It is interesting to ponder the progress telecommunication has made in the last 150 years. We have gone from the telegraph all the way to the point that virtually everyone on earth is interconnected via cell phone. I find it interesting in traveling in Africa to see that people who have neither running water nor electricity have a cell phone. One of the steps along the way between the telegraph and the smartphone was the teletype. The teletype allowed an operator at one location to type on a keyboard, and that message be printed out at a different location. The technology was still very similar to the telegraph, but the teletype was like a typewriter and did not require the operator to know morse code.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Welcome to Western Union Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at historic pictures of this once great company, and the once important business of Telegrams. Back before the days of telephones and email, the only way to quickly get a message to someone was by telegram. You would go to a Western Union office, and a telegraph operator would take your message, and the message would be relayed to a Western Union office near the person you were trying to reach. The message would then be sent from that receiving office by messenger to the intended recipient. In cities, Western Union would employ large numbers of children and young men to deliver the telegrams by bicycle, horse, or any other imaginable means. Amazingly, telegrams could be sent all the way up until 2006, when the service was finally shut down. Now Western Union is in the business of doing money transfers. In particular, they are able to transfer money to foreign countries and to people who do not have bank accounts.
The picture above shows a 16 year old Western Union Messenger Boy in Montgomery, Alabama.
Friday, April 26, 2013
We wrap up New Orleans Week with this picture of a Street Tailor. It was taken in 1935. It seems that sewing is rapidly becoming a lost art. It is funny, though, that in Africa street tailors are still a common sight. People set up pedal sewing machines on the street in town, and will do simple mending or hemming jobs for anyone who will bring them work.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Today's picture shows the Sugar Cane fields outside of New Orleans. The picture was taken around 1890. I love the old steam locomotive. I am not sure why the train is stopped, but it has given us a chance to examine the amazing detail and engineering in these old locomotives.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Welcome to New Orleans Week here at OPOD. We will spend the week looking at old scenes in and around New Orleans. We start with this picture of cotton being loaded onto steamboats for transport at the Levee in New Orleans. The picture was taken around 1890.
Friday, April 19, 2013
We finish up Everglades Week with this picture of a party boating on the Tomoka River. The picture was taken about 1890. It looks like the group has come ashore at a makeshift landing. You miss so much when you do not stop and zoom in on the picture. Notice the man on the right is holding an alligator .
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I hope you all are enjoying these Florida Swamp pictures this week as much as I am. I think this is one of our best series in recent memory. Today's picture is another great one on this theme. The picture was taken near Silver Springs, Florida. I love the old riverboats, and if you zoom in, you can see a steam locomotive and passenger train in the background. Would have loved to have been there!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
Today we have a picture from about 1890, and it shows a boat on the Tomoka River coming into a landing. I really like the old style of this boat. With the smoke stack in the back, and the date on the picture, it is most likely steam powered. Notice the woman in the front is carrying a rifle.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Welcome to Everglades Week here at OPOD. We will spend the week looking around the swampland of Florida. I will admit that I have been to Florida quite a few times, but have never gotten back into the swamps. Hopefully we have some readers that can share some insight on the ins and outs of life in the everglades. Today's picture was taken on Rice Creek, near Brown's Landing. The picture was taken about 1890.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Country Life Week continues with this picture of a young man Baling Hay. After being cut, hay is fed through a machine that turns it into Bales. The bales are compact and can be transported and stored easier than loose hay. Back when I was growing up, bales were square, about 3 ft by 1 ft by 1 ft. They were stacked and stored in the barn, and used as feed in the winter time. Now, the big round bales are much more popular. The round bales are about 5 ft high and five foot across, and weigh over a thousand pounds. I am not sure why the big round bales became so popular, as to me it would seem they would be much harder to store in a barn.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
To me, this picture is so interesting that it almost looks fake, like it is out of a movie or something. But, in fact, it is a real picture taken in 1900 showing two girls milking a cow. It looks like the family lives in the mountains in a log cabin with a sod roof. The interesting thing is how rugged the conditions look, yet how neatly dressed the kids are.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Country Life continues today with this iconic image of a Farm Wife. The picture was taken in the 1930's, during the great depression. Funny how society today would not view this woman as attractive for the most part, but in the picture, she exudes virtue. She is a worker, and I am sure a wonderful mother and wife. Funny how much what we value has changed.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Welcome to Country Life Week here at OPOD. We will be examining pictures of rural lifestyles in a time when life was less hectic. My premise is that the further you get from the country, the higher your standard of living, but the lower your quality of life. Country Life is the Good Life! Your thoughts?
Friday, April 5, 2013
Wow, Going Fast Week really went fast, and we wrap the week up with this fine vintage photograph of a motorcycle racer. The picture was taken in 1913. I find the helmet interesting . . . it is better than nothing, but worry that it would offer little real protection in a crash. Ah yes, back in the days when risk takers were allowed to take risks!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Going Fast week continues here at OPOD as we look at this picture of Joe Dawson taking the checkered flag at the 1912 Indianapolis 500. It is amazing to me how early in the development of the automobile that men began to race. This was the second year of the Indy 500.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Going Fast Week continues here at OPOD with this picture of a quad cycle. These guys have figured out the way to go faster is to put more people on the bicycle. I do wonder how the math works. Certainly 4 people pedaling in line could go faster than one person, but they would not go four times as fast. I wonder what percent speed advantage you would get for each additional person over one. The picture was taken in 1898.