Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Detroit Publishing Company

~ Broad Street north from Spruce, circa 1900 ~

The Detroit Publishing Company was an American photographic publishing firm best known for its large assortment of photochrom postcards. The company specialized in postcards of American and European subjects, including cityscapes, reproductions of artwork, natural landmarks and folklore.

~ Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia, circa 1900 ~

The company was founded as the Detroit Photographic Company in the 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. The company had the exclusive rights to the photochrom process for the American market.

~ Erie Canal at Salina Street, Syracuse, New York, 1904 ~

The best-known photographer for the company was William Henry Jackson, who joined the company in 1897. By the time of World War I, the company faced declining sales both due to the war economy and the competition from cheaper, more advanced printing methods. The company declared bankruptcy in 1924 and was liquidated in 1932.

~ City market, Kansas City, Missouri, circa 1906 ~

Most of the existing negatives and prints are now housed by the United States Library of Congress, which received them via the Edison Institute and the Colorado Historical Society in 1949. Most images are visible in digital form at the Library of Congress Web site.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jay's Knotts Interview

For those of you who didn't get a chance to see Author Jay Jennings discussing his book, Knott's Berry Farm: The Early Years, and his Knott's memorabilia collection during an appearance on KOCE TV local Orange County television, here is the interview:

Fellow blogger Jay Jennings is the curator and historian of the Knott's Berry Farm Museum. It is the home to one of the largest collections of vintage Knott's memorabilia in the country. (Knott's Berry Farm Museum Blog)

He has written a new book titled, "Knott's Berry Farm: The Early Years". It comes out August 17th and will be sold at all 4 online book retailers (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Powell's). Here's the link to the Amazon.com pre-sale.

Friday, June 26, 2009


David Carradine (December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009)

Ed McMahon (March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009)

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009)

Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Knott's - The Early Years

Fellow blogger Jay Jennings is the curator and historian of the Knott's Berry Farm Museum. It is the home to one of the largest collections of vintage Knott's memorabilia in the country. (Knott's Berry Farm Museum Blog)

He has written a new book titled, "Knott's Berry Farm: The Early Years". It comes out August 17th and will be sold at all 4 online book retailers (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Powell's). Here's the link to the Amazon.com pre-sale.

He is also planning a book signing at Knott's for the summer. But in the meantime he is scheduled to appear on "Real Orange" on KOCE-TV this Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30pm (repeated again at 11pm, and Thursday morning at 8am). He will be talking about early Knott's Berry Farm, his upcoming book and his Knott's memorabilia collection.

Here's is a LINK to a list of the cable channels that will carry his interview. By all means don't miss it. I am sure that it will be informative and fun for all of us Knott's fans.

We wish you all the best with your new book Jay. Thanks for keeping all those great memories alive and well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trains, Trains, Trains

Well here is post #500. Never thought I would be at it this long, so what better to celebrate it with than some great American train photos from George Hamlin. Where would I be if I didn't like trains? (500? - A lot of days of great fun and cool people!)

Seaboard System EMD FP7 - Hiwassee Loop, North of Farner, Tennessee - April 26, 1986 - Etowah Copperhill excursion coming around the Loop on the lower level, will cross the trestle in just a few minutes.

Conrail EMD SD60M - Norfolk Southern Piedmont Division - Midland, Virginia - May 31, 2009 - This portion of Fauquier County is still rural.

Southern Railway EMD MP15DC - Inman Yard - Atlanta, Georgia - June 07, 1986 - During the transition to Norfolk Southern.

Chesapeake & Ohio Caboose - Raleigh Yard, West Virginia - September 03, 1985 - Lots of Chessie paint in evidence!

LINK: More great train pics from George Hamlin

Friday, June 19, 2009

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast and iconic sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft above the valley floor. It is located on the southern border of Utah with northern Arizona, near the Four Corners area.

The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation, and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163. The Navajo name for the valley is Tsé Bii' Ndzisgaii (Valley of the Rocks).

Totem Pole formation in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Monument Valley is located on the southern border of Utah with northern Arizona.

LINK: Photos taken by Luca G

I am taking the weekend off and will return on Monday. Enjoy Folks! Appreciate you all for stopping by, Richard.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Streets of LA - Postcards

~ Looking West on Sixth St. from Spring 1920's ~

~ Spring Street near Third Street 1900's ~

~ Broadway at Sixth St. showing Story Bldg 1916 ~

~ Broadway ( North) Los Angeles, Cal. 1910's ~

~ Daily Traffic on Broadway 1920's ~

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Native Americans

Photograph of a Sioux Indian, circa 1900.

Sioux are a Native American and First Nations people. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many dialects. Today, the Sioux maintain many separate tribal governments scattered across several reservations, communities, and reserves in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and also in Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan in Canada. (Read more about the Sioux on Wikipedia)

Nez Perce warrior on horse, circa 1900.

The Nez Perce are a tribe of Native Americans who live in the Pacific Northwest region (Columbia River Plateau) of the United States. It is estimated that at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition the native people had been in the area for more than 10,000 years. The tribe currently governs and inhabits a reservation in Idaho. (Read more about the Nez Perce on Wikipedia)

Mountain Chief of Piegan Blackfeet making
phonographic record at Smithsonian, Feb 9, 1916.

The Piegan Blackfeet (Southern Pikáni/Piegan) or simply as Pikáni in Blackfoot) are a tribe of Native Americans based in Montana. Many members of the tribe currently live as part of the Blackfeet Nation in northwestern Montana, with population centered in Browning. According to the 1990 US census, there are 32,234 Blackfeet. (Read more about the Piegan Blackfeet on Wikipedia)

Chief John Grass Blackfoot Lakota (1838-1918)

The Lakota are part of a confederation of seven related Sioux tribes (the Oceti Sakowin or seven council fires) and speak Lakota, one of the three major dialects of the Sioux language. They ate bison, bear and many different kinds of animals.The Lakota are the western-most of the three Sioux groups, occupying lands in both North and South Dakota. (Read more about the Lakota people on Wikipedia)

Plenty Coups (otherwise known as Aleek-chea-ahoosh) (1848 – 1932) was a Crow chief and visionary leader. He allied Crow with the whites when the war for the West was being fought, because the Sioux and Cheyenne (who were opposing white settlement of the area) were the traditional enemies of the Crow. Plenty Coups had also had a vision when he was very young that non-Native people would ultimately take control of his homeland (Montana), so he always felt that cooperation would benefit his people much more than opposition.

One of his famous quotes is: "Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man's equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives. Study, learn, help one another always. Remember there is only poverty and misery in idleness and dreams - but in work there is self respect and independence."

He very much wanted the Crow to continue as a people and their customs and spiritual beliefs to carry on. His efforts on their behalf ensured that this happened. He was the principal chief of the Mountain Crows, or the Apsáalooke, of the Crow Nation. (Read more about Chief Plenty Coups on Wikipedia)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

American Cowboys

  • Over time, the cowboys of the American West developed a personal culture of their own, a blend of frontier and Victorian values that even retained vestiges of chivalry. Such hazardous work in isolated conditions also bred a tradition of self dependence and individualism, with great value put on personal honesty.

    The cowboy, the quintessential symbol of the American Old West, circa 1887.

  • The traditions of the working cowboy were further etched into the minds of the general public with the development of Wild West Shows in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which showcased and romanticized the life of both cowboys and Native Americans.

    William Surrey Hart, American silent film actor. Hart went on to become one of the first great stars of the motion picture western. (Photo from Greenbriar Picture Shows)

  • Beginning in the 1920s and continuing to the present day, Western movies popularized the cowboy lifestyle but also formed persistent stereotypes, both positive and negative. In some cases, the cowboy and the violent gunslinger are often associated with one another.

    Ride Lonesome (1959) Starring Randolf Scott, Karen Steele and Pernell Roberts. (Photo from Greenbriar Picture Shows)

  • On the other hand, some actors who portrayed cowboys promoted positive values, such as the "cowboy code" of Gene Autry, that encouraged honorable behavior, respect and patriotism.

    The Lone Ranger starring Clayton Moore. 1950's General Mills adverisement. (From Newhousedesign on Flickr)

  • Likewise, cowboys in movies were often shown fighting with American Indians. However, the reality was that,while cowboys were armed against both predators and human thieves, and often used their guns to run off people of any race who attempted to steal, or rustle cattle, nearly all actual armed conflicts occurred between Indian people and cavalry units of the U.S. Army.

    William Boyd aka Hopalong Cassidy. 1950's Post Grape-Nuts advertisement. (From Newhousedesign on Flickr)
  • Monday, June 15, 2009

    Ohhhhhh... Those Legs!

    Actress Betty Grable modeling a one-piece bathing suit while showing off her famous legs. Hollywood, June 1943 - Photographer: Walter Sanders.

    Actress Betty Grable's getting cold cream applied to her legs by Life photographer Walter Sanders as he prepares her for a photo session at studio. Hollywood, June 1943 - Photographer: Walter Sanders.

    Actress Betty Grable, back from motherhood to movies, posing in Army shirt emblazoned with a panoply of Armed Forces insignia in celebration of the end of war in Europe. Hollywood, May 1945 - Photographer: Walter Sanders.

    Saturday, June 13, 2009

    People Express

  • PEOPLExpress Airlines was founded by Don Burr, Samuel Leong, Gerry Gitner, who resigned from Frank Lorenzo's Texas International airlines. People Express was launched on April 30, 1981 with service from Newark to Buffalo, Columbus, and Norfolk, Virginia. People Express grew rapidly, adding flights to Florida by the end of the year.

    PEOPLExpress Boeing 747 - London, England, May 1983 - Photo copyright AirNikon - Pima Air & Space Museum.

  • On May 26, 1983, PEOPLExpress began non-stop service from Newark to London's Gatwick Airport with a leased Boeing 747 previously operated by Braniff International Airways. Flights were priced at $149 each-way and upon launch, became an instant success with all flights sold-out for several months within 24 hours of being offered.

    PEOPLExpress Boeing 727 - Logan International, Boston, Massachusetts, September 1986 - Photo copyright AirNikon - Pima Air & Space Museum.

  • The airline used a simplified fare structure whereby all seats on a given route were offered at the same price. All seats were in economy class, with the exception of "Premium Class" seating on overseas flights. Fares were paid on the flight.

    PEOPLExpress Boeing 737- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 6, 1982 - Photo copyright George W. Hamlin.

  • Debt pressure on the carrier forced a change in philosophy, as People Express sought to lure business travellers who were willing to pay higher fares. Aircraft cabins were redesigned to include a first-class cabin, a frequent flyer plan was initiated, and the simplified fare structure was abandoned in favor of a more traditional airline industry pricing scheme.

    PEOPLExpress Boeing 747- London, England, October 16, 1986 - Photo copyright Mike Freer / Touchdown Aviation.

  • In the end, People Express was forced to sell itself entirely to Texas Air Corp for roughly $125 million. People Express ceased to exist as a carrier on February 1, 1987, when its operations were merged into the operations of Continental Airlines, another Texas Air subsidiary.
  • Friday, June 12, 2009

    Washington D.C. - 1920's

    The Crandall Theater at 9th & E. Streets N.W. featuring the Typhoon Fan Company Cooling System - Makes this the coolest theatre south of the North Pole.

    Buffalo Paints Hardware store featuring Victor Talking Machines at Nichols Avenue and U Streets S.E.

    George W. Parezo & Company. Purveyor's of automobile supplies, electrical fixtures, electrical toys, Edison lamps, house wiring and wireless internet. Next door is F.L. Leishear's Indian Motorcycle store.

    LINK: Photos from the National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    The Man and His World

    Walt Disney posing against landscape backdrop containing Mickey Mouse - Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt - 1950.

    Anne Armstrong McClellan, pilot trainee in Women's Flying Training Detachment, sporting an official dress uniform of white blouse, tan slacks and overseas cap & a Fifinella mascot pin designed for the girl pilots by Walt Disney - Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas - Photographer: Peter Stackpole - July 1943.

    Disney Merchandise (Anyone know who this person is?) - Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt - 1953. UPDATE: Thanks to the Blue Parrot and Gorillas Don't Blog for identifying this person as Roy Disney.

    Walt Disney at the Disney Studios posing with some famous cartoon characters - Photographer: J. R. Eyerman - September 1953.

    Disney's four layer camera, an invention of the Disney studios, photographs four celluloid drawings together giving an illusion of depth to cartoon action - Photographer: J. R. Eyerman - September 1953.

    LINK: All photographs are from the LIFE Magazine Archives on Google.