Friday, August 31, 2007

Thomas Edison

Today we feature a portrait of famed inventor Thomas Edison. The picture shows Edison as a young man sitting by his recording device, once of his many inventions. It was on this day (August 31) in the year 1897 that Edison received a patent for his invention of the movie camera.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Newspaper Office

This picture is from 1909. It shows a New York newspaper office.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Medicine Man

This photograph shows a Sioux Medicine Man. His name was Slow Bull. The picture was taken in 1907 by Edward Curtis

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Today's picture shows two children sharing a soda. The picture was taken in 1922 at the Whitehouse Easter Egg Roll.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fighting for Freedom

Today's picture shows two black soldiers, fighting in the Civil War. The picture was taken near the Dutch Gap Canal in Virginia. These men would have been either runaway slaves, or slaves liberated by advancing Union troops.

It was on this day (August 25) in the year 1862 that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton authorized the use of up to 5,000 black troops in the US army. Many were skeptical that freed slaves could make good soldiers, but these men fought valiantly throughout the war.

Friday, August 24, 2007

P. T. Barnum

This is a portrait of consummate showman P. T. Barnum. It was taken in 1855 by Mathew Brady. Barnum is remembered as one of the first to master the art of hype. His museums and traveling shows often featured human oddities and unusual animals.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Black Child at Play

This is one of my favorite photographs from the Civil War. It shows a group of Union soldiers playing with a young black boy. They are using a blanket to toss the little boy in the air. This was a popular game of the day, and no doubt one these men played with their own children back at home. The child would likely have been a recently freed slave child.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Newspaper Boy

Newspaper boy on the streets of Montrose Colorado. Photograph was taken in 1939.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Working on the Railroad

Today's picture shows a Black Man working on the Railroad. He is carrying a railroad tie for a new track being laid. The picture was made in 1942 by Howard Liberman.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Suffrage Parade

This picture shows a suffrage parade in New York City. It was on this day (August 18) in the year 1920 that the 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Klondike Gold Rush

It was on this day (August 17) in the year 1896 that prospectors found gold in the Bonanza Creek in the Yukon Territory, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush. The photograph above shows the mining community at Fort Yukon that quickly sprung up. the picture shows Haly's roadhouse in the center of the photograph.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Andrew Carnegie

Today, we feature a photograph of American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The photo was taken in 1908. Carnegie was the founder of U.S. Steel, and later in life gave most of his considerable fortune to charity.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dancing Charleston

Today's picture is from the 1920's and shows two women dancing the Charleston on a railing in front of the US Capitol. It is striking to me to compare the pictures like this from the 1920's to the pictures from the 1930's and the Great Depression. These people had no idea what was about to hit them and the country.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

World War II Ends

Some felt that our recent "Picture of the Day" showing a Good Bye kiss in World War I was a little stiff . . . that on such an occasion an embrace would have been in order. Well, by World War II, things had loosened up a little bit, and proper good-byes and welcome homes were being given. This picture is the famous picture of a Sailor kissing a Nurse. It was taken on this day (August 14) in the year 1945 at a Times Square celebration of the Victory over Japan in World War II.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Phoebe Mosey

Phoebe Ann Mosey, aka Annie Oakley, was a sharpshooter and performance shooter. Her amazing talent led to a marquee role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which made her the first American female superstar. Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet, Oakley could split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it reached the ground. Annie was born on this day (August 13) in the year 1860.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

General William Tecumseh Sherman

This is a great Mathew Brady photograph of General William Tecumseh Sherman on Horseback. Sherman believed in the concept of "total warfare", which basically meant making the enemy so miserable that they lost the will to fight. Part of the strategy involved destruction or confiscation of the property of the Rebels. Some time after the war, Sherman described his attitude in war as: "My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom. "

Friday, August 10, 2007

Office Work

Things have really changed around the office in the last 90 or so years. This is a photo from the 1920's showing a woman working at her desk, typing. Now you just don't see hats and jackets like that anymore. I love the old typewriter. I can remember when I first went to work, there was only one computer for the whole office, and most memos and reports were done by the secretary with a typewriter. I will admit that things moved a lot slower with that system, but I do think people were a little more thoughtful about what they wrote.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Gertrude Ederle

Today we feature a photograph of Ms. Gertrude Ederle. Why would we show her picture you ask? It was on this day (August 6) in the year 1926 that Ms. Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, and she did it faster than ANYBODY had ever done it before. So, we tip our hat to this amazing athlete.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rear Admiral David Farragut

Today we feature a portrait of Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut. It was on this day (August 5th) in the year 1864, at 6:00 in the morning, that Farragut's fleet began moving into Mobile Bay, to attack the confederate forces and the Rebel Fleet at Fort Morgan. Mobile was the last major Rebel Port open to the Gulf of Mexico, and a key Rebel stronghold. The USS Tecumseh was in the lead, but she hit a mine and sunk (at the time, mines were called torpedoes or infernal machines). The captain of the Tecumseh went down with the ship, and 90 of the 114 on board were lost. At the time Farragut was on his flagship, the Hartford. As the Tecumseh went down, Farragut could see the progress of his fleet stall, and some ships began to pull back. When Farragut, who had lashed himself to the rigging of the Hartford, inquired as to why the progress had stalled, he was told that the bay was salted with torpedoes, and the waters were not safe. To this Farragut yelled the immortal words, "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead". The Hartford sailed past the faltering ships and on into the Bay. By 10 a.m. the last Confederate ship, the Tennessee, surrendered. By nightfall Ft. Morgan was abandoned and blown up.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Goodbye Kiss

Today we feature a wonderful picture called "The Goodbye Kiss". The picture shows a woman bidding her boyfriend goodbye, as he leaves to fight in World War I. It is not known whether he returned safely after the war. It was on this day (August 4) in the year 1914 that Britain declared war on Germany.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wild Bill Hickock

Today we feature an old photograph of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickock. Hickock was one of the West's most notorious characters. He is remembered as a soldier, scout, lawman, gambler and gunfighter. He had a habit of always sitting in the corner, so he could see all entrances and exits to a room. It was on this day (August 2nd) in the year 1876 that he entered Nuttal and Mann's Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, and was unable to take his traditional seat in the corner. He began playing poker. Several minutes later he was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall. At the instant he was shot, his poker hand had a pair of aces and a pair of eights. To this day this poker hand is known as the "Dead Man's Hand".

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Child Berry Picker

This is a great image of a child Cranberry picker. It was taken in 1938 in a Cranberry bog in New Jersey. It is amazing to look at these pictures from the 1930's and see very young children doing an adult's work to try and help support the family.