Monday, August 31, 2009

Country Church

This picture was taken in 1941, and shows a small country church. The picture was taken near Junction City, Kansas.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

St. Botolphs Church

This picture was taken in 1898, and shows St. Botolphs church. The picture was made with the photochrom process, which was a very early technique for generating color pictures. The picture is in Boston, England.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Chain Gang

This picture was taken in 1890 near Thomasville, Georgia. It shows a prisoner who is on a chain gang. Notice the large chain links on his legs.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This picture was taken in 1903, and shows a group of prisoners working in a field. They don't appear to be chained together, but perhaps there are guards nearby but not in the picture.

In the comments the last few days a few people had wondered if there were still chain gangs. I don't know of any in the sense of convicts chained together working on a road, but in Texas they do send prisoners out on work detail. They don't wear striped clothes any more, but have very bright orange jumpsuits. You see them out cleaning the sides of the highways. Here in Texas, you can even have them send a prison work crew out to do work on your private property. Say you have some land you want cleared, you can have them send a work detail over, and they will clear the property for you. If I understand it right, it is completely voluntary . . . a prisoner could sit in jail, or go out and work on the work detail. If you have them come out, I don't think it costs much, you feed them, and pay for the gas to get them out to you. If it were me, I would rather be out on a work detail than sitting in jail.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This is a picture of a chain gang from Greene Country Georgia in 1941. Interesting note is that the prisoners in the picture are attending the funeral of the Warden, who was killed the previous day in a car accident. I find it interesting that the me have a look of somber respect, not celebration over the event.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Convict Work Camp

This picture was taken in 1910, and shows a Convict Work Camp in Pitt Country, North Carolina. The convicts are housed in wagons, and moved from work site to work site. The guards are posed in front of the wagons. Note the bloodhounds and the weaponry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jail Cell

Convict week continues here at Old Picture of the Day. This picture was taken in Greene Country Georgia in 1941. It shows men singing and dancing in the cell at the Greene County jail.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chain Gang

This picture shows a Chain Gang in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. The picture was taken in 1941. Notice the big revolver on the Boss's hip.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Contest Day

OK, today is Mystery Person Contest Day. I give the picture, you say who it is. On your marks, set, Goooooooo!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Immigrant Child

This picture was taken on November 16, 1907. It shows an immigrant child on board the steamer "President Grant". The child does not look very happy to me, maybe it was a hard trip.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Immigrant Ship

This picture shows an Immigrant Ship, on its way to the United States. The picture was taken in 1890. Wow, it looks like it is pretty crowded there on the deck.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Immigrants in New York

This picture was taken in 1896 and shows Immigrants in New York City. They are street vendors selling pretzels. I do not know their original country of origin.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Polish Immigrant

This picture shows a Polish Immigrant arriving in the US. The picture was taken in 1907. I find it fascinating that he man is carrying everything he owns in the trunk. Most of us could not fit all of our stuff in a trunk today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Arriving at Ellis Island

This picture shows a group of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. Like yesterday's picture, these people appear to be fairly affluent.

OK, for me, summer is over. It is back to school today. Boy, summer really went by fast. In one way I am sorry for vacation to be over, but in another way I am eager to get going with a new school year.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


It is Immigrant Week that you asked for, and it is Immigrant Week you shall have. I had actually planned on this week being "Chain Gang" week, but several people requested a week on pictures of Immigrants, so that is what we will do. This picture shows a boat of Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. It was taken in 1907. I really love the look of exuberance on the little girl's face. You can only imagine how happy they were to arrive in America, the land of opportunity.

OK, this is what I find very confusing . . . the difference between Immigrants and Emigrants. English teachers get really fired up about this one, and I have trouble keeping the two straight. For example, lets say these people are arriving from Ireland. If their departure from Ireland was reported in an Irish newspaper, the headline would read, "Emigrants depart for America". When they arrived, a New York newspaper would report, "Immigrants arrive in America". Same people, but in one case they are Immigrants, and in the other case they are Emigrants. So, you might ask, at what point in the trip did they transform from Emigrants to Immigrants. The answer is that it is not that simple . . . If Ireland reported their arrival in the US, they would report, "Emigrants arrive in America". You see to Ireland they are still Emigrants. Now, things can get even more confusing. Lets say the woman in the picture is from Ireland. When she was in Ireland, she would refer to the other people on the boat as "Emigrants". But, the day after she landed, another boat from Ireland lands. Should the woman who is from Ireland, and only one day in the US, refer to the new arrivals as Emigrants or Immigrants? You see, I think that you can create scenarios where it is almost impossible to figure out whether the word Emigrant or Immigrant should be used. I propose that in order to make things simpler, we need a new word, Imigrant (with one m), and we let this become the word to be used in all cases. I think things would be much simpler with this simple adjustment.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Maine Burial

OK, this is not really a burial scene, it is a man in a sleeping bag in the woods in Maine. It does look like an old Indian burial scene. The picture was taken in 1888. This picture wraps up our trip through the backwoods of Maine. Tomorrow is Mystery Person contest, and I hope to make it a good one.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Moosehead Lake

This picture shows a man having a smoke on the porch of the Kineo House on Moosehead Lake in Maine. The picture was taken in 1890. I have to say I have become fascinated with the people in Maine after looking at these pictures this week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Maine Women

This picture was taken in 1886, near Williams Maine. It looks as if the women in Maine also spent time in the woods. I find the variety of hats interesting.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Maine Fisherman

I worry about this guy. The picture was taken in 1886, and he is walking into the woods in Maine with (gulp) a fishing pole. Does he not know the woods in Maine are full of Axe Wielding, Knife Toting, Moonshine Guzzling Rednecks packing heat. Did he not see the pictures posted the last two days!?! Does the movie "Deliverance" come to mind? We can only hope he does not wander into one of the camps pictured earlier. Be afraid, Sir, be very afraid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Maine Men

This picture was taken in 1886, and shows three men in the woods in Maine. Is it just me, or do the rest of you see a pattern developing here? It appears that Men in Maine like to got out to the woods with guns, knives, axes, and booze. All the things boys need to have fun. If the picture was from Texas, I could tell you what they were up to, but like yesterday, I have to say I have no idea what these men are doing.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mountain Man

This picture was taken in 1886, and shows a well armed man in the woods in Maine. I am not sure what the guy is up to. He has a Bowie knife in one hand, and a pistol in the other. He has another pistol in his belt, and a Winchester in his lap. He has an axe across his leg. At first I thought maybe he was a lumberjack, but I can not imagine a lumberjack would need that much firepower. Perhaps he is a trapper or hunter.

I have to admit I don't know much about Maine. I used to have to travel to Portland, Maine quiet a bit on business, but never got to see much except the company I was visiting (Fairchild Semiconductor). So, I don't know if Maine still has the fierce independence ideals exhibited in this man.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Round Two

OK, Nate put a quick end to my hopes of stumping everyone two weeks in a row. So, we will have a special edition round two.

Mystery Couple

OK, for today's contest, you must name both people. Use of third person verbiage in your response is optional. Let's Go!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Eleanor Roosevelt

We wrap up First Ladies week today with this picture of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She is pictures with the King and Queen of England. The picture was taken in 1938.Notice the small presidential seal on the side of the car.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt

This picture was taken in 1901, and shows Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt, wife of Teddy Roosevelt. You just don't see hats like that anymore. Dress is fairly ornate as well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Julia Dent Grant

This picture was taken in 1872, and shows First Lady Julia Dent Grant, with husband Ulysses, and son Jesse. They had 4 children, but here they are posed only with one. The picture was taken during Grant's first term in office.

Domestic Update: I think I had mentioned that I was going to get chickens, since Mrs. PJM loves eggs for breakfast. I figured 10 chickens would do the trick. When I went to order the chicken, I found that they can only ship in batches of at least 25. The lady said they had to ship at least that many for the chicks to stay warm during shipping. Then I heard my neighbor wanted to get chickens, and was having the same problem. I went over and talked to her, and she said indeed she was getting a chicken order up. I don't know much about chickens, so just looked at what she was ordering. I put my name in for 10 of what she was ordering. That was a couple of weeks ago. Well, yesterday she came over, and said she did not have a computer. She did have the chicken list, and asked if I would order them since I had a computer. Well, I took the list, and come to find out everyone in town was going in on the Great Chicken Order of '09. Well, I placed the order for the 67 chicks, in about 14 different varieties. I am starting to get a bad feeling about this. I am worried whether people will pick their chickies up in a timely manner when they come in. Mrs. PJM was not too pleased about this, as she thinks in the end she will have to sort it all out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rosalynn Carter

OK, normally I show older pictures, but I could not resist this one. It shows First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The man in the picture is country singer Waylon Jennings. I think it is funny that he is puffing a cigarette in the First Ladies' face. The woman holding hands with Rosalynn in Jesse Colter, Waylon's wife.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Grace Coolidge

Today we feature a picture of Grace Coolidge, one of my favorite First Ladies. The picture was taken in 1927 at the White House Easter Roll. Grace is pictured with her pet raccoon, which she had at the White House.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mary Todd

OK, today we feature a picture by Mathew Brady of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln.

So, I officially won the mystery person contest yesterday. This was the first time I was able to win by stumping everyone for 24 hours. From the git go, everyone was on the wrong track, guessing people associated with Laundry or cleaning products. The mistake that you all made is that you thought the person was associated with last week's theme, which was laundry, as opposed to this week's theme, which is First Ladies. If you had thought to go with this week's theme, it would have been very easy, in that the clothing identified the time frame, and there were only a couple of possible first ladies to guess. I was shaking in my boots last night as a few people started guessing Grace Coolidge. I was fearful that my victory would be snatched from my hands, but in the end, I did win. I also thought it was a brilliant move on my part to require people to refer to me in third person. I would ridicule and scold people who submitted an entry that was not in third person, and so this turned out to be a diversionary tactic that threw people off their game. I was sort of surprised that no one got it, because some of the ones in the past had been much, much harder.

Domestic Update: I have brilliantly completed a new project. To all you naysayers out there that scolded me for paying someone to build the peacock palace, this is where I show my true handyman skills. I have built Lovie and the Chickies a nice little enclosed yard behind the peacock palace. It is enclosed on all sides, and top and bottom, with heavy hail wire to keep the coons out. There is a small door in the palace that allows the birds to go in and out of the palace, into the yard. I have a piece of canvas over part of it for shade. Lovie and the Chickies love the yard, and split their time between the Peacock Palace and the yard. Mrs. PJM was delighted with the project, and and all the things I accomplished this summer. I would say my points have never been higher with her. This combined with my stunning victory in the Mystery Person contest indeed puts me in high esteem.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mystery Contest

OK, it is mystery contest morning. I post the picture, you guess who it is. Your mission is to name the Lady in the picture. Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!!!