Friday, April 30, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday (chirp...chirp)

Today in history! On May 1, 1751 the first (and perhaps last) cricket game was played in America. I have no further information to share with you - who played, who won, how long the game lasted, whether they stopped mid-game for a spot of tea, if any fan(s) stayed for the whole game. I do know that, for ever what reason, cricket is not a big game here in the states. It's not even a little game. We play baseball and eat peanuts and crackerjack.

The British still owned the US in 1751 which explains why the game was even played here on our soil in the first place. After 1776 we changed our TV channels to Baseball, Basketball, American Football and let the Canadians come on down and play Hockey with us.

Cricket was played in the Olympics only once: during the 1900 Olympics in Paris, France.

Other first and last time sports played in these first Olympic games of 1900 (which was an appendage of the 1900's World's Fair) included obstacle swimming, pigeon shooting, pigeon racing equestrian high and long jumping, angling, ballooning, canon shooting, fire fighting, kite flying and life saving.

The card is dated April 11 with no year. Mother is writing a note to her children to tell them Cyrus is getting better, and they celebrated his birthday yesterday and had a nice dinner. The weather is beautiful, but no rain, and although the farmers are busy they aren't planting yet. There's something about chickens and beans. She misses her children and wishes they could visit.

American Crickets of Note:

Mormon Cricket
(Not sure if there are crickets of other religions)

Although cricket did not catch on here, crickets did. The invasion of Mormon crickets in Salt Lake, Utah, is part of our history as are the thousands of hungry seagulls who flew by and saved the day.

Rock n' Roll Cricket

Buddy Holly (and the Crickets) was a important and revolutionary Cricket to the music culture

L.A. Cricket

Connie Stevens played a chirpy little character named "Cricket" on Warner Bros. "77 Sunset Strip" back in the 60's

For more Postcard Friendship Friday fun, stop by Beth's at "The Best Hearts Are Crunchy"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday - Halley and the Comet

1910 Postcard Photo of Halley's Comet

This Day in History: Halley's Comet (pronounced HAL-lee) appeared in the sky April 16, 1910. It was an amazing sight! The 1910 sky that did not contain the dust, smoke and smog particles and artificial light interference that obliterates our view of the night sky today.

Once thought to be a "dirty snowball", Halley's Comet was found to contain very little ice and lots of dust. A better description is "snowy dirt ball". Although it is as black as coal, sun light reflecting on the trail of dust particles makes it appear to be brilliant.

The 1986 appearance was a huge disappointment! Because of light pollution and the positions of the comet and the sun on opposite sides of the earth it was barely seen with the naked eye. I heard about Halley's comet while still in grade school and realized that I would be ancient by the time it reappeared in 1986. I would be (yowzer!) forty-SIX years old! I looked forward to seeing Halley and was hugely disappointed that it did not blast across the night sky in a dazzle of light as it did 76 years previous. Halley won't be back until 2062.

Mark Twain was born during an appearance of Halley. He said that since he came in to the world with the comet He should go out with it on it's next visit. He died in April 1910 just as he predicted.

162 BCE record of Halley's Comet

Halley has been around for millions of years. A clay tablet records, in cuneiform, an appearance of the comet in 162 BCE. Of course it was not called Halley's Comet back then. It was probably called "OMG! Its the End of the World!" or "Hit the Deck!"

Sir Edmund Halley 1656-1742

The comet is named for astronomer, Sir Edmund Haley, the son of a wealthy soap boiler, who used Newton's laws of gravity and motion to predict that three comets reported from 1531 to 1682 were in fact one comet that returns about every 76 years. He said the comet would return again in 1759. It did, but sadly he did not live to see it.

Halley Crater

Besides the comet, Sir Halley (He pronounced his name HAW-ley) has a moon crater named after him - the large crater just left of center.


The Great Daylight Comet of 1910

The greatest modern day view of Halley's Comet occurred in April of 1910. That was a spectacular year for cosmic events. While awaiting the springtime appearance of Halley, the world was surprised by the Great Daylight Comet that appeared in January, 1910. It was so bright it could be seen during the day!

Most meteor showers occur when the earth orbits through the remnants of a comet's tail. The next large meteor shower is the Lyrid Meteor Shower, April 21-22.

Other Notable Halley's:

Bill Haily and his Comets of "Rock Around The Clock" fame

Halley Berry of "Best Kiss Ever After Winning An Oscar" Fame

Haile Sailassi of "Man of the People" and "Time Magazine's Man of the Year" Fame

Other notable things in the sky:

A giant fireball seen at about 10:10 PM last night from Wisconsin to Iowa. The fireball - probably a meteor- exploded with sonic booms and a spectacular view.

Volcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland that is holding up hundrreds of flights from Canada and the US to Great Britain and Europe.

For other notable Postcard Friendship Friday posts, stop by Renee's The Best Hearts Are Crunchy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday - Got Milk?

North Platte Nebraska Canteen at the Union Pacific Railway Station

Yesterday in history: On April 8, 1879, milk was sold in glass bottles in the U.S.for the first time
Today in History: April 9, 1872, Samual R. Percy patented instant dried milk

This postcard is a photograph of one of many volunteer canteens set up at railroad stations across the US to serve milk, coffee sandwiches and snacks to servicemen as they traveled from base to base during WWII

The card, dated August 28, 1943, was sent by a young serviceman in the Navy. He was assigned to Co. 880, an Outgoing Unit and was traveling from somewhere in the east to Thorne, Nevada, in the Mojave Desert.

Ammunition Bunkers at Naval Ammunition Depot Hawthorne

Thorne - now called Hawthorne - was the site of Naval Ammunition Depot Hawthorne. The depot was the staging area for almost all bombs, rockets and ammunition used in the war effort.
I hope he enjoyed a nice bottle of cold milk and a conversation with some of the great volunteers who gave our soldiers snacks and smiles during their long journey. Glen refers to his transportation as a cattle car, which is not too far off. These wartime trains were gutted to the essentials to make room for a maximum number of soldiers and their equipment.

Vintage Milk Bottles

Prior to the end of WWII almost all milk was delivered directly to the home. Many houses came with a milk chute by the kitchen door.

The double doors in the chute allowed for delivery from the outside and an inside door to bring the milk in. It was a great storage area for butter during the winter.

Milk Chute - just below and to the right of the kitchen window.

Twin Pines Milk Truck - Detroit Michigan

After WWII electric refrigerators became a common appliance and housewives would purchase their milk at the store.

Close that door, Midge! Do you want to refrigerate the whole house?
Regular home delivery became a thing of the past, and creameries such as Twin Pines, a Detroit staple, closed their doors and became a thing of the past along with milk chutes which for security reasons were made inoperable. I've lived in several houses that had a milk chute, have you?

Worry Free Home Delivery!

Milky's Party Time starring Milky the Clown was also a Detroit staple. The 2 hour Saturday program offered cartoons, westerns, magic, games and prizes. The magic words, boys and girls? Twin Pines!

But back to our day in history: Dried milk was around in some form long before 1872. Marco Polo wrote about a paste used by the Mongolian Tartars (Tartar sauce?)and made of partially dried skim milk. Russia already had a patented form of usable powdered milk in the early 1830's. Powdered milk was, for a time, an economical way for the household to stretch their grocery budget. Now, however, the price is often nearly the same as whole milk, but the convenience and shelf life make this a good "disaster" stocking item.

Milk Delivery circa 1920

Glass bottles revolutionized home delivery. The reusable bottles were deemed sanitary and certainly easier to transport than the original method of carrying a large tank through the neighborhood and filling household pitchers and crocks. Before pasteurization, the cream in whole milk rose to the top of the bottle. It was skimmed off and saved for other uses -perhaps a hot cup of coffee.

Thank you for stopping by and here's wishing you the cream of the day! For more Postcard Friendship Friday Fun stop by and visit Beth at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy