Today's picture shows people enjoying a day at the lake. The picture was taken at Lake Chautauqua in New York. It was made in 1908. Standards of dress and modesty have certainly changed in the last 100 years.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Today's picture shows people enjoying a leisurely afternoon in Golden Gate park. in San Francisco. I really like how nicely people dressed back then, even to just go to the park. Golden Gate park is still open, and I don't think the park has changed much, but the crowd has.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
OK, it is summer time, so that means vacation! So this week will be vacation week. We will be looking at how people have spent their leisure time over the last 100 years. This picture from 1909 shows a woman enjoying some time in a canoe taking pictures.
I hope you will share some of your more memorable vacation moments this week.
Friday, June 27, 2014
High Tech week would not be complete without a look at the telephone. Today's picture shows the old telephone operators who would rout our phone calls back in the day. The technology has certainly advanced since this picture was taken in 1937.
I can remember growing up our phone was a "party line" meaning we shared the line with other families on our rural road.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Today's picture shows a Pullman Porter receiving schedule information via Pneumatic Tubes. I dont know if you can remember this, but back in the day many buildings had these pneumatic tubes running through the building, and you could send things from place to place by putting them in small cylindrical containers, and then putting the container in the tube. I can remember department stores had them at the checkout and would send checks to a central office via the tubes. These are still in use at banks for the drive throughs, but I don't know of anywhere else that they are used.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I have enjoyed reading about your memories of Key Punch machines and Key Punching in the comments. It is interesting how many people used such machines. I find it fascinating to study the development of the computer. It is hard to really identify anyone who "invented" it, and in fact it it hard to really identify the first "computer". As we saw yesterday, the "tabulating machine" should probably not be considered a computer, but it certainly broke the ground for computer technology.
Another bit of early technology that I find fascinating is the Player Piano. I think that player pianos were in many ways paving the way for computers as well. The songs were encoded on rolls of paper, and the machine read the holes punched in the paper and played music. The one pictured above from 1915 not only played the piano, it also played the violin. To me these were in many ways like an early version of the computer . . . they would execute a sequence of steps by reading holes punched in a role of paper. If you look at the earliest examples of computing machines they had more in common with player pianos than the do with modern computers. Here is a modern video of a player like the one pictured still working today.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I have enjoyed reading the comments the last few days, and have been surprised to see how many of you have actually used a computer key punch machine.
Today's picture is of a tabulating machine. It was not really a computer, but more of a counter. In the late 1800's and early 1900's completing the census was becoming an intractable problem. To help with this, the Tabulating Machine was developed. Each person's Census data was "key punched" into a card. The tabulating machine had electromechanical relays that could in effect do the counting for the census office. The technology developed for punching and reading the cards was critical in the development of functioning computers.
Monday, June 23, 2014
In the early days of computers, computer terminals did not exist. You entered programs and data into computers via punched cards. Each card had one line of computer code. The picture above shows the key punch machines which were used to punch the holes in the cards. The blank cards are entered into the top of the machine, and as you type on the key board holes are punched into the cards. You end up with a stack of cards, and those cards are then run through the computers card reader to enter the program into the computer. These were still in use in the 1980's, and when I learned to program at the University of Texas, it was using card punch machines similar to the ones in this picture.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Today's picture shows the"Univac", which was a very early version of a computer. A Univac, along with its accessories could easily fill up a large room. In the early Univacs, the programs were loaded onto the computer via large spools of paper, and the paper had holes punched in it, reminiscent of the old player piano paper cartridges. Later, the paper rolls were replaced by magnetic tape, but even then the "readers" were enormous. The video clip below is an early newsreel describing these univac computers.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
Welcome to High Technology Week here at OPOD, where we will look at cool and exciting technology developments over the last hundred years. We start with this picture from around 1920 showing a woman listening to a radio over headphones. As you can see, radios were huge back in the day. The radios amplified the signal coming from the antenna using Vacuum Tubes. These tubes were big, expensive, got very hot, and did not last very long, but they did enable people to have radios in their homes. I have heard of many people who got radios in their homes even before electricity. Some ran the radios on "Wind Chargers", which were generators with a propeller, and spun by the wind. Others kept an extra car battery to run the radio. Then each day, they would swap the batteries between the car and the radio. Driving to work would then recharge the battery.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
This is a picture of the ship Benjamin J. Packard as she looked in 1900. She continued in operation until 1932. I was surprised as to how late of dates these large sailing ships were still used commercially. Ships like this were still in use up until about 1957. One of the things that led to their ultimate demise was the relative complexity of sailing such a ship, and a shortage of trained officers to man a sailing ship.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Today's picture features a Bedouin Sheik. The picture was taken near Beersheba in the Middle East. The land looks a little bit barren. I had never thought about this, but it looks like he rides the camel side-saddle. I wonder if this is the norm for camel riding?
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Welcome to Nomad Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at indigenous people living tribal lifestyles. We start with this picture of Zulu men. The picture was taken around 1920. Scenes like this can still be found in remote parts of Africa, where there are still people living nomadic and tribal lives.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
OK, we had a few people comment yesterday on the picture of the Cheyenne indicating that they did not look like they were ready for battle. So, today I give you the Amazon Headhunters. I would suggest that no one would want to venture into these guys' territory in the rain forest. The picture was taken around 1900.