Monday, February 28, 2022

COVID-19, Vaccine, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- February 28, 2022

The Omicron variant of the TrumpVirus appears to have peaked. Most of the counties in California are revising their mask mandates.

The baseball owners have locked out the players, so Spring Training has been delayed.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Marian Anderson 125, February 27, 2022

Contralto Marian Anderson was born 125 years ago today, on 27-February-1897. I have seen other dates mentioned. During her career she broke many color barriers. She is most famous for her 1939 concert in Washington, DC. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to let her sing before an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband took up the cause and arranged for her to sing from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on 09-April-1939. My grandmother and two oldest aunts joined with the First Lady and resigned from the DAR. The DAR later repudiated its position.

Happy International Polar Bear Day, 2022 -- February 27, 2022

Carmichael wishes everyone a happy International Polar Bear Day. Please do what you can to slow the loss of sea ice.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

34 Are Burned to Death When Giant Roma, U. S. Army Dirigible, Plunges 1,500 Feet -- February 26, 2022

New York Tribune, 22-February-1922

When it was completed in Italy in 1921, Roma was the largest semi-rigid airship in the world. She was purchased by the United States Army, which had her dismantled and shipped to Langley Field, Virginia. Roma made her first flight on 15-December-1921. 100 years ago this month, on 21-February-1922, Roma crashed and killed 32 people.

34 Are Burned to Death When Giant Roma,
U. S. Army Dirigible, Plunges 1,500 Feet

3 of 11 Survivors Unhurt;
Many Are Killed in Leap
From Flaming Craft
Capt. Mabry, Pilot,
Dies at His Post
Crash With High Voltage Wire
at Hampton Roads Causes
Explosion; Rudder Fails

Special Dispatch to The Tribune

NORFOLK. Va., Feb. 21. -- The second attempt of the United States to develop an airship fleet through purchases abroad ended disastrously at the Hampton Roads army base to-day, when the army semi-rigid dirigible Roma, after developing rudder trouble 1,500 feet on the air, crashed 200 feet in flames to the ground, exploded and caused the death of thirty-four of the forty-five passengers and members of the crew on board. The accident was the worst in the history of aircraft in the United States.

Three of the eleven survivors, by miracle or chance, were unhurt. A tarnished gold leaf clinging to a charred uniform served to identify one of the dead as Major John G. Thornell, the Air Service officer, who supervised this 412-foot flying ship since the day she was acquired from the Italian government. The others of those unfortunate navigators of the air are mercifully posted at Langley Field as "missing" to soften the fact that they are but charred embers among the fused and blackened metal that was the articulated framework of this greatest of all semi-rigid airships.

After the airship which had a capacity of 1,200,000 feet of hydrogen gas was set on fire by the explosion the heat was so intense that firemen from three departments worked five hours before they could take out the charred bodies of the victims buried under the great framework.

Army Officers Begin Investigation

The story of the last cruise of the Roma has been pieced together to-night by army investigators taking the accounts of ground observers, the broken sentences of terribly burned survivors, and the more lucid versions of the three men who were unhurt.

Mute testimony was added to the words of the living by fleshless hands that clutched the pilot wheel in a grip of death. They told something of the heroism of those flying men, of a soldierly devotion to duty that is ordinarily associated only with battlefields. They had been the hands of Captain Dale Mabry, chief pilot and commander of the Roma. He died at his post and doing so created a tradition for captains of the air that parallels the ancient law of the sea.

The Roma became unmanageable at the height of 1,500 feet through some defect that developed in her elevating mechanism. The huge structure had been taken out on what was to have been a speed flight to test six Liberty motors of 400-horsepower each that had replaced the more delicate and less satisfactory Italian engines with which she was originally driven.

Back and forth over the flatlands about Hampton Roads the dirigible was guided by her expert crew for nearly an hour. Then, as the ship straightened out for a flight inland to Richmond, something went wrong. The first intimation the crew and passengers had was a shout from Lieutenant Burt, in charge of the elevator planes.

Major J. G. Reardon, one of the survivors, told about that. He said:

"I heard Lieutenant Burt cry, 'She won't respond!'

"Captain Mabry, standing by his wheel, shouted to the lieutenant to elevate the ship. Burt put his whole weight on the elevation lever, but the Roma, her nose going lower and lower, continued to rush toward the ground. Then I heard Captain Mabry say, 'Good God, boys!' There was no fire until we struck a high voltage electric wire just above the ground. Then everything burst into flames."

Dives to Earth Under Own Power

lt was just a little before 2 o'ciock in the afternoon when those on the ground at the army base at Hampton Roads heard the roaring of the six powerful Liberty motors of the Roma. Looking up, they were just in time to see the blunt nose of the silvery mass point sharply downward.

For a few moments the ship drove toward the earth under her own power. She was not falling. Then the motors were shut off and the speed of the descent slackened. The horrified watchers on the ground saw tiny, ant-like figures at the portholes in the triangular keel frantically heaving sand ballast through the openings, but they worked in vain.

As the vessel came near the earth, her pilots still striving frantically to control her, the airship struck two high tension wires carrying 2,300 volts. The next instant the nose of the big vessel hit the ground and rolled over. There followed a terrific explosion and then the whole airship was on fire.

When the Roma burst into flames many of those on board escaped with their lives. Their bodies fell on a pile of pig iron, and in less time than takes to tell it the burning airship fell almost on the same spot. 11 men who had made the desperate leap for life, if they were not already dead when their bodies struck the pile of iron, were burned to death under the airship.

There was just one man who leaped and landed on soft ground. He escaped almost unhurt, excepting for a few burns on his face and hands. He is Lieutenant Byron T. Burt. He jumped from the Roma when she was about thirty feet in the air and landed in the mud.

Ten Escape After Hitting Earth

Ten other men were saved from death by being able to leave the ship quickly after she struck the earth. Captain Walter J. Reed, who stood by the ship to the last, came out of the burning mass of steel and wood and rags with just a few scars on his ear and hand. He says he does not know why he is alive. Of all the line officers on the Roma only two escaped death -- Captain Reed and Lieutenant Burt. Both were listed as pilots on the Roma.

In the hands of two dead men dragged from the wreck were fire extinguishers. This bears out the theory that the ship must have been on fire when she was 200 feet in the air, and the men had grabbed extinguishers to help extinguish the blaze, but Captain Reed and Lieutenant Burt say they do not believe the ship caught fire until after she struck the high voltage wire just thirty feet above earth.

His First Trip Aloft Ends in Disaster

Roy Hurley, one of the eleven survivors, said he had never been up in an airship before to-day. He said he did not know anything had happened until just a few minutes before the Roma struck the earth. "We were sailing along all right, I thought," he said, "when all of a sudden I heard men scream and fire broke out all around us. Then there was a jolt. I was knocked over on my back. Men fell all over me and about me. They appeared like they had suddenly gone crazy. I believe I must have lost my head, too, for I don't know how I got out of the thing."

"If we were on fire up in the air, I did not know anything about it. We had not been up in the air so very long when it all happened. It was a real adventure for me, and I was enjoying it. I had nothing to do, and that is why I am alive, I guess."

The Roma appeared to be on fire before she struck the high-voltage wire, according to H. M. Tilley, who stood on the ground and watched the airship come down. He says he certainly saw smoke coming from the bag of the big flying machine. He declared the Roma appeared to "shrink up" all of a sudden. Her nose "shrunk" and she shot to earth. Tilley says he snapped a picture of the Roma about the time she struck the wire. She was all ablaze then.

The explosion, which came after the Roma struck the wire, broke windows in residences some distance from where the big aircraft fell. The explosion is also believed to have been partly responsible for the horribly mutilated condition of some of the bodies dragged from the wreck of the big flying craft.

The Roma fell almost in front of the army supply base fire headquarters, and within a minute after she rolled to earth, firemen had two streams of water pouring on her. She burned like a pile of light wood, and there was not a particle of her woodwork or bag left when the last ember was extinguished. Only the mass of metal framework remains.

Goes to Husband by Plane

Captain Reed, who was saved from the wreck with but slight burns, is a son-in-law of H C. Blackinton, one of the principal officials of the Furness-Withy Steamship Line. His wife was at Langley Field when Captain Reed flew away in the Roma. She was waiting for him to come back when she got news of the burning of the Roma. Then she insisted that she be taken to her husband in an airplane. Several army officers flew over from Langley Field to where the Roma was wrecked. Mrs. Reed went with them. She found her husband in the public health hospital with just a few minor burns on his hands and face. "I'm ready to go home," he told her, "if the doctors say so." He was required to wait for further examination by army doctors.

The collapse of the huge dirigible was witnessed by dozens of employees of the army base. Within a few minutes after the craft struck the ground the rescue work was under way. But those pinned underneath the burning were beyond help, and before they could be extricated their bodies had been charred beyond recognition.

Leap With Parachute

Practically all the crew and passengers were in the passenger cabin amidship when the explosion occurred, and before there was any time for coherent action the framework of the machine ' had caved in on top of them.

Lieutenant W. E. Riley, of New York city, a member of the official crew, jumped from a window of the cabin. His parachute failed to work properly, and he struck the street pavement on his head. His neck was broken, and he died before reaching the hospital. Another member of the crew leaped to safety, escaping with minor injuries. It was 2:10 o'clock this afternoon when the Roma struck the pile of pig iron in a mass of flames. Half an hour later she was a total wreck. She burned so quickly, soldiers from the army base who rushed to the scene, were unable to get to the craft. The fire was so hot it drove firemen twenty feet away from where they first stood to pour water on the flames. Spectators say the flames reached 100 feet in the air. Others say they saw particles of burning clothes and scraps from tne Roma's bag hurled 200 feet in the air.

Even caps worn by the crew of the Roma caught fire and went hurtling through the air after the big bag of the machine blew up.

It took only thirty minutes to destroy the Roma, but it required five hours to remove the dead bodies from the wreck of the big ship.

The Roma fell near a thickly populated spot of Norfolk County. There were scores of homes within a few blocks of where the ship fell and women and children rushed to the scene, eager to help. The homes were thrown open for the care of wounded, but there were only six men alive who needed attention. They were hurried away to the public health hospital, just a short distance from where the Roma fell,

Women who came to the scene bent on rendering assistance were made ill by the sight of headless and armless bodies. Many of them screamed and were taken away by relatives; several fainted, but the army doctors were too busy caring for the dead to render any help, and they were turned over to friends.

Graham Dalton, employed in a warehouse near the scene of the wreck, was an eyewitness of the disaster. In describing it he said:

"We were standing just outside a warehouse when we saw the Roma coming from over Oceanview way. She appeared to be in trouble.

"The ship looked as if she was about to turn over. She was up several hundred feet then, and it looked as if they suddenly shut off the engines. The machine started drifting slowly toward the ground. lt struck against the electric light wires and there was an explosion.

All Happened in a Second

It all happened in a second. I remember seeing one man leap. His parachute didn't work and he hit the pavement and lay still. When the explosion occured the whole thing seemed to buckle up and in a second everything was afire.

"One man jumped and when he hit the ground his clothing was all afire. Some men working in the yard rushed out and tore all the clothing off him, but he was burned almost to death.

"I saw another fellow crawl out from under the wreckage. His clothes were afire. He crawled on his hands and as far as a puddle of water. He fell over into the water and turned over and over, trying to put out the fire. When we reached him he was covered with mud. One of the boys started to rub the mud from his eyes with a handkerchief and the skin peeled off with the mud."

Roma Cost U. S. $200,000
Carried Passengers in Italy

The fatal trial flight of the semi-rigid airship Roma was one of a series of tests by which it was hoped to establish finally whether this kind of lighter-than-air craft was superior to the rigid type, of which the Zeppelins were the best examples.

Italy designated the great sky-roving monster for a bomb-carrier. Had she been finished before the end of hostilities with, Austria she would have joined a fleet of four smaller semi-rigid ships which were housed in hangars in the Po valley, about thirty kilometers from Ferrara, making nocturnal sallies across the frontier to drop tons of explosive in enemy territory. But the armistice was signed while she was only partially completed.

The United States had an air service observer with the Italian forces in the Po valley. This observer, reporting on the work of the semi-rigid airships said: "Every evening, regardless of weather conditions or fog, these dirigibles started out for a trip into enemy territory carrying much greater loads of bomhs than were carried by squadrons of airplane raiders, and returned successfully with the morning.

Dirigibles Maintained Schedules

"In every instance the dirigibles, without a serious hitch in the schedule, started on and returned from their mission in 100 per cent of force. In comparison with this record, in practically no raid participated in by six or more airplanes did all the planes return to their base the same day. Usually, one or more was delayed for days or weeks, due to forced landings, at fields near the front lines."

Reports like these stirred the enthusiasm of the American army air service.

The Italian government ordered the Roma completed despite the ending of the war, and for a time the big airship was engaged in passenger service that was almost as uneventful as the daily trips of a ferry boat. The Roma was kept in a hangar at Ciampino.

Then negotiations were begun between Italy and the United States for the sale of this the largest semi-rigid airship in the world, and the deal was closed when the American government offered approximately $200,000. Army experts at Washington estimated at the time that it would cost $1,250,000 to duplicate the Roma.

Early in 1921 Major J. G. Thornell started for Italy with a detail of air service men to bring the Roma to the United States. With him went Captain Dale Mabry, Lieutenant (now Captain) Walter J. Reed; Sergeant J. M. Biedenbach, Sergeant V. C. Hoffman, Staff Sergeant M. J. Beale, Master Sergeant H. A. Chapman and Master Sergeant R. C. McNally. All of these, excepting Beale and Chapman, were aboard yesterday.

At first it was proposed to fly the ship from Rome to Norfolk. When this plan was vetoed, the ship was dismantled, packed and placed aboard the United States army transport Mars for shipment to the United States. Before this, however, the expert American crew had been drilled by the Italian builders until they knew every kink in the articulated skeleton of the craft. Celestino Usuelli, the wealthy Italian businessman who constructed it together with his assistants in the undertaking, Colonel Crocco and the engineers, De Nobile and Prassone. were on hand while the ship made trial flights, with the Americans helping the Italian crew.

On March 15 of last year, with the American flag fluttering from her stern, for the first time, the airship ascended over Rom. She was at last a part of the military equipment of the United States. Aboard were Robert Underwood Johnson, the American Ambassador at Rome, Brigadier General Evan M. Johnson, the American military attaché; several members of the embassy personnel, Major John G. Thornell, her new commander, his aids and about fifty Italian officers.

The transport Mars, with the dismantled, deflated airship resembling a couple of circus tents "on the spool," in her hold sailed for Norfolk from Genoa on May 28.

She was put together there once more the same silvery giant that had flown over Rome, and arrangements were made to place her in commission on December 21. On that day the Roma was flown to Washington. For five hours and a half the army airship plunged about high above the earth, bucking head winds in what probably one of the most thrilling ether voyages in the brief history of aviation.

Secretary Weeks, Secretary Denbv and Rolando Ricci, the Italian Ambassador, with others. waited for three hours in the raw, cold northwest wind blew over Bolling Field. Miss Wainwright, daughter of the Assistant Secretary of War, was there with a bottle of liquid air with which to perform the christening ceremony. It had been planned that these and guests of distinction were to be taken for a flight over Baltimore.

The christening ceremonies were hastened. The boat ride over Baltimore was abandoned. Major General Patrick, chief of the army air service ordered the Roma back to Langley Field and the safety of her hangar as soon as she could be refueled. Then with the wind on her tail with its cellular rudder, the Roma went home, making the return trip in a fraction of the time required for the journey to Washington.

The characteristics of the Roma were:

Capacity, l,200,000 cubic feet.
Gross weight, 37 tons.
Fixed weight, 18 tons.
Disposable lift, 19 tons (crew, fuel ballast).
Length, 412 feet 6 inches.
Beam, 82 feet 6 inches.
Height, 90 feet 9 inches.

The envelope had twelve gas compartments and six air ballonets, A characteristic of this airship was that each of the ballonet divisions had its own air manifold and two controllable exhaust valves.

Friday, February 25, 2022

New Cat #96 -- February 25, 2022

I took the photo on 21-February-2022. For the second Winter Olympiad in a row, she enjoyed curling. She also paid attention to ski jumping.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

I Stand With Ukraine -- February 24, 2022

Russia has invaded Ukraine. I hope President Putin has made a big mistake. 

Coulter -- Junk of the Three Bold Chinese -- February 24, 2022

San Francisco Call, 01-December-1894

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. Please excuse the racism.

The Battle of the Yalu River, during the first Sino-Japanese War, took place on 17-September-1894. A Japanese fleet defeated the Chinese Beiyang Fleet. I don't follow the reference to "the efficacy of gin."

Click on the image for a larger view.

A Long Voyage and a
Bad One, Too.
The Heroes of the Yalu Are
Emulated by Brethren.
But the Voyagers Did Not Have
Enough Provisions to Last
Them the Trip.

Three bold Chinese fishermen of Monterey have outdone the feats of that bold navigator, Captain Andrews of London, by making the voyage from Monterey to this city in a battered junk.

The Celestial marine phenomena did not win renown without much suffering and exposure, however, for when they tied their boat up to the piling north of the ferry-slips Saturday afternoon their stores had run down to a handful of rice and a little brackish water.

For thirty days the three pigtailed seamen of the south buffed the winter storms off the coast, and were obliged to sail well out to sea to avoid the recent hurricane that caused so much damage to ships.

How the craft got into port without being reported by the Merchants' Exchange is peculiar, but inquiry of the employes of that institution brought out the fact that fishing-boats and junks often pass in and out at the beads and are seldom registered.

Though originally a two-masted craft, the hardy survivor of a boisterous four weeks of voyaging reached San Francisco by dependence only on one not too lofty spar and single-ribbed sail for motive power. Her "canvas" was torn and dirty, her halyards and stays loose and soggy.

After knocking about at the end of the new ferry slips, an object of much wonderment to travelers by the local ferries and a mark of ridicule for amazed boatmen, the junk was pulled out of the way of prospective collisions with passing steamers and taken to the Mission flats, where she now is. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack to find her, but a long search was finally rewarded yesterday.

The three non-committal and exceedingly cadaverous-looking heathen who constituted the queer boat's crew are not sufficiently well versed in English to give a very technical account of their trip. They all had been fully educated in the use of that very convincing expression "Heap hungry," and after repeating it several times made it known that for the last ten days of their trip they were reduced to a diet of a few spoonfuls of rice and an occasional smell at a gin bottle. Like the heroes of the battle of the Yalu, they are firm believers in the efficacy of gin.

The boat left Monterey on November 5 and expected to make this city in a few days is one story. Another is that the craft was out on a fishing excursion and was blown off the coast by the gales. This harbor was reached after vain attempts to set back to Monterey. Provisions were low, as stated, and when the three sons of Confucius hauled down their sail at the city docks they were little short of starved.

The junk is an old boxlike affair with a high bow and a square stern. There is a deckhouse and a small gallery forward and aft of the mainmast. Quarters below are by no means palatial. There is a smell of ancient fish and rancid oil about them. A couple of bunks are arranged like shelves across the after end of the "cabin."

The vessel does not appear to have suffered so much from her battle with the waves as one would suppose, for a few stitches in time in her tattered sails and a few pieces of planking and a handful of nails will place her in repair sufficiently to make a trip back home, provided the wind does not threaten more big storms.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Bierstadt -- Geysers in Yellowstone -- February 23, 2022

Whitney Gallery of Western Art Collection

I have always enjoyed the paintings of Albert Bierstadt. He painted "Geysers in Yellowstone" in 1881. It is in the collection of the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Monday, February 21, 2022

Happy Presidents' Day, 2022 -- February 21, 2022

Happy Presidents' Day, everyone.

Martin van Buren was an agile politician. He was one of the founders of the Democratic Party. He was Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson, and then served as Jackson's Vice President. When Jackson left office, Van Buren won the 1836 election, but his term was damaged by the Panic of 1837. Van Buren was opposed to Texas joining the Union because of slavery. He lost the 1840 election to William Henry Harrison, a Whig. In 1844, Van Buren ran for president as the nominee of the Free Soil party, an abolitionist organization. He favored abolition for the rest of his life.

Martin Van Buren was portrayed by Nigel Hawthorne in Steven Spielberg's Amistad.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

San Francisco World's Fair -- February 20, 2022

Movie Makers, May, 1939

For many years, Castle Films and Official Films were the two big distributors of home movies.

In this ad, Castle offered movies of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, held on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. The ad said Castle would soon offer films of the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

The Year of the Tiger -- February 19, 2022

In honor of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Tiger, here is an exciting drawing from the cover of Railroad Stories, a pulp magazine. The locomotive fireman is about to file a worker's comp claim. 

The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is tonight. The parade has taken place since the 1860s.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

On Every Outing -- Kodak -- February 16, 2022

Seattle Star, 11-May-1916

George Eastman's Kodak cameras allowed many people to take up photography.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Mules/Carload -- February 15, 2022

Port Gibson Reveille, 16-February-1922

Need a mule? See Marx and Morehead.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Happy Saint Valentine's Day. 2021 -- February 14, 2021

Happy Saint Valentine's Day, everyone. 

A young woman and a young man pretend not to notice each other. The original Life Magazine was a humorous weekly that was published from 1883 to 1936. 

Here is the cover of their 22-February-1908 edition.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

New Lynching in South Carolina -- February 13, 2022

Chicago Star, 22-February-1947

The Chicago Star was an African-American owned newspaper. 

New Lynching in So. Carolina

While white terrorists were shooting into the home of a Negro family at Airport Homes in Chicago last Saturday morning, a lynch mob was murdering Willie Earle, 23-year-old Negro, in South Carolina.

The slashed and bullet-torn body of their victim was found on a roadside near Pickens shortly after he had been taken from the county jail.

The jailer, who unlocked the cell and gave Earle to the lynchers, said he didn’t recognize any of the mob though none of them were masked to conceal their identity.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Happy Birthday, President Lincoln -- February 12, 2022

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 213th birthday. My favorite president.    

"Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure." -- Giuseppe Garibaldi, 06-August-1863 letter to President Lincoln

Friday, February 11, 2022

Thomas Edison 175 -- February 11, 2022

Time, 25-May-1925

Inventor and capitalist Thomas Alva Edison was born 175 years ago today, on 11-February-1847. I read several books about him when I was in school. He created the first laboratory for industrial research. His teams developed commercially viable motion pictures and made great improvements to storage batteries. He and his team invented the phonograph.

Edison Phonograph Monthly, June, 1916

New York Clipper, 15-August-1903

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Comic Book -- Mad Magazine -- February 10, 2022

We have been watching the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing. It feels odd watching a Winter Olympic Games without snow. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Pulp -- Air Stories -- February 9, 2022

Air Stories features a Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber taking off from a Royal Navy carrier. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Richard Hadlock, RIP -- February 8, 2022

I am sad to hear that Richard Hadlock, musician, author and disc jockey, has died. I listened to his Annals of Jazz for most of my life on KQED-FM and KCSM. I took his book Jazz Masters of the '20s out from the Anza Branch Library. I learned the foundation for what I know about 1920's jazz from his book. 

Monday, February 7, 2022

The Incomparable Anna Pavlova -- February 7, 2022

Arizona Republican, 29-January-1922

100 years ago this month, in February 1922, ballerina Anna Pavlova and "Her Famous Ballet Russe" appeared in Phoenix, Arizona at the Shrine Auditorium. She appeared in one movie, The Dumb Girl of Portici. I saw it on a Sunday afternoon at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, with a live organ accompaniment.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Toonerville Trolley -- Yuh Didn't Have No Shovel -- February 6, 2022

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, 16-June-1922

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains. Here the Skipper won't pick up able-bodied males unless they have a shovel to help clear snow from the tracks.

Kenosha Telegraph-Courier, 23-February-1922

Transit systems that were rickety, either physically or financially, were often referred to as "Toonerville Trolleys." 

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Old Hoss Radbourn 125 Years -- February 5, 2022

The Copper County Evening News, 08-February-1922

Pitcher Charley Radbourn, Old Hoss, had a record of 60-12 for the 1884 Providence Grays. After pitcher Charlie Sweeney quit the team in July, Radbourn started nearly every game, 40, and won 36 of them. He retired with a record of 309-194. The "e" at the end of his family name came and went in different newspapers.

The "revolution in 1890" was the founding of the Players League by players who were unhappy with the situation in the National League and the American Association.

Expires of Paresis at Bloomington -- He
Never Had a Superior.

Bloomington, Ills., Feb. 8. -- Charles Radbourne, the famous base ball player, died at 1:50 o'clock Friday afternoon, at his home In this city. He had been sinking for more than a year, suffering from paresis and a general giving away of the nervous system. On Wednesday his physical energy suddenly collapsed, and convulsions followed. He lost consciousness and remained in a comatose condition until death came.

Radbourne was born in Rochester, N. Y., Dec. 9, 1854, of English parentage. The family came to Bloomington soon thereafter and have resided here ever since. Radbourne's first appearance as a pitcher was with Peoria in 1878. When the Providence franchise was purchased by four league clubs, A. H. Soden of the Roston club secured Radbourne through the deal. He remained a member of the Bostons until the revolution in 1890. The next year he signed with Cincinnati, but at the end of the season he retired, badly broken in health. Since then, he had remained in retirement at his Bloomington home, spending most of his time in hunting and fishing. Radbourne was married ten years ago to a Boston woman, who with her son, now a young man of 25, moved to this city. Two years ago, Radbourne lost the sight of an eye by the accidental discharge of a gun, a mishap which preyed greatly upon his mind. When he retired from the diamond, he purchased a business building and engaged in the saloon business, also conducting a billiard room and resort for sportsmen. For some months he had been unable to attend to business, Radbourne was one of the very greatest pitchers that ever played the national game.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Return to Teaching -- February 4, 2022

After teaching coding to Good Shepherd third graders as a volunteer since November, today was my first day as an employee teaching technology/coding to grades k thru 4. The kids were great.

Krazy Kat -- Coconino!! Cocnino!! Kaibito!! Kaibito!! -- February 4, 2022

Washington Times, 12-February-1922

I love George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Ignatz and Krazy just can't get it together. Coconino County and the town of Kaibito are real places in Arizona.

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Dave Davies 75 -- February 3, 2022

Brothers Ray and Dave Davies formed the Kinks in 1963. I loved the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but I was always fascinated by the Kinks. Ray got more publicity because he wrote most of their songs, but Dave was a fantastic guitarist. Dave Davies was born 75 years ago today, on 03-February-1947.

Dave figured out how to create the distortion effect on "You Really Got Me." 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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

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

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: Powell Street cable car 524 at the Chicago Railroad Fair. From the 03-Aug-1949 San Francisco News: "Two thousand miles removed from its regular route, a San Francisco cable car is being operated by Western Pacific at the Chicago Railroad Fair. The car carries capacity loads up a steep incline to return to a turn-table the replica of the one at Market St., San Francisco" (Source: San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection, AAC-8005).
2. On the Chicago page: A ten and twenty-year update about Powell Street cable car 524 at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair
3. On the Decorated Cable Cars page: A list of cars decorated for Chinese New Year 2022. No photos yet.
4. Added News items about the COVID-19 pandemic and cars being decorated to celebrate the Lunar New Year

Ten years ago this month (February, 2012):
1. Picture of the Month: Birmingham cable tram 104. Thank you to John Perkin
2. On the UK page: More about the Birmingham Central Tramways Company, thanks to John Perkin. Also an 1887 Street Railway Journal article and an item from an 1890 Baedeker guide
3. Added News item about newly rebuilt car 26

Twenty years ago this month (February, 2002):
1. Picture of the Month: Car 24, formerly 524.
2. Add Chicago West Divsion, a short-lived experimental implementation, to the Chicago page
3. Add 524 at the Fair, about San Francisco cable car 524's visit to the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair to the Chicago page
4. Add more photos to the Chicago page
5. Add books Mind the Curve and Halfway to the Stars, article about decline in ridership, and obituary for Raymond McCann to Bibliography.
6. Archive Nov 2001 What's New. Split What's New archive onto separate page.

Coming in March, 2022:
On the Cable Car Lines in New York and New Jersey page:
More about the experimental cable car installation on Newark's Essex Passenger Railway and Newark and Irvington Street Railway.

50 years ago this month (February, 1972):
February 26 - A loose strand on the Powell Street line caused four cars to pile up at the Market Street turntable.

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-February-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)

The Year of the Tiger -- February 1, 2022

In honor of the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, here is a beautiful image of a tiger on the cover of the pulp magazine Jungle Stories.