In 1925, the St. Louis Star-Times sold lots along the Meramec River about 17 miles southwest of St. Louis along Route 66 for $67.50 each. The purchase of a 20 ft. by 100 ft. lot would also entitle the purchaser to a six-month subscription to the newspaper. Soon, the St. Louis elite was purchasing the property and creating a small resort town. However, after the Great Depression hit then the gas rationing during and after WW2, the wealthy weren’t as wealthy and stopped coming. About 2,000 people perservered and kept the town going. Until 1985.
Continue reading Times Beach, MO: A Modern Ghost Town Tale
This famous photo of the Hindenberg disaster was originally taken in black and white (hit the break for the original). However, thanks to Dana Keller and the Colorized History sub-reddit, we can now see it in color. The black and white image is impressive, but it fails to capture the magnitude of destruction. [...]
Every now and then the Cold War that gripped much of our planet from the end of WWII to the early 1990s had a little hot spot. Some of these were well publicized, like the Cuban Missile Crisis, but some managed to remain a secret for decades. The Catalina Affair is one that remained relatively quiet.
Continue reading A Hot Spot In The Cold War
…for something completely different, from Hyco’s doppelgänger. Your regular Saturday posts will resume on Sunday. So I’m told, at any rate. In the meantime, here’s a lightning rod hat (or two)!
More appropriately, un chapeau paratonnerre. Apparently these were all the rage in 18th century Europe after lightning struck the Church of St. Nazaire [...]
Beeman’s Gum was concocted in the late 19th century by a physician in Ohio named Dr. Edward L. Beeman. The gum had the two primary ingredients of pepsin powder and chicle, and was originally marketed as an aid to digestion. In 1898 it was purchased by the American Chicle company, which was later absorbed by Warner-Lambert. The gum continued in production as Beemans up until 1978, when it was discontinued due to slow sales. Now the rights to this gum are owned by Cadbury, and it is sporadically available as a nostalgia product.
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself that the packaging and name seem vaguely familiar, but you aren’t really sure why. Beemans became popular with aviators in the early days of flight, as the antacid qualities of the pepsin helped to calm airsickness stomach issues in flight. It also had the inherent advantage that any gum gives a flyer of helping to equalize pressure in the ears. Whatever the exact reasons, it soon became affiliated with flight, and was considered by many to be a good luck gum. This good luck angle figured into the film ‘The Rocketeer’, and the blockbuster ‘The Right Stuff’. “Hey Ridley, got any Beemans?”
The retro-throwback versions of the gum no longer contain any pepsin, but it is pretty tasty if you can get your hands on some! Now that you remember why Beemans seemed familiar too you, you might be saying to yourself, so what exactly does this have to do with this weekend?
Continue reading Got Any Beemans?
USS Coral Sea (CV-43) – the 3rd and final ship of the WWII era Midway class Aircraft Carriers, shows off with a demonstration of just how incredibly maneuverable these ships were, 1953.
Along with her older sisters USS Midway (CV-41) and USS Franklin D Rosevelt (CV-42), these triplets were the US Navy’s first “Super-carriers” as they were then known, a superlative that would eventually come to describe the much larger Forrestal design, and even more so those that followed. But for nearly a decade, these three remained the largest and most capable warships in the world.
They had some inherent sea-keeping issues such as a low freeboard – the flightdeck wasn’t very high so bluewater (unbroken waves) would regularly crash over the bow in high seas. And they tended to bob like corks… especially the Midway which had its hull widened to address the freeboard issue, only to create an even bigger monster with a fast roll center, which also caused the ship to corkscrew in rough weather. It was such a wild ride our system’s gyros would regularly go on the fritz during storms, necessitating a trip up the aft radar tower to fix them, in the rain, in the dark, with only a red penlight to see with, trying not to short anything out or electrocute yourself while planes tried in vain to land down below you. Good times!
These 3 sisters were known to cause the sea-legs of even the saltiest sailors to wobble as they chewed on crackers, even more so than the smaller escort ships that accompanied her (which we joked went over one wave, then under two). They certainly put hair on the chest of all who sailed upon her decks.
BUT, they could also turn on Neptune’s dime.
Nearly 40 years after the lead photo was taken, in February 1991 we would have some fun with that maneuverability Continue reading “LEFT FULL RUDDER!”
The 102nd Infantry Regiment was practicing on the fields at Yale University when a pit bull mix wandered by seeking out the sound to fulfill his curiosity. It was the summer of 1917 and the world was at war. The wandering dog soon fell in line with the soldiers and spent the day with them. By sunset, the unit had made him their unofficial mascot and named him Stubby.
Continue reading Sgt. Stubby
Tomorrow marks Memorial Day in the United States, a date to mark those that lost their lives in defense of not only the freedoms and way of life we enjoy here, but defending the freedom of our allies from conquest and oppression.
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Continue reading Memorial Day