Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse, or Steam Locomotive is probably as responsible as anything for taming the West, and leading to a country that stretched from shore to shore. This is a wonderful photograph of some of these majestic machines. The photo shows the Chicago and Northwestern locomotive shop in Chicago. The picture was made in 1942 by Jack Delano, photographer.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Wright Flyer

This is a very artistic photograph of the Wright Brothers aircraft the "Wright Flyer". The photograph was take in 1911, and shows the first aircraft to fly. A little known fact is that the Wright Brothers, in addition to being pioneering aviators, were also avid amature photographers. Because of this, there is a large source of photographs documenting their early aviation efforts.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Outlaw Jesse James

This is a rare death photograph of the outlaw Jesse James. It was taken shortly after he was gunned down by Bob Ford in his own home on April 3, 1882. Jesse and Frank James has been part of the notorious Quantrill Raiders in the Civil War, famous for lighting fast and devastating raids. With the close of the war, all Confederate Soldiers received an automatic pardon if they would sign a loyalty oath . . . all soldiers that is except members of the Quantill Raiders, and other guerrilla combatants. As a result, the James brothers were wanted men at the close of the war.
The James gang was extremely effective as an outlaw enterprise because they used the guerrilla tactics they had learned as raiders in the war, and because the rural community in the South sympathized with them, and were always willing to help shelter them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hanging the Lincoln Conspirators

This is an image of the Hanging of the Lincoln Conspirators. We normally associate the Abraham Lincoln Assassination with John Wilkes Booth, but there were actually others involved in planning and helping to carry out the assassination. The plan that fateful evening was to simultaneously murder the President, Vice-President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward, in order to throw the Union government into chaos for enough time that the Confederacy could mount a resurgence. Most of the plan went awry that evening, but Booth was able to assassinate Lincoln, and Secretary Seward was injured in a knife attack in his home carried out by Lewis Powell.
Eight of Booth's cohorts were tried by a military tribunal for their role in the plot. All of the conspirators were found guilty. Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt were sentenced to death by hanging.
The incredible photograph above shows the execution, and it was snapped as the condemned dropped to their death. The execution was carried out at the Old Arsenal Penitentiary on July 7, 1865. Mary Surratt was the first woman hanged by the US Government.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Western Stagecoach

A fantastic picture of a Classic Western Stage. The photograph was made in 1889, by John C. Grabill, who called the picture "Tallyho Coaching". The image shows the horse-drawn coach carrying a large group of dapper ladies and gents. The image was made near the Great Hot Springs in the Dakota Territory.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman is famous for his March to the Sea in the Civil War, and for burning Atlanta and everything else in his path. He followed, if not perfected, the concept of total warfare. He believed you waged war not only against the opposing army, but that you did everything possible to eliminate the enemy's will to fight. He is famous for the quote, "War is Hell".
Prior to his destruction of Atlanta, he sent the following message to its inhabitants, "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it".
Many thought Sherman crazy at the outbreak of the war when he stated the war would last for many years and lead to hundreds of thousands of casualties. Most thought it would be over in a matter of months.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

German Fokker in World War I

This is a fascinating photograph of a German Fokker doing a loop during World War I. This is a truly rare and original photograph of the feared Fokker biplane in action. The photograph is part of the old picture collection of Biplane Photographs

Friday, March 23, 2007

New York City Fire Department

This is a fabulous old photograph of the New York City fire department . . . men that were heroes then and now. The photograph shows the firemen with a horse drawn fire engine, racing to a fire. This is part of the collection of Old Photographs from 1900 to 1909.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


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