Friday, April 23, 2010

Put out that Light!

I have always be unconventional in my collecting habits. Finding strange things in second hand stores, musty old attics and the occasional antique store.

So it came as no surprise when I found this waterproof wax vestas box at one of the local dealers of lost items that my interest was peaked.

After doing a little digging around I found out that this small box crafted by Duncan's is probably from the forties in time frame. The company and it's product however date back to the earlier 1860's in Australia. It makes me wonder how it made its' way to United States and survived not being crushed or just plain thrown away.

I can just image the tales this little box could tell if it had the ability to form words and sentences.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Update to the site.

Just a quick little note. I did a little reorganizing of the site now that I hope to be updating on a regular schedule. Hope you like the new look. I even changed the logo as it was getting a bit out dated looking.

So on to the next adventure!

Monday, April 12, 2010

An Afternoon At The Cinema Part One

I have always found small towns unique in their history. This is no different with the town of Niles, Ca. It has a small town feel, but is still close to many of the bigger communities that encircle the San Francisco Bay.

So why head to Niles, Ca you ask? Well some friends that I do Spanish American War living history with wanted to put together a little event to watch some period silent films from (1890’s - 1910’s). And there is no better place then the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum. The Museum is located on the main drag and fits in nicely in with remaining buildings that have remained.

We arrived under a rainy sky, dressed as if were out on an afternoon to see a nickelodeon. The stormy weather did nothing to damping my sprits as this was a great opportunity to see some early film done by Edison and Lumier. As well as some shorts. The highlight of the film list for me being “The Great Train Robbery” from 1903.

This was a fun and eclectic side adventure perfect for a rainy afternoon. After the show was over our little group ended up at one of the local restaurants located down the street from the museum. If you have an interest in silent film and are in the area stop by.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Mother of Invention

I was in one of the local big box books stores today. I hadn't planned to buy anything (I'm already four books behind), when I came across a little collection books. You know the kind of book with an all inclusive title,"The Greatest Stories..." So I started thumbing through it not really taking every page in, but glancing across the subject that was covered. As I was about to put the book down I noticed a small notation about the invention of the stethoscope. I thought to myself, ‘what could be a great story about a stethoscope’. Turns out it was all a issue of respectability and modesty for its’ invention.

In 1816, a French physician by the name of Rene Lanennec was presented with a dilemma. The morals of the day would not allow him (a bachelor) from listening to hearts of his female patients by normal means. By placing his ear on their chest.

So what is a doctor to do. Well by luck, Rene was also a musician. He took a sheet of paper and rolled it into a tube, placed it on his female patient’s chest and listened to her heart beat. Enter the first stethoscope.

He soon made one of wood, in the shape of a cylinder. Hollow out and was fluted on one end and opened on the other. So due to an issue of marital status we have today a very common diagnostic devise.

Think about the next time you go to the doctor.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In The Dark

Above ground look at the gun position. The covered area is where the shell and powder charge come out from underground.
The main entrance to the case mate.

The main room and ammunition storage. Along the walls, the shells made contact with the painted surface.

The explosion proof fuse box to run power for the lights.

The elevator for the shells and power to be raised 20 feet above.

It has been awhile between posts. Life has had a chance to get in the way of my extra activities, so I haven't had time to post anything. I wanted to make a change to that situation.

The above photos are part of the coast defense system that was put in place during the Endicott Period or the third system of defense around our coast. This was a phase of expansion and electrification of coastal defense along both eastern seaboard and the west coast.

This was a once and a life time seek peek at a underground restoration project being done by the National Park Service. This case mate has not been opened to the public in a long time. I really enjoyed exploring the several rooms that divided the ammunition, power and elevator rooms.

That's all for now. I'll be out adventuring soon enough, see you then.