Belgian vintage postcards. Mailed in 1903
Belgian vintage postcards. Mailed in 1903
Indian khanjar dagger with lapis lazuli hilt, 20th century.
from Hermann Historica
French vintage postcard. Mailed in 1905
Major General Frank Parks, General George Patton, Colonel W. H. Kyle, J. J. McCloy, H. H. Bundy, and US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, reviewing US 2nd Armored Division, Berlin, Germany, 20 July 1945. http://wrhstol.com/2iZXQUb
The Corpse of Outlaw Elmer McCurdy
Elmer McCurdy was not the most successful outlaw in the history of the West, but the tale of his corpse certainly is an interesting tidbit. McCurdy was an outlaw who robbed banks and trains in the closing days of the Wild West. After being discharged from the Army in 1910, McCurdy tried to use his training in explosives to blow open safes and vaults. However, McCurdy had very little training and his limited knowledge often led to very bungled robberies. Such was the case in March of 1911 when he robbed the Iron Mountain Missouri Pacific train in Oklahoma. After applying a generous amount of nitroglycerin, he accidentally blew the safe sky high destroying most of the money inside. Later, when robbing the Citizen’s Bank in Chautauqua, Kansas, he used too little nitroglycerin and was unable to blow the vault.
On October 4th, 1911 McCurdy learned that a train carrying $400,000 in cash was scheduled to arrive in Okesa, Oklahoma. McCurdy and two partners attempted to rob the train only to find that they had accidentally boarded the wrong train, which contained only passengers. The robbers only made away with $46 taken from a hail clerk, a revolver, two jugs of whiskey, a coat, and the train conductor’s pocket watch. On October 7th McCurdy busied himself with drinking the whiskey when the local Sheriff and his posse surrounded his hideout. An hour long gun battle ensued, ending with McCurdy sustaining a fatal shot to the chest.
No one claimed the body of Elmer McCurdy, so it was taken by a local undertaker (Johnson Funeral Home in Pawhuska, Oklahoma), embalmed, dressed in a suit, a rifle placed in his arms, and put on display for people to view for a nickel a piece. In 1916 the undertaker sold the corpse to a pair of men claiming to be McCurdy’s brothers, in truth they were James and Charles Patterson of the Great Patterson Carnival Show. For the next 12 years McCurdy’s corpse traveled with the show until 1928, when it was once again sold to
Louis Sonney’s Museum of Crime. Over the next several decades it changed hands several times. By then it had become shriveled and mummified, and it’s identity had been forgotten.
By the 1960′s the corpse had become a Hollywood film prop, with everyone believing it was nothing more than a mannequin and not a real corpse. It made a brief appearance in the film She Freak before being sold two a pair of men who displayed it at a show based at Mount Rushmore. It was then sold to Sapuran “Spoony” Singh, who displayed it in his Hollywood Wax Museum. Finally Singh sold it to Ed Liersch, co-owner of the The Pike, an amusement park in Long Beach California. The corpse was used as a prop hanging from a noose in the “Laff in the Dark” funhouse.
On December 8th, 1976 The Pike became a filming set for an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man called “Carnival of Spies”. During filming, a prop man attempted to move the “mannequin” when it’s arm broke off, revealing bone and muscle tissue. It was then realized that the prop was actually a real human corpse. The corpse was sent to the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office for analysis. The corpse was found to be embalmed with arsenic, which was commonly used in embalming fluids around the turn of the century. Furthermore, coroners were able to date the body based on the bullet jacket in it’s chest, and inside it’s mouth was a 1924 penny and ticket stubs to the 140 W. Pike Side Show and Louis Sonney’s Museum of Crime. The coroners called Louis Sonney who confirmed that the corpse was that of the late outlaw Elmer McCurdy. Forensic Anthropologists were able to confirm this by superimposing a photo of McCurdy over an x-ray of his skull.
On April 22nd, 1977 a funeral was held and McCurdy’s body was finally laid to rest on Boot Hill of the Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma, next to the grave of another Old West outlaw, Bill Doolin. Two feet of concrete was poured over the casket to ensure no one would steal the body.
DWM Model 1902 Luger carbine with Thai markings.
from Rock Island Auctions
Though one of eight American military nurses who died while serving in Vietnam, First Lieutenant Sharon Ann Lane. was the only American nurse killed as a direct result of hostile fire. For her service in Vietnam, she was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with “V” device, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Order of Vietnam Medal, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross (with Palm). http://wrhstol.com/2ylJsbV
The Vickers Balloon Buster,
Beginning in the American Civil War armies began using lighter than air balloons to observe enemy movements, direct artillery fire, and even deliver messages from besieged cities. In the Franco Prussian war (1870) armies began to develop guns to shoot them down. At the beginning of World War I the British developed the Vickers “Balloon Buster” to bring down German observation balloons. The Vickers machine gun was an improved version of the Maxim machine gun created after Vickers purchased the Maxim company in 1896. The Vickers Balloon Buster was a version of the regular machine gun chambered in a large 11mm cartridge. The new powerful cartridge gave the balloon buster enough range to shoot balloons out of the sky. Typically, phosphorous tracers rounds were used to ignite the high combustible hydrogen gas which provided the balloon’s lift. Later in the war the Vickers Balloon Buster was phased out for longer ranged and more powerful flak cannons. However, the gun was excellent for dogfighting, and was often mounted on fighter planes. On the ground machine gunners found that it was also brutally effective as a heavy machine gun against infantry formations. It would serve as inspiration for other heavy machine gun designs, such as the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun.
NOrge – Finmarken.
Lappekone med sit barn i Komse
Norwegian Vintage postcard
Rock Crystal Dish in the Form of a Temple
Roman or Byzantine, 3rd-5th century AD
Overall: 2 3/8 x 1 5/8 in. (6 cm high x 4.1 cm across)
This rock crystal carving found in a cistern in Carthage (now in Tunisia, North Africa) demonstrates the quality of the arts of that great city as the Roman world became Byzantine. The Roman naturalist Pliny, describing its beauty, believed crystal to come from snow. It was thought to protect against kidney ailments and other diseases.
Source: Met Museum