Human Powered Traffic Signal

Human Powered Traffic SignalThis handsome Haynes Roadster is stopped at a traffic signal on the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington D.C.  And because this is 1913 the traffic signal is but is “powered” by a traffic policeman who turns a sign depending on whether it is your turn to stop or go. Definitely cutting edge 1913 technology!


Below is another view of the same view:


Another ViewNote the umbrella for the traffic cop’s comfort as well as the little platform made from scraps of wood, which I suppose was meant to keep him from being run over by traffic. Standing there in the middle of the street doesn’t look that safe. But luckily there are not that many cars on the road.

I find it interesting that there are no horse drawn carriages to be seen anywhere, just lots of other vehicles in the background. It’s amazing how fast the automobile replaced the horse.

World Series 1912

worldseries1912A large crowd turns out to watch the first game of the 1912 World Series, which saw the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Giants four games to three (with one tie).  The picture was taken on Tuesday, October 8, 1912 at the Polo Grounds (IV) in upper Manhattan, New York. The clock on the upper right of the photo says that the time is 11:41

We can get a glimpse into the society at the time by observing the crowd and the advertising signs. There are billboards peddling Turkish Trophies (cigarettes?), hosiery, gloves, underwear and liquor and beer. More interesting are the people in the stands.

Can you see what is different about this picture and the people in it compared to today’s games? Below is a closeup of the spectators:


spectators at 1912 world series

We can see a lot of men, and not a single woman. And the men are all white, are all wearing suits and hats. This is not an anomaly – the stands are filled with the same type of people everywhere in the stands. What are we to make of this? Visible minorities and women do not seem to have been welcome at the games. And the men who attended dressed up; some are even wearing top hats. Considering that baseball has always been considered America’s game, can we draw conclusions about American society at the time from this snap shot? Perhaps. But we can certainly say that the world depicted in that picture no longer exists, and that is I think a good thing.

How the world has changed!

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