Thursday, December 30, 2010

Old First Night

Pittsburgh's original Light Up Night, in 1908.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bonds Appreciation Day in Pittsburgh

In the summer of 1986 I met Barry Bonds at the McDonald's on Fort Couch Road in Bethel Park.   

I was 16 and just driving, so I stopped in for a hamburger and saw the sign inside:  "Meet Pirate Rookie Barry Bonds."  There he was in the corner booth, all alone.   I sat down and he asked me how I was doing while signing his autograph.  And that was about it. 
In the years that followed, on weekend day games I would go with my dad or brother or friend and watch games at Three Rivers.  The tickets my Dad had were in the front row, about on the turf 15 seats down the line from third.  My memories of Barry Bonds are at eye level, his launching drives to right. 

Fast forward 25 years now, and how does Pittsburgh remember Barry Bonds?  

I vote for a Barry Bonds Appreciation Day next year, to break the streak.  

At the very least, we pay our due respects to his prodigious baseball talent.  

How about a skinny statue where home plate was at Three Rivers?

The photo below appeared in the Post-Gazette during one of his last visits.

That's me there, taking his picture in the lower left corner of the crowd, wearing the Homestead Grays hat.
I took this photo of his 663 home run in April 2004 in San Francisco.
Let's do a Bonds Appreciation Day in Pittsburgh next year, maybe when the Giants come to town as World Champions.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Old Smile

Arriving at the East Liberty train station in October, 1940

The train station in horse and buggy days:   

And damned if all roads don't lead to Google.  
Who knew Bakery Square had such origins?
Update: Wondering if the platform above is the one FDR used upon arrival - The Nabisco Bakery building was built in 1918:
The Nabisco plant had showers and locker rooms for employees, fireproof stairways, and large windows providing natural light. The original building stands seven stories, with two eight-story towers. Additions were built in 1928 and 1948.
Here's the East Liberty station and approach:
Name this Perspective

Monday, September 13, 2010

Old Google Time & Waiving from the Caboose

If Pittsburgh wins the Google fiber, maybe the first thing they can do is announce it from the new August Wilson Center.  That would really put it on the least on Streetview.

Just trying to figure out this perspective below (click to enlarge). 

Is that looking down Liberty, the intersection above at center left?   Help old Pittsburghers!   Bonus points to anyone who can identify who's on the billboard at right.

Image assembled from FDR visit to Pittsburgh footage (1940).  Just before this, the camera pans east to west away from Union Station as FDR's train departs (look closely and you can see him waiving from the caboose).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Old Roosevelt Home Movie

The clip above is from the full movie (17:41) available on the archive.

Hard to believe that film has been downloaded only 13 times. Thank you to the Roosevelt family for this national treasure.

Friday, September 3, 2010

FDR in Pittsburgh

Rare color footage of FDR visiting Pittsburgh on October 11, 1940.  According to a PG article from October 8th, he was in town to dedicate the Terrace Village housing project in the Hill District.  City and county workers were given a half-day off.  The parade route went through Swissvale, Rankin, Homestead, West Homestead, and part of the South Side.  Also apparently East Liberty (where his train arrived) and Penn Avenue downtown (from where it departed).

Also in that 10-minute silent clip is footage of Eleanor Roosevelt visiting Pittsburgh for a luncheon.

At the very beginning it looks as though FDR is manipulating his legs, perhaps loosening his braces after just getting into the car from the train? 

Here's an October 11th article from the evening copy of the Pittsburgh Press.  Lots of detail about the visit there (including the text of his speech).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Occupations of Pittsburgh - in 1844

New to the archive, a book listing all Pittsburgh businesses in 1844, just before the Great Fire.  It's from the personal collection of John Quincy Adams.
There were as many umbrella makers as there were plumbers and undertakers!
The list of taverns goes on for another page...

There appears to have been more than one African Literary Institute:
Not from the book, but an illustration from 1843:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Old Deaf Depew

Another remarkable old Pittsburg find on the archive.  "Deaf Depew" wrote for one of the late 19th century newspapers, and apparently was instrumental in advocating for the school district back then to test children for hearing and vision problems early.

All kinds of great vignettes in the 221 pages, including the Toy Mission of Pittsburg.  His spirited writing on what it was like to be deaf a hundred years ago is fascinating to this son of an audiologist.  

And old Charles actually looks a bit like my brother dressed up in period clothing!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Old London Calling - in Color

From the singular Retroscope:

Old War Record

From Pittsburgher Charles T. L. Allen in 1918.  

My friend Miss Elizabeth Parmelee (1905-2004) remembered sewing socks for the soldiers in World War I.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old Place to Live - the Closing

"And now, may I ask you a question?  What are you doing about it?" 

Narrator: What are we doing about it?

Old Place to Live - the Middle Part

"I'm talking about a home, an old people's home"

Old Place to Live - the Middle Part

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old Artistic Preparations

In advance of Pittsburgh Potty Month next year....A request for the art/design students in town to follow the lead of the Sunshine State and go to it.

Are our Pittsburgh Potties all accessible? Isn't that the great neighborhood question, the first question to be asked when considering the Village idea?

Maybe it's a conversation starter among neighbors at least...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Old School

Why I love Pittsburgh reason #157... 

Showing up in sequence on when searching using just "Pittsburgh" and sorting by recent additions are:

1. A fine recording by The State School at Project 53 earlier this month; and 

2. From 1907, the Catalogue of books, annotated and arranged, and provided by the Carnegie library of Pittsburgh for the use of the first eight grades in Pittsburgh schools

Eight graders back in 1907 were encouraged to read the memoirs of the sitting President:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Three Rivers

Bob and I are taking to the skies to research the Three Rivers mystery.  We went up for a spin using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 tonight.  

Three Rivers had been dust for three years by 2004, but its ghost lived on at Microsoft.   

No sign of PNC Park, but we didn't get a real good look inside the old concrete castle either.  

And who knew...Google Earth has a flight simulator now.  

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Old Guard

For a different kind of guard named Bob...because why wait until Memorial Day weekend to observe and report.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

El Chico

Viejos ambiente espaƱol de Pittsburgh!

Old Double Decker

Long ago there was an old list, a list of the largest capacity street cars.   And Pittsburgh was first on that list.  110 people!  What was its route?


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Old City of Immigrants

Census data above from 1910, in "The Challenge of Pittsburgh" (1917)

Immigrants were the first Pirate fans down at the old Exposition Park.

Friday, April 30, 2010