Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Celebration

This picture was taken a hundred years ago, and shows a New Years Celebration in New York City. I find it interesting to consider what the future held for these revelers . . . World War I, the Roaring 20's, the Great Depression, and then World War II.
I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable New Year's eve. I will be celebrating at home with my family.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Camp Site

Sorry I am late getting the POD posted. As I have mentioned in the past, I live in a rural area, and the telecommunication infrastructure is not very robust. I get my Internet beamed in from a tower several miles away. The equipment on the tower went out, so I lost my connection last night. Anyway, better late than never. The picture was taken in 1889, and shows a surveyors camp near Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory. I find it interesting that there appears to be some pet deer in the camp, and some women as well.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Titanic Survivors

This picture was taken in 1912 on the deck of the Carpathia. The Carpathia was the ship that rescued the survivors of the titanic. This picture shows some of the survivors.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Early Telephone

This picture was taken in 1907, and shows an early model of the telephone. I find the dresses and hairstyles of this period interesting.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mystery Person

I woke up this morning thinking, "Oh Boy, it is Saturday, I can sleep in", but then I remembered that it is also mystery person day, and everyone would be waiting on the contest. So, I got up, and here is your Mystery Person. Today I give no clues and no helps. You have to figure out who this is. I am pretty sure no one will get this one. So, let the games begin.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Street Vendor

This picture was taken in 1923, and shows a street vendor and his little cart. It is hard to tell what he is selling, but it looks like it might be items like maps and post cards.
Anyway, hope you all had a nice Christmas, and hope you have some time off between now and New Years. My wife had to go back to work today, but I am off for the next week.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good News of Great Joy

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:9-11

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
Isaiah 9: 6-7
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:20

My Prayer is that each of us would hear the "knock" and open our hearts to the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve in Bethlehem

This picture was taken on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem in the year 1898.

I hope that you have a blessed Christmas this year, and hope you and your family will take a few moments to remember the true gift of Christmas . . . Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Dinner, 1936

This picture shows a group of children at Christmas Dinner in 1936. The children are eating cabbage and turnips. This photograph truly makes me realize how fortunate I am, and how lucky we are today to have plenty to eat, and a warm and safe place to live.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Woman cooking

This picture was taken in the early 1900's and shows a woman in he kitchen cooking. The stove looks to be a very early version of an electric stove. It has the shape and form of an old wood stove, but you can see that it is plugged into the wall. It looks as if it could even be a wood stove converted to electricity. It is amazing how much the kitchen has changed in the last 100 years.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mystery Person - The Bonus Edition

You asked for it, and you got it. Mystery person of the day . . . the bonus edition! For those of you slow on the trigger today, I give you a second Mystery Person of the Day! No hints, and no clues.

Mystery Person

OK, in the interest of appealing to a wider demographic, and to spur young women on to achieve great things, our mystery person today is a Woman. I am not going to give any hints. You have to figure out who she is, and what she was famous for. Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deadwood Stage

This picture was taken in 1889, and shows the Deadwood Stage in the Dakota Territory. This had to be a tough way to travel, as I am sure it was slow, bumpy, and extra bad in inclement weather. I guess the scenery would have been a plus though.

In my former job, I had to travel a lot and really hated it. I was typically on the airplane at least once a week. I hated having to lug my bags through the airport, arrive late, rent a car, and then try to find the destination. I have to say traveling was the thing I hated most of all. I wonder if some people actually enjoy jobs that require a lot of travel?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poor Black Girl

This picture was taken in 1937, and shows a poor black girl. Note that her home has no glass in the window, but only a wooden shutter. Also note that they are using newspaper to try and seal the cracks when the shutter is closed. I grew up in the 1960's and 1970's, and I can remember kids who would always want any cardboard boxes the school had. The kids took the cardboard home to reinforce and insulate their homes, which were primarily made of a few boards, tin, and cardboard for insulation. I would bet that if you looked hard enough, you could probably still find people living in conditions like this in this country.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This picture was taken in 1934 in Tel Aviv. Is shows a young woman participating in the Purim Celebration. She is playing the part of Queen Esther. I really do not know much about the Purim Celebration, and hope someone can tell us more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Rush is On

This photograph was taken in 1898, and shows miners who were part of the Klondike Gold Rush. Notice in the background the long ribbon of miners making their way up the snowy mountain. I don't know if these were competing prospectors, or whether they were miners working for a given company or mine. What I do know is that is sure looks cold.
It is 24 degrees here at my house this morning. That might not be cold to you, but it is sure cold for this area. We actually heat our house with firewood. Our fireplace is connected to the duct work of the house, so when the fire place comes on, it pushes the heat out into the house. So, it is a toasty 82 degrees inside. Too bad I have to go to work today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Shoppers

This picture was taken in 1910, and shows Christmas Shoppers on New York's sixth avenue. Hard to believe that this was taken 98 years ago. People are scurrying around, trying to get their last minute shopping done. I guess some things never change. I have not gotten any of my shopping done, so I will be in a panic here pretty soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Indian on Pony

This picture was taken in the early 1900's and shows a Native American on horseback. The picture is a hand-tinted black and white photo. I love this picture because it shows an Indian out on the plains. By the time the picture was taken, the traditional way of life for the Indians had come to a close, but the man is old enough that certainly he lived through those times. When I see pictures like this, it really makes me wish that the authorities of the day had some how figured out an arrangement that would have allowed the Indians to continue undisturbed in their traditional way of life.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Three for the Price of One

OK, today is our favorite day, because we do not have to go to work, and because the Old Picture of the Day has the Mystery Person contest. We are going to take it up a notch today, and you have to identify three persons in the picture above. You have to get all three correct. The three people are the man in the suit with the gray hat, the man in the suit with the white hat, and the Middle-Eastern man with the maroon shirt and yellow turban. Since I am pretty sure no one can get this one, I will go ahead and give you one clue . . . it was taken in 1921, and the picture is a hand-tinted black and white photo.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This picture was taken in 1880 and shows a poor Mexican peon couple. When I was growing up, my family spent lots of time traveling in Mexico. Not going to fancy resorts, but driving around the countryside. This was in the late 1960's and early 1970's. It is amazing to me that the picture above reminds me exactly of what I saw as we drove around the country. I will never forget the abject poverty of the people there. I have not been back to Mexico since then, so I wonder if the people in the countryside there still live in such poverty.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moon Beam

This is a picture of Moon Beam. She was a Potawatomi Indian Maiden. The picture was taken in 1909.

I lived in New Mexico for many years, and had the opportunity to observe the modern Native American culture. It is really a very sad state of affairs, and I saw much despair among the Native Americans and the modern day reservations. I consider it a tragedy that we destroyed the traditional way of life of these people, and having done so, did not effectively welcome them into our culture.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This picture shows a group of soldiers camped near the Gettysburg Battlefield. The picture was take in 1865. I like the picture because you can see a little more detail than normal in how people dressed at this time. You can see most of the men are wearing hats. Also, you can see a supply wagon in the background. It is amazing the clarity there is in pictures taken over 140 years ago.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gas Station

This is a picture of an old gas station taken in the 1940's. The station belonged to my grandfather, and you can see him standing out front by the gas pump. He would wash your windshield, check your oil, and check your tire pressure as he filled your car with gas. I have to admit that I am often nostalgic for the old days where Mom and Pop businesses took pride in their premium customer service. Something has been lost when those working in stores are minimum wage college students, who really do not care at all about the customer or the job.

Monday, December 8, 2008


This picture was taken in about 1911, and shows a little boy holding a rooster. The picture appears to be a hand tinted black and white photograph. The picture was taken near Jerusalem. I don't know if you have ever been around chickens, but roosters can be pretty mean. I was terrified of roosters when I was this boy's age, because I had had a few get after me. Anyway, I thought it was an interesting picture from long ago.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Indian Chief with Recording Device

This picture was taken in 1915, and shows a Native American man near a recording or playback device. I know that the white man worked for the Smithsonian, but I do not know enough about early recording instruments to tell whether he is demonstrating the device to the Indian by playing music for him, or if he is actually recording the voice of the Indian. If anyone knows whether this is a recording or a playback device please comment. Since the picture was taken in 1915, the traditional ways of the Native Americans had pretty much come to an end, but the man in the picture would have certainly lived through the days when the Indians had roamed the plains. Anyway, any comments or insight would be appreicated.

Speaking of Indians, I have gotten lots of email asking questions about my students that created the WEB site Picture Indians. I will try to update you now. (Note: those of you who get mad when I get off topic should just go up and click the back button and go back to wherever you came from because I am about to get off topic. Save yourself some grief and just don't read the rest of this.)

Back on November 16 I had mentioned that this is my first semmester of teaching school. On the first day of school, I had one very tough group of students. I can remember the very first day, they told me things like "this was the 'dumb' class", and I heard them also use words like "misfits" and "trouble". I had not asked them anthing, they just walked in and told me. Well, I told them that they were not "dumb" that they were probably just not book learners, and that school was really set up to educate book learners. I then proceeded to throw out the book, and told them that we would try something different in this class. I taught them to build WEB sites by showing them. At first, I showed them how to build a page. Then the class built one page together, with my help. Then each student built his/her own page with my help. Then they started building their own pages, helping each other without my help. And then each student was building his/her own pages without help. In each case, however, the words and the pictures on the pages were their own work. That is to say, I did not write any of the little poems anywhere on the site. That was all 100% their words. I have to say I was really shocked by what they were writing, and how quickly they were learning to make technically correct WEB pages.

Well, their WEB site has really taken off. It has gotten tens of thousands of visitors from around the world, and since November 16, they have gotten literally hundreds of emails. I wish you all could have seen the tears on their faces as they read some of the email. I think for some of these students it might have been the first time they had ever been recognized for a academic type accomplishment. The Lions Club in our little community has invited them to a luncheon to honor their accomplishment. Now to most of us, that sounds like a small thing, but for these students it might be one of the biggest things ever to happen.

As a result of all the visitors to their site, they happened to meet a world renouned photographer, Kent Wood. Kent corresponded with them via email, and he agreed to help them learn photography. He sent them email to help them learn the keys to good photography. Not technical stuff like focus and exposure, but the real top level stuff like composition, and how to evoke feeling in your pictures. The school bought the class a very nice, high end Digital Canon Rebel camera. We then took the students on a field trip to an old western fort about an hour from our school. The students took pictures of the fort, and took pictures of each other. When they returned, they sent the photographs to Kent, and he provided them with an excellent critique of their work, which by the way was incredibly encouraging to them.

They then took the photographs they had taken, and added a section to the WEB site on themselves. They have given themselves a name, Los Vatos de Oro. I dont know the exact translation, but it is something like the brothers of gold. Not brothers as in blood kin, but sort of like close friends of compatriots. Anyway, I found it incredibly interesting to read what they wrote about themselves as a group, and what each of them wrote about themselves. For those of you who have emailed and asked about these students, I am hopeful you will check out the new section of the WEB site, Los Vatos. Be sure to click on each thumbnail to read what that student wrote about themselves.

For all of you who wrote encouraging emails to them, I give you a great big thank you. You will never know what impact your kind words had on these young people.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mystery Person(s)

Today is Saturday, the day no one gets mad at me, because I just post a picture and don't say anything. You guessed it, it is Mystery Person day. Today I am going to take it up a notch. You have to identify both people in the picture with no help or clues from me. Enjoy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Canadian Mounties

I have gotten lots of email from people requesting that I periodically post a picture of Canada. Well, today is your day. This is a picture of the Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the Mounties. The picture was taken in 1900. I actually have never read much about the Mounties, so can not offer too much info on them. Maybe one of our Canadian friends can share some insight on them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This picture was taken in about 1915, and shows a press photographer. It is interesting to note that he has a fairly compact camera for the day. It is hard for me to see exactly what type camera he is using, but it is definitely smaller than many in use back then.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Liberty Bonds

This picture was taken in 1918, and it shows a car selling Liberty Bonds. It is amazing to me that in these days gone by, the government actually had to have some level of popular support to deficit spend. The gentleman above appears to support the war effort, and is purchasing a bond. Now it seems like every time I turn on the TV I am hearing about another 100 Billion bailout of a failed institution, while maintaining the same failed management team, same big bonuses, and same unwanted and outdated products. I really wonder where all this deficit spending will end.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Girl Eating Pie

This picture was taken in 1899 and shows a little girl eating pie. I find the photograph fascinating, in that it really could have been taken yesterday. It is amazing to me that for all that things change, some things remain the same. You know her parents adored her, and you can not help but wonder what things she saw in her life.