This is another angle on “Mitch The Witch II” that was featured in an earlier post. As described in the earlier post, “Mitch The Witch II” has had a colorful history and is still flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum. I’ve started playing with the HDR Pro filter in Photoshop CS6 and used it on this image, I am liking the results I am getting with this, but I have also recently upgraded to HDR Efex Pro 2 and am liking those results also.
Prints of this and other aircraft are available here: http://goo.gl/zZohQ .
A typical baggage cart loaded with hand luggage and mail bags is on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum. The era represented could be the Roaring 20′s, the advertising card is for a rail excursion in 1923 from Venice, California to the 13th National Orange show in San Bernardino. The excursion was operated by the Pacific Electric Railway Company, which during its heyday had electric trolleys, popularly termed “red cars” criss crossing the greater Los Angeles area. The excursion from the beach at Venice inland to San Bernardino would have been roughly 100 miles if travelling by automobile, Pacific Electric offered a special excursion fare on Washington’s Birthday, February 18, 1928 for $3.25, round trip, via their electric trolleys
Pacific Electric’s operations began declining after the second world war, and most of the rail lines were eliminated throughout the 1950′s. The scandale that arose in the 1960′s was that it was widely thought that oil company and automotive manufacturing interests were responsible for the decision to replace the interurban rail transit system with freeways, cars and buses.
Ironically, local government and transportation authorities began championing interurban rail transit again in the 1980′s and the first Metro Blue Line rail transit (subway) line began operations in 1990 and later the Red, Green and Gold Lines were added, as was the Metrolink heavy rail system linking more distant exurbs. All of this work completed or still under construction in 2012, at considerable more cost to the taxpayers and environmental impact than would have accrued if the Pacific Electric Railway would never have been abandoned.
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This is a period reproduction of a railroad station from 1910 in the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum. In so far as it being a historically accurate representation the museum might want to consider re-designating it as a railroad station circa 1920, as the rotary telephone was not invented until 1919. I do appreciate some of the details, such as the spittoon, the telegraph key (visible in a high resolution view) to the left of the typewriter, and the telegraph receiver above and to the left of the telegraph key.
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If you know what the phrase “Duck and cover” means, and probably practiced it, you know what this object is. Living in the Los Angeles area during the Cold War era I also know what an air raid siren sounds like. The Civil Defense authorities would test all of the sirens at 10:00 A.M. on one Friday a month, and if we were in school we were taught to duck under our school desks, crouch down in and curl our bodies in on themselves, and cover our heads with our hands. We were curled in to almost a fetal position waiting for our doom from the blast and tremendous heat of an exploding atomic bomb over our heads.
We were fortunate that we never had a bomb explode over us, and are fortunate that humanity has moved past the immediate threat of atomic annihilation, but others have not been as fortunate as us, either those who lived through the German V-1 bombing in Great Britain before our generation, or those who have lived through the “Shock And Awe” bombing in contemporary Bagdad. The sound the sirens make is all too real for these people, as is the impact of the devastation created by warring nations.
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Among the artifacts on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum is this old locomotive bell. A nice jog of the memory of times past actually lived (by some of us) or as reproduced on the motion picture or television screen. I can hear that distinct sound of a locomotive bell pealing as it is rocked back and forth on its cradle in my mind.
We are still at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum this week, and as we started last week off with a vintage piece of fire fighting apparatus, this week starts with a view of SAN B’DINO HOSE No. 1, a horse drawn truck for transporting the fire hose to the fire.
As with the majority of my images, the three frames that make up this image were shot hand-held. The camera raw images were converted to DNG in Lightroom and then processed with Nik Software’s HDR Efrex Pro using a custom preset that I had previously devised. This composited the three images together and tone mapped the result. I used a custom preset in HDR Exfex Pro that I had previously devised, and the composite image only required very minimal “tweaking”. The image was then moved in to Photo Shop and a duplicate background layer was created which then had a Gaussian blur applied. I then masked out the fire truck, removing the blur from the truck. A duplicate layer was created and then processed in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3, the entire image, except the masked out truck, was modified by applying Color Efex Pro’s Midnight-Bright Sepia filter. There was minor fine tuning along the way, and I spent some time magnifying the image and cleaning up edges of masking that overlapped, or underlapped.
I thoroughly enjoyed post processing this image and I think it has a nice, vintage feel to it, yet retains great clarity and detail on the truck.
Please click on the image to view it in high resolution.
One of the artifacts on display at the San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum, San Bernardino, California is this hook and ladder “truck” that dates back to the 1900′s. If you look closely you can see the hook protruding from the red ring hanger that is attached to the rear of the truck chasis.
The Los Angeles County Fire Museum also displays an early hook and ladder and had this to say about it on their web site:
The fact that it is hand drawn, and not horse drawn, does not mean that it is older than horse drawn equipment. Small towns that did not require large firefighting equipment did not invest in the expense of having horses. So this vehicle may have served a small town or village, and they elected to stay with hand drawn equipment because they did not need the more capable, more expensive steam fire engines or horse drawn equipment…
It carried ground ladders and a roof ladder. A roof ladder is a ladder that has hooks that are spring loaded on the tip of the ladder that could turn perpendicular to the ladder so that the ladder could lay flat on the peak of the roof. The hooks would grab the ridge and hold the ladder in place so that the firefighters could work off the ladders. This is particularly helpful when there is a steep pitched roof. Especially when it is wet, it can be very hard for a firefighter to keep his footing. So, the roof ladder is used to provide better footing and safety.
It also carried axes and picks, and also the famed “hook”, giving it the name “Hook and Ladder”. The hook was used to pull down damaged buildings or chimneys to stop the spread of fire by creating a fire break. Sometimes, in early chimneys, the fire would get going in them and they could not put it out. So, they would just pull the chimneys down with the hook. The hook and a chain and a rope, and they used a long stick to get the hook up to the height to whatever they needed to grab, whatever piece of the building they needed to grab onto. They would use the chain and the rope hooked to the building, and a bunch of men would grab that to pull the wall down, or pull the chimney down.
Please click on either image to view in full resolution.
The first Santa Fe depot in San Bernardino was a wood structure, built in 1886. A fire leveled the depot on the night of November 1, 1916. The depot was rebuilt of wood and masonry in the Mission Revival style and opened on July 15, 1918. The heyday of the depot was from the 1920′s to the 1950′s; a Santa Fe timetable published in June of 1938 listed 13 eastbound and 13 westbound passenger trains departing from the terminal every day. In 1972 Santa Fe’s passenger service was turned over to Amtrak, and in 1992 the Santa Fe Railroad moved almost their entire freight operations to Barstow, California and Topeka, Kansas.
In 1992 the San Bernardino Association of Governments acquired title to the depot and began a restoration. That same year Metrolink commuter rail operations began arriving and departing from the tracks adjacent to the depot. Today Metrolink continues to operate at the depot and one Amtrak train departs eastbound and one Amtrak train departs westbound per day, this is the Southwest Chief that operates between Chicago and Los Angeles.
The San Bernardino Railroad & History Museum occupies most of the center section in the image above on the first floor. There is no rolling stock in the museum’s collection except for some small maintenance apparatus, but there are quite a few railroad artifacts on display, and some early fire apparatus.
This is the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, California. The museum that is operated by the University of California Riverside fronts on the Main Street pedestrian mall. I have not done any research in to the sculpture that stands in front of the museum, but what I see in it is a human eye looking through a camera view finder, or is it a bowling ball coming through a television screen?
Mitch the Witch II’s current home is the Palm Springs Air Museum, where it is a part of the collection that is still flown. The B-25 manufactured by North American Aviation was a medium bomber developed in 1940 and deployed in 1941; 9,984 B-25′s were eventually built. The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by the legendary Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. 14 people were killed — 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber. Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (though the planes that hit the towers on September 11, 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds). (Source: Wikipedia.)
North American B-25J Mitchell, N8163H Mitch the Witch II was delivered to the Army Air Corps as 44-86747. It is restored as B-25C 42-87293. Its construction number is 108-47501. After the war, it was converted to a TB-25N trainer. The Air Force retired it in 1958 and stored it at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Alton C. Mosley of Fairbanks, Alaska gave it its current registration on May 4, 1959. In July 1959 it was converted to a fire fighting tanker with a 2,000-gallon retardent tank. Merric Inc of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in April 1961 and sold it to RJD Corporation of Fairbanks in February 1965. Aero Retardant of Fairbanks bought it in April 1967 and operated it as tanker #7. Noel M. Wien of Anchorage, Alaska bought it in February 1977 ands sold it to the Planes of Fame Air Museum of Chino, California in 1978. Robert Pond and Planes Of Fame East of Spring Park, Minnesota bought it in March 1986. It has been part of the collection of the Palm Springs Air Museum since 1997. It flew as the Ruptured Duck in the movie Pearl Harbor. (Source: Air & Space.)
Returning to Chino for an installment of the Another Time series, this is the view from the corner of 6th & D Streets, looking northwest at the anchor structure of the block, the former First National Bank of Chino. The original bank structure on this site was erected in 1904 and it was replaced by this structure which was built in 1924 under the supervision of the Pasadena based architectural firm Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury. The only other structure still known (in my research) to exist that is attributed to Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury is a mansion in the San Rafael hills neighborhood of Pasadena.
In 1905 A.P. Giannini founded the precursor of the Bank of America, the Bank of Italy in San Francisco. Giannini was the banker who invented the concept of branch banking. In the early years of banking in California and in the United States banks were prohibited by law from having multiple branches. Giannini and others would get around these regulations by merging banks and operating them under holding companies. S0me time later Giannini merged the First National Bank of Chino with his Bank of Italy through his holding company and commissioned the 1924 construction of the First National Bank building which still stands today. In 1930 Giannini renamed his bank holdings Bank of America, after merging his original holdings with the Bank of America in Los Angeles in 1928. The “First National Bank” that is carved in to the pediments of the building, likely was obscured and replaced by “Bank of America” signage during that era.
Later in the 20th century Bank of America erected a new banking building three blocks away, at the corner of C Street & Central Avenue, vacating the 6th & D street building. The bank branch at C Street & Central Avenue was eventually closed by Bank of America during a consolidation of branches and that building now houses. In 2000 this building was re-opened as the Chaffee College, Chino Education Center.
The original First National Bank building changed hands after the bank left it and at one point it served as a component of a local hardware store that was operating in adjacent buildings on the block. In 1996 the city of Chino became interested in the building, eventually acquired it, rehabilitated it, including seismic retrofitting and opened the building as the Chino Youth Museum on December 12, 1999. If you look closely you will see what looks like a small boy scaling the corner of the building, somehow I don’t think any bankers had that in mind when the building was constructed.
As in other images in this series after HDR processing I converted the image to black and white using Silver Efex Pro 2, burned in some of the shadow areas, sepia toned the image, applied a filter to emulate Kodak Plus-X film and burned the borders to give it a vintage look. I can imagine a “tin Lizzy” parked in front of the building,
A hat tip goes to Al McCombs of the Chino Champion for contributing to this post with some of his knowledge of local history.
In addition to aircraft in varying states of repair, the Planes of Fame museum collection at the Chino Airport, Chino, California includes various mechanized vehicles of the ground hugging kind. Walter The Warthog appears to be an M3 /M5 (Stuart) Light Tank, on his starboard side is a verified M4 (Sherman) Tank that is still fully functional. The M3 was manufactured in the United States and used two Cadillac radial motors, it’s main gun was a 37mm cannon and it also had five Browning .30-06 machine guns. The Stuart tank was first used by the British in World War II and they nicknamed it “Stuart” after the U.S. Confederate General J.E.B. Stewart. The M3 was the first tank used by United States forces in World War II in tank to tank warfare. 22,743 of these tanks were produced by the United States.
A medium tank, the M4 (Sherman), so nicknamed by the British after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, was the primary tank deployed by the United States during World War II, and was also distributed by the United States to its allies, the British and Russians. The M4 was equipped with a 75mm cannon as its main gun and the tank crew was able to fire this gun with reasonable accuracy while the tank was moving. 58,000 of these tanks were ultimately deployed.
I got more practice using my exposure correcting, color correcting and tone mapping skills with the Control Points in the Nik tool kit and in the case of this image also tested the effect of using a sharpening tool on the original raw images and then a sharpening tool on the final images prior to .JPG conversion from .TIF. Sharpness is one of my obsessions.
The aircraft in the foreground is a Boeing P26A “Peashooter”, this is a fully functional (and still flying) former military aircraft in the collection of the Planes of Fame (air) Museum located at the Chino Airport, Chino, California. The Peashooter was developed in 1932 and was the first all metal, monoplane pursuit fighter placed in to service by the United States Army Air Corps.
The thin red “line” that seems to be bisecting the fuselage at the mid-point in this image is actually an aircraft warning flag attached to the leading edge of the wing (not an aberration in the image file).
I am not actually happy with the sharpness of this image. I seemed to be having some focus issues while on this shoot, I believe I need to improve my skills with the autofocus function in the camera, insuring that I lock it on the correct focus points.