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." 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

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