Sunday, April 5, 2020

Spades and horseshoe

Mill bastard and two spades 

An Arcade mill bastard file and a 3/4 inch and a 13/16 inch spade bit await their work assignments.  Both spade bits are marked with their respective sizes.  Each has a cable hole in the blade.  The other parts are the center point, the two spurs, the two lips, and the shank.  The lips do the majority of the cutting, removing material from the bottom of the hole.  The spurs cut the circle and make for a neat hole.  The cable hole is used to attach a cable that can then be pulled back through the bored out hole.  The hexagonal shank ensures a strong grip that withstands drill torque.

Horseshoe brand logo 

The file has the "Arcade" brand horseshoe logo.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wind riffle

Rippled water and clouds 

A wind riffle on the water reflects the dark clouds above it.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Golden waters

Water not clouds 

Golden waters at sunset make up for the lack of spectacular sky colors.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Triangle in the ground

Equilateral and rounded

This Observation Monitoring Well cover was made by the Universal Valve Co. of Elizabeth, NJ.  The equilateral triangle and rounded corners provide a needed respite from the round and square covers one usually sees in the street beneath our feet.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Secret Lives of Lawrence of Arabia

"The Secret Lives of Lawrence of Arabia" was published in England in 1969; the paperback came out in 1970.  This copy of the book has had as almost an interesting journey as the subject of the book itself:  printed in the U.K, sold in Teheran, brought to New Mexico, bookmarked with a postcard from Texas that had been mailed in Washington, donated in early 2020 to the used book bin at a library 1900 miles away that then put it in its recycling bin.

Front cover of the paperback edition

Back cover showing the prices for the U.K., Australia, 

New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada 

This particular copy of the book was at the Iranian Amalgamated Distribution Agency (I.A.D.A.) located at what was then 151 Avenue Soraya in Teheran  That was also the location for the Mebso Bookshop.   That address is now 151 Khiaban Soraya in Tehran.  

"Primate" page with bookstore stamps

The price was listed as 90 rial.

"I.A.D.A" Bookstore stamp and price

Inside the book was a postcard showing:  "President Lyndon B. Johnson & friend by the banks of the Pedernales River."  

 By the river with LBJ and the bull

The postcard was mailed on August 30, 1990 from Washington D.C. to St. John's College in Santa Fe.  Sheila, the sender, writes: "So here's a card from Texas, but not really.  Back in DC, where it's cold & rainy - sound familiar?".  She continues:  "How many fresh seafood dinners have I had?  A. Too many to count.  Have I been to the beach?  A. Yes!!!"  Her missive to Mark and Greg ends with:  "I prefer green mountains to brown ones but miss y'all pow'ful bad.  Love, Sheila".

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Crocuses by the step

Crocuses at the step

Many items are measured "by the ...".  These crocuses, and a few snowdrops, are "by the step".

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Impersonation Of A Lady

"Impersonation of a Lady" was published by Maude Parker in 1934.  

Title page

Page 1 of "Impersonation of a Lady"

Inside front cover with with library book plate and book store sticker

The Redwood Library of Newport, Rhode Island acquired the book through the Bookshop for Boys & Girls, a book store operated by the Women's Educational & Industrial Union, then located at 270 Boylston Street in Boston.   

Colophon with Cutter catalog number and dedication page with acquisition date stamp 

The book was copyrighted by Maude Parker on August 28, 1934; the edition notice page lists the copyright to Maude Parker Pavenstedt, her married name.  Born on July 30, 1892, she passed on November 12, 1959.  Her husband, Edmund W. Pavenstedt, renewed the copyright on  September 5, 1961.

The Redwood Library entered the book into its holdings on November 3, 1934 under the catalog number P2272i, using the Cutter classification system.  The copyright page shows their unique cataloging system. 

Inside back cover due dates and library rules

The book was first borrowed on November 10, 1934 and enjoyed seemingly constant readership for the next year, until November 2, 1935.  The book was then borrowed once in 1939 and twice in each calendar years of 1944, 1946, 1961, and 1966.  After enjoying some thirty two plus years on the library shelves, "Impersonation of a Lady" was withdrawn.  

Pasted in the inside back cover of the book are the "Selections From The Rules" of the Redwood Library.  Some of the rules of note are that:  overdue book fines increase the longer a book is overdue; not paying the overdue fines will debar one from the library; books cannot be lent to anyone outside the borrower's house; and, the very explicit defacement and damage criteria and consequences.

Nothing is known of the books whereabouts until late 2019.  Then, the book appeared in the donation box for used books that are resold by a library.  Deemed not salable nor donatable, it was relegated to the recycling bin; its story is told here.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Knot grey

New barn boards

The new barn boards eventually turn silver grey.  "New" is a relative term for a hundred plus year old barn; these are about twenty years old.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Ideal gas shut off


The directions on the cover of this gas shut off valve use a mix of sans serif and serif fonts along with some odd kerning to make all the text fit on the cover.  Although heavily painted over, they can still be read:




The door requires a key to open it.

The company started out in 1894 as the Albert Cryer & Co. and was then located at 96 Centre Street in New York City.  By 1915, it was renamed the D. G. C. Trap & Valve Co. and remained, at different office locations, in Manhattan until about 1953; shortly thereafter it became part of the Encor Corporation of Belleville, New Jersey.

For a a more detailed history of the company, and a different cover, visit this Ideal web page.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Brick makers

Brick makers would impress their bricks with their personal or company names, leaving behind a legacy of their work.


JJJ bricks bear the initials of Juan Jacinto Jova.  He came from Cuba to New York City intending to grow sugar cane.   That venture was not successful and he became a brick maker in Roseton, New York.


DFJR&CO bricks were made by the Denton Fowler Jr. & Company of Haverstraw, New York.


NBROS bricks were made by the Nicholson Brothers of Dutchess Junction, New York.


NASSAU bricks were made by the Nassau Brick Company of Farmingdale, New York.


EMPIRE bricks were made by the Empire Brick Company of Stockport, New York.

All of these were seen in the street beneath our feet, all in one setting.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Cacophony on the corner

Asphalt too!

Bricks laid in a 45 degree herringbone pattern add to the  cacophony of cuts, cracks, curves, and curbs that compose this corner.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Sunset afterglow

After sunset

What more can anyone want, if not a wooden light pole, two mailboxes, and a sea wall at sunset?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Cement caps


"C" is for "cemented over"

Most underground liquid storage tanks have been moved  above ground due to many considerations.  Their  fill pipes are often left in ground and serve as vivid reminders of what once was.

FUEL-OIL fill pipe

The eleven o'clock side of this FUEL-OIL fill pipe makes good use of a vertically stretched sans serif font to provide legibility.  At five o'clock is the barely legible "-35" portion of what could be a part or type number for this fill cap.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Encased in cement

Seen in the street beneath our feet, the iron that is encased within this cement sidewalk is leaching out as rust.

 Encased in concrete

 One wonders what is enrobed within the sidewalk to cause this?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Still wet

Upheaval asphalt crack

Although the rain had stopped hours before, the lower areas of this blank faced manhole cover are still wet while the raised portions are drying.  The cracked asphalt seems to add a certain energy to this scene that was seen in the street beneath our feet.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Squares and bricks

 Square diamond 22 x 22 - 16 x 16 cover

This 22 x 22 square diamond manhole cover has a 16 x 16 square diamond inset.  If they were aligned, the diamonds in the two parts would match up.  The cover is outlined by several different brick paving patterns:  stack bond, 45 degree herringbone, and circle.  

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Gas test duo

A freshly poured sidewalk, neat labeling, and a coat of paint - but the cement spattered onto the cover makes for a less than perfect job. 

Freshly spattered

This gas test cover, made by Gardener Box, sports a sans serif font to indicate the cover function.

Gardener Box GAS TEST cover

Both of these gas test covers were scene in the street be neat our feat.