Women at Tule Lake Internment Camp, Dutch Street Scenes, and the Sounds of 1897.

As we roll into December, we have a variety of Friday Favourites today that includes both photos and audio. Please leave your comments, we’d love to hear them!

Pin of the Week

Five Young Women in the Tule Lake Internment Camp, 1943.

Pin of the Week comes from user antonia.mk, who pinned this wonderful colour photo of young Japanese-American women in Tule Lake Internment Camp, 1943. One of the many internment camps that the United States government forced those of Japanese ancestry into during World War II, Tule Lake was one of the largest. It was located in Modoc County, California, and over 24,000 men, women, and children lived and worked in poor living conditions throughout the course of the war. Here is a view of the camp during this time:

A view of Tule Lake internment camp c.1942-43.

I like the photo of the women above because despite the darkness of their situation, these women maintain their personal stylishness and most importantly, their smiles.

Have a look at the rest of antonia.mk’s Channel for a good collection of WWII Japanese internment history.

Pinner of the Week

Kerkplein, 1900.

Pinner of the Week is Regionaal Archief Alkmaar (Alkmaar Regional Archives), a partnership of 13 municipalities in North-Kennemerland, West Friesland and North Holland. It keeps a range of archival material, from records, books, maps, photographs, films etc. The Regionaal Archief Alkmaar’s goal is to help both individuals and organisations receive help with research or any other queries within the field of archives and cultural history. It also works within the educational sector to help promote Alkmaar and the surrounding region.

Their Channel contains some wonderful street overlays of Alkmaar around the turn of the twentieth-century:

Kaasmarkt op het Waagplein, 1900.
Stoomtram Alkmaar-Purmerend, 1897.

To view more, visit their Channel here.

Story of the Week

Arthur Pryor with his trombone, c1900.

Pin of the Week is a wonderful bit of audio that I discovered through Retronaut, of a trombone solo recording from 1897. The recorder and musician of the piece is Arthur Pryor, at the time a twenty-six year old assistant conductor with John Philip Sousa’s band. He had been playing the trombone all his life – Pryor was a child prodigy and played with his older brother Walt on cornet and younger brother Sam on drums. He went on to form his own Ragtime band, become a Democrat politician, and live into the 1940s. But for now the date is Tuesday 27th July, 1897 in New York City; I imagine a hot summer’s day, with Pryor hard at work recording his trombone solo amid the bustling horse and carts on the street outside:

‘There’ll Come a Time,’ Arthur Pryor, July 27th, 1897.

Retronaut paints a vivd picture of the context in which Pryor made the recording: “Its only twenty years since Thomas Edison first recorded sound…Four months ago William McKinley became the 25th President of the United States, three months ago Oscar Wilde was released from Reading gaol, and last month Queen Victoria of Great Britain celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. There’s been a Gold Rush for ten days, up in the Klondike.” Being able to literally listen-in on the close of the 19th century is a fascinating concept of its own.

This was an exciting time for sound innovation. After Edison first recorded sound with his phonograph (1877), Emile Berliner invented the flat-disc gramophone (1888), which could be pressed from stampers and duplicated over and over again. Machines before this required a new recording session each time, which in effect limited their production capabilities. But even the first issued incarnations of Berliner’s gramophones in 1894 were no more than toys; they were either pressed with zinc, which was really noisy, or hard rubber, which tended to flatten out. With the change to shellac in 1897 records were more practical; these were usually 7 inches in diameter and running around two minutes, which was what Pryor would have recorded onto. Also, these records didn’t have paper labels, but rather a recording date pressed into the record, which is very useful for us today.

We are always encouraging more primary source audio; this particular piece came from the personal collection of writer Roger Wilmut, who was kind enough to share his rare recordings online. We also encourage more crowdsourced information-if anyone can figure out a more precise location in New York where Pryor made the recording, please comment below!

Finally, if you have any old sound recordings in which you can pinpoint time or location data, please share them on Historypin! And they don’t have to be as old as Pryor’s; even something like an old voice machine message cherished by you is something we would love to hear stories about.

Gilded Age New York, Cairns Time Machine ™, and Filmmaker Eddie Wong

We hope that our American friends across the pond had a good Thanksgiving, and are suitably recovering from their food comas. We have a very special Friday Favourites today, as we welcome a contribution from Asian American filmmaker Eddie Wong, a founder of Visual Communications in Los Angeles, California.

Now on to some of our favourite content:

Pin of the Week

Street Scene, New York City, 1897.

Pin of the Week is one of my favourites, a street scene in New York City pinned by The Museum of the City of New York.  On the south-east corner of Central Park, this was and still is a busy plaza on swanky Fifth Avenue and East 59th Street (now the Grand Army Plaza). The rich had already begun to build their palaces in this area at the time this photo is set; the well-dressed men and women in their top hats and day dresses are a testament to the area’s fashionable background.

This was New York during the Gilded Age, so-called because the Americans who achieved wealth celebrated it as never before. Writer Mark Twain, who coined the term, described the general feeling of the era in 1871: “What is the chief end of man?–to get rich. In what way?–dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must.” Every man was a potential Carnegie or Rockefeller.

With some sleuthing, I discovered that the mansion in the far right corner of the photo was the Cornelius Vanderbilt II Mansion, a physical representation of the wealth produced during this age.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II House, between 1894-1927, Library of Congress.

Cornelius Vanderbilt II was an American socialite and businessman belonging to the prominent Vanderbilt family; it seems appropriate that his former home, now demolished, has been replaced by the upscale Bergdorf Goodman retail store. Looking at this extravagant mansion as well as the 1897 street scene, one can really see who and what lent the “gilded” to the Gilded Age.

When fading the Street View overlay below, I was surprised to find that a nostalgic part of this era’s lifestyle still remains with us today…

Street View overlay-what is surprisingly similar in the present day when you fade the historical image?

...the horse and buggies!

See more Gilded Age photos like these on the Museum of the City of New York’s Channel.

Pinner of the Week

Dr. Koch Memorial being unveiled, 1903.

Pinner of the Week is Cairns Time Machine ™, a wonderful recent Channel focused on sharing the lost history of Cairns in Queensland, Australia. Cairns Time Machine has a very specific origin story; its creator conceived of the idea of the project on November 17th, 2012 when attending the opening of the new Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal. An observation of the port area, and the shocking realisation of just how many old buildings had been torn down for redevelopment, spurred the need to document Cairns lost history. The result is a great interactive tour of the central and port area of Cairns, complete with photos and stories. The Channel contains historic images of Cairns supplied by the State Library of Queensland and the Cairns Historical Society.

Auctioneer E. Hunter, 1900.

Construction of the Central Hotel, 1909.

I love the passion here for sharing local history, and the fact that an individual has reached out to and collaborated with local institutions to help in this task. All the Cairn images are Street Viewed very nicely, and the Channel has a cool name to boot. Check out more Time Machine images and stories here.

 Story of the Week

Eddie Wong in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, 1970's.

We have a special Story of the Week, with a personal contribution from one of the founders of Visual Communications, Eddie Wong. The story begins with the Visual Communications Archives and Media Resource Library, who recently created a Channel containing stories of pioneering Asian Americans in film and beyond. Based in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles, the Visual Communications Archives holds one of the nation’s most comprehensive repositories of 20th Century Asian Pacific American history. In their own words, the VC’s holdings, though specific, “affirms a culturally pluralistic view of American society. This view resides in the heart of VC’s mission — to promote intercultural understanding through the preservation of our cultures, communities, and histories in America.”

Eddie Wong is one such individual who has been an important member of the Asian American community in California. Wong and his fellow founders envisioned Visual Communications as a filmmakers’ collective, one that sought to re-represent the history and culture of Asian Pacific Americans and use media for social change. This vision has helped the VC grow into a community establishment that now trains future generations of Asian Pacific American filmmakers. In truth however, Wong cannot only be called a filmmaker but also an author, arts administrator, and political campaigner. His time outside VC has seen him as a the founder of East Wind Magazine, the National Field Director of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 Presidential Campaign, and more recently the director of the Angel Island National Immigration Station Foundation among other roles.

Recently, Wong himself got in touch with Historypin to contribute further information for his VC pinned-photo, pictured above. Imagine my surprise when the person who used our “suggest more accurate details” feature was the photo’s very subject!

I asked if he could contribute a few words about his time at Visual Communications, as well what inspired him to become a filmmaker, and he kindly obliged. Here is what he had to say:

“When I look at that skinny, young man in the VC archives’ photo, I see someone who was thrilled to be involved at Visual Communications with such talented artists as Bob Nakamura, my mentor, and Alan Ohashi, Duane Kubo, and Pat Lau Miller (who probably took that photo).  From the very beginning, VC’s mission was to create media products (slideshows, photo exhibits, children’s books, films) that would tell the Asian American story from the inside. This process of revealing our true selves, unfiltered and uncensored, became our quest.  We had so much fun discovering the stories of ordinary people who collectively did extraordinary things like build California’s agricultural industry or found quiet moments of contemplation amid backbreaking work.
My interest in filmmaking probably stems from being the family photographer.  I loved taking snapshots with our Kodak Instamatic and was encouraged by my father, who pursued photography briefly as a young man.  Growing up in a laundry in Hollywood also whetted my appetite to explore visual images as my brother and I routinely dumpster dived looking for animation cells and celebrity photos.
Becoming a filmmaker was also enabled by the Ethnocommunications Program at the UCLA Film School.  This affirmative action program sought to increase the minority composition of the film program from a few to 50. Getting access to film equipment and instruction simply opened the door for us to create work that no one had bothered to do before: stories of Japanese gardeners, Chinese laundrymen, sewing women, Asian American youth gangs, etc. As film school wound down, several of us decided to continue working together and the rest is history.  Before there was DIY, there was “let’s give it a try.”  And it continues to this day that Asian Americans tell our own stories, recasting our images for all to appreciate.”
I thank Eddie Wong again for these inspiring words, and Visual Communications for doing what they do best.

Check out the VC Archive Channel here, as well as their blog.

1900 Girl’s Baseball, Tortosa Heritage, and Voting at 91.

Happy Friday! It is an exciting time here at Historypin, and we have many projects in the works to help better facilitate the sharing of the great histories and memories that you are contributing. Here are some of the week’s favourites:

Pin of the Week

Sports in the Eagle Rock Hills, 1900.

Pin of the Week comes from the Occidental College Archives, with this fabulous action shot of women playing baseball in 1900. Despite the long skirts, they appear to be having a great time. I imagine this as a scene from a 1900’s-era League of Their Own, without the crying of course.

Occidental College was founded on April 20, 1887, by a group of Presbyterian clergy, missionaries, and laymen; the first term began with 27 men and 13 women students. Twelve years after the above picture was taken, Occidental President John Willis Baer announced the decision to make “Oxy” an all-men’s school. However, students protested and the campus retained its co-ed population.

The College Archives were established in 1971 as a division of the Department of Special Collections in the Mary Norton Clapp Library, and serves as the institutional memory of the College. It documents the history of Occidental College by identifying, collecting, preserving and providing access to records by and about the College. Check out their Channel for more great memories like the one above!

 Pinner of the Week

Monument al General Prim (Reus), 1966.

Pinner of the Week is Arxiu Cultural de Deltebre (The Cultural Archive of Tortosa), a project of the municipality of Deltebre in Spain. Deltebre, in the province of Tarragona and by the Ebre River, was conquered by foreign invaders in 1148 during the Second Crusade; since this time it preserves significant examples of medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modernist architecture. The collaboration between Arxiu Cultural de Deltebre and Tirant lo Rall (cultural heritage center for the Ebro Delta) is an effort to build a greater appreciation for Deltebre’s local heritage, with many images from the second-half of the twentieth century. It is great to see local projects emerge from all over the world utilising Historypin to raise awareness for local heritage and history.

Cranes remove sunken barge, 1972

José Aliau on the promenade, 1980.

Tortosa today

To view more images, visit their Channel here.

Story of the Week

Grandma votes, November 1916.

With the recent US Presidential elections only shortly-passed, Story of the Week is about a lady who finally got the right to vote at the age of ninety-one. From HPHSArchivist, the photos depict Mary Brand, born in 1825, voting on a limited ballot on November, 7 1916 in Highland Park, Illinois. An emigrant from Alsace, France, Brand and her family became important figures in Highland Park society.

Although in 1916 Brand is only voting on a limited ballot, one can only imagine the feeling of participating in such an important milestone in women’s history-at ninety-one! Surrounded by family, she is affectionally called ‘Grandma Brand.’ She died in January 1921 — just a few months after the 19th Amendment’s passage gave women the right to vote in all United States elections.

At the polling place, November 1916.

The Streets of Dublin and Mexico, and Bob Dylan in Hamlet’s Castle

Hello and welcome to another round of Friday Favourites! This week I’d like to thank all the users who contributed information that helped us find more precise locations and Street Views of some great photos. A castle bridge c.1890, a railway hotel in 1913, and this Salford UK street are just a few that we’ve been able to improve. If you think that you can ‘suggest more accurate details’ of a particular pin, don’t hesitate to do so. Now on to some great content:

Pin of the Week

Junction, Rathmines, Dublin, 1911.

A closer look

Pin of the Week is a wonderful Street View from the Open University’s MA History program. The course focuses on local and regional history, and is using Historypin as a platform for sharing their interesting finds with the online community.

The turn-of-the century Dublin photo above shows streetcars, horse and carts, and some fashionable dress from the women in the foreground. A contributor on the photo’s Flickr page has done some sleuthing to discover the correct date of the scene, using the poster headlines between Retz and Rooney & Co. as clues: “And I think the poster says Saturday! However, the next word looks like August to me, so I kept searching and this looks fairly promising from Saturday, 26 August 1911:
The trial of Mr. Beattie for the murder of his wife by shooting her while travelling in a motor car, was resumed to-day…””

Many of the buildings in the present day are for the most part unchanged, which makes for a great Street View overlay with the 1911 scene. Check out a fullscreen version by clicking the first photo.

There are many school projects that utilise Historypin, and OU’s MA History program is just one of great examples.  We really encourage that Historypin become a learning tool in the classroom!

Check out OU MA History Channel here.

Pinner of the Week

Traffic controller agents, Leon, Mexico, 1922.

Pinner of the Week is user David, who has been pinning lots of great material from León, Mexico. In these photos we can see the hustle and bustle of everyday life, from train station scenes, to market shopping, to cycling on the streets. And speaking of the streets, there are so many great Street Views on this Channel, of scenes spanning multiple decades.

He has also taken a great Historypin Repeat, which I encourage anyone with the our Android App to experiment with. It is a fun way to include yourself and have fun with great historical scenes already out there!

Click the photos for a closer view, and have a look at David’s Channel here.

Train station, 1925-1945.

House built in 1883 and demolished in 1971, Leon, Mexico.

One of the many great flood photos that we have on Historypin; "One day after the flood of 1926."

A bonus repeat as well, taken May 2012.

Story of the Week

Bob Dylan at Kronborg Castle, 1966.

In May 1966, Bob Dylan visited Denmark as part of his World Tour, the first in which he travelled with an electric band. He had caused a sensation a year earlier at the Newport Folk Festival by ‘going electric,’ much disconcerting to many members of the folk movement.

While in Denmark he visited Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe.  The castle is most famous as Shakespeare’s Elsinore Castle in Hamlet. Hamlet was performed in the castle for the first time in 1816 to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, with a cast consisting of soldiers from the castle garrison. The play has since been performed several times in the courtyard and at various locations on the fortifications.

Dylan wrote a verse for the play’s Ophelia in his “Desolation Row”:

Now Ophelia, she is at the window, 
For her I feel so afraid 
On her twenty-second birthday 
She already is an old maid  

Thanks to Google’s efforts at Street Viewing more ‘inside’ locations, Kronborg Castle is one of the most recent additions to this growing list. This is how we could get this atypical overlay with sweeping sea views and castle grounds below. Click for a bigger view of Dylan contemplating Elsinore:

In Street View inside the castle.

Remember that you too can keep up with the latest Google Street View additions through the official blog. Maybe you’ll find some new and interesting places to pin!