Wednesday, September 28, 2022

'what a pleasure a good real book is'

Jordan touring car at San Francisco piers with the S.S. 'Ventura' at dock, 1921

The Oceanic ship S.S. Ventura was a 6,282 ton passenger liner which was built at Philadelphia in 1900 for Oceanic. The ship was scrapped in 1934. The vessel, along with its sister ships Sierra and Sonoma, regularly sailed between San Francisco and Sydney, Australia. In addition to passenger service, from 1912 Oceanic held a contract with the U.S. Government to ferry mail between the two countries. The photo below shows the ship departing New South Wales sometime in the 1920s.

A passenger who contracted smallpox forced the Ventura to be quarantined on January 18, 1921 when it arrived in Sydney. After the case of smallpox was found to be minor, the ship was allowed to dock at the North Head Quarantine Station in Sydney, but only passengers with a valid smallpox vaccination certificate were allowed to leave the station. Although the ship headed out for San Francisco as scheduled on January 25th, some passengers were not released from quarantine to return home until February 7th.

On February 26, 1921, Miss Frances Power, a stewardess on the S.S. Ventura became one of the first woman to become a naturalized citizen of the United States by virtue of having served on an American flag ship for three continuous years. The Sacramento Call newspaper story from February 27, 1921 announcing her citizenship is below, but it leaves out the fact that there are other requirements, such as five years of U.S. residency, that also apply in order to be naturalized in this way. Miss Power was born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada on March 22, 1888.

On the morning of August 17, 1930 the Ventura came to the aide of the sinking ship RMS Tahiti, on voyage between New Zealand and San Fransisco. Ventura picked up all of the passengers after they abandoned ship in life boats. No lives were lost. A broken propeller shaft had created a hole in the hull and a bulkhead of the Tahiti on August 12, 1930. The Tahiti ultimately sank on the afternoon of August 17th after the crew was able to return to her, save the mail and bullion on board, and then return to the Ventura.

Based on the license plate, the Jordan car was being sold by the C.D. Rand agency, which sold both Jordan and Mercer automobiles, at 1519 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Rand was Clinton DeWitt Rand, 1884 - 1957, and he spent most of his life selling automobiles and tires. It's quite possible that he is shaking the woman's hand in the photo. 


'California Zephyr' train promo pic, Colorado, early 1950s

1972 Pontiac Grand Ville Sport Coupe

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

'I find a good real book more satisfying'

cars, trucks, trams and U-Bahn in East Berlin, 1978

The suburb of Prenzlauer Berg

SwissAir DC3 ashtray, 1937

the former Swansea Mumbles tram-train, Wales

Mumbles train at Blackpill, passing the electricity sub-station which provided the overhead cables with the 660v DC current which powered the train. Although the railway has long since (unfortunately) gone, the building still survives today. The bridge in the background carried the Swansea Bay railway over the Mumbles road and northwards through Clyne valley. (

This former 5.50 mile (8.85 km) long railway was opened for horse-drawn operation on 25 March 1807 mainly to transport quarried products to the Swansea canal. But it was also the world's first passenger railway. In 1877 steam operation began which lasted until 1929 when the line was electrified at 650 volts DC. The 13 cars were built by Brush Traction at Loughborough and each car seated 106 passengers. The line was shortened for roadworks in October 1959 and closed at the beginning of 1960. It ran from Rutland Street depot in Swansea to Mumbles pier.

The Mumbles Development Trust is proposing a Mumbles Railway Walking Trail from the LC in Swansea to Mumbles Pier along the original route. Replica station signs at the eleven station points along the route would be erected with historical information provided on QR codes. Guided walks would also be provided. A later phase would see the creation of a Mumbles Railway Museum to house many items of associated railway memorabilia and ephemera.

To begin fund raising, Mumbles Development Trust has commissioned a replica badge of the iconic red tram which ran from 1929-1960.

British 4-6-0 from 1927

Loco 46141 named The North Staffordshire Regiment was built in 1927 by North British Locomotive Company, Glasgow and withdrawn in 1962. The Scot class got rebuilt by Stanier in the late 1940's. 

The location is not stated but given there is a banker engine (pusher) attached, a punt is that it is Shap near the start of the ascent.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

bus ding in New Plymouth

Powerco said 1,842 customers in and around Moturoa and Marfell lost power due to the crash. No injuries were reported. (pic via Glen Lovegrove)

cars in Colombo Street, Christchurch, circa 1960

 Used car dealer Corlet Motors is on the opposite corner with a pump or 2 for formula 7 Shell.