Check out the forgotten world of stand pipes — tall, cylindrical water towers often the pride and joy of cities and towns.
What looks like a ghostly apparition was, in fact, a handy-dandy rubberized portable darkroom with which one could drape oneself whilst processing photographic plates. Read more….
Interested in a step-by-step illustrated tutorial on how a telephone call was completed in 1911, when operators were needed to place all calls? Look no further! Click to read more…
Figs? I don’t even like figs, but I came across a great photo from about 1910 of a young Texas farmer in a derby hat, clutching a fig plant… and the next thing I knew, I was deep into a search for more photos of Texas fig farmers. See what I found.
Using living trees as antennas was an important element of inventor Maj.-Gen George O. Squier’s system of telephony, which was developed for use during WWI as a way to intercept enemy messages which had been electrically transmitted, as well as to receive and transmit messages from just anywhere with a living tree nearby. More about Squier’s odd-sounding “tree wireless” inside.
Mosquito bars were serious business in the days before wire screens covered windows and doors. If you expected to get an insect-bite-free night’s sleep without having to rub yourself with kerosene, a mosquito bar was essential. See a variety of them as depicted in fine art, popular art, and photography.
The motorcycle was first used in active service by the U.S. military by Gen. “Black Jack” Pershing in order to chase Pancho Villa across rugged terrain — some were outfitted with sidecars and Colt machine guns.
In 1914, Littlefield, Texas was luring investors and settlers to the flat South Plains area of Texas by showing off their successful irrigation wells. More photos of wells (and watermelons!) inside.