Friday, March 18, 2011

Random San Diego History: Waldo D. Waterman

Running an errand in the Banker's Hill neighborhood today, I chanced upon a monument to Waldo D. Waterman, apparently an early San Diego aviator who took some sort of flight from the top of a canyon in 1909. I was mostly interested to learn what manner of flight was accomplished from such a relatively low bluff (also, I like the owl graphic on the plaque). Turns out it was a glider flight. The photo above is of a young Waldo, presumably is a more sophisticated aircraft than the one he jumped into the canyon with in 1909. In case you're interested, here's more about Waldo.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Found Mystery Photos

One of the perks of being a historian married to a librarian is that we have both accumulated all manner of ephemera over the years, and sometimes we forget what we have. This weekend while looking for something else, we found a stash of old photos whose origins are only dimly remembered. We have no idea who the people in them are, or where they were taken (thanks to reader Mark, I now know that the bottom photo is of the Volcan de Agua, Antigua, Guatemala -- another photo from a somewhat similar perspective can be found here).

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stylin' Cop Steals Spotlight from Killer

Okay, that's not what the headline really says, but check out the sheriff's deputy (?) escorting convicted Chicago family-killer Patricia Columbo into court back in 1976. That man has got some serious style. Damn!

via Chicago Tribune

Are These 19th c. Roller Blades?

Certainly looks like it. These were big in the 1860s based on the number of ads I saw for them. Every issue of Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper that I looked at between 1860 and 1865 had ads featuring this illustration.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Imaginary Airships of the 19th c.

"Different Systems of Sailing in the Air"
[click for larger to read the original caption]
Image from Harper's Weekly, January 2, 1864