Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Blog Diaspora

Heading up river...migrating all past and future Gerontologo Americano content over to:

If Blogger had a redirect function life would be simpler...

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"

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 español 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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

When Detroit Made Postcards of Pittsburgh

Is that the Strip to Hill incline way off in the distance? (click to enlarge)  I still think we could build a 21st century green incline to reconnect the old arena site to the Strip.  Put a grocery store up there, and ask the hip flatlander residents of the strip to go up the hill for groceries. 

And if there's still any talk of burying the crosstown, we should just replace the Igloo with a big mound of green and recreate Grant's Hill a couple hundred yards to the a common space like days of old (way, way old). 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Old Writing Machine

Simplicity is superiority!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Old Pittsburgh Gas?

Below is an excerpt from "The Story of Gasoline" (1927) produced by the Bureau of Mines "Pittsburgh Experiment Station."  This clip is about 3 minutes, with ragtime music added.  The entire film is 43 minutes.

I wonder if the filling station in this clip is the Pittsburgh original -- the world's first?  It doesn't match the image from 1913, but that one doesn't look like it would have lasted into the 1920s, and this one is similar in terms of the orientation to the road.  

Did a trolley once run up Baum?
Here is the entire 43 minutes on YouTube. Worth making the kids sit through.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Old Europe

My friend Bob's color photography...Europe in the early 1950's:
El Retiro is my's as though one of the guys sitting on the top row just said something funny, and the others are looking back to laugh with him.
Almost looks like these guys are checking their phones.
Here's the car he drove all over Europe...when he wasn't flying Bob Hope and Danny Kaye and various ingénues around as head of entertainment for the US Army over there. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ghosts in the Old Poetical Machine

Hard to believe it has been almost six years since Billmon's old Whiskey Bar closed. Thought of it for some reason while reading sketches of old Pittsburgh men for clues to questions of the day.  The individual sketches appeared in The Pittsburg Leader on a regular basis, and were compiled into a book in 1892.                     (click to enlarge if need be)

Reading through them, I'm struck by how many of the men profiled (all men of course) were born elsewhere, back in the last era when Pittsburgh had positive net domestic migration!  
Which one to share first?  In honor of the Sharp Edge putting out a shingle downtown, how about an old bartender?
Pull up a stool, there are about 150 to share.  The Sharp Edge should line its walls with them for conversation starters.

Old Trolley Time

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Old Smokey Burgh

From a July 1949 National Geographic feature on Pittsburgh titled, Workshop of the TitansThe accompanying text reads: 

"These city inspectors study heavy clouds billowing from a steel mill's chimneys.  Smoke is viewed with special glasses and through a hole in a Ringelmann Chart.  Density is graded by matching it with shades ranging from light gray to black on the card."
Here's a vision for the Point in the downtown Horne's display window:

"At Pittsburgh's Mellon Institute a researcher prepares to feed contaminated air to an assistant, Nancy Butler, in an iron lung.  Plastic bags collect the air mixtures.  Results are registered on an ingenious guage.  Careful control of the flow protects Miss Butler from danger." 
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