Tag: History

More Than 50 Years After the Music Died

More Than 50 Years After the Music Died

Music
It hardly seems possible that it's been more than half a century since a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza and its occupants departed from an airstrip in the dark of the Iowa night, bound for Minnesota, and flew into history. But that's exactly what happened on February 3, 1959 when, shortly after 1 am local time, the plane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson crashed just after takeoff in Clear Lake, Iowa, killing the three musicians and their pilot instantly. While many beloved musicians have died before and since, this is known as The Day the Music Died. It's easy to overlook the impact these musicians had on rock and roll and American society -- particularly Holly and Valens -- but it is incalculable. Countless musicians to come in the s...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 25: Calco Chemical Company, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 25: Calco Chemical Company, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Here's a snowy scene from the 1930s -- it's the parking lot of the Calco Chemical Company building, located near the Raritan River in Bound Brook, New Jersey. This was shot in February 1936. Calco was founded in 1915 as a manufacturer of "coal-tar intermediates required to make synthetic dyestuffs." I have no idea what that means, but it sounds nasty. In any case, Calco was acquired by the American Cyanamid Company in 1929 (you can see that designation underneath the main sign). Astute readers will recognize that name from one of my lovely Thanksgiving advertisements. I don't know exactly when this facility was closed for good, but according to my research it had been completely demolished by 2002 at the latest. Related articles Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 23: Going to the...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 23: Going to the Garment Factory, 1936

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 23: Going to the Garment Factory, 1936

History, Vintage Photo Wednesday
Thanks to the new focus of my Vintage Photo Wednesday series on New Jersey, I'm learning some really interesting things about my home state. For instance, the town of Roosevelt -- located roughly 20 miles east of Trenton -- was established as Jersey Homesteads in 1937 as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's many New Deal initiatives. So you can probably guess where the name came from. Here's an excerpt on the history of Roosevelt from Rutgers University: In early 1933, Title II, Section 208, of the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) created the Division of Subsistence Homesteads, the purpose of which was to decentralize industry from congested cities and enable workers to improve their standards of living through the help of subsistence agriculture. Jersey Homesteads was uniqu...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 22: Hudson Tunnel Station Newsies, 1909

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 22: Hudson Tunnel Station Newsies, 1909

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Starting this week I'm going to start featuring more vintage photographs from my home state of New Jersey -- the good, the bad, and the just plain neat. It's a great opportunity for me to both share and learn more about the Garden State, so save your mob/pollution jokes please. As with most of the other photos I've shared, I'm going to attempt to clean things up a bit. I'm no Shorpy but I do what I can. This week's image was taken by Lewis Wickes Hine, who shot countless numbers of pictures depicting child labor at the turn of the century and later. This photo shows a group of newsies hawking papers at the Hudson Tunnel Station in Jersey City in December 1909. From the Library of Congress page description: "Newsie selling at the Hudson Tunnel Station, Jersey City. Boy on left is Patr...
Time Capsule: Vintage Detroit Car Maker World War II Production Photos

Time Capsule: Vintage Detroit Car Maker World War II Production Photos

Capsules, History
As part of a larger story in its August 17, 1942 issue on strife within between Detroit's car makers and their labor union member workers, Life magazine captured some excellent photographs of Motor City manufacturers in the midst of wartime production. The pictures, taken by staff photographer William Vandivert, captured a rare moment in modern American history -- when the nation's vast commercial manufacturing muscle was flexed to produce machinery (planes and bombers) for World War II. Seen here are images from Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet plants in Detroit, Michigan. Click on any photo for a larger version. (more…)
Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Time Capsule: Puck Magazine Thanksgiving Political Covers, 1894-1913

Capsules, Ephemera
Published from 1871 until 1918, Puck magazine was America's first successful humor magazine featuring cartoons and political satire. Their Thanksgiving covers, while not always political, usually were and are still fun to look at today even if the relevance has been lost to time. Their choice of makes sense when you know that they were based out of New York City. Tammany Hall, which we all heard about in history class but have since forgotten, figures prominently. Here's a selection of Puck's Thanksgiving covers from around the turn of the 20th century, courtesy the Library of Congress. That's prominent New York politician David B. Hall, who we'll see again in 1902. He lost the NY gubernatorial race in 1894 to Levi P. Morton. Tammany Hall was a frequent target for ...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 9 — Republican National Conventions

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 9 — Republican National Conventions

Vintage Photo Wednesday
As the GOP prepares to party in Tampa and nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to take on Barack Obama this November, I thought I'd take a look at Republican National Conventions gone by. Here's a selection of vintage photographs from GOP pow-wows starting with 1908 and ending with 1976. 1908 -- Chicago (William Howard Taft) 1912 -- Chicago (William Howard Taft) 1916 - Chicago (Charles Evans Hughes) 1920 -- Chicago (Warren G. Harding) 1936 -- Cleveland (Alf Landon) 1940 -- Philadelphia (Wendell Willkie) 1944 -- Chicago (Thomas E. Dewey) 1948 -- Philadelphia (Thomas E. Dewey) 1952 -- Chicago (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 1956 -- San Francisco (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 1960 -- Chicago (Richard M. Nixon) 1964 -- San Francisco (Barry Goldwater) 1968 -- Miami Beach 1...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 2 — New York City Street Views, 1896

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 2 — New York City Street Views, 1896

Vintage Photo Wednesday
This week's collection of vintage photographs comes from the New York Public Library's digital gallery site. These street scenes from New York City were taken by Alice Austen in 1896. That's the 19th century to you and me! Related articles Vintage Photos Of New York Kids By Helen Levitt(neatorama.com) ALICE AUSTEN: video interview with directors of Alice Austen House Museum(seesaw.typepad.com)