Category Archive: 1910s

Jul 04

Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson baseball contracts 1917

Ty Cobb, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner, Frank Baker were all part of this All-Star baseball salary chart from 1917.

Listen to sports talk radio and perennial themes come up like: Which athlete is worth more? Your great-grandfather was arguing this one. This story ran on a feature page complete with graphic complete with a giant dollar sign and floating heads. Bonus points if you can come up with the first names and teams of …

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Jun 11

Mission San Luis Obispo, adobe with wood walls – The Leonard Collection

Mission San Luis Obispo circa 1915, when it was covered with wood siding. ©The Tribune from the Leonard collection

A misguided attempt to protect the adobe walls of Mission San Luis Obispo almost destroyed the structure. Building a Mission is a classic 4th grade history project but the story is more complex than most of us learn in 4th grade. Adobe buildings are built with materials at hand, dirt, sand and straw by the …

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Jun 05

Annoying people who talk in theaters

Everett True takes on a movie theater talker in this cartoon from February 15, 1917.

Talking in theaters was apparently a problem way back in 1917, before cell phones were invented. Heck it was ten years before “The Jazz Singer” would bring talking pictures to the masses. Talking movies would spell the end of vaudeville. Film entertainers were the best of the best and delivered a show cheaper and more …

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Apr 18

Titanic Sinks, Telegram swims

News of the Titanic sinking reaches San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram, April 16, 1912.

C.L. Day the new editor and manager of the San Luis Obispo Daily Telegram was desperately bailing water, trying to keep his ship from sinking. He had just bought the debt saddled Telegram five days  a little over a month earlier on March 11, 1912. The paper needed a lot of work. Founded as a temperance advocate …

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Apr 06

Santa Manuela School, the Leonard Collection

Santa Manuela School, where Lopez Dam is today.

Today the playground is buried under Lopez Dam. Santa Manuela Schoolhouse was built in 1901 and served the families of the Lopez Canyon region until closed in 1957. When the dam was built in the late 1960s the South County Historical Society rescued the schoolhouse from demolition. It now sits at one end of the …

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Mar 30

Panama Pacific International Exposition, July 4, 1915 San Francisco, The Leonard collection

The 43-story tall Tower of Jewels at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco was decorated with 102,000 cut glass Novagems. ©The Tribune/The Leonard collection

It was San Francisco’s grand coming out party. The City had been ravaged by the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire. Over 3,000 lives had been lost and as many as ten times that number were left homeless out of a population of about 410,000. A mere nine years later, three of which were used to …

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Mar 23

A guest post from the author of “Nipomo and Los Berros”, Doug Jenzen

Pacific Coast Railroad station in Nipomo. The narrow gauge predated the Southern Pacific. Photo courtesy Doug Jenzen

Author Doug Jenzen has generously agreed to share with Vault readers an introduction to his new book on the South County. He will be at a book signing at the Dana Adobe Saturday, March 24. He is donating all the book royalties to restoration of the historic structure. (The automated watermark incorrectly says these are …

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Mar 05

Cab rides to Hearst Castle, Steve Zegar saw it all

Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst is shown with Marion Davies, movie star in Bad Nauheim, Germany in August 1931. (AP Photo)

Steve Zegar was the first man to drive up the grassy sides of Hearst’s Enchanted Hill, before there was a Castle, or even a road. Now that is someone with a story. A story that had to wait decades to be told. Zegar maintained his relationship with Hearst and newspaper and movie mogul’s friends by …

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Feb 22

The 1914 flood in Arroyo Grande, the Leonard Collection

Late January 1914 brought flooding in Arroyo Grande undermining Bridge Street's bridge.

The epic flooding of 1914 has been covered in two previous posts. One shows flooding as Tally Ho Creek cuts through Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. The other shows the structure that gives Bridge Street a name, undermined by flooding. This looks to be the same bridge from the opposite point of view and view …

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Jan 30

Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription, quack medicine

Patent medicine ad from 1903, Dr. Pierce's Favorite Prescription.

Wrap a little psudo-science and empty promises around a bottle of pungent tasting snake oil and you have the makings of a fortune. The late 19th and early 20th century was a Libertarian utopia. This was the golden age of quack medicine unadulterated, unregulated, unfettered free enterprise, buyer beware. Women who ingested the product may …

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