Thursday, December 31, 2015

Snowy Streets

Today's picture shows a scene of snowy streets in New York City. You can see men shoveling the snow and putting it in wagons to haul it off. The picture was taken in 1896.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Children in the Snow

Today's picture shows children playing in the snow. The picture was taken in Central Park, in new York City. It looks like just the perfect weather for the children to enjoy the snow. The picture was taken in 1900.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crow Indian Camp

Winter Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of a Crow Indian Camp. The picture was taken in 1908 in Montana. It does look very cold, but must say the camp looks like the Tipi would be very snug and cozy. It also looks like they chose a place to winter over that has lots of nearby firewood.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Today's picture shows a steamboat on a frozen river. The picture was taken on the Detroit River in 1905. It really looks cold!

Our cold spell continues here in West Texas. We are frozen in this morning with little hope of thawing today.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Winter Storm

Welcome to Winter Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures of work and recreation in the winter months. The picture above was taken on a ranch in Wyoming in 1923.

We have had a very mild winter in West Texas. In fact, it was 80 degrees on Christmas Day. I looked at our fruit trees and was fearful that they might actually bloom on Christmas day. Then last night winter finally hit. A huge cold front and thunderstorm came through, and it is very cold this morning, and forcasts for ice, sleet, and snow later today.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Camels Approaching Bethlehem

I hope you had a Blessed Christmas. We wrap up Bethlehem Week with this picture from around 1900 of a small camel caravan approaching Bethlehem. The picture is reminiscent of the Magi for the East, who brought gifts to the newborn king. It is interesting that the Bible never mentions the number of wise men, but because of songs and other traditions, people believe it to be three. Given they were coming from a great distance, and bringing very expensive gifts, it is likely the caravan was quiet large.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Birth of a King

Today's picture was taken 100 years ago in Bethlehem, but the scene is reminiscent of event we celebrate today, the birth of a King. Jesus came into the world some two thousand years ago to save mankind from their sin. He will return soon as KING of Kings and LORD of LORDS. His first arrival was not something that just happened out of nowhere. He was a saviour that had been promised from the dawn of time. The prophet Isaiah had promised his arrival in Isaiah 9:2-7:

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lordof hosts will perform this.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bethlehem Shepherds

I would like to be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas Eve. This is the evening that we commemorate the Birth of Christ. It is unlikely that this is the actual birth date of Christ, but it is the date that by tradition we choose to commemorate it. We are taught that angels appeared to a group of shepherds near Bethlehem and announced the arrival of the Savior of Mankind. Today's picture was taken around a hundred years ago, but it does show traditional shepherds near Bethlehem, so we get a feel of what things would have looked like some 2000 years ago.

Luke 2:8-20

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Church of the Nativity

Today's picture shows the Church of the Nativity. This is where tradition holds that Christ was born. While we know he was born in Bethlehem, traditions of the exact location within Bethlehem are probably not based on reliable information. However, these sites do serve as a reminder of His birth.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bethlehem View

Today's picture shows a man on a camel, on a hill overlooking Bethlehem. The picture is from the early 1900's.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bethlehem Gate

Today's picture shows the Gate of Bethlehem. The picture was taken in the early 1900's, but certainly it is reminiscent of the Biblical account of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem for the census. Probably little had changed from the days of Christ's birth, and when this picture was taken.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


Welcome to Christmas Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures from around Bethlehem taken 100 years ago. Not much changed in the previous 2000 years, so we can get a good look at this area from back in the days of Christ. Hopefully you will enjoy the pictures, and have a wonderful week.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Today's picture shows a prospector with his burro in Oregon. He looks to be fairly well equipped, including what looks like a shotgun. The picture was taken in 1903.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Burro Pack Train

Today's picture shows a group of prospectors on the way to the gold fields with a burro pack train. The picture was taken in 1897, and it is near Dyea Point in Alaska. It looks a little cold and dreary, so lets hope they had a successful day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Today's picture shows a couple of prospectors ready to head out for the hills. They appear to be very well equipped, with a pack mule loaded down. The picture was taken in 1898.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pike's Peak Prospector

Today's picture is from 1900, and it shows a prospector on Pike's Peak. This guy looks like he is very well equipped, and I bet he could keep the cabin nice and toasty in the winter. Not sure if he ever found the gold he was looking for but he did have a nice little homestead there.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Klondike Gold Rush

This is a classic picture of the Klondike Gold Rush from 1898. You wonder what chance most of these people really had. In the case of things like this, the first guy gets the gold and then after that the only people making money are the ones selling supplies to all those people in line.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Prospectors Camp

Welcome to Gold Rush Week here at OPOD. We will look at those brake souls who left everything to pursue riches in the Gold Fields. Today's picture was taken in 1897, and shows a prospector camp in Dyea Canyon in Alaska on the Yukon.

As I look at these old pictures, I often ponder how mundane our lives have become. How exciting it must have been to live back in these days. Now, I think probably the most adventurous avocation would be to be a missionary. That would be the most like living in the times of the Old West or the Gold Rush.

Friday, December 11, 2015

James Butler Hickok

We finish up the Old West Week here at OPOD with this picture of James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, perhaps one of the most notorious figures of the West. He was famous for his exploits as a gunfighter, gambler, lawman, Civil War hero and Indian Scout.

Hickok worked as a stagecoach driver, a frontier lawman in Kansas and Nebraska, and then fought in the Civil War. He was a skilled scout, marksman, and professional gambler, and was involved in a number of gunfights.

He was shot from behind and killed while playing poker in Deadwood, Dakota Territory The poker hand he held when he was shot has become known as the "Dead Man's Hand", which was two aces and two 8's.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Buffalo Bill

Old West Week would not be complete without a picture of these two legends. On the left we have the notorious Sitting Bull, remembered as the Indian Chief who defeated Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn. On the right, legendary Buffalo Bill Cody. Two greats of the Old West in one picture.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cole Y

Today's picture is of another notorious Old West outlaw to come out of the Civil War. Cole Younger, like Jesse and Frank James, rode with William Quantrill in the Civil War. After the war the Youngers and James teamed up to form the James Younger gang. The gang eventually broke up, and Cole lived to an old age, and died in 1916. Later in life, he and Frank James actually toured the country performing in their own wild west shows.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Today's picture shows the most notorious of all old west outlaws . . . Jesse James. Jesse did not start out life as an outlaw. He was a member of the famed Quantrill Raiders unit in the Civil War. At the close of the War, the North pardoned all southern soldiers except the Quantrill Raiders who were not viewed as being regular troops. As such, the raiders found themselves to be outlaws at the end of the war. So, that's what they did. They were so successful in their crimes because they used military tactics that they had developed during the war. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pat Garret

Today's picture shows famed Old West Lawman Pat Garret. He was the sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico. He is remembered as the lawman who killed the famous outlaw Billy the Kid. Garret himself was killed under mysterious circumstances in South New Mexico in 1908.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Peace Commission

Welcome to the Old West Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at iconic images from the Old West. No period of history is more interesting to me than this time that men strapped on colts and travelled west. It would be hard to imagine a better picture than this one, which shows the "Peace Commission" of Dodge City, Kansas in 1883.

Pictured in the back row second from the right is the legendary lawman Bat Masterson. Seated second from the left is perhaps the most notorious of all figures of the Old West . . . the legendary Wyatt Earp. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Hauling Water

Today's picture is from around 1900 and shows men hauling water. The picture was taken in Mexico. I think one of the things we do not properly appreciate is having running water in our houses. If you have ever been in a situation where you had to carry water, you know what I am talking about. The greatest of our modern conveniences is running water in our homes.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mexican Insurgents

South of the Border Week would not be complete without at least one picture of insurgents. So much of the history of Mexico is filled with political unrest and revolution. It really is tough to keep track of who the good guys were and who the bad guys were. Today's picture is from the 1911 insurrection in Juarez.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fruit Market

Today's picture shows a fruit market in Mexico. The picture is from the early 1900's. It looks very much how I remember Mexico when we would visit as I was growing up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mexican Sombrero

Today's picture shows the Sombrero Market in Mexico City. The picture was taken around 1910. I wonder if the Sombrero is still as popular and mainstream now as it was back in the day.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Mercado San Juan

Today's picture shows the Mercado San Juan. The picture was taken around 1910. Mercado means market, so this was the San Juan market in Mexico City. It looks very much like what I remember Mexican markets to be in the 1960's when we would visit Mexico.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mexican Locomotive

South of the Border Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of a Mexican Train Station. The picture was taken around 1900. No location is given, but the terrain looks fairly barren, so I am betting it was in the northern part of the country.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mexican Recruits

Since last week was Canada Week, it seems only appropriate to look at our neighbors to the south this week. So, welcome to South of the Border week here at OPOD. We start with this picture from around 1900. Mexican Army Conscripts are being loaded on a train. The recruited men were Yaqui Indians. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Deer Hunting

We wrap up Canada Week with this picture of a successful deer hunt. The picture was taken in Canada. I am not sure how popular hunting is in Canada now days, but I would imagine they would have some great animals.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Killarney Canada

Today's picture shows Main Street in Killarney, Canada. The picture is from 1940, and shows storefronts and a Dairy Truck.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Welcome Wagon

Today we have a picture of the Canadian Welcome Wagon. It is from 1905, and looks to be a drivable trolley type car. The car sports all type of advertisements for visiting or relocating to Canada. A very interesting vehicle!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Quebec, Canada

Today's picture shows a storefront in Quebec, Canada. The picture was taken in 1937. It is a little surprising to see a horse drawn wagon in use at this relatively late date.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Canadian Landscape

I have visited Canada several times on business trips, but never got the chance to experience the splendor of nature there. The picture above is a shot of the Bow Valley near Alberta Canada. What a beautiful place this must be. The picture was taken in 1910.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Royal Canadian Mountie

Welcome to Canada Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures of our Northern Neighbors and we start with this picture of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police, more popularly known as a "Mountie". The picture was taken in 1915.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fire Truck

Today's picture shows a fire truck at the US capitol. It was responding to a fire there some time in February of 1926.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fire House

We have another interesting picture of a horse-drawn fire engine from the early 1900's. Interesting that the sign on the building reads "Chemical Engine House". It makes me wonder if this unit focused on fire extinguishers and not water fire fighting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Los Angeles Fire Department

This is a very interesting picture showing the early days of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The picture was taken in 1887. You can see the fire house, several fire wagons and the firemen. Most interesting, it appears they have a dog. I really do not know how the tradition started of having a dog mascot for fire departments, but it appears to have been going on all the way back to the time of this picture.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fire Station

Today's picture is from around 1920, and it shows equipment in front of a fire station. The picture was taken on a Naval shipyard in California. The two men on the right appear to be sailors.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Today's picture is from around 1900 and it shows a fire engine being drawn down the street by three white horses. The horses appear to be in full gallop. Also, I find interesting that the tires on the fire engine appear to maybe have rubber rings on them. I was not aware that rubber had been used on tires before its use on automobile tires.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Star Theater Fire

Today's picture shows firemen fighting the Star Theater Fire on Broadway. The picture was taken in 1893. I am surprised to see at this date it looks like they already were using Fire Hydrants.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fire Engine

Welcome to Fire Fighter Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at the men and equipment used to fight fires over the last hundred years. We start with this picture from Washington DC taken around 1900. It shows a horse-drawn fire engine. It looks like they are getting ready to back the rig into the fire house.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Race Car

Today's picture shows a Stutz Weightman racecar barreling down the track. The picture was taken at the Benning race track near Washington DC. The picture was taken in 1915.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Horse Race

Today's picture shows the start of a Horse Race. The picture was taken in the Middle East in 1940 near Beersheba. It must have been an exciting event to watch.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Camel Races

Today's picture shows a Camel Race. It appears with mankind that anything you can ride, you will eventually decide to race. The picture was taken in 1940 near Beersheba in the Middle East.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Airplane Races

It always amazes me how quickly after the invention of the airplane, men decided to race them. This picture was taken in 1910, and shows the start of an air race at the Boston Aero Meet. How exciting this must have been to watch in the early days of flight.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Race Car Driver

Welcome to Speed Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at the early days of people moving really fast. We start with this picture of Bob Burman, one of the very early race car drivers. The picture was taken in 1915.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Another mainstay of carnival midways is the sideshow. The sideshow pictured above is from a carnival that was in Kentucky in 1940. It is advertising that for only 5 cents you can see the world's largest hog. My experience has been that the sideshows rarely lived up to the hype in the billboards and promises of the carnival "barkers".