Monday, August 31, 2015

Bank Run

We start you off this Monday Morning with a good old fashioned Bank Run. This picture was taken at the start of the Great Depression. The picture shows the run on the American Union Bank in New York City. Bank Runs remain a common site, and presently Greece and Venezuela are front and center, but you never know who might be next. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Weimar Republic

Welcome to Financial Collapse Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures throughout history of what happens when currencies and banking systems fail. Today's picture is from 1923, the Weimar Republic in Germany. The economic system collapsed and led to hyperinflation. The prices rose so quickly that the money became worthless almost faster than it was printed. In the picture above, the person is using a stack of $1 Million German Marks as a scratch pad.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Today's picture is from 1880, and is shows the waterfront in Cairo. The interesting thing is that they are crating up an Obelisk, and preparing to ship it to New York. Not sure where this massive stone structure ended up there, but it certainly took some engineering to get it moved.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Donkey Cart

Today's picture shows some peasant farmers in Egypt, riding in a donkey cart. The picture was taken around 1930. Donkeys are still widely used in agriculture around the world and even in the US. In West Texas they are no longer a beast of burden but one will be put among a flock of goats or sheep for protection from predators. The donkeys are very social and will adopt the flock and protect them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Today's picture shows some Egyptians resting at an Oasis. The picture shows desert palm trees and a structure in the background. The picture was taken in the early 1900's. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fire Wood

Today's picture shows the women of Egypt gathering firewood. By the sparse landscape, one has to wonder how far they had to walk to gather the wood. The challenge of using wood for fuel is that people burn it faster than it can grow back, so such cultures must continuously walk longer and longer distances to gather wood.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Flood Stage

This is a picture of the Nile River at flood stage. The picture was taken in 1890's. You can see a village in front of the Pyramids, and villages on camels. While the picture was taken over a hundred years ago, the scene is probably similar to what things looked like thousands of years prior.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Today's picture is from the late 1800's, and it shows some tourists at the Great Pyramid. The folks are riding camels, and the sphinx can be behind them. What an exciting tour this must have been. Few would have had the resources to visit the pyramids in the 1800's.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sailboat on the Nile River

Welcome to Egypt Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at old pictures of Egypt. We start with this picture from the late 1800's. The picture shows a sailboat on the Nile River, with Egypt in the background.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Allenby Enters Jerusalem

One of the outcomes of World War I was that Britain took control of Jerusalem. Today's picture is from December 11, 1917, the day Jerusalem fell to British Forces. This picture shows General Allenby walking into the city after it was captured. As Allenby reached the gates of the city, he dismounted his horse, and walked in on foot out of respect for the ancient city. The area then became the British Mandate of Palestine, and then in 1948 once again became the nation of Israel.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Field Hospital

Today's picture shows an Ottoman Field Hospital in World War I. The picture was taken near Beersheba, in the middle east. The picture was taken in 1917. The Turkish troops were fighting British Troops under General Allenby, who was pushing towards Jerusalem. Allenby did take Jerusalem late in the year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dispatch Riders

In World War I, much of the communication was still done via dispatch riders. The picture above shows couriers being used to transport written communications. The picture was taken in 1917.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cavalry Charge

Today's picture shows a Cavalry Charge of Ottoman Empire Troops. The picture was taken in 1917 near Jerusalem. World War I was probably the last major war that Horses played a significant role in.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Turkish Lancers

Today's picture shows a group of Turkish Lancers in World War I. The flags they are carrying in fact are weapons . . . very long spears that would be used to attack infantry. The picture was taken in 1917 near Beersheba in the Middle East.

World War I was interesting in that it was a mix of ancient and modern warfare. In the same war, swords, spears, horses were used alongside airplanes, machine guns and chemical weapons.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ottoman Soldiers

Today's picture shows Ottoman Soldiers eating soup in camp. The soldiers were fighting in World War 1, and the picture was taken in 1917. This was somewhere in the Middle East. 

It is interesting that they all eat from the same bowl.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

World War I

Welcome to World War I Week here at OPOD. We will be looking back at one of the most perplexing wars in history. Perplexing because there was no good reason for it, there were no winners but only losers, and the only thing it accomplished was to set the stage for World War II.

World War I is pretty much a forgotten war today, even though there is much we should learn from it. One of the outcomes of the war was the end of the Ottoman Empire, which some think was as significant as the Roman Empire. It ended with the defeat of Turkey at the end of the war.

Friday, August 14, 2015


This is a picture of a Streamliner locomotive with the Santa Fe Railroad. The picture was taken at the train depot in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1943. It looks like it is a passenger train.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Passengers by Locomotvie

Today's picture shows a group of passengers posing on the front of a steam locomotive. The picture is from the 1800's, and the caption says that it was the first train trip to make it across the Allegheny Mountains. This must have been an exciting ride. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Locomotive Shop

This is a great picture of classic locomotives. The picture was taken in the Locomotive Shop of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. The picture was taken in the Chicago shop. The picture was taken in 1942. These old locomotives were truly spectacular.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Train Station

Today's picture is from the late 1800's, and it shows the train station in Ellicott, Maryland. This is such a beautiful scene, you can imagine being on the platform watching the train roll in. Yes, I do dream about the simpler days.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Train Depot

Today's picture shows the train depot in Boise, Idaho. The picture was taken in the late 1800's. To me this is one of the real "classic" style locomotives. How wonderful it must have been to travel back in those days.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Flooded Train

Welcome to Train Week here at OPOD. We will be looking back at a day when people primarily traveled by train. We start with this picture of a train crossing a flooded area. I am not sure if the train ended up stranded, or if they just stopped for a picture. I am not sure a few feet of water would stop a train. The picture was taken in 1904. The train was part of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas and the picture was taken on the Katy.

Friday, August 7, 2015

San Angelo Train Depot

OK, we wrap up Texas Week with this picture of the Train Depot in San Angelo, Texas. The picture was taken in 1908, so you can see they were still using horses and buggies. Also, you can see the passenger train in the background. I love the look of these old train stations.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

San Angelo Fat Stock Show and Rodeo

Today's picture shows patrons buying tickets to the San Angelo Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. The picture was taken in 1940. The Fat Stock Show and Rodeo remains a popular annual event in San Angelo, and gives students the opportunity to show off their livestock and other rural projects.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Abilene, Texas

Today's picture shows a group of men on horseback in Abilene, Texas. The picture was taken in 1939. In the small community I live in, I still see people riding horsed in town or to town. Now it is primarily a recreational activity, but it is not unusual to see people on horseback.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Loading Train

Today's picture shows men loading onto a passenger train in San Augustine, Texas. The picture was taken in 1939. The thing I really notice in these old pictures is how trim everyone was back then. I also noticed that in Africa . . . people are very trim. Trim as in fit, not trim as in starving. Upon going to the grocery store after being out of the country for a month, the thing that struck me is how just about all of us are overweight and don't look healthy. The other thing I noticed in Africa is everyone had perfect straight, brilliant white teeth. With little or no dental care, and absolutely no braces, people had perfect teeth. If you are interested in the correlation between indigenous diets, good health and straight teeth, this is an incredibly interesting video detailing the work of the late Dr. Weston Price. There is a lot to learn here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

West Texas Farmer

Texas Week continues today with this picture of a West Texas Farmer. The picture is from 1937. Farming in West Texas is never an easy thing, but farming in West Texas in 1937 was probably a near hopeless task. Farm lands here are very fertile, and lots of good soil, but the issue is water. We just don't get enough rain.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

XIT Ranch

This is an interesting picture of a Cowboy Camp on the XIT ranch in Texas. The picture was taken in 1902. The story of the XIT is an interesting one. In the 1800's, Texas needed a new capital building. The building they wanted to build would cost $3,000,000, which at the time was a fortune. To raise money for the building, the state sold a tract of 3,000,000 acres to a group of investors. I have read that there were ten investors, so the X stands for ten . . . XIT stands for Ten In Texas. This ranch became one of the largest ranches in the country.

The rules for cowboys working the XIT were strict, including:
  • No employee was allowed to carry any weapons for offense or self-defense.
  • Gambling or card-playing of any description was strictly prohibited.
  • No liquor or intoxicating beverages were allowed to employees during their time of service.
  • No employees were allowed to hunt wild game on any of the XIT horses.
  • Employees were not allowed to own any of the horses or cattle on the ranch.
I have read some analysis that indicates that if you look at the value of the land that was given for the XIT, including oil and other mineral revenue, it makes the Texas Capitol the most expensive building in the world. Even if this is the case, the Texas Capitol is a beautiful building that we are still quiet proud of.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back Home

Its official . . . I am back home. So, we will be looking at pictures this week from the great Lone Star State. I wonder if you all were getting tired of Africa pictures while I was in Africa.

I did have a wonderful trip, and it was good to spend time with the lovely Miss EAM. It was wonderful to get to see the work she is doing as a missionary, and to help her for a month.

I did get to see many wonderful things there. Africa is truly a beautiful place.

I did make a quick trip into Uganda, and with the help of a Uganda soldier who had commandeered our car was able to hire a boat on the River Nile. We were able to steam up to the Nile to the headwaters, and we collected water from the spring at the start of the Nile River.

This was a great boat to hire for the adventure. The soldier got us a very good deal. The boat very much reminded me of the one in the old movie, The African Queen.

It was a beautiful day on the nile. A cool 70 degrees, sunny, and just a gentle breeze made for a wonderful trip.

The shores of the nile were beautiful. Uganda has not been deforested, and tropical jungle is everywhere.

We reached the headwaters of the Nile, and filled our bottles with water from the spring feeding the Nile.

So, it was a wonderful trip, and it was good to get to spend time with our daughter. Really looking forward to returning to Africa!