Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This picture was taken in 1941 and shows a group of sharecroppers working a field. The group is growing cotton, and must hoe the field to keep the weeds down.

Many thanks to Ryan C. who did the photo restoration work on the image. Good work Ryan.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mystery Man

Today is Saturday, so it is the day I post a picture of a person, and readers try and determine who it is. In past contests, it has taken about 5 minutes to get a winner. In the past, I gave a few clues, because I thought no one could possibly win. Because people have been winning so quickly, this time I am giving no clues at all, and we will see if anyone can figure out who this is. Good luck!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Migrant Worker

This picture was taken in 1937, and shows a Mexican Migrant Worker. The worker lives in a shack, and is holding a small child. Another reminder of the poverty of the Great Depression.

It looks like the government could not reach agreement on the bank bailout, and so the markets look pretty nervous this morning. The bailout is pretty unpopular with most people, because it is viewed as rescuing the fat cats on Wall Street. Unfortunately, as we found out in the 30's, when the banks fail, it hurts all of us. No one comes out whole. At the same time, there probably is a painful period coming that is unavoidable, due to the excesses we have been enjoying.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Farman Airplane

This picture was taken in 1908, and shows the Farman Airplane. Farman was one of the early innovators in aviation. How exciting these early days of flight must have been.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Saying Grace

This photograph was taken in Pie Town, New Mexico in 1940. It shows a group of people saying grace before a Barbeque. I really love this picture, and it reminds me of many events I went to as a child back in the 60's. It reminds of the very strong sense of community that existed where I grew up. I can not think of being part of something like this anytime in the last 25 years. I miss it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

General Pershing

This is a photograph of General Pershing in World War I. He is pictured congratulating soldiers by a Biplane. World War I was the first war in which airplanes were used.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kern County California

This photograph was taken in 1939 and shows a carload of migrant workers on their way to look for work in the San Joaquin Valley. The picture was taken on US 99 in Kern County, California. The car appears to be from the 1920's, but I am not sure if it is a Model T or not.

Well, I guess we will learn more about the Government's bailout program for the financial institutions. It sounds like they are going to print up $700,000,000,000 to try and cover just about all the bad loans in the country. If it is like most things, it will end up costing twice as much as they think. It is really scary to me . . . every time they print money like this, it gets easier and easier.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mystery Man

I am always amazed at how quickly you all figure out who the Mystery Man is. Last week I thought there would be no one to figure it out, but sure enough, someone did. Today I feature a picture of someone who was responsible for a product that most of us enjoy each day. Can you figure out who he is?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Farmer's Market

This is a picture from the 1930's that shows a couple of farmers at their stand at a Farmer's Market.

Is it just my imagination, or does produce purchased directly from the farmer taste much, much better than what you get in the Walmart Supercenter? Take sweet corn on the cob for example. Have you ever bought sweet corn right out of a field from a farmer? There is nothing like it. Once you have had it, you really can not eat corn bought from the grocery store. I don't think I have ever gotten a good ear of corn from the grocery store. Also, watermelons . . . we use to buy watermelons on the side of the highway right in front of the farmer's watermelon patch. I have never had a store bought watermelon any where near as good as those I bought from the road side stands. Peaches are another example. Home grown peaches from the Texas Hill Country are like something you have never tasted before. The only good produce I have ever bought commercially are the fruits you can mail order from Harry and David. These are as good as what you get directly from the farmer, but my are they expensive. I have had people send me the Harry and David gift baskets, or the fruit of the month gifts, and have always enjoyed those, but they are more of a treat, not something you would order every day.

Anyway, I am hoping that the roadside fruit and vegetable stands, and the Farmer's Markets will make a come back.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bear Cub

This photograph was taken in 1911 in Alaska. Is shows a man feeding a small bear cub. I like the man's hat, and the clothes the children are wearing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Old Country Church

This is a picture of an old Church in New Mexico. The picture was taken in 1940, and shows the Llano de San Juan, New Mexico. I love the old architecture of New Mexico.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Run on Bank

Today we feature a photograph of a Bank Run. The picture was taken in New York City in 1912.

I appreciate all the insightful comments on the post yesterday. I noticed last night that the government decided to bail out AIG. They provided 85 Billion dollars to try and save the company. I am sure it was a tough decision to make. If they had not done it, a collapse of AIG could well have led to a wide spread financial collapse, as AIG insures all types of financial instruments. On the other hand, the government in effect just printed another 85 Billion dollars. The thing that scares me is that every time the government cranks up the printing presses to bail someone out, it gets a little easier.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Great Depression

Today we feature the famous picture of the woman of the Great Depression. The photograph was taken in 1936 by Dorothea Lange. This picture has become synonymous with the Great Depression.

With the economic news of the last few days, posting this picture seemed appropriate. I am really concerned about the financial state of the country. While I hope things bounce back, I worry that there is a lot more pain that we must endure to purge the excesses that had been in the system. It is as if we have been living in the 1920's, and now we have to face the 1930's. Over the weekend several major financial companies went under, and others are hanging on by a thread. The Dow Jones Industrial averages were down by over 500 points yesterday.

The thing I notice when I look at these old pictures that I post every day is how much more stuff we have today than what our parents had. The truth is, I wonder how much of this stuff we really need. Maybe a realignment of our attitudes about what is wanted vs. what is needed would be a good thing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Temperance Movement

This is a great photograph taken in 1919. The picture shows a group of women committing to rather extreme measures in support of the temperance movement. The temperance movement was an effort in the 1910's in the United States to reduce alcohol consumption. It actually led to Prohibition. I will not speculate on how successful the strategy taken by this group of women was.

Many thanks to long time blog participant Al L. for contributing this photo.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Christening a Submarine

This picture was taken in 1943 and shows the christening of the submarine USS Plaice. The woman doing the honors is Eleanor Fazzi. She was given the honor because she had recently lost her brother who was killed on the USS Yorktown at the Battle of Coral Sea. The submarine served in World War II, and was later acquired by the Brazilian navy. Before retiring the submarine, the Brazilian navy provided a memento, the sub's barometer to the Fazzi family.
Many thanks to Lea E. for providing this interesting old photograph.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Who is This Man

OK, last Saturday I posted a picture of a person, and asked visitors if they could identify him. It was Haile Selassie, who was a noble emperor of Ethiopia. It was not a very well known picture of him, and he is not very well known by many people, so I really thought that no one would solve the mystery. Well, the first correct answer came in about 5 minutes after I posted the picture. So, today I am going to post another Mystery Man and see if you can identify him. I am almost certain that no one could identify him just from the photograph, so I feel like I need to give a few clews or no one would have a chance.
His initials are H.S. (No this is not Haile Selassie)
Almost no one knows his name, but hundreds of millions of people have been inspired by words he wrote.
An organization he started took the photograph of Haile Selassie posted last week.
His life changed forever on November 21, 1873.
Who was this man, and more importantly, what is his story? Hope you all don't mind if I post a puzzle like this on Saturdays.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Barbed Wire Fence

This picture was taken in 1939 near El Indio Texas. A farmers is working on repairing a fence. Fence work turns out to be pretty hard work. Especially hard is digging the post holes in rocky ground.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pool Hall

This picture was taken in 1939 in Fairfield, Montana. It shows a Pool Hall and an old water pump out front. When I was growing up, our little town had a pool hall, but it was not a place respectable people went. I am not sure what it was about pool that was not respectable. I don't know if pool halls had a bad reputation in other parts of the country, but where I grew up, you were told to never go in the pool hall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Top of the Capitol Dome

This picture was taken in 1909. It shows three men on the top of the US Capitol dome in Washington DC. They look like they are installing or working on the statue that sits atop the capitol.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Service Station Mechanic

This picture was taken in 1940, and shows a service station attendant. I love the big smile this man has, and I am sure he gave one to every customer he ever served. I can remember growing up in the 1960's filling stations still had attendants come out and fill your car, wash your windshield, check your oil, and check your tire pressure. The attendant would usually have a piece of bubble gum for the kids.

Businesses have become so impersonal these days. I have to admit I miss the days when things moved at a little slower pace. People had a lot less, but there was much more of a sense of community among people and businesses in a neighborhood.

Monday, September 8, 2008


This photograph was taken in the early 1900's. The picture shows a family being evicted from an apartment in New York City. This is a really sad picture. You wonder what happened to these people.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This photograph was taken in the 1910's and shows a secretary working on an old typewriter. I love looking at the old typewriter and thinking about how much has changed in the last 100 years. I got my first real job in 1984. I can remember at that time, there were no personal computers in the office. There were computers in the building, but they were used to control scientific instruments. At that time, if you wanted to use a computer, you sat down in front of it, and wrote a program. There were not things like word processors or windows or graphics. The computer turned on, and you wrote a program telling it what calculation or function you wanted it to do. I think it was probably about 1985 that our office got the first personal computer. There was one for the entire building. Not many people used it. Then, within another year or so, people started getting PCs in their offices. This was a huge productivity boost, as individuals could produce their own memos and reports without going through the secretary, who was usually days behind on her work. Then, several years later, email came out. I can remember how exciting it was to be able to instantaneously communicate with people. What I did notice, however, is that very quickly people became somewhat lazy and sloppy in their communication. People did not put the thought and care into their email communications that they had typically done with paper memos or reports. Overall, I think computers have increased the volume of communication between people, but have dramatically lowered the quality of communication. I have an old trunk full of family letters. These letters are treasures, with family members pouring their heart out to their loved ones. Some how email is just not as intimate as a good old fashioned hand written letter. I guess no one writes those any more.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Who is This Man

A few days ago someone posted a comment saying that they enjoyed reading the visitor comments more than the original posts on this site. Actually, I take that as a great compliment. I am delighted to have such insightful and thoughtful people both reading and posting comments to the blog. I learn something almost every day from visitor contributions. Thanks, and hope all will continue to make this site more interesting.

Today, I want to take it up a notch, and see just how resourceful our readers are. So, I am not going to tell you who this person is, and I want to see if anyone recognizes him, and knows about him. I consider him to be one of the most intriguing figures in World History. I consider him to be a great man. He is no longer living, but was a great leader. Does anyone know who he is?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Old Grocery Store

This is a wonderful photograph showing a feed store in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was taken in 1942. It just seems like shopping was so much more civil back in the 1940's. Little shops like these were owned by individuals who operated them with pride. When you bought something, you were buying from the person who owned the store. When I was growing up in the 60's I can remember Mom and Pop grocery stores similar to the one pictured above. I think America really lost something when we lost these small corner shops.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This is an interesting picture of a Yemenite Jew Blowing the Shofar, or Sabbath Horn. It was created in 1934 by Matson Photo Service in Jerusalem.The photograph presents a stunning image of this sacred Jewish tradition. The Shofar is mentioned in the Bible in Leviticus 25: "Then you shall transmit a blast on the horn; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, the day of Yom Kippur, you shall have the horn sounded throughout the land, And proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." The Shofar was made from a Ram's Horn, and was used to announce important events to the Jewish People. The horn is blown 100 times, and serves as a reminder to the Jewish People that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mark Twain

This is a photograph of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) and Dorothy Quick. The picture was taken in 1907.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Taos Indian

This photograph was taken in 1905, and shows a Taos Indian man. This is really a spectacular portrait, and you wonder what the story of this man's life was. So many times, we have only a picture, and no name or information to go with the picture.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mining the Dakota Territory

This photograph was taken in 1889, and it shows some prospectors in the Dakota Territory working a placer mine. The men were Spriggs, Dillon, and Lamb. I don't have any information on whether they ever struck it rich or not.