Friday, April 27, 2012

Voyage 6

Well, this is it.  The last of the voyage photographs, and the only group that has pictures of native Patagonians.   I wonder what the passengers on this voyage made of them.  The one famous Patagonian that I know about is Jemmy Button.  His real name was Orundellico and he was born somewhere around 1815, give or take a year or two either way.  In 1830, Captain Robert Fitzroy of HMS Beagle,  had a boat stolen by natives while exploring the southern tip of South America and the Straits of Magellan.  When it wasn't returned, he took four natives as hostages.  When the stolen boat still wasn't returned, he took the  hostages back to England.  One died of smallpox, but the other three, including Jemmy, made it to England and became minor celebrities.   A year latter when Fitzroy was ordered on another voyage, this time carrying a young naturalist named Charles Darwin,  the three surviving natives were given  passage back to their homes.  In 1855, Christian missionaries made contact with Jemmy Button's band and found that he still had a grasp of English.  By 1859, the missionaries found themselves unwelcome and were killed.  Jemmy was called to give evidence before a court in 1860.  In 1864, Jemmy Button died.

Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom.  "Indians in Smiths Chanel,"  "Smyth Chanel,"  "Smiths Chanel,"  "Evening Atlantic side,"  "Smyth Canal Smyth's Chanel difficult pass near straights of Magellan,"  "Straights of Magellan,"  "Smith's Chanel."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Voyage 5

Is the family in the first photo the photographer's family?  I would think so, but of course, we'll never know for sure.  All photos are labeled "Magellan Straights."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Voyage 4

This grouping has the one really, really dull photo of the lot.  Palm trees?  Who takes pictures of palm trees when there are so many seascapes around.  It also has the worst caption of the lot.  Something unreadable, then Tal, Chili.  I went to an online gazetteer and couldn't find anything even close.  If it's the name of a settlement, it might be one that has faded from history.  Maybe the settlement failed because of the palm trees. The top photo is of a town called Tocopilla, yet another small port in the Antafogasta section of Chili that has grown quite a bit since the photo was taken.  In the 2002 census, 23,986 people.   In 2007, an earthquake made 4,000 people homeless out of a population that had grown to 27,000.  Tocopilla is also the hometown of film maker and artist, Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of cult classic, El Topo.  The bottom photo...look beyond the sailboat, and the town that is off in the distance is Punta Arenas, misspelled Arrenas.  Punta Arenas was founded as a penal colony in 1848.  Today it's the capitol of Magellanes & Antarctic Chilena, and is the major resupply port for science stations in Antarctica.

Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom.  "Tocopilla, Chili," "Straights of Magellan,"  "Straights of Magellan," "(Unreadable) Tal, Chili,"  and "Punta Arrenas near Straights of Magellan."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Voyage 3

What would have been the best part of this voyage?  The long days at sea, or port calls at small South American coastal towns?  I'm just glad that someone who knew how to take a good photograph was a long for the trip.   The first photo is of Talcahuana, Chili.  According to the 2002 census, Talcahuana had over 250,000 people.  On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 earthquake and tsunami hit the Chilean coast near Talchuana and made 80% of the population homeless.  The mayor estimates that it will take at least a decade to recover.   The port in the final picture is Gatico, like Caleta Coloso, seen in the first post from this collection is in the Antofogasta section of the country.  It has less than 1,000 residents as of 2002.  Click on the second photo in the column to get a better view of the steamship in the distance.

Written on the backs of the photos, top to bottom, "Talcahuana, Chile,"  "Magellan Straights,"  "Straights of Magellan,"  "Evangelisten, West of the Magallen Straights,"  and "Gatico, Chili."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Voyage 2

Is it just me, or do others find the new Blogger set up to be needlessly complex and not all that good.  Oh well, what can you do.  The tech heads are our new rulers.  I suspect, one day, we'll all have to pay tribute to the technically inclined.  A little bow, touch the cap brim, and say, "Please sir, can you look with pleasure on my unworthy self."

So, back to the southern seas collection.  Imagine a world, before air travel, before the Panama Canal, when  getting cargo or passengers from one ocean to another required a voyage through the southern seas.  The route from Atlantic to Pacific involved a trip through the Straits of Magellan.  A narrow channel between the mainland of South America and Tierra del Fuego.  The straits were protected from the harsh conditions of the open ocean, but still subject to bad whether, powerful and unpredictable currents, and shallow reefs.

Written on the backs of the photos from top to bottom, "Smythe Canal,"  "Smythe Canal,"  "Straights of Magellan,"  Gletseher Bar,  Straights of Magellan, Crossing the Bar,"  Magellan Straights," and "German Sailing Ship."  Note, a strait is a narrow channel between two pieces of land.  Straight is, well a straight line.  The photos may have been taken by a seaman, but one who didn't know the difference between the two words.

And why doesn't the spellls chekr wokr?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Voyage 1

I found this interesting collection of photos from a sea voyage, taken sometime in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, that I'll be putting up over the next few weeks. I don't know whether they were taken by a professional photographer, a crew member, or passenger.

Written on the back of the first photo in the column, "German Sailing Ship Thekla, Atlantic" Much to my surprise, I was able to run down some information on the Thekla. It was built in 1892 in Newcastle, England was registered in Hamburg, Germany and ran aground in a hurricane at North End Beach in Algoa Bay on the east coast of South Africa. It was carrying a cargo of sugar from Mauritius. The second photo is labeled, "Smith Chanel." The third, "Caleto Coloso, Chile." Today, Caleta Coloso is a private port owned by Minera Escandida, Ltd., a Chilean copper company and is used to ship copper ore. Caleta Coloso is in the Antofagasta area in northern Chili. The fourth photo is labeled, "Cape Pillar Straights of Magellan." The final photo is labeled, "Cape Forward Straights of Magellan."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Number 700, Olita Brown and Her Dobro

Post number 700, (I never thought it would last this long.) and it's time to visit the past. When I first started putting up these old photos, I wasn't getting a lot of visitation. In a good week, I was lucky to get a dozen or so hits, and it wasn't uncommon to not have any. Because so many of the early posts have gone unseen, I've decided to do a repeat from those early days every so often. At least every 100, maybe more often, but not that often. This snapshot of Olita Brown and her Dobro was put up on August 8, 2009, and then I wrote a very brief paragraph about the history of the Dobro guitar. This time, I'm just going to suggest that the viewer click on the image to bring it up in a bigger window and check out that wild dress she's wearing. I can't imagine it was store bought. Click on musical instruments in the labels to see the original post and get a very brief over view of the Dobro.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fishing in Color

A very faded color. That's the problem with old color snapshots. They have a tendency to turn pink. At least this guy looks like he had fun, if not a lot of success. Stamped on the back, "THIS IS A KODACOLOR PRINT MADE BY EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY T. M. REGIS. U. S. PAT. OFF. Week Ending Nov. 3, 1956 II Ro 1"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


The ice is breaking up on the lake and, while it's still a bit chilly, those winter coats aren't needed anymore. But where was this picture taken? I wish I knew.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dancing the Night Away

How did she get on the dance floor without knocking stuff over? At the very least, that dress must have kept other dancers off the dance floor.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Get Your Kicks on Route 99

Remember the good old days when driving across the country could take a month; when driving across the country meant local and state routes, not all of them paved; sleeping in tourist hotels, auto camps and eating at lunch counters? Neither do I. I was born in the 1950s and don't remember a world without multi lane, limited access highways. If you're willing to put in 16 hour days, it's possible to go from Atlantic to Pacific in three or four days. On the other hand, my first cross country trip took four months, and no interstate highways. Written on the back of the first photo, "Nov. 1942 Erie, Pa." There are some other words, but they've been inked out and are unreadable. On the second, "Dorothy Fischer Dot Fisher across 26th St. Erie, Pa." And my apologies to Bobby Troup.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

From Europe

Mother and daughter? Sisters, perhaps? A real photo postcard. Nothing written on the back, but the stock reads "CARTE POSTALE" so it's from France, or possibly the French speaking areas of Switzerland or Belgium.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Week

Just thought I would continue with yesterdays' baseball theme. I suspect this gentleman plays for a local or factory team, though it would be nice if he played professionally.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Opening Day

It's opening day, and time to remember all those players who make it to the bigs, hang on for a few years, and then move on to other things. Dave LaPointe was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, but started his big league career with the Detroit Tigers, as can be seen on the back of the card, it wasn't a long stop. Still, after kicking around for a bit, he had a fairly good year with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Good enough to be signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees. (I'm a Pirate fan, a far too common story for the Bucs in the free agency era.) This card was issued in 1991, but the uniform is wrong. Dave had moved on to the Philadelphia Phillies by then. He'd have a very brief stay, get released, signed to a minor league contract with the Brewers, get released, and signed to another minor league contract with the Cubs. Neither team called him up. In 1993, there would be an attempt at a comeback with the Minnesota Twins, but again, it would all be in the minors. In 1995, he would try his luck with the Adirondack Lumberjacks, and while no major league team came calling, he would go on to be their pitching coach, and then manager. He would then go on to manage the Bridgeport Bluefish, then the Long Island Ducks. Now, he manages the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League in Pomona, New York. It would be a great story if he ended up managing a big league team to a World Series title, but his age works against him.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Children in Dresses

I may be wrong, but I think the taller of the two children is a boy. His mother must have had a unique sense of humor. His little sister seems shocked and confused.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Little Red Wagon

The truth is, I'm more interested in the wagon than I am in the kid. Nevertheless, he (or she) holds some fascination. His (or her) bow tie, and that awful haircut isn't the look of a modern day child.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Above the Rim

White men can't jump? Well, this guy needed a bit of help. Dated "MAR 70" That means that number 41 is right around 60 or so, and still can't jump.