Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lady Cobbler

Today's picture was taken in 1895, and it shows women working in a shoe factory. Hmmm . . . I wonder what you call a Lady Cobbler. I am sure there is a proper name for it, but I could not find it.

I enjoyed John's comment yesterday where he said that he was a Dentist by trade, but wanted to learn to weld. I think he should seriously consider becoming a Gentleman Welder.

Also, where was Roger yesterday. Usually I post the OPOD at 5:51, and then Roger posts his comment at 5:54. Perhaps he has embargoed us?

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today's picture is from 1903, and shows a shoemaker in his shop. He is inspecting a little girl's shoe, possibly for repair.

This picture really shows how much things have changed in the last hundred years. First, he actually makes things . . . shoes. Secondly, people actually had things repaired, instead of throwing them away. Third, look at the sign behind him, "Terms; Strictly Cash". Wow, people actually saved their money, and paid real money for a real product or service, locally produced.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Cobbler

Today's picture was taken in 1903, and shows an old Cobbler in his Shoe Making shop. As we look at all these old pictures, I am struck by the profound change in the nature of our jobs over the last hundred years. I notice that in these old pictures, there is a very tangible nature to the work people did. If you asked this man what he did for a living, he would say, "I am a cobbler. I make shoes, and I repair shoes". Someone else might say, "I am a farmer, and I grow corn", or "I am a blacksmith, and I shoe horses". Very clear, concise, and important work. Today, it is hard for most people to describe what they do . . . "I restructure debt settlements in reverse mortgage arbitrage cases", or other obscure things. When you try and unravel what we are all doing, almost no one actually Builds, Grows, or Fixes things. It is like we are a nation of people sorting paper into different piles.

Domestic Update:

Things continue to go well out at the Bean Barn. Over Thanksgiving, I got my raised beds built. I have planted onions and garlic in them (two in onions, two in garlic).

The Kubota tractor made quick work out of getting the dirt into the beds. When the garlic and onions start producing, I will have achieved my life-long dream of having a Salsa Garden. Inside the Bean Barn I am growing Tomatoes, JalapeƱos, Cilantro, and other spices. So, once I have onions and garlic, I will be able to walk out to the bean barn, gather the fresh ingredients, and make my salsa. If you have never tried making fresh salsa, here is my daughters recipe. It is REALLY good . . . Roasted Salsa. I hope some of you will try it and let me know what you think.

Everything else in the Bean Barn continues to do well. The cucumbers have grown all the way to the top of the greenhouse, and are now forming a canopy along the roof.

If you zoom in on the picture, you can see we are getting cucumbers over two feet long, yet still as tender and sweet as can be. As I mentioned earlier, Mrs. PJM takes cucumbers to work everyday, and sells them to people in the airport. She sells out each day, and there is always a waiting list. The little oriental restaurant many times buys all she has. The Chinese woman that owns the place calls Mrs. PJM the "Dolla Lady", since the cucumbers are $1 each. Just 48,375 more cucumbers, and we will break even on the Bean Barn.

The Broccoli is getting close to being ready to pick.

The peppers grow a lot slower than the other things, but we are picking JalapeƱos now. The Bell Peppers are getting close to being ready to start picking.

As I mentioned earlier, I started with a number of different test systems to see what worked the best. Now, I have seen what works, and have the large full scale systems ready to go. I have not installed the large systems yet, as the test systems are producing, and I don't want to take them off-line. One table is growing the most succulent sweet peas you ever tasted, so I can't bring myself to break the system down to make room for the new systems. I have decided that over Christmas I will bite the bullet and change the systems out. With the new system, I will be able to grow 350 leaf plants like lettuce, spinach, and spices, and will be able to grow 60 vine plants like tomatoes and cucumbers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mystery Person Contest

OK, Mystery Person Contest is officially underway. First person to identify this woman wins.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cigar Store

Today's picture is from 1911, and shows a cigar store in Buffalo, New York. How many of you remember the old pre-electronic cash registers. I can remember growing up they had that type, and when they would ring you up, little tabs would pop up behind the glass window showing you how much you owned. I love the look of this store, and it is not that different from what drugstores and other shops used to look like. I will say that Cigar Stores have changed less than most other stores. You can still go into nice cigar stores where you can get detailed and personal attention and help from the proprietor, the walls are wood paneled, and there are usually some nice button tufted leather chairs. I sorely miss the personal service afforded at the old school mom and pop stores. I am reminded of this as today is Black Friday, one of the absolutely most ridiculous things we ever came up with. I really wish we would get back to quieter, more rational days.

Domestic Update:

OK, in case you missed my post yesterday, I am going to post a close up picture of my Bean Barn stir fry.

Everything was grown in the Bean Barn. Those sweet peas were one of the most delicioius things I ever tasted. They were crisp, sweet, and full of flavor. I will definitely keep growing them. The squash was very nice as well. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Domestic Update

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner. I made a wonderful stir fry from things grown in the Bean Barn. It was delicious. Especially good were the snow peas. I have never tasted better. We just finished eating, and now I will wait a few hours before digging into the pecan pie.

Thanksgiving Morning

Hope you all are having a Blessed Thanksgiving day, and hope things are not too hectic around your home this morning. I am hopeful that we all take time today to give thanks, and be thankful for the simple things in life, like time with family, and a good meal.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cigar Factory Reader

Today's picture was taken in 1909 in a Tampa, Florida cigar factory. The man sitting on the chair is the "reader". He would sit and read to the workers all day long. The workers chipped in to pay him, and they got to choose what he would read each day.

In the comments yesterday Ashley Jewel mentioned that this went on. I found that comment interesting, as I was already planning on using this picture today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Packing Cigars

Today's picture was taken in the late 1800's and shows men packing cigars into boxes at a cigar factory. The picture was taken in Key West, Florida.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rolling Cigars

Today's picture was taken in 1939, and shows people rolling cigars. The picture was taken at the "De Hoas" Cigar factory in Kfar Ata, Israel.

Even today, the best cigars are made the old fashioned way . . . by hand. Machines can not make really good ones. There is a cigar shop in San Antonio where they have a set up very similar to the one in this picture, and you can watch as they roll up perfect cigars.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cigar Week

Welcome to Cigar Week here at OPOD. Last week, Tea Parties were tailored to the interests of the ladies, so this week we pick a topic possibly more interesting to the men.

As an added bonus, today will be a mystery person contest. Can you name who is in the picture?

OK, a few comments on cigars. Everyone knows that the best cigars come from Cuba, and Cuban cigars are not legal in the US. There are many black market Cuban cigars one can buy in the US, but most all of them are fake. Fakes are a huge industry, and there are probably more fake Cuban cigars in the world than real ones. If you go to a place where Cuban cigars are legal, a good Cuban will cost you between $20 and $50. The best Cuban cigars are the Montechristo Churchill and the Cohiba Piramides. Some may ask if Cuban cigars are really better, or if it is just the mystique of a cigar not legal in the US. I can report that they really are much better. Sort of like the difference between a can of soda pop and a real one made up at a soda fountain. They are very strong, and have wonderful flavors not available in any other cigars. Some cigars claim that they are made with Cuban seeds grown in a nearby country, but they never taste anything like an authentic Cuban. I hope one day that they lift the embargo, and Cuban cigars become legal again.


I apologize that I have not had a domestic update in the last few weeks, but I have been very busy. Between teaching school, running the greenhouse, and staying on top of all the WEB sites, I have been pretty overwhelmed.

Things continue to go well in the greenhouse. I am in the process of moving out the "test" hydroponic systems, and moving in the full scale systems. I am trying to do this in a manner such that I do not interrupt vegetable production. So far, everything we have tried to grow has worked well. I am eager to get the new systems fully installed to increase production. Mrs. PJM takes vegetables in to work each day, and they immediately sell out. People want to buy fresh, pesticide free vegetables. Plus, we grow all the vegetables that we eat, so no longer have to buy them at the grocery store.

One limitation to our set up is that the water quality is not suitable for hydroponics. It is extremely hard water, and has way to much calcium. So, before using the water in the greenhouse, I have to run it through an RO system to purify it. This creates high quality water, but the RO system dumps about 6 gallons of water for every gallon of RO water it produces. If you have one of those under the counter RO systems, notice the little hose that runs from the filters to the drain line on the sink. That little hose is where all the waste water goes out. So, for the greenhouse, I end up wasting a lot of water. Since I don't want to waste water, yesterday I started building raised beds outside the greenhouse. I will use the waste water from the RO system to water vegetables in the raised beds. I planted garlic in the first one, and will try and build another one today, and will plant onions in it.

I will try to have to pictures for you next week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gentlemen at Afternoon Tea

Today's picture was taken in 1944 in Jerusalem. It shows some gentlemen joining the ladies for afternoon tea. I generally do not join the ladies for afternoon tea, as I have found that it is difficult for gentlemen to get a word in edgewise at such affairs. Also, I have seen those ladies tea rooms . . . you know, the ones where they have hats and fancy things for the ladies to dress up in for tea? Well, I have always had a policy that I don't wear communal hats. I mean, if I am going to wear a hat, it is going to be my hat, and not one that is shared among countless thousands of unknown people. I have a similar personal policy that I don't wear communal shoes. That pretty much rules out bowling, ice skating and roller skating for me. Call me crazy, but the policy has worked out well for me so far.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Afternoon Tea

My research indicates that Tea Parties do not stop with the end of childhood. As indicated in this picture, young ladies, and even older ladies still love a good tea party. Even now, many places have Tea Rooms, where women go, and get dressed up, and enjoy an afternoon tea with some goodies. In my observation of these events, I have noticed that there are several important aspects to these, which I will present in priority order:

1) Talking
2) Dressing Up
3) Little cookies and other goodies
4) Tea

So, my conclusion is that "Tea" really has very little importance in a Tea Party.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Japanese Tea Party

Today's picture is from the early 1900's, and shows Japanese children enjoying a tea party. I notice boys at this one, which we have not seen so far this week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dogs at Tea Party

Today's picture was taken in 1906, and shows a Tea Party which includes a number of dogs. I remember that when my daughter was small, she would include dogs in the tea party; however, the dogs were dressed by the girls in elaborate costumes . . . hats, dresses, the whole nine yards.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Children at Tea Party

Today's picture was taken in 1902, and it shows children enjoying a tea party. I am wondering, is it normal for at such affairs to have real tea, or pretend tea? If I remember right, my daughter would have real tea.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tea Party

Welcome to Tea Party and dress up week. We will be exploring the age old tradition of little girls acting like big girls by dressing up and talking a lot. The picture above was taken in 1909. It does not look that different than some of the tea parties my daughter threw when she was a little girl. I was always amazed at how complicated they were, and how many details were included in the set up. If I remember right, tea parties were just about the favorite thing to do for her and her friends. She is twenty now, so that was some time ago. So, I wonder, do little girls still throw elaborate tea parties.

Note: Management reserves the right to interrupt normal programs at any time to issue Weimar Republic Updates.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mystery Person Contest

Today is Mystery Person Contest Day, but there is no mystery about who this person is. There is also no mystery about how the Weimar Republic came to an end. As we saw this week, things continued to get worse and worse and worse in the Weimar Republic. The currency was worthless, there were no jobs, and the people were cold and hungry. Then a brilliant orator entered onto the stage, and he promised to bring Germany back to its former glory. He had a nice "list" of people and groups responsible for Germany's problems. He appealed to a sense of German Nationalism and pride. The story ends in another World War, and countless millions of innocent people being exterminated.

As you followed the blog during the week, I hope you were able to see that our Federal Reserve is making some of the same key decisions that were made in the Weimar Republic . . . . namely, a policy of expanding the money supply in an attempt to spur the economy, and worse yet, the Fed has showed its hand that it will be monetizing the deficit over the next 8 months.

I don't know what will happen in this country. I hope that our Fed is smarter than the bankers in Weimar Germany. I hope everything turns out OK. What I do realize is that throughout history, when countries print money to pay for deficits, the outcome can be disastrous for the people.

So, my question for you is, have you thought about what you would do if a financial crisis occurred in this country? Would you just sit idly by, and hope the government would take care of you, or would you be able to take care of yourself? Would you be able to provide for your family?

I was blessed to be able to have the resources to build the greenhouse. I realize that people are in different situations, and some are already struggling. A greenhouse would likely be out of the reach of many. However, I used to have a friend who always said, "Don't let what you can't do keep you from doing what you can do". I encourage you to consider taking up gardening as a hobby. Look at that backyard. How much time, money, chemicals and effort are you expending keeping that yard green. Turn it into a garden. Grow your own food. Spend time with your family in the evenings with this hobby. You might just find that it was one of the most rewarding and fun things you ever did. You could even start now by putting plant stands and grow lights in the garage, and getting your bedding plants ready for spring planting.

Another thing to think about is aging parents. Have you put any thoughts into how you would care for aging parents if they lost their retirement, and if social security was not available, or if it did not provide even for sustenance living? Is there a plan other than they stay where they are and eat cat food.

Americans are an optimistic group, and that is good. I grow concerned, however, as I observe we also have a tendency to not want to think about certain possibilities because the implications are so profound. Unfortunately, many would rather simply not think about the possibility of hyperinflation, and simply assume everything will be OK. 

I am not predicting a National Disaster. I am saying that there is a reasonable possibility for additional chapters to the financial crisis we are in. I am asking you to consider whether you should be taking certain measures now to prepare for that possibility.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Keeping Warm in the Weimar Republic

In is amazing the creativity and resiliency of people. In the picture above the lady is using her German Money to burn in the fireplace to keep warm. The money was worth less than the equivalent weight of firewood, so she would just burn the money to keep warm.

I enjoyed all the comments yesterday on things people had noticed about "Stealth Inflation" here. Stealth Inflation is when they reduce the contents or quality of an item, rather than raise its price. Especially interesting was the Evil Nate Maas's observation about soap bars. I had actually always wondered if he even used soap. So now we know. Notice however, suspiciously absent from him post was any mention of the recent changes in the size of deodorant cans.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Decorating in the Weimar Republic

Well, the more money the Weimar Republic printed, the more useless it became. The more useless it became, the more they thought that they had just not printed enough money. It finally got to the point that people started finding all types of creative things to do with the currency. This guy is wallpapering his house with it. So, I guess you can never say a currency is useless, as you can always use it to decorate your house.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tougher Times in the Weimar Republic

After seening the breadlines in Germany yesterday, I am sure we were all hoping things would get better today . . . that the Weimar Republic could return to its grand parties, theater, and cabaret. It it my unfortunate duty to report that things did not get better, they actually took a sharp turn for the worse. You remember how we described that the Central Bankers printed money in order to spur the economy, and then the economy actually got worse? Well, the Central Bankers then decided that the problem was that they had just not printed enough money. If they printed more money, then the people would have the money they needed to buy food. Well, they printed more money, but mysteriously, no matter how much money they printed, food would always go up even more. This went on for a while until we ended up with scenes like the one above. The person is taking notes on $1,000,000 German mark bills. Why, you ask, would someone use $1,000,000 bills as scratch paper? That would be because a sheet of paper cost more than a million dollars, and it was cheaper to use marks than to buy scratch paper. Luckily, to save ink, the bills were only printed on one side, so the backside could be used for calculating things like how many wagons you needed to carry money to the store to buy a loaf of bread. Some continue to insist on drawing analogies between the Weimar Republic and the present US condition. Again this is completely inappropriate, as inflation in the US is running at a wonderful 2%. You keep forgetting that our Federal Reserve is MUCH smarter than the Central Bankers in Weimar.

In a Completely Unrelated Story:

I decided to study food prices in the US in a little more depth. It is hard to really track grocery store prices as that depends a lot on store, brands, specific items, and region of the country. So, I decided to look at soft commodities. Soft commodities are the things that farmers grow, that eventually end up in things you eat or use. The soft commodities include Corn, Wheat, Coffee, Cocco, Sugar, Cotton, Rice and the like. These are the raw commodities as grown by the farmer. There is an index that tracks the prices of these raw materials, and for your enjoyment, I present the price of a "basket" of these commodities below.

Hmmm . . . looks like a 17% increase in 3 months, which on an annualized basis would be a food inflation of 
 68%. Wow, but that can not be, as inflation in the US is a wonderful 2%.

So, we must dig deaper to understand how foodstuffs are up by 17% in three months, but reported inflation is up only 2%. Well, we need to understand how they calculate inflation. They look at things that you buy, and then they take out Food and Energy (the two things you really need to live). It is unclear why they take out Food and Energy. The only thing I can come up with is that if you work for the Federal Reserve, they send a limousine to pick you up and take you to work, and you have a personal assistant which caters a fancy lunch for you. Perhaps they are under the impression that the rest of us do not have to buy our gas and food. Just a thought. 

In looking at how they calculate inflation, the other thing I learned is that they have something important in the equation which is the Weighted Equivalent Rent. This is how that works. Lets say you own a house and are making a house payment, and the value of the house goes down. If you were to move out of the house and rent, then the rent would be less than if you had moved out of the house and rented in the last year. So, in effect, you are saving virtual dollars that would be real if you had moved. Since housing prices are down, this part of the inflation equation is keeping the number very tame. 

I hope this explanation helps, and helps you to see how these things work. If you sitting at home and are cold and hungry, you need to Pretend that you have moved into a rent house, and Pretend your rent is less, and then Pretend that you have money for groceries. Tonight, we are having a wonderful Pretent Ribeye.

The other thing to keep in mind about the increase in commodity prices is that it takes a little while for these prices of commodities to work their way into the grocery store. The stores try their best to absorb the increased costs, and try not to raise prices. The leading edge of the price increases are starting to be seen in the grocery stores. Mrs. PJM has noticed that what they are doing in MANY products is leaving the price the same, but reducing the amount in the container. They typically relabel in different units so you don't notice. So, some brands of coffee have what was always a 2 pound bag, but now is a 29 ounce bag. Most people dont catch that when they changed the units, they actually shaved contents. We have found this in coffee, ice cream, and many other products.

So, just remember, our Federal Reserve has smart people on top of this, and you have nothing to be concerned about.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tough Times in the Weimar Republic

Yesterday we looked at Happy Times in the Weimar Republic. Unfortunately, those happy days were short lived. The picture above shows the Weimar Republic in more troubled days. You can see that people began to find it difficult to feed themselves, and breadlines and souplines developed across the country. In the image above, the army is trying to help provide some food for the people. 

You remember that we discussed how the Treaty of Versailles put Germany in a position of having a huge National Debt. We then described the brilliant idea that German central bankers had to deal with the problem. Remember yesterday's illustration . . . Germany has a bushel of wheat. If it used the bushel of wheat to pay a creditor nation, it would have no food to feed its people. If it used it to feed its people, it would default on its national debt. So, it decided to print 10 marks. Five of the marks were sent help pay the national debt (monetization of debt), and five was injected into the economy to try and spur economic activity (stimulus, or quantitative easing). Also, remember, that somewhere out in Germany was a person with 5 marks that could have used it to buy the bushel of wheat to begin with. Now, this is what happens. That country that received the 5 marks wants something tangible for the 5 marks, so it tries to buy the bushel of wheat from Germany. The person that got the 5 marks through the stimulus program wants to buy the bushel of wheat, and the original person who had 5 marks to begin with wants to buy the bushel of wheat. Notice that even though there is now 15 marks, there is still only ONE bushel of wheat. The person who originally had 5 marks, the saver, finds that he is facing stiff competition for the purchase of the wheat. He finds that his 5 marks will no longer buy the wheat. The creditor nation that was paid 5 marks finds it was not a very good deal, because it is not enough to buy the bushel of wheat. The person who received the 5 marks through the stimulus program also finds that it will not buy the bushel of wheat. So, in the end, pretty much everyone loses.

I enjoyed reading the comments. Some suggested that the US is going down the same path as the Weimar Republic, and very dark days are ahead of us. I think this comparison is completely inappropriate. Even though we are printing money to buy our debt (monetization of the debt) and printing money to stimulate the economy (quantitative easing, TARP, stimulus, etc.), WE HAVE NO BREADLINES!!! So, obviously we are not in trouble, and the people running the FED are smarter than the central bankers in Weimar.

In a Totally Unrelated Story:

I compiled this chart from data provide by the US Department of Agriculture, and it shows the number of Americans receiving food stamps over the past two years.

Nope, no breadlines in the US. Hmmm . . . what if these people were in breadlines instead of getting food stamps. Well imagine that each state in the United States had 1,000 breadlines. Imagine that standing in each breadline was 1,000 people. That sort of helps you understand what this chart shows. But, food stamps are very different than breadlines, so we are not like the Weimar Republic. Everything is going to be just fine.

Party On!

Good Times in the Weimar Republic

There were some good times in the Weimar Republic, Oh yes, there were some good times. The picture above shows a party during the early days. The boys were home from the war, and things were looking up.

As we mentioned yesterday, the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, sought to "punish" Germany. There were a lot of different things, but one of the toughest is that Germany would be required to repay  pretty much the entire cost of the war. Many German men had been killed in the war, and the civilian manufacturing infrastructure had been decimated. So, the Germans were faced with an overwhelming debt, and little productive infrastructure. To explain the situation, I will give the following illustration. Lets say that the Weimar Republic has a bushel of wheat, worth 5 Marks. If they let the people in the country have it, they have nothing to pay their foreign creditors, and they default. If they use it to pay their foreign creditors, then people in the country would starve. Sort of like one of those No Win situations. However, the elites in Weimar had a brilliant idea. Keep the wheat, and print TEN German Marks. Use 5 of them to pay foreign creditors, and 5 to put back into the economy to try and get things back on track. It was the perfect solution. Creditors were paid, they kept the wheat, and there was 5 more marks floating around to "Stimulate" the economy. What could possible go wrong?

In a Completely Unrelated Story:

Last week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the Fed's new "QE2", or Quantitative Easing   2 program. In it the Fed will provide "stimulus" to the economy by injecting $600 Billion (and perhaps up to $800 Billion) in new money into the economy. The money will be used to "invest" in securities like Treasuries.

You see, I guess it is getting a little tough to continue to find new buyers for treasury bills, and well, the government does not want to cut spending because the people expect their government programs, and they can not raise taxes, because people do not like taxes, so the brilliant solution is to solve the problem by simply printing the money. The plan worked great. The next day the stock market rallied almost 200 points. In fact it worked so well, there is now talk about the need for "QE3". The idea is that when we see the value of our 401K's go up, we will feel wealthy, and go out and start buying new iphones on our credit card, like in the good old days.

Back to the original picture. To the Weimar Republic, I say, "Party On, Weimar". I hear a faint response from Weimar, "Party On, America".

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Treaty of Versailles

Today's picture shows the German Delegation at the Treaty of Versailles. This is the treaty that ended World War I. The treaty instituted stiff penalties on Germany. The German government which emerged after the treaty is known as the Weimar Republic. So, welcome to Weimar Republic Week here at OPOD.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dime Savings Bank

Today's picture is from about 1900, and is shows the interior of the Dime Saving Bank. I find it interesting the number of old banks we looked at this week that had the word "Savings" in the name. Also, as I look at the interior of the bank, I see the "Savings Department", and the word "Savings" over another part of the counter. Our culture back then was one of being "Savers", and the banks helped us by providing a safe place to put the money, and offered us modest interest on our savings. Now, the big banks rarely focus on saving, instead they focus on "Borrowing". Just look at all the advertisements from banks encouraging us to borrow and spend. When was the last time you saw a bank commercial about saving? We have become a debtor nation, composed of debtor families. I fear this does not end well.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Illinois Trust and Saving

Good Thursday morning to you all. Today's picture was taken in 1900, and shows the Illinois Trust and Savings Bank. The picture was taken in Chicago. If you click to enlarge the picture, you can see lots of interesting detail in the street scene in front of the bank.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Central Savings Bank

Today's picture is from about 1905, and it shows Central Savings Bank in Detroit Michigan. I really like these old buildings that had the door at the corner. Modern buildings appear much to sterile to me, compared to the interesting architecture of the early 1900's.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bank Run

Bank week would not be complete without a picture of a good old fashioned bank run. The picture above was taken in 1933 in New York. My Dad was born in 1920, and he never forgot the bank runs of the 1930's, and he used to say you never wanted to be late to a bank run, that he panicked first panicked best. I think he never really trusted banks after the bank failures of the 1930's.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Miners and Merchants Bank

Good Monday morning to you all. Today's picture was taken in 1905, and it shows Miners and Merchants bank in Nome Alaska. The people on the street are interesting to look at, but even more interesting is what is inside the bank:

This is gold from the Alaskan Gold Rush. The picture indicates that it is 1,250,000 in gold. At todays gold prices, that would be about $85 Million in gold. Same amount of gold, just the paper dollar is worth a lot less, so it takes more of them to buy the gold.