December 19, 2008

Hower Slote House and Fort Freeland

mmpt39 is writing a great Footnote Topic Page about the Hower Slote House and Fort Freeland.

The page provides a nice history of the place, the people and the preservation efforts and includes some wonderful pictures, maps and other documents.

December 15, 2008

Toy Prices in 1901

Just in time for your last minute Christmas shopping, chris found this ad from the 1 December 1901 Atlanta Constitution listing prices for toys, clothes and a little something for everyone on your shopping list.

$1 in 1901 was the equivalent of about $26 dollars today.

November 22, 2008

Teacher Salaries in 1904

Here's another nice find by Chris:
Teacher salaries in 1904
This comes from the August 1, 1929 edition of the the Alma Signal, a Kansas newspaper.

November 20, 2008

Some Remarkable World War II Photos

It's amazing what a plane can go through and still keep flying.

This morning I was looking through some photos on the site and came into a section of photos taken in England of planes that had been damaged on missions, but still returned to base.

Here are a couple of examples:
Not Much Left ot that Tale

Flak Opens a New Door in a B-17 Flying Fortress

Then I came across this one:
One That Made It Back
I did a little research and found a Missing Air Crew Report for this plane (one member of the crew was killed) and then found Footnote Pages, created from the Social Security Death Index, for the pilot, Lawrence DeLancey and the navigator, Ray Ledoux. I added a few web links and some stories about this amazing event to their pages.

Here's the first image in the section of battle damaged planes in England. You can browse through the collection using the filmstrip at the bottom to look at other images.

You can view all the World War II Airforce images for free.

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Chris started this Footnote Page for Halloween. It's open to posting, so if you have something spooky in your shoebox, feel free to add it.

October 24, 2008

148 Years of New York Times Presidential Endorsements

Here's a nice feature on the New York Times' website that chronicles the presidential candidates they've endorsed over the years and links to PDF copies of the original endorsements.

The list begins with the 1860 race that brought Abraham Lincoln to the White House and ends with this year's endorsement of Barack Obama.

October 17, 2008

Popular Uploads

Back in March, gengal called Footnote to tell us about an 1864 newspaper illustration of "Rebel Barbarities in Texas" that she had recently had scanned on a large format scanner. She wanted to add it to Footnote, but the image was so big that she wasn't able to upload it to the site. Fortunately for us, she lived pretty close to the office and was willing to bring it in on a disc so that we could put it up on the site.

I'd forgotten about it, but today, as I was looking at the list of popular uploads for this week, I saw the image sitting there in second place. Thanks again to gengal for going the extra mile to get this great image on the site.

"Rebel Barbarities in Texas from Sketches by Fred Sumner"

While I was looking at the list, I also noticed that ruthcalhounbaker1951 uploaded a variety of pictures in September that have been quite popular this week. You can see a list of images that ruthcalhounbaker1951 has uploaded here.
The rest of the popular list is filled out with a combination of regulars like ldrew and bgill and relative new comers like norskmom.

Thanks to everyone for your contributions.

September 15, 2008

Footnote Pages

It's been great to see people using the new Footnote Pages since the launch of the beta version last week. The feedback we've received so far has also been great. We hope see more of both in the future.

Here are a few Pages people have been working on:
Fairy A Spurrier
Henry Mellem
Jimmy Stewart

In addition to the Pages for people, you can create a Page for an event, a place, an organization or another topic.

Clio, our history maven, has been busily making pages for some of the events in the timeline. Here are a couple of examples:
Vietnam War
Brown vs. Board of Education

We hope that everyone will continue to use these Pages and send us your feedback so we can continue to improve them.

September 10, 2008

Footnote at TechCrunch50

A new feature that we've been working on at Footnote was accepted as a finalist in this year's TechCruch50 conference. CEO Russ Wilding will be presenting the feature sometime after 2:15 Pacific Time today.

During the presentation we'll update the homepage with a link to the new feature.

Here's the video stream for the conference: [removed since the video stream is over]

September 4, 2008

Gallery of Quilts

Footnote Member sharonquilts is using a Footnote Story Page to create an on online gallery for master quilter Sharon Greathouse of Richwood, WV.

Here's the page and here's a sample quilt block:
American Eagle Quilt Block Made by Sharon Greathouse of Richwood, WV

The long necked eagle looks like many found in US letter head and stamps, like this one from an 1839 passport application:
US Department of State Logo From 1839

You'll find more eagle images on this Story Page by burnsfamily.

August 25, 2008

margaretann1858 found a collection of automobile ads from 1909 and 1910 in The Atlanta Constitution. Brands include, Mitchell, Speedwell, Lambert, Cole and White.

Found on

August 22, 2008

Of Interest To Parents

Here's an interesting article from The Chicago Tribune of 2 February 1886.

It seems that Edma H Blackmer gave his 2 year old daughter up for adoption and then, when he disapproved of the lifestyle of her new parents, tried to get her back and the case went to trial.

chicago trib

Capturing the American Eagle

burnsfamily has started a Page on Footnote that is a "collection of eagle letterhead emblems." Interesting to see the way the eagle has been represented through the years.

Here's one example:
The American Eagle

August 20, 2008

Early Coke Ad

Here's an 1885 newspaper ad for Pemberton's French Wine Coca, an early version of Coca-Cola.

The real Coca-Cola Classic: Pemberton's French Wine

August 8, 2008

3 Milliseconds with an Atomic Blast

Here are three great photos uploaded to Footnote by tbrewer.

These were reportedly taken by Harold Edgerton with an automated camera set 7 miles from the blast, with a shudder speed of 1/1000,000,000 of a second.

1 Millisecond into an Atomic Explosion
The blast at 1 millisecond.

2 Milliseconds into an Atomic Explosion
At 2 milliseconds

3 Milliseconds into an Atomic Explosion
At 3 milliseconds, vaporizing joshua trees in the foreground.

July 29, 2008

News in the Papers

Here are some interesting stories Footnote members have found in the newspapers:

Squirrel hunting accident:

Tips for shipping a package to someone in the armed services during World War II:

The Chicago way:

A little encouragement for Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

July 21, 2008

Shot Down, Caught in an Avalanche and Captured by Germans

valorc has been doing a lot of work on the Missing Air Crew Reports from World War 2.

While I was looking at some annotations, I came across this great report:

It tells the story of an American B-24H Liberator that was shot down south of Paris. 5 of the crew made contact with the French resistance. After being moved around a few times, it was decided that they would try to hike out of France over the Pyrenees.

They set out with 4 French civilians, one of whom was to act as guide. While they were hiking over the mountains they were caught in a blinding snowstorm and then in an avalanche. One of the crew, Royce E Smith, freed himself from the snow and then searched for and found the rest of the party. Francis J Thackeray, and the 4 French guides were killed.

The remaining 4 airmen (Smith, William J Donley, Edward J Gilbert and Robert H Hirsch) headed off to try to find the Spanish border, but became lost and wandered into a small French mountain village where they were taken by the local police and turned over to the Germans.

More Interesting Tales From The Atlanta Constitution

margaretann1858 continues to find great stuff in the Atlanta Constitution. Here's a letter to the paper from William Holman who was convicted of murder and scheduled to hang in 3 days.
Found on

July 14, 2008

Chewing Toothpicks Caused His Death

Here are a couple of great stories from the Atlanta Constitution found by margaretann1858:

Found on

July 11, 2008

Connecting Images on Footnote

The connection feature on Footnote allows you to point out relationships between images you find on Footnote or upload to the site.

Here are some examples of the connection feature at work:

Mickey Mantle at 19

Mickey Mantle, age 19

July 9, 2008

Found on

History from the People

Here's a nice website that frequently posts transcriptions of first hand accounts from the Civil War, like this one of a Union soldier's account of the surrender at Vicksburg.

Here's a letter from Benjamin Trafford to his wife Cecelia in the early days of the war, that shonagon transcribed on Footnote.

It's great to hear the stories in the voice of someone who was there.

July 1, 2008

Watches on Footnote

Today we added a new Watch feature to the site. Now you can place a Watch on items you are interested in and be notified when they are updated. You can read more about this new feature here.

June 30, 2008

Adolf Hitler Watching a Weapons Demonstration

logibear64 uploaded this photo of Adolf Hitler and some cronies watching a weapons demonstration:
Adolf Hitler and Others Watch a Weapons Demonstration

And this one of a 6 January 1942 meeting between Hitler and Indian nationalist leader Chandra Bose:
Indian nationalist leader Chandra Bose meets with Adolf Hitler

The Gouge Family of North Carolina circa 1898

June 26, 2008

1905 Newspaper Ad for a Cure for Drunkeness

Drunkards Cured Secretly (Ad)

Bank Robbery Gone Wrong

Senora1890 put together this terrific story page about a bank robbery on August 9th, 1923 in Ketchum, Oklahoma.

She's included nice details about the event, photos and historical records of the people involved and newspaper clippings.

Here's a picture of the teller area of the bank:

June 25, 2008

WW 2 picture of Jimmy Stewart Recieving a Medal

President Roosevelt Goes Hunting

In April of 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt went hunting in Colorado. He is reported to have killed a bear and a bobcat and said, "It was bully sport, and I hope it keeps up."

June 24, 2008

German Crown Prince Frederick William

On August 12, 1914 the Atalanta Constitution ran an image on the front page of German Crown Prince Frederick William and talked about him heading off to fight in Belgium:
German Crown Prince Frederick William Fights in Belgium

Seven days later, on August 19, they were reporting that he had been seriously wounded.
German Crown Prince Seriously Wounded - August 1914

June 1914 - Archduke Ferdinand Assasinated

This Saturday marks the 94th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg. The assassination was a catalyst for World War 1.

On June 29, 1914, the front page of the Atlanta Constitution carried the story:
The Atlanta Constitution Marks the Death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

For a few days after the assasination, the front page included stories about their deaths and the funeral that followed, then the topic left the front page for nearly a month.

On July 25, the front page picked up the action with this story:
WWI develops in Europe as Reported By the Atalanta Constitution

The next day the front page carried this headline:
July 1914 - Europe Trembles on Brink of Titanic War

And by the 30th of July:
July 30, 1914 - Atlanta Constitution Reports the Beginning of World War 1

For weeks following, the war dominated the front page.

June 20, 2008

Babe Ruth in in the National Guard

Bill Russell needs "tutoring to cope with the professional style of play"

The Boston Celtics won their first championship in 1957. Here's a clip from an article in which Red Auerbach discusses the Celtics prospects for the 1956-1957 season including his hope that Bill Russell will come to play for the Celtics. Also mentions Tom Heinshon in a list of "good-looking first year men."

Bill Russell needs "tutoring to cope with the professional style of play"

June 18, 2008

The Promise of Footnote

When the idea of Footnote was first conceived there were several things that we wanted to do, or do differently, but the main motivation was to provide a place where everyone can interact with original source information about history. The idea was that together we can tell a richer story about the people, places and events of the past.

Each of us has information in a shoebox of old photos, a journal, in our memories or in research we've done that sheds new light and clarity on the lives of individuals and on the major events that shape history.

Here's a good example of the kind of thing that we hoped would happen:
This birth certificate included an error when it was created, but SBuntyn discovered the problem and posted a comment on the image and now, anyone who searches Footnote for Josiah Franklin Buntyn can find this certificate.

Workmen on the Alaska Highway 1943-1944

This photo is one of several wonderful old pictures of Alaska that were uploaded to Footnote by califkaren you can see the others from her profile page or using the filmstrip in the viewer once you get to this photo.

Workmen: Alaska Highway 1943-44

Photo of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire

Here are some pictures of San Francisco after the earthquake and fire of 1906.

Sacramento Street

City Hall Before and After

Click to see the full-sized image

SF in Ruins.jpg
Click to see the full-sized image

June 17, 2008

Cycling into Singapore in World War II

Here's a photo from a collection of Japanese images captured during World War 2.

You can see the rest of the photos here using the filmstrip at the bottom of the page.

Investigating Singer's Midgets

Here's a page from a great case file from the BOI (Bureau of Investigation - precursor to the FBI).

During World War I the BOI investigated people who were accused of pro-German sentiments. In this case, the leader of a Vaudeville troop called Singer's Midgets was reported, but the folks who reported him may have had an ulterior motive--his act was more popular than theirs.


You can read the full case file starting here and using the filmstrip at the bottom of the page to get to the rest of the images and here's a link to some additional pages from the investigation (see the images connected to this one by clicking the "Connect" button at the top of the viewer).

[update] According to IMDB and Wikipedia, Singer's Midgets featured prominently as Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz

June 16, 2008

Brady Photos of Walt Whitman

Here are a few pictures of Walt Whitman from the Mathew Brady Collection of Civil War photos.

Picture of Walt Whitman from Mathew Brady Collection

Walt Whitman photo from Matthew Brady Collection

Walt Whitman photo by Mathew Brady