Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Today's picture shows a couple of prospectors with their donkeys all packed up, ready for the gold rush. The picture was taken in 1907 in Goldfield, Nevada. One wonders if these gentlemen had any success in their search for gold. They certainly appear to be well equipped.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prospector with Donkey

Today's picture shows a prospector and his donkey. The picture was taken during the gold rush of the early 1900's in Grant's Pass, Oregon. 

The donkey has developed a reputation as a very stubborn animal. My understanding is, that in fact, the donkey is actually very intelligent, and must be worked with differently than other animals. Rather than simply teach the donkey to do what you say, you more or less have to work things out with the donkey. Once you reach an understanding, things will go smoothly.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hauling Water

Today's picture shows donkeys being used to haul water. The picture was taken in 1936 in the Sudan. This is actually still a very common site in Africa, where people still have to haul water, sometimes for long distances. You will see people at the river filling barrels affixed to the back of donkeys. It is interesting that the donkeys know how to get home, so after the water barrels are filed, the people just let the donkeys go, and the people go on to do other tasks. The donkeys take the water back home unattended. Then the donkeys will just stand by the person's hut, waiting for someone to come and unload the water. It is really an interesting thing to watch.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Boy Tending Donkeys

Today's picture shows a young boy tending donkeys. The picture was taken on the coast of England in the late 1800's. These donkeys look very hairy compared to the ones I have seen. Perhaps a breed suited for very cold weather.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Man Riding Donkey

Welcome to Donkey Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures of this much underappreciated Beast of Burden this week. The picture above was taken in the late 1800's in the middle east. Most people are probably not aware of the great extent that donkeys are still used today in many places in the world. Here is West Texas they are very common. A donkey, or a few donkeys are put with a herd of sheep or goats. The donkey will become part of the sheep or goat herd, and will very effectively protect the herd against predators. Lamas are also popular in this area for that purpose.

Friday, December 26, 2014


We wrap up Christmas Week with one more Bethlehem Picture. This picture was taken around 1900.

There was some interesting conversation in the comments yesterday regarding the possible sources of the star the Maji saw. The thing that remains a mystery to me is this. It is fairly normal to have a comet fly over, or to have planets align in a certain way, or other events that will cause bright objects in the sky. What was it about this particular event that motivated the Maji to pack their camels and go on a long, dangerous, expensive trek in search of the Messiah. What was different about this astronomical event that would motivate them to actually pack up and go to Jerusalem. This is one of those things that will probably remain a mystery until Christ's second coming.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

This picture was taken around 1900, and Bethlehem can be seen in the background on the hill. Not much had changed in the area from the time of Christ to when the picture was taken, so it gives an idea of what the area looked like at the time of the first Christmas. While we popularly think of the Maji being in the manger with the shepherds at the time of Christ's birth study of the text would indicate it would have had to have been some time after his birth. Also, the Bible does not say there were three wise men, it says that wise men, or maji, (plural) brought three gifts. Since they had traveled a great distance, it might have been a large caravan. I find it fascinating that these wise men had discerned the signs of the times, and knew that it was the season for the Savior to be born, and where to find him. The Old Testament was filled with clues as to when, where and how the savior would come, but it appears that few put the pieces together successfully to both anticipate and recognize the arrival of the Messiah. The maji appear to have diligently studied the scriptures to have the wisdom to put the story together. One clue the maji could have used would be from Micah 5:2 -

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”

So one could see that the text that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but how they knew the time was much more difficult. There is a fascinating book written in 1881 by Sir Robert Anderson called the Coming Prince in which he analyzed prophecy from the book of Daniel and showed that the time of the Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and his rejection by the religious establishment was predicted to the precise day by Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy. Perhaps the maji had used those prophecies to then deduce what the season of His birth must be.

One of the things that remains a mystery to me is what the "star" was that they saw as the sign of the birth of the Messiah. What was this mysterious astronomical sign, and how did they deduce that this particular event was "The" sign that they should pack the caravan and look for the Messiah.

So, things to continue to study and ponder. In any event, I hope you all have a blessed Christmas, and take time to reflect on the true and profound meaning of Christmas. . . the Birth of the Savior Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Today's picture shows Shepherds tending a flock outside of Bethlehem. The picture was taken about 1920, and reminds us of that first Christmas Eve, some 2000 years ago.

Luke 2:8-14: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


As we are in that last minute rush to get things ready for Christmas, I hope we do not forget the reason for the season, and I hope each one of us will take time to reflect on the true gift of Christmas . . . the birth of the Savior. Today's picture shows Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. The picture was taken in the early 1900's but the picture probably reflects how the city looked as Mary and Joseph approached on a donkey some 2000 years ago.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Capitol Christmas Tree

Today's picture shows a Christmas Tree being put up at the steps of the US Capitol. The picture was taken in 1913. The child on the Bicycle appears to be very interested in the project.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas 1908

Today's picture shows a Christmas Tree scene from 1908. Three small children are posed around a nicely decorated tree, with lots of presents underneath.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Week

Welcome to Christmas Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at Christmas Traditions throughout this week, starting with this picture of the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC. The picture was taken in 1938.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Suffrage Arrest

This was a Suffrage Protest at the White House in 1918. In this case, the police actually move in and arrest the protesters. You can see the police in the foreground, and back by the fence you can see the top of the banner of one of the protesters.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Win the Vote

Today's picture shows a protester with a sign, "Help Us to Win the Vote". The crowd appears to be amazed and perplexed by the woman protesting. The picture was taken in 1914.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Suffrage Week continues today with another picture of one of the signs at a protest. They appear to be equating lack of support for women's right to vote to hampering the War Effort. The picture was taken in 1918, which was when the US was entering World War I.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Woman Protester

This picture shows a woman with her sign as she prepares to join a protest at the White House. Looking at these pictures it is interesting to note that protesters of 100 years ago tended to dress better, be less angry, and carry more thoughtful signs than protesters today. It appears that the key to protesting today is have a little ditty that rhymes that everyone says over and over, whether it makes much sense or not.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Protest at the Capitol

Today's picture shows a suffrage protest at the Capitol. The picture was taken in 1913.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

White House Protest

Suffrage week continues with this picture from 1918. The women are getting a little out of control as they start a fire in front of the White House.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Welcome to Women's Suffrage Week here at OPOD. We will looking at the struggle women had in getting the vote in the early 1900's. We start with this protester who is holding a sign intended for President Wilson encouraging him to support Women in their quest to vote. The picture was taken in 1917.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ladder Wagon

We wrap up Horse Week with this picture of a team of white horses pulling a fire ladder wagon. The picture was taken in 1912 in Ohio. I have to think that by 1910 these horse drawn units were quickly fading into the sunset.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wheat Harvest

Today's picture shows a wheat harvest in California in 1907. It looks like 5 teams of combiners each with over 20 horses. This certainly was not a mom and pop operation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Horse-Drawn Firetruck

This is a picture from around 1915 of a horse-drawn firetruck. It looks like these beautiful horses love to run. It is interesting that they were still using horses at this time. Notice the automobile in the background . . . I wonder why they had not switched over to some type of motor-driven truck.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Work Horses

Today's picture shows a large team of work horses pulling some sort of combine. It looks like they are harvesting wheat. I count at least thirty horses on the one team, although a few of them might be mules. I wonder how they could get the animals trained for such a job. It looks like the two in front would probably have some sort of special job.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Horse Show

Welcome to Horse Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at all type  of different horses. We start off this week with Show Horses. The picture was taken in 1928 at the National Capitol Horse Show.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Today's picture is an example of beauty from the early 1900's. This is Miss Billie Burke. She was an actress and probably most remembered for her role as the good witch in the Wizard of Oz.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Woman of the 1920's

Today's picture shows an example of women's fashions of the 1920's. It is interesting to note what an important part the hat played in fashion back then. Now, the hat as a fashion accessory is pretty much completely gone for women.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Woman in Plane

Today we feature a picture of Edna Munsey in a Biplane. She was a actress in the 1910's. I am hoping she takes her hat off before takeoff, as I fear it would not stay affixed to her head at flight speed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

California Girls

Today we get a glimpse of what was considered Beauty in 1938. The picture was taken at the California Fig Ball. I wonder if these outfits were considered modest at that time.