Archive for the 'Old West' Category

On Tabernas and coincidence

Howdy Kids,
I feel like sharing this pic with you all.
A great image from artist Storm Thorgerson. I was looking this morning for some inspiration and found this one.
Shot has been shotted from a typical western-movie angle, in a town called Tabernas. Google learned me this is a ‘little’ hollywoodvillage in spain, where some movies were shot.
Check out Google images for more pics of Tabernas.
Anyone know more movie sets that were used in Western movies? This would make a nice map!


posted by ZaPaTa in *LAME* Clan,Movies & Videos,Old West and have Comments (18)

Old West photographs — Stereographs

[Source: n/a, probably OAC (see below)].

Stereographs (also know as stereograms, stereoviews and stereocards) present three-dimensional (3D) views of their subjects, enabling armchair tourists to have a “you are there” experience. […] Stereographs feature two photographs or printed images positioned side by side about two and half inches apart, one for the left eye and one for the right. When a viewer uses a stereoscope, a device for viewing stereographs, these two flat images are combined into a single image that gives the illusion of depth. […] Between the 1840s, when stereographs were first made, and the 1930s, when they were supplanted by movies and other media, millions of stereographs were produced.

[Source:A Brief History of Stereographs and Stereoscopes].

Here are a few sources for Old West stereographs:

OAC – Online Archive of California
Watkins Stereoviews
Wikipedia — Stereoscopy

As I suppose you don’t own a stereoscope, this is a GIF composition to give you a sort of 3D view of the same photograph:

But there’s another way to see stereographs in 3D without the use of a stereoscope: “free-viewing”. It will enhance your enjoyment of the sources listed above, and it’s fun! It will take some practice to learn, though.

Watching a full-size image of a stereograph in your monitor, stare at the exact center or the image (between the twin photographs), at a distance of cm 40-50 from the monitor (but this depends on screen resolutions, so you have to try different distances), keep the head straight, and now focus your eyes to infinity.

At first, you see 4 images or only 2. Concentrate, what you want is getting to see 3 images with the center image appearing 3 dimensional.

If the center image appears fractured, try to notice some dominant visual areas such as lines or white areas within the image(s) and cause them to converge (a mostly mental process). If you do this you will see three images with the center one being 3D. Your mind will mostly ignore all but the center image. It will get easier to do as you practice until it becomes almost automatic. It will be a new world! The practice will be worth it!

Actually there are 2 ways to get this 3D vision: you can focus on infinity (as said above) and what you’ll get will be a 3D photo that seems much smaller than the original and closer to your eyes, or you can focus an imaginary point between you and the stereograph and you’ll get a 3D photo that looks bigger and more distant.
[See also:]

posted by Biondo in Graphics & Photos,Old West and have Comments (5)

Old West photographs — U.S. National Archives

For all of us looking for documents about the life in Old West (for those who publish images and stories in this blog, but also for SG mappers and modelers occasionally visiting this site), this is a first post about online resources for old photographs. If you know of other interesting sources, please leave a comment or make a new post.

Source: U.S. National Archives, Photographs of the American West: 1861-1912 (

All the photos are very expressive. As a preview I post here a couple of them.

174. Close-up view of Broadway Street, Round Pond, Okla. Terr. Shopkeepers and customers pose in doorways. By Kennett, January 1894. 233-TRP-47

189. Children in their Sunday clothes pose in front of adobe church, Alamo National Forest, N. Mex. Terr. [now Lincoln National Forest]. By A. M. Neal, May 13, 1908. 95-G-75383

posted by Biondo in Graphics & Photos,Old West and have Comments (3)

Tribute to some lesser-known heroes

When we talk about the wild west, we imagine Large grassy pastures, herd of cattle, and of course, cowboys. But we can’t forget Alaska. This is one of America’s wildest regions, and it was th “wildest west” in the past.

I want my writing to remember some lesser-known heroes, This is theirs story.

In the winter of 1925, the dread epidemic struck the small town of Nome, Alaska, on the west coast of the Bering Sea. A local physician by the name of Curtis Welch diagnosed the first case of diphtheria in a six-year Eskimo boy on 1925-01-25. Now, diphtheria is highly contagious and a disease you can neither argue with nor ignore. Its incubation time is no more than seven days and whole populations died in diphtheria outbreaks before the 20th century. Nome had a population of 1429, many of them Native Alaskans who were more susceptible to introduced bugs such as the diphtheria bacterium.

It was therefore of the utmost urgency to procure sufficient antidiphtheric serum to inoculate the population, especially the children, of Nome against this killer or risk their deaths in a very short time. The modern convenience of the telegraph had not extended its tentacles to the farthest reaches of the continent but Dr. Welch had a wireless at his disposal and radioed the nearest medical facilities, nearest in the Alaskan winter being pretty damned far. A hospital in Anchorage responded offering 300,000 units of serum which turned out to be the grand total of diphtheria serum in the territory.

The problem was how to get it from Anchorage to Nome, and get it there post haste to boot. The two only aeroplanes in town had been taken apart and placed in winter storage. Nobody knew whether the flimsy aircraft of the time were capable of handling winter conditions but the pilots offered to try. It would have been deadly folly in an open cockpit. Governor Bonein Juneau made the decision, ordered more serum from Seattle, and gave the order that it be sent by means of dog sled teams, probably the only means of transportation that stood a chance of making it.

It was suggested in Nome that the serum travel by rail as far as it could and then be loaded onto a dog sled, which would be met by their own half-way but it was considered more prudent to use a relay. At the hospital the serum was packed in the best makeshift insulation available and sent north to Nenana with a conductor on the Alaska Railroad the day after Welch had sent the wire. By 23:00 the next day the twenty-pound parcel was in Nenana, end of the line as far as rail transport was concerned and ready to head east to Nome. In the meantime, the government had enlisted the support of the Northern Commercial Company, the largest and more far-reaching private organisation in the area around the Yukon River, in arranging relay teams made up of the drivers’ best dogs and the Army Signal Corp wrought their own little miracle in communications.

From there on, it was up to the dogs and the drivers. Twenty drivers, half of them full-blooded or part native Alaskans or Eskimos, and nineteen dog teams took part in the run, covering between 18 and 91 miles (29-146 km) on each stage down the Tanana and Yukon rivers and across some very dangerous terrain in the middle of winter and with temperatures diving as low as -64°F (-53°C). The teams covered a total of 674 miles (1085 km) in 127 and a half hours, allowing the serum to arrive in Nome within a week of its departure from Anchorage, at 05:30 on 1925-02-02. This first batch of serum was enough to stem the epidemic and five days later a larger batch that had arrived from Seattle was transported along the same route.

Once the news hit the wire, this human interest story hit the front pages of every newspaper in the country. A race against time in the farthest corner of the realm held a nation in its grip and cheers were heard when news of its success spread. The Serum Run may have been the last great frontier epic in American history. The event that officially commemorates it is the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which does not follow the route taken in 1925. Only in 2001 did Norman Vaughn, a 95-year-old pioneer, stage a reenactment that followed the actual trail from Nenana to Nome with a symbolic quantity of serum handed to him by a train conductor, stopping on the way for an education drive about vaccination and disease.

Among the dogs that led the now legendary teams were Balto, who led the sled into Nome after a 53 mile (85 km) trek through hurricane-force winds, the second-longest distance covered by a single team, and Togo, who covered a total of 260 miles (418 km) to complete the 91 mile stage under driver Leonhard Seppala (who also happened to be Balto’s owner). Balto had his statue built in New York’s Central Park and is now on display at the Cleveland Museum of National History. Togo, a Siberian Husky just like Balto, never got the same recognition and had to wait until later. Seppala had him mounted after his death and he’s now on display at Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, north of Anchorage.

Kent A. Kantowski
Ned Rozell, Alaska Science Forum

posted by SAPE in *LAME* Clan,Old West and have Comments (12)

A little fun with comics

There is a Belgium -French series of comics I very much like; it’s called Blueberry and features the adventures of a lieutenant after the civil war in the US. Born as a rebel, our cowboy always comes in troubles, sometimes due to his friendships with Indian tribes or his drunk and worthless friend. I use to read it from time to time, it’s an excellent comic (not like american comics, Belgium got some very fine series in its own style.) Beautiful drawn by different illustrators, but my favourite is Giraud. Check out this site:

I added some very nice cover-artwork here, and some fun images from in the stories. I removed the original text, and made some funny comment over it. See last image for my little joke.

If you feel like doing the same, copy the image, add your text and post it here again.


posted by ZaPaTa in *LAME* Clan,Books and Comics,Graphics & Photos,Old West and have Comments (19)