|---------------"Taking a stroll down Memory Lane"
Our Photo Gallery Menu...
Bodie Mining Town .......See photos of an abandoned Ghost Town from the 1800's.
The California Deserts ....Death Valley, Mojave, Joshua Tree National Park and others.
Fall Colors in Autumn .....Fall Foliage photography highlights during October and November Seasons.
Mt. Moran .........................With an elevation of 12,605 ft. Located within the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.
Times Gone By ................Taking a stroll down Memory Lane!
Dave's Photo Galleries
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Music by Christopher W. French
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|Welcome to Dave's
"Times Gone By"
For the simple fact that I've lived over a half a century myself, I have seen
many things that I once thought were, the latest and greatest, lose their value
and become out-dated, then looked upon as nothing more than an antique,
difficult to sell or even give away. However, many of these out-dated things
have become extremely desirable, reaching values one could never imagine
before when they were new! Most often we think of an antique as something
that dates back over a hundred years or more, but actually, certain items like
radios and televisions, automobiles and machinery, can fall into the antique
category surprisingly fast! Electronic items and computers can be considered
antiques in only a decade, or even sooner!
My following story, Taking a stroll down Memory Lane, is mostly of what I
remembered from my own past. Granted, there is much information here that I
added from doing a little research, and certainly was way before my time, but I
did that to make things more interesting and fun. I'm certain there's a little
something here for everyone to enjoy. Young or old, one of these little photos
is going to bring back some memories, I hope they're good ones for you!
The Liberty Bell (above left). As the official bell of the Pennsylvania State
House (today called Independence Hall) rang many times for public
announcements, but we remember times like July 8, 1776 when it rang to
announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. The
photos of the horses and carriages were taken while I was visiting Colonial
Williamsburg, Virginia. The people there did an amazing job in keeping the
town authentic, reenacting in detail the way life was back in the 1700 and
1800's. That's a place and time in history worth seeing!
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was the most famous
American in his day. Wherever he went, crowds formed. People worldwide
pictured Franklin when anyone said, "American." Benjamin Franklin was not
only one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading writer,
publisher, inventor, diplomat, scientist, and philosopher. He is well-known for
his experiments with electricity and lightning, and for publishing "Poor Richard's
Almanac" and the Pennsylvania Gazette. He served as Postmaster General
under the Continental Congress, and later became a prominent abolitionist. He
is credited with inventing the lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, and bifocals.
The Civil War Canon photo (above) I had taken during the American Civil
War Battle Reenactments at Fort Tejon State Historic Park, California. When
they fired those canons the earth shook, and once again we were reminded of
how devastating war really is! The Civil War was during 1861-1865.
Gas lanterns were the only way of lighting the streets for centuries. This photo
(above) we got from a historic town in North Carolina, where the homes in the
neighborhood dated back to the 1700's. The Single Wheel Hoe garden hand
cultivator, was from 1890. It's selling price back then was $2.75. Looks like
hard work to me! Wagon wheels always remind me of old cowboy movies,
but the wooden spoked and hub wheels have been around since ancient times.
Have you ever started a coin or stamp collection, I did. Here's some that
would be worth a lot today. The Morgan silver dollars, designed by George T.
Morgan, were produced form 1878 through 1904. The One Cent US Postage
Stamp was from about 1893. Great deal to pay to mail a letter, especially
when you consider their means of transportation back then! The United States
One Dollar Note (shown left) was from 1917. The Buffalo Nickel was made
from 1913-1938, they were pretty common when I was young, I'd use them to
buy milk at school. But now, their all stashed away.
I remember working for my father in the 1960's doing construction work, he
would always pay me with Peace Silver dollars. We once did a job removing
old arcade games from P.O.P. (Pacific Ocean Park), where we found many
hand-fulls of old silver coins that had fallen into the cracks of the machines that
people couldn't retrieve over the years. Wow, how I wish I would have kept
them all! They were still fun to spend however...even back then!
The shallow or deep well Hand Water Pumps were used for centuries and up
through the mid 1900's. Even today they are still available to buy. New hand
pumps can draw water from depths up to 200 feet! Antique hand water pumps
look great for decorating too, inside or out!
The Old Steam Locomotives dominated rail traction from the mid 19th century
until the mid 20th century, after which they were superseded by diesel and
electric locomotives. Inspired by British success, the United States started
developing steam locomotives in 1829 with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's
Tom Thumb. This was the first locomotive to run in America, although it was
intended as a demonstration of the potential of steam traction, rather than as a
revenue-earning locomotive. The locomotives shown here are The Durango
and Silverton Trains, Colorado, built in 1881, photos by Dave French. The
signals were from Mojave, California. The little red caboose (left) and others
like it, are no longer in use now days because modern trains are equipped with
computerized sensors that take the place of a person riding in the rear watching
for hotboxes, (overheated journals) broken or dragging equipment and shifting
loads. They were also used as living quarters for the conductors and enabled
the crew members to watch over the trains rear when stopped.
The Shady Lady Restaurant sign advertised the last Brothel in Silverton, CO,
Madam Jew Fanny, which closed down in 1947. Old hand clothes washers
like this one shown on the right, sure don't compare to the ones we use today.
Just think of how much time we save with our modern washing machines...
Someday our great grandchildren will see them as just another antique!
Water Pump Windmills have been used for more than a millennium, pumping
water for the farmer, animals and crops. They were the single most important
piece of machinery which allowed our forefathers to utilize land which was
otherwise unable to sustain us in our agricultural and industrial endeavours.
Windmills still harness energy today, which is free to us all.
Antique dolls made of porcelain and cloth - once entertained young children,
today, they are collected and treasured by adults. Old antique wind-up clocks
can be very comforting too, as they tic-toc the day away. The ones with
Westminster Chimes every 1/4 hour are my favorite!
The Beginning of Electronic Communications began in 1825, British inventor
William Sturgeon (1783-1850) created a device that laid the foundations for
large-scale electronic communications called, the electromagnet. In 1830, an
American, Joseph Henry (1797-1878), demonstrated the potential of
Sturgeon's device for long distance communication by sending an electronic
current over one mile of wire to activate an electromagnet which caused a bell
to strike. Thus the electric telegraph was born.
In 1835, Samuel Morse, proved that signals could be transmitted by wire. He
used pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet, which moved a marker to
produce written codes on a strip of paper - the invention of Morse Code. The
following year, the device was modified to emboss the paper with dots and
dashes. On October 24, 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph system was
established. Spanning North America, an existing network in the eastern United
States was connected to the small network in California by a link between
Omaha and Carson City via Salt Lake City. The slower Pony Express system
ceased operation a month later.
Henry Ford (left)1863-1947, incorporated the Ford Motor Company in 1903,
proclaiming, "I will build a car for the great multitude." In October 1908, he did
so, offering the Model T for $950. In the Model T's nineteen years of
production, its price dipped as low as $280. Nearly 15,500,000 were sold in
the United States alone. The Model T heralds the beginning of the Motor Age;
the car evolved from luxury item for the well-to-do, to essential transportation
for the ordinary man.
Thomas Alva Edison (right) (February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931) was a
United States inventor and businessman who developed many important
devices. "The Wizard of Menlo Park" was one of the first inventors to apply
the principles of mass production to the process of invention. Edison was one
of the most prolific inventors of his time, holding a record 1,093 patents in his
name from work done by his employees (and himself.) Edison received patents
worldwide, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, and
The Ford Model T was an automobile produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor
Company from 1908 through 1927. The model T set 1908 as the historic year
that the automobile came into popular usage. It is generally regarded as the first
affordable automobile, the car which "put America on wheels"!
The old Typewriter is a mechanical device with a set of "keys" that when
pressed, cause characters to be printed on a document, usually paper. In the
late 19th century and at the start of the 20th century, a person who operated
such a device was sometimes called a typewriter but it then became more
common to call the person a typist. By the 1980s, word processor applications
on personal computers took over the tasks previously accomplished with
typewriters. However, typewriters are still popular in the developing world.
The creepy old typewriter on the right (lower) was found in Death Valley
(1861-1880). The other is a Woodstock Electrite from 1924. Just think how
much faster and less work our word processors are today!
The Violin originated in northern Italy in the early 16th century. By 1556, the
violin had already begun to spread throughout Europe. The oldest documented
violin to have four strings, like the modern violin, was constructed in 1555 by
Andrea Amati. Other violins, documented significantly earlier, only had three
strings. The violin immediately became very popular, both among street
musicians and the nobility. The oldest surviving violin, dated inside, is known as
the "Charles IX," made in Cremona c. 1560.
The person sitting on the old motorbike (upper left) is my Uncle Orin, and the
person washing the old antique car below him, is my father, Glen, and his little
dog sitting on the running board. I'm not positive on the dates, but they're most
likely from the 1930's. You can see how proud they were of their new
vehicles. What will people think of our new cars and motorbikes today...75
This bicycle on the left is a 1933 Schwinn, the one on the right is a 1942
Firestone ladies Super Cruiser! They still look pretty good, but I'll bet their a
lot heavier than the new ones today. Even still, it be nice to give one a spin. I
love the tassels and the racks on the back, remember the old coaster brakes!!
The old large format view cameras use big negatives. Photographers love
using view cameras, unlike a standard 35mm camera, because the lens and film
plane of the camera are adjustable. These adjustments can change the point of
view, plane of focus and even the shape of the objects being photographed.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was a very famous photographer. He took his first
long trip into the wilderness in 1920, when he was just eighteen. His burro,
Mistletoe, carried almost a hundred pounds of gear and food; he himself
carried a thirty-pound pack full of photographic equipment. Adams was heir to
a long tradition of American wilderness photographers who lugged cameras,
tripods, and even portable darkrooms with them into the back country in order
to capture its breathtaking beauty!
Shirley Jane Temple right (born April 23, 1928) later known as Shirley
Temple Black, is an Academy Award-winning former child actress. She
starred in over 40 films during the 1930s. America’s First Sweetheart, Shirley
has touched the hearts of countless people throughout most of the 20th
century! One of my favorites was, Heidi, her 1937 movie, When little Heidi is
stolen by her cruel aunt (who sells her) her grouchy grandfather searches for
her. I sure wish they made movies like that today!
Thomas Alva Edison announced his invention of the first phonograph on
November 21, 1877. He demonstrated the device for the first time on
November 29 and patented it on February 19, 1878. Edison's early
phonographs recorded onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder using an up-
down ("hill-and-dale") motion of the stylus. The tinfoil sheet was wrapped
around a grooved cylinder, and the sound was recorded as indentations into
the foil. Gramophone was a U.S. brand name, and as such in the same
category as Victrola, Zon-o-phone, Graphophone and Graphonola referring to
specific brands of sound reproducing machines. The little brown record player
on the left looks like the one I used to have when I was a boy. I remember
playing my 78 speed record on it with the song, "I've Been Working On The
Railroad", over and over again!
Beginning in the late 1940s, the television set has become a common household
reception device found world-wide. It's now in most residential homes,
particularly in the first world, as a source of entertainment and news. When I
was very young, I remember seeing the picture of an Indian Head on the
television screen when there were no more shows to watch, or when I got up
early in the morning before anything was on. What I was looking at was the
famous American black and white test pattern known as the "Indian Head"
(shown right). It was introduced by RCA in 1939 and became a popular icon
in the 1940s. The Indian Head pattern was broadcast during a station's
downtime, after television stations had signed off and played the United States
National Anthem. The pattern was also used in a similar way in Canada.
During the 1950s and 60s the Indian Head pattern was gradually phased out.
At first it was shown for shorter periods of time, then eventually replaced by
SMPTE Color Bars as color television was introduced. I remember the first
show that came on early in the morning which broke the Indian Head test
pattern (1958) was Captain Kangaroo! These days, of course, broadcast test
patterns have all but disappeared as most television stations broadcast
programming or advertising 24 hours per day.
Times Gone By
Photo Gallery by; Dave French
Rhythm On The Rock Productions
|Photographer Dave French
shares from his collection
of photos -
Times Gone By!
Each photo comes with a
short story by Dave.
See Antique school houses,
World War II Radios,
Gadgets and Treasures
from the past throughout
Dave's Antique photo
After watching Dave's Photo Gallery above, I was inspired
to do a little writing myself. As I reflected on the times gone
by and all the memories in my own life-time, I was amazed
to see how so much has changed in such little time!
When I see these old gasoline pumps, they remind me of the years when you
pulled into a gas station, a bell would ring (when you drove over a hose), a
person would come to your window and ask, "Fill-ur-up sir". They would
check under the hood too, and recommend adding a quart of oil if needed. I
remember complaining of high gasoline prices too...at only 35 cents per gallon!!
Remember the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life", I'm sure you do. It was a 1946
drama film directed by Frank Capra, produced by his own Liberty Films and
released originally by RKO Radio Pictures. Dubbed by the American Film
Institute as one of the best films ever made! The film has also been selected for
preservation in the United States National Film Registry. The movie is the story
of the life of common man George Bailey, as told to his guardian angel
Clarence Odbody, who has been recruited to save him in his moment of need.
I tell you, no matter how many times I see that move, I can't hold back my
tears at the end. This photo on the left, was when George ran home through the
streets in Bedford Falls, crying out, "Merry Christmas Emporium!..etc". No
matter how insignificant we may think our life's are, God has a purpose for all!
The painting (left) was by Norman Rockwell called, "The Lineman". The
occupation of Lineman began with the widespread use of the telegraph in the
1840s. The term continued in use with the invention of the telephone in the
1870s and the beginnings of electrification in the 1890s. This new electrical
power work proved to be much more hazardous than telegraph or telephone
work because of the risk of electrocution. Between the 1890s and the 1930s,
line work was considered one of the most hazardous jobs in existence.
Approximately 1 in 3 linemen were killed on the job, mostly from electrocution.
This led to the formation of labor organizations to represent the workers and
advocate for their safety. Better tools and protective equipment were produced
as the occupation grew and safety became a primary concern.
The photo of the old WWII airplane and the Army radio below it, were taken
while we visited our son Paul, in Fort Bragg, NC. They had a great museum on
Base for people to see historical Army equipment used in WWII.
Old Coca Cola signs have now become nostalgic and chronicle our history.
Coca Cola has attracted some of the top artists and illustrators for their
advertisements who have created timeless Coke images. We see Coke ads
printed on trays, thermometers, tin signs, wooden signs, art glass panels and
vintage signs from the past. Here's a slogan from 1886 - "Drink Coca-Cola"
1943 - "It's the real thing" 1963 - "Things go better with Coke" 2002 - "All the
world loves a Coke"
The Hot Fudge Sunday and Root Beer Float signs I added just for fun! Root
beer floats are usually eaten with a spoon. A popular technique is to take some
ice cream in the spoon, dip it in the root beer, and eat it. When all of the solid
ice cream is eaten, the remaining mixture of root beer and melted ice cream can
be drunk either with or without a straw. A root beer float can also be blended
to create a consistently textured beverage like a milkshake. This is often called
a root beer freeze. A&W Restaurants are well known for their root beer floats.
Orvon Gene Autry (left) (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998) was an
American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in
movies and on television. Autry, the grandson of a Methodist preacher, was
born near Tioga, Texas. His parents, Delbert Autry and Elnora Ozmont,
moved to Ravia, Oklahoma in the 1920s. After leaving high school in 1925,
Autry worked as a telegrapher for the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway.
The first Jukeboxes (left) were simply wooden boxes with coin slots and a few
buttons. Over time they became more and more decorated, using color lights,
rotating lights, chrome, bubble tubes, ceiling lamps, and other visual gimmicks.
Many consider the 1940's to be the "golden age" of jukebox styling with the
gothic-like curvaceous "electric rainbow cathedral" look. World War II and the
Great Depression were over, so the new designs and sales choices reflected
the festive mood. Even before that, decorative jukeboxes were often one of the
few escapes from the problems of the Great Depression and war.
In the 1940's and 1950's, Bobby Socks (left) were very fashionable. They
were worn by women, ankle-length and frilly, often as part of a school uniform.
They were popular to wear with saddle shoes or loafers. Hot Rods were/are
cars which have been customized for performance and appearance. The term
became popular during and after World War II, particularly in California,
originally meaning an old car (most often a Ford, typically a Model T, Model
A, or a 1932 to 1934 Ford Model B or Ford V-8) which had been modified
by reducing weight. They would modify the body by removing the roof, hood,
bumpers, windshield and fenders. Lowering it too, and modifying the tuning or
replacing the engine to give it more power. They also changed the wheels and
tires to improve traction and handling. Cool man, that's one swell Hot Rod!
Remember the Milk Man, early in the morning he would come to your kitchen
door and deliver your milk, eggs, etc. Originally milk needed to be delivered to
houses daily as poor refrigeration meant it would quickly spoil. Now days most
homes have refrigerators efficient enough for the purpose of storing dairy
products, and the need for frequent milk delivery over the past half-century has
made the profession shrink in many localities, and disappear totally in others.
However, the enterprise is still common in the UK and Ireland.
As kids growing up in the 50's and 60's, we spent many hours watching old
cowboy movies and westerns on TV. The Lone Ranger was an American long-
running early radio and television show created by George W. Trendle, and
developed by writer Fran Striker. The titular character is a masked Texas
Ranger in the American Old West, who gallops about righting injustices, usually
with the aid of a clever and laconic American Indian sidekick called Tonto, and
his horse Silver. He would famously say "Hi-yo Silver, away!" to get the horse
to gallop. On the radio and TV-series, the usual opening announcement was:
"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty 'Hi-yo
Silver!' The Lone Ranger!" In later episodes the opening narration ended with
the catch phrase "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear....
The Lone Ranger Rides Again!" Episodes usually ended with one of the
characters lamenting the fact that they never found out the hero's name ("Who
was that masked man?"), only to be told, "Why, that was the Lone Ranger!" as
he and Tonto ride away. The theme music was the "cavalry charge" finale of
Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell Overture, now inseparably associated with
Hopalong Cassidy is a fictional cowboy-hero, created in 1904 by Clarence E.
Mulford and appearing in a series of popular stories and later novels. Here the
character appears as a rude, rough-talking 'galoot'.
Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), who became
famous as Roy Rogers, was a singer and cowboy actor. He and his third wife
Dale Evans, his golden palomino Trigger, and his German shepherd, Bullet,
were featured in over one hundred movies and The Roy Rogers Show which
ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through
1964. Roy's nickname was "King of the Cowboys". Dale's nickname was
"Queen of the West." For many Americans (and non-Americans), he was the
embodiment of the all-American hero. Rogers was an idol for many children
through his films and television show. There were Roy Rogers action figures,
cowboy adventure novels, a comic strip, and a variety of marketing successes.
Zorro, played by Guy Williams was one of my favorites! In 1957 the Disney
enterprise carried out a casting for Disney's Zorro. Walt Disney himself
interviewed Guy Williams, telling him (comically) to start growing a mustache
"neither very long or thick". The exclusive contract paid Williams the very high
wage (back then) of $2,500 per week. The series of half-hour episodes finally
debuted on the American "ABC" network on October 10, 1957. It was an
instant hit in the USA, attaining the highest rating of its era. The show spanned
78 episodes, two seasons, from 1957 to 1959.
The old soda pop vending machines take me back to the days when my dad
would stop off at the lumber yard to pick up material for the next day's work.
He would always give us each a dime so we could buy a bubble up!
I sure do miss the old drive in theaters! (right) Giant screens, speakers with
garbled sound, fogged-up windows, swings, slides and merry-go-rounds.
These are all significant aspects of one of the most phenomenal inventions of
American pop culture - the drive-in theater! From 1954 to 1963, the state of
Texas had over 300 drive-ins. Although the number of drive-in movies in the
U.S. peaked in the 1950s, they had their beginning in the late 1930's. During
the early years of the Great Depression, many people visited movie houses to
forget their sorrows in the glitter and fantasy that motion pictures provided.
Though economic times were hard, they were not hard enough to keep the
movie viewing audience away!
Do you remember the Carhops... A carhop is a waiter or waitress (often) on
roller-skates, who brings food to people in their cars. Carhops originated in the
1950s when drive-in eateries were popular. A carhop was the most prominent
image on the poster for the film American Graffiti. I remember taking my kids
to Bobs Big Boy when they were young, and they still had carhop service. But
now only a few continue the service, and only on the weekends.
On Sunday nights at 9:00PM in the early 1960's, my mom and dad allowed us
to stay up late, so we could watch Bonanza! Bonanza was an American
western/cowboy television series which aired on NBC from September 12,
1959 until January 16, 1973. Bonanza was the first network television series to
film all of its episodes in color. From 1961 to 1972 it aired on Sunday nights.
From 1964 until 1967, the show was #1 in the yearly Nielsen ratings. In terms
of longevity, the show was NBC's longest-running western. The cast included,
Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, Michael Landon as Little Joe, Pernell
Roberts as Adam, and Dan Blocker as Hoss. Dan Blocker lived down the
street from us when I was in grade school, about 11 years old. I remember
building a wooden go-cart with his son, David Blocker, in their garage. I also
remember meeting David's father, Dan Blocker, he was truly a big, kind-
hearted man! We were so sad to hear of his sudden death in 1972, from a
pulmonary embolism following routine gall bladder surgery.
Remember the old roller-skates, the kind you had to use a key to tighten them
to your shoes, with leather straps and buckles that wrapped around your
ankles. I was so surprised one day when a neighbor girl, Susan, came to our
house to skate with us and she had brand new shoe skates! She could skate
much faster, and they never came loose! That was about 1963 or so, it wasn't
long after that we were able to talk our parents into buying some for us too!
Fess Elisha Parker Jr. (born August 16, 1924), was hired by the Walt Disney
Studios in 1954 to play the historic figure, Davy Crockett. He is also known
for his role playing frontiersmen as Daniel Boone, as well as starting a fad of
wearing coonskin caps! He served in the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of
World War II. He enlisted to become a pilot but was rejected as an aviator for
being too tall (six feet, five inches). We couldn't wait for Sunday evenings when
Wonderful World of Disney featured Davy Crockett and the Wild Frontier!
One of our favorites was "Mike Fink and the River Pirates", with Buddy Ebsen
and Jeff York (1956). We also enjoyed Fess Parker in The Great Locomotive
Chase (1956) and Old Yeller (1957).
My older brother, Richard, collected baseball cards when he was young in the
early 1960's. Each 5 cent pack of bubble-gum came with a baseball card, like
the ones shown here. He would trade them around with his friends, each
working towards getting a complete set of their favorite team or players. I
remember he had shoe-boxes full of them, today they would be worth fortune!
The Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams card sets shown here are now worth
over $1,100 each. But who would have ever known, over 45 years ago?
Well, I hope you enjoyed spending a little time with me reminiscing over a few
things from the past. There's no end to all a person could talk about and
remember from times gone by, it would take a lifetime to tell, and still be
incomplete to say the least. As I reflect upon my own life, and the short time I
have on earth to spend, I can't help but wonder...and come to the realization,
that I too, will be only a memory of the past, from times gone by. As for man,
his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows
over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. Do I sound
depressing? I'm sorry if I do, but it's true, our days on earth are like a shadow,
ebbing away with each breath we take. But it doesn't end there. Unlike the
antiques, and things of this world, our souls live forever...but where?...how??
For those of you who know the answer to that question, and are absolutely
certain of your eternity, I am very happy for you, and rightfully so. But if you
are uncertain of your eternity, or wondering what I'm even talking about, then
please allow me to share with you the Greatest Treasure ever known: A
Treasure that never fades, never grows old, and is worth more than anything
this world has to offer, or ever will. Click here for the answer!
------------------------------------------------------------Christopher W. French