I know you chaps love old photos. This is an incredible story of a caretaker recently (2006) finding a bag of stuff thrown out by people clearing an office. It was photos of the building of Tower Bridge 125 years ago + ledgers about the construction. Incredibly, when he took the stuff to the Tower Bridge Museum, they didn't even bother checking if these photos were already in their collection - just said 'We've got lot of photos, thanks but no thanks'
When we did proper engineering...
PS, in English English, skip=Dumpster, flat=apartment, gobsmacked=truly amazed.
Amazing photos. Thanks for sharing.
I never cease to be amazed at the size of the ships they manage to squeeze through the bridge to get into the pool of the Thames. I watched one go through one night and thought they should have greased the sides.
Wonderful Thank you bringing these to light.
Jem, sounds a bit like there's a museum director somewhere who should get the sack....
What a great find! Thanks for posting.
The good ol boys don't get sacked , there promoted with honors.
Isn't it insane how pig headed some "experts" can be? Not even time for a quick peek. The raseing/lowering mechanism on that bridge is really incredible. Designed for speed and still in operation today.
I saw her in 1985 or 86. We were lucky enough to see her open up for a very large yacht coming upstream. Truly amazing how quickly the mechanism operated. The boat was moving along pretty quickly too. I doubt traffic was stopped for more than a minute or two. It is one more beautiful piece of architecture
The story of how these photos were found is totally unsurprising. I've mentioned before how the major radio networks recorded all their live broadcasts, not for rebroadcast later, but for a legal record. Most of the Little Orphan Annie series was sent to the dump. A lot of other historic material met the same fate. The Curtiss Wright Corporation, in charge of shutting down Packard, decreed that all photos and other historic records were to be destroyed. The Packard materials that exist today survived because loyal employees who had worked at the company for decades "stole" them. One day TV producer John Gudel answered his phone in Hollywood and was asked by somebody at the NBC warehouse in New Jersey, "Do you want these shows? We're going to burn them." That's how Groucho's You Bet our Life survived. Wanton destruction of history and knowledge has been going on at least since 48 BC.
Oh its amazing, the stories about what has been destroyed. For many of the movies released before WWII, there does not remain a single movie poster because of the paper drives during the war. Some of the old posters are incredible valuable because they are so rare. There are only 5 know original posters from the first release of Frankenstein (1932). Most of the silent movies are considered "lost films" because no copy remains. After Samuel Goldwyn died, the film vaults were cleaned out. Someone in charge have given the order to burn every film, thinking that no one would ever pay to watch a silent movie again. When Goldwyn's widow found out, she asked someone to run down there to see if they could find a copy of "The Winning of Barbara Worth" (1927), as that was one of her favorite films. One was found, so that was the only Goldwyn film rescued from the company vaults. A few other titles have been discovered recently in other countries but most are now lost.
And such things are still happening. Recently a small county courthouse in Kentucky ordered workers to take all records from the 1700s to the dump. A local genealogist rescued the records, and was then arrested for taking them. A court order was issued, demanding that the record be returned. The genealogist sat in jail until the order was thrown out by a higher court. The records were then given to a local genealogy society. Apparently, the records were originally thrown out because someone had seen mold growing on the old books. But they considered it an act of treason for someone to retrieve them from the dump. The government had tried their best to see that the records were destroyed forever.
No, not the government. Idiots in the government. They're ubiquitous. In government, business, the military, you name the place and you'll find them there.
In doing the research on the auto (Model T) snow attachments I find that due to many fires in the shops over the years is also a great source for historical information loss. The Snow Bird (
F-S Mfg. Co later Arps Corp.) filed there info. in a volt and as new items were put in there the old info. would go out the back door and to the dumsper. I was able to find Mr. Arps nephue that
had worked there meny years, had retired and was the unoffical Hiatorian. He was able to salvage a lot of information by having friends that still worked there notify him when it went out and he would go dumpster diving. He was one very important Item a 1930 advertisement film, and he made a copy for me. He also allowed me to visit and copy all that he had . Any one that has any information on the snow attachments for the T ,A, or Early V-8 Fords and the Chev., Durant, Whippet and Star Autos so equipt. please contact me.
"History" is what we do for a living (actually most of us do it for free).
It never ceases to amaze me what comes through the door. We have original WW1 and WW2 posters. We have Army Air Corps. training films on how to fly the B-24 and the P-47. The originals have been preserved and we have them transcribed to DVD for all to enjoy. Almost all of our artifacts were kept my 'the common man', stuffed away in an attic or somewhere and found long after the person who saved them had passed on. We have a WW1 "Pilot's Card" (Pilot's License) from a pilot who was in the AEF (American Expeditionary Forces), something that would have been discarded if it didn't have sentimental value to one individual.
That old cliche "Those who forget (or rewrite) our history, are doomed to repeat it" is often more than just a 'cliche' when you have an opportunity to observe it in context.
There's plenty out there to learn about our past for those who are interested. What I've learned about the Model T and the 'history' around it just from posting here, is an excellent example. All this time I figured The Tower Bridge was made out of stone, I didn't know it had a metal framework? Just goes to show ya.
Do you have any information on the Snow Jeep from WWII? It is a cousin to Mr. Whites Model T Snowmobile. I believe that it was used in European field. Starting out as a Snow Bird by the Arps Corp.
A fascinating find! I have a somewhat tenuous family connection to the bridge. My grandfather was a London blacksmith who specialised in the making and repair of stonemason's tools. I believe that he was responsible for all of the tools used for creation of the 'skin' of the bridge.
Incidentally, the story that is part of family lore is that stone was chosen because of the proximity of the new bridge to the stone-built Tower of London.
Bob, that's the first I've seen of it? The only vehicle artifact we have is a 'Nam' era "Duce and a Half". I'd have got back to you sooner but I just got off work. I hit the jackpot this year. Since Christmas and New Years fall on Sunday and I work the overnight (combat) shift in a gas station C-Store on Friday and Saturday nights, I hit them both.
I know some military vehicle hobbyists, let me see what I can find out. I think I can keep this semi-'T' since it looks like it's got 'T' rear wheels on it.