Monday, November 30, 2009

Flying Machines

Back of the postcard reads: FUTURE NEW YORK will be pre-eminently the city of skyscrapers. The first steel frame structure that was regarded as a skyscraper was the Tower Building at 50 Broadway, a ten story structure 129 feet high.

There are now over a thousand buildings of that height in Manhattan. The best known skyscrapers are the Singer Building, 612 feet high, the Metropolitan Building, 700 feet high; and the Woolworth Tower which towers above them all and rises to a height of 790 feet.

The proposed Pan American Building is to be 801 feet high. (Postcard Copyright Moses King, New York - circa 1915)

Back of the card reads: 1933 Century of Progress - Chicago World's Fair - AEROPLANE VIEW OF NEAR NORTH SIDE - To the left is seen the famous Merchandise Mart, the largest building of its kind in the world.

Other buildings are the Engineering Building, Trustee System Building, Steuben Club, LaSalle-Wacker Building, with the Wrigley Buildings, Medinah Athletic Club and Tribune Tower grounded in the background. (Postcard by C.T. American Art Colored)

At Christmas - Though distance divides - still Friendship abides. (Postcard circa 1910)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pure Americana

These pictures are from a 64 page book by Mary Virginia Fox
titled "The Statue of Liberty", published in 1985.
The book documents the history and restoration of the statue.

Ellis Island in it's heyday...

This Currier & Ives print of the statue was commissioned
more than one hundred and twenty years ago
to raise funds for the statue's pedestal and assembly...

In this poster the statue was used as a call for all
Americans to their patriotic duty.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Early Railroad

Early postcards have always fascinated me. Especially when the subject matter is railroading. I like them best when the trains are in action and traveling through great American landscapes.

Here are a few from my personal collection. The first postcard is postmarked 1922 and shows the SP railroad ferry (info below). The others date between 1900 and 1920.

Southern Pacific Railroad - Ferryboat "Solano" Port Costa
Benicia, California - Largest Ferry Boat in the world.

San Francisco Bay - The San Francisco Belt Railroad had slip at Pier 43 which allowed interchange with the Northwestern Pacific, the Western Pacific, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads.

Suisun Bay - The Central Pacific Railroad built a ferry that operated between Benicia and Port Costa, California from 1879 to 1930. (Southern Pacific)

Cape Horn and American River, California
Ogden Route - Southern Pacific Railroad.

Mt. Washington and Mt. Adams from Frankenstein
White Mountains, New Hampshire.

Sacramento River at Shasta Springs, California.

Monday, November 23, 2009

2 Years Ago

Today marks the 2nd Anniversary of my blog. It all started with this picture of my pal Bruno. Unfortunately he is no longer here to make me smile. But that is life and you have to deal with it, as difficult as that may be sometimes.

This blog is a yard stick of how fast time flies, when you're having fun. Thanks to all of you who have commented and taken an interest in my little project. All is appreciated, Richard.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Motel USA

Lee's Motor Court - 1 Mile from the Hermitage, Home of Andrew Jackson - 14 Modern Stone Cottages, each with Private Bath, Tub or Shower, Innerspring Matress, Radio, Fan, Heat - Restaurant, Sandwiches, Steak, Chicken and Country Ham - Service Station on Premises.

Ranch House Motel - On U.S. 10 - 1201 East Main Street, Bozeman, Montana - 11 Delux units, individual thermostatically controlled heat, tubs and showers. Free radios, Air Conditioned. Surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.

Minnehaha Motor Lodge - 1905 East Lincolnway, Cheyenne, Wyoming - Cheyenne's Finest Famous for Hospitality - Simmons Beautyrest and Englander Airfoam beds - Air cooled, Childrens playground - Just a half mile from Heart of Town in a quiet section. This establishment is recommended by Duncan Hines (1948).

El Rancho Motor Hotel - 2201 4th Avenue - U.S. Highway 80 - Yuma, Arizona - The Motel That Pleases - Continental Breakfast, Heated Pool, Free T.V., 34 Units, Room Telephones, Refrigeration, Suites - Diner's Club, American Express, Carte Blanche.

GREEN TREE - VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA - The Green Tree Inn and Country Club is one of the most popular in the Victorville area. Here where settlers pushed west a hundred years ago, a land where inland Indians walked to trade with the coast Indians on the Santa Ana River near the present town of Colton, a land where the Mormon Battalion, under Capt. Hunt in 1851 settled in the San Bernardino Valley, golfers play golf or relax alongside the pool. The area was once known as Morman Crossing around the 1880's later to be called Victor only to change to Victorville. From 1914 to 1937 over 200 western pictures were filmed here.

Editors Note: The photograph for the Green Tree postcard was taken by Merle Porter. He also wrote all the text for his postcards. He was a one man postcard production company producing and distributing millions of cards over a 50 year career.

Known as "The Postcard King of the West," Porter was on the road at least 9 months a year, distributing cards to remote motels, gas stations and souvenir shops, while constantly shooting images for new cards with his 4x5 Speed Graphic camera.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vintage Los Angeles

When you get a chance, check out some great Vintage Los Angeles pictures posted by Ryan @ Ryan's Neat Stuff Blog. FANTASTIC !!!

Pea Soup Andersen's Restaurant - LA 1964

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Motel California

THE WESTERNER MOTEL - U.S. Highway 80 - 359 El Cajon Blvd. El Cajon, California - Nestled in the dry healthful climate of beautiful El Cajon Valley. Refrigerated Air Conditioning - Heated Swimming Pool - Carpeted - TV - Kitchens and Family units Available. Close to Restaurants and Shopping Centers. Credit Cards Accepted. HI 4-5946.

VIKING MOTEL - 1506 Mission Drive, Solvang, California - A charming, immaculately clean motel. All rooms at ground level around lawn and gardens. Individually controlled air conditioning and heating. TV. Phone (805) 688-4827.

NEEDLES TRAVEL LODGE - W. Hwy. Business 66, Needles, Cal. Telephone 714-326-3824 - Color TV - Air Conditioning - Room Phones - Heated Swimming Pool - Childrens Playground - Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge on Premises - 4 Blocks From Colorado River & Golf Course.

DESERT INN MOTEL - 1600 Harbor Blvd. Anaheim, California - Prospect 2-5050 - One of the newest and finest Motels in the area. Directly opposite Disneyland Main Entrance. Minutes to Knott's Berry Farm, beaches, sailing, fishing, Air Conditioned, free T.V., Phones. Family sized units available. Heated adult and kiddie Pool. Play area.

RIVERSIDE TRAVEL LODGE - 1911 University, Riverside, California - Phone: 686-0590 - Heated Pool - New TV's - Radio & Phone in Rooms - REDECORATED ! - Beauty Rest Beds - Kitchenettes, Air Conditioned.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pacific Electric Railway

Electric trolleys first traveled in Los Angeles in 1887. The Pasadena and Pacific Railway was an 1895 merger between the Pasadena and Los Angeles Railway and the Los Angeles Pacific Railway. The Pasadena and Pacific boosted Southern California tourism by living up to its motto "from the mountains to the sea."

During this time, by consolidation of many smaller railroads, the Pacific Electric Railway was established by railroad and real estate tycoon Henry Huntington in 1901. Henry's uncle, Collis P. Huntington, was one of the founders of the Southern Pacific Railroad and had bequeathed Henry a huge fortune upon his death.

Only a few years after the company's formation, most of Pacific Electric stock was purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which Henry Huntington had tried and failed to gain control of a decade earlier. In 1911, Southern Pacific bought out Huntington except for the LARy, the narrow gauge street car system known locally as Yellow Cars, and SP also purchased several other passenger railways that Huntington owned in the Los Angeles area, including the Pasadena and Pacific.

This resulted in what was called the "Great Merger" of 1911. At this time the Pacific Electric became the largest operator of interurban electric railway passenger service in the world with over 1,000 miles of track. The system ran to destinations all over Southern California, particularly to the south and east.

Major 1920s PE business was "taking the Red Car" for inland folks, such as in the Pasadena area, to the beaches at Santa Monica, Del Rey, Manhattan, Redondo, Hermosa Beach and Long Beach in Los Angeles County and to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach in Orange County.

On weekends, extra service beyond the normal schedules was provided, particularly in the late afternoon when everyone wanted to return at the same time. It was good times for residents of the region and good times for profits for the PE as this was the Roaring Twenties.

The Pacific Electric also ran frequent freight trains under electric power throughout its extensive service area (as far as 55 mile distant San Bernardino and 50 mile distant Redlands near Riverside), including operating electrically-powered Railway Post Office routes, one of the few U.S. interurbans to do so. This provided important revenue.

LINK: Much more at the Metro Library and Archive's on Flickr

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Heartland Rails - USA

Kansas City Southern Railway - EMD FP9 - Elgin, Illinois, October 01, 2009 - Officials from KCS & CP tour the IC&E, seen here in Metra territory headed east at track speed. The VIP's will detrain at Bensenville and presumably take the Gulfstream home.

Iowa, Chicago & Eastern - EMD SD40-2 - Richwood, Wisconsin, October 07, 2009 - An ICE-powered train heads east nearing Watertown.

Amtrak - GE P42DC - Astico, Wisconsin, November 07, 2009 - The Empire Builder has 148 miles left in her trip cross country, running today right on time.

Canadian Pacific Railway - GE ES44AC - Maple Springs, Minnesota, October 11, 2009 - The 198 will run ahead of the steam special, making good time around the curves. It is the hottest train on this subdivision, and today's train is better than 7,000 ft. Of course, try convincing the fans waiting trackside on this day that SP 4449 wasn't the hottest train.

Southern Pacific Railroad - Steam 4-8-4 - CP River sub - Maple Springs, Minnesota, October 11, 2009 - Got glint?

LINK: To see more of Ray Peacock's great railroad photography, visit HearlandRails on the web.

And for those of you who have not seen Rays's other Heartland Rail posts, just click on the Heartland Rails link in the Viewliner Ltd. Index, located in the side bar.

Friday, November 13, 2009

1909 Cherry Mine Disaster

I recently received an email from Ray Peacock. Many of you know him from his website and his contributions to this blog. Here is part of the email he sent me:

I went to our NRHS chapter meeting in Rockford, Illinois Saturday night, the presenter was from LaSalle IL by the name of Ray Tutaj Jr. He put on a 25 minute program about the Cherry IL mine disaster, which happened in November 1909 and killed 259 coal miners in North Central, Illinois.

There was a mine at Cherry that pulled coal out and Milwaukee Road tapped it for coal reserves for their system, using the Janesville, Wisconsin gateway. Ray Tutaj Jr. spent 10 years researching this and put together an entire HO layout of the Cherry Mine, featured on display in Cherry IL. Library.

The Cherry Mine had been opened in 1905 by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad to supply coal for their trains. The miners included a large number of immigrants, heavily Italian, many of whom could not speak English. Boys as young as 11 years old also worked the mine.

On Saturday, November 13, 1909, like most days, nearly 500 men and boys, and three dozen mules, were working in the mine. Unlike most days, an electrical outage earlier that week had forced the workers to light kerosene lanterns and torches, some portable, some set into the mine walls.

Shortly after noon, a coal car filled with hay for the mules caught fire from one of the wall lanterns. Initially unnoticed and, by some accounts, ignored by the workers, efforts to move the fire only spread the blaze to the timbers supporting the mine.

The large fan was reversed in an attempt to blow out the fire, but this only succeeded in igniting the fan house itself as well as the escape ladders and stairs in the secondary shaft, trapping more miners below.

The two shafts were then closed off to smother the fire, but this also had the effect of cutting off oxygen to the miners, and allowing the “black damp,” a suffocating mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, to build up in the mine.

Some 200 men and boys made their way to the surface, some through escape shafts, some using the hoisting cage. Some miners who had already escaped returned to the mine to aid their coworkers. Twelve of these, lead by John Bundy, made six dangerous cage trips, rescuing many others.

The seventh trip, however, proved fatal when the cage operator misunderstood the miners' signals and brought them to the surface too late - the rescuers and those they attempted to rescue were burned to death.

One group of miners trapped in the mine built a makeshift wall to protect themselves from the fire and poisonous gasses. Although without food, they were able to drink from a pool of water leaking from a coal seam moving deeper into the mine to escape the black damp.

Eight days later, the 21 survivors tore down the wall and made their way through the mine in search of more water, but came across a rescue party instead.

Photo: Jeremy Oehlert - June 14, 2007

LINK: Photographs Courtesy of the Library of Congress

LINK: Ray Tutaj Jr. Bio and Videos on YouTube

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


Monday, November 9, 2009

BN Western Star

The Burlington Northern Railroad was the product of a March 2, 1970 merger comprising the Great Northern Railway, the Northern Pacific Railway, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway.

On December 31, 1996, Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway to form the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, whose name was later shortened to BNSF Railway.

Burlington Northern Railroad - EMD E8(A) - Fargo, North Dakota, April, 1971 - The Western Star, a rainbow mix of BN cars, former schemes and current, departs Fargo.

Burlington Northern Railroad - EMD E8(A) - Fargo, North Dakota, April, 1971 - The eastbound Western Star pulls away from Fargo, bound for Minneapolis. Today's consist is a blend of ex GN and ex CB&Q power and equipment.

Burlington Northern Railroad - EMD E8(A) - Fargo, North Dakota, April, 1971 - The eastbound Western Star sits at the fuel racks in Fargo before heading onward.

Burlington Northern Railroad - EMD E8(A) - Fargo, North Dakota, April, 1971 - The Western Star heads in to Fargo with passengers and TOFC's (Trailers On Flat Cars).

LINK: See more great RR photos from Jim Hinkhouse on RailPictures.Net

Saturday, November 7, 2009

EBONY Jan 1960

Preview of 1960 Swim Suits - A Southerner Looks at Predjudice, Talullah Bankhead - How Negroes Live in Russia.

"My beer is Rheingold..." says Cab Calloway - Tune in Jackie Robinson on Radio.

Jessie Owens for White Owl Cigars, "It's the tobacco inside that counts, says Jesse." - Only ten cents.

"My beer is Rheingold..." says Louis Armstrong - The Jackie Robinson Show, See your newspaper radio log for time and and stations.

Dodge DART: Selling like hotcakes... and no wonder! - America's 1st Fine Economy Car.

LINK: Lots of cool stuff at vieilles_annonces' photostream on Flickr

Friday, November 6, 2009

EBONY July 1960

Claudinette Fouchard, Beauty Who Doesn't Want to be Queen - The Problems of Second Wives.

"My beer is Rheingold..." says Dorothy Dandridge - Tune in Jackie Robinson on Radio.

Hank Aaron - This real pro smokes Camel, a real cigarette. "Can't beat 'em for flavor," Hank says, "and Camels sure are mild."

What every young girl should know is this, "Boys like girls who make Seven-Up Floats".

Dodge DART: So much fun for so little money! - America's 1st Fine Economy Car.

LINK: Lots of cool stuff at vieilles_annonces' photostream on Flickr