. Representatives of South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas have distinguished themselves by the quality of their opposition to this bill aimed at the suppression of lynching which is slowly but surely rendering the work of the founders of our American civilization void and as of no moment. And the states which they represent have contributed greatly to the record of savagery as it has been written in America since 1889. Since 1889 Texas has lynched 333 persons, Louisiana 326, Tennessee 199, South Carolina 128, North Carolina 63. Of this number of persons eleven were women. In the list of states which have been remarkable for their lynching propensities Texas stands second, with its 333, being exceeded in this savagery only by Georgia which leads the country with a total of 428 mob murders since 1889.

It will indeed be deplorable if the better mind of America fails now to assert itself and safeguard American interests from the pillaging hands of her unrestrained citizens who are besmirching her good name and mocking her boasted democracy.

If lynching does not stop the orderly processes of law must stop. The two cannot exist cojointly.

The opposition to the Dyer bill seems to be bassed upon the assumption that it would allow the federal goverment to encroach upon, the rights of states and render their sovereignty empty. For this reason it has been called dangerous and it has been prophesied that its passage will be followed by an increase in lynching which federal power will find itself powerless to stop.

It may be successfully argued that such reasoning has been largely responsible for the increase of lynching to the point that efforts at its control are now being made by the federal government. And it is also true that since 1889 every state in which a lynching has occurred has had ample opportunity to exert its sovereignty and pass measures which would have rendered federal intervention at this time unnecessary. But none of them have chosen to do this. And, while it is easy to understand their fear of a loss of sovereignty to the Federal Government when we review the history of the last one hundred years one is prone to feel that now, if ever, they should begin to realize that just as lynching is not purely sectional, neither would federal intervention for its suppression be. And whatever other considerations might arise, they should realize that without some sort of intervention speedily assured, neither their sovereignty nor that of the Federal government will be able to maintain itself nor guarantee its perpetuation.

There must come a time in American life when sectional bitternesses and political bickerings will be lost sight of in the desire that the united efforts of all may be centered upon the highest good of national accomplishment. A nation of lynchers is not worthy of emulation nor can it hope long to maintain itself. A lynching in any state is an American lynching. Any such barbarity has no place in an enlightened government.

Every American state may well realize that such a record for barbarity should be rewritten in terms of orderly proceedure even at the expense of federal control.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Comic Book -- Shazam -- January 4, 2021

Captain Marvel, the Big Red Cheese, made his debut in Whiz Comics #2, published by Fawcett. Fawcett had earlier published the humor magazine Captain Billy's Whiz Bang. The Captain was Billy Batson, a boy who worked for radio station WHIZ. An ancient wizard gave him the ability to become adult Captain Marvel by saying the word "SHAZAM." Captain Marvel, often drawn by CC Beck, was Superman's greatest competitor until National Periodicals (DC) won a lawsuit alleging that Captain Marvel infringed on Superman's copyright. At the same time, most superhero titles were dead or declining. DC revived Captain Marvel in the 1970s.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Pulp -- Mystery -- January 3, 2022

The May 1933 issue of the pulp magazine Mystery featured a story by and about Ellery Queen. I always liked the way the lead character shared the name of the author, and how the author was two cousins, Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee.

I know I saw the 1975 television show starring Jim Hutton and David Wayne before I read any of the books or stories. I may also have heard episodes of the old radio show. 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Toonerville Trolley -- Strangers Are Always Wondering How the Car Can Be Turned Around -- January 2, 2022

Perth Amboy Evening News, 16-January-1922

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains. Here the Trolley shows a familial relationship to Henry Casebolt's Balloon Car in San Francisco. 

More about the Balloon Car:

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year Krazy -- January 1, 2022

Washington Times, 01-January-1922

I hope everyone has a happy, peaceful, healthy (especially healthy) and prosperous new year.
I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Ignatz delivers the last brick of the old year and the first brick of the new. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

January, 2022 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- January 1, 2022

I just put the January 2022 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: The heavy Endres bottom grip used on Hoboken cable cars. Note the cable lifters before and after the grip. (Source: Image courtesy of Rail-Road Extra).
2. On the Cable Car Lines in New York and New Jersey page: I find it hard to believe that it has been twenty years since I first wrote about Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway. Here we have some ten and twenty year updates including an excerpt from The History of the North Hudson County Railway, 1898.
3. Also on the Decorated Cable Cars page: A list of cars decorated for Christmas 2021. No photos yet.
4. On the Cable Tramways in Australia and New Zealand page: The holiday schedule of the Wellington Cable Car.
5. Added News items about San Francisco Mayor London Breed talking about cable cars and Metallica being symbols of the city and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

Ten years ago this month (January, 2012):
Picture of the Month: A stereo view of a car on the cable-operated Hoboken elevated
2. On the Cable Car Lines in New York and New Jersey page: More about Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway, including articles from the Street Railway Journal. Also some contemporary newspaper articles about the elevated and the company's Weehawken Viaduct:
-- Hoboken Elevated Trial Trips (New York Sun, Sunday, December 20, 1885)
-- Hoboken Elevated Testing (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tuesday, January 26, 1886)
-- Hoboken Elevated Suspended (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Monday, February 8, 1886)
-- Hoboken Elevated Runaway (New-York Tribune, Thursday, February 10, 1887)
-- Weehawken Viaduct Removed (New York Tribune, Monday, March 5, 1900)
3. Also on the Decorated Cable Cars page: A list of cars decorated for Christmas 2011. No photos yet.

Twenty years ago this month (January, 2002):
1. Picture of the Month: Hoboken elevated
2. Roll out new Cable Car Lines in New York and New Jersey page with an article on the Hoboken's North Hudson County Railway.
3. Sutter Street Railway cable traction 125th anniversary. Add photos to the Sutter Street Railway page and make images into thumbnails. Add Sanborn maps of powerhouses. Also thumbnailed photos on McTeague page.
4. Add Henry Casebolt to the Who page
5. Add photos to the Geary Street, Park and Ocean page and make images into thumbnails. Add Sanborn maps of both powerhouses.

Coming in February, 2022: On the Cable Car Lines in Chicago page: A ten and twenty year update about Powell Street cable car 524 at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair

125 years ago this month (January, 1897):
January 21 - The Glasgow District Subway reopened, having shut down almost immediately after it first opened

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-January-2022)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 30-November-2021)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)