Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ludlow Massacre

Well, 1914 was not all ship christenings and movie debuts. It was also the year of the Ludlow Massacre. This was a not so pleasant incident that occurred in Colorado. I group of about 1200 striking miners and their families were staying in a camp outside the mines. The Colorado National Guard, and mine guards attached the camp, and over 20 people were killed. Truly a dark day in our history.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mary Pickford

We continue our review of the year 1914 with this image of Mary Pickford, who starred in the 1914 movie Hearts Adrift. She became a movie sensation and one of the first true Movie Stars.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Year 1914

Since we will be moving into 2014 this week, I thought it would be fun to go back and review the year 1914. Amazing how much things have changed in the last 100 years! Anyway, one of the things that happened early in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his film debut. This was in the earliest days of motion pictures, and Chaplin helped to usher in the ubiquitous popularity of the medium. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Clean Up

Hopefully most of you have gotten things cleaned up and put away from the Christmas festivities. I have been enjoying  a little time off between semesters and have been getting caught up on things around the house.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Nap Time

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and hope you have some time today to get some rest. Do you remember back in elementary school when Nap Time was an official part of the curriculum? To me, school has never been the same since they did away with naps. I dont know about you, but I could really use about a 15 minute nap every day after lunch.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I hope you all have a blessed and peaceful day today and enjoy the celebration of Christmas Eve. The picture above shows a snowy day in Bethlehem.

Monday, December 23, 2013

New York Shoppers

Today's picture shows last minute shoppers in New York City for the 1910 Christmas Season. Do you see Santa in the picture?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Last Minute Shoppers

I am hoping you all have all your Christmas Shopping done already, but there are always a few people who wait to the last minute. This picture shows some last minute shoppers in 1941 at the Woolworth's five and dime. How many of you remember Woolworth's? I am not sure when they went out of business, but probably some time in the mid-1980's.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Shopping

This week we will be looking at Christmas Pictures from bygone days. We start with this picture of Christmas Shoppers in New York from about 1900.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Today's picture wraps up our Turn of the Century series. It shows a group of ladies getting into a carriage. Interestingly enough, the picture was taken by Wilbur and Orville Wright, who were avid photographers.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Horse Drawn Trolley

We continue looking at pictures from the turn of the last century. Today's picture is from Palm Beach, Florida, and it shows a wonderful scene with a horse drawn trolley. This looks like a thoroughly enjoyable mode of transportation.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peanut Stand

Today we have a picture of a peanut vendor on the Streets of New York City. The picture was taken on West 42nd street. I am betting the fresh roasted peanuts were quiet tasty. The picture was taken in 1900.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Today's picture shows a group of people relaxing on a dock in New York City. The picture was taken in 1900.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cab Stand

This might be one of my all time favorite OPOD photographs. It shows a Cab Stand on Madison Square in New York. The picture was taken in 1900. It amazes me the elegance and peacefulness captured in the scene. Yes, I do long for the old days, where life happened at a slower pace.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Battery Park

We continue to examine the elegance of the turn of the century with this picture from 1900. It shows a group of emigrants at Battery Park in New York. Everyone is dressed so nicely.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Welcome to Turn of the Century Week here at OPOD. We will be going back to a day where things were more elegant and well crafted. I love this picture of the Hansom above. Everything is so well crafted, and there is an overall sense of elegance in the picture that you just don't see today. We live in a world of cheap, mass produced plastic trinkets that are used and thrown away . . . never fixed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Cold Weather Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of some girls sledding. The picture was taken around 1915. Looks like they are having a lot of fun.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Mexico Snow

Today's picture shows a rancher out in the snow in New Mexico. Cold weather is particularly hard on ranchers, because they usually have to be out in it, tending to the livestock, which themselves are really stressed by cold weather. This picture was taken in 1943.

We are still frozen here in West Texas. It has gotten above freezing in the day enough to clear the main roads, but off the roads, things are still frozen and slick.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

City Storm

Today's picture shows a nice snow storm in Parkersburg, West Virginia. It looks like the snow is coming down, but has not yet accumulated on the ground much. The picture was taken in 1940.

Well, our "thaw" was short lived. Yesterday it stayed freezing all day, and we had some more precipitation. I am hoping the roads are not too bad this morning. I read that this is the coldest winter around here in the last 35 years.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Today's picture shows the thaw after a blizzard in New York City. The picture was taken in 1899. Well, we finally got a little thaw yesterday here in West Texas. The temperature got up into the 30's. It is still pretty slick out there, but I will attempt to make it to work. Hope you all are having good weather.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ice Storm

OK, I have decided to extend Cold Weather week for another week here at OPOD. The reason is that I am still "iced in" here. Thursday night we had very cold weather and precipitation. It has not gotten above freezing since then, so the roads around my house are still a sheet of ice. This morning it is 19 degrees, which is a hard freeze for around here. As I mentioned earlier, they don't salt or sand the streets so when it gets like this you are pretty much stuck at home.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bus in Snow

OK, today's picture sows a couple getting on a bus in Ohio after a snow storm. The picture was taken in 1940.

Don't know what the weather is like where you are, but we had another winter storm blow in. For us, we rarely get much snow, but the issue is almost always sleet and ice storms. Right now everything is covered in ice, and the schools are on a two hour delay (for now). If the roads don't thaw, then they will cancel school for the day.

People that live in really cold climates may scoff at our "winter storms", but what they don't realize is that they really are bad, because the infrastructure is not set up to handle ice. For example, they do not do anything for the ice on the roads. Last weekend when the ice storm hit, there were two fatalities in two separate wrecks on a 20 mile stretch of road between where I live and work. What happens is the roads appear to be fairly clear, and people think things are OK, and then hit ice patches on bridges and spin out. 

Anyway, let us know what your weather is looking like today.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Mexico Blizzard

This picture really captures our theme this week of Cold Weather. The picture shows a rancher going out in a blizzard to tend his livestock. The picture was taken in in the Moreno Valley in New Mexico. The picture was taken in 1943. I love the old gate and ranch house in the background.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This picture is the aftermath of a Snowstorm in New York City. The picture was taken in 1922. In the 1920's most cars did not have side windows, so as you can see in the car in the back, the snow could just come right in the car. It looks like the car in front had some sort of side curtains. In any event, I bet it was hard to get those cars crank started in that weather!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blizzard Cleanup

This picture shows the aftermath of a Blizzard in New York City. I guess they have to clear the streets of all the snow, so have to haul the snow off. This picture shows wagonloads of snow, all waiting in line to dump the snow in the river. The picture was taken in 1899. Keeping the streets clear on those days must have been a big job.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Children in the Snow

Cold Weather week continues with this picture of children playing in the snow. The picture was taken in Central Park in New York in 1900. The sled looks like a great toy. Growing up, we never got enough snow to have sleds.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sleigh Ride

Winter and cold weather are here for most of us, so I thought it would be good to have a week of cold winter scenery. We start the week with this scene from Washington DC of a horse-drawn sleigh. The picture was taken in 1935. I am surprised there were still people with sleighs in town at this late date.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and lots of good food and time with family, and time to reflect on all we can be thankful for. I am hopeful you will resist the intense pressure of turning this time into rampant commercialism. As far as Black Friday . . . JUST STAY HOME!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hunter Gatherer Week Resumes!

Despite the protests, Hunter Gatherer Week continues here at OPOD. We have this photograph from 1924 where an Eskimo has just bagged a fine looking Polar Bear. 

Yes, it appears that my post from last Saturday ruffled a few feathers. I think it was my reference to men these days being spineless woosies. This tends to not sit well with some people, who have a vested interest in men remaining woosies. I had lots of comments and emails on that one. Even the long silent Evil Nate Maas was stirred to comment, and call me a woos for being iced in and not posting for two days. Well, the ice storm knocked out power lines, so most people have not had electricity, which then also takes down internet service. Luckily things have thawed and I am again able to leave my abode.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iced In

Still no internet here in Christoval. Hopefully we will thaw today and I can resume posting tomorrow.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bear Hunters

Welcome to Hunter Gatherer Week here at OPOD. We will look at pictures from back in the day when men were really men. Back before political correctness and before men became spineless woosies. We start with picture of Bear Hunters. Wow, what an exciting life that must have been! The picture was taken in Alaska in 1906.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter Carnival

We wrap up Carnival Week with this picture of the Winter Carnival near Upper Saranac Lake in New York. The picture was taken in 1909. Lots of interesting details looking at the clothing.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


A key part of carnivals has historically been the "Side Shows", although with all the political correctness, they tend to not be as interesting in the past. In looking at the picture above, I can not help but wonder what was waiting for the spectators when they went inside.

I went to several side shows over the years, and remember that back in the 1970's there were still some pretty good ones, but they have gone downhill since then. I went to one at the State Fair of Texas that had a sword swallower (man could hold his head back and put a sword all the way down his throat), a fire eater (he would put kerosene in his mouth and then spit it out over a match, spitting out a large flame of fire), the Walrus Man (a man with no arms but with hands coming out his shoulder, Popeye (could pop his eyes out of socket), the Alligator Woman (had a skin disorder and you could strike a match on her skin), and then a guy who would drive nails up his nose and put fish hooks through his tounge.  Since then, side shows are mostly great graphics on the outside, but not really much once you get in.

Please share your side show memories.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cotton Candy

If you have ever been to a Carnival, you probably remember the food. Here we have a little girl enjoying some cotton candy. This was back when it was made fresh right on the spot. Cotton candy is pretty interesting. It is pretty much fiberglass made out of pure sugar, with a little pink die thrown in. I will have to admit though, my favorite carnival food is the funnel cake.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Carnival Carousel

Today we feature a picture of a pretty benign carnival ride . . . the Horse Carousel. While is moves pretty slow, these rides really make me sick. Especially the ones that have the horses going up and down. Also, it is a long ride, so I am really ready to be sick by the time it is over. The picture is from the Cotton Carnival in Memphis, Tennessee, taken in 1940.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Today's picture shows one of the main attractions of a carnival . . . the rides! I will have to say though that spinning rides like this one definitely make me sick. The picture was taken in Plant City, Florida in 1939.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ferris Wheel

OK, who does not love a Ferris Wheel? It is a fun ride that is exciting but not too scary. The lines are usually short, you get a reasonably long ride, and it does not make you sick.

This picture is from a carnival in Brownsville, Texas and it was taken in 1942.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Carnival Week

Welcome to Carnival Week here at OPOD. We will look at the old time tradition of traveling carnivals. Yes, I have been to the big theme parks like Disney Land, but to me they are just not the same as the small traveling carnival coming to town. Hopefully you all will share your fond childhood memories of the carnival.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Today's picture is from Dutch Flat, California. It was a mining town in the mid-1800's. It looks like this guy was not so much skiing for sport as he was out of necessity. Looks like a pretty cold winter.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Today's picture shows another past time of days gone by . . . sledding. I have never sledded because there was not much snow growing up in West Texas. Perhaps someone with some real sledding experience as a child could share with us. I do recognize the wagon in the background. We had a red wagon just like the one pictured and it was loads of fun.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Sporting week continues today with this picture of a Bowling Alley. The picture was taken in 1910. You can see that this was before the days of automated lanes, so each lane had a young kid at the end to set up the pins. I can remember being in bowling alleys in Mexico when I was young where this sort of setup was still used.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ice Skating

This week we are looking at pictures of leisure sporting activities people used to do. Today's picture shows ice skating. Growing up in West Texas, I never did a lot of ice skating, but it does look like a lot of fun. This picture was taken in Washington DC. Perhaps if there are any leisure skaters out there, they could shed more light on the activity.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Sport Week continues today with this picture of a man with some pretty fancy mechanized skates. I am not sure exactly how they work, but it looks like that by creating a running type motion the wheels on the skates are made to spin. I can certainly say that I have never seen anything like this, and would like to know more about how they work.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cambridge Crew

OPOD continues to encourage people to get off the couch and do something! Today we feature a picture of the Rowing Crew from Cambridge University. The picture is from about 1910.

All kidding aside, it really concerns me how obese we are becoming, and particularly our young people. It is this terrible combination of terrible eating habits and complete lack of physical activity. When a child weighs over 200 pounds in 9th grade, where do they go from there? It is frightening to me. We need to get off the junk food, eat healthy, and get off the couch!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Last week we looked at the toys of bygone days, in the hopes that we would once again give our children our time and attention, and toys that would spur their imagination and creativity. This week we continue with the idea of people needing to get off the couch and outside doing things. So, we will be looking at sporting activities. We start with this wonderful picture from 1908 of a woman golfer. I love the grand clothes from this time period.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Another past time that you don't see too much with young people today is Kiting. Growing up, there were few things more fun than building and flying a kite. There were a wide range of options, from simple dime store kites that could be assembled in a few minutes to large, high flying, elaborate designs. The one shown above was being used to study wireless radio and telegraphy. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Erector Sets

Another one of the great toys from my childhood was the Erector Set. The Erector Set contained a variety of metal beams and other pieces that allowed you to build various mechanical structures. I think they still make erector sets, but I don't think that they are very popular.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Train Set

When I was growing up a Train Set was probably pretty close to being the ultimate toy. Kids would not just put the train set together, they would build elaborate models of little towns and country scenes to make the train more real. I think this hobby is another one that is pretty much left to the old timers at this point.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I think one of the often overlooked educational toys is a microscope. A microscope can provide children with an exciting learning experience. It spurs curiosity about science and nature. This picture was taken in 1943 at the Bethune-Cookman college in Florida.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Model Airplane

Today's picture shows a boy playing with a model airplane. Back in the day, model building was a favorite past time of young boys.Building a flyable airplane such as this one took time, patience and attention to detail. The models were typically built out of balsa wood and then covered with tissue paper.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Soap Box Derby

This week we are looking at the things children play with, and more specifically, we are thinking about what children learn from the things we give them. Today's picture shows a "Soap Box Derby" car. These were typically small push cars that children built, with help from their parents. The cars were used to push around the neighborhood, or used in down hill races or rallies that were held periodically in the community. The good thing about these was that Children learned to image, create, and build. It also provided quality time with the parents or grandparents.