Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mary Leaman, 17 years old ... about 1905

Today, I received a comment from Jane on my earlier Leaman blog from November 30, 2006.

Jane said...
wow, can i see the picture with Mary Leaman? I wonder if they are from Paradise PA...i've been reading about her from the book, Queen of the Dark Chambers.

Well, here is the photo of Mary Leaman (age 17), Dr. Leaman (age 66) and Aunt Mary Leaman (age 69). This was taken in Gettysburg Pennsylvania about 1905, according to the inscription on the reverse. It's not a good photo, I'm sorry to say, but I'd enjoy hearing more about Mary and Queen of the Dark Chamber.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Steam Tractor

This isn't your father's John Deere, that's for sure. This is an old steam traction engine. Too big and too heavy to be very mobile on soft soil, it was often strategically located on (or near) a farm field and its engine used to move or drive other equipment. Sometimes two of these behemoths were used... one pulling a plow to one side of a field and another pulling it back the other direction. I'm not a farmer, but these farm workers may have been using the steam engine to drive a wheat thresher which is out of the photo. Whatever they were doing at the time, they've been immortalized in this old AZO real photo postcard from the 1904 - 1918 time period.

The area pictured is as flat as Felton,Delaware so the photo may have been taken around these parts (Lower Delaware, Maryland Easter Shore). I think this old contraption may be a Case Corporation or a Peerless steam tractor, but I've not been able to find a match. If you recognize this old beauty, please leave a comment to identify it for us. Other possible manufactures may include Best Manufacturing, Ransomes, Fordson, Advance Rumely, Peerless, and Deering Harvester.

ADDED January 22, 2007: Thanks to some good advice from our friends at Yesterday's Tractor Magazine, this old tractor is very likely a Peerless steam traction engine, manufactured by the Geiser Manufacturing Company of Waynesboro, PA.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Woman Without a Hat

Victorian beach wear, modeled by a nineteenth century woman when modesty was the style of the day. It's tempting to look back and wonder "what were they thinking". Recognize that someday, somebody will be asking the same question about you.

Cousin Mollie mailed this old postcard to Mrs Fermor Stouffer of Greencastle Pennsylvania back in March 1909. Contrary to the risque pose featured on the front, the reverse has a short message about the improving health of a sick child in Five Forks Pa.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Downingtown High School class photo

These high school students send us greetings from their class trip to Gettysburg, early in the last century. In their Sunday best at Devil's Den on that warm spring day, you can see the hope and confidence shining on their young faces. Filled with aspirations and dreams and with a lifetime in front of them, they stood there in the sunshine and captured that moment in time.

The photographer has marked the photo as DHS at Devils Den. I found this old photograph postcard in with a bunch of postcards from or to the Larkin family in Downingtown Pennsylvania, so DHS very likely stands for Downingtown High School. The postcard itself dates from sometime between 1907 and 1920, and I believe, based on the dates of the other postcards, that the photo was probably taken around 1910 or so. These other Larkin Family postcards include cards to Jessie Larkin, Rachel D. Larkin, Elizabeth Larkin, Martha Larkin, Mrs. Edgar Larkin and Dr. E. D. Larkin as well as cards to or from other family or friends including Norman Rodgers, Mary Rodgers, Ruth Thompson, Mrs. Jessie L. Rodgers, Mrs E. A. Speakman (the Barclay, West Chester, Chester County PA), Elizabeth Speakman, M. A. Parsons (a soldier in France 1919) and M.P. Dewees

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Warm-weather whispers from Ocean City

At least once every summer, Mrs J. J. Johnson would travel to the shore, to the beach, to the ocean, vacation. Every summer, she would send greetings via postcard to her good friend, Mary Jenkins, in Woodside Delaware. Here is another of those old cards from Mrs. Johnson letting Mary know how nice it was in Ocean City on that August day of 1912. Today, people use their cell phones for messages like this. Of course, in 100 years, nothing remains of a cell phone conversation ... or does it?

As featured on eBay.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Wounded Knee ... a view from 1891

This news article was written 3 months after the military action at Wounded Knee in December 1890, and it presents the confrontation between the U.S. Army and the Lakota from the perspective of the time... a perspective much different from ours today. The story features the actions of 21 year old Corporal Paul H. Weinert at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

According to this old newspaper clipping....

For his actions at Wounded Knee on that stark December morning, Corporal Weinert was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism. History speaks of the ravine on this ground and of the Hotchkiss Gun that did so much damage there. Corporal Weinert was there at that ravine, behind that light cannon on that very morning. After the commander of his detachment (Lieutenant Hawthorne) was felled by bullets, the enraged corporal was heard to cry out "By God, I'll make them pay for that". During the fray, Weinert's cannon was peppered with bullets, with one round finding its way through his hat and one round knocking a shell from his fingers.

The article tells us that there were others deserving of the highest praise, but that Corporal Weinert undoubtedly carried off first honors. Other medal winners are listed as Jacob Trautman of the Seventh Cavalry, Joshua B. Hartzog, George Green, and John Flood, all of Light Battery E, First Artillery.