Saturday, October 31, 2015

Watch Out! [ca 1910]

From our collection of old postcards ...

Happy Halloween from John's Island.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Need a Phone? [Early 1900s]

From our old postcard collection ...

We had to chuckle when some of you said you weren't around when letters were added to the dials on telephones (our last post).

So, for your amusement, here are three post cards sent out by The American Telephone and Telegraph Company, a part of the Bell Telephone System, to let you know why you needed a telephone in the first place.

#1 A Doctor Quick!

This card is the only one in the series with a prepared message.
The prepared message on the back of the card above .... "Let us hope that the need for emergency medical help may never come, but should it come, let us hope that you may be connected with us so that we may be ready – as we are at all times willing – to serve you. The value of one such call may out-weigh a year’s cost. Let me hear from you. Local Manager."

#2 Announcing Unexpected Guests

We got a kick out of the trash can next to the desk. It appears to be overflowing. And, of course, the suitcases ... it looks like they may be staying for a while.

Unused back.
#3 When Servants Fail

It appears the company was targeting the well heeled. Our guess is the lady on the stair steps is the servant who is showing up to replace the one who failed to do so. A simple call to the lady on the right appears to take care of the problem.

Unused back.
How do you like these cards?  You do remember the candlestick phone ... don't you?  More from this series of cards on a future post.

Thank you for stopping by John's Island. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Getting to a Smarter Phone [1940s]

From our collection of old postcards ...

Were you around when these kinds of cards were sent out?
(Late 1940s)
Our old card illustrates some history of the telephone. You will probably know that originally there were no dials on phones ... you just picked up and asked an operator to connect you to another person. Then, dials came along but only had numerals on them. As the system expanded engineers decided phone numbers needed to be a series of 7 digits, but it was hard to remember 7. Thats when they decided to add letters to the dial and create "exchanges". The exchanges were given names and then the first two letters were used as part of the phone number. Example ED5-1234. ED was the Edison exchange. The engineers said it was easier for folks to remember ED5-1234 than 3351234. Our old postcard was sent out by New England Telephone Company so they could figure out who needed new phones with letters on the dial. Later, of course, the exchange names were given up, but with the letters still on the dial we could do "smart" numbers. For example, an interior decorator might license the phone number 1-800-724-6837 but advertise it as the more memorable phoneword 1-800-PAINTER.

More photos from our files ...

October 16th -- Late afternoon
Looking over Puget Sound from Seattle
How do you like the sun rays?
October 20th Dusk
Looking over Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains

American Sea Foods
Fishing Vessel American Triumph
Docked at Pier 90
Seattle, Washington
October 17th -- Early evening
Info on American Triumph from

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
January, 2008
We are wondering what, if any, effect Hurricane Patricia
had on this beautiful seaside resort.
This is our photo taken on visit 2008.
Patricia struck the coast of Mexico on Oct 23, 2015.
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Art of Howard Fogg - Old Postcards [Part 2]

From our collection of old postcards ...

With our September 30th post we introduced the art of Howard Fogg on postcards. If you missed the introduction a link is near the bottom of this post. We are continuing today by showing you ten more old postcards featuring Howard's railroad art.

To make the posting process a little more efficient, here is what we've done ... We start with the front side of the card ...

Then, since the back of the cards all look the same, except for the description ...

We copied the description below the front of each card so it can be viewed as one picture.

Christmas season arrives at Gateway Yard

Industrial switching

Beaver Station and Ohio River Bridge

Christmas Eve 1961 at Locomotive Shop

Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation

Eighty Mile an Hour Drink

Loveridge Mine

Campbell Works

Pittsburgh Forgings Company

United States Steel Corporation
Please be sure to see our first post in this series with an introduction to Howard Fogg and why his art was published on these postcards.

Sunsets for Sky Watch ...

October 11 sun peeking through the clouds

October 11 ... Later
Almost looks like an orange version of
Northern Lights.

October 15, just before sunset

Close up a few minutes later.

October 15 ... Later
Note the shadows of the mountains.
Maritime and more ...

OOCL freighter heading for Tacoma
Note waterfront homes on far shoreline.
Early morning photo. 

Cactus bloom with visitor.
This one is out of the archives.
Taken in 2004 in outback Montana.
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Japanese Maple Leaf

Lately we've been watching the little Japanese Maple by our back door.

A couple of days ago we had to stop and admire the brilliantly red leaves ... they were so green just a few days earlier. A closer look revealed one leaf that showed the transition almost perfectly.

We pulled it off the tree and brought it in and scanned it.

The "micro world" has always been a fascination for us and this little leaf is no exception. We had to do some research to get correct names for the parts. The leaf has seven "lobes". An enlargement of one is below.

And here is the connecting point to the stem ...

The scanned image seemed inviting for some "digital" manipulation. We added the background color and some other effects. How do you like the result? Well, maybe we better not mess with Mother Nature!

Skies ...

A couple of recent sunsets have been sweet ...

October 5, 2015

October 9, 2015
Looking over Elliott Bay Marina
Bulk Carrier anchored and other marine traffic
in the distance. This is Puget Sound.
Ships sighted early October ...

U S Coast Guard Cutter
Northbound in Puget Sound

New Legend Pearl
Refueling before loading at Grain Terminal
Info from
Zim Rotterdam enroute Tacoma, Washington,
to unload cargo, reload, and depart for Busan,
South Korea

Info from
BTG Rainier anchored in Elliott Bay

Info from

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Picket Fence

When we saw this picket fence it screamed out to be posted on Good Fences.  How do you like it?

No, this is not our place. It's in a neighborhood nearby known as Magnolia.

Linking up today with Good Fences. Thanks to Tex for hosting!

We hope your October is getting off to a good start. Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


Robbery in Progress So tempting! [Click on images for larger view] Yummm! My neighbors recently hung a bird feeder in one of their trees. Th...