Friday, July 31, 2009

Doing Laundry

This picture was taken in about 1930, and shows women doing laundry in Tiberius. Again, no men in the picture.
Well, I am finally back online. A thunderstorm knocked my Internet connection out Wednesday night. I tried the old trick of walking down the street and hiding in my neighbors bushes and using his open WiFi connection. I got caught this time, and he sprayed water on me with his garden hose. Hence, there was no picture posted yesterday. Hopefully my connection is all up and working now, and I can get back to posting a picture every morning. Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Electric Washer

This picture was taken in 1945, and shows a woman with a new-fangled electric washing machine. The system is similar to earlier manual systems, but the clothes wringer is driven by an electric motor instead of a crank. The agitator in the tub is also driven by an electric motor. While this system still required lots of attention from the woman, it required much less manual exertion. Info with the picture indicates that the major advantage of the system is that women would have the laundry done by mid-day, leaving them "fresh" to complete the ironing by the end of the day. Wow, I have to say that I think that we forget how much easier and comfortable life is with the simple things like modern washing machines, and refrigerators.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mexican Laundry

This picture was taken in 1890 in Mexico City, and shows a group of women doing laundry. I am guessing this was a place you could drop your clothes off and have them washed. When I visited Mexico in the 1970's people were still washing clothes in wash tubs, or in the river.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wash Day

This picture was taken in 1939 near El Indio, Texas. It shows a woman washing clothes in a wash tub. Above the wash tub is a clothes wringer, which was operated by crank, and was used to remove excess water from the clothes prior to putting on a clothes line. When I was growing up in the 60's, the woman who lived down the road washed clothes this way. In the background you can see a cast iron pot, probably used to heat water for washing.

I also notice a nice flock of chickens. Now that I have the peacock palace completed, I am thinking about getting some chickens. Country eggs are so much better than store bought, and I think I pretty much have every thing I need to get some chickens going.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Woman Washing

Greetings! This is going to be Wash Week here at Old Picture of the Day, and we start with this picture from 1937. I find the picture fascinating. It shows the camp of a homeless family set off by the side of the highway. The family has lost everything, and it has come down to them living in a tent by the side of the road. The thing that is amazing is that with all this, you can see the woman washing clothes. The family has lost all, but they will have clean clothes, thanks to this dedicated mom.

I have become convinced that 90% of all the washing that has ever been done, has been done by women. I am not saying that it should have been that way, and I am not saying that washing is "women's work". I am simply saying if you tallied up all the washing that was ever done, you would find that it was done by women. Of the maybe 10% of the washing that has been done by men, that washing was likely done under the influence of women. I would explain it this way. Imagine a bachelor with 14 pairs of socks. He would wear one pair each day. At the end of the day, he would throw the used socks in a pile on the floor. At the end of 14 days he is out of clean socks. His natural instinct would be to make one more round through socks, and start re-wearing the once-worn socks in the pile. It is likely that most bachelors would in the end decide to wear the socks one more time. But, some bachelors would realize that they might run into a woman they liked that would be offended that they were re-wearing already once-worn socks. Based on the concern of offending a woman said bachelor might like, he probably would decide to go out and buy some new socks. If he did not have the extra money for new socks, he would probably first try to see if he could invite his mother over for dinner, in the hopes she would wash his socks while there. If that fails, he is out of options, and he might actually wash the socks. In this case, we have a man washing, but it is under the influence of women, in that he is concerned of how a woman might react to him wearing dirty socks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mystery Person Round 2

OK, Pope George Ringo humiliated me by winning the first contest in under two minutes. Now, I seek my revenge. Name the lady.

Mystery Person Contest

OK, this is Mystery Person Morning. I post the picture, you have to figure out who it is. Let the Games Begin!

Friday, July 24, 2009

David Crockett

No look at Texas would be complete without a portrait of Davy Crockett. Crockett was the famed Tennessee congressman who fought and died for Texas Independence at the Alamo. Perhaps one of Texas' greatest heroes.

What I like most about Davy Crockett is the manner in which he announced his exit from politics. He told his constituents, "You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas".

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Western Union Messenger Boy

This picture was taken in 1913 in Houston Texas. The picture shows J. T. Marshall, who at 11 years old was a messenger boy for Western Union. He delivered telegrams and messages throughout Houston, including the red light district. Child labor was very common in the 1910's across the country. I have to think that being a messenger boy would be a better job than some at the time, like working in a sweat shop or coal mining.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Texas Itinerate Farm Family

This picture was taken in 1913 and shows an itinerant farm family near Corsicana, Texas. I find this photograph very interesting. This large family is trying to make a living growing cotton on 50 acres. The entire family works the fields, which they rent. It was a very hard way to try and scratch out a living.

Domestic Update: Peacock Palace is Completed. This is a major milestone. Yesterday Cesar and the workmen finished up the Peacock Palace. I think it came out really nice. Mrs. PJM came home yesterday to find the job was complete, and she was delighted. We moved Lovie and the Chicks into the palace, and they were happy to get out of the little cage. Now, after reading up on peacocks, I am told we need to leave them closed up in there for 6 months for them to learn that this is their home. We will build a little pen behind the palace, all enclosed in hail screen. This will allow them to walk out the little back door of the palace, and have a little area to walk around in outside. I have to say the peacocks were a great move on my part, and has doubtlessly gained my many points with Mrs. PJM.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Captain Samuel Walker

Today we feature a portrait of Captain Samuel Walker, a Texas Ranger. The picture was taken in 1846 by Mathew Brady. Walker fought in the Mexican war under Zachary Taylor and General Winfield Scott. As a Texas Ranger, he was not satisfied with the sidearms of the day. He made a trip to New York, and met with Samuel Colt. He described to Colt the type of firearm needed by the Rangers. The outcome of the meeting was the Colt Walker. The Colt Walker became a legend, and favorite sidearm of mounted cavalry.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Farmer's Market

This picture shows a Farmer's Market in San Antonio, Texas. It was taken in 1880. The picture shows various people buying and selling at the market. I really like San Antonio. It is a very old city, and has a unique culture and history. We live about 4 hours from San Antonio, and it is a great weekend trip.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Early Bird Special

OK, this is Saturday, and we have the Mystery Person Contest this morning here at Old Picture of the Day. Ready, Set, Go!!!

Oh yes, to all you Naysayers out there, I fixed the sink yesterday. Did not call the plumber, I got it done all by myself. It only took about 3 minutes to put the faucet on. Problem was, it took 6 hours to get the old one off. It had the big nut way up under the sink, and no tool known to man could fit up in there to loosen it. It took me all day to get it done, and there were no leaks. Well, Mrs. PJM came home, and she was just delighted. She was squealing with joy seeing that I had gotten the j0b done. I am viewed now as being a real peach of a husband. This, and the peacock project have propelled me to super-husband status. OK, there was one little setback on the sink project. Seeing how Mrs. PJM was so happy to have the sink working, and how joyful she was, I blurted out, "Well, Happy Birthday!" We then had one of those, what they call, "learning moments". (Note to Self: Women do not consider home repairs as suitable Birthday gifts). Daughter and I are now on our way to Fredericksburg, Tx. to birthday shop for Mrs. PJM.

OK, now that I have the sink fixed, I note that Mrs. PJM is in there this morning washing her hair in the sink. Would someone help me understand why women wash their hair in the kitchen sink? Understand our situation. Our house has three bathrooms. Each is fully functional, well equipped, and stocked with all necessary supplies. There are three people living in our house. So, each person has their very own bathroom. Now, when I step in the kitchen, Mrs. PJM is in their washing her hair. I come back a little later, and daughter is washing her hair in there. If daughter has friends over, I go in the kitchen, and they are all washing their hair in the kitchen. Also note, I have never seen a man wash his hair in the kitchen sink. Why dont women just wash their hair in the shower. Would that not be easier? Women, please advise.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Suffrage Protest

This picture was taken in 1917, and shows a woman at a suffrage protest. The women were protesting the recent arrest and incarceration of some of their fellow protesters. I find it interesting that just about every person in every picture this week was wearing a hat. I wonder if hats will ever come back in style.

Domestic Update: No progress on the peacock palace. The workers are still waiting on the metal roof. Once that comes in, they should be able to finish up in a day I think. I would say that this is only a minor setback. Mrs. PJM appears to still be very happy, and I am still basking in the glow of this whole peacock project. If asked to rate where I stand these day, I would put it at 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. Why just a 9 you ask? Well, last night over dinner Mrs. PJM mentioned that maybe I should call the plumber and have that sink in the utility room fixed. She was nice about it, but I can see that the peacock distraction will only work for so long, and I need to get back on that project. Understand that it is not like I am just sitting around doing nothing. About a month ago my computer got a very ugly virus. There was no way to get rid of it. No matter what I did, it would reinstall itself after a few days. I finally bought two completely new hard drives, and reinstalled everything from scratch. This got rid of the virus, but then my computer was running very, very slow. I tried everything possible. I reinstalled every new driver imaginable, but could not get it working right. Finally, I figured out that the video card was going out, and by replacing the card, the computer started running fast again. So, my computer is back at peak performance. Now, I need to start thinking about getting around to the sink project.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Suffrage Crowd

This picture was taken on Wall Street in New York in 1913. The picture shows Mrs. Pankhurst standing in her car in a Suffrage parade. The size of the crowd is somewhat surprising. I find it interesting to look at the people in the crowd. Every person is wearing a hat. Also, notice the homogeneity of the crowd. Today, you would never see such a homogeneous crowd of this size.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Today we feature a picture of two Suffragists. The picture shows Mrs. Stanley McCormick and Mrs. Charles Parker, and was taken in 1913. I am happy to see that they have a decent sized sign, unlike the picture from yesterday. However, I am concerned that the message on the sign is not very snappy. I am becoming more convinced that the length of the suffrage movement was prolonged by the lack of proper signage. The movement was finally successful in 1920, but as some have pointed out, there are many places in the world where women still can not vote. I am sometimes surprised that there is not more discussion of the treatment of women in middle eastern countries, where all types of brutality, including murder can be legal in matters of men's "honor".

Update: Many of the longer term readers of this blog will remember a remarkable young man named Dustin that I had as a student last year. When I met him he was a very troubled young man. Most of the teachers feared him, and he had made many mistakes along the way. Most everyone had given up on him, and felt that there was no way his story could end up good. I had the privilege of watching him make an amazing transformation during the year. He learned how to be a gentleman, and how to overcome his past mistakes. Towards the end of the school year, he even decided to enter an essay contest to win a trip to Washington DC. He actually won the contest. Dustin was a really poor kid, so I described his story to readers on this blog, and described how while it was an expense paid trip, Dustin was in need of money for some new clothes, and some pocket money for the trip. The response was overwhelming, with readers contributing over $1,400 in the matter of a few hours. When I presented the contributions to Dustin at school, Dustin took the money, and gave 100% of it to the school to create a new scholarship fund for other students, and kept none for himself. Instead, he chopped firewood for people, and did yard work to put together the money he needed for the trip.

I have gotten lots of email from people asking how his trip went. I am happy to report that he truly had a wonderful time. It was the first time he had ever been on an airplane, and the first time he had ever been more than 45 miles from his home. As part of the trip, he was able to meet with his congressmen with a group of other students. During the meeting he made a very large impression on the congressmen. After the meeting, the congressmen told Dustin that he would like to meet with him for a few minutes one-on-one. After the other students left, the congressman told Dustin, "Dustin you are a very intelligent young man and you know a a lot about the world and politics for your age. Dustin I know you will be a very important man in our country one day." The congressman did not know anything about Dustin's story, this was based on nothing other than the impression Dustin made on him in the larger meeting.

It is hard to fully appreciate this without knowing him at the first of last year, as he was by far the toughest kid in school. I tell this story because of the important role the readers of this blog played in his transformation. Dustin, and the class of tough kids he was in, received many hundreds of encouraging emails from readers of this blog, complimenting him on the work he did in building a WEB site. This was something that changed his perspective completely. Many even mailed in interesting gifts to the group. Then, even though he did not keep the money that was sent in, the generosity of people he did not know profoundly changed his perspective on life.

I tell this story because I think that there is an important lesson for us all. We can never give up on kids. Situations that might look hopeless are not. When people care, miracles can happen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suffrage Sign

The Suffrage movement went on for a long time. The movement really got going around 1850, and was not successful until 1920, when the 19th amendment was passed. In looking at these old pictures, I think I figured out part of the problem . . . their signs were too small. If you look at political rallies today, the signs are much bigger. Even the home made ones are much bigger than the one this woman has, and the ones today usually are very clever in some way. Anyway, I find the picture interesting. It was made in 1916.

Domestic Update: Progress has been made on the Peacock Palace. The pictures below show that it is just about finished. If the roofing material comes in today, they should be able to just about wrap it up.

This picture shows the structure from the front. It has a normal door in the front. The rectangle on the front is a flap that folds up. Behind the flap is screen wire. So in the summer, the flap will come up, and it should be cool inside. There is a similar flap on the left side, out of view in this shot. With the two flaps open, there should be a nice cross-breeze inside.

This picture shows the back side of the peacock house. You can see a little trap door. I am going to build a little pen in the back, so they can go out, and walk around. The pen will have screen top, bottom, and all sides. The key is have it secure so coons can not get in.

I read that the peacocks need to be penned up for about 6 months to learn that this is there home. After that, they can be let loose to roam during the day, and then at night, they will return to their little home.

Anyway, Mrs. PJM is just delighted with how this is turning out. I will be going to town today to look around at tractors.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Suffrage Parade

This picture was taken in 1914, and shows a Suffrage Parade in Washington DC. The picture shows a very large wagon, with various campaign messages for the effort.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Suffrage Week

This is going to be Women's Suffrage week here at Old Picture of the Day. We kick the week off with this picture of Inez Milholland Boissevain mounted on horseback in a Suffrage Parade in 1913. Ms. Boissevain was a lawyer, and was an ardent supporter of not only the Suffrage Movement, but African American rights, and the rights of workers in sweat shop. She died unexpectedly at the early age of about 30.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mystery Person

Today is Saturday and that means Mystery Person Contest. OK lets get going!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gas Station

Today's picture was taken in Edcouch, Texas in 1939, and shows a Gasoline Station. I wonder how many of you can remember when all the gas stations were Full Service. You would park your car by the pump in a nice shaded area. As you pulled in, you would drive over a cord in the road, and a loud bell would ring back in the service garage. The guy would run out, ask what type of gas you wanted, and would then gas the car up for you. While your car was gassing up, he would wash the windshield, check the oil, check he tire pressure, while all the time chit chatting with you. At the gas station we went to, after finishing up, he would give all the kids a complimentary piece of bubble gum. I have to say that in most things, service is much, much worse these days. Service used to be much more personal, and much better, when the business establishments were owned by the proprietors.

DOMESTIC UPDATE: Project Peacock Palace made huge advances yesterday. The workers came out and worked all day (at 103 degrees I might add) and got the structure pretty much framed up. If you remember, I had not told Mrs. PJM that the project was underway the prior day, and when she got home, she did not notice that the foundation had been poured. Well, when she got home yesterday evening she was shocked to see that the structure was up and really looked nice. Here are a few pictures.

Mrs. PJM was absolutely DELIGHTED when she got home and saw that he Peacock Palace was almost done. I got huge points for pulling this deal off without a hitch. I must say that it is unimaginable now that I won't get my tractor come next Birthday. In fact, I have decided I should up my list to not only get the tractor, but the attachments as well. I am thinking it needs a front end loader, a pull behind mower, a tiller for a garden, and an auger to dig holes for new trees. Yep, the only real question now is do I ask for a red one or a blue one.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

General Store

This picture was taken in 1910, in Detroit, Michigan. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I think there was a more positive shopping experience in these old proprietor owned stores. Before World War II, my dad had a store not unlike this one in Fort Davis, Texas. Fort Davis is a small community in the Davis Mountains in West Texas. He also had the Limpia Hotel there. People used to go to Fort Davis in the Summer to escape the Texas heat. I went through there some time ago, and the hotel is still operating, and the general store building is there, but it is now a community center.

DOMESTIC UPDATE: Project Peacock Palace achieved a breakthrough yesterday, as the cement men showed up and poured the foundation for said palace.

If you look back in the trees, you can see the men building the forms for the foundation. The pickup and trailer has all their equipment.

This picture shows the cement truck pouring the cement into the forms. It was 107 yesterday, so a pretty hot day to be working in the sun. Once the men got the forms built, it was going to be about an hour before the cement truck arrived, so they all ran over to the river and went for a swim. I bet that was a refreshing break. They got the project all done, and now we should be ready for the next phase of construction. Mrs. PJM was at work, so she missed the excitement. When she got home, she did not notice the foundation had been done, and I did not tell her. Hopefully she will come home soon and be surprised to see the whole job done. Yep, that would get me a tractor next Birthday for sure.

For those of you who might be thinking of getting peacocks, I have been experimenting to see what they like to eat. These are my preliminary results.

What Peacocks Like to Eat: (In order of their preferences)

1) Boiled Eggs

2) That slimy seed pouch in the middle of a cantaloupe

3) Ripe tomatoes

4) Bing Cherries

5) Lettuce (not the normal lettuce, but the fancy kind)

6) Peacock food (the kind from the feed store)

What Peacocks do not Like to Eat:

1) Wolf canned chili

2) Bush's baked beans

3) Spam

4) Onions

5) Garlic

So, I think I am homing in on a good diet for them. I still think we should not provide their food, but let them forage, but Mrs. PJM still insists that we feed them.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grocery Store

Today's picture comes from Lincoln, Nebraska, and was taken in 1942. Despite a more limited selection, I would much rather shop at a store like this than the modern behemoths like Super Walmart. Unfortunately, little grocery stores like this are pretty much a thing of the past in most places.

DOMESTIC UPDATE: OK, I finally got my Internet connection back up this morning, so no more sneaking around town looking for an open WiFi connection to post the Old Picture of the Day. As someone said in a comment yesterday, there are some downsides to rural living, and one is poor Internet service. A small price to pay for a more relaxed lifestyle, I say.

The peacocks are doing well. Lovie is a wonderful mother, and little Festus continues to distinguish himself as a wonderful little pea-chick. Now, there is the issue that the babies are growing up quickly, and are outgrowing the cage on the screened in porch. As you know, I contracted two weeks ago for the construction of Mrs. PJM's Peacock Palace. However, the contractor has not started on the project yet. When I call and ask, he says he is waiting on the cement man to do the foundation/floor. He is unable to give me a firm start date, and the babies are getting bigger every day. Hopefully they will be able to start soon.

Many have written and expressed concern over the cost of the Peacock Palace, as it was totally not expected when I took delivery of the "Free" peacock flock. Well, I am happy to tell you that money is no longer an issue. I have found an amazing source of revenue which will pay for the Peacock Palace, and pretty much whatever else I want. I know, you probably think I am going to try to get you to buy my amazing get rich quick system. No, you are wrong, I am going to give it to you for free. Not just part of it, but the whole system. Almost anyone can do it, and it promises to end all your financial struggles. What is it you ask? Well, I have two simple words for you . . . Selling Lightbulbs. I know, I know, you all are thinking that you can not possibly make money selling lightbulbs as they wholesale for about 67 cents, and retail for about 80 cents. There could not possibly be any money to be made in lightbulbs. Well, there is a trick, and that trick is that you keep selling the same lightbulbs over and over. Here is how it works; If I walk into a room and daughter has left a light on, and no one is in the room, I take the lightbulb. If she wants the lightbulb back, she has to buy it from me for $1. She is welcome to purchase lightbulbs elsewhere, but we are 40 minutes from the nearest Walmart, so she just buys the missing bulb from me. If one lightswitch controls, say, 4 light bulbs, and the switch is left on, I take all 4 lightbulbs. The system not only generates revenue from the sale and resale of lightbulbs, it has also had a noticeable impact on the electric bill.

The program has worked so well, I have recently expanded it. If a lamp is left on, I take the whole lamp. Cost to buy the lamp back is $20. Ceiling fans are going for $50 + $35 re-installation fee. Curling irons are going for $10, and TV's are $250.

Yep, the Peacock Palace will be paid for in no time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Car Dealer

This picture was taken in Ohio in 1938 and shows a couple of used car salesmen in front of their shop. Really captures the slower pace of a bygone era.

Now, I still do not have an Internet connection. Right now I am hiding under some guy's bushes that does have an Internet connection, and an unsecured WiFi running. Hope he does not catch me, but the cammo face paint should help. No word on when mine will get fixed. When I call, they say "we are working on it, no ETA". Anyway, hopefully it will be working soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Internet connection down

Due to a thunderstorm last night my internet connection is down . . . so no picture for you today. Hopefully they will get it fixed by tomorrow. I get my internet beamed to me from a tower a mile or so away, and the tower got struck by lightening and took everything down.

Sorry, and will get back at posting pictures as soon as it is fixed. Right now I am "borrowing" someone's unsecured WiFi, but not good enough to get a picture up.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Natchez, Mississippi

This picture was taken in 1940, and shows a storefront in Natchez, Mississippi. I really like the unique nature of these old stores. Each one was different. Now it sometimes feels like every store in every city is about the same.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mystery Person

Happy July the 4th to everyone! Hope you all have some great plans today, and do not spend the entire day on this silly contest. OK, GO!

Friday, July 3, 2009

General William Tecumseh Sherman

This picture was taken in 1864, and Shows General William Tecumseh Sherman on a horse outside Atlanta. Even to this day there are a lot of hard feelings towards Sherman in the South. He burned Atlanta, and followed it up with his "March to the Sea", where he destroyed pretty much everything along the way. The civilians in his path lost everything, as his army looted and burned. My great-grandfather was serving as a Colonel in the Confederate Army near Atlanta at the time. Seeing what Sherman was going to do, he sent a messenger to his family, and told them to take what they could, and he would meet them in Cass County, Texas after the war. He did catch up with his family after the war, and they got a new start in Texas. That is how my family ended up in Texas.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Civil War Women

This picture was taken in a Civil War Camp near Washington DC in 1862. Interesting thing is that it shows a soldier with his wife and children. It is hard to say if the woman had just come to visit her husband, or if she was living there in the camp. Either way, it makes an interesting picture.