Friday, June 30, 2023

COVID-19, Vaccine, Masks, Church, Baseball and School -- June 30, 2023

In June the New York Times cleverly hid its covid statistics behind the paywall. I had a terrible cold but a covid test was negative.

The Giants had a ten-game win streak and reached second place in the division. They have brought up several good players.

We reached the end of the school year. The license for the software we were to use had expired. I had the kids use an implementation of TurtleGraphics written in Scratch. The principal took us to lunch at Nick's. 

Ukraine's offensive appears to be moving well. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Red Devils Return to Pacifica #17 -- June 29, 2023

Pacifica is one of the two cities on the San Francisco peninsula that allow the sale of fireworks. The booths arrived last week. This is the stand at the Linda Mar shopping center. I took the photo today.

Many Pacificans agree that selling fireworks is a bad idea: We have steep, brush-covered hillsides that pose a fire danger. People use the "safe and sane" fireworks to mask the unsafe and insane variety. Not to mention my cat hates the Fourth of July.

Unfortunately, our charities claim that fireworks are the only thing they can sell that will generate enough money. That can't be true. What about drugs? Weapons? They're not thinking outside of the box.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Monday, June 26, 2023

Keep Petaluma River Navigable -- June 26, 2023

Petaluma Daily Morning Courier, 28-June-1923

The Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad was an interurban electric line that connected Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Branches went to Sebastopol and Two Rock. Steamboats carried passengers and freight between San Francisco and Petaluma. This ad pointed out that the more tonnage shipped, the more the US government would pay for dredging. 

The Northwestern Pacific Railroad purchased the PSR in 1932. Passenger service ended on 01-July-1932.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Save TCM -- June 24, 2023

Warner Media is gutting @TCM, firing much of the upper management and the creative people and spreading the survivors among various subsidiaries. What can we do? Turner Classic Movies is a vital resource for film fans and scholars alike. I have seen many movies on TCM that I have never seen and sometimes never heard of anywhere else. 


Only a Chandler Has the Pikes Peak Motor -- June 24, 2023

Winston-Salem Journal, 16-June-1923

The Chandler Motor Car Company produced reasonably priced cars of excellent quality. Hill climbs were a popular method of advertising an automobile's power.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Coulter -- United States Revenue Cutter Thetis -- June 23, 2023

San Francisco Call, 09-April-1904

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the San Francisco Call. This one shows the revenue cutter USRC Thetis preparing for a voyage to Hawaii. Thetis was a wooden-hulled steam whaler built in Britain. The US Navy acquired Thetis in 1884 to participate in the search for Lieutenant Adolphus Greely's Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, which had left the US in 1881. Revenue cutters Bear, Thetis and Alert. Only seven men, including Greely, were still alive.

In 1889, Thetis transferred to the Revenue Cutter Service, a predecessor of the US Coast Guard. She served mostly in the Pacific and in Arctic waters.

Long Cruise for Thetis.

The United States revenue cutter Thetis, Captain Hamlet, will sail to-day for Honolulu, where she will remain for several months and make her regular cruise in Alaskan waters. The Thetis formerly belonged to the navy and in spite of her age is one of the stoutest vessels flying the flag of the Treasury Department. She has the most comfortable quarters of any cutter in the revenue service.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Albert Bierstadt -- The Tahoe's Lake -- June 22, 2023

Fogg Museum, Harvard University

Albert Bierstadt painted "The Tahoe's Lake" in 1868. I can't figure out where he was when he created this image. The painting is in the collection of the Fogg Museum at Harvard University.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Black Cat Magazine June 1898 -- June 21, 2023

The Black Cat Magazine was launched in Boston in 1895. It published short stories and was known for printing stories by new writers. 125 years ago, the June, 1898 issue had one novel and four short stories by five authors of whom I have not heard: Leo Gale, Mabell Shippie Clarke, Clarice Irene Clinghan, Geik Turner, McPherson Fraser.

I like their cover art. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Read Banned Books -- June 20, 2023

Lists of banned books are a good way to figure out what to read next.

While we are talking about books, I should mention that Cormac McCarthy died. I am sad to admit that I have not read any of his books, but I have seen movie adaptions.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Juneteenth, 2023 -- June 19, 2023

Happy Juneteenth, everyone. 

After Vicksburg fell in 1863, Texas was mostly cut off from the rest of the Confederacy. Slaves in Texas did not learn about President Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation until 19-June-1865, when Union General Gordon Granger presented it to them. I don't think I learned about Juneteenth until I was in college. On June 17, 2021 President Joe Biden signed a law making Juneteenth a national holiday.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Happy Father's Day, 2023 -- June 18, 2023

Happy Fathers' Day to all my fellow fathers. I miss my dad. And I miss my father-in-law. I haven't had anyone for whom to buy a card for a long time. I am lucky to have a great daughter and son-in-law.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Friday, June 16, 2023

Coca-Cola -- The Best Bottle in the World -- June 16, 2023

Chapel Hill Weekly/u>, 21-June-1921

"The Best Bottle in the World Is the one with COCA-COLA in it."

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Shinola -- June 15, 2023

Daily Kennebec Journal, 13-June-1923

Subject of the famous expression.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Flag Day 2023 -- June 14, 2023

Happy Flag Day, everyone. The US had just entered World War One in April, 1917. That may have encouraged this elaborate commemoration. 

Trump Arrested and Arraigned (Again) -- June 14, 2023

Former president Donald Judas Trump has been arrested and was arraigned by a court in Florida. After an extensive investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith, Trump is charged with 37 felonies, most having to with mishandling classified documents.

"According to Jane Taylor, 'the central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world. Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification'. Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero—fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, greedy, cruel, cowardly and evil..." -- Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Cable Car Sesquicentennial Kickoff -- June 13, 2023

Today my wife was kind enough to accompany me to the Cable Car Sesquicentennial Kickoff at California and Drumm. This was just about our first time out together since COVID. 

Cable Car Big 19, originally built in 1883 as a single-ended Market Street cable car was there. Rick Laubscher of the Market Street Railway hosted. Mayor London Breed, Supervisor Aaron Peskin and Alexander S Hallidie spoke. Hallidie said scientists at Stanford had brought him back to life. The celebrites left for a ride on 19.

Babe Ruth Day -- June 13, 2023

>Saint Louis Globe-Democrat, 15-June-1948

In honor of the 25th anniversaries of Yankee Stadium and the Yankees win the 1923 World Series against the New York Giants, the team celebrated Babe Ruth Day. The Giants won the World Series in 1921 and 1922. 

Surviving members of the 1923 Yankees gathered to celebrate their greatest player. The team retired Babe's Jersey, number three, and preserved his old locker. Babe had been sick with cancer for two years. He died in August. 

New York Herald, 13-November-1921

The Babe was a cultural phenomenon. Here we see him performing at vaudeville's most famous theater, the Palace.

Motion Picture News, 21-October-1920

"The Great American Personality." Ruth starred in a feature film, Headin' Home. I have seen the movie and enjoyed it, but Babe was not much of an actor. Ruth played a cameo part in Harold Lloyd's Speedy.

In 1927, Ruth starred in the feature Babe Comes Home. The movie is presumed to be lost.

In 1942, Babe played his best role, himself, in Pride of the Yankees, a biography of Ruth's teammate Lou Gehrig.

Monday, June 12, 2023

"Voice" Tells of Lynchings -- June 12, 2023

San Francisco Examiner, 04-June-1923

The Voice of America has been broadcasting overseas since 1942. During the Cold War, it focused on countries behind the Iron Curtain. A Congressional study during the Red Scare raised questions about the VOA. I imagine Southern legislators asked why the Voice reported on all lynchings in the US. Here is a section of the article.


WASHINGTON, June 3. -- (AP) ... As for lynchings, Charles W Thayer, head of the "Voice's" New York office, testified that "every time there's a lynching in the United States, we broadcast it to Russia."


He explained that lynchings are mentioned "to put the news in its proper perspective." 

Thayer explained that unless such items are included in the broadcasts, Moscow radio would give "distorted versions" of life in the United States. 

He said that approximately 2,000,000 short wave radio receiving sets in Russia, and he added: 

"When we don't mention a lynching, they (the Russians) know there isn't any."

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Inventor Can Transmit Movies by Wireless -- June 11, 2023

San Francisco Examiner, 16-June-1923

Many inventors were working on mechanical television, which would allow radio waves to carry pictures. C Francis Jenkins was the leading American developer. 

Inventor Can Transmit Movies by Wireless 

Washington, June 15. -- (By Universal Service.) -- The principle by which moving pictures can be transmitted by radio has been successfully worked out by C. Francis Jenkins, Washington inventor, it was revealed today. 

Demonstrations of the apparatus have been conducted with such a degree of success that experts who witnessed them predicted that in the comparatively near future, California, for instance, will be able to see a parade being held in Washington. 

The latest test was held in the presence of officials from the Bureau of Standards and the Navy and Postoffice Departments. They saw, reproduced upon a screen, the wiggling fingers of Professor Jenkins' hand, which was held before a "radio eye" device considerable distance away. 

While the reproduction was not as clear as it might have been, it was considered remarkable in view of the short time Professor Jenkins has been working on the invention. 

Jenkins recently attracted much attention by transmitting a still picture by radio from Philadelphia to Washington.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Numbers That Make Your Feet Tingle in the Hottest Weather -- June 10, 2023

Richmond Palladium-Item, 12-June-1923

The Starr Piano Company in Richmond, Indiana owned Gennett Records. Gennett made many early jazz recordings.

King Joe Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, featuring Louis Armstrong, began recording for Gemmett in April, 1923. The "New Orleans Rythm (Sic - JT) Kings" was formed in Chicago by white New Orleans musicians. Ladd's Black Aces was an alias used by the Original Memphis Five, led by Phil Napoleon.

Richmond Palladium-Item, 14-June-1923

Astrud Gilberto, RIP -- June 10, 2023

I was sad to learn that Astrud Gilberto has died. Her album Getz/Gilberto is my favorite Bossa Nova. album. "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Corcovado" get me every time.

"The Girl from Ipanema" Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto and Stan Getz

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)

Friday, June 9, 2023

End of the School Year -- June 9, 2023

Today was the last day of the school year at Good Shepherd School in Pacifica. I got invited to the faculty lunch at the Nick's, a Pacifica institution. People were happy and the food was good. I had fish and chips. 

I didn't get to start teaching until April, so we only had five sessions for each grade. This year I started teaching Fifth grade as well as K-4. There was a problem with the licensing for Code Avengers, so I improvised and found a good implementation of TurtleGraphics. The kids were very enthusiastic. 

Shore Fast Line -- June 9, 2023

The Shore Fast Line, operated by the Atlantic City and Shore Railroad, was an interurban that offered "106 Trains Daily Between Atlantic City and Ocean City. Every 20 minutes." The line operated from 1907 to 1948.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

The Nash Six Sport -- June 8, 2023

Bismarck Tribune, 09-June-1923

"Here's the Car for Summer Touring." Nash Motors later merged with Hudson and became American Motors.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Paul Gauguin 175 -- June 7, 2023

Post-Impressionist painter and sculptor Paul Gauguin was born 175 years ago today, on 07-June-1848. Or perhaps the 8th.

Montagnes tahitiennes

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Baseball Legends -- Willie Mays -- June 6, 2023

Willie Mays is the greatest player I have seen in person. This 1992 issue of Baseball Legends, Number Two shows him as a Giants and after he was traded the Mets 50 years ago last month. I am still sad about that.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Roger Craig RIP -- June 5, 2023

Roger Craig managed the Giants during their return to greatness in the late 1980s. He pitched for the Dodgers and was an original Met. 

Frank Merriwell's Athletic Team -- June 5, 2023

Before the pulps, there were the dime novels. The 14-July-1900 issue of Tip Top Weekly featured Frank Merriwell. Merriwell was an upright young man, a talented sportsman who neither smoked nor drank. I think he is the catcher in this baseball scene. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

The image is from a wonderful but defunct Stanford University site, "Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls":

Meanwhile the Giants have passed .500. 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Modoc War -- Surrender of Captain Jack -- June 4, 2023

Weekly Shasta Courier, 07-June-1873

The Modoc War took place in Northern California during 1872 and 1873. Kintpuash (called Captain Jack by white settlers) led a band of Modoc warriors and their families off of the Klamath River Reservation and fortified themselves in the lava beds near Tule Lake. The Modocs wanted a new reservation, separate from that of the Klamath. During a peace negotiation, Modocs killed an army general and a minister. After Kintpuash  surrendered, he and four of his leaders were tried for murder. Jack and three others were hanged and two were sentenced to life on Alcatraz. 

Modocs. -- We have exciting news from the Modoc campaign. General Davis' scooting expedition came up to and surprised Captain Jack's camp, in a canyon of Willow Creek Valley, on the 29th ultimo ; but through a slight miscalculation the whole hand managed to escape except Boston Charley and seven squaws, who surrendered themselves. The expedition continued its chase after the fleeing band of Modocs, and again overlook them in Langell's Valley, when finding escape growing more difficult every hour, after firing a few shots the band offered to surrender. -- Dr. Cabanais, of Yreka, went to the Modoc camp that wight and negotiated a peace, but daring the night Captain Jack and three of his warriors decamped. The balance, including Scar-faced Charley and Schonchin, surrendered next morning.

Weekly Shasta Courier, 07-June-1873

Clear Lake, June 1st.

A series of prolonged yells and cheers aroused this camp from a pleasant siesta half an hour after the departure of my last courier. General Davis, General Wheaton and other officers and all the men rushed from the house and tent to find the cause of the uproar, and at once the whole camp was in commotion. Down the level plain north of the house was a grand cavalcade of mounted horsemen. The steeds rushed forward at a furious rate and soon neared the groups of spectators scattered about the premises, "Captain Jack is captured!" shouted a sturdy sergeant. Again the valley echoed with cheers and yells. The mounted command was that of Perry. He had returned from a scout of twenty-three hours. Three miles above the mouth of Willow Creek, at half-past 10 o’clock this morning, the Warm Spring scouts struck a hot trail. After a brief search the Modocs were discovered. Colonel Perry surrounded the Indian retreat. His men were bound to fight.

Suddenly a Modoc shot out from the rocks with a white flag. He met a Warm Spring Indian, and said Jack wanted to surrender. Three scouts were sent to meet Jack He came out cautiously, glanced about him a moment, and then, as giving up all hope, boldly came' forward, unarmed, and held out his hand to his visitors. — Then two of his warriors, five squaws and seven children darted forth and joined him in his surrender. The command that made this famous scout was the First Squadron of the First Cavalry, Colonel D. Perry.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Toonerville Trolley -- Ready to Cause Trouble in the Running Gears --June 3, 2024

Perth Amboy Evening News, 19-June-1923

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


Indianapolis Times, 19-June-1923

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

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Friday, June 2, 2023

Krazy Kat -- Has He Went? -- June 2, 2023

Washington Times, 26-June-1923

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

Washington Times, 30-June-1918

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June, 2023 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- June 1, 2023

I just put the June 2023 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server:

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: "San Francisco's Folly." An item from the travel section of Newsday shows a drawing of a Clay Street Hill Railroad grip car and passenger dummy. (Source: Newsday (Suffolk Edition), 1973-07-29, Page 95).
2. On the Centennial and Sesquicentennial of the Birth of the Cable Car page: Newspaper items about the centennial from far and wide. A cosmetics ad from Sydney referring to San Francisco cable cars. Sesquicentennial websites and events. I will continue to update the page for much of the year. New sections about other important anniversaries and Centennial collectibles.
3. On the Horse Car Home Page: An article about the last horse car line in Pittsburgh.

Ten years ago this month (June, 2013):
1. Picture of the Month: In an editorial cartoon from the 04-June-1913 San Francisco Call, Mr Public apparently operates a Sutter Street electric car to the Ferry and bids G-o-o-d Night to the horse car as it makes its way to the junk pile
2. On the Horse Car Home Page: 03-June-2013 is the 100th anniversary of the last schedule horse car to run in San Francisco. Includes a contemporary newspaper article, with illustrations, on the event
3. On the Cable Cars in the Pacific Northwest page: More about the Butte City Street Railroad, including selected articles from The Street Railway Journal.
4. On the Motion Pictures Which Feature Cable Cars page: Thanks to Tony Turrittin, added I Remember Mama. Also added a poster and a photo of Paulette Goddard and Sonny Tufts on a cable car to I Love a Soldier
5. Added News items about Secret San Francisco, a film show that included many cable car views, an article about cable cars being dangerous, and the revised SFMTA website, which includes a page on How to Ride Cable Cars

Twenty years ago this month (June, 2003):
1. Move to new domain:
2. Picture of the Month: Butte cable car
3. Add the Butte City Street Railroad to the Cable Cars in the Pacific Northwest page.
4. Added more photos to my illustrated article about the California Street Cable Railroad 125th anniversary.
5. Added News items about the Carnaval Parade, with a photo by Val Lupiz, who drove car 62, and a serious accident on the California Street cable line.
150 years ago this month -- June 1873
Andrew S Hallidie broke ground for the Clay Street Hill Cable Railroad

125 years ago this month -- June 1898
Jun 30 - The Saint Paul City Railway's Selby Street line closed. It was replaced by a counterbalance, which helped electrics up and down the Selby Street hill. The counterbalance was replaced 10-Oct-1906 by a tunnel.

Coming in July, 2023: On the Centennial and Sesquicentennial of the Birth of the Cable Car page:

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-June-2023)
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2020)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 30-September-2022)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)