Saturday, January 30, 2016

January Skies and More

A few sky photos for January ...

Seattle from Kerry Park
Just after Sunrise
(Little bump on right is Mt Rainier ---
see another view of it in section Port of Seattle Photos below.)

Early in the month in Montana

Just before sunrise in the neighborhood.
Looking over Puget Sound
Late Afternoon January 14th

Summer and Winter - With and Without ...

Summer, Jens, Montana
With Train, Without Snow

Winter, Jens, Montana
Without Train, With Snow
Either way, we like the old barn!
Port of Seattle Photos ...

We recently discovered a Gallery of Photos on the official Port of Seattle website. The images are mostly by professional photographer Don Wilson and are offered for use, free of charge, on the web to "help tell your story."  Since our story often includes the home of John's Island we want to share some of these excellent photos. These views are often from areas where access is limited.

Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson
Mount Rainier behind SeaTac Airport
(Mt Rainier -- 14,410')
Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson
A cruise ship leaving Pier 68, Seattle, Washington
APL Columbia delivering freight.
Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson
We will be sharing more of the Port of Seattle's photos from time to time, or, if you want to see them now, check out this link.

Yellowstone Park update ...

Those of you who have followed us for a while will know that we are collectors of Yellowstone National Park memorabilia. Following the Park on Twitter is a good way to keep up with news from the area. In case you missed these recent Tweets, here are a couple of screen shots ...

Over 4 million visitors to YNP in 2015!

Beautiful shot of Morning Glory Pool in winter.
A vintage postcard of Morning Glory we shared in a previous post.
Maritime Update ...

This month we spotted the USNS Rainier (T-AOE-7) pulling into Puget Sound. The Rainier is a Military Sealift Command (MSC) fast combat support ship. It appeared headed for the Naval Base at Bremerton, Washington. Wikipedia has this description: "Rainier has the speed to keep up with the carrier strike groups. She rapidly replenishes Navy task forces. She receives petroleum products, ammunition and stores from shuttle ships and redistributes these items simultaneously to carrier strike group ships. This reduces the vulnerability of serviced ships by reducing alongside time." After doing a bit of research on this ship it appears she is about ready to go into retirement.

Here are two photos of the Rainier from Wikipedia and in the Public Domain ...

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Patrick M Bonafede
"The Military Sealift Command (MSC) fast combat support ship
 USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) shown underway in the Western Pacific Ocean"

By United States Navy, Photographer's Mate 1st Class James Thierry
"Rainier replenishes Ronald Reagan"
Last, but not least, Good News from USDA for those of us in the Pacific Northwest ...

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service sent this bulletin at 01/28/2016 04:15 PM EST 2015-2016 snowpack comparison: What a difference a year makes.

Here is a screen shot of the info ...


The bottom line is that our snow pack is normal or above here in the Pacific Northwest for 2016. This is great news after last year's drought. Link to the full story is here.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Portland Rose [1939]



"The Portland Rose" 1939 Brochure
Front Cover




During the glory days of travel by train, the Union Pacific operated the Portland Rose between Chicago and Portland, Oregon. The Rose was equipped lavishly providing all of the on-board amenities one might expect during those times. Our feature today is a 1939 brochure describing the train.

First pages inside

Description of the Train


The entire train is completely air conditioned.


"Tasteful harmony of color and soft shaded lights"

Ladies "Hair Bob" ... 75 cents!

Clothes need pressing?

Luxurious Club-Lounge Car of the Portland Rose


"Most important among the duties of the
Stewardess is the care of small children."


Back Cover
We always look forward to your comments about these old travel brochures. In the past some of you have mentioned that your experience with train travel was not all that great. Comparing modern-day passenger rail service with times before mid-twentieth century is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Prior to 1971 passenger service in the USA was provided by private roads like the Union Pacific and the New York Central. There was not much competition from airplanes, busses, and automobiles. The private roads competed to provide the best travel experience possible. Then, after about 1950, a lot of that changed. Passenger rail service declined substantially due to competition from the other forms of travel. On May 1, 1971, AMTRAK started taking over passenger service throughout the USA. Operating passenger service profitably in today’s environment, in competition with the many other forms of transportation, is difficult due to the expenses involved with operating a railroad. In every country in the world, where train travel is still admired, there is substantial support from government funding. Here in America AMTRAK must continuously fight to get essential funding. Perhaps it is just unrealistic to expect first-class passenger train service to be a priority today, so it is still neat to go back and take a look at what things were like in the glory days.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Yellowstone in Stereo [ca 1904]

From our Yellowstone collection ...

About one minute of audio for an introduction ...



Modern version.
Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer

Vintage Version
Stereo Viewer in our collection.

Showing the setup.
The photographic card can be moved forward and backward
to achieve the best focus.
The 3D effect is very good.
Photo from the web showing stereoviewer and setup.
(Photo courtesy University of Kansas Library)
Stereoviews from our collection ...

Stagecoach leaving railroad station at Gardiner, Montana
bound for the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone National Park
Published by Underwood and Underwood
Early 1900s

Fort Yellowstone
Did you know YNP was protected by the US Military in the past?

Mammoth Hot Springs

Each card has a full description printed on the back.

Although the Stereos in this post are old, about 1904,
they are in very good condition.

Buffalo in Yellowstone

The "Golden Gate"

"Black Growler" geyser
Tourists are not allowed to get so close to geysers today!

"Constant Geyser"
Today, Park Officials would not want you to get
this close to the Geyser.

"Devil's Inkwell"
Notice the tourist wearing a coat, tie, and vest.
Typical attire for tourists in the early days.

A bear in Yellowstone.
Bears are typically one of the wild animals tourists most
want to see during their visit to the Park.
How do you like the Stereoviews? Have you ever used a vintage Stereoviewer? If you are wondering, yes, some stereos were published in color. Some were referred to as "colorized".  Now, after recording our introduction, we did a little more research and realize, that, technically, these stereoviews do not produce a full 3-Dimensional image, or virtual image. However, it's pretty good!

Learn more about the New York Times VR Project here.

Learn more about the whole concept here.

We will be sharing more stereos in future posts. Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Cold Country

January calendar for you ...


A little winter break has taken us from the Rain City to Cold Country. The photo above was taken just west of Spokane, Washington, along Interstate 90. The shot seemed like a good candidate for a January calendar page. The pic below shows some really tall trees along the highway in Idaho. Heavy snowfall in late December created quite a winter coat.


Below zero sunrise in Madison Valley Montana.
Madison Mountain Range in the distance.
Saturday, January 2, 2016.

Madison Mountains from Jeffers, Montana.
Snow-capped is Fan Mountain.
Bluest sky ever?

Classic old home near Jeffers, Montana
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.