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.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mystery Person

Today is Saturday, the day I post a picture of someone, and you have to figure out who it is. Every week I have made it harder, and every week someone has still figured it out. The first few times I gave a few clues, but even after I stopped giving clues, people would still figure it out. I am sure, though, that this will be the week I stump the Internet, as I will give absolutely no hints at all.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black School Children

This picture was taken in 1900 in Hampton, Virginia. It shows a school room with Black Children. It is interesting to note that the picture does not show the abject poverty often seen at this period. All the children have shoes, and apparently fairly nice clothes. Nothing else is known about the children.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I send my Thanksgiving Greeting to you today with this picture. It was taken in 1900, and shows an old black woman plucking a turkey. Luckily today our turkeys come pre-plucked, at least for most of us.
I was up at 3:30 this morning getting our turkey going. I love making the turkey, and have perfected one of the best turkey cooking techniques ever. Turkey is sort of my specialty. The secret to a good turkey is to brine the turkey for at least 24 hours. Brining results in a turkey that does not dry out, and literally bursts forth succulent juice when you cut the turkey. So, my turkey has been sitting in the brine for the last 24 hours. Then this morning at 3:30 I got up and rinsed the bird off real well, and then let it sit on the cabinet for about 30 minutes to let it come up to room temperature. Then, at 4:00 AM I put the turkey in the smoker. I am slow smoking it at low temperature over some seasoned pecan wood. Pecan is absolutely the best wood to smoke turkey or chicken over. The flavor is not as strong as hickory. The result will be the most flavorful, juicy turkey you ever tasted. It really does not taste like turkey, but tastes a little like the best piece of ham you ever tasted. I cook the turkey until the internal temperature reaches about 175. This should occur at about 1:00 this afternoon. Then the turkey comes out, and goes onto the table. If you have never gotten into brining and smoking, it is something you should really try.


You can see in the comments that Al and several others promised to come by for Thanksgiving Dinner. We had things all set up for everyone, but none of you showed. So, we will just have to share a Virtual Dinner with you. Boy was it good, and I am about to go back for round two, but wanted to go ahead and share the pictures.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


This picture shows a group of cowboys that have roped a Gray Wolf. The picture was taken in 1887 in Wyoming. I always wonder if there are any real cowboys left. I don't think too much ranch work is done on horseback these days, and horses for the most part are for recreation. I know a lot of people who wear cowboy boots and cowboy hats, but don't know of many real cowboys.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Liberty Bond Drive

This picture was taken in about 1917 or 1918 and shows a Liberty Bond Drive. Bonds were used to help finance our participation in World War I. Buying bonds was viewed as a patriotic act to fund a war effort, and was a form of borrowing used by the Government. Now days, most of the debt is funded by foreign countries, or large institutions. The Government does not need the support at the grass roots level to borrow or go further into debt.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Damascus Gate

This picture was taken in the early 1900's, and shows the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. I have always wanted to visit the Middle East, but have never been able to. When you are young, you don't have enough money to do it, and as you get older, you don't have enough time for it. Hopefully someday.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mexican Peon

This photograph was taken in 1909 and shows a Mexican Peon posing in front of a wall. The man is carrying what looks to be a Model 94 Winchester 30-30 with saddle ring. The history of Mexico is an interesting one, and is a story of one revolution after another. While Mexico is rich with Natural Resources, the country has suffered from instability and corruption in government. There are few periods of extended stability in the country. As a child, I can remember my family traveling through Mexico a number of different times. It was quiet common to get pulled over out on desolate highways by the police, basically looking for small bribes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Guess Who?

This is Saturday, and this is the day that I will finally stump the Internet. I have been unsuccessful the last ten weeks in a row, but today will be the day that I succeed. Today, you get no clues from me at all. You have to figure out who the person is in the picture above. I give you no clues, no hints, no cheats, no nothing. I will be checking the comments throughout the day, to make sure that I quickly tell you that your guesses are wrong. Mark it down, November 22, the day I stumped the Internet.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Black Boy

This picture was taken in Easter Sunday in 1941, in Chicago. It shows a young black boy dressed for church. I like the picture, but it is hard to learn much by looking at the boys face. I can not tell if he is happy, sad, or indifferent. As the picture was taken in 1941, and the boy looks to be not that old, one wonders if he is still living.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New York City Firemen

This photograph was taken in 1913, and shows the New York City Fire Department with one of its first motorized firetrucks. If you look over to the right, you can see one of the earlier horse drawn ones used by the city. I always wanted to be a fireman, but that is one thing I have never done. The little community that I live in has about 400 people, and does not have a normal fire department, but has a volunteer department. If there is a fire, the whistle blows, and the firemen drive down to the station. I have always thought about being a volunteer fireman, but have just never done it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This picture was taken in 1940, and shows a farmer turning up his pinto bean field. I love the scene because the farmer is plowing with two horses. I believe they are horses; they might be mules. I wonder what productivity boost farmers got when tractors came along. You would have to be able to plow much more land with a tractor that with horses, but I don't really know what the improvement factor was.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Field Telegraph Station

This is a picture from the Civil War showing a field telegraph station. It was taken near Wilcox's Landing, Virginia, in 1864.

It is amazing how much was involved in creating these old Civil War photographs. Today, photography is mainly about artistic aspects like composition, exposure, shutter speed and such. Back in the Civil War, the cameras were very large, and the negatives were large glass plates. Before each exposure, there was lots of chemistry that had to go on in a dark wagon nearby to create the glass negative. In reading the process to create the negative, prior to taking the photograph, I gained a new sense of appreciation for Mathew Brady, and the photographers working for him. Today, with digital cameras and cheap memory cards, we don't think near as much about setting the pictures up and getting the perfect shot.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Steam Locomotive

A week or so ago someone posted a message expressing interest in seeing more pictures of trains. I realized I had been delinquent for some time in posting a train picture. This is a great one from 1942 showing an old Steam Locomotive. I love these old trains, and really look back with longing at the days you travelled by rail. There is a spectacular train ride that goes between Durango and Silverton in southern Colorado. It is an old narrow gauge railroad that snakes through the mountains and passes. It still uses the original steam locomotives. If you have not had a chance to take that ride, it is truly a world-class experience. Put it on your list of things to do before you die.

I wanted to thank all of you who visited the Picture Indian WEB site yesterday. The students had over 3,000 visitors yesterday, and over 25 emails congratulating them on a fine job. I will let you know tomorrow how they react today in class over the numbers. I wanted to extend a special thanks to xoxoxoBruce who provided a nice link to their site from his site, The Cellar, and the Crawfords as well, who provided a nice link. They also got a nice email from Kent Wood, a world-renowned photographer, who will be giving them a few photography tips for their upcoming field trip to Fort McKavett. I wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your support. I wish you could see the impact this project is having on the lives of these students. I will keep you posted.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This is a wonderful photograph of a Native American on horseback taken in the early 1900's. I love these old Edward Curtis photographs of Native Americans.

Most of you know that I recently left the rat race, and moved to a very remote and rural area of West Texas, and have started teaching school. I will have to tell you that I have done a lot of interesting things, but nothing has been as rewarding as teaching school. I teach Algebra II, Business, Computers, and Multimedia.

I have been teaching now for a couple of months. I can remember my first day of class, I had one class made up of a particularly tough group of students. These students did not have a history of academic success, and struggled in a number of areas, and with a number of issues. On the first day, I threw out the text book, and told the students I was going to teach them to do something useful, and that they would accomplish something that they could be proud of, and that they would be recognized for. I then spent two weeks teaching them about copyrights, privacy rights, publicity rights, trademarks, patents, and property rights. The next four weeks I taught them to really master photoshop for restoration of old photographs. The next four weeks I taught them html and WEB site design. Just last week the class finished their first WEB site. I was so impressed with their work. The site was 100% their effort . . . I did not write anything on the site, and all the images were done by them, based on public domain material found at the Library of Congress. It is amazing to me the job they did in bringing these old photographs back to life. Also, all the text is their own writing.

I would appreciate it if you would maybe take a moment and look at their work. You can see their site at Picture Indian. If you like what you see, you might consider dropping them an email. Their email address is at the bottom of their site. A kind word from a stranger might make all the difference in these student's life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Car

This is an old picture of a small car from the 1920's. Now, I got a lot of trouble a few weeks ago for being too negative. Then I started being Mr. Positive, and then everyone started saying that I was too positive. Also, then people got mad about my sarcasm. So, today I will say absolutely nothing. Just post the picture with no commentary whatsoever. Yep, it now is Mr. Neutral. Mr. No Comment, and Mr. Do Nothing, Say Nothing, See Nothing, just post the picture and go.

Mystery Person

Today is Saturday, and that means it is Mystery Person Day. This is the day I try and stump the Internet by putting a picture up with no name. At first, I would give clues, but you all are too good, so no more clues. So, who is this?