Saturday, April 10, 2021

Helen Longstreet married Confederate general John Longstreet when she was 34, and he was 76. At age 80 she was building B-29 bombers during World War II.

 There are so many incredible stories that we'll never hear of in our lifetimes, be sure to write your biography for your descendants

Helen Dortch was born in Carnesville, Georgia, and attended Georgia Baptist Female Seminary (now Brenau College) and the Notre Dame Convent in Maryland. 

Having met Longstreet through her roommate, she married him on September 8, 1897, when she was just 34 and he was 76. She was widowed in 1904.

Prior to marrying Longstreet, she was the first woman in Georgia to serve as Assistant State Librarian in 1894. She also authored the "Dortch Bill" (which became law in 1896) to allow a woman to hold the office of State Librarian.

During World War II she was a Rosie the Riveter at the Bell Aircraft plant in Atlanta. She said, "I was at the head of my class in riveting school. In fact I was the only one in it." 

In 1943, at the height of World War II, the widow Longstreet took a job as a riveter at a B-29 aircraft factory in Marietta, Ga. She was 80, described as “frail but vivacious,” yet was determined to contribute as she could. “This is the most horrible war of them all,” she told a reporter. “It makes General Sherman look like a piker. I want to get it over with. I want to build bombers to bomb Hitler.”

She worked in the factory for two years, refused to join the union, never missed a day of work or showed up late for a shift. Widow Longstreet told Life magazine reporters, surprised to find a Civil War General’s widow alive and well and working for the war effort, “I just want to build bombers to bomb Hitler.”

Dortch refused to give her age to the reporter, claiming only that she was “older than 50,” and added: “Never mind my age. I can handle that riveting thing as well as anyone. I’m intending to complete in five weeks three courses which normally take three weeks.”

She lived in a trailer camp near the factory and spent long hours in training to learn her craft. “I could not stay out of this war,” she said. “It’s not the soldiers fighting soldiers like it used to be. It’s a war on helpless civilians, on children and the infirm. They are the ones who suffer. Lee, my husband, and many another southerner proved that Americans surrender only to Americans, so we are bound to come out victorious.”

In 1947, she became the first woman to have her portrait placed in the State Capitol.

General Longstreet served in a variety of government positions after the war, including ambassador to Turkey and as a Federal Marshall. He served as a railroad commissioner and spent his final years trying to refute continued attacks on his character raised by his former friends and brothers in arms who labeled him as a traitor to a failed ideal. His 1896 memoirs, a labor of five years titled “From Manassas to Appomattox”, he attempted to set the record straight.

He contracted pneumonia and died in Gainesville, Georgia on January 2, 1904, six days before his 83rd birthday. Longstreet outlived most of his contemporary detractors, and was one of only a handful of Civil War Generals to live into the 20th century.

For the next 58 years, Helen Longstreet worked tirelessly to rebuild the General’s tattered legacy.

Helen Dortch Longstreet earned the nickname of the “Fighting Lady” for being a champion of many causes including environmental preservation, physical fitness, women’s rights, civil rights and as a Confederate memorialist. She was the first woman to run for public office in the state of Georgia and was thereby instrumental in breaking down the prejudice against women holding high political positions.

Mrs. Longstreet detailed her plan to raise funds for the Longstreet Monument by awarding a new 1949 Kaiser-Frazer automobile to the “prettiest girl in the County whose citizens make the largest contribution to the Longstreet Memorial Association in proportion to population.” Mrs. Longstreet states, “I thought this would cause the ordinaries to contribute and to appeal to their friends for contributions…I would risk my life on the bet that this plan will prove a glorious success.” Mrs. Longstreet’s ambitious plan included buying 48 Kaiser-Frazer cars (at $ 2,000 each) on credit to be awarded in all 48 states.

Not only did she organize the Longstreet Memorial Association, she created both the Longstreet Memorial Exhibit at the New York World’s Fair in 1939 and at the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco in 1940.

On July 3 of 1998, one of the last monuments was erected on the Gettysburg National Military Park. It was an equestrian statue of General James Longstreet on his horse “Hero” in Pitzer Woods on Confederate Avenue. Perhaps most astonishingly, 135 years after the battle, Jamie Longstreet Paterson, the 67-year-old granddaughter of General Longstreet was there to see it.

The General James Longstreet Memorial Bridge is an 824-foot long span, built by the American Bridge Company, across the Chattahoochee River.

The first Red Baby sold in So. Africa purchased by Messrs. Nelson and De Kock, Deering dealers Malmesburg, C.P. - So. Africa. 1925. I've never heard of the Red Baby Speed Truck by IH or McCormick Deering before

McCormick-Deering Red Baby Speed Truck.

Ernest Cobb, Largo, Fla. Replaced an old Six-Speed Special with DS-30 155-inch wheelbase for sprayer work in grove. Tank is an 800-gallon capacity

well, this is random, the Hurst golf cart without Linda

I've never heard of Winther vehicles before. These are both in 1921. The company was in Wisconsin, and only lasted 11 years

Martin P. Winther incorporated Winther Motor and Truck Company in December 1916, initially manufacturing a rear-drive Winther truck. 

Shortly after, the factory manufactured the 4-wheel-drive Winther-Marwin truck, and the Winther passenger car 1920-23. 

The truck cabs were open and fitted with low doors. Initial capacities were 2,3,4 and 6 tons and were priced from $2,750 to $4,600. Later vehicles extended the line and included trucks in the 1 to 7 ton range. As early as 1919 the company claimed that the Winthers vehicles were the dominating truck in the U.S. Navy. The smaller (1-2 ton) trucks were aimed at the agricultural market, while the heavier models were intended for use in the logging, fire fighting, and snowplowing industries. 

The latter made early use of rotary plows; one of the largest used two engines, the rear one over the rear axle to drive the truck and the front one for the plow, with the fully-enclosed cab between. In the 1920s, electric starters were added to most vehicles.

 In 1926, the company produced five vehicle styles ranging from 1 1/2 to 5/7 tons. In its last year the products were renamed Winther-Kenosha, and in the summer of 1927 the plant was sold to H.P. Olsen.

when I was a kid, Howard Hughes was incredibly famous, but I suspect anyone between 10 and 20 years old right now would not know who he was. Fame is fleeting for the vast majority of celebs

with his U.S. Army Boeing pursuit plane in 1934

Hughes had rebuilt the plane in order to increase its speed, and in 1934, he set a new national record.

nice eye catching way to get people to look at what you're selling. 1935

John Wayne, on the set of 'The Horse Soldiers'

This image was printed in "Harvester World" magazine (April 1959, pg. 23). Photo by John Hamilton for International Harvester.

Local auto dealer had been dumping 'jalopies' in this small lake for 15 years, but then retrieved them for the war scrap drive. Shawano Wisconsin, about 25 miles northwest of Green Bay

In 1942, government officials announced, “that all old jalopies, worn-out automobiles unsuited for transportation, must be scrapped to furnish weapons of war for our armed forces, under an edict issued by the automobile graveyard section of the War Production Board.” Many Wisconsin residents stepped up to do their part, but one enterprising car dealer in Shawano saw an opportunity to cash in.

Albert Radtke had operated a new car dealership in Shawano since 1927. The used car business had carved out a significant market niche after the First World War, but not all the trade-in vehicles that Radtke took in were in good enough shape to profitably resell. 

Radtke claimed that he sold around 200 new cars per year and with almost every sale he took in a used car in trade. It a car was resalable, Radtke would put it on the lot. However, in the case where a used car had little market value, Radtke had a different solution. 

He would strip the cars of any useable parts then wait for winter. When freezing weather came, Radtke would tow the junk cars out to the middle of an unnamed frozen lake near Zachow (there aren't any, so, this is misleading) and leave them there. When the spring thaw came, the cars sank to the bottom.

 By 1942, Radtke had been doing this for fifteen years. There were over 500 cars in that lake.

the red marker is Zachow, and the city of Shawano, where his car dealership was, is in the center of the map, and there are no lakes near Zachow. So, it's far more likely that he dumped the cars into the lakes north of Shawano. Keep in mind, he left the cars on the frozen lake for every winter for 15 years. He would need a remote lake no one was bothering to fish in, but large enough to keep dropping cars into, 500 of them. Zachow, mentioned in the story, doesn't have anything that fits the lake size needed

As the wartime scrap metal drives got underway, Representative N. Sherer for Milwaukee’s graveyard section got wind of the car-filled lake and considered it a gold mine. He arranged for local farmer Philip Whitman to recover the vehicles. Radtke agreed to show Whitman which lake they were in, but on one condition. 

Radtke, who did nothing to help, insisted on being paid $1.50 for every car that Whitman snagged with a grappling hook and pulled out with his tractor.

In 1942, scrap automobiles sold for $15 apiece, and scrap metal from a single demolished vehicle, it was estimated, could be processed into 35 50-caliber machine guns, so it was worth Whitman’s time to do this. If nothing else, it was certainly worthwhile to the environmental health of the lake as he dragged 15 cars out in the first day alone.

What a horrible guy. Despicable. 

Anyone want to guess how badly this asshole damaged the biochemistry of the lake by hiding cars in it? How much oil, gas, grease, lead, etc was leaching into the water and making the fish, birds, furry critters, etc sick? As well as the water draining out of the lake via some stream or river

I was born and raised over the north eastern border of Wisconsin in Michigan's upper Peninsula. That the lakes and rivers stay clean, is important to me. That anyone would intentionally foully pollute them just to hide junk is atrocious

how does anything as simple, and as useful, as a Jeep, end up in a junkyard?

This must have done a lot of work back in the day, simple design instead of some expensive yacht moving machine with slings and 4 wheels

WW1 cannon awaiting melt-down, Chicago, '42

1936. Hawks Miller HM-1 racer.


A Piaggio Ape 50 transformed into a paraglider

The Tessaurian, a 1920 idea for a submersible military submersible airplane equipped with telescopic wings to navigate diving.

The Schroeder S1 Cyclogyro, a plane that used a puff wheel system instead of propellers.

Friday, April 09, 2021

using a car to spin a belt driven sawmill on the roadside in 1937, in Winton Mn

someone lost their job when this happened, is my guess

before most people had radios, this truck went around blasting advertising on loudspeakers.

kids and airplane pedal cars

Max Burson and his wood bike.... thanks Robert!

from Max Grundy, who has stepped out of his typical apocalyptic/robot doom theme, and back to his early work of fundamental tire tread and shifter pattern. It's pretty damn cool, we need more like this!

This really goes way back to that fantastic flag Max did about a decade ago, with the shift pattern in the upper left corner, and tire tread for the stripes. That was incredible, and so is this!

1st time I have seen a Ruskstell Axle advertisement on a vehicle

Iwo Jima

the Bombay Highway Code, a poem set to music over street scenes in India


Thursday, April 08, 2021

the christmas tree, is that in a gas pump enclosure?

drivers education training in Garfield Elementary

Cool photos colorized by Imbued By Hues

1952  W. 88th St. Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC Photo by Ruth Orkin

Just passing the time of day, or, mixing words about the turf one of them is claiming the other is trespassing on?

Hoover Dam construction

the M 10000, made by Pullman for the Union Pacific, used from 1934 to 1941, when it was scrapped for the war effort scrap drive, as it's engine was worn out after 900,000 miles

1934 - M-10000 at the Boulder Dam

The nation's first streamlined passenger train was built by the Pullman Company for Union Pacific. It was delivered to Chicago on February 25, 1934, to begin a year-long tour of the United States.

M-10000 was the first of 11 streamlined “M” units delivered to Union Pacific in the 1930s and 1940s.

 The “M” stood for “motor,” and designated locomotives that were powered by internal combustion. This first streamliner, made of aluminum alloy, was a three-car day train; sleeping cars were added in subsequent models. 

Fully loaded with 116 passengers, crew and baggage, M-10000 weighed far less than a conventional steam train and used less horsepower. 

The trainset was sent on a publicity tour across the US, during which about a million people toured it and its stops became local media sensations.

During its 13,000-mile exhibition tour across the US as The Streamliner, it visited Washington DC for inspection by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The popular train was put on display at the 1934 World's Fair ("A Century of Progress") in Chicago from May 26 to October 31, 1934.

It was somewhat overshadowed by the other lightweight streamliner, the diesel-powered Burlington Zephyr, which entered the fair after a record-setting "Dawn to Dusk Dash" speed run from Denver to Chicago, in time to arrive at the "Wings of a Century" transportation pageant. 

During its testing, demonstration, and display periods, the M-10000 trainset included the sleeper car Overland Trail, which was removed from the consist prior to revenue service and added to Union Pacific's next streamliner, M-10001.

M-10000 was placed in revenue service between Kansas City, Missouri and Salina, Kansas as The Streamliner on January 31, 1935. It was subsequently named City of Salina as Union Pacific adopted the "City of..." convention for its new streamliners

It operated until December 1941, by which time its engine, after powering the train for approximately 995,000 miles, required replacement that was deemed prohibitively expensive.

The trainset was scrapped the following year, with its aluminum recycled for use in the wartime aircraft industry.

sure does grab my attention by having the hood and fender stripe pop off the photo

and the big n littles too.