Monday, November 30, 2015

Views of the World, Nankin Road, Shanghai, China

It's time to return to The First Opium War.  In addition to their acquisition of Hong Kong, the British also secured a number of concessions, essentially giving them control over a number of port cities, including Shanghai.  Eventually, a number of other countries, including France, the United States, Japan, Germany,  Russia, Norway, and even The Congo Free State got their fingers in the pie, getting  concessions of their own.  Shanghai itself would have three main foreign enclaves controlled by Britain, France, and the U.S.  What's really amazing, the foreign concessions all had extraterritorial status. Essentially, they were all exempt from Chinese law.

Today, Shanghai is, by population, the largest city in the world.

Click on Views of the World in labels to see other cards in the series.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Views of the World, Harbor of Hong Kong, China

For those of you who were waiting for a continuation of this series, you are in luck.  Views of the World (Click in labels for the others.) is back!

Anyway, I'm not going to go into too much detail about the history of Hong Kong.  There's plenty of info available on line, and quite frankly, it would take way too long to type it all up.  In a nutshell, Hong Kong Island wasn't much until the First Opium War.  The freebooters of The British East India Company were making lots of cash addicting the people of China to opium.  When the Chinese Emperor objected to seeing his people all zoned out, and decided to end the opium trade, the British invaded, won, and forced China to cede the island to them in perpetuity.  After the Second Opium War, the Brits added the Kowloon Peninsula to their colonial empire.  In the end, China wanted it's territory back, England wasn't in a position to stop a takeover by force, so, after all the diplomatic niceties were observed, China got it's land back.  Technically, the Chinese dictatorship is supposed to recognize the democratic rights of Hong Kong's citizens, but that's an iffy thing.

Friday, November 27, 2015


I'm going shopping today.  I'm going to the 99 Cents Only Store and buying toilet paper.  I blame myself for this.  I wasn't paying attention and now I'm forced to visit a store on black Friday.

Okay, I keep hearing about how the so called great recession (I think it actually qualified as a depression.) has made people skittish about spending money.  I think an equally viable explanation is that people realized they didn't rally need a 60 inch flat screen, a giant SUV, or a $1500 dollar designer purse to be happy.  Perhaps people aren't afraid to spend,  perhaps they just don't see the need to spend.  I'm just saying.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Farm Family

I have to point this out.  The two ladies on the right look fairly masculine.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Written on the back, "Urbino Rodriquez"  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Car Picnic

I have a few photos like this in the collection, people who have driven their autos out into the countryside.  I always get the impression that they're first generation city dwellers, gone back to their rural roots.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Antenna Head

Yes, I know.  Those aren't antennas.  She's wearing some sort of turban held in place by really big hairpins.  Click on the image and bring it up in a bigger window, and you'll also she she's holding a Look magazine and maybe a very small can of beer.  Ah the good old days.  Well, if nothing else, I miss picture magazines like Life and Look, and now that Rupert Murdoch has taken over The National Geographic...I'm not hopeful.

Stamped on the back, "R. HERVEY ANGIER JUL 27 1941."  As a rule, if a photo has any sort of mark that can ID a photographer, studio, or processing lab, I do a quick search for any info I can dig up.  I wasn't hopeful on this one, more a snapshot than a professional portrait.  I figured I was looking for an amateur with a rubber stamp rather than a professional.

My search for R. Hervey Angier photographer wasn't too successful but remove photog and I came up with a couple of maybes.  From the April 1956 issue of Railroad Magazine "R. Hervey Angier, Los Angeles, Southern Pacific hogger is a timetable collector with a collection of over 1000."  From the October 56 issue of the same magazine, "R. Hervey Angier, SP engineer has an unusual hobby, he collects conductors' punch designs."

Then things got kind of creepy.  From 1941, the date of the stamp, a Hervey Angier, without the R was appealing his conviction for unlawful sex with a minor, actually two minors, girls aged five and seven, based on the legal definition of copulation.  His lawyer argued that in California the law defined copulation as intercourse and since Hervey had performed oral sex on his victims, without penetration, he hadn't committed a crime.  I couldn't find any information on the outcome of his appeal.

Of course, R. Hervey Angier the photographer, might not be the same Angier as the sex offender, who might not be the same Angier as the railroader.  But it is an unusual name so one has to wonder.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Big Pines

Written on the back "January-1941 Big Pines"  I'm always fascinated when I find a photo dated a year or so before America's entry into World War 2.  It's natural to be curious about the lives of people in photographs, and when the image is of people who are about to be thrust into the most destructive war in world history, the most obvious thing to wonder is this; Did this person die in the war?  These two guys look to be in the sweet spot for military service and it's quite certain that at least one of them was in the military, probably both.  But did they survive?  And if they did, did they come back unscathed?

Big Pines is a small community in The Angeles National Forest.  It abuts Wrightwood.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


A nice thing about eBay is that I can purchase old photos from anywhere in the world.   (That is when I can afford 'em, which isn't often.)   Anyway, I found this nice photo of young baseball players from a seller in Japan.  At first I was a bit confused.  Why were  these Japanese baseball players wearing jerseys with English lettering?  Was it possible that this picture was taken in someplace like Fresno, and mailed back to family in someplace like Tokyo?   Then I did some research and discovered that the logos for all the teams in the Japanese major leagues are in English.  The only explanation I could think of was that baseball originated in the United States and Japanese baseball fans crave authenticity, so English it is.

But what does that word mean?  The first thing I had to do was determine the first letter.  Is that an F, so Fachi, or maybe Jachi, or Tachi?  The only other letter I thought it could be was G,  so I typed Gachi into the search engine and found a match on a site dedicated to Japanese slang.  Gachi, a game played earnestly, from sumo wrestling, short for Gachinko.  It might not be right, but it fits.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Melvine's Album Page, The Other Side

I looked it up, and couldn't find a Roxbury Heights in Buffalo, Wyoming.  I did, however, find one in Seattle, Washington.  The last post found a first and third grade Melvine in Wyoming. in 1940 and 1942, the year before and the year after America's entry into Word War 2.  On this side of the album page, Mel is twelve years old, so probably around 1946 or 47.  I suspect the war moved Melvine and her family from rural Wyoming to war work at one of the aircraft factories or shipyards around Puget Sound.  The war is over and there's no reason to return to small town life.

My father, a World War 2 veteran thought the war was good for a lot of Americans.  His reasoning was that both the war and the great depression forced people, content to live small town, isolated lives, into the greater world around them.  Of course, he survived.

For those having trouble reading the captions, in order, "Mel & Penny," "Bev Ron Marie & Judy,"  "Mel-12 yr old," "Birthday party 12 yr old Roxbury Hgts,"  "Mel,"  "Mel & Baby Ann Peirson," "Mel," and "Mel at Ann Butlers."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Melvine's Album Page

I often complain that too many photos albums lack labels.  Not this time, though I'm not sure I'm all that better off.    For those who are having a problem reading the captions, the top strip of images, all separate photos by the way, not multiple images printed on the same piece of paper, "Nell At Hunting Camp 1939"  And then, "Melvine 1st Grade Class" and then "Melvine 3rd Grade Class."  The next post will have pictures of Melvine, aged 12.   I'm not certain, but I think first grade Melvine is top row, far left.  Third grade Melvine, second row, five in from the left.

Buffalo Wyoming is a fairly small town.  The 1940 census listed 2302 residents though like most rural town schools, locals living beyond the town border would have also attended the local school.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I couldn't believe I had found a photo this fascinating.   Especially in Palmdale, California.  It makes me think of all the great film noir movies made in the forties and fifties.  Very femme fatale.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Culver City Trash, The Wounded Baby

My guess, the kid got tangled up in whatever that thing is he's wearing.  And so ends the Culver City Trash Collection (Click in labels.)