Sunday, May 31, 2015

More Gas Lines

OK, another picture today of the long gas lines of the late 1970's. If I remember right, it was about this time that most all service stations became self serve. It was probably to try and lesson the price shock of filling up your tank.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Gas Lines

Welcome to Gasoline Week here at OPOD. We will be looking back at pictures associated with that fuel that keeps the world moving. We start with this picture from 1979. How many people remember the gas lines of the 1970's? A gas shortage meant you had to search for a station with gas, and then wait in long lines to get some. I can remember also that the price of gas quickly went from around 30 cents a gallon to over a dollar. Dollar gas at the time was a huge burden, but we would look back on it now at the good old days.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Drying Meat

Today's picture shows an Eskimo drying whale meat from a successful hunt. The picture was taken in 1929 in Hooper Bay, Alaska.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Whale Hunt

Today' picture is really sad and it shows the outcome as whaling became commercialized and was done for profit. This picture was taken in about 1900, and shows whales killed and put on the shore for processing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Eskimo with Whale

Today's picture shows Eskimo processing a small whale they have caught. You can see the racks in the background where they dry the whale meat. The picture was taken in 1927.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Processing Whale

This picture shows a whale that has been killed, and pulled up on the beach for processing. The picture was taken in 1907.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Whaling Ship

Today's picture shows an old sailing ship that was used for whaling. The ship was known as the Grayhound. The picture was taken in. 1917.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Processing Whale

Today's picture shows a whale being processed after being killed. The picture was taken around 1940. I see a lot similarity between the hunting of whale and buffalo. Initially both these endeavors was by indigenous people who were doing it to survive, and wasted very little. Then in came commercial operations with huge waste and decimation of the population of the species, and then also stress on the indigenous populations as their food source was endangered.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Welcome to whaling week here at OPOD. We will be looking at that now extinct career of hunting and processing whales. This picture was taken in 1903 and shows a killed whaled being processed alongside the whaling ship.

Friday, May 22, 2015


This picture shows the ingenious method Indians used to move their camp and belongings. The poles from the tipis were configured onto the horses to create a sled of sort, and then there things were loaded onto the sled. These were called Travois. They were almost as efficient as having wheels.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Today's picture shows a group of Native Americans on lookout at the top of a mountain. You can see a lake in the background. This is a great picture that our old friend Nate Maas pointed me to.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Indians on Horseback

Today's picture is from 1912, and it shows a group of Native Americans on horseback. I do not recognize the peak in the background but hope one of you visitors could comment on where this picture might be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Indian Dance

Today's picture shows Atsina Indians dancing on the plains. The picture was taken in 1908 as their native way of life was coming to an end. This is really a great view of  this culture.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Native Men

This is an interesting picture of two Native American Men from 1923. The one man is dressed in a traditional manner, and is holding a well decorated scabbard for a 30-30. the other man is dressed in fine 3 piece suit. It shows the choice this culture had to make at this time . . . stick with the traditional ways, or become westernized.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Indian Camp

Today's picture shows two Native Americans in front of their camp and tipis. The interesting thing is they are beside a camera, and are looking at a roll of negatives, presumably exposures of their camp and family. The picture was taken in 1913, so one would presume that the person who took this picture also had taken pictures earlier and was sharing those results with these men.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Snake Priest

Welcome to Native American Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures of our original people here in the US. We start with this picture of a Hopi Snake Priest. The picture was taken in 1910.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trailer Family

This is a picture from 1936 that shows a family living in a trailer park. Actually they appear to be doing very well compared to many things we have seen from this era. They look well dressed, and have a roof over their heads.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trailer Life

Today's picture shows a family living in a trailer. It looks like they have expanded their living space by creating an additional room with a tarp and ropes. The picture was taken in 1936 in Massachusetts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Florida Trailer

This is another trailer park in Florida. This picture was taken in 1937. These trailers look like they are being used as residences and not for travel. The parks appear to be very well groomed, and the people are keeping them neat. Rent at this park was $5 per week, and included electricity and water.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Trailer Park

Today's picture shows students coming home to a trailer park after school. The picture was taken in 1941 in Sarasota, Florida. This looks like a nice area to live in.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Migrant Labor Camp

Today's picture shows a migrant labor camp during the 1930's. I note that amidst a sea of tents, someone has a travel trailer. In the valley of tents, I would imagine that the man with a travel trailer would be king.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Travel Trailer

Welcome to Trailer Week here at OPOD where we will look at tailer life. I would love to hear your trailer stories. Have you ever lived in a trailer? Have fond memories of trailer-based vacations?

I lived in a travel trailer for two years. When my wife and I retired and moved back to West Texas. We lived in a trailer as we built our house. I did not mind it that much, but my wife failed to fully appreciate the subtle pleasures of trailer life. She was glad to get a house.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother and Child

It must have been really hard to be the mother of a small child in the depression. The picture above shows such a situation in 1939 near Harlingen, Texas. Can you imagine the worry as you tried to keep your child fed?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This picture is beside a road near Nipomo, California in 1936. The family was out of work as migrant laborers because of a crop failure. Absolute desperation.

Looking at pictures like this, I find it sad that today if someone thinks it wise to keep a full pantry and put something away for a rainy day they are viewed as being odd. We act as if conditions like this could never happen again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


The stock market crash, bank failures and massive unemployment were made even worse by the fact that the 1930's experienced one of the worst droughts in history. The picture above was from South Dakota in 1936. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bread Lines

This picture shows another iconic part of the 1930's . . . bread lines. In the 30's people often had to stand in line for free soup or bread just to stay alive. Again, pictures such as these are in such contrast to the abundance and carefree lives of just a few years earlier. These people simply did not see what was coming.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Depression Era Family

The stock market crash in 1929 led to bank runs and bank holiday's shortly thereafter. The bottom line was a loss of liquidity. That is to say, people or businesses could not access their money, and could not access credit. Also, people who owed them money became unable to pay. This very quickly turned into an economic death spiral which affected everyone, not just those who owned stock. As businesses failed due to lack of liquidity, they could no longer employ people. As those people became unemployed, they could not buy things, and that lack of spending would lead other businesses to fail. Then finally you end up with large portions of the nation looking like the family above. It happened so quickly, and almost no one saw it coming. Notice the stark contrast between the picture above and the frivolity of last week's pictures from the 1920's. The scary thing to me is that we have forgotten the lessons of the 1920's, and we assume that something like this could never happen again in the US.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Great Depression

Welcome to the Great Depression Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures from that most unfortunate decade of the 1930's. It actually started in 1929 with the crash of the stock market. The stock market crash quickly led to bank failures and bank runs, where people learned that they had lost all their savings. This resulted in both loss of credit and individuals and businesses not able to access their bank accounts. This quickly led to business failures and unemployment, and overall desperate conditions.

What gets me is the striking contrasts between the 1920's and 1930's. The people in the 20's acted as if there was absolutely no way anything could go wrong. Most were caught completely off guard by the collapse and the decade of misery that follows. 

The concerning thing is that most people who lived through the depression have passed on, and this lesson of history has been pretty much forgotten.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Swimwear of the Twenties

Today's picture shows swimwear from the 1920's. While very modest by today's standards, this would have represented new levels of exposure for this time period.