Monday, February 29, 2016

Over the Falls

Today's picture documents one of the most peculiar stunts of all times. Mrs. Annie Taylor, on her 63rd birthday, decided to attempt a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Many had tried before, but none had survived. Mrs. Taylor was short on money, and viewed the stunt as a necessity. If successful her finances for her old age would be assured. If not successful, there would be no old age. On October 24, 1901, she became the first person to survive a trip over the falls.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Welcome to Daredevil Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at the brave and the crazy who for the hope of fame and fortune do things that look incredibly dangerous. The truth is that while they look dangerous, they actually are VERY dangerous. No amount of care and planning can prevent the unexpected hiccup that leads to disaster.

Pictured here is Jammie Reynolds, a daredevil from the early 1900's. His talent was to precariously balance on the corner of very tall buildings on every more frightening stacks of furniture. I was not able to find any other information on Jammie, so one wonders if his career was cut short.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Biplane Over Chicago

Today's picture is from the very early days of aviation. The picture is from 1911, and shows an early biplane flying over Chicago. What an exciting thing it must have been back then to see a plane in flight.


Several of our long time blog followers have complained about the lack of Domestic Updates. Yes, I took some time off due to a person who was causing me trouble on the blog, but will try again, and hopefully everyone will behave.

The last news on the blog of our daughter, the lovely MS. EAM, she had departed for Africa to serve as a missionary over there. She immediately fell in love with Africa, and I could tell that she loved the place and felt called to spend her life there. Well, recently she met and fell in love with an indiginous missionary over there, and they were just wed. So, for the romantic types, you can watch a little of her wedding below if you are interested. From the heart of Africa . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Passenger Biplane

Most people do not realize that biplanes continued to the point of being commercial passenger carrying craft. The large biplane in this picture shows a large fusalage, probably able to carry 30 or more people. Note it has prop engines on the top and bottom wing. The picture was taken by the Sea of Galilee in 1931.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

First Aircraft Carrier

Today's picture shows what amounts to the first aircraft carrier. The ship is the Pennsylvania, and you can see that a runway has been built on top of the ship. A Biplane is loaded up on it, and ready to attempt a takeoff. I do not know if they were successful, but it was a gutsy idea.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Wrecked Biplane

The early days of aviation were filled with heartbreak, as illustrated by this picture from 1916 of a wrecked German biplane. There were many crash landings in the early days, and many of the early pioneers of aviation died in accidents.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Sea Plane

Today's picture shows the experimental Langley Sea Plane. It is another early Tandem Biplane. The plane is floating on the Potomac River in Washington DC, where it was used in some experimental flights. The picture was taken in 1917.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sea Plane

Welcome to Biplane Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at examples of aviation from a hundred years ago. Pictured above is the Richardson Tandem Biplane Hydroplane. The picture is from 1916, so this must have been one of the very first Seaplanes. The early days of aviation must have been so exciting.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Police Woman

Today's picture shows a police woman taking her oath of office. The picture is from the early 1900's, so she must have really been a pioneer in being a woman on the force.


My students will be launching their Eagle V space probe Friday morning at 7:45 AM Central Standard Time. You can watch the launch LIVE on the link below if you see this post in time. If not, you can watch the recording  below. Some pretty amazing students!

White House Police

Today's picture shows the White House police force in 1902. The two children in the picture are Teddy Roosevelt's children.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Garbage Collection

Law Enforcement Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of a police officer protecting a group of garbage collectors. This was during a strike in 1911, and the men in the picture were defying the strike. This can be a dangerous thing to do, wo police were providing protection for them.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Crowd Control

Welcome to Law Enforcement Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at police officers doing there job throughout history. We start with this picture from 1930. It shows police using tear gas to break up a crowd of communist demonstrators at the US capitol. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Southern Mansion

Today's picture shows the fireplace in a very nice southern home. One would expect the outside of the house had the classic Antebellum mansion look to it. The fireplace is a prominent feature of this living room.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Famous Fireplace

Wow, what a spectacular fireplace and living area. If I asked you to guess what president it belonged to, I am sure you would all know Teddy Roosevelt. The picture was taken in 1905, and reflects the persona of Roosevelt.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rustic Fireplace

Today's picture shows a cabin with a rustic fireplace. It looks like the fireplace is set up for both heat and cooking. It looks like several dutch ovens and iron skillets are kept in the fireplace.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fancy Fireplace

The last couple of days we features pictures of rustic fireplaces. Today we show the fireplace of an upper-crust home. The picture was taken in 1919 in Washington DC. No doubt it was the home of some important dignitary. Personally, I liked the rustic cabins better.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Old Timer by Fireplace

Today's picture shows an Old Timer warming himself by the fireplace. I find it interesting to look at all the little details of his room. The picture was taken in 1899.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Staying Warm

Welcome to Fireplace Week here at OPOD. It looks like we still have some winter left, so thought it would be appropriate to look at how people stayed warm back in the day. Today's picture is from 1901, and it shows a cozy cabin warmed by a traditional rock fireplace. Pictured by the fire is John Burroughs, who was an early leader of the conservation movement.

I have mentioned before that we heat our house with a fireplace. It is not one of those decorative type fireplaces, but one designed to heat a house. We have never turned the furnace on in our house. I can keep the house a toasty 75-80 degrees all winter long on a cord and a half of firewood, which costs $300 delivered to my house. Running the furnace and keeping the house that warm would cost $350 in gas and electricity. So, the fireplace was one of the best investments I have ever made. It paid for itself in two years.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Broadway Fire

Today's picture is from 1893. It shows a building on fire on Broadway. The horse drawn fire engines have arrived and the firemen are fighting the fire.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fire Hydrant

Today's picture shows a fireman operating a Fire Hydrant. The picture was taken in 1908 in New York City. I am surprised that they had fire hydrants at this early date. Not sure when fire hydrants actually began to be installed and used.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Today's picture shows three firemen with safety equipment and a firehose. It looks like part of the firehose carries a separate line to give the men fresh air. The picture was taken in 1911 in New York.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Today's picture shows a Para-fireman as he lands in a forest to fight a fire. This has to be one of the most dangerous jobs on earth.  I would imagine it would be a challenge to just get to the ground, as it would be easy to land and get hung up in a tree (with a nearby forest fire raging).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fire Fighters

Welcome to Fire Fighter Week here at OPOD. We will look at men who keep the fires at bay this week, and start with this picture of a US Forrest Service Fire Fighter. He is parachuting into the location of the fire. This is very dangerous work, as winds can shift at any moment and put you in the way of the fire.