Saturday, June 14, 2014

Canadian Pacific Railway photo postcards by Byron Harmon

Byron Harmon (1876-1942) was an American photographer who eventually settled in Banff, Alberta, and made a name for himself with his prolific work capturing the scenery of Canada.

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies has more than 10,000 photographic negatives, prints, postcards, transparencies and motion pictures featuring Harmon's work in its archives. Here's an excerpt from the Whyte Museum's biography of Harmon:
"Claiming he would rather photograph mountains than people, Harmon launched a life ambition to photograph every major peak and glacier in the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains in as many moods as possible. In this pursuit, he became an avid mountaineer. In 1906 he became a charter member and official photographer for the Alpine Club of Canada. Harmon organized and accompanied numerous expeditions, both with the ACC and independently. These expeditions were ground-breaking and daring, and resulted in thousands of still photographs and considerable motion picture footage, as well as prestige and international recognition."
The three unused Harmon postcards shown below are stamped on the back with the following:

Photograph card copyrighted by

And here are the cards themselves...




For more, check out the Byron Harmon collection on Soul Tones (which includes an amazing postcard of mountain goats). There are also a few book compilations of Harmon's photography, including Great Days in the Rockies.

Also, if you happen to find yourself in Edmonton, Alberta, between now and August 17, you can check out an exhibit titled "High Adventure: Byron Harmon on the Columbia Icefield, 1924" at the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book cover: "Beyond Time and Space"

  • Title: Beyond Time and Space
  • Editor: August Derleth
  • Cover illustrator: Robert E. Schulz
  • Publisher: Berkley Books (G-104)
  • Year: 1958
  • Back-cover blurb: "Here are magnificent tales of the incredible future when mankind will have fulfilled its destiny and when the Sputniks will seem as outdated as the horse and buggy seems today. You will read about life on other planets, the problems of driving a space ship to the stars, the ages to come when machines have evolved into unbelievable complexity. Man is at the dawn of a whole new era and these stories explore the question of what this new era will be like."
  • Notes: This 35¢ paperback features only 25 percent of the stories from the 651-page hardcover edition published in 1950 by Pellegrini & Cudahy. The hardcover edition has 32 tales, while only eight of them appear in this paperback. ... Authors featured in the paperback are Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Donald Wandrei, Clark Ashton Smith, A.E. Van Vogt, Olaf Stapledon, Edmond Hamilton and Frank Belknap Long. The hardcover, meanwhile, spans the centuries and also contains works by Plato, Lucian of Samosata, Sir Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Jonathan Swift, H.G. Wells, William Hope Hodgson, Fritz Leiber and Ray Bradbury. ... Editor August William Derleth (1909-1971) had prodigious career output as both a writer and anthologist, but is best known for first publishing the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, for officially naming and augmenting Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, and for founding Arkham House in 1939. ... Cover artist Schulz lived from 1928 to 1978 and, according to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database, did the cover illustrations for more than two dozen books during his lifetime. My favorites are probably Sands of Mars and I, Robot. (And Echo in the Skull is probably the most bizarre one.) ... Finally, speaking of "driving a space ship to the stars," you might want to check out this week's story on io9 titled "Here's NASA's New Design for a Warp Drive Ship."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mystery photo of a woman and a girl in (maybe) a backyard

This week's mystery photo features a pair of people in what looks like a very narrow backyard. (Or perhaps it's a penned area on a farm.) The photo has no date or identifications. Nothing is written on it all, front or back.

The small photograph is mounted on a piece of cardboard that measures 4¾ inches wide by 3¾ inches tall.

The photo itself measures just 3⅛ by 2⅛ inches. Here's a closer look at it...

Do we have any guesses on what time period this is from? It's a shame, as always, that we don't have any additional clues to help us with the place or people shown here.

We don't even know 100% for sure if this is a mother and daughter.

New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter, before any of his 3,300+ MLB hits

As Great Shortstops Week continues here at Papergreat, here's a neat relic concerning New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is currently in the 20th and final season of his Cooperstown-bound baseball career.

Shown above is Jeter's page in the Yankees 1994 Information Guide, a publication intended primarily for members of the media.

Look how young he is!

This is back when Jeter was a non-roster player attending the Yankees' spring training as a teenager. He was issued the nonglamorous uniform number of 70.

While he was a highly regarded prospect who was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 1992 amateur draft, Jeter had yet to prove anything. (Being selected in the first round is no guarantee of success, especially in professional baseball. The previous two shortstops taken by the Yankees in the first round had been Dennis Sherrill and Rex Hudler. Sherrill finished with a grand total of five major-league at-bats. Hudler had a solid career as a utilityman, but never blossomed into a star and only played in the Bronx for parts of two seasons.)

Jeter has done a little better than those two.

"Captain Clutch" has 3,371 career hits (as of today), has scored 1,894 runs, has compiled a .311 career batting average ... and has five World Series rings.

He has played almost exactly a full regular season of postseason games — 158. In those 158 playoff games, he has 200 hits, 111 runs scored, 20 home runs and a .308 batting average. His postseason OPS is a remarkable .838.

But this was before all of that. After spring training in 1994, he barreled through the minor leagues, spending time at Class A Tampa, Class AA Albany-Colonie and Triple-A Columbus. He batted well above .300 at all three stops.

Jeter made his major-league debut in May 1995, and the rest is history.

Here's another little treat from the Yankees 1994 Information Guide — an advertisement for Starter and Modell's Sporting Goods featuring New York Yankee Don Mattingly...

And, yes, there's an apostrophe missing in that advertisement!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Cover: "Invaders of Earth"

  • Title: Invaders of Earth
  • Subtitle: "15 exciting stories of invasion from outer space"
  • Editor: Groff Conklin
  • Cover illustrator: Morton Roberts
  • Publisher: Pocket Books, Inc.
  • Year: 1955
  • Notes: This 25¢ paperback, title #1074 from Pocket Books, contains 15 of the 22 short stories that were originally published in a 1952 Vanguard Press hardcover with the same title. ... The book features a selection titled "Invasion from Mars," which is Howard Koch's radio treatment used for The Mercury Theatre on the Air's panic-inducing adaptation of The War of the Worlds in 1938. ... Other authors featured in the anthology include Eric Frank Russell, Theodore Sturgeon, Milton Lesser, Mildred Clingerman, Katherine MacLean, and William Tenn. ... Editor Conklin (1904-1968) was responsible for more than 40 anthologies, most science-fiction, during his lifetime. The first of them was 1946's 785-page tome The Best of Science Fiction. Regarding Invaders of Earth, one Amazon reviewer writes: "Groff Conklin is a terrific anthologist. Too bad they do not make 'em like that anymore. And I mean both the anthologist and the stories!" ... I believe the cover artist is the same Morton Roberts whose short career involved well-regarded artwork for magazines such as Collier's, Redbook, Life, and McCall's. He died of a heart attack in his mid 30s.

Monday, June 9, 2014

1907 postcard: Thompson Fountain in Lincoln, Nebraska

"You ought to be along. R.M." reads the note on the front of this postcard.

It was mailed from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Mr. Elmer Meyers in Railroad, Pennsylvania (here in York County) in August 1907.

Pictured on the front of the postcard are three people standing in front of what is labeled as the Thompson Fountain at 11th and J in Lincoln.

Thanks to fellow blogger Tom Casady, the Public Safety Director in Lincoln, I can convey some information about this fountain. On his blog, The Director's Desk, Casady and his commenters shared the following in 2012:

  • "Two readers, Dave and Eric, recalled that a fountain once stood in the middle of 11th and J Street at the turn of the century. Sometime later in the automobile age it was retired to Antelope Park where it still resides (although no longer as a fountain) on the grounds of the Children's Zoo. I think we can safely say that the intersection of 11th and J Street was Lincoln's first roundabout, as he fountain would have caused the intersection to function as such."
  • "[The fountain] was a gift of D.E. Thompson, the U.S. Ambassador to Brazil at the time. He was appointed ambassador in 1902, so the fountain was probably placed between 1902 and 1906."
  • "Before 1940, the Thompson fountain had been removed to Antelope Park, as noted in Seeing Lincoln, a booklet produced about 1940 by the Nebraska State Journal:
    'One of these objects is the fountain given to the city by the late E. Thompson thirty or so years ago. It was placed in the center of 11th street a few blocks south of O. As Lincoln's herd of automobiles grew to thundering proportions city officials realized that the fountain, very suitable in the days when ladies nodded to each other across it from phaetons and victorias moving on either side, must be transplanted. After a number of accidents, some of them truly tragic, the fountain was taken to the park. Neptune, on one side, had been permanently crippled and the water nymph on the other was doubtless aged in spirit.'"

I doubt, however, that we'll ever be able to solve the mystery of who these three individuals in front of the fountain are.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

25 years ago today: Steve Jeltz's greatest day (Phillies 15, Pirates 11)

I still haven't gotten around to writing the definitive history of the Steve Jeltz Fan Club...

(because, clearly, The Definitive History of the Steve Jeltz Fan Club is something this world has long awaited)

... but, in the meantime, I wanted to note a great anniversary that is upon the baseball world today.

Twenty-five years ago, on June 8, 1989, the Pittsburgh Pirates took a 10-0 lead against the Philadelphia Phillies in front of a robust crowd of 18,511 fans at Veterans Stadium.

But the Phillies battled back to score a 15-11 victory, thanks in large part of the bat of Steve Jeltz.

Jeltz, typically a shortstop, didn't even start the game. He entered it early as a substitute for second baseman Tom Herr, who had foot injury. Jeltz went on to charge the Phillies' comeback by hitting two home runs — one from each side of the plate. (Jeltz was a switch-hitter.)

To put Jeltz's display of power into perspective, he finished his Major League Baseball career with five home runs in 1,749 at-bats. So 40% of his home runs came in one game.

Afterward, Phillies skipper Nick Leyva told reporters: "(Tommy Herr has) got a sore foot and that looked like a good chance to rest him because I knew Steve Jeltz was going to hit two homers."

And the always humble Jeltz said: "I don't know what to say about it. I was just trying to hit the ball hard. Thank God they went out of the ballpark."

Also in the game, Philadelphia's Von Hayes cracked a pair of home runs and the Pirates' Barry Bonds hit one of his 762 career home runs.

One of Jeltz's home runs came off Bob Walk, who started Game 1 of the 1980 World Series for the Phillies.

This was also, famously, the game in which Pittsburgh announcer Jim Rooker, after the Pirates took a 10-0 lead, stated on the broadcast: "If we don't win this one, I don't think I'd want to be on that plane ride home. Matter of fact, if we don't win, I'll walk back to Pittsburgh."

After the season, he made good on that statement, walking more than 300 miles from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and raising money for charity in the process.

Other baseball-related posts

Mystery illustration of boys playing

I have no idea regarding the source of this illustration, which measures 4¼ inches by 5¾ inches. It was printed on very thin paper and does not appear to be cut from a magazine. One guess is that it might have been a tipped-in plate from a book.

It's an interesting illustration, though. What game do you think these three boys are playing? Hide-and-seek? Capture the flag?

Or perhaps these are some boys who are on summer vacation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and are — in violation of school rules — preparing to use their wands for some playful magic. (Those sticks look too thick to be wands, but it's a fun thought nonetheless.)

Here is a closer look at the boys...