Sunday, April 15, 2007

The was most probably an award. But to whom, or for what I cannot be sure. One very unique piece of nautical history..Can anyone tell me what this is?

I bought this most unique piece around 1980, in Boonton, New Jersey. It was bought from a person who did estate sales and the like. I took a fancy to it and bought it. It has been with me ever since and I often look at and say.."I wish you could talk"..I bet it would have quite a tale to tell. .......
From what I have understood so far about it. ........It represents victory over the earth. It has the famous statue of Winged Victory standing over the earth. On this globe is little dots marking what I would gather to be trade routes, travels, or passenger routes over the globe. On the base are ships. ..mainly four stacker's...Which tells me it is from around the 1897 to perhaps1914.

But what was it for? An award? Or perhaps was it a small piece that went to all the captains of ships, copying one monster sized piece that looked like this. If that is so, where is the main piece? For that would be quite tremedous!

It is really quite a striking piece, and I enjoy looking at it..But maybe someone of you out there may know what this is.....I have made my guesses.

A closer look at the whole piece and a better shot of the flag on the bottom Blue with a K in its center.

Here you can see the four stacked ship on the base. Also you can see the markings along the globe as to routes taken. This could very well have been German.
I had a funny idea, that The Kaiser of Germany was quite a traveling sailor on his many different ships. I wonder if this could have been an award to members of his ships crew and covering the many trips that they had taken. Hence the K in the center of the flag, and also the somewhat grandiose nature of this piece. It would seem fitting as something the Kaiser would do. But who knows...Perhaps it would not just a K on it if it was for the Kaiser.
So what is it???????
It could have just as well been an award a boat show, or a yacht club...Who knows?? But I for one would like too.
If you have an idea I would love to hear from you. Maybe you have seen something like this before...I for one have not. But I welcome all ideas and thoughts on this whatever it is!
Then I can write a history on it...But for now it is just an odd little piece of nautical history......

Monday, April 09, 2007

Meeting one of the early aviators of World War One.. Ennis Nagle ..1897-1971..He gave me pictures of himself in a Curtis Jenny he flew in late 1917

These photographs were given to me by Mr Nagle in 1970. He was a World War One aviator and was keeping company so to speak with my grandmother at the time.
I asked a number of questions about what it was like to fly a very fragile craft such as this Curtis Jenny, which is what they were called. I had about 500 questions I wanted to ask, and I guess I must have annoyed the hell out of him as he had other plans in mind.
So he gave me the photographs and told me study up on the subject. I went to the library and read all about the Curtis plane.
Mr. Nagle told me he never went overseas but just trained on these planes which incidentally never went overseas either! These photos are of Ennis Nagles plane in 1917. In the first one above he is ready to fly.
In the picture below his plane is at rest

It was interesting to talk to someone who had done such a thing when flying was still such a novel idea and scoffed at by most of the military.
Today as I write there are perhaps less than 10 survivors left of World War One. All of them are well over 100. As I think of it, if Mr. Nagle was alive today he would be 110.

But it was part of a noble beginning the of the Air Force, before it was anything at all. Billy Mitchell was in charge of a lot of this and he always felt that air power was and would be the end all. Today we know that to be true...

In 1917 the powers that be felt it was cute toy..not much else. That would lead to a great showdown between the Army, Navy, and the Air Corps....It would leave many a career in ruins and change the entire worlds concepts. But that is another story when I get around to it.

The return of the victims of the SS. Vestris by RMS Celtic. The Celtic brought back to Europe suvivors of the Vestris and then crashed.

RMS Celtic on the rocks at Roche's Point Queenstown, (now Cobh) Ireland...

My grandfather saved many newspaper clippings in scrap books. They go from the 1920's till the early 1930's.
One of the pages of his scrap book deals with the sinking of the Vestris. So here are some of the original pictures from the sinking that were in the papers in 1928.

The ship was ready to capsize. These remarkable pictures caught the public's imagination. Several survivors of this disaster sailed back to Europe on the RMS. Celtic.

One of the several other shots of the Vestris sinking

Water is coming over the side of the ship in this news photo..

The news clipping showing the Vestris before her sinking

The Celtic's career came to an end like the Vestris in 1928. However rarely does the story go beyond the Vestris. Here is a rare late menu cover from the Celtic in 1928

The food in this dinner was a simple fair...

The SS. Vestris was built in 1912 and had a most successful career. In November 1928 the Vestris was sailing near the Delaware coast in rough weather and her cargo shifted..He balance was compromised, and she started to list strongly. Soon it was evident that she was going to sink. An SOS was sent and many ships came to her rescue. The disaster was one of the first in which photographs were taken. It was in all the papers...It was the stuff of high drama.
Several of the survivors took the White Star Line's RMS Celtic home from New York in December of 1928. This ship was famous for once being the largest ship in the world when she had been built in 1901.
The crossing went well till the ship reached Ireland when she was hit by a violent gust of wind and crashed heavily into the rocks at Roche's Point in what is now Cobh, Ireland....The ship was holed and settled onto the rocks. All the passengers were sent to the boats and the ship was evacuated.
For the survivors of the Vestris, this was just a little too much for them. I wonder how many of them ever sailed again?

Some better pictures of the Vestris disaster November 1928

To the boats listing heavily

The empty decks

Water rushing over the sinking sides of the vessel

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The accident to the RMS Olympic on the 20th of September 1911, that doomed the RMS. Titanic.

RMS Olympic 1911-1935
A great shot of the damage to the Olympic from the cruiser HMS Hawk

What was left of the ram bow of the HMS Hawk after she rammed the Olympic.

Close up of one the big holes in the Olympic

The two sisters together Olympic left, Titanic right. The work on the Titanic was suspended while emergency repairs were done to the Olympic. This event changed everything for the Titanic.

The RMS Titanic pulls out at the start of her re-scheduled maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. If the Olympic had not been rammed by the Hawk, the Titanic would have left on her maiden voyage on March 20th!!!!!
Fate has a way of changing things....Rarely is that more visible than in the case of the RMS Olympic/ HMS Hawk collision, on September 20, 1911. It delayed the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.
The Titanic was to start her maiden voyage on March 20, 1912.
If that collision had not occurred most probably the Titanic would never had struck an iceberg, and would have lived out her life in basic obscurity....and be known as a sister of the Olympic.
But as fate would have it...There was an accident with the Olympic, it caused the work on the Titanic to be stopped, and the maiden voyage of the Titanic was changed to April 10, 1912...Sealing her doom.
But in a strange way giving her immortality.......
Who knows of the Olympic today? Everyone knows of the Titanic, made famous by a chance of fate, not by her, but by her sister, the now nearly forgotten RMS. Olympic.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The great April Fools Joke of 1878..which caused Thomas Edison to write a very famous letter

Perhaps one of the most important letter's Thomas Edison ever wrote...As it lead to the creation of his image and name

When Thomas Edison invented the phonograph everyone thought he could do almost anything. An April 1st headline on the New York Graphic stated he had invented a "Food Machine" This letter was Edison's response to that piece and his comments to the editor of the paper Mr. Croffutt...
The headline was one to get attention all over the USA, causing people to start contacting Edison to order food machines. This was a great moment for Edison as he gave to the editor a phonograph and sent to him this letter with the bit of fun on the back...The phonograph so amazed him Mr. Croffutt called Edison the Wizard of Menlo Park....It was name that stuck....
Basically over a April Fool's joke and the phonograph... It would always be the name Edison would be known as...The Wizard of Menlo Park....Now you know how he got that name..We are still waiting for the food machine though..