Browsing Tag: history

    Josiah Henson and the Underground Railroad in Ontario | Le chemin de fer clandestin en Ontario
    Articles, Blog

    Josiah Henson and the Underground Railroad in Ontario | Le chemin de fer clandestin en Ontario

    August 17, 2019


    We’re in Southwestern Ontario in a little town called Dresden at the Josiah Henson Interpretative Centre of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site. I think one of the most remarkable things about Josiah Henson’s story is he was a black man who was only considered as property. But here, this man went across the world. He went to England. He met the Queen. He met the President of the United States because he had worked himself up to a position where he was a leader within the black community and the work that he did here in Dresden at the Dawn Settlement really helped put Canada on the map as a safe haven for refugees escaping from slavery in the United States. I was born and raised in Dresden, Ontario and still live here and raised my family here. Like Josiah Henson and his family, my ancestors also came by way of the Underground Railroad. I think Black History month is very important for these children to learn about their heritage and let them know that they need to be proud of their heritage. There is a place for the past, but we need to lead them into the future. I think the students that come here from the city are really surprised that this is in its – kind of in its rawest form how we came here to Canada, ’cause we need to study our past in order to understand our present and build a better future for ourselves.

    Building the Transcontinental Railroad, the moonshot of the 19th century
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    Building the Transcontinental Railroad, the moonshot of the 19th century

    August 15, 2019


    It’s something railroad enthusiasts believed they might never see again: one of the biggest steam locomotives ever built in America back on the tracks, rumbling west under its own steam As Union Pacific # 4014 pulled out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, crowds lined the tracks, waving at engineer Ed Dickens, urging one more pull of the whistle “I don’t know what it is about that whistle,” he said. “We hear whistles, we hear horns in our life, but the steam locomotive is really something that just moves you ” Dickens led the small team of Union Pacific workers who spent five years toiling to bring the massive machine back to life 4014 is one of just 25 locomotives built in the 1940s, aptly named “Big Boys” – 132 feet long, weighing more than a million pounds, producing 7,000 horsepower But when the Age of Steam came to an end in the late 1950s, 4014 became obsolete, until Dickens and his team brought it back to life Their goal was to get 4014 rolling again in time to celebrate one of the greatest rail accomplishments ever: the Transcontinental Railroad, built at the urging of President Lincoln Dickens said, “It’s very humbling. All of the sacrifice, all of the tremendous human effort to build something as complex as a set of railroad tracks across territory that many people have never even been across before ” Crews worked from both the East and the West, finally meeting on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah It was, one enthusiast called it, “the moonshot of the 19th century. It was an impossible dream ” At Golden Spike National Historical Park, rail fans dressed in style to mark the anniversary … if not always with historical accuracy An Abe Lincoln impersonator, once he got off his cellphone, told Blackstone, “I wasn’t the only one that had the idea, but I was thankful to have a big part of it ” Replicas of Victorian steam locomotives rolled in for a re-enactment of the legendary photo celebrating the driving of the golden spike But the faces in that photo from 150 years ago look much different from those gathered here this time “It took 150 years to gain that recognition. So our history is now coming alive!” said Sue Lee They are descendants of the Chinese laborers who made up about 90 percent of the workforce on the western portion of the railroad “The workers on the line who cleared the way for the railroad, who laid the roadbed and laid the track, laid the ties and so forth, then especially did tunnels, [were] almost exclusively Chinese,” said Gordon H Chang, a history professor at Stanford University. He is author of a newly-released book, “Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad” The gold rush had brought thousands from China to California in the 1850s When construction of the railroad began in 1864, the Chinese were not the first choice to work on it Chang said, “There was belief that they were either temperamentally or physically unfit for railroad work But workers they hired on did very, very well for them. They were very, very pleased Ultimately, they hired up to 20,000 workers.” Not only was the Chinese labor force plentiful, the workers were paid less than whites doing the same job And the work was hard. They took on the most challenging portion of the Transcontinental Railroad: California’s granite mountain range, the Sierra Nevada Fifteen tunnels had to be blasted and carved out through the Sierra Nevada. “The Chinese carved out those 15 tunnels, the longest one being over 1,600 feet in length,” said Chang “It took more than two years using only hand tools and black powder.” In the newspapers of the day Chang found recognition for the contribution the Chinese rail workers were making to a growing nation Jeff Lee, a retired dentist from San Jose, California, is inspired by the hard work his great-grandfather did “They don’t come over like Hulk; they come over as pretty much [like] me. Right?” Lee said “And they learn to adapt to what they had to do physically, mentally and emotionally, as individuals and as a group ” Lee is proud of where these tracks have taken his American family: “Doctors. Dentists Architects. UC Berkeley. Yale. Princeton.” But soon after the railroad was finished, the nation’s mood began to turn against the hardworking immigrants from China “Well, with the rise of the anti-Chinese movement, the earlier history of what they did in California is erased,” Chang said “Chinese are driven out in town after town and their homes destroyed. The Chinese became undesirable And therefore, you don’t want to include them in the history of the country.” That erasure is what the descendants gathered at Promontory Summit wanted to set right “This is my great-great-grandfather,” said one woman with a period photo. “He came here when he was 12 He was on his way back to China when he stopped in San Francisco and said, ‘No, this is my home I love America.'” Much has changed in 150 years, for families, and for the railroad   The old steam locomotives that originally traveled these rails were replaced by massive machines like 4014   But even this giant had to finally give way to modern diesels. Still, there’s value in preserving the memory of all that came before … the locomotives, the tracks, and those who built them

    Geography Now! LIECHTENSTEIN
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    Geography Now! LIECHTENSTEIN

    August 14, 2019


    Guys, it’s here. Some of you have been waiting for this episode for years. Sure, everybody knows about China, Brazil, Germany and Australia but how many of you know anything about little Liechtenstein! ♫ It’s time to learn Geography Now! ♫ Everybody I’m Host Barb’s. Okay, I actually had the incredible honour to not only go to this country with my mum last year And we also got passport stamps, which by the way Swiss geogra-peeps Hermann and Fabianne thank you for driving and hosting us, but I also had the incredible honour of meeting one of the incredibly rare and few native-born Liechtensteiner Geogra-peeps, Pascal. Dude, a real Liechtensteiner watches Geography Now. That’s amazing! Meeting an actual native of Liechtenstein is like finding a unicorn, in a haystack, in the Saharan desert. And the desert is made of haystacks, Sorry I’m just kind of gushing because come on we’re doing little Lichtenstein today. Let’s begin Now if you don’t know anything about Liechtenstein, the first thing you might need to know is that it is incredibly small. Like this sixth smallest country in the world. And it’s also rather difficult to get into in contrast to other European countries. First of all, Classified as a Microstate, the nation of Liechtenstein is located between Austria and Switzerland taking up only a hundred and sixty-two square kilometres, being only 25 kilometers long and and 9.4 Kilometers wide. It is also one of the only two doubly landlocked nations in the world meaning that it’s landlocked within other landlocked nations, the other one being Uzbekistan. The country is divided into 11 different municipalities with their own exclaves with the capital of Vaduz that has only about 5,200 people located in the center of the country. Vaduz is actually the second largest town in the country, the first being Schaan with about 500 more people. The country has no airports or seaports, but they do have a heliport at Balzers but that’s just like for tourist rides into the mountains. And they do have four train stations operated by an Austrian Federal Railway system and the stations are only serviced on weekday peak hours. So getting in, you’re much better off either taking a bus or car. To drive in, you can take various bridge crossings from Switzerland or you can come in from Feldkirch, Austria. There isn’t any border patrol or passport checks. It’s really easy. However if you do want a passport stamp, you can get one at the Tourism/ Post Office in Vaduz for about 3 Euros. Worth it! The main number 28 road pretty much crosses the entire country north to south as almost the entire country lives on the west side due to the high mountainous border to the east. The funny thing is: After World War 2, Liechtenstein actually had a little land dispute with what is now Czechia over the castles and forests and agricultural land plots that were hereditary lands that belonged to the former monarchs. These lands altogether made up a land area over ten times the size of the Liechtenstein. However when they brought it up, Czechia was like: “Hmm, so you want your old lands back, eh? Well, how about I give you the castles, but not the surrounding land areas.” to which Liechtenstein was like: Finally in 2009, they decided to drop the case and just let it go. But I mean whatever, they have like 7 other palaces in Austria and one in Italy. Otherwise some places of interest might include: The prince’s Castle in Vaduz Malbun, which has a ski resort The Main Square, the National Museum The Postage stamp Museum, The Schatzkammer treasure chamber The Kunstmuseum, The Landtag or “Parliament building” and Balzer’s gothic castle. All right. Now let’s take a look at those pristine Alps, shall we? For such a small country, Liechtenstein actually has a lot going on in terms of landscape. For one, the country is located on the Upper Rhine Valley in the European Alps along the longest river, the Rhine that borders with Switzerland. The entire eastern side of Liechtenstein is mountainous with the highest peak, Grauspitz located on the southern border with Switzerland as well. Just up north, the largest and pretty much only real lake in the country, Gampriner Seele can be found although it should be classified as a pond, but eh. When it comes to resources, Liechtenstein isn’t exactly top dog. I mean there’s a few cultivated fields in the south but overall, not too many things to extract. Nonetheless, they do actually have some industries like textiles, pharmaceuticals, power tools like the company “Hilti”. Other companies are in the country like “Neutrik”, “ThyssenKrupp”, “Hoval”, “Hilcona” and also Liechtenstein is the world’s largest provider of false teeth. Thanks to the company, “ivoclar vivadent” accounting for 20% of sales worldwide producing 60 million sets a year. It has something to do with the close relationship with Bollywood? Eh whatever, just look it up. It’s funny though. Because there’s actually more registered companies and jobs in Liechtenstein than there are people. Which is why over half the workforce has to travel into Liechtenstein from Switzerland or Austria. This means the country has the most exports per capita at around 122,000 dollars per person. It wasn’t always like this though. Before the 17th century, Liechtenstein was known for being “the Witch country” with boring farmers. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that Liechtenstein decided to change up fiscal policies and become a huge tax haven especially for billionaires, but it’s not like one of those blacklisted havens. It’s a good one, Okay? They do things right. St. Kitts & Nevis: “Hey, we’re just hustling, okay? Don’t act like you don’t too!” Out of all the seven-ish trillion shelter dollars worth in tax havens worldwide, Liechtenstein manages about 180 billion. In addition, They host nearly seventy four thousand ‘letterbox companies’ which don’t even really do anything but they still get paid for. So that means the system kind of keeps Liechtensteiners abundantly employed with about five million dollars and two companies to look after per citizen. Yeah, kids. If you really want to get rich, don’t seek after fame study Business and Finance with minors and accounting. Trust me. I’m a Youtuber. I know exactly what NOT to do. Oh, yeah. The national animal is the Kestrel. they even have a falconry center in Malbun. And some of the top notable dishes of Liechtenstein might include: “Käsknöpfle” which is like a variation of “Kaesespaetzle”, “Riobol”, “Sura käs”, Liechtenstein wine and those crown shaped chocolate things called… Oh geez, how do you pronounce this? “Fürstenhütchen” All right. Now, let’s move on to the ones that make those dishes. The people of this country. Once upon a time, there was this thing called the Holy Roman Empire. It was basically made up of like 1800 territories that eventually meshed and melded into what is now parts of like twelve different countries in Europe. Liechtenstein is basically the last surviving territory of the Holy Roman Empire that never really coalesced into any other state. Partially because nobody really cared about it and it was too small to bother with. BUT WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?! First of all, the country is nearly 38,000 people and is almost always ranked in the top three highest GDP per capita states in the world at nearly 180k per capita. The country is only about 1/3 Native Liechtensteiner whereas the remaining populous is made up of foreigners mostly Germans Austrians, Swiss and Italians They use the Swiss Franc as their currency, they use the type J plug outlet and they drive on the right side of the road. Which by the way, I hate the J plug outlet because half the time, the sockets are sunk into these weird hexagon shaped divots. Half the time, I couldn’t even fit my type C adapter plug when I was in Switzerland. Why? why do you guys do that? That’s like borderline statistic in Switzerland in Liechtenstein; that and your prices, for everything. Otherwise, I’d love everything else about you guys. 😀 Now here’s the thing: Liechtenstein is one of four countries in Europe that speaks German, however, they speak with their own distinct dialect very similar to the Swiss and Austrians. Obviously, it’s a little different from Hochdeutsch which is spoken up North in Germany. From what I was told, Liechtenshiners are known for saying “Hoi” for hello and “Tschau” for bye. Instead of “Kuh” for cow, they say “Buschla”. Instead of “Hügel” for Hill, they say “Böhel”. This is what you guys told me so yeah. Also I was told that this is how you can tell all the Germanic speaking countries apart. Let’s say that you gained weight. This is how a friend from each country would respond: Hmm, so how are you doing? Ahh! I see you’re enjoying your schnitzel eh? You got fat! Now like the Swiss, Liechtenstein has always kind of kept to themselves and stayed out of affairs. There’s a legend that says that when they fought in the Austro-Prussian war, they came back with negative casualties, as in, the army of 80 men came back with a friend. After that the military was disbanded and today, all military affairs are handled by the Swiss army even though they accidentally fired a shell and burned off a patch of their forest in the 80s and accidentally invaded in 2007 and Bah *I’m a sheep* You know, they laughed over it with glasses of wine. Now Liechtenstein is generally seen as being more conservative than other countries and more religious, mostly adhering to Catholicism with very strict stances on social issues like gay marriage abortion and immigration. In fact, less than 60 resident permits are issued every year for EEA citizens that work in Liechtenstein, half by lottery and half by government. Oh yeah, and the country is a monarchy, a principality to be exact. Essentially the Von Liechtenstein Family where the country gets its name from, are descended from Austrian noblemen related to the Hapsburgs. And even though they get little publicity, They are literally the richest Royals in Europe with a net worth of over 7.5 Billion dollars. The current Prince Hans-Adam II being the owner of LGT bank alone having a personal fortune of about four billion dollars. Yeah. By contrast, Queen Elizabeth has only about 500 million. The prince has four children and 15 Grandchildren. Alois being the next in line to the throne. Oh and his brother Maximilian married Angela Gisela Brown from Panama who was the first person of known African ancestry to have married into a reigning European dynasty. The royal family is actually quite popular and loved by the people. They’re very down-to-earth and they eat at cafes downtown in Vaduz regularly talking to the everyday citizens. Once a year, they even hold a party which everyone is allowed to come to the castle and share a beer. There is a bit of controversy though because today, they are the only monarchy in Europe in which the monarch has influence on every level of government. The prince can veto anything. In 2012, they held a vote which kind of went like this: The people: “We want to take away your powers of Exercising the option to veto bills.” The Royal Family: “Hmm, I mean if you really don’t want me around, I can totally just leave and let you guys handle everything.” The people: “Really??” The Royal Family: “Yeah, I’ll just take my 7.6 billion dollars corporate interest and revenue deals outside of the state, but you know, you can sell postcards to… tourists.” The people: “Wait, COME BACK!!” Annnnd, over three quarters of the population voted to let him remain with his original duties. Speaking of monarchy, History. We don’t have a lot of time to go too far into it, but the quickest way I can summarize it: Two small Holy roman empire earldoms of Vaduz and Schellenberg, 1699 this guy comes along, 1712, He purchases both Vaduz and Schellenberg hence joining the two together making the country complete, The Napoleon years but the prince is like a respected military leader so they remain independent, 19th century joins German Confederation although Austria gets left out which geographically separates Liechtenstein from Germany, World War I, breaks ties with Austria-Hungary, 1938 Prince moves back in from Vienna, World War II after Austria’s annexed, they are literally on the Nazi border But Hitler was like: “Meh, not worth it” and left them alone, They stay neutral and independent Post-World War II, economic boom, all the bank’s fiduciaries and engineers come in Czechia dispute, 1984, women are allowed to vote, the last European country to do so, 1995 they joined the EEA and here we are today. Oh and Liechtenstein has like one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Prisons are often empty and anyone with a sentence over 2 years is actually sent to Austria. It’s been said that people typically don’t even lock their front doors. For such a small population, everyone kind of knows everyone and has a close tie. Nonetheless, they still reach out and make friends abroad. Which brings us to… Now it doesn’t really matter how small your country is. If you’re able to handle your country’s overall economic output with a content populace, holding on to sovereignty is a breeze, and so is making friends. Today, They have six embassy missions abroad in Austria, Belgium, Germany Switzerland and the Vatican and the United States. However Switzerland is authorized to represent Liechtenstein in other diplomatic situations unless they decide to send their own delegates. Liechtenstein is interesting because they don’t host any embassies in their territory, but rather 32 honorary councils, surprisingly three of which are the African states of Chad, Senegal and the Central African Republic whom have reached out and made close ties for decades. They are not part of the European Union but rather part of the Schengen area, which means they have open borders and visa policies with the EU. And also as a member of the EEA, they have free movement of goods and persons and services as well, but yeah, not part of the EU. Austria and Germany have always been close friends especially the Southern Bavarian and Baden Württemberg states of Germany. These two make up some of the largest business partners and foreign population living in Liechtenstein, which is barely even much of a distinction since they are all germanic brothers to begin with. In earlier years, most of the monarchs actually chose to live in Austria rather than their own country until 1938 when Franz Joseph was like: “We’re moving back in folks!” When it comes to their best friends however, most Liechtensteiners might say the Swiss. They share everything. A customs union, a monetary union, military coverage, diplomatic delegates. They even speak relatively the same dialect and have similar mannerisms and culture cues. It’s often said that Switzerland sees Liechtenstein as its little yet surprisingly richer brother. I mean, they literally were totally cool with it when they got accidentally attacked. What more do you need to know? In conclusion, Liechtenstein is kind of like a high capacity storage microchip. Small yet absolutely flooding with abundance neatly tucked away in a small space hidden away from the public eye. Stay tuned, the second creepy Baltic twin, Lithuania, is coming up next.

    Death of the American Hobo (Documentary)
    Articles, Blog

    Death of the American Hobo (Documentary)

    August 14, 2019


    BEN: Your heart’s racing. Obviously, you’re hoping that
    we wouldn’t get caught. -There’s something about the
    hobo that has to be recorded in American history. BEN: The whole time we were
    asking ourselves, what is the story here? What is the story of the hobo? What is a hobo? EMPRESS VAGABOND HOBO LUMP: It’s
    not like people think. It’s hard, like, a hard life. -It’s speeding up! Go go go go go go! [APPLAUSE] AARON SMITH: This
    is Britt, Iowa. It’s a small town of about
    2,000 people out in the central Iowa cornfields. Over the last 112 years,
    Britt has become known for one thing– an annual event called The
    National Hobo Convention. There’s a hobo jungle, a hobo
    museum, and a hobo cemetery. In 1900, Britt was just a newly
    incorporated farming community in search of
    migrant workers. The town founders enticed the
    hobos to move their annual gathering from Chicago
    to Britt. A tradition was born that still
    brings self-described hobos to Britt every year
    for one August weekend. HOBO MIKE: I’ve been traveling
    trains since I was eight, and as a living since ’63. FROG: I started riding trains
    when I was 20 years old. I’m 62 years old now. WRONG WAY: [LAUGHING] I’m Wrong Way. My nephew gave me that name
    in the early ’70s. HOBO SPIKE: I started in 1952,
    and I used a train to go from one place to another
    to find work, and that’s how I survived. AARON SMITH: Most historians
    agree the hobo emerged after the Civil War. Young men from both sides set
    off across the country in search of work. By the turn of the century, the
    hobo had become part of the fabric of America. But today, what was once a
    substantial culture and way of life seems close
    to extinction. We wanted to see what was left
    of the hobo community, and we hoped we’d find it in Britt. In our minds, there was only one
    way to travel to the hobo convention– the
    freight train. We began our journey in Oakland,
    California, hoping to travel 1,900 miles on the
    rails in five days. AARON SMITH: These are the maps
    that show the different rail lines all over California,
    with like, special zoom-ins that show you all the
    little small towns that you can stop in, different crew
    changes, and this is something totally like, pre-iPhone. Now you can totally just
    GPS your location. But these maps were really
    helpful for a lot of people for a long time. Before a cohesive network of
    roads was laid across America, the train was the fastest way
    to get from place to place. Early hobos learned to ride by
    swapping information with other travelers they met along
    the way in hobo jungles. Chris is from Virginia and
    spends his time hopping freight trains around the
    country for pleasure. Our friend Ben lives in San
    Francisco and had a couple weeks off work and decided
    to join us. BEN: I wasn’t sure what
    to expect of the trip. I knew it was going to be an
    adventure, but I didn’t know exactly what the details
    and the minutiae of the trip would hold. We woke up that morning, hoping
    to catch a train. But we woke up, got ready,
    there was no train there. And as more time passed, we
    realized that the information we had gotten was probably
    incorrect. AARON SMITH: We decided to wait
    for another train, but a worker spotted us in the yard
    and called the bull. Bull is an old-time term
    for a railroad cop. It’s always been a cat and mouse
    game between the hobo and the bull. Back in the day, bulls had
    no problem killing hobos. Today, it’s a little
    bit different. -We don’t really have
    hobos anymore. -A transient, a hobo, vagrant,
    is a guy who participates on the rail property– trespass, hopping
    freights, yeah. -And a tramp, tramp’s in
    the middle, right? -What did they call it? Tramps. I like that. That was back in the day, man. That was back in the day. Tramps, hobos. -When have you seen somebody
    with a broomstick– -A tramp with a bag tied around
    his shoulder, right? All right, guys. You know how to get out
    of here, right? Don’t come back, all right? -Don’t come back. AARON SMITH: There seem
    to be very few people hopping trains anymore. The hobo seems like
    a museum piece. It’s like a joke, a word
    nobody uses anymore. We didn’t want to go to the
    Oakland jail, so we headed to Amtrak station with our tails
    between our legs. We got out to the next crew
    change stop on the line– Roseville, California. As soon as we got to Roseville,
    there was a train getting ready to take off. Bad decision. A conductor saw us and we got
    pulled off the train five miles outside of town. Uh, we just got pulled
    off this train here. -Again. AARON SMITH: Yeah, yeah, it
    was the second time today. Morale was low. Chris decided to set off on
    his own to Denver, and we hopped a gambling bus
    to Reno, Nevada. JACKSON FAGER: Now we’re in
    Reno, Nevada, feeling a little better about our situation, and
    hoping a train comes in the next couple hours. AARON SMITH: In the yard,
    avoiding bulls and workers is one concern. Finding a rideable
    car is another. Some of the wells on these
    double-stacked cars have a cubby hole you can
    ride in, but we weren’t seeing anything. The locomotive at the back of
    the train, called the rear unit, seemed like
    our best bet. But it’s risky. Workers periodically
    check the cars. Lucky for us, the train
    aired up, and we finally got on our way. We’re indoors, Amtrak style, and
    we’ve got these big plushy seats, continuing along. We’re in the middle
    of nowhere. For the first 100 miles,
    there were no roads, no highways, no nothing. It was just desert as far
    as the eye could see. It was beautiful. It was amazing to kind of get
    that, see what that was like, vast expanses of nature. MEDICINE MAN: Now, everybody
    thinks that the real hobo life is great, and it’s part of
    wanderlust, but it’s not. The hobo life is a very,
    very dangerous life. ADMAN: Sometimes painful, when
    everything is all fucked up. You’re looking around, and
    the bulls are out there. BEN: It felt like something out
    of a special operations combat mission. We spotted a grain train. We knew that this was our
    ticket out of Elko. Go go go go go! ADMAN: Riding on a flat car with
    a full moon, and watching the [CLICKING NOISE] It’s a game that gives you
    a fucking hard-on, I can tell you that. MINNESOTA JIM: Once you
    do it, it’s with you the rest your life. You want to keep on the move. ADMAN: We see the world
    in a different light. FROG: Always total, absolute
    freedom, every day of my life. HOBO SPIKE: I don’t think
    there’s any better way to see this great world of ours,
    especially our nation, than from a freight train. AARON SMITH: We were crossing
    the Great Salt Lake. The air was cool, and
    the smell of sulfur rose from the water. It was the most undisturbed
    stretch of natural beauty any of us had ever seen. The train forces you to slow
    down and take it all in. All the frustrations and
    anxieties of life back in civilization seemed
    to disappear. HOBO SPIKE: When you’re on the
    rails, if you don’t get caught, there’s no one to tell
    you what to do, when to go to bed, when to get up,
    what to eat. You’re on your own for 100%. AARON SMITH: Although we were
    loving the ride, we were running out of water fast. After close to 24 hours on the
    train, we were hungry, tired, dirty, and dehydrated. Well, our train stopped here
    in Green River, Wyoming. It’s just a little railroad town
    here in southern Wyoming. Just kind of roamed around and
    got the vibe of the town. HOBO SPIKE: Then when you get
    into a community, of course you have to fit into society,
    so you have to abide by laws at that time. But if you’re by yourself,
    you don’t have to pay attention to any law. AARON SMITH: So we walked over
    this bridge that we’re sitting under now, probably about
    110 degrees, dry heat. BEN: Just took a dip
    in the Green River. After four or five days not
    showering, it felt amazing. AARON SMITH: I’m gonna go
    get in there right now. BEN: Our days have
    been very full. We haven’t gotten
    a lot of sleep. It’s been a few hours here, a
    few hours there, trying to hop on trains successfully,
    which we sometimes have, sometimes haven’t. We’re always on the move trying
    to get to our end goal, which is Britt. AARON SMITH: No eastbound trains
    were coming through. The sun went down, and we
    enjoyed the solitude of the Wyoming landscape. Up to this point, we hadn’t seen
    any other travelers on the trains. At the turn of the century,
    there were around a million hobos on the rails. After the Depression,
    that number doubled. Hobos had organized their own
    union, and there were over 60 hobo colleges all across
    the country. Boxcars were crowded
    with riders. But something happened midway
    through the century. Maybe it was American
    prosperity. Where there were once millions
    on the road, today, there’s probably a couple thousand. In my experience, you hardly
    ever see anyone on the rails. The next morning, we decided to
    try our luck in the Green River yard. -Hey, man. -How about yourself? -We’re hitchhiking. -Sorry, man. -Oh, really? -All right, thank you. -OK, man. -Thank you. AARON SMITH: After getting
    warned by the cops to leave, we went back to our original
    spot under the bridge. MEDICINE MAN: Today, you don’t
    want to jump a train. It’s so dangerous, because the
    old steam locomotives, it was chug, chug, chug, and pretty
    soon, it was [ENGINE NOISE]. But today, in two minutes,
    they’re flying. AARON SMITH: Our train stopped
    in the middle of the yard, and we didn’t know why. AARON SMITH: An hour went by,
    and it felt like an eternity. Each time you get on
    the train, it’s a role of the die– a unique and unpredictable
    experience. Perhaps that’s one
    reason we do it– to gamble, to relinquish control
    completely, and give ourselves to fate and luck. That was one of the faster
    ones I’ve hopped on. You kind of had to run alongside
    and kind of throw yourself up. But we all made it. Really grateful for that. The train out of Green River
    had three units and looked like it would blaze across
    Wyoming, but it puttered along the entire time at
    35 miles an hour. It was time for a
    change of plans. We arrived in Laramie, Wyoming
    on Friday morning, with still 800 miles to go to
    get to Britt. We were behind schedule,
    and the convention had already started. We got off here in Laramie,
    Wyoming because the train was so damn slow. Rent a cars were too expensive,
    the Greyhound would take two days, so we ended
    up getting this U-Haul. 12-hour drive ahead of us, and
    we’ve gotta haul ass to Britt. In keeping with the spirit of
    our trip, we picked up all the hitchhikers we saw
    along the way. JOE YOUNG: Hey, what’s
    up, guys? I’m Joe Young. I’ve been on the road for about
    four or five years. The only way I get around
    is on bicycle. AARON SMITH: We picked
    up another guy. This is Alex. He’s coming from Colorado. ALEX: How’s it going? AARON SMITH: It didn’t take us
    long to fill up the back of the U-Haul. After six grueling days
    of traveling, we finally arrived in Brit. We were ready to hang out with
    hundreds of hobos and swap stories about our travels
    on the rails. -Hello! Happy Hobo Days! -Happy Hobo Days! -What we found instead was a
    family-friendly event with a bunch of tourists. BEN: Just a number of
    townspeople, big farm tractors, fancy or unusual cars,
    and homemade floats. People– not hobos. -All aboard! -The hobo convention has gone
    county fair mainstream. This wasn’t the wild, drunken,
    turn of the century event that brought 1,800 hobos
    here in the 1940s. -Well, we’re serving mulligan
    stew, and it is what the traditional hobo
    used to serve. Meat– we have pork in ours–
    and then it has beef flavoring, and pork flavoring,
    and then vegetables, barley, and rice in it, and
    then water. -Every year for the past 112
    years, the hobos have elected a hobo king and queen. -This year, our new
    queen is Angel. And your new king is
    Minnesota Jim. -It’s an important moment for
    them, especially now that most of the hobos are senior
    citizens. The hobo jungle in Britt is a
    well maintained park on the edge of town. It used to be a pretty
    wild place. EMPRESS VAGABOND HOBO LUMP:
    This is not the same. They bring in like a family
    affair, and a history thing, and people learning. Because the hobo, you wouldn’t
    be finding no children in an old camp, you know
    what I mean? People really was kind of
    sleeping out, and across the tracks or in the bush. It was more like a jungle. AARON SMITH: Today, there’s
    a lot of rules. No drinking, no drugs,
    no unleashed dogs. It’s become the kind of place
    that people used to become hobos to get away from. Most of the hobos we met were
    retired from riding trains. Living an itinerant life for
    decades takes its toll. MEDICINE MAN: A modern-day
    hobo, probably in my estimation, is getting to the
    point where it’s rubber tire hobos that come together
    and perpetuate history. AARON SMITH: The convention
    has become a shadow of its former self. The city’s turned it
    into a parody. There are still plenty young
    people out there riding the rails for adventure, but those
    who call themselves hobos and travel around looking for
    work are a dying breed. FROG: And it’s still there. Though I’m not riding freight
    trains, it’s still there. I still want to ride. AARON SMITH: Out on the rails,
    we slowed down and experienced an adventure that was
    once a way of life for a lot of people. The train tracks persist on,
    relics on the landscape, entry points into the hidden world. We felt a deep nostalgia for a
    time that’s passed and sadness for the American hobo, fast
    disappearing down the westbound track. FROG: I have one final ride, and
    it’s my westbound journey. -For the moments of happiness,
    for the love, for the moments of disappointments, for
    everything, hobo is thankful to the railroad.

    WESTINGHOUSE (Full Documentary) | The Powerhouse Struggle of Patents & Business with Nikola Tesla
    Articles, Blog

    WESTINGHOUSE (Full Documentary) | The Powerhouse Struggle of Patents & Business with Nikola Tesla

    August 14, 2019


    (xylophone tones, How Dry I Am) (old time big band music) Radio announcer: You can be
    sure if it’s Westinghouse. (jazz music) Voiceover: George Westinghouse
    changed the face of the world with his inventions, patents,
    business sense, and personality. Not a day goes by that
    we don’t use something pioneered by George
    Westinghouse. He is the forgotten role model
    that our country needs today to teach future
    generations of Americans that hard work and
    kindness pay off. George Westinghouse was
    one of the most successful
    men in the world; a respected engineer,
    inventor, and America’s
    greatest industrialist. He was a pioneer of the
    Industrial Revolution and played a leading role
    in turning the United States from a young agrarian society into a modern
    economic powerhouse. The name Westinghouse has been
    a household name the world over for more than 100 years
    because of one man, his love of machines,
    and his desire to make
    the world a better place. Edward Reis: The accomplishments
    that George Westinghouse had in his lifetime
    had a major impact on the way we live today. His work in the railroad
    industry with the
    Westinghouse air brake, the electrification of the
    world with Westinghouse
    alternating current, him being instrumental
    in developing natural
    gas as a fuel, and his impact on
    the shipping industry with the Westinghouse geared
    marine turbine engine. George Westinghouse was
    known as a good person. He always had a very good
    rapport with his workers. There was never a strike at any
    of the Westinghouse companies all the time he had
    control of them. That was not common
    back in those days. He certainly was not
    motivated by greed or money. He really thought that
    his accomplishments
    would benefit mankind, and that alone was a
    driving force for him. Jim Sutherland: The most
    important thing about
    George Westinghouse was the way he
    treated his employees. He was unique. Quentin Skrabec: Westinghouse
    really offers a role model. He was a passionate man and a lot of times he’s lost
    in history under Edison. William Terbo: Nikola
    Tesla had great regard for Thomas Edison of
    being a workaholic, and Thomas Edison had great
    regard for Nikola Tesla for his ability to
    be a workaholic. My father tells me
    specifically that of all
    the people that Tesla met, that he had the highest regard
    for George Westinghouse. (drum roll) Voiceover: George Westinghouse
    was born on October 6, 1846 in Central Bridge, New York to George and
    Emeline Westinghouse. Edward Reis: George was
    the 8th of 10 children. Interestingly, he was
    named George Westinghouse,
    Jr. after his father. He was never really a
    good student in school. He always had trouble
    applying himself to coursework that he didn’t think
    had immediate benefit. Later in life he was to
    say that the very best
    educational experience he had was the ability to work
    in his father’s shops. His father owned a
    company called the G.
    Westinghouse and Company, manufactured agricultural
    equipment and small
    steam engines. He loved to make things
    and build things. He built a working
    waterwheel one time, a model. He built a working
    steam motorboat that
    he was able to use. He even made a violin. He developed these
    early mechanical skills and later in life he was to say
    those early mechanical skills he learned as a young
    boy served him well
    throughout his lifetime. Quentin Skrabec: George
    Westinghouse, as a child, he’d probably be considered
    today a problem child. He seemed to be
    bored with school. He loved mechanics. He loved to come back and
    work in his dad’s shop. Voiceover: George spent
    most of his boyhood in
    Schenectady, New York. He would be known as
    George Westinghouse, Jr. for many years until
    his father died, at which time he dropped
    the Jr. from his name. Edward Reis: Interestingly,
    everything that is written indicates that George
    Westinghouse did not get a lot of encouragement
    from his father, but he did get quite a bit of
    encouragement from his mother, the local minister
    encouraged him quite a bit, and we know that one foreman
    in his father’s shops really provided George
    Westinghouse with a great
    bit of encouragement. He set aside an area in the
    factory for him to work. He showed him how to
    use the various machines and materials to make items. Obviously, this
    had a major impact on George Westinghouse
    throughout his lifetime. Voiceover: It was recorded
    that he always felt more comfortable in
    his father’s shops than he did at school. In 1860, at 13 years of age, George began to work
    there for 50 cents a day. Even as a boy it was
    clear that he posessed a unique talent for
    understanding and
    working with machines. Edward Reis: One story
    about George Westinghouse
    as a young boy was that he was in
    a scouting group that was planning to take
    a hike one afternoon. His father had given him
    a chore to cut some pipe, and that chore was
    certainly going to take
    longer than that day. However, George rigged up
    a machine with a saw blade. He was able to cut all
    that pipe in a half a day and he was able
    to go on the hike. From what was documented, it was said that George
    Westinghouse, Sr.
    was not at all happy even though George
    Westinghouse was able to accomplish the task in
    a very short period of time he wasn’t happy at what had
    motivated him to do that. (drum roll) Voiceover: The
    American Civil War broke out in April of
    1861 when George was 15. He desperately wanted
    to serve his country, but was prevented by
    his father to do so. He said that George would
    be allowed to enlist
    at the legal age of 17, but prayed the war would
    not last that long. The Civil War raged far longer
    than anyone had expected. By 1863, the carnage
    was staggering after battles like
    Antietam and Gettysburg. It was clear then
    that the war was not the romantic adventure it
    was once thought to be. Even though the
    casualties were mounting and the Union army
    was demoralized after
    years of defeat, George Westinghouse enlisted in
    the New York Volunteer Cavalry as a private shortly
    before his 17th birthday. The next year, he passed a
    special mechanical examination to become an offer
    in the U.S. Navy. His military service
    made a huge impact. Later in life he said, “My
    earliest greatest capital “was the experience
    and skill acquired “from the opportunity
    given me when I was young “to work with all
    kinds of machinery, “coupled later with
    lessons in the discipline “to which a soldier
    is required to submit, “and the acquirement of
    a spirit of readiness “to carry out the
    instructions of superiors.” George’s older brothers,
    John and Albert, serviced in the
    military as well. Albert was captured at
    the Battle of Gaines’ Mill and confined to Libby
    Prison for a short while. After being exchanged
    and released, he was killed in 1864
    leading a Cavalry charge. Edward Reis: I’m convinced
    that his father thought his brother was the one who was
    going to be successful in life and spent a lot of time
    with his older brother. Quite frankly, from
    everything I’ve read is I don’t think his
    father ever thought George Westinghouse was
    going to amount to anything. (gunfire) Voiceover: The
    war ended in 1865. Although more than 600,000
    American lives had been lost, life began to return to normal. The 18-year-old George
    Westinghouse, Jr. was
    mustered out of service and enrolled at Union
    College in New York. He quickly became bored. It was recorded that
    the President of the
    college said to him, “You’re wasting your time here. “A classical course
    is nothing for you. “You have a genius
    for invention. “Cultivate it and you will
    become a great engineer.” He left school after
    two months and returned
    to his father’s shop. At that time, the country was
    in a rapid state of change. For a man full of ideas,
    there was much to do. Quentin Skrabec: It was an
    excellent time for an inventor, for an industrialist
    like Westinghouse to
    come onto the scene. Lots of people came onto the
    scene at that time, obviously. Even the Carnegies and so forth, a lot of what we call
    today the robber barons, were just starting out
    in that time frame. We had an economic boom going
    that was a residual of the war. It was great time. Investment money was there. People were moving forward. Industries were cranked up. It was a time of expansion. (piano music) Voiceover: On October 31, 1965, the 19-year-old George
    Westinghouse, Jr. was awarded his first patent
    for a rotary steam engine. Edward Reis: He started working
    on that patent at the age of 15. It was granted to
    him at the age of 19. As we go through his
    life, we can see the role
    that rotating devices, the large rotating turbines
    and large rotating generators, the impact they had on
    the electrical industry. Then you look backwards and
    see that George Westinghouse had this interest
    in rotating engines from his very first
    patent as a young boy; started at that work
    at the age of 15. Voiceover: For the next 48
    years, he would, on average, take out one patent
    every month-and-a-half. Edward Reis: He had two
    other early patents, for a car replacer
    for getting cars back onto the tracks
    when they derailed, and an item called
    the railway frog was a device used
    between the tracks where two tracks intersected. These two patents here
    were very successful for George Westinghouse and
    provided him the money he needed to get started with the
    Westinghouse Air Brake Company. (slow band music) Voiceover: He planned
    to have his car replacer and railway frog
    manufactured in New Jersey, but instead looked west
    to the booming town of
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fortunes were being
    made in Pittsburgh. The city’s location at the
    joining of two major rivers made it the ideal spot for
    manufacturing and distribution. In the 1860s, the air
    was thick with smoke as the iron and
    steel industry grew, churning out metal
    for tracks, engines, and the myriad of machines,
    tools, and devices used to build the
    network of railroads crisscrossing the country. Legend has it that as George
    stepped off the train, he practically walked
    into one of Pittsburgh’s
    wealthiest investors. Edward Reis: The very
    first night he was here evidently he’d lost
    his way downtown. He saw this gentleman
    coming his way and stopped him and
    asked him for directions. That fellow’s name
    was Ralph Bagley. Ralph happened to be going
    in that direction he said, so he walked along with
    George Westinghouse to show him where he
    was going that evening. From that chance meeting,
    him and Ralph Bagley became great friends for
    the rest of their lives. Quentin Skrabec: There’s some
    mythology around the meeting. Within a week, he had
    somehow made a business
    connection there. That would have been typical. Westinghouse was the type of
    guy that went into a city, He was a salesman. He was probably looking for
    the industrialist in town. He had an invention. He needed some suppliers
    to make that part. Westinghouse, type of guy that still even all through
    his career would hustle. He’d be out there knocking on
    the door of industrialists. (crash sounds) Voiceover: In a time of
    relative peace and quiet, newspapers were once
    again full of carnage. Catastrophic train
    accidents were on the rise as the number of trains
    in the country grew
    in size and quantity, and with increasing speeed. As the body count escalated,
    a clear solution was needed. Westinghouse was said to
    have been personally effected by a terrible train
    crash in 1866, which motivated him
    to solve the problem. (train whistle) Nearly anyone could make
    trains bigger and faster, but nobody had devised a working
    solution to stop them quickly. (train whistle) At that time, stopping a train was a complicated,
    inefficient ordeal. Edward Reis: In those days, for
    example, on a freight train, the brakeman literally
    rode on top of the
    freight cars all day long. When the engineer gave
    a blast of the whistle
    to put down the brakes, they’d jump up, turn
    the wheel on that car, then run down that car,
    jump to the next car, run down the car to turn
    the brakes on the next car, and that, again, applied
    the brakes to the wheels. So stopping a train was a very
    long, jerky kind of a process. By the way, the brakeman had
    an extremely dangerous job. Many of them were
    killed and injured, as you can imagine, the
    conditions riding on top of those freight cars all day
    long, rain, snow, whatever. Voiceover: A speeding
    train could take up to two miles to come
    to a complete stop. Not only were the lives
    of brakemen at risk when jumping from car to
    car on a moving train, but anything getting in the
    way of a roaring locomotive was almost certainly destroyed. (breaking glass sounds) Westinghouse felt that
    if an immediate powerful application of
    breaks were available that these horrible
    accidents could be avoided. Men had been tinkering
    with train braking
    concepts for years. There were other patents
    dealing with brakes, but George Westinghouse
    was the only man to put old and
    new ideas together into a complete,
    workable combination. (jazz music) In fact, one key ingredient
    was discovered out of thin air. (jazz music) Edward Reis: George
    Westinghouse had been reading a new scientific magazine
    and there was an article that caught his attention
    on a French company building a tunnel through the
    Mont Cenis mountain in the Alps. It caught his attention. It was no ordinary
    tunnel, you see. It was 8.5 miles long. It says they were
    having great difficulty until two new
    inventions came along. An Englishman had invented what
    he called a hammer drill bit, and an Italian had invented
    what he called an air motor. It caught George’s
    attention because the
    article said at that time that the pipe going
    back into the mountain was 6 atmospheres of air to
    drive the hammer drill bit to drill the holes
    for the dynamite was
    over 3,000 feet long. At that point in time
    he thought surely if they can drive a hammer
    drill bit into solid rock 3,000 feet away using air,
    he could be able to use air to drive the breaks on a train. Voiceover: Many people
    thought he was crazy because who in their
    right mind would envision a roaring train being
    stopped by the wind? But that didn’t stop him. George Westinghouse, Jr.
    was issued his first patent for the air brake on April
    13, 1869 at 22 years of age. With the air brake, the
    engineer could control all of the brakes on
    a train from the cab. This would allow
    for longer trains carrying more people
    and more goods. Edward Reis: The United States
    was really moving westward. Industrialization
    was taking place. They had the need to move a
    lot more freight and people. With the Westinghouse
    air brakes, the trains could become
    longer and heavier. (upbeat music) Voiceover: At that time, George
    was traveling the country, soliciting orders for
    his railway devices and had many opportunities
    to present his thoughts on air brakes to
    railway officials. He said that none
    of those approached appeared to have
    faith in the idea. Edward Reis: George
    Westinghouse was so sure that he would be successful
    with the Westinghouse air brakes that he invested all his money, and also his good friend,
    Ralph Bagley, invested money, and he built a
    full set of brakes for a locomotive and four cars. Voiceover: The first
    air brake apparatus was shown in a Pittsburgh
    machine shop in 1868. It then came time to install
    it on a full size train to test it in a real
    world demonstration. Railroad officials were invited and the first air brake
    trial became legendary. Edward Reis: They all boarded
    the four passenger cars. George Westinghouse was riding
    in the locomotive that morning with the engineer, Dan Tate. This trial was to go
    to Steubenville, Ohio and return, a total of 80 miles. Voiceover: Upon emerging
    from the tunnel, they came face to face
    with two horses and a wagon standing on the tracks. Edward Reis: The horses
    kind of panicked. A wheel got stuck. The wagon overturned. The horses fell down. The drayman fell down. Dan Tate applied the
    Westinghouse air brakes for the very first time. They skidded up the track. George Westinghouse, they
    say, was very, very concerned as they skidded up the track. Fortunately, they
    stopped four feet short of running over that
    wagon, those two
    horses, and the drayman. They say everyone in the back got knocked to the floor. They got banged into each other. They got jostled quite a bit. The highest level superintendent of the Steubenville
    and Panhandle Railroad put his arms in the
    air and he said, “Gentlemen, we’ve just seen
    the greatest demonstration “of this Westinghouse air brake
    system we’re ever going to see. “I think we should
    just back her up “to Grants Hill
    and call it a day.” Voiceover: The future of
    railroading was set in motion over the next several months as more tests were conducted
    around the country. Railway officials were impressed resulting in immediate orders
    of air brake equipment. Westinghouse Air Brake
    suddenly began appearing on passenger trains
    around the country. Quentin Skrabec: A lot
    of people in those days, people like Charles
    Dickens and so forth, they had phobias about
    train travel in those days because the death
    rate was so high. The air brake took
    that phobia away. Voiceover: The Westinghouse
    Air Brake Company was chartered on
    September 28, 1869. The new company began
    churning out parts with an initial work
    force of about 100 men. Over the next decade
    George Westinghouse made numerous improvements
    to the air brake, and by 1877, most
    American railroads had their passenger trains
    outfitted with them. It was declared by one
    writer that no railroad claims to be first class
    that does not employ Westinghouse air brakes. Even with the success,
    another major hurdle remained: the freight train industry. It was said that
    the freight industry was the slowest to
    adopt the air brakes because railroad companies did
    not want to invest the money to protect the lives of
    their cheap labor force. Brakemen were paid $1.50 a day and received nothing if
    they were maimed or killed. It cost about $50 to install
    air brakes on a train car. Edward Reis: A piece of
    documentation I came across said that in one particular year there were 5,000 brakemen
    killed or injured in the United States that year. It was an extremely
    dangerous job, one of the most dangerous
    jobs there ever was. Voiceover: This was
    considered the age when railroad companies
    could buy senators. The railroad business
    was profitable, and they intended
    to keep it that way. Quentin Skrabec: The air
    brake offered nothing
    to them, profit-wise. The hand brake system
    seemed to be fine. You lose a few Irishmen. It didn’t seem to
    upset them at all. Edward Reis: Pennsylvania
    Railroad had a very
    good reputation, but some of them did not. It was documented
    that in those days, some of the railroads,
    if a brakeman got killed, they felt no more obligation than to move the body to
    the side of the track. Quentin Skrabec:
    They balked at it and just like a lot
    of companies do today they had to be dragged in
    there by the government. They did everything they could
    to slow that process down. Voiceover: Before any laws
    could be put in place, standards had to be set so
    that a car from California would couple with
    a car from Maine. The Burlington brake trials were
    organized to set those standards and would prove to be one
    of the most critical events in the history of the air brake and in the life of
    George Westinghouse. Quentin Skrabec: As
    Congress in this country got more interested in the
    problem of railroad safety and the pressure came on
    to do something about it, these famous trials out
    in Iowa came into being. They would test a number
    of different types of
    brakes at the time. Westinghouse air brake wasn’t
    the only brake out there. Edward Reis: The first
    Westinghouse air brakes were called straight brakes. As the air went back the
    line, it applied the brakes to the wheels of the
    train to stop the train. However, if the piping or
    the coupling let go or broke, you would lose your brakes. Voiceover: To improve
    upon his original design, he invented the automatic
    air brake in 1873. Edward Reis: Now the
    air was holding the
    brakes off the wheels. When you wanted to
    apply the brakes, you would simply reduce the
    pressure to stop the train. The other advantage to that was if the pipe separated
    or coupling separated
    or the pipe broke, the train would
    automatically come to a stop. It was referred to as
    the brakes that worked
    even when they failed. Voiceover: The automatic
    air brake was powerful,
    but not fast enough. Quentin Skrabec: Initially,
    as the trials started, Westinghouse had some
    problems with the air brake. Eventually came up
    with the triple valve. It allowed a buildup of
    pressure at the local car. You could release that
    pressure very quickly versus waiting for the
    pressure to come down
    the line from the engine. Fast response was what the
    triple valve was all about. Voiceover: The master
    car builders accepted the new Westinghouse air brake. The train, fitted with
    new quick action brakes, was sent on tour and
    a series of trials were made in a dozen cities. Sales exploded. But Westinghouse
    didn’t stop there. Edward Reis: George Westinghouse
    also had an invention called the friction draft gear, which allowed the trains, when they were starting
    out and stopping, to cushion the impact
    between the cars. This was considered to
    be a major improvement in the railroad industry. In fact, the president
    of the Pennsylvania
    Railroad at the time was quoted that the friction
    draft gear by Westinghouse was every bit as important
    as the Westinghouse air brake to the railroad industry. It basically still used
    to this very day the
    friction draft gear. Quentin Skrabec: In the
    1880s they finally enacted, late 1880s, they finally
    enacted several laws that required the
    use of the air brake. That certainly was a big
    boom for George Westinghouse and a success story for him. (train sounds) Voiceover: The booming
    industrial companies in the United States
    purchased these inventions as fast as he
    could produce them, yet George Westinghouse,
    Jr. remained a humble man. It was said that
    progress was always a great deal more interesting
    to him than profit. In fact, he would have said
    that progress is profit. Edward Reis: Some
    railroads were very slow in adopting the air brake. The New York Central,
    under Commodore Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest men
    in the world at the time, was very slow in adopting
    the Westinghouse air brakes. In fact, the story goes
    that George Westinghouse was talking to a superintendent
    at New York Central one time about the air
    brakes, and he said, “George, as long as I’m
    living there’ll never “be Westinghouse air brakes
    on the New York Central.” Evidently, the story goes,
    George Westinghouse said to him, “Well, I’m a lot
    younger than you. “I guess I’ll just
    have to outlive you.” Now on the other hand, the New
    York Central had a great wreck and there were many people
    killed in that particular wreck. At that point in time, Commodore
    Vanderbilt backed down, got a hold of the
    Westinghouse Air Brake Company to install Westinghouse air
    brakes on the New York Central. Voiceover: A railroad
    superintendent once said, “If the men who worked
    the railroads ever
    chose a patron saint, “it would be Saint George in
    honor of George Westinghouse.” Westinghouse was not
    all work and no play. It was said that he
    loved the theater, music,
    and a good clean joke, although he claimed that solving
    mechanical problems relaxed him. When not working, he
    spent most of his time with his biggest supporter
    and closest friend, his wife, Marguerite. At the time of his very
    first patents in 1867, even before the air brake, George Westinghouse, Jr. met
    Marguerite Erskine Walker by chance on a railroad train. Edward Reis: George Westinghouse
    met his wife, Marguerite, on a train ride. He was on the Hudson
    River Railroad heading
    toward Schenectady. He was not a smoker, so he passed up some available
    seats in a smoking car and went on back to another car. There was an available
    seat beside a very
    attractive young woman. He struck up a
    conversation with her. He really liked this young lady. Just before he deboarded, since
    he was getting off before her, he wrote down the names
    and addresses of three
    friends of his family so that Marguerite could
    write to those folks so they could attest
    to the good character of George Westinghouse. When he returned home,
    he immediately went
    to the local minister and friend of the family
    and had him write a letter to Marguerite, again attesting
    to the good character of George Westinghouse. Today, we’ve kind of gotten
    away from that practice. He went home that night and
    told his mother and father that he had met the
    young lady that day that
    he was going to marry. Within a year, he and
    Marguerite were married and they had a very long
    and fruitful marriage. He always considered Marguerite
    to be his very best supporter. She supported his
    ideas no matter how
    wild they really were. Voiceover: The two
    honeymooned at Niagara Falls, a location that would prove
    to be an important one later in the career
    of Mr. Westinghouse. They had a happy relationship. It was said when they
    were on the same continent they talked every single
    day over the telephone, and when separated by
    the Atlantic Ocean, would send a daily
    cable message. It seems amazing that at
    first George could not afford to move Marguerite
    to Pittsburgh. In the early days
    of the air brake, before it really took off, she lived in Schenectady
    with his parents. When the money began to flow, he bought her a
    home in the affluent Homewood district of
    Pittsburgh in 1871. They added on to the
    old house, which became
    a luxurious dwelling, and dubbed it Solitude. A substantial lawn and
    gardens would grow, along with their
    substantial fortune. Edward Reis: The Westinghouses
    only had one child, George Westinghouse, III. He was born 16 years
    after they were married. When they were married,
    George Westinghouse was 20. His wife, Marguerite, was 24, which means then that when
    she had their only child she was 40 years old. Voiceover: As George
    Westinghouse, III grew up, he spent a lot of time
    at their summer home near
    Lenox, Massachusetts. It became a favorite
    of Mrs. Westinghouse. In the days before
    energy conservation, it boasted 1,500 light bulbs and the world’s first
    lighted tennis court. The massive estate even
    had the world’s first private alternating
    current power plant to supply the electricity. Solitude was
    equally interesting. When looking at pictures of it, one might notice an object
    that seems out of place with an opulent
    estate and gardens; a natural gas derrick. Westinghouse decided to prospect
    for gas in his own backyard. When Marguerite heard about
    this, she was thrilled. It was recorded that
    she said something like, “George, you travel so
    much it would be nice “to have you working
    at home for a while.” Edward Reis: In those days
    when they drilled a well, as they drilled the
    dirt and rock out, they’d strike a match to it. If it flamed up, they said
    they had a vein of gas. At 300 foot they told him
    they had a small vein of gas. At 900 feet they told him they
    had another small vein of gas. He told them to keep drilling. At 1,500 feet they hit
    a huge vein of gas. They immediately threw a
    match and set it afire. It was over 100 feet
    high, the flame. The roar could be
    heard for blocks. For a few days it became the
    great event in Pittsburgh. People came from everywhere. They came by street railway, they came by horse and buggy, they walked; throngs of
    people in the neighborhood to see this great fire that
    lit the sky for miles around. He was absolutely delighted, but his neighbors were not. Initially, neighbors like Henry
    Heinz and Henry Clay Frick were a bit upset by this. However, George shared
    his natural gas with them and with friends
    around the block. Westinghouse would always prove
    to be an interesting neighbor, at one point having 4
    gas wells at Solitude, an alternating
    current power plant, and a set of tracks to test
    street railway equipment. As Marguerite had predicted,
    George spent time at home with his new toys and
    his evenings at the well, designing new drilling tools and
    improvements in gas prospecting. In 1884, he went into
    the natural gas business. Edward Reis: From all
    this gas that he had, he decided he was going to
    start a natural gas company. All his existing charters
    wouldn’t allow him
    to start a utility, so he looked around and
    found an existing charter in the city of Philadelphia
    that would allow someone
    to start a utility. However, that charter
    was not being used at the
    time, so he acquired it. He brought that
    charter to Pittsburgh and started his
    natural gas company. He never, for whatever
    reason, changed the name on that charter, and ironically,
    the name of that company was the Philadelphia Company. He had this very successful
    company in Pittsburgh named the Philadelphia Company. Later his street railway
    company was added to the Philadelphia Company. When that company was
    broken up by the federal
    antitrust in 1951, it became Pittsburgh Railways, the largest streetcar company
    in the city at the time, and it also became Equitable
    Gas and Duquesne Light, both of those companies
    existing to this very day. Voiceover: Two years after
    he drilled his first well, Westinghouse had over 30 patents
    in the area of natural gas. Quentin Skrabec: He had
    seen in his trips to England the use of, what they had coal
    gas over there, not natural gas, but they were using coal gas
    to run a lot of their industry. He saw it as a cleaner,
    more efficient fuel. Industries adapted to the
    natural gas right away. It was cheaper, first of all. A lot of steel
    companies went to it. Then, the engineer that he was, and what he had learned from
    compressed air in air brakes was where he learned
    how to transmit gas. Voiceover: Natural gas was
    dangerous in the early days. Lines frequently broke and asphyxiation from gas leaks
    and explosions were common. It’s usage was not even metered. Westinghouse worked feverishly
    to solve these problems and developed escape
    pipes, meters, and the automatic
    cutoff regulator. (old time music) By the the 1880s and
    ’90s, George Westinghouse had founded dozens of companies. Even with those
    constant distractions, under his leadership the growth of the Westinghouse
    Air Brake Company moved full speed ahead. They quickly outgrew their
    original works in Pittsburgh and moved across the river
    to a larger building. Westinghouse could see
    that the need for trains
    was growing rapidly as the western states
    exploded in population. He knew that a much larger
    plant would be needed to keep up with the
    increasing demand. In 1889, the air brake works
    were moved to a massive site about 14 miles east
    of Pittsburgh in the
    Turtle Creek Valley. A building plan was made
    having in mind topography, water supply, and the
    disposal of sewage. Streets, homes, and a community
    were built around the new shops and the town of
    Wilmerding was created. In that day and age,
    many industrial companies kept their workers in barracks
    and cheap monotonous row houses, but Westinghouse Air
    Brake built good homes with gas, water,
    electricity, and baths. Many of them even had
    lawns and gardens. They went on to establish
    lawn and garden contests, and the little town
    became a place of taste in an otherwise dreary
    industrial region. (old time music) (train whistle) A trip through the
    Westinghouse valley in 1904 gives an up-close look at the
    air brake works and housing. (old time music) George Westinghouse
    always thought of safety and
    sanitation in his shops. They were well
    ventilated with the best heating and lighting
    available at the time. A century old blueprint
    shows the elaborate sprinkler systems
    which were installed
    at the air brake works, which was very uncommon
    and expensive at that time. A writer said that, “As one
    walks about the factory, “he often thinks
    that the men at work “are a good deal better off than
    they are in their own homes.” Included in the plant was
    a small emergency hospital with an operating
    room and pharmacy, complete with a
    surgeon and nurse. Both sick and accident
    benefits were paid to workers years before it was a
    common practice to do so. The cheapest way to take
    care of factory injuries was, of course, to prevent them. At his plants, serious
    accidents were rare. George Westinghouse felt
    that tired, miserable workers were not as safe and efficient
    as well-rested, happy ones. In the days of
    demanding physical labor in the sweltering heat and
    discomfort of factory shops, George Westinghouse
    invented the precursor to the modern-day weekend. Edward Reis: As a young
    man, George Westinghouse was working on a Saturday
    one time, and he was
    quoted as having said, “If I ever own my own company, “I’m going to give my workers
    a half holiday on Saturday.” Later in life, at the
    Westinghouse Air Brake Company, he was the first major
    employer in the country to grant his workers a
    half holiday on Saturday. This was a precedent that Henry
    Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie were not at all happy
    that George Westinghouse had set this precedent of giving
    his workers a half holiday. He always treated
    his workers well. We know that the homes
    that Westinghouse built for the Westinghouse
    Air Brake people in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania
    and the homes he built for the East Pittsburgh works of
    Westinghouse Electric Company, those homes were rented
    or sold to the employees. If the employees chose
    to acquire the home, they could do it on
    a monthly deduction. We know that George Westinghouse
    had those homes insured so if something
    happened to the worker, his family would
    be taken care of, his wife and children would
    have a home that was paid off. That, again, is the only
    example that I could locate of someone, one of the great
    business owners at that time, doing something like
    that for his workers. (old time music) Voiceover: And his
    workers loved him. Some of the quotes from
    Westinghouse Air Brake employees give the closest look
    at George Westinghouse available to us today. One letter reads, “George
    Westinghouse stood
    well over 6 feet tall. “When he raised his
    great right hand, “palms towards you and
    fingers spread a little, “and said in a gentle voice
    with a hint of a smile, “‘But you don’t understand,’
    it was quite plain “to the dullest mind that
    the sooner he understood “the better for him.” His manner was the
    same with princes as
    it was with mechanics. It hurt him to hurt the
    feelings of another. (old time music) Westinghouse was known as
    having an amazing memory and it was said by company men, “Do not tell the
    Old Man anything “you do not wish him to
    remember 10 years from now.” It was written that
    Mr. Westinghouse was an
    incorrigible optimist. He experimented on
    a full-size scale and backed the faith that
    was in him to the limit. He never looked back, was never discouraged, and never had any regrets
    over past failures. Another said, “George
    Westinghouse is the embodiment “of imagination in
    britches, walking about
    the face of the earth “doing things that change
    society just as birds sing.” It was unheard of at the time
    for men of Westinghouse’s social standing to have
    anything to do with the
    common factory worker. But the former Cavalry private
    didn’t see it that way. In 1894, the Civil War
    veterans group of the north, called the Grand
    Army of the Republic, would hold their 28th national
    encampment in Pittsburgh. Edward Reis: George Westinhouse,
    upon finding that out, went to the committee and
    said, “Listen, I just finished “two big factory
    buildings at my new “East Pittsburgh works of
    Westinghouse Electric Company “and they’re completely done but
    no equipment has been moved in. “What I’d like you to
    do is bring out workers “and convert one of
    those factory buildings
    to a great dining hall. “I’d like it to be carpeted. “I’d like a great
    staircase to be built “and a stage to be
    built, all carpeted. “I’d like tables with linen
    tablecloths and napkins. “I would like to
    host one night during “Grand Army Week,”
    as it was called, “for the Civil War veterans from
    the Grand Army of the Republic.” He also told them,
    “And by the way, “you wouldn’t have to use any
    of your committee’s money. “You could send
    me all the bills. “I’d be willing
    to pay for that.” 6,500 Civil War veterans
    came to that great dinner at East Pittsburgh that evening. (exciting opening movie music) Voiceover: Many people
    know the name Westinghouse because they grew up in a house
    full of Westinghouse appliances like roasters, dishwashers,
    and refrigerators. Innovative industrial
    products and home appliances from the Westinghouse Electric
    and Manufacturing Company made Westingouse
    a household name. But well before their
    first dishwasher would ever roll off the assembly
    line, George Westinghouse had to first win the
    battle of the currents
    again Thomas Edison. (old time music) Thomas Alva Edison
    was born in 1847. He was a forceful,
    egotistic, eccentric creator who had difficulty
    working with others, all direct contrast
    to George Westinghouse who was a military
    trained engineer. Edison got his start
    in telegraphy and
    invented a stock ticker and other industrial
    products early in his career. Around the same time
    that Westinghouse was
    perfecting the air brake, Thomas Edison invented
    the phonograph. Whereas the air brake
    was largely ignored
    by the national press, the phonograph was hailed as the
    greatest invention of all time. The phonograph was fun. The phonograph made music. The phonograph was unlike
    anything 19th century people had seen before and the
    population was in awe. Edison became famous and
    the public loved him. And he loved that
    the public loved him. He was regarded as the most
    famous American in the world. He patented the electric
    distribution system, and soon after activated
    the Pearl Street electric
    generating station which provided direct current
    power to some streetlights and a couple dozen
    customers in Manhattan. In the early 1880s,
    America’s growing industries were crying for
    more and more power that was less costly
    and cumbersome than
    steam-generated power. The development of
    electricity was like the rapid development
    of the automobile,
    computers, or the internet. Everyone could see that
    it was useful and amazing, but nobody knew quite
    how to utilize it or what the standards would be. It could be said that Thomas
    Edison created the idea of the centrally
    located power station. The only problem was that
    the direct current power he was using did not
    transmit very far. Jim Sutherland: You could
    only transmit direct current a few thousand yards from a
    Edison generating station. William Terbo: It was quite
    obvious to George Westinghouse that direct current was never
    going to be a national model. It’s just a local model. Voiceover: That meant that
    in order to power a city, he would need power
    stations every mile or so that were small in practically
    in their customers’ back yards. These facts did not stop
    Edison from promoting DC power with the theatrics and
    flare that he was known for. (smashing sound) Edison lived in New York City,
    was politically connected, and loved to put on a good show. He leveraged his fame,
    his name, and his face to his advantage in business. Direct current
    power became popular and Thomas Edison became
    a leader in the field. Quentin Skrabec:
    Edison had the market and built the first
    power station in New York for transmission of lighting. J. P. Morgan actually had
    the first house that was lit. Voiceover: In contrast,
    George Westinghouse did not even like
    to be photographed. Yet the limitations of DC
    power were very clear to him. He felt that electric power
    should be generated in one place and be transmitted
    to users far away. In 1885, George Westinghouse
    became interested in the inventions of European
    inventors Gaulard and Gibbs, relating to the use of single
    phase alternating currents and distribution
    with transformers. Jim Sutherland: George
    Westinghouse was the first to recognize that you could use
    a transformer in a large system. With alternating current,
    you can transform the voltage up to a high voltage low current and send it hundreds
    and thousands of miles
    at the high voltage, then step it back down to the
    low voltage where you use it. It was the key to
    the entire system. Voiceover: He purchased the
    American rights to their patent and threw himself into
    the study and design of a
    new kind of transformer. It was said that he
    recalled his experiences in the gas industry
    with the reducing valve that allowed high
    pressure gas from the well to be transported
    over a great distance and then delivered at low
    pressure at the point of use. The transformer was his
    reducing valve for electricity. Quentin Skrabec: That’s
    exactly what he was doing with gas transmission. Voltage is pressure. It’s the exact same
    term in electricity as it is in hydraulics
    and gas fluid. He could step up the voltage to
    transmit it at a faster speed and then when he got
    to the houses he could
    step it back down again. Voiceover: Those who watched
    him work were stunned at his capacity to do
    extraordinary things quickly. Through long evenings he would
    work in his private railroad car and in his house, designing,
    sketching, and dictating. When at home, he often
    worked on his billiard table. It was said he
    never had a pencil, but just borrowed one
    from the nearest man. He never returned
    any of the pencils and nobody knows what
    happened to them. One writer said that his
    trail through the world was blazed with
    other men’s pencils. Jim Sutherland: He had a unique
    ability to look at prolems and come up with
    solutions of his own, but he was also willing to take
    other ideas from other people. If he had to buy ides
    or buy patents, he did. Voiceover: In a
    miraculous three weeks, Mr. Westinghouse and
    his staff redesigned the Gaulard and
    Gibbs transformer. Male: Gaulard and Gibbs
    certainly had the idea correct. It was the mechanical
    part of actually manufacturing and building
    these transformers that
    they came up short. It was a rather crude device
    when Westinghouse acquired it. Voiceover: The Westinghouse
    Electric Company was
    started on March 8, 1886 in the Garrison Alley
    works in Pittsburgh. Male: The Garrison
    Alley operation was really a research operation,
    a developmental operation. He was working on a
    number of projects there, including the transformer. Male: He was interested in
    developing ideas into products, and products into companies, and companies
    providing employment. Voiceover: In the beginning,
    Westinghouse Electric
    didn’t have it easy. Along with research into
    alternating current, it was about that
    time that Westinghouse began to seriously
    compete with Edison in the incandescent
    lamp business, with a full plant
    making single pin lamps, which were a slightly
    different design than the
    Edison screw-in bulbs. (cartoonish music) This was the beginning of
    the battle of the currents. The fierce competition between
    Westinghouse and Edison for domination in the
    electrical field would not
    end for another decade. Interestingly, it
    resulted in one of the
    earliest known format wars between which standard
    of light bulb and socket would be the dominant one. Customers who chose to go with
    Westinghouse single pin sockets could buy this clever adapter
    to use Edison’s screw-in bulbs. A few commercial
    alternating current plants were put into operation
    over the next few months but there were still problems. Even though AC power could
    be generated in large bulk and transmitted many miles
    away to light cities, there was still no
    practical AC motor, and thus no practical
    way to power machines
    with alternating current. (slow old time music) Nikola Tesla arrived in
    New York City in 1884 with a head full of ideas and
    barely a cent to his name. He was a brilliant
    Serbian-born inventor who spoke a dozen languages. William Terbo: He came to the
    United States at the age of 28 with a letter from the director
    of the Edison Company in Paris that was directed to
    Thomas Edison saying “I know of only two
    great geniuses in the
    electrical business. “You are one and the
    gentleman holding this
    letter is the other one.” Voiceover: Thomas Edison
    hired him and put him to work redesigning DC generators. The famous story is that
    Edison offered to pay him an outrageous sum of
    $50,000 for his work. William Terbo: Telsa came
    to him and said okay, now where is my $50,000? Supposedly Thomas Edison
    said, “Oh, my dear Nikola, “you don’t understand the
    American sense of humor.” It was the straw that
    broke Tesla’s back and almost immediately
    after that he left Edison. Voiceover: The brilliant
    inventor ended up digging ditches for a while,
    literally, to support himself while he was still creating. In 1887, he constructed
    the initial brushless alternating current
    induction motor. A year later, he saw
    patents issued to him on his motor and on
    the associated method of transmitting power
    by polyphase currents. William Terbo: When George
    Westinghouse heard about that, it was like a light went on, an electric light went
    on perhaps you might say. This was the possibility
    where he could see that technology overtaking
    everything else in the world, and he was right. Voiceover: Tesla’s
    ideas would enable steam or hydro-powered generators
    to generate polyphase currents that power induction motors
    in machines in factories. William Terbo: The group
    of patents that Tesla had, which essentially
    identified the entire path from beginning to end, from the motor to use
    alternating current to the method of
    distributing the current and everything in between. It was the answer
    to the question that
    George Westinghouse had. Tesla had the answer. Voiceover: Unlike Edison who
    was solely behind DC power, he listened to Tesla. He acquired the rights to
    Tesla’s induction motor
    and polyphase patents and Nikola Tesla came
    to Pittsburgh to work for the Westinghouse
    Electric Company. Quentin Skrabec: He
    was also able to back
    off, a guy like Tesla, who had tremendous intelligence, and Westinghouse
    realized, probably more
    intelligent than him, understood, certainly, the
    sophistication of AC current, which is not an easy thing. Today we describe it in
    differential equations; it’s a nightmare even
    for young engineers today trying to learn that. Voiceover: Tesla’s
    inventions combined Westinghouse’s
    manufacturing skills and his ability to assemble
    parts of a whole system brought practical alternating
    current power to existence. One writer said, “The invention
    of alternating current motors “and the system
    for operating them “was one of the greatest
    advances ever made “in the industrial
    application of electricity.” Not everyone agreed. There was serious
    opposition to AC power. (storm sounds) Assertions were made that
    the alternating current
    system was dangerous and that its use should not
    be permitted commercially. Numerous articles appeared
    throughout the country designed to prejudice public
    opinion against the system. (wind) One bitter article
    from a scientist read, “There is no plea which
    will justify the use of
    high alternating current “either in a scientific
    or commercial sense, “and my personal desire would be “to prohibit entirely the
    use of alternating current.” If anything was needed
    to urge Westinghouse to greater effort, this
    antagonism served the purpose. Edward Reis: If we
    look at a comparison of Thomas Edison and
    George Westinghouse, we find a number of
    major differeneces. They had quite a difference
    in personalities. An example, during the
    great battle of the currents is Thomas Edison backed
    the electric chair, not as a humane way to
    eliminate convicted criminals, but as a way to get a
    competitive advantage over his competitor,
    George Westinghouse’s
    alternating current. Thomas Edison was trying
    to discredit Westinghouse’s
    alternating current. He had a campaign to make
    it look much more dangerous than it really was,
    although it was dangerous, and obviously this very day
    we know it could kill people. But George Westinghouse
    believed electricity was there to benefit mankind and
    should not be started off by executing
    condemned criminals. Thomas Edison pushed that
    in the state of New York and recommended the electric
    chair as a humane way to execute condemned
    criminals, and by the way, said you’d have to
    use Westinghouse’s
    alternating current; direct current just
    wouldn’t do it. Now that wasn’t exactly
    true but that’s the
    position that he pushed. George Westinghouse was
    appalled that Thomas Edison would lower himself to
    that level of competition. When the electric chair
    was first proposed, there was no term
    “electrocution” in
    existence at the time. Thomas Edison even
    lowered himself to the
    point where he suggested that the term to be used would
    be called “Westinghoused,” so you Westinghoused
    a condemned criminal, later to be called electrocute
    a condemned criminal. He’d lowered himself pretty low at the point of how he
    was willing to compete. Voiceover: Edison’s
    connections with the media and politicians worked
    overtime for him, spinning the evils of
    alternating current power. It was said that Thomas
    Edison went so far as to work with a man who electrocuted
    dogs and cats on stage to give AC power a bad name. Moving footage
    exists of an elephant being electrocuted
    in front of a crowd. Although it is claimed
    to be Edison’s work, the film clip is generally
    accepted not to be part of the battle of the
    currents; however, it gives an idea of the gruesome
    inhumane acts that those men did in order to prove their
    point about the dangers
    of alternating current. Jim Sutherland: Westinghouse
    came in with a system of alternating current
    that immediately made the Edison direct current
    equipment obsolete. Since Edison had provided
    direct current equipment to a lot of small
    municipal power companies
    and light companies, they didn’t have money, they
    didn’t have any capital, so he had taken paper. He owned large shares in
    those municipal companies. He knew that if
    Westinghouse was successful in replacing all of his
    direct current equipment
    that was installed, he would be financially hurt. That’s why he was so anxious
    to do everything he could to make George Westinghouse’s
    alternating current
    system a bad word. (quiet chords) Voiceover: After years
    of costly research, Westinghouse’s big chance
    to show the complex polyphase system and
    AC power in action would come during the 1893
    World’s Fair in Chicago. But Thomas Edison would
    not make it easy for them. (crowd applause and cheers) The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, known as the
    Columbian Exposition, was set to commemorate
    the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering
    the New World. It was to be the
    biggest, grandest, most spectacular
    World’s Fair ever. It would be quite the party, and proved to be an
    interesting event in the life of
    George Westinghouse. It would also be ground zero
    for the battle of the currents. (crowd noises) On May 23, 1892, as
    the immense fairgrounds were being constructed on
    the shore of Lake Michigan, the Westinghouse
    Electric Company won the lighting contract
    for the World’s Fair. David Cope: You have to remember
    how people lived at the time. They lived in darkness. We don’t live in
    darkness at all. Even if you go outside
    at night, there’s light. Whoever wins this bid,
    if it’s going to Edison or if it’s going
    to be Westinghouse, it’s going to mean a great deal because people are going
    to come to the Fair, they’re going to
    see light at night. They’re going to be
    able to extend the day. Voiceover: The story is
    that the exposition company saved about a half a
    million dollars by going with Westinghouse Electric
    over General Electric. This loss to Westinghouse
    was unexpected. Thomas Edison had counted on
    his name and strong patents to guarantee the contract
    and planned to make
    a profit at the Fair. Westinghouse, on the other
    hand, would make a risky move by going into it expecting
    to lose money in order
    to gain promotion, a gamble that could
    sink the entire company because of the time and
    money that went into the
    polyphase development, leaving the Westinghouse
    Electric Company in a weakened state to survive
    the financial crisis of 1893. Quentin Skrabec: Edison
    at the time represented
    General Electric, but he had already
    been bought out. That battle was a vicious one. Westinghouse finally
    undercut and won it. Voiceover: George
    Westinghouse told his managers the work must be done
    right regardless of cost. He said that any loss could
    be charged to advertising, and that was the main objective. David Cope: Hundreds
    of thousands of people came at night just
    to see the lighting. What they do is they go
    back and they talk about it. Voiceover: The World’s Fair
    was a massive undertaking, but Westinghouse had the
    courage of his conviction that his men could do it. He closed the contract
    before even consulting them. Edison was well known
    for challenging people on patent infringement,
    and even though Westinghouse had won the
    World’s Fair contract, they were dangerously
    close to a patent dispute and a massive lawsuit. The Westinghouse
    alternating current system was going to power the
    lights of the Fair, but the light bulbs that
    were going to be used were too similar to a
    patent owned by Edison, the one piece
    incandescent light bulb. Some six months
    before the opening, with all of the Westinghouse
    work already installed, the patent on the Edison
    incandescent lamp was sustained and Westinghouse was not
    permitted to use the light bulbs that he had planned to use. George Westinghouse had a clever
    way around this problem, though. Years earlier, he
    had purchased rights to the Sawyer-Man lamp patent and chose to use
    those lamps instead. Thus, originated
    the famous two-piece
    Westinghouse stopper lamp, so called because a
    piece of ground glass held an iron filament fitted
    into the bulb like a cork. Edward Reis: Good
    business sense said he better have a backup
    and that turned out to be the two-piece all glass
    Westinghouse stopper lamp that was upheld in the court
    as an independent patent. Perhaps wasn’t as good
    an incandescent lamp as the Edison lamp at the
    time, but it was good enough to successfully illuminate
    the great Chicago
    World’s Fair in 1893. Voiceover: Westinghouse
    rushed through extensive new production facilities
    to finish the bulbs the moment the Fair
    was scheduled to open. Edward Reis: The Westinghouse
    Company at that time manufactured 250,000
    two-piece all glass Westinghouse stopper lamps. It was estimated at the
    time that it was 25% of all the incandescent lamps
    made up to that point in time anywhere in the world. Voiceover: It was a
    quick and dirty job, and the opening of the
    Fair on May 1, 1893 was not delayed an hour. In his tradition of surrounding
    himself with smart people, Westinghouse was well served by his patent lawyers
    and engineers. The World’s Fair lamps
    did not last long and had to be changed often, but Fair visitors never
    knew this at the time. All they saw was the
    beautiful lighting, and the name Westinghouse. The Fair was a huge success, attracting nearly 28 million
    visitors in its six month run. The Westinghouse exhibits
    had prime real estate. Just off the court of
    honor sat the massive
    electricity building, which was one of the
    most popular attractions. The Westinghouse Electric
    and Manufacturing Company occupied a huge
    chunk of floor space right alongside their
    rival, General Electric. In machinery hall, the
    Westinghouse Electric Company showed off their complete
    polyphase system. The generating plant for
    the World’s Fair lighting was the largest alternating
    current central station then in existence. To further amaze visitors, the complex switchboard used
    to control all of the machines required only one operator. George Westinghouse attended
    the Fair that summer, but left all the
    planning and construction of the exhibits to his managers. Mr. E. E. Keller, the
    Westinghouse manager of the World’s Fair
    contract, said, “Like most of his
    helpers, I felt ready “to march through fire for
    him, and was amply repaid. “Such was the man,
    Westinghouse.” In the end, they even
    turned a profit of $16,000, not including advertising. Jim Sutherland: I’d
    like to have been there. That would have been
    a great experience to
    walk through that place. But I understand no one person
    could see the entire Fair during the summer, there
    was so much to see. Voiceover: Many believe that
    the greatest single thing to come out of the
    Columbian Exposition was not Cracker Jack
    or the Ferris Wheel, but that it finally settled
    the AC versus DC battle of the currents
    once and for all. The World’s Fair
    helped Westinghouse win one of the most important
    contracts in history. (music and rushing water) The hope of harnessing
    the tremendous power of Niagara Falls
    had been a dream of scientists and
    engineers for decades. Top minds like Lord Kelvin and
    Thomas Edison were involved, but by the fall of 1893,
    the project remained
    stuck in the mud suffering from the bitter
    controversy over whether alternating current or direct
    current should be used. It was the impressive
    display of AC power at the World’s Fair
    that gave Westinghouse
    just the edge he needed, and even skeptics
    like Lord Kelvin, who was once on the
    DC side, gave in. Man: People came into the Fair
    remembering the name Edison. They came away
    thinking Westinghouse. William Terbo: It gave
    the publicity that
    George Westinghouse needed to really put in
    position his ultimate goal, which is also Tesla’s
    ultimate goal from childhood, to put the power system
    into Niagara Falls. Voiceover: Now all the
    power could be generated in one spot, and
    transmitted many miles away with the help of transformers. On October 24, 1893,
    Westinghouse Electric was awarded the contract
    for three 5,000 horsepower alternating current
    generators for Niagara Falls. The first hydroelectric
    generator unit was
    tested on April 16, 1895. A year later, three
    seconds after midnight on November 16, 1896, Buffalo,
    New York was receiving power from the mighty Niagara
    Cataract for the first time. The battle of the currents
    had been won by Westinghouse. William Terbo: It
    was such an event. Tesla was there and spoke,
    and he spoke at length. I understand from some
    newspaper comments, spoke
    at excessive length. Voiceover: Pieces of
    the original power line from the 1895 test were
    saved to honor the occasion. The Westinghouse
    Electric Company finally started seeing returns on
    their enormous investments into alternating current
    and the polyphase system. Orders began to flood in. The original Niagara Falls
    generators were joined by the addition of seven
    similar units a few years later. Today, newer plants
    and technology continue to harness
    the hydroelectric
    power of Niagara Falls. Edward Reis: Later
    in life Nikola Tesla
    was quoted as saying, “The only man in the world
    that could have pulled off “alternating current
    was George Westinghouse, “for he was the only
    man that would come up
    against Thomas Edison.” Voiceover: Even though
    the battle of the currents may have been over,
    the fierce competition between Westinghouse
    and Edison continued. Edward Reis: It’s well known
    today that Thomas Edison had 1,093 patents
    during his lifetime. History also records
    that George Westinghouse is credited with 361
    patents during his lifetime. But again, understanding
    the differences in
    their personalities has a major impact on how
    many patents each was granted. It is well known
    and well documented that if you were a worker
    that worked on an item that was patented and worked
    for Thomas Edison, the name on that patent
    was Thomas Edison. It’s also well known
    and well documented that if you were a
    worker that worked for George Westinghouse
    at the time and had worked an item
    that was patented, the name on the patent was that
    of the empoloyee or the worker. Benjamin Lamme, for
    example, one of the great
    Westinghouse engineers, perhaps best known
    for having designed the first three 5,000
    horsepower generators that went into Niagara Falls, Benjamin Lamme alone
    had 162 patents during his career
    at Westinghouse, Everyone of them recorded in
    the name of Benjamin Lamme. I always thought if we
    could get all these patents of all the great engineers
    and others that worked
    for Westinghouse, if he had the same
    practice as Edison of putting his name
    on those patents, he’d have well excess,
    also, of 1,000 patents
    during his lifetime. Voiceover: George Westinghouse
    always surrounded himself with the best and the brightest. Man: He had a real knack as
    a manager that Edison didn’t, in that he could bring
    a lot of very creative, very intelligent
    people together, and at least get them to
    work towards a project. These people are hard
    to bring together. They had big egos. He was able to manage that. He was a tremendous manager, something that Edison was not an most inventors were not. (old time big band music) Voiceover: By 1900, George
    Westinghouse had started or was associated with
    nearly 40 companies. By 1910, that number would
    rise close to 60 companies. He was worth many millions of
    dollars several times over, although some joked that
    Marguerite spent it faster than even he could make it. Man: Later in life George
    Westinghouse worked on some other ideas that
    perhaps he’s not as
    well known for today. Westinghouse Electric
    Company actually went into the production of
    full-size Westinghouse alternating current
    electric locomotives in the early part of the 1900s. This came about in part
    because the east coast of the United States, the New
    York City area, for example, considered steam
    locomotives too dirty, and also too unsafe. There had been a great
    wreck in New York when an engineer on
    a steam locomotive failed to see the signals
    because of the smoke
    from the locomotive, so the east coast
    of the United States electrified their railroads. Taking advantage of
    that opportunity, Westinghouse Electric
    manufactured full-size electric alternating
    current locomotives at the East Pittburgh works of
    Westinghouse Electric here in Pennsylvania. Voiceover: On May 16,
    1905, he made history by combining two
    of his passions; transportation and alternating
    current electricity, where his electric
    train was matched against a steam locomotive
    of similar size. As he stands front and center, his smile is no doubt covered
    by his trademark mustache. That day, his electric
    locomotive proved superiority in handling a train
    of 50 steel gondolas, opening up the future of new
    electric railroad innovations for the Westinghouse
    Electric Company. Westinghouse made tremendous
    advances in the areas of railroad signalling
    and interlocking. The Union Switch
    and Signal Company, regarded as one of
    his least glamorous but most important companies, was found in 1881. Quentin Skrabec: A lot of
    people remember the air brake; they don’t remember all the work that Westinghouse did with
    switching and signalling. You had trains on
    the same track. They had to pick up signals. They had to make switches. The tracks had to be manually
    switched a lot of times so the trains wouldn’t collide. Voicover: Signals tell a
    train when to reduce speed, when to stop, and when to start, when to proceed under control, and when to go
    ahead at full speed. Quentin Skrabec: The railroads
    weren’t too interested in it. It was a safety issue, and
    they weren’t really … Just like the brakes, they
    didn’t come on stream with that. Westinghouse sort
    of pushed that. He saw a need. Voiceover: Interlocking
    provided control and operation of
    switches and signals so that they moved
    in certain sequences. It was said that if a
    man were blindfolded and pulled levers at random,
    he could stop traffic, but he could not
    produce a collision. Edward Reis: They were
    using air to switch tracks
    was new at the time. They were also using electric
    current down the railroad tracks so they could tell
    where the trains were without having
    observer in a tower, which had a major impact
    on the ability to move lots of trains through
    heavy traffic areas. Those two items alone
    had a major impact on
    the railroad industry. Voiceover: Another of his
    lesser known inventions was the steam heater, which
    used steam from the locomotive to warm train cars in
    the dead of winter. Edward Reis: Later in
    life, George Westinghouse also worked on a marine
    turbine engine for
    the shipping industry. Quentin Scrabec: What you have
    in steam engines in shipping is steam engines turn
    a shaft very quickly. Reduction gear allowed
    that fast turning to move down to slow
    turning with a lot of torque so it could drive
    through the water. So the reduction gear
    allowed for very efficient steam power of ships. (old movie music) Voiceover: George
    Westinghouse was involved with industries related to
    the newest mechanical marvel of the 20th century:
    the automobile. He was influenced by
    a device a chauffeur in Lenox used to reduce
    road shocks in his car. Westinghouse noticed
    that it needs changing
    to make it successful, and a year later
    saw the first set of Westinghouse air
    springs installed on
    one of his vehicles. It was recorded that he said, “They make a wonderful
    difference in the riding
    qualities of the car.” Edward Reis: He came up
    with the idea of using air for shock absorbers on a car. So, for example, he
    owned automobiles and obviously the roads
    were kind of rough and the ride was kind of rough, so he, in effect, invented
    the shock absorber
    as we know it today. Voiceover: George Westinghouse
    was always working for ideals. He was always trying to
    produce a perfect product and commercial success
    was bound to follow, and so was the prosperity
    of his employees. But not everything that
    he touched turned to gold. Edward Reis: Like
    all great inventors, George Westinghouse
    did have some failures. I wouldn’t necessarily say
    they were major failures. His rotary steam engine,
    his very first patent, for example, he was never able
    to make it a commercial success, and yet that idea
    of a rotating engine stayed with him
    throughout his lifetime. He also worked for many, many
    years on a steam turbine, and eventually acquired
    the Parson steam turbine
    patents from England because it was a better
    steam turbine than the one
    he had been working on. Was he successful with
    the development of
    his own steam turbine? The answer is no. But long term, all the
    experience that he gained from having worked on his own
    Westinghouse steam turbine, they reduced the size
    of that engine by 2/3 and keeping the
    same power output. Quentin Skrabec: Also, you
    could set them up anywhere. You didn’t need a Niagara
    Falls in your backyard. This allowed for electrical
    generation across the country. This is where Westinghouse
    was brilliant. He could get in
    there on something that somebody else
    had started like that, and really bring it
    into commercialization. Edward Reis: They made
    major improvements to the Parsons steam turbine
    even though it was basically a very good design
    to begin with. (slow, sad piano music) Voiceover: George
    Westinghouse showed faith in his enterprises by investing
    his own money in them. Many of his new businesses
    were financed at the beginning by borrowing from his
    seasoned companies, which had already
    become successful, like Westinghouse Air Brake. Several times he imperiled
    his entire fortune and his credit by investing
    practically everything into his start-up companies
    when others lacked faith. This meant he had more at risk, but the payout was
    higher if they succeeded. The risks of this
    method of finance culminated in the
    disaster of 1907, which came to be the
    tragedy of his life. The Westinghouse enterprises
    had spread all over the world and their requirements for
    working capital were immense. When the widespread money
    crisis of 1907 arrived, his loans were called. Quentin Skrabec: Because he
    was fascinated in new projects, he borrowed a lot of
    money at the time, which was not his usual stop. He was sort of anti-banking. Not sort of; he was. He didn’t like to borrow money. He liked to generate investment
    out of his own profits. He had a dislike for
    bankers and that would
    hurt him in the long run. But in the case of a lot
    of electrical projects like the Niagara Fall
    generating plant at the time, he was overextended in
    his electrical company, no question about it. J. P. Morgan up in New
    York had wanted to bring Westinghouse in to
    an electrical trust with at the time
    General Electric. Westinghouse disliked
    trusts and refused. That put him at
    odds with Morgan. Edward Reis: The bankers
    were very tough individuals. They had taken Edison
    Electric Company away from Thomas Edison in 1888. He was not happy about
    that, by the way. There was a downturn
    in the economy, a depression, if you would,
    here in this country. George Westinghouse had just
    invested a huge amount of money in building the East
    Pittsburgh works of Westinghouse
    Electric Company. He had quite a number
    of outstanding loans. Loans were callable
    in those days. If he were here
    today, he’d tell you, he believed the bankers
    used that as a reason to force him out of
    control of the Westinghouse
    Electric Company, which they did. Quentin Skrabec:
    Newspapers, the Pittsburgh
    newspapers in particular, blamed it on Westinghouse,
    his poor management. So on top of everything
    else, he’s getting headlines that he’s a poor manager. Now Morgan didn’t take
    over Westinghouse. There were other bankers. It was really a
    crushing blow to him. Voiceover: It was written
    that this was the most considerable mercantile failure
    that America has ever witnessed. Control of the Westinghouse
    Electric Company passed
    out of his hands. Ironically, his name remained
    as their greatest asset. The writer of his biography said that as he was riding
    with him one night, when passing the great
    works at East Pittsburgh, George turned his face
    towards the bleak hills on the other side of the way with an expression so pathetic
    as to break one’s heart. Quentin Skrabec: He didn’t have
    enough cash to make the payment. It was a temporary situation. It just wouldn’t happen today
    for a big company like that. They would be able to get
    money on the open market. But because Morgan
    basically controlled the
    open market in those days, even for the government
    with no Federal Reserve, he could make that decision and
    block that type of cash inflow that Westinghouse would
    have easily gotten today. (soft piano music) That electrical
    company was the company he loved the most at the time. It was where he was doing
    all his progressive projects, all his scientific research. The air brake company,
    which he retained, was pretty much steady business, so he went after another
    group of inventions in a lot of different
    ways that he could utilize the resources and the money
    of his air brake company. Voiceover: The short
    years of his life that
    remained after the tragedy were filled with the
    same unceasing activity. A friend asked him if he would
    slow down, and he replied, “No, I do not feel that it would
    be right for me to stop now. “I feel that I have been
    given certain powers to create “and develop enterprises
    in which other men “can find useful and
    profitable employment, “and so long as I am able, “it is my duty to continue
    to exercise those powers.” Lifelong, he was temperate
    in everything but his work. In an era where everyone smoked, George Westinghouse did not. He rarely drank, and he
    never used profanity. One writer said of him
    that, “While Westinghouse’s “head was in the stars,
    his substantial feet
    were on the ground.” Late in 1913, his
    health began to fade. What was called an organic
    disease of the heart developed and he retired to his
    home in Lenox to rest. During the illness,
    his quizzical humor and inventive spirit lived on. But his body slowly faded away. On March 12, 1914 he died. It was said that drawings
    for an electric wheelchair that he was designing were
    nearby at the time of his death. Edward Reis: Upon his
    death, his eight pallbearers were all his oldest workers
    from the Westinghouse
    Air Brake Company, including the very first
    worker that he had ever hired. To have that honor
    to be a pallbearer at George Westinghouse’s
    funeral certainly showed the interaction
    he had with average
    workers in his plants. Voiceover: Marguerite
    died a few months later. George and Marguerite
    Westinghouse are buried in Arlington National Cemetery
    beneath a modest headstone. He had requested to be
    buried there in honor of
    his Civil War service. (old time music) The world and the
    Westinghouse companies
    continued on after his death. His brother became the President
    of Westinghouse Air Brake, which continued its
    operations and growth. His son, George III, who
    had passed an apprenticeship at the air brake works,
    carried on the legacy and managed the family finances. Man: Westinghouse Air Brake
    Company changed their name at one point in time to Wabco, but they’re still with us
    today with the name Wabtec. Voiceover: Westinghouse Electric
    and Manufacturing Company remained at the forefront
    of the modern era as the country rapidly
    embraced electric power and purchased new
    machines and appliances to aid in daily life. In 1920, Westinghouse
    made history by airing the first commercial
    radio broadcast in the country. Edward Reis: They started
    radio station KDKA. The first transmittal on
    that radio station was done in November 1920 from
    atop the K buidling at the East Pittsburgh
    works of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing
    Company as it was
    called at the time. They broadcast the presidential
    election returns that year. That was the very
    successful first commercial radio broadcast in
    the United States. KDKA went on to become a
    very successful company. The very first year
    that they operated, they operated from a
    studio atop the K buidling at the East Pittsburgh works, and they actually had a tent. It was said you could
    hear the train whistles in the background because
    they were in a tent they had not way to
    keep that sound out of the radio programs
    at that point in time. (upbeat movie music) Voiceover: Say,
    what Fair’s this? Female: It’s the
    Westinghouse Freedom Fair. You’ll find it in every
    Westinghouse dealer’s store in every town in
    the United States. So go to the Fair
    at your dealer’s. See these seven great
    Westinghouse appliances and learn how they bring
    you hours of freedom from drudgery every day. For instance, here’s
    freedom from all the nuisance and
    mess of defrosting. (slow big band music) Voiceover: For decades,
    Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company
    appliances were considered to be the leaders in
    their field; well built, well engineered, and
    fashionably styled. Their ads ran everywhere
    and influenced American pop art and pop culture
    for generations. Female: Oh, and that reminds me, when you cook the
    Westinghouse Electric way, you’re free from an
    overheated kitchen, and you’re free, too, from
    all the grease and grime that forms on walls and curtains
    from other kinds of cooking. Voiceover: Westinghouse
    advertisements from the early 20th century showed just how
    happy the American housewife was with a kitchen full
    of Westinghouse
    Electric appliances. No longer did she have to
    slave over a hot oven all day. Now, she could set a
    clock, go out on the
    town with her friends, and come home to dinner
    waiting for her and her family. (big band music) For the fellows out there, tired
    of using a crank in the morning? Westinghouse gave them
    batteries to start their cars. In 1916, Westinghouse
    Electric introduced a revolutionary toaster
    that flipped bread slices, evenly toasting both sides. Things we take for granted
    now, were brand new back then. Electricity was used to
    power fans, curling irons, light bulbs, radios,
    coffee percolators, and a variety of
    Westinghouse Electric wares. In the early days before
    standardized AC wall outlets, these devices screwed right
    in to your light sockets. Smooth curves, sleek
    lines, and chrome accents are hallmark traits of
    their famous 1930s line
    of electric appliances. In the George
    Westinghouse tradition of surrounding himself with
    the best and the brightest, Westinghouse Electric
    filled its ranks with industrial designers
    like Ralph Kruck and created products with
    such style and originality that remain collectors’
    items today. These rare hand-drawn
    sketches by Kruck and rough drafts of
    refrigerators, washing machines, vacuums and other appliances show the amount of
    work and ingenuity that went into their
    manufactured goods for decades. In the 1950s, their
    advertisements and slogans heralded a new era of
    comfort and convenience. Female: And the
    Westinghouse Electric sink frees you forever
    from washing dishes. Here is freedom from
    cooking drudgery. Voiceover: “You can be
    sure if it’s Westinghouse” became a national
    catchphrase in 1954. Famous actors like Ronald
    Reagan, Betty Furness, and Edward G. Robinson appeared
    in Westinghouse advertisements. Cartoon characters like
    Blondie and Dagwood celebrated their electric
    life on board games. Female: And remember, you can
    be sure if it’s Westinghouse. (old movie music) Voiceover: The Westinghouse
    marketing machine
    knew no boundaries and had friends in
    the highest places. In the 1940s the Walt
    Disney Company produced
    a promotional film for the Westinghouse
    Electric Company, showing what advancements
    Westinghouse was making in the area of
    household appliances, electricity, and
    modern comforts. Radio announcer: 1910,
    however, brings into our lives what some people are
    calling a miracle. A new servant, not
    very well trained yet, but willing and
    cheerful: electricity. It lightens our homes, but not yet does it
    lighten our housework. David Cope: This is a
    Westinghouse turkey roaster. My grandmother had this, and she had it back in
    the late ’30s, early ’40s. We have used it every year
    for Thanksgiving since then. Radio announcer: By the
    1930s a new day at last. Our servant, electricity,
    has learned to cool and heat, wash and iron, roast and toast. We get a house, stuff
    it with furnishings, and then try to stuff
    ourselves in last. David Cope: Dependable. It’s what you think
    of Westinghouse. Old line, dependable, usable. You’re talking 60
    years of dependability. Industrial designers
    at the time knew that if they made something
    aesthetically nice, people would by it. Then aesthetically
    they could change it and people would have to
    have the newer models. Radio announcer: Let’s
    look inside that wall. You see, everything
    is going along fine with only 1,950 watts
    plugged into the circuit. The refrigerator, the iron, the coffee maker, and the radio. But, if we plug in
    that extra 1,150 watts, just see what happens when it
    hits and overloads the circuit. (cartoon sounds) Voiceover: Although some
    of their predictions of the future were
    a bit far fetched, much of what we see in the
    film was brought to reality by the Westinghouse Electric
    and Manufacturing Company. (smash) Voiceover: Oh,
    goodness, what was that? Radio announcer: That’s
    what happens when we try to load too many watts
    on poor electric circuit. Female: And here are America’s
    favorite laundry twins, the Westinghouse Laundromat
    and the Clothes Dryer. Radio announcer: This
    is the new Laundromat. It does everything but think. Quentin Skrabec: Industrial
    designers consider the Westinghouse Laundromat and
    the Westinghouse Clothes Dryer as excellent examples of early
    modern industrial design. Actually, Westinghouse
    created the name Laundromat for the washing machine, and they had the twin,
    as they called them, the Westinghouse twins,
    with the Clothes Dryer. Now one year and one year only, this Clothes Dryer
    Westinghouse had, had a built-in unit that
    when the Clothes Dryer finished the drying cycle, it would play the
    song, How Dry I Am. Now we have the unit
    mounted on top here so one can also see the
    device that was used to play that song, How Dry I Am. Radio Announcer: Put in
    the clothes, set the dials, add soap, and it washes,
    rinses and damp dry, ready for the electric dryer, where the clothes are
    tumbled about in heated air until they’re completely
    dry, soft and fluffy. (excited music) Jim Sutherland: I think
    Westinghouse Electric
    had its golden age during and soon after
    the Second World War. Now, of course this was 30 years
    after George Westinghouse died so you can’t credit
    that directly with
    George Westinghouse, but it’s the legacy that
    George Westinghouse, as a man, left that was
    developed into a company that could produce
    the many, many things that they made during the
    Second World War and afterward. They made gun control
    systems for tanks that allowed them to fire
    while the tank was moving. It stabilized the motion
    of the tank platform. They made torpedoes. They made DDT canisters. They made binoculars. They also made helmet liners. They fired chickens
    through windshields to test airplane windshields
    in East Pittsburgh. They had a compressed air cannon and they would fire dead
    chickens at the glass panels that they’d set up
    and see which panels could withstand a
    head-on collision with
    a chicken at 200 mph. (airplanes flying sounds) If you were a pilot,
    it was pretty important to know that your glass
    had been tested! (chuckle) (big band music) Voicover: In true
    Westinghouse tradition, throughout the 20th century many of their most spectacular
    marketing and advertising displays, innovations,
    and spectacles were featured at World’s Fairs. As one newspaper
    headline put it, “Everywhere Around the
    Fairs, it’s Westinghouse.” George had always
    like World’s Fairs because he believed that
    they made the public more conscious of the
    name Westinghouse. David Cope: World’s Fairs
    were used as a promotional. You have to remember, they
    didn’t have advertising, per se, that we have today where people
    could see how things worked. Voiceover: Westinghouse had
    been a constant presence at these massive events sine the
    Centennial Exhibition in 1876. At the St. Louis
    Exposition in 1904, Westinghouse occupied more
    than 70,000 square feet of Exhibition space with their
    growing empire of companies. In 1933, nearly 20 years
    after their founder’s death, Westinghouse made a
    memorable impression at the Century of
    Progress Fair in Chicago. The motto for the Fair was “Science finds, industry
    applies, man conforms.” It was once again held along
    the shore of Lake Michigan. Man: So people came
    away with the name … They knew that Westinghouse
    was a good, solid name. It meant security,
    it meant electricity that was going to
    come into their homes and be able to provide
    them a new way of life. Voiceover: In 1936,
    Westinghouse was there again with a strong,
    glamorous presence for the Great Lakes
    Exposition in Cleveland. The main attraction in
    the Westinghouse booth was the little theater
    with the revolving stage of five scenes called
    Leisure for Living. It was usually packed,
    for it was the only air-conditioned
    enclosure on the grounds. The Fair was deemed a
    success as Westinghouse reported a dramatic sales
    increase in the region following the event. Westinghouse Day was
    celebrated as trains from East Pittsburgh brought
    employees and their families to the Golden Jubilee,
    commemorating the
    50th anniversary of the Westinghouse Electric
    and Manufacturing Company. Male: She’s [consistently]
    diving into the bottom of the dark and greasy water
    to search for knives and forks, dishwater splashing
    around [unintelligible] all over Mrs. Drudge. The rubber apron
    isn’t much help now. She’s splashing so hard
    it’s getting all over me. Voiceover: The 1939 World’s
    Fair could have been the one show where
    Westinghouse really came close to outdoing its
    1893 performance. Their marketing department
    came out swinging with robots, singing
    fountains, time capsules, and the battle of the
    century’s dish washing contest. New York City hosted
    the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows with its
    theme The World of Tomorrow. It was thought that the
    public had forgotten all about the battle
    of the currents and they were going to
    New York to dramatize Westinghouse’s mastery
    of electricity. David Cope: Almost every
    Fair building in 1939 had no exterior windows. Westinghouse differentiates
    themselves because their building is
    shaped like an omega with these two
    marvelous glass fronts that people looked into and
    saw what was going on inside. They showed
    absolutely every part of their production
    lines at the time without showing a great
    deal of their products. Elderly lady: That’s
    what I call smart, making time the theme
    of the home exhibits. No one who hasn’t
    cooked over a wood stove with the light of kerosene lamp can really appreciate
    what it all means. Voiceover: A fierce
    competition took place daily in the Westinghouse auditorium. The Battle of the Centuries
    pitted Mrs. Drudge armed with only a
    dishpan, soap, and towel, against Mrs. Modern, armed
    with a Westinghouse dishwasher, in a dramatic dual to
    see who could wash 50
    dishes the fastest. Male: 7 minutes and 58 seconds. In that time Mrs. Modern
    has washed 50 dishes and 40 pieces of silverware. It’s all over Mrs. Drudge. You may as well
    rest now. (laughter) Voiceover: Contestants
    were rated on the time they took to wash
    50 soiled dishes, the cleanliness of the dishes, and the condition of
    the contestants at the
    end of the contest. Male: Now, point number 3. The condition of
    the contestants. Mrs. Modern looks as
    fresh and neat as when
    she stepped into the ring, while Mrs. Drudge, well, I’ll
    have to leave that to you! (audience laughing) So, ladies and gentlemen, I give
    you the winner, Mrs. Modern. (audience applause) Voiceover: As if
    that wasn’t enough, one of the greatest
    publicity schemes of all time was created by Westinghouse when Elektro, the Moto-Man,
    appeared at the Fair. (suspense music) Man: And so, ladies
    and gentlemen, with a great deal of
    pride and pleasure, I present to you Elektro,
    the Westinghouse Moto-Man. Elektro, come here. And here he comes,
    ladies and gentlemen, walking up to greet you
    under his own power. David Cope: People have to
    have something to remember. You can show an electric
    iron and people say, oh,
    that’s pretty exciting. But you can have a robot
    that uses all the technology that Westinghouse had at
    the time, put it together, and it does these
    marvelous tricks. They’re not going to go home
    and say, “we saw an iron.” “We saw Elektro!” Again, they’re
    going home and say, “Where did you see Electro?” “Well, Westinghouse.” Voiceover: It was
    thought that thanks to
    Westinghouse engineering some day robots will do
    all our household chores, and even walk the dog,
    assuming that dog is Sparko, the robotic dog who
    appeared with him
    during part of the Fair. At 7 feet tall and 260
    pounds, Elektro did some
    pretty amazing things. Man: You see, all I need to do
    is to speak into this phone, and Elektro does exactly
    what I tell him to do. Voiceover: Elektro could
    differentiate between
    the colors red and green and would speak out
    “red” or “green.” Most importantly, he smoked
    cigarettes by the dozens, and not only puffed
    them in inhaled, but blew the smoke in great
    billows from his nostrils. (crowd noise) Male: And folks, he’s only two
    years old, too; just learning. Elderly lady: Why
    he’s almost human! Lady in gold hat:
    If he wasn’t so big I’d take him for an engineer. Man: Westinghouse would
    have loved Elektro. Westinghouse would have
    loved the whole exhibit. It showed first of
    all solid workmanship, and I think that’s what
    Westinghouse means. When you think of
    Westinghouse, you’re thinking of solid craftsmanship,
    dependability,
    and inventiveness. Electro: Who? Me? Male: Yes, you. Electro: Okay, toots. Voiceover: During a
    radio interview with KDKA on his way to the World’s
    Fair, Elektro said, “I’m so tough I’m the
    only guy in the world “that really shaves
    with a blow torch!” He was not so tough as to
    withstand water, though. Specific instructions were given
    not to take him out in the rain. Elektro was actually
    the third in a line of Westinghouse robots that
    started in 1927 with Televox. In 1932, Westinghouse
    created Willie Vocalite. One far-fetched idea
    for the 1939 Fair, which was mercifully scrapped, was to convert Willie
    Vocalite into Electro’s
    woman companion robot, and to have her do dishes
    and vacuum at the Fair. David Cope: People for centuries
    had put things into boxes. You’re building a building,
    you put a cornerstone, you put a box and you
    put some things in. Westinghouse comes
    up with an idea. We’re going to have this
    for 5,000 years later. People are going to open it
    up and see what 1939 was like. Voiceover: The time capsule
    was filled with artifacts of the day including a
    slide rule, hats, seeds, cigarettes, and letters from
    scientists like Albert Einstein. Made of cupaloy, it was meant
    to be a 5,000 year time capsule and to be opened
    in the year 6939. It remains buried
    today in the same spot. The letters from
    Einstein and other famous
    scientists of the time hinted at the dangers
    of atomic weapons and the possibility that mankind
    might not be around in 6939 to open the time capsule. (exciting music) At the 1964 World’s Fair,
    things began to change. Radio announcer: Near
    the Astral Fountain in the federal and states
    area of the World’s Fair is the time capsule
    exhibit of the Westinghouse
    Electric Corporation. Three tall towers poised
    against the Long Island sky mark the spot where
    Westinghouse buried the first time capsule in 1938. Man: I think 1893 and
    1939 changed culture. I think ’64 only reflected
    the change in the culture. I don’t know that Westinghouse
    was devoid of ideas, but it was a time period when
    they did repeat themselves. Not a very exciting exhibit. When you look at the
    Westinghouse exhibit, they simply seemed almost tired. Radio announcer: The
    Westinghouse time capsules; legacy for the people
    of the year 6939, proving that man not only
    endures, he also prevails. (music) (gentle big band music) Voiceover: Mirroring the
    changes seen at the 1964 Fair, corporate culture
    and consumerism were
    changing America. Anti-trust laws through
    the mid 20th century had been hard on the company,
    forcing them to break up. The once mighty Westinghouse
    manufacturing plants were regarded as outdated. Foreign competition was
    creeping in, and energy
    costs were rising. As times were changing
    and lower performing
    divisions had to be cut it was difficult to maintain
    the kind of relationship with its workers that the
    good old days permitted. Gone forever were company bands, the Westinghouse athletic teams, employee housing, and the
    lawn and garden contests. Jim Sutherland: Now,
    Westinghouse in 1955 had 55% of their refrigerator
    market in the United States. For any company to have
    55% of a market is amazing. Twenty years later they
    had to sell the division to get money to
    buy a cable system. Voiceover: Even
    though Westinghouse
    was widely thought of as having the best engineers,
    designers, and technology, they could no longer
    keep their costs down
    to remain competitive. Joseph Deley: He said at
    our display last night, all the products
    really looked great, but I heard this morning
    that all the products were stolen by a thief
    except the toaster. The bottom line of that
    was we had a lousy toaster
    in the field. (chuckles) Voiceover: The remainder
    of the 20th century and into the new millennium, the Westinghouse
    companies and divisions went through various changes,
    sell-offs, and mergers. In today’s global economy
    where companies like Toshiba, Siemens,
    Schindler Group, Philips,
    and Northrop Grumman own former divisions of
    the Westinghouse companies, it has been joked in articles, “Can you be sure if
    it’s Westinghouse?” Jim Sutherland: Today there’s
    only one company that’s called Westinghouse Electric
    Company and it’s the group that is designing and
    building nuclear power plants. All the other companies have
    been changed to other names as they were bought by
    Siemens and Emerson, Cutler-Hammer; large companies
    that are very successful today. It’s the same engineers doing
    the same development work, but the name Westinghouse
    does not appear
    outside over the door. Today, CBS manages
    and licenses the use of the Westinghouse Electric
    Corporation name and logo that appear on a variety
    of products that rely
    on the circle-bar “W” to market a familiar and
    trusted brand name to consumers. It was said years
    earlier by E. E. Keller, 1893 World’s Fair manager,
    that George Westinghouse was an exceedingly modest
    man, very unassuming, and almost retiring. He disliked self advertising, but strongly advocated
    the advertising of
    products and performance; therefore, the name Westinghouse had become synonymous
    with ingenuity, initiative, courage,
    and accomplishment, and was unquestionably the
    company’s most valuable asset. Paul Kravath, a
    friend and associate, said that he was the soul of
    the enterprises that he created. That soul is immortal. Because of this, it
    can be said today that Westinghouse is
    remembered primarily as the name of a company,
    while Thomas Edison is remembered as America’s
    greatest inventor. Edward Reis: Yeah, history has
    treated Thomas Edison quite well compared to George
    Westinghouse, considering that the world was
    electrified using Westinghouse
    alternating current. Today many people
    attribute all successes in electricity to Thomas Edison. It came about for a
    number of reasons; personality primarily. George Westinghouse was a
    very reserved individual. He did not seek the limelight. He did not seek media attention. In fact, he tried to avoid it. Thomas Edison, on the other
    hand, liked media attention. He very much like to
    be in the limelight, and he liked to talk about
    his successes to the media. He was also from the New
    Jersey/New York area, where the media provided
    a lot more coverage than they would here in the
    smokey city of Pittsburgh. The other advantage
    that Thomas Edison had is he outlived George
    Westinghouse by 17 years. Voiceover: In a twist of irony, the American Institute
    of Electrical Engineers honored George Westinghouse
    for his tenacious work in establishing the
    alternating current system by awarding him
    the Edison Medal. He was offered, and
    accepted, the presidency of the American Society of
    Mechanical Engineers in 1910. Westinghouse received
    many other honors, including a spot in the Hall
    of Fame for Great Americans. David Cope: Having been a
    teacher, Edison is played up in every major American
    history textbook. He is still that touchstone
    inventor that we think about. Westinghouse gets the
    mention but not the due
    course that he should. Quentin Skrabec: Westinghouse
    was a people person. He loved to have family picnics. He loved to have Christmas
    parties for his employees. He loved to walk through the
    plant and talk to his employees. He got involved with
    them personally when
    they needed help. Joseph Deley: One interesting
    story that I can tell you while I was on the
    trade was I was working with an older fellow
    in the lathe group. His name was Harry,
    who by the way, when he was in his
    teens or my age, he was doing the same
    thing, running a lathe, in East Pittsburgh. Poor Harry one day was having
    problems making a part. He kind of got upset
    and in his anxiety threw a hammer on
    the floor in disgust. Unfortunately, when he looked
    up, George Westinghouse was walking down the aisle and
    saw Harry with his problem. George come over
    to Harry and says, “How you doing? What’s
    up? What’s the problem?” Harry told him, showed
    him the blueprint that he was having
    trouble making a part, George looked at it and said, “Move over,” took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves, put down his briefcase, and helped Harry make the part, then put his jacket
    back on, and said, “I’ll see you later,” and left. Harry told me that story
    when he was in his 60s and I was 17 and I’ll
    never forget that story
    as long as I live. William Terbo: Among
    the things that Tesla found most interesting
    in Westinghouse was his patents on air
    brake, the railroad business, because he recognized from
    his background in Europe in which the trains were
    doing the same as they
    were in this country, their trains were running
    together at all sorts of times and not stopping properly, that he saw that
    George Westinghouse was a consummate
    inventor himself. Quentin Skrabec: He had such a
    following of his own employees. Very rarely do you see that. When he was even
    in trouble in 1907 and he couldn’t get
    money from the bank, his employees tried to chip in. They didn’t have enough. Jim Sutherland: People are
    in Westinghouse Air Brake and Westinghouse
    Electric and Union Switch
    and Signal companies are very loyal to the spirit
    of George Westinghouse that filled their companies. That spirit was something
    that you could not purchase. It was a gift. Edward Reis: The
    Westinghouse Electric Company was getting ready to
    celebrate its 50th anniversay in the year 1936, so they wrote
    a letter and sent that letter to some older retirees
    in Westinghouse Electric, older workers from
    Westinghouse Air Brake, the Union Switch
    and Signal Company, the other Westinghouse
    companies. They also sent letters to
    people that they thought may have interacted
    with George Westinghouse at one time or another. For example, they sent letters
    to the various railroads. They asked these
    individuals to write back with personal remembrances
    of interactions with George Westinghouse. This large stack of
    letters came back and they’re very interesting
    letters; very personal. They’re a real insight
    into his personality. They’re a real insight into
    the various business practices that he had and his ability
    to get along with people. It’s most interesting
    and very fortunate that these letters exist today. Voiceover: Those who
    knew George Westinghouse and served with him in
    the army of industry considered him to be America’s
    greatest industrialist and held him in
    the highest regard. Personal letters from
    Westinghouse employees speak volumes about the
    character and personality of the man whom they
    refer to as Uncle George. E. E. Keller said that
    all of his employees who came in personal
    contact with him seemed to catch his enthusiasm and were glad to do the job
    in hand for Uncle George. Westinghouse had many nicknames. Former employees wrote letters
    about how the “Old Man” paid for their train fare
    and tickets to attend the 1876 Centennial
    Exposition in Philadelphia where Westinghouse Air
    Brake made their first World’s Fair appearance. The same employee said
    that when the “Chief” asked them to work all weekend
    to finish a job on time, they felt honored to do so. George Verity, former Director
    of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company,
    said, “His industries “were so solidly and completely
    built around his personality “that the name
    Westinghouse was ingrained “in our national industrial
    structure for all time to come. “As I knew him, he was
    an outstanding man, “who not only created
    many new things, “but he also put old things
    together in a new way, “and then motivated
    both the new and the old “with an invisible,
    mystic and titanic power.” Paul Cravath said, “I
    am sure that none of us “has ever known a man
    who combine the qualities “of faith, imagination,
    and courage “as they are combined
    in George Westinghouse. “But he was never so engrossed
    in his great achievements “that he did not have time
    to help a friend in need. “I need not say that we shall
    never see his like again.” A former foreman said,
    “During the panic of 1893 “many men were laid off
    at the Electric Company, “but Mr. Westinghouse said,
    ‘Get those men back to work. “‘I am not hard up.'” It was recorded that
    he ordered his workers to do odd jobs around the
    shop rather than be laid off. Scientific American
    said, “He succeeded “because he believed in
    himself and in his invention. “An inventor who is a pessimist
    is doomed to failure.” Mr. Samuel Gompers,
    former President of the American
    Federation of Labor said, “I will say this for
    George Westinghouse. “If all employers of men
    treated their employees “with the same
    consideration as he does, “the American Federation
    of Labor would have to
    go out of existence.” Andrew Carnegie summed
    it up by saying, “George Westinghouse is a
    genius who can’t be downed.” In the modern era, when
    many billionaire CEOs are indicted for fraud,
    corruption, and theft, their former employees celebrate
    when they are sent to jail. In contrast, 16 years after the
    death of George Westinghouse, in 1930, former Westinghouse
    working class employees paid for the construction
    and dedication of a monument honoring him that remains standing in
    Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park. (music) It says, “George Westinghouse, “Union soldier,
    citizen of Pittsburgh, “founder of
    Westinghouse industries, “benefactor of humanity through
    his labors and inventions.” (music) Much has changed since his
    days as a Cavalry trooper. His companies have
    come and gone, expanded, contracted,
    and changed. Solitude was demolished in 1919 and the land donated
    for a city park. The George Westinghouse
    Memorial Bridge, built in 1932, remains standing. (music) Alternating current, air brakes, and many of his
    other innovations continue to shape the modern
    world that we live in today. (music) Man: George
    Westinghouse once said, “If some day they say
    of me that in my work “I have contributed
    something to the welfare “and happiness of my fellow
    man, I shall be satisfied.” (music) Jim Sutherland:
    Everybody was proud to work for Westinghouse
    in those days. If you asked a person
    who was a Marine, “Are you a Marine or
    were you a Marine?” they’ll say. ” I am a Marine,” even though it might
    have been 40 years ago that they were serving
    in the Marine Corps. As a Westinghouse engineer,
    I am a Westinghouse engineer. (gentle music)

    Uncharted Territory: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau
    Articles, Blog

    Uncharted Territory: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

    August 14, 2019


    MAPS. KNOWING WHERE WE
    ARE ON THIS EARTH. POWERFUL INFORMATION THAT
    OPENS UP NEW WORLDS. 200 YEARS AGO, CANADIAN
    EXPLORER, FUR TRADER AND SURVEYOR DAVID THOMPSON
    MAPPED THE UNCHARTED VAST INTERIOR OF WESTERN
    NORTH AMERICA. HE RETRACED THOUSANDS OF
    ANCIENT TRIBAL TRAILS. “HE’S AS MUCH A MAPMAKER
    OF THE CANADIAN IMAGINATION AS HE IS A SURVEYOR
    AND CARTOGRAPHER.” THOMPSON WAS LIKE
    A HUMAN MAP-QUEST. ARMED WITH A SEXTANT,
    HE SPENT DECADES IN THE WILDERNESS
    TRAVELING 55,000 MILES BY SNOWSHOE, HORSEBACK,
    DOGSLED, AND CANOE, USING THE STARS TO
    MAP ONE FIFTH OF THE CONTINENT,
    1.5 MILLION SQUARE MILES. “THERE WERE TIMES WHEN IT
    WAS 20-30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO”
    “HIS MIND, WAS THIS BIG COMPLEX MIND WORKING ON A
    LOT OF CYLINDERS” IN SALISH, HIS NAME
    WAS KOO KOO SINT, THE MAN WHO
    LOOKS AT STARS. “THERE’S SOMETHING REALLY
    SPECIAL AND UNIQUE ABOUT USING A SEXTANT, LOOKING AT
    THE STARS, LOOKING TO THE HEAVENS TO FIND
    YOUR WAY ON EARTH.” THOMPSON MAPPED AS FAR
    NORTH AS ATHABASCA, SOUTH TO THE MISSOURI,
    FROM HUDSON BAY. TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. EVEN LEWIS AND CLARK USED
    ONE OF THOMPSON’S MAPS. THOMPSON, SOME THINK,
    WAS THE GREATEST LAND “WHETHER IT’S THOMPSON
    SKETCHING MAPS OR WHETHER IT’S THOMPSON SKETCHING
    MOUNTAINS, OR THOMPSON SKETCHING THESE WONDERFUL
    SUCCINCT POETIC STATEMENTS ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND
    THEIR LANGUAGES AND THEIR INTERACTIONS, HE’S
    VERY RELEVANT” IN 1807, THOMPSON CROSSED
    THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE INTO UNCHARTED TERRITORY. HE WAS SEARCHING FOR THE
    COLUMBIA RIVER, THE INLAND NORTHWEST PASSAGE FROM THE
    ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA. FOR FIVE YEARS, THOMPSON
    EXPLORED THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU,
    ITS RIVERS, AND THE UNIQUE
    PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE. OUR STORY CENTERS
    ON THIS UNIQUE TIME. ♪ ♪ VOYAGEURS SINGING
    IT’S A COLD MAY MORNING ON THE NORTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER. BATTLING HEADWINDS, THE
    2008 DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE IS RETRACING A RIVER
    HIGHWAY FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO LAKE SUPERIOR. “THESE RIVER HIGHWAYS
    LED TO CANADA AS WE KNOW IT. AND, IT’S POSSIBLE TO GO
    FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS ALL THE WAY TO THE
    ATLANTIC, ALL THE WAY TO THE HUDSON BAY”
    THE FUR TRADE WAS BUILT ON THESE RIVER HIGHWAYS. TRADE GOODS WERE
    BROUGHT IN, FURS WERE BROUGHT OUT,
    ALMOST ALL BY WATER. IN ENGLAND, HIGH FASHION
    FELT HATS, WERE MADE OUT OF THE BEAVER FURS. EXTREMELY VALUABLE AND
    OFTEN PASSED FROM FATHER TO SON. THE VOYAGEURS, PRIMARILY
    FRENCH CANADIAN, WERE THE BACKBONE OF THE FUR TRADE. THE VOYAGEURS WRE LABORERS,
    THE HEAVY LIFTERS EXPECTED TO WORK
    16 HOURS A DAY, PADDLING 55
    STOKES PER MINUTE. THE BIRCH BARK CANOE WAS
    THE TRANSPORTATION OF CHOICE. “IT WAS THE SEMI TRAILER
    OF THE DAY, THERE’S JUST NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A 25′
    BOAT, FOUR FEET ACROSS THE BEAM, IT WAS ABLE TO CARRY
    A TON AND A HALF OF TRADE CARGO”. THE NORTH AMERICAN FUR
    TRADE WAS BOOMING THE YEAR DAVID THOMPSON WAS BORN. BORN IN LONDON IN 1770,
    DAVID THOMPSON WAS RAISED BY HIS WIDOWED MOTHER
    IN THE TOUGH PART OF WESTMINSTER. AT SEVEN, HE ENTERED THE
    GREY COAT CHARITY SCHOOL, DEDICATED TO EDUCATING
    POOR CHILDREN. “IF YOU WERE SMART YOU GOT
    YOU GOT ON A HONOR’S TRACK, SO HE WAS TAKING
    TRIGONOMETRY WHEN HE WAS 12, 13 YEARS OLD AND
    GETTING GOOD AT IT. ” THOMPSON LEARNED THE BASICS
    OF PRACTICAL NAVIGATION, THE USE OF A QUADRANT
    AND CROSS STAFF AND STANDARD METHODS FOR
    DETERMINING LATITUDE. “THE HUDSON’S BAY CO. KNEW ABOUT THESE CHARITY
    SCHOOLS AS DID THE BRITISH NAVY AND THEY WERE LOOKING
    FOR PEOPLE WITH SURVEYING SKILLS. ”
    IN 1784, TWO STUDENTS WERE APPRENTICED TO THE HUDSON’S
    BAY COMPANY FOR SEVEN YEARS, TO WORK IN THE NORTH
    AMERICAN FUR TRADE. ONE RAN AWAY. THE OTHER WAS 14 YEAR
    OLD DAVID THOMPSON. “IT MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY
    SHOCKING TO LAND ON THE SHORE OF HUDSON BAY, WHICH
    ALONE IS A PRETTY RUGGED PLACE, LET ALONE THE KIND
    OF PEOPLE HE WAS SURROUNDED BY”
    “.BEING THRUST INTO AN ALIEN LANDSCAPE WHILE STILL AN
    ADOLESCENT. LEARNING CREE, LEARNING
    PIEGAN, LEARNING FRENCH, COMING TO KNOW THE LANDS OF
    THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA FIRST HAND. ”
    WITHIN MONTHS THE ALIEN LANDSCAPE FROZE. “THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT
    FOLDED UP UNDER THE PRESSURE OF BEING
    ABOVE THE TREE LINE. HE NEVER COMPLAINED
    ABOUT BEING COLD. HE GOES OUT AND LEARNS HOW
    TO HUNT POLAR BEARS, AND PTARMIGAN AND FISH AND
    LOOKS AT MOSQUITOES, AND I MEAN HIS BOUNDLESS
    CURIOSITY DEVELOPED AT THE GREY COAT SCHOOL IS GIVEN
    A WHOLE CONTINENT TO FLOURISH. ”
    THE FUR TRADE WAS BOTH A NATIVE AND EUROPEAN WORLD. “WE MAKE A MISTAKE IN
    THINKING THAT WE LIVE IN A MULTICULTURAL AGE,
    BECAUSE IF WE LOOK BACK AT THE WORLD OF THE WEST,
    IN THE LATE 18TH AND EARLY 19TH CENTURIES, WE HAVE THE
    ABORIGINAL PRESENCE AND THERE IS SO MUCH DIVERSITY
    ALREADY JUST WITHIN THAT WORLD. SO YOU’RE HEARING ALL THE
    NATIVE LANGUAGES, YOU’RE HEARING ENGLISH,
    GAELIC, FRENCH, IT’S JUST SUCH A
    FANTASTIC TAPESTRY OR MOSAIC OF CULTURES. ”
    AT 17, THOMPSON WAS SENT WEST TO WINTER WITH THE
    BLACKFEET AT A WINTERING CAMP NEAR CALGARY, ALBERTA. ” AND THAT’S WHERE HE MET
    SAUKAMAPPEE AND KOOTENAI APPE, THE GREAT WAR
    CHIEF, AND SOKATOW THE CIVIL CHIEF. SO, HE FORMED A
    RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PIEGAN, HE LEARNED
    THEIR LANGUAGE” “THERE’S 5 WHITE GUYS IN
    A WINTER CAMP OF ABOUT 25 HUNDRED BLACKFEET, BUT
    THE BLACKFEET ARE VERY HOSPITABLE TO THEM, AND
    THEY TAKE THIS YOUNG TEENAGER AND PUT HIM IN THE
    TENT OF AN ELDER WHICH WAS VERY GRACIOUS THING TO DO
    SO HE COULD LEARN SOMETHING DURING THE WINTER”
    DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL: WE WERE LODGED IN THE TENT OF
    AN OLD MAN. HE WAS FULL SIX FEET IN
    HEIGHT, ERECT, AND OF A FRAME THAT SHOWED
    STRENGTH AND ACTIVITY. I SAT AND LISTENED WITHOUT
    BEING IN THE LEAST TIRED” THE ELDER WAS A CREE
    NAMED SAUKAMAPPEE. NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, THOMPSON
    LISTENED TO SAUKEMAPPE TELL STORIES. “SAUKAMAPPEE LIVED A LIFE
    PROBABLY AS INTERESTING AS THOMPSON’S. HE WITNESSED THE
    INTRODUCTION OF THE HORSE TO THE PLAINS. THE INTRODUCTION OF
    FIREARMS TO PLAINS WAR WARFARE. HE WITNESSED THE
    SMALLPOX EPIDEMIC. AND HE WAS ABLE TO RELATE
    ALL THAT TO THOMPSON AND THOMPSON IN TURN COULD
    RELATE IT TO US. ” “IT’S REALLY EASY TO SEE
    HIS EDUCATION TO WESTERN NORTH AMERICA
    BEGINNING IN THAT TENT. ” “DAVID THOMPSON HAD THE
    MISFORTUNE TO BREAK HIS LEG AND IT WAS
    SO SWELLED THAT I FOUND IT A DIFFICULT
    MATTER TO SET IT. WHATEVER THE CONSEQUENCE
    MAY BE IS YET UNCERTAIN,. . BUT SHALL HOPE
    FOR THE BEST. — WILLIAM TOMISON
    HUDSON BAY COMPANY 1789” THOMPSON LEARNED
    PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY WHILE RECUPERATING FROM A BROKEN
    LEG WHEN HE WAS 19. HE STUDIED UNDER PHILIP
    TURNOR, THE BEST GEOGRAPHER IN THE NEW WORLD
    AT THE TIME. “BUT IF YOU GO THROUGH HIS
    JOURNALS, THEY’RE FILLED WITH ASTRONOMICAL
    OBSERVATIONS AND TAKEN DOWN IN THE MOST
    METICULOUS MANNER. IT WAS A LABOR
    OF LOVE FOR HIM. HE WOULD GET UP IN THE
    MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO LOOK AT THE STARS. I MEAN YOU REALLY HAVE TO
    BE COMMITTED TO SOMETHING TO DO THAT. AND HE WOULD TAKE READINGS
    AGAIN AND AGAIN, OF A SINGLE PLACE AND THEN
    AVERAGED THEM OUT TO TRY TO PINPOINT THAT ONE SPOT ON
    THE SURFACE OF THE GLOBE. IT’S ALMOST SOMETHING IT
    SEEMS HE WAS COMPELLED TO DO. ”
    IT’S A VERY SMALL WORLD OF PEOPLE WHO HAD
    THIS SKILL, AND THOMPSON, WHO IS COMING FROM NOWHERE IS IN
    IT, AND HE CAN DO IT AS GOOD AS ANYBODY”
    DENNY DEMEYER IS A LAND SURVEYOR AND A MEMBER OF
    THE SURVEYOR’S HISTORICAL SOCIETY. “THE EARLIEST DEFINITION
    OF SURVEYING WAS CALLED PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY, SO
    WE WERE ALL PRACTICAL ASTRONOMERS ONCE
    UPON A TIME” DEMEYER COLLECTS 200 YEAR
    OLD SURVEYING EQUIPMENT. “THIS IS A 10 INCH LATTICE
    WORK SEXTANT OF THE TYPE USED BY DAVID THOMPSON, IT
    WAS MANUFACTURED IN LONDON. SEXTANTS WERE USED TO
    MEASURE THE ANGLES BETWEEN CELESTIAL OBJECTS AND THE
    HORIZON TO LOCATE ONES POSITION ON THE GLOBE. “THE LARGE PROBLEM EVERYONE
    HAD WAS ESTABLISHING LONGITUDE. LATITUDE WAS FAIRLY EASY TO
    ESTABLISH AND THEY HAD BEEN DOING THAT SINCE
    THE 1500S, BUT LONGITUDE, HOW FAR
    EAST AND WEST YOU WERE, WAS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT
    TO DETERMINE. ” THOMPSON USED MERCURY
    POURED INTO A TRAY TO CREATE AN
    ARTIFICIAL HORIZON. OTHER TOOLS INCLUDED A FOUR
    FOOT ACHROMATIC DOLLOND TELESCOPE,
    A WATCH, A THERMOMETER, THE LATEST EDITION OF
    THE NAUTICAL ALMANAC, AND OTHER REFERENCE TABLES. AFTER THOMPSON’S
    APPRENTICESHIP, HE CONTINUED TO WORK FOR
    THE HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY. BUT AT AGE 27, THOMPSON
    ABRUPTLY LEFT THEIR EMPLOY. AFTER 13 YEARS OF SERVICE,
    HE WALKED TO THE NEAREST NORTH WEST COMPANY POST
    AND SIGNED ON WITH THE COMPETITION. “HE FELT HE WASN’T GETTING
    ENOUGH ENCOURAGEMENT TO GO ON SURVEYS. THAT THE HUDSON’S BAY CO. HAD A MEAN AND SELFISH
    POLICY, WHERE THE NORTHWEST CO WERE MORE
    LIBERAL MINDED. ” “THOMPSON DID NOT GIVE
    HUDSON’S BAY A YEAR NOTICE AND THAT WAS CONSIDERED
    VERY BAD FORM” “WILLIAM TOMISON WROTE
    THAT IF HE EVER MET DAVID THOMPSON, HE WOULD BE
    TEMPTED TO PULL HIS EARS OFF, SO THERE CERTAINLY
    WERE PEOPLE WITHIN THE HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY THAT
    WERE VERY ANGRY WHEN DAVID THOMPSON LEFT.” UNLIKE THE HUDSON’S
    BAY COMPANY, THAT WAS CONTROLLED FROM
    AFAR IN LONDON, THE NORTH WEST COMPANY
    WAS BASED OUT OF MONTREAL. THE PARTNERS, USUALLY
    SCOTS, SHARED IN THE PROFITS. THOMPSON’S FIRST ASSIGNMENT
    WAS AN AMBITIOUS ONE,. SURVEYING TRADING POSTS
    FROM THE GREAT LAKES TO NORTH DAKOTA. IN 10 MONTHS HE
    COVERED 4,000 MILES. ON THAT JOURNEY, THOMPSON
    TOOK THE FIRST ACCURATE LONGITUDE OF AN IMPORTANT
    MANDAN VILLAGE TRADING CENTER IN NORTH DAKOTA. HE INTERVIEWED ELDERS,
    GATHERING IMPORTANT TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT
    THE UPPER MISSOURI. ” HE’S COMBINING TRIBAL
    INFORMATION AND OUTDOOR SKILLS THAT HE’S
    LEARNED IN HIS APPRENTICESHIP WITH
    EUROPEAN STYLE WRITING AND MAP MAKING AND IT’S QUITE
    AN ENGAGING MIX. AND HE GOES BACK AND MAKES
    A MAP OF WHAT HE CALLS THE BEND OF THE MISSOURI”
    THOMPSON’S ‘ BEND OF THE MISSOURI’ MAP ENDS UP IN
    THE HANDS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON. ” JEFFERSON MAKES SOME
    HANDWRITTEN NOTES ON THIS MAP OF THOMPSON AND ITS NOW
    IN OUR LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. THE TWO NOTES THAT
    JEFFERSON WRITES ON THERE ARE MR. THOMPSON’S
    LONGITUDE FOR THESE VILLAGES IS,
    AND HE KNOWS THAT’S IMPORTANT, AND THAT IS
    WHERE LEWIS & CLARK END UP SPENDING THEIR FIRST
    WINTER, IT’S THE PERFECT STOPPING POINT AND THEN ON
    THE OTHER SIDE IN REVERSE IT SAYS THIS MAP BELONGS
    TO CAPT. LEWIS. ” “ON THIS DAY I MARRIED
    CHARLOTTE SMALL … DAVID THOMPSON,
    JUNE 10, 1799” AT 29, THOMPSON MARRIED
    CHARLOTTE SMALL AT ILE A LA CROSSE , A TRADING
    POST ON THE CHURCHILL RIVER. OF MIXED BLOOD, CHARLOTTE’S
    MOTHER WAS NAHATHAWAY CREE AND HER FATHER, A
    SCOTTISH FUR TRADER. “THEY KNEW THAT THESE KINDS
    OF RELATIONSHIPS THAT THEY FORMED WITH NATIVE WOMEN,
    WOULD NOT QUALIFY AS MARRIAGES. THERE WERE NO MINISTERS
    AROUND, THERE WAS NO CHURCH. THEY DIDN’T VIEW THEM AS
    MARRIAGES IN THEIR EYES” “THE FUR TRADE DOESN’T
    WORK WITHOUT THEM. THOMPSON ALWAYS
    TRAVELS WITH WOMEN. HE IS DEPENDING ON THEM. AND HE HAS A MIXED BLOOD
    WIFE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE DOES. ”
    “MY LOVELY WIFE IS OF THE BLOOD OF THESE PEOPLE,
    SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE AND WELL EDUCATED IN THE
    ENGLISH LANGUAGE, WHICH GIVES ME A GREAT ADVANTAGE. ”
    “THE TRADERS ALWAYS RECOGNIZED THAT THESE
    CONNECTIONS WERE IMPORTANT, THAT THEY NEEDED
    CONNECTIONS IF THEY WERE GOING TO SURVIVE. ”
    “BECAUSE YOUR MOST LIKELY TO TRADE WITH YOUR BROTHER
    IN LAW OR YOUR SON IN LAW THAN YOU ARE GOING TO A
    COMPETITION WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY KINSHIP TIES. ” IN FALL OF 1800,
    THOMPSON AND HIS NEW WIFE, CHARLOTTE, ARRIVED AT
    ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE. THE POST, BUILT A YEAR
    EARLIER, STOOD UPSTREAM FROM A STRING OF POSTS ON
    THE UPPER SASKATCHEWAN. ALTHOUGH THE MOUNTAINS
    WERE BARELY IN VIEW, THE INTENTION WAS CLEAR. THE FUR TRADE WAS MOVING
    WEST, HEADING FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. THE NOR’WESTERS WANTED TO
    ATTRACT THE TRADE OF THE KOOTENAI,
    A TRIBE ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. “THE KOOTENAI ARE THIS
    REALLY COMPLEX TRIBE AND ONE OF THE FEW TRIBES
    THAT’S LIVING BOTH PLAINS CULTURE AND PLATEAU CULTURE
    TOGETHER, WHERE UPPER KOOTENAI PEOPLE GO BACK AND
    FORTH ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS. ” THE KOOTENAI ARE AN ANCIENT
    PEOPLE, WHO’VE LIVED ON THE COLUMBIA PLATEAU FOR
    OVER 10,000 YEARS. ” OUR LANGUAGE IS AN
    ISOLATE LANGUAGE, THE KOOTENAI LANGUAGE, THERE IS
    NO OTHER LANGUAGE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH
    THAT IS LIKE IT. ” “WE’RE ALL UPNUCKANICK,
    THAT’S THE TRUE TERM OF WHO WE ARE UPNUCKANICK”
    AT THAT TIME, THE PIEGAN, BLOOD AND BLACKFEET
    DOMINATED THE NORTHERN PLAINS. “THE PIEGAN FOR GENERATIONS
    HAVE BEEN SAVVY ABOUT PROTECTING THEIR
    INTERESTS”. THEY ACTED AS MIDDLEMEN
    BETWEEN THE FUR TRADERS AND TRIBES WEST OF
    THE MOUNTAINS. ” I WATCHED AS
    THE KOOTENAIS SWAPPED THEIR BEST HORSES AND DRESS
    FURS TO THE PIEGAN FOR OLD KETTLES AND BROKEN TOOLS. PETER FIDLER, HUDSON’S
    BAY COMPANY 1792″ ” THE PIEGAN AND THEIR
    ALLIES THE BLACKFOOT AND BLOOD DIDN’T REALLY LIKE
    THE FACT THAT THOMPSON WANTED TO MOVE THROUGH THEM
    AND TRADE DIRECTLY WITH GROUPS LIKE THE SALISH THE
    KOOTENAI AND ALL THOSE TRIBES ON THE WEST
    SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS. ” ” THEY SEE EUROPEANS IN
    MUCH THE SAME WAY AS THEY WERE ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING
    OTHER FIRST NATIONS, NOT NECESSARILY AS FRIENDS OR
    FOES, BUT AS POTENTIAL THREATS, OR AS
    POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITY. ” WHEN THE KOOTENAI TRIED TO
    TRADE DIRECTLY WITH THE EUROPEANS, THE PIEGAN
    HARASSED THEM AND TRIED TO STEAL THEIR HORSES. DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    OCTOBER 16, 1800 ” I CAN NOT HELP BUT ADMIRE THOSE
    BRAVE UNDAUNTED KOOTENAI. WHEN THE YOUNG PIEGAN MEN
    SEIZED THE HEADS OF THEIR HORSES, THEY ALL ACTED
    AS IF BY ONE SOUL, BENT THEIR BOWS,. AND PREPARED TO MAKE
    THEIR OPPRESSORS QUIT THEIR HORSES OR SELL
    THEIR LIVES DEARLY” THE KOOTENAI WANTED THE FUR
    TRADERS TO BUILD A TRADING POST IN THEIR HOMELAND. ANXIOUS TO TAP THIS NEW
    SOURCE OF FURS, THE NORTH WEST COMPANY DECIDED TO
    EXPAND THEIR BUSINESS ACROSS THE ROCKIES IN 1806. THOMPSON, RECENTLY NAMED A
    PARTNER IN THE COMPANY, WAS PLACED IN CHARGE
    OF THE EXPEDITION. “MR. DAVID THOMPSON
    IS MAKING PREPARATIONS FOR AN ATTEMPT TO
    CROSS THE MOUNTAINS, PASS THROUGH THE COUNTRY
    AND FOLLOW THE COLUMBIA RIVER TO THE SEA. .. JAMES BIRD, HUDSON’S
    BAY COMPANY 1807” THE COURSE WOULD FOLLOW AN
    ANCIENT KOOTENAI TRAIL, UP THE SASKATCHEWAN, OVER
    THE ROCKIES INTO KOOTENAI COUNTRY. IT’S TODAY’S HOWSE PASS. THOMPSON WAS NOW 36,
    CHARLOTTE 21, WITH THREE CHILDREN UNDER
    THE AGE OF SIX. THIS EXPEDITION WAS
    CAREFULLY PLANNED. AN ADVANCE PARTY, LED BY
    JACO FINLEY, WAS DISPATCHED TO IMPROVE THE KOOTENAI
    TRAIL ACROSS THE DIVIDE. “IT’S DESCRIBED AS
    LEADING AN EXPEDITION OVER, BUT YET THERE’S ALREADY
    PEOPLE OVER THERE, AND THERE’S PEOPLE BRINGING UP
    HORSES BEHIND THEM TO KEEP THEM SUPPLIED. IT’S THIS LONG STUTTERED
    SEQUENCE OF CACHING MATERIALS AND WAITING
    FOR THE SNOW TO MELT AND GETTING THE GUIDES
    HE WANTED IN PLACE. IT’S MUCH MORE LIKE
    AN ASCENT ON MT. EVEREST WHERE YOU HAVE BASE
    CAMPS AND YOU HAVE STUFF COMING UP AND YOU HAVE
    PEOPLE WHO KNOW THAT THEY AREN’T GOING TO SUMMIT, BUT
    THEY’RE PART OF THE TEAM. ” BY THE FIRST WEEK OF MAY,
    THE ICE WAS BREAKING UP ON THE SASKATCHEWAN. EIGHT VOYAGEURS WERE
    PICKED FOR THE EXPEDITION. TWO SEPARATE GROUPS
    TRAVELED TOWARD THE ROCKIES. CLERK FINAN MCDONALD WITH
    FIVE VOYAGEURS, HEADED UPSTREAM IN THEIR
    PACKED CANOE. THOMPSON AND THE REMAINING
    THREE RODE THROUGH THE WOODED FORESTS, LEADING
    A STRING OF PACKHORSES. CHARLOTTE AND THE CHILDREN,
    ALSO RODE OVERLAND ALONG WITH TWO OTHER FAMILIES,
    TRAILED BY A BUNCH OF CAMP DOGS. “AND HIS CREW IS SO STEADY,
    THAT YOU SORT OF DEVELOP THIS AFFINITY AND GET THIS
    FEELING THAT IT’S NOT JUST THOMPSON. SO AGAIN, HE’S SORT OF THIS
    ROLLING TRAVELING CIRCUS. ” THOMPSON’S DAILY WEATHER
    REPORT SEEMED TO REFLECT HIS OPTIMISM
    FOR THE JOURNEY. “A FINE DAY”,
    “A VERY FINE DAY”, “A DAY WITH FLYING CLOUDS”
    THOMPSON: “I HAD A VERY EXTENSIVE VIEW
    OF THE COUNTRY. HILLS AND ROCKS RISING ONE
    BEHIND ANOTHER, HIGHER AND HIGHER TO THE SNOWY
    SUMMITS OF THE MOUNTAINS. NEVER BEFORE DID I BEHOLD
    SO PERFECT A RESEMBLANCE TO THE WAVES OF THE OCEAN
    IN THE WINTRY STORM. ” FOLLOWING JOCKO FINLEY’S
    MARKED PATH UP THE OLD KOOTENAI TRAIL,
    THE PARTY CLIMBED TO THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE,. WHICH THOMPSON CALLED
    THE “HEIGHT OF LAND. ” ” THE ROCKIES ARE VERY
    INTIMIDATING, AND HE’S NOT A MOUNTAIN GUY. HE’S CUT HIS TEETH
    IN THE PRAIRIE. AND IT’S JUST SO
    DISORIENTING TO GET UP INTO HIGH MOUNTAINS. ”
    JUNE 15, 1807 “THE SNOWS ARE NOW RUSHING DOWN WITH
    THE NOISE THAT WE CAN HARDLY PERSUADE OURSELVES
    IT IS NOT THUNDER – WE HEAR IT AT LEAST EVERY HOUR. ”
    “IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN THE ROCKIES DURING SPRING
    RUNOFF, IT’S EXCITING. THERE’S A LOT OF NOISE,
    THERE’S A LOT OF STUFF COMING DOWN, THERE’S A LOT
    OF WATER RUNNING, IT’S HARD TO DO ANYTHING. EXCEPT STAND THERE
    AND BE IN AWE OF IT” THE TRAIL UP WAS RELATIVELY
    EASY, BUT GOING DOWN THE WEST SLOPE OF THE ROCKIES
    WAS A DIFFERENT MATTER ALTOGETHER. DAVID THOMPSON: “THE HORSES
    ROLLED DOWN SO OFTEN, AND RECEIVED SUCH VIOLENT
    SHOCKS FROM THE TREES AS TO DEPRIVE THEM FOR
    A TIME OF MOTION. ” DURING THE STEEP DESCENT,
    THE NOR’WESTERS WERE FORCED BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE
    RAGING BLAEBERRY RIVER, WILD WITH RUNOFF. ” AND HE’S GOT VOYAGEURS
    THAT ARE SWIMMING ACROSS HOLDING ON TO HORSES MANES
    OR TAILS, WHO HE’S WORRIED ABOUT BECAUSE NONE OF
    THEM CAN EVER SWIM. HE NEVER MENTIONS
    CHARLOTTE, HIS WIFE OR HIS KIDS AGED 5, 3, AND 1. I MEAN IT’S REALLY HARD TO
    IMAGINE HOW THEY’RE GETTING ACROSS WITHOUT
    BEING IN DANGER. ” THE DENSE TRAIL, POORLY
    CLEARED BY JACO FINLEY AND HIS MEN THE SUMMER BEFORE,
    WAS PRACTICALLY IMPASSABLE. THOMPSON WAS
    FURIOUS WITH JACO, HIS MEN EXHAUSTED. THOMPSON REPORT: “THE
    ROAD WAS NOWHERE CLEARED ANY MORE THAN JUST TO
    PERMIT JACO AND HIS FAMILY TO SQUEEZE THROUGH IT WITH
    THEIR LIGHT BAGGAGE, AND IT IS OF THE OPINION OF EVERY
    MAN WITH ME, THAT JACO OUGHT TO LOSE AT
    LEAST HALF HIS WAGES” IN LATE JUNE, THOMPSON’S
    PARTY REACHED THE BANKS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER, NEAR
    GOLDEN, BRITISH COLUMBIA. “HE HITS THE COLUMBIA AT A
    VERY BEAUTIFUL PLACE WHERE THE BLAEBERRY
    COMES INTO IT. IT’S THIS WIDE VALLEY,
    WITH LOTS OF WETLANDS” SINCE THE HEADWATERS OF THE
    COLUMBIA RUN NORTH FOR 300 MILES BEFORE CURVING SOUTH,
    THOMPSON HAD NO IDEA HE’D FOUND THE HIGHLY SOUGHT
    AFTER GREAT RIVER OF THE WEST
    THE REMAINING LINK TO A NORTHWEST PASSAGE. THOMPSON’S FIRST PRIORITY
    WAS TO FIND THE TRIBES AND ESTABLISH TRADE. HE MOVED HIS PARTY SOUTH,
    UPSTREAM, LOOKING FOR THE KOOTENAI, BUT THEY WERE
    NOT THERE TO MEET HIM. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE,
    THERE’S NO FOOD, AND THE BIRCH BARK IS TOO THIN
    FOR BUILDING CANOES. “HE KNOWS THE RULES HAVE
    CHANGED BUT HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HOW. HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND
    WHAT THE NEW RULES ARE. ” “CROSSING OVER THE
    MOUNTAINS, IT’S A DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEM. IT’S TIED TO THE PACIFIC AS
    OPPOSED TO THE ATLANTIC. YOU’RE NOT DEALING WITH
    CULTURES DEPENDENT ON THE BISON OR THE
    CARIBOU AS HE KNEW. ” THOMPSON JOURNALS:
    JULY 19, 1807 “THE COUNTRY IS EXTREMELY
    POOR IN PROVISIONS, NOTHING LARGER THAN A CHEVERUIL,
    AND WE ARE IN ALL 17 MOUTHS TO FEED”
    ” AT THE TIME, IF YOU’RE LIVING ON THE PRAIRIE,
    THERE’S 50 MILLION BUFFALO AND 50 MILLION PRONG HORN
    ANTELOPE. SO HE HAS A VERY
    STEEP LEARNING CURVE” THOMPSON JOURNALS:
    “THE MEN WERE NOW SO WEAK, THAT HOWEVER WILLING,
    THEY ACTUALLY HAD NOT THE STRENGTH TO WORK. ”
    ” I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO SEE THOMPSON FLIPPED FROM
    THIS THIS HYPER COMPETENT INDIVIDUAL TO SOMEONE WHO
    NOW IS FACING STARVATION ON A REGULAR BASIS. ALL OF A SUDDEN, NOW HE HAS
    TO STEP BACK AND BECOME THE STUDENT .” A BAND OF KOOTENAI
    FINALLY ARRIVED. THOMPSON JOURNALS:
    “THE KOOTENAI SAW OUR FAMISHED LOOKS AND ASKING NO QUESTIONS,
    GAVE EVERYONE A SUFFICIENCY TO EAT, WHICH WAS MOST
    GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED. ” THOMPSON BUILT THE FIRST
    TRADE POST AT THE SOURCE LAKES OF THE COLUMBIA, JUST
    ABOVE LAKE WINDERMERE. HE NAMED IT KOOTENAI HOUSE. TODAY, PARKS CANADA
    ARCHEOLOGIST BILL PERRY AND HIS CREW, DIG FOR 200
    YEAR OLD ARTIFACTS AT THE HISTORIC KOOTENAI
    HOUSE SITE. “DAVID THOMPSON WAS IN THE
    MIDDLE OF A FUR TRADE SO HE WAS TRADING WITH A LOT OF
    NATIVES SO WE’RE EXPECTING A LOT OF NATIVE CAMP SITE
    ACTIVITIES OVER HERE” KOOTENAI HOUSE CONSISTED
    OF THREE BUILDINGS WITH PALISADE WALLS
    FOR PROTECTION. THOMPSON’S JOURNAL:
    ” 30 PIEGAN MEN ARE ON THERE WAY HERE. ” THEY HAVE IT IN
    THEIR POWER TO BE VERY TROUBLESOME TO US AND EVEN
    TO CUT US OFF;” THE PIEGANS ARE HIGHLY JEALOUS OF THE
    KOOTENAIS HAVING A POST FOR TRADE AMONG THEM. ”
    “THE LAST THING THE PIEGANS WANT TO HAVE IS GUNS IN THE
    HANDS OF THE KOOTENAI. WHEN THOMPSON STARTS
    LOOKING TO CROSS THE MOUNTAINS AND TRADE GUNS
    DIRECTLY TO THE KOOTENAI, THE PIEGAN SEE HIM
    AS AN ARMS DEALER. YOU ASKED A MOMENT AGO, WHY
    DIDN’T THEY KILL HIM, THEY THOUGHT ABOUT IT,
    DON’T THINK IT DIDN’T CROSS THEIR MINDS,
    BUT IT IS A COMPLICATED SITUATION YOU SEE,
    BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THAT EMPLOY THOMPSON ARE THE
    SAME PEOPLE THAT PROVIDE THE PIEGAN WITH THE
    BLANKETS AND THE COPPER POTS AND THE GLASS BEADS
    AND THE GUNS ” IN TRUTH, THOMPSON TRADED
    FEW GUNS AND NO ALCOHOL WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS. “BECAUSE HE KEEPS
    TRACK OF EVERYTHING. HE’S ALWAYS COUNTING
    WHAT HE HAS. AND IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE
    TRADE LISTS THERE ARE HARDLY ANY FIRE
    ARMS INVOLVED. I MEAN THERE ARE JUST TINY
    NUMBERS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO HEAVY TO CARRY AND HE HAS
    TO CARRY EVERYTHING FROM LAKE SUPERIOR. MOST OF THE TRADE GOODS
    WERE DIRECTED TOWARD WOMEN; AWLS FOR PUNCHING HOLES,
    FLINT AND STEEL FOR STARTING FIRES, COPPER
    POTS, SEWING NEEDLES, WOOL BLANKETS AND LINEN SHIRTS. IN EARLY FALL, 1807,
    THOMPSON WAS READY TO EXPLORE, OR WHAT HE CALLED,
    “GOING ON DISCOVERY”. “THE ELDERS THAT HE’S
    DEALING WITH, THEY SAY YOU CAN’T GO. WELL, HE SAYS, WHY CAN’T I
    GO, YOU’VE GOT TO WAIT FOR UGLY HEAD FOR HE’S THE
    GUIDE WITH THE POLITICAL SKILLS AND THE LANGUAGE
    SKILLS AND THE INTEGRITY TO SHOW YOU AROUND. I MEAN, YOU CAN’T JUST GO
    FROM ONE NATION TO ANOTHER. ” UGLY HEAD, IS A KOOTENAI
    CHIEF, SO NAMED BECAUSE OF HIS UNUSUAL HEAD
    OF CURLY HAIR. “THERE ARE ALL THESE DOORS
    AND UGLY HEAD IS THE GUY THAT HAS ALL THE KEYS AND
    IS GOING TO OPEN THE DOOR THAT HE WANTS TO. ”
    “THEY’RE GIVING HIM INFORMATION ON A PIECE BY
    PIECE BASES, A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME, HE HAS TO EARN
    THAT TRUST” CHIEF UGLY HEAD AND HIS
    WIFE TOOK THOMPSON ON HIS FIRST REAL “DISCOVERY”
    OF THE AREA. ” AND THEY START RIDING
    UPSTREAM ON THE COLUMBIA, AND THEY RIDE ACROSS THE
    CANAL FLATS PORTAGE, WHICH IS A ONE-MILE PORTAGE THAT
    TAKES YOU TO KOOTENAY RIVER, AND THOMPSON IS
    JUST SORT OF BLOWN AWAY. IT’S FABULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL
    COUNTRY AND THEY GO DOWN TO THE ST. MARY’S RIVER,
    AND UGLY HEAD GOES “WELL I
    LIVE IN BONNERS FERRY I WANT TO TAKE THIS SHORT CUT
    OVER THE MOUNTAINS TO GET THERE, LET’S GO”… AND HE POINTS TO THESE
    MOUNTAINS THAT ARE ALREADY COVERED WITH SNOW AND SAYS
    IT WILL JUST TAKE A FEW WEEKS. THOMPSON IS INTIMIDATED BY
    THE MOUNTAINS FOR SURE. HE’S WORRIED ABOUT
    CHARLOTTE AND THE KIDS BACK AT KOOTENAI HOUSE BECAUSE
    SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN MORE BLACKFEET THAN KOOTENAIS
    AT KOOTENAI HOUSE THOMPSON RETURNED TO SPEND
    HIS FIRST WINTER ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS
    AT KOOTENAI HOUSE. ” BOTH CANADIANS AND INDIANS
    OFTEN INQUIRED OF ME WHY I PASSED WHOLE NIGHTS WITH MY
    INSTRUMENTS LOOKING AT THE MOON AND STARS. I TOLD THEM IT WAS TO
    DETERMINE THE DISTANCE AND DIRECTION FROM THE PLACE I
    OBSERVED TO OTHER PLACES, NEITHER THE CANADIANS NOR
    THE INDIANS BELIEVED ME; FOR BOTH ARGUED THAT IF
    WHAT I SAID WAS TRUTH, I OUGHT TO LOOK TO THE
    GROUND, AND OVER IT; AND NOT TO THE STARS
    “NOT ONLY NATIVE PEOPLE BUT HIS OWN FRENCH-CANADIAN
    EMPLOYEES WOULD COME TO HIM AND ASK HIM TO SOMEHOW
    CONTROL NATURE FOR THEM. RAISE A WIND FOR US, MAKE
    THE GAME COME TO US. THEY ALL THOUGHT THAT WHAT
    HE WAS DOING WHEN HE WAS OBSERVING THE SKIES WAS
    SOMEHOW SEEING WHAT WAS HAPPENING FAR AWAY, OR
    SEEING INTO THE FUTURE” THOMPSON FOUND TIME TO WORK
    ON HIS MAPS DURING THE WINTER. HE’D DRAW NUMEROUS SMALL
    CHARTS, USING COORDINATES AND COMPASS COURSES FROM
    HIS SURVEY NOTEBOOKS. LATER THE CHARTS WERE
    LINED-UP AND CONNECTED, FITTING TOGETHER LIKE
    TILES ON A FLOOR. THOMPSON’S FIRST YEAR WEST
    OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS WAS CLOSE TO BEING HIS LAST. THE SMALL NUMBER OF FURS
    COLLECTED CAST DOUBT ON THE COMMERCIAL VALUE
    OF THE COLUMBIA. THOMPSON, FRUSTRATED,
    WROTE LETTERS BACK TO HIS PARTNERS SAYING THE
    KOOTENAI DID NOT UNDERSTAND COMMERCIAL LEVEL TRAPPING. “TO HIM, HE WANTS EVERY
    FAMILY TO GET A PACK OR TWO PACKS OF FURS, THAT’S
    BETWEEN 60 AND OVER 100 BEAVER, EVERY WINTER
    FROM NOW ON FOREVER. THEY CAN’T UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT’S ONE OF THOSE
    CULTURAL DISJUNCTS THAT DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE. WHY WOULD YOU TRAP
    THAT MANY BEAVER? ” THE PLATEAU TRIBES
    TRADITIONALLY GAMBLED, DANCED AND SPIRITUALLY
    RESTORED THEMSELVES IN THE WINTER. “HE IS ALWAYS GOING CRAZY
    HARANGUING THEM TO GO TRAP, IT’S WINTER, THE PELTS
    ARE PRIME, WHY AREN’T YOU TRAPPING? AND THEY GO, OH WE CAN’T. WE HAVE TO SPIRITUALLY
    RESTORE OURSELVES, THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE WINTER. WE WORK ALL YEAR SO THAT WE
    CAN NOW DO THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO US. AND HE SEES THIS DEEP
    SPIRITUALITY AS AN ESSENTIAL PART
    OF THEIR CULTURE. ” IN SPRING 1808, THOMPSON
    AND FOUR VOYAGEURS RETRACED HIS SHORT TRIP OF THE
    PREVIOUS FALL AND CONTINUED SOUTH, DOWN STEAM ON
    THE KOOTENAY RIVER. THIS TIME, THOMPSON RODE
    IN A CANOE WITH A COMPASS, RECORDING EACH SMALL
    CHANGE OF DIRECTION WHILE ESTIMATING THE DISTANCE
    IN FRACTIONS OF MILES. THE PARTY CROSSED THE 49TH
    PARALLEL IN WHAT IS NOW NORTHWESTERN MONTANA. TO BRING IN MORE BEAVER
    PACKS, THOMPSON PLANNED TO RENDEZVOUS WITH A GROUP OF
    KOOTENAI GUIDES, THEN MOVE SOUTH TO OPEN TRADE WITH
    THE FLATHEAD IN MONTANA. BUT WHEN HIS GUIDES DID NOT
    APPEAR, THE NOR’WESTERS CONTINUED DOWNSTREAM ALONE,
    CROSSING OVER THE STEEP DANGEROUS PORTAGE
    OF KOOTENAI FALLS. 23 YEAR OLD DAN BLACKBURN,
    A PROFESSIONAL KAYAKER, GREW UP ON THE
    KOOTENAI RIVER. “WHEN I STARTED KAYAKING
    THAT WAS MY MAIN GOAL IS TO GO OVER KOOTENAI FALLS,
    BECAUSE I HEARD PEOPLE COULD DO IT. IT’S A MILE AND A HALF OF
    WORLD CLASS WHITE WATER” TODAY, KOOTENAI FALL’S
    WATER LEVEL IS CONTROLLED BY LIBBY DAM, IN MONTANA. BUT IN THOMPSON’S DAY THE
    WATER WAS FREE FLOWING; MUCH STRONGER
    THAN IT IS TODAY THREE HUNDRED FEET ABOVE
    THE RIVER, OVER SHARP ROCKS, BLACKBURN WITH A
    FRIEND PORTAGE KOOTENAI FALLS, FOLLOWING THE
    SAME TRIBAL TRAIL THAT THOMPSON’S PARTY USED
    SO MANY YEARS AGO. DAN BLACKBURN:
    “WE’RE BASICALLY SEEING THE SAME THINGS, IT’S A
    REALLY COOL FEELING TO THINK BACK THAT FAR, PRETTY
    HUMBLING. ” THOMPSON: MAY 6, 1808
    “OUR HEIGHT AT TIMES WAS ABOUT 300 FEET
    ABOVE THE RIVER, THE LEAST SLIP WOULD HAVE
    BEEN INEVITABLE DEATH. EACH MAN HAD TWO PAIRS OF
    SHOES ON HIS FEET, BUT THEY WERE CUT TO PIECES. ”
    THAT MAY, THE NOR’WESTERS ARRIVED AT BONNER’S FERRY,
    IDAHO; THE HOME OF UGLY HEAD’S PEOPLE. IN THE SUMMER OF 2008,
    TRIBAL LEADERS AND HISTORIANS SET UP AN
    ENCAMPMENT NEAR THE SPOT THE KOOTENAI AND THOMPSON
    SHARED IN THE SPRING OF 1808. “I HAD THIS VISION ABOUT
    AN ENCAMPMENT AND THE INFLUENCE THAT DAVID
    THOMPSON HAD ON THE KOOTENAI PEOPLE AND VICE
    VERSA, AND HERE WE ARE. ” TIM RYAN AND OTHER TRIBAL
    MEMBERS SHARE THEIR KNOWLEDGE. “THE NATURAL WORLD OUT
    THERE, THE FORESTS ARE KIND OF LIKE OUR CHURCHES. ”
    RYAN MAKES ITEMS USED BY HIS NATIVE ANCESTORS WITH
    THE SAME MATERIALS AND HAND-MADE TOOLS. ” MY PRIORITY IS TO LEARN
    THESE SKILLS AND ASSURE THAT THESE SKILLS ARE STILL
    PRESENT WITHIN OUR CULTURE AND THAT THEY’RE
    STILL PRACTICED” THOMPSON USED BONNER’S
    FERRY AS A BASE AND PADDLED NORTH TOWARD KOOTENAY LAKE,
    THE HOME OF THE FLAT BOW BAND. “KOOTENAY LAKE USED TO
    BE THE HEARTBEAT OF OUR PEOPLE, THE FLAT BOW AND
    ALL THE STREAMS AND RIVERS THAT FLOWED INTO KOOTENAY
    LAKE, IT WAS LIKE ARTERIES” FOR GENERATIONS, WAYNE
    LOUIS’S FAMILY HAS LIVED NEAR KOOTENAY LAKE
    IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. ” WHEN IT USED TO FLOOD, IN
    THE OLD DAYS BEFORE DAMS WERE PUT IN, THIS USED TO
    BECOME ONE BIG DELTA, THIS WHOLE VALLEY. THIS WHOLE VALLEY
    ONE BIG DELTA TO NAVIGATE THE DELTA,
    THE KOOTENAI DESIGNED THE DISTINCTIVE
    STURGEON-NOSED CANOE. “THE ELDERS USED TO SAY
    WHEN YOU GOT TO THIS STAGE THIS RESEMBLED A
    SKELETON OF A STURGEON. IT DOES BECAUSE THE SNOUTS
    THERE, HERE’S RIBS AND BONES. AT HIGH WATER TIME WHEN THE
    BULL RUSHES WERE UP, THESE CANOES USED TO BE ABLE TO
    NAVIGATE THROUGH THE BULL RUSHES. ”
    THOMPSON ADMIRED THE STURGEON-NOSED CANOES. “WHEN DAVID THOMPSON CAME
    UP HERE, HE CAME UP HERE IN MAY. THAT WAS THE
    HIGH WATER TIME,. ..AND HE TRAVELED THE ROUTE
    UP HERE, THE RIVER, AND HE WENT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE
    HISTORIC WATER LEVEL, IT’S CALLED KOOTENAY LANDING. ”
    NEAR THAT POINT, THE KOOTENAY RIVER HEADS WEST
    JOINING THE COLUMBIA. THOMPSON DID NOT
    INVESTIGATE FURTHER, BUT INSTEAD HURRIED BACK TO
    A FLOODED BONNER’S FERRY HOPING TO TRADE WITH A
    GROUP OF FLATHEAD WHO WERE SUPPOSEDLY ON THEIR WAY TO
    THE KOOTENAI ENCAMPMENT. MAY 17, 1808 “HERE WE RECEIVED
    THE DISAGREEABLE NEWS OF THE FLAT HEADS BEING UNABLE
    TO COME HERE ON ACCOUNT OF THE FLOODING OF THE
    COUNTRY, THUS ALL MY FINE
    HOPES ARE RUINED” IN A LETTER, THOMPSON
    EXPRESSED HIS FRUSTRATION AT BEING CUT OFF FROM THE
    TRIBES BY WINTER SNOW AND SPRING FLOODS. THOMPSON JOURNAL MAY
    17, 1808: “THE FLATHEADS WERE ONLY 12 DAY’S MARCH
    FROM US LAST WINTER AND THE LAKE INDIANS ONLY 6 DAYS
    AND YET BOTH ARE COMPLETELY SHUT UP BY MOUNTAINS AS IF
    THEY WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE,
    AND THE WATERS RISING IN THE SUMMER HAVE NEARLY THE
    SAME EFFECT. THOMPSON COULD WAIT NO
    LONGER FOR THE FLATHEADS. HE HAD A LONG TRADE RUN TO
    MAKE BACK TO LAKE SUPERIOR. AFTER RECROSSING HOWSE
    PASS, HE DROPPED CHARLOTTE AND THE KIDS OFF WITH
    RELATIVES AT BOGGY HALL, AND THEN CONTINUED
    DOWN THE SASKATCHEWAN. PERHAPS BECAUSE OF THE
    PIEGAN THREAT, CHARLOTTE NEVER AGAIN TRAVEL WEST
    OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. IN THE SUMMER OF 1809,
    THOMPSON DECIDED TO BUILD A TRADE POST MORE CENTRALLY
    LOCATED TO THE PLATEAU TRIBES. HE CLOSED UP KOOTENAI HOUSE
    AND MOVED HIS ENTIRE PARTY DOWN THE KOOTENAI RIVER,
    SOUTH OVER THE GREAT ROAD TO THE FLATHEADS,. TO A LARGE TRIBAL
    ENCAMPMENT ON LAKE PEND OREILLE. THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    SEPTEMBER 9, 1809 “THEY ALL SMOKED, 54 FLAT HEADS,
    23 POINTED HEARTS, AND 4 KOOTANAIS – IN
    ALL ABOUT 80 MEN. THEN THEY MADE US A
    HANDSOME PRESENT OF DRIED SALMON AND OTHER
    FISH WITH BERRIES” “THEY TAKE HIM TO THIS
    AMAZING MIXED TRIBAL ENCAMPMENT NEAR HOPE, IDAHO
    WHERE EVERYBODY IS, ALL THE FLATHEADS AND KOOTENAIS AND
    KALISPEL, BUT ALSO OKANOGAN AND SANDPOINT AND COEUR
    D’ALENE AND NEZ PERCE, I MEAN EVERYBODY’S THERE”
    THE ENCAMPMENT WAS LOCATED AT A PLACE CALLED INDIAN
    MEADOWS ON THE BANKS OF LAKE PEND OREILLE. THOMPSON BUILT KULLYSPELL
    HOUSE, NAMED AFTER THE KALISPEL PEOPLE
    THAT LIVED THERE. THE KALISPEL WERE ALSO
    CALLED THE PEND OREILLE BY THE TRADERS. THE KALISPEL, ARE ONE
    OF MANY SALISH SPEAKING TRIBES. ” THE ENTIRE NORTHWEST
    CONSISTS OF THE SALISH SPEAKING PEOPLE, WHO OUR
    ELDERS SAY CAME FROM ONE LARGE GROUP AT ONE TIME. THOSE DIFFERENT BANDS THAT
    ARE LOCATED IN OTHER AREAS ARE OTHER TRIBES NOW. WE REFER TO THEM AS THE
    KALISPEL, THE SPOKANES, THE COEUR D’ALENE, THE
    OKANOGANS, SUSHWA” DAVID THOMPSON JOURNALS:
    ” I SPENT MUCH OF THE DAY TRADING WITH THE INDIANS
    WHO BROUGHT ABOUT 130 SKINS. SIXTEEN CANOES OF POINTED
    HEARTS PASSED US AND CAMPED WITH OTHER FLATHEADS”. BUSINESS WAS BOOMING. AT TIMES, ENTIRE DAYS
    HAD TO BE SET ASIDE FOR TRADING. IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS
    ACTIVITY, THOMPSON DECIDED TO ‘GO ON DISCOVERY’ AND
    TRACE THE PEND OREILLE’S COURSE TO THE COLUMBIA. HE RODE WEST, FOLLOWING THE
    PEND OREILLE RIVER TO A KALISPEL VILLAGE, NEAR
    CUSICK, WASHINGTON. ” THE OLDEST MAN ACCORDING
    TO CUSTOM MADE A SPEECH AND A PRESENT OF 2 CAKES
    OF ROOT BREAD,. ” THE ROOT BREAD WAS MADE
    FROM CAMAS OR EETOWOY. ON HIS LATER MAPS, THOMPSON
    LABELED THIS AREA EETOWOY PLAINS. TRYING TO FIND A SUITABLE
    TRADE ROUTE TO THE COLUMBIA PROVED DIFFICULT. THOMPSON BORROWED A
    KALISPEL CANOE AND HEADED DOWN RIVER,. ..ONLY TO BE STOPPED BY THE
    STEEP CLIFFS OF BOX CANYON. ” AND THOMPSON INSTEAD OF
    PUSHING ON THROUGH AND GETTING TO THE COLUMBIA,
    WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN A COUPLE DAYS WALK, TURNS
    AROUND AND GOES BACK. ” THOMPSON LEFT A CREW TO
    WINTER AT KULLYSPELL HOUSE,
    THEN FOLLOWED THE CLARK FORK RIVER UPSTREAM TO THE
    OPEN COUNTRY WHERE MANY SALISH BANDS WINTERED. THERE HE BUILT SALEESH
    HOUSE, NEAR THOMPSON FALLS, MONTANA, AND
    SPENT THE WINTER. ” AND IT’S REALLY A
    REMARKABLE WINTER, THAT’S WHEN HE DOES HIS
    SALISH WORD LIST” THOMPSON DEVOTED 26 PAGES
    OF HIS JOURNAL LISTING 1,000 ALPHABETIZED ENGLISH
    WORDS HE WANTED TO LEARN IN SALISH. “THEY TELL A LOT MORE ABOUT
    THOMPSON THAN THEY TELL ABOUT THE SALISH INDIANS. JUST IN THE “A”S, ITS
    LIKE ABANDONMENT, AMBUSH, ANXIETY, ANXIOUS. IT’S A VERY FUNNY LIST
    THOMPSON WAS ABLE TO GATHER 400 SALISH EQUIVALENTS. IN MAY 1810, THOMPSON
    DISPATCHED JACO FINLEY TO BUILD A NEW POST AMONG
    THE SPOKANE PEOPLE. SPOKANE HOUSE WOULD
    COMPLETE A CIRCLE OF TRADE IN WHAT THOMPSON CALLED THE
    BETTER PART OF THE COUNTRY. LEAVING FINAN MCDONALD IN
    CHARGE OF SALEESH HOUSE, THOMPSON TOOK THE FURS TO
    LAKE SUPERIOR, EXPECTING TO REMAIN IN THE
    EAST FOR A YEAR. THOMPSON LETTER TO
    SIMON FRASER: DECEMBER 21, 1810 ” MY DEAR FRASER. I AM GETTING TIRED OF SUCH
    CONSTANT HARD JOURNEYS; FOR THE LAST 20 MONTHS I HAVE
    SPENT ONLY BARELY TWO MONTHS UNDER THE SHELTER
    OF A HUT, ALL THE REST HAS BEEN IN MY TENT, AND THERE
    IS LITTLE LIKELIHOOD THE NEXT 12 MONTHS WILL
    BE MUCH OTHERWISE” “HE’S BEEN IN THE WOODS FOR
    A LONG TIME NOW AND HE’S HOPING TO TAKE A YEAR OFF,
    WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE ALLOWED AS A PARTNER AND
    GET UP WITH HIS FAMILY AND JUST RELAX. ”
    BUT, THOMPSON DID NOT GET HIS SABBATICAL. THOMPSON LETTER TO FRASER:
    DEC. 21, 1810, “THE AMERICANS, IT
    SEEMS, WERE AS USUAL DETERMINED TO BE
    BEFOREHAND WITH US IN THE COLUMBIA IN SHIP
    NAVIGATION. THE AMERICAN WAS JOHN
    JACOB ASTOR, A NEW YORK ENTREPRENEUR. HE’D STARTED THE PACIFIC
    FUR COMPANY, AND WAS TRYING TO ENTER THE
    WESTERN FUR TRADE. HIS SHIP, THE TONQUIN, WAS
    SAILING AROUND THE HORN TO THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA,
    WHILE A SECOND OVERLAND PARTY WAS RETRACING LEWIS
    AND CLARK’S ROUTE TO THE WEST. “JOHN JACOB ASTOR IS
    LIKE DONALD TRUMP. HE’S GOT BUSINESS DEALS
    ALL OVER WITH EVERYBODY. INCLUDING THE
    NORTH WEST CO.” A YEAR EARLIER, ASTOR HAD
    OFFERED THE NORTH WEST COMPANY, ONE THIRD INTEREST
    IN HIS PACIFIC VENTURE. ” AND IT SOUNDS LIKE A
    PARTNERSHIP BUT IT’S SO, CONVOLUTED THAT YOU CAN
    TELL IT MIGHT NOT WORK” WITH THE AMERICANS
    INVOLVED, THOMPSON COULD WAIT NO LONGER TO COMPLETE
    HIS EXPLORATIONS DOWN THE COLUMBIA RIVER AND
    DETERMINE WHETHER IT WAS NAVIGABLE TO THE SEA. HE NEEDED TO GET BACK WEST. BUT THE PIEGAN
    HAD OTHER IDEAS. THEY HAD SET UP A
    BLOCKADE AT HOWES PASS. “THE PEIGAN THREATENED
    DURING THE BLOCKADE, THAT THEY’RE GOING TO KILL ANY
    WHITE MAN THEY FIND WEST OF THE MOUNTAIN, AND THEY’RE
    GOING TO MAKE DRIED MEAT OUT OF THEM. BELIEVE ME, THE HUDSON’S
    BAY CO, THE NW CO. TOOK THAT THREAT SERIOUSLY”
    ALEXANDER HENRY – ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE:
    ” THIS AFFAIR OF HIS CANOES BEING STOPPED BY THE
    PIEGANS HAS INDUCED HIM TO ALTER HIS ROUTE AND
    ENDEAVOR TO OPEN A NEW ROAD. AND IN SUCH RUGGED COUNTRY
    THE BLACKFEET INDIANS WOULD NEVER DARE TO ENTER. ALEXANDER HENRY-ROCKY
    MOUNTAIN HOUSE-1811″ THOMPSON HAD BEEN SEEKING
    AN ALTERNATE ROUTE ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
    FOR SOME TIME. HE’D HEARD PROMISING
    REPORTS OF A CROSSING AT THE HEADWATERS OF
    THE ATHABASCA RIVER. BUT A WINTER CROSSING OVER
    ATHABASCA PASS, WOULD BE DIFFICULT,. REQUIRING DOG
    SLEDS AND SNOWSHOES. “THE PROBLEM FOR HIM REALLY
    IS THAT BY GOING FROM THE SASKATCHEWAN TO THE
    ATHABASCA HE’S IN A NEW FUR TRADE DISTRICT AND THE
    VOYAGERS WHO HE TAKES WITH HIM AREN’T USED TO
    WORKING FOR HIM. SO ALL THE OLD FAMILIAR
    NAMES AND THE GUIDES HE’S GONE BACK AND FORTH WITH
    ALL THESE YEARS ARE NO LONGER WITH HIM. AND THESE NEW GUYS THINK
    THAT HE’S CRAZY, AND NONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN ACROSS
    THE PASS BEFORE, AND HE WORKS THEM TOO HARD, AND
    HE’S MAKING A WINTER CROSSING. SO THERE ARE ALL THESE
    REASONS FOR THINGS TO GO WRONG”
    THOMPSON JOURNALS: “DU NORD THREW HIS LOAD
    ASIDE , SAYING HE WOULD NOT HAUL IT ANY MORE ALTHOUGH
    HE HAS ONLY 80 POUNDS AND TWO GOOD DOGS, IN MY
    OPINION HE IS A POOR SPIRITLESS WRETCH. ”
    “THESE GUYS ARE SCARED AND THERE’S A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT
    OF SNOW, AND THE TEMPERATURE WARMS UP FROM
    30 BELOW TO 30 ABOVE IN ABOUT 36 HOURS. THE SLEDS START TO SINK,
    THEY CAN’T FIND ANY FOOD, THE VOYAGERS ARE BEATING
    THE DOGS TO DEATH.” THOMPSON JOURNALS
    JANUARY 14, 1811 -: “THE COURAGE OF PART OF MY
    MEN IS SINKING FAST. THEY SEE NOTHING IN ITS
    PROPER COLOR, FEAR GATHERS ON THEM FROM EVERY OBJECT.” CANADIAN OUTFITTER WENDY
    BUSH HAS BEEN DRIVING DOG TEAMS IN THE BACK COUNTRY
    MOST OF HER LIFE. “SLED DOGS,” BUSH SAYS,
    “ARE A STRONG PART OF HER CANADIAN HERITAGE. ”
    ” EVERY FAMILY HAD A DOG AND THEY HOOKED THAT DOG UP AND
    PULLED THEIR TOBOGGANS WITH FIREWOOD OR WHATEVER CHORES
    THEY HAD TO DO SO IT WAS A VERY CANADIAN THING TO DO
    FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, TO USE YOUR SLED DOG”
    IN THOMPSON’S TIME, DOG DRIVERS DIDN’T RIDE, BUT
    RAN BESIDE THE DOGS, HELPING TO DIRECT THE
    TOBOGGAN OVER SNOW AND ICE. ” SO HE MADE HIS OWN SNOW
    SHOES AND HIS TOBOGGAN. THAT’S PRETTY TOUGH GOING
    TO BUILD YOUR OWN GEAR” TO CELEBRATE THE CENTENNIAL
    OF CANADIAN NATIONAL PARKS,
    BUSH, USING HER OWN SLED DOGS, RETRACED THOMPSON’S
    HISTORIC 1811 CROSSING OF ATHABASCA PASS. “WE HAD BEEN TRAVELING IN
    THE BACK COUNTRY OF JASPER NATIONAL PARKS FOR A NUMBER
    OF YEARS SO WE WERE IN GOOD SHAPE AND OUR DOGS WERE
    WELL TRAINED AND WE HAD LOTS OF MODERN EQUIPMENT. THOUGH REGARDLESS OF MODERN
    EQUIPMENT, THERE ARE HAZARDS OUT THERE AND YOU
    CAN STILL FALL IN THE WATER IF YOU MAKE A MISSTEP AND
    DRAG YOUR DOG TEAM WITH YOU” THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    “THE DESCENT WAS SO STEEP THAT THE DOGS COULD NOT
    GUIDE THE SLEDS, AND OFTEN CAME ACROSS THE TREES WITH
    SOME FORCE, THE DOGS ON ONE SIDE AND THE SLED
    ON THE OTHER” BY THIS TIME, FOUR OF HIS
    MEN HAD PLAINLY HAD ENOUGH OF THOMPSON,
    AND THE FEELING WAS MUTUAL. THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    “DU NORD WITH THE FORT DE PRAIRIE MEN, HAVING
    LONG BEEN DISPIRITED AND USELESS
    AS OLD WOMEN, TOLD ME HE WOULD RETURN, AND I WAS
    HEARTILY TIRED OF SUCH WORTHLESS FELLOWS”
    ” EARLY HISTORIANS REPRESENTED THAT AS A
    MUTINY AND EVERYBODY LEAVING. BUT IN HIS JOURNAL, WHICH
    HE’S KEEPING AT THE TIME, HE SAYS, I’M GLAD TO BE RID
    OF THESE GUYS, I DON’T LIKE THE WAY THEY TREAT THE
    DOGS, THEY’RE EATING TOO MUCH, THEY’RE JUST A PAIN. GIVE ME THESE GUYS
    THAT ARE DEPENDABLE” THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    “ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE MOUNTAINS THE
    TREES WERE SMALL, THERE WE WERE MEN,
    BUT ON THE WEST SIDE WE WERE PIGMIES, IN SUCH
    FORESTS WHAT COULD WE DO WITH AXES OF TWO
    POUND WEIGHT? THOMPSON, AND HIS REMAINING
    THREE MEN, DUG IN FOR WINTER AT THE TOP BEND OF
    THE COLUMBIA RIVER; AT A PLACE THOMPSON NAMED
    BOAT ENCAMPMENT. FROM THIS VANTAGE POINT,
    THOMPSON COULD HAVE TRAVELED DOWNSTREAM
    TO THE PACIFIC. BUT, HE HAD A LARGE LOAD OF
    TRADE GOODS TO DISTRIBUTE TO HIS POSTS ON THE
    COLUMBIA PLATEAU. “SO HE SPENDS SIX WEEKS
    BUILDING A NEW KIND OF CANOE THAT IS SPLIT CEDAR
    PLANKS SEWN TO A REGULAR FRAME WITH SPRUCE ROOT
    WATAP, AND HE JUST DOES A BEAUTIFUL JOB OF IT. ”
    AT HIS HOME OVERLOOKING LAKE PEND OREILLE, BOAT
    BUILDER BILL BRUSSTAR IS BUILDING A REPLICA OF DAVID
    THOMPSON’S CEDAR PLANK CANOE. ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE
    MOUNTAINS, THE NOR’WESTERS HAD STRUGGLED TO BUILD
    CANOES, BECAUSE THE BIRCH BARK WAS SO THIN. BUT THOMPSON DESIGNED
    SOMETHING NEW. ” BUT HE STARTED OUT WITH
    A BOTTOM BOARD, THE KEEL BOARD, THAT WAS
    17 INCHES WIDE. HE WANTED TO BUILD THE
    WHOLE BOAT IN ONE BOARD ALMOST, 17 INCHES WIDE IS
    REALLY WIDE AND HE BROKE IT IN HALF. FOR TWO DAYS AFTER THAT
    THERE IS NOTHING BUT NUMBERS, THAT’S ALL HE DID
    WAS TOOK NUMBERS AND HELD IT INSIDE. DAVID THOMPSON: ” WE WORKED
    AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CANOE, BUT SPIT IN TWO LIFTING
    IT UP BEING TOO THIN TO SUPPORT IT’S OWN WEIGHT
    AND WAS THUS SPOILT. ” “HE ENDED UP WITH A BOARD
    SIX INCHES IN THE MIDDLE AND HE NARROWED IT DOWN TO
    THE BOW AND STERN TO TWO INCHES AND HE CURVED THAT
    BOW ALL THE WAY UP TO A TWO FOOT ARC. A TWO FOOT ARC FOR THE BOW
    AND A TWO FOOT ARC FOR THE STERN. SO, HE USED ONE
    SINGLE BOARD. HE HAD TO SPLIT THE ENDS OF
    THEM IN HALF, SO HE HAD A TWO INCH BOARD LIKE THAT
    AND HE CUT IT IN HALF, SO IT WOULD TAKE THAT BEND. ”
    BRUSSTAR SEEMS TO BE LEARNING AS MUCH ABOUT THE
    MAN AS THE CANOE. “YOU GET A MUCH CLOSER
    IDEA OF WHAT ACTUALLY WAS GOING ON IN THOSE DAYS,
    ‘CAUSE THE PROBLEMS I HAD, HE HAD THE SAME. ”
    OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS, THOMPSON WOULD BUILD AT
    LEAST NINE CEDAR PLANK CANOES, CONTINUALLY
    IMPROVING ON HIS DESIGN. MEANWHILE, A THOUSAND MILES
    DOWNSTREAM, THE SAILING SHIP THE TONQUIN WAS
    ANCHORED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA. ASTOR’S MEN HAD ALREADY
    STARTED BUILDING FORT ASTORIA. MARK WEADICK, AND HIS GROUP
    OF FUR TRADE RE-ENACTORS, PADDLE AROUND THE
    CONFLUENCE OF THE LITTLE SPOKANE AND SPOKANE RIVERS. BETWEEN THE TWO RIVERS, ON
    THIS FLAT, TRIANGLE SHAPED PENINSULA, SPOKANE HOUSE
    WAS BUILT BY JACO FINLEY IN 1810. BY THE TIME THOMPSON
    ARRIVED, THE POST HAD BEEN UP AND RUNNING FOR A YEAR. FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, THE
    SPOKANE HAD GATHERED HERE TO CATCH AND DRY FISH. “SPOKANE HOUSE WAS ON THE
    MIDDLE SPOKANE PEOPLES CAMPGROUND, IT WAS IN THERE
    AREA, AND IT WAS WITH THEIR PERMISSION THAT JACKO
    FINLAY AND HIS CREW IN 1810 WERE ABLE TO CONSTRUCT
    THE FIRST SPOKANE HOUSE. THERE WAS IN THOSE DAYS A
    TREMENDOUS CHINOOK SALMON FISHERY THAT CAME
    UP THE FALLS” THOMPSON CALCULATED THE
    LONGITUDE OF SPOKANE HOUSE AND RECORDED IT
    IN HIS JOURNAL. IT WOULD BE THE FIRST
    EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON. AFTER A TWO MONTH DETOUR,
    THOMPSON WAS FINALLY FREE TO EXPLORE THE MIDDLE
    AND LOWER COLUMBIA. HIS PARTY TRAVELED NORTH
    ON THE ILTHKOYAPE ROAD, TO KETTLE FALLS ON THE
    COLUMBIA RIVER, WHERE A LARGE NUMBER OF THE
    ILTHKOYAPE OR COLVILLE WERE FISHING. THOMPSON JOURNALS:
    “THE SALMON ARE FROM 15 TO 30 POUNDS WEIGHT HERE,
    THEIR FLESH IS RED AND THEY ARE EXTREMELY WELL MADE. ”
    AFTER YEARS OF EFFORT, ON JULY 3RD, 1811
    THOMPSON WITH HIS CREW AND TWO SANPOIL SET OFF
    FROM KETTLE FALLS ON THEIR VOYAGE DOWN THE COLUMBIA
    TO THE SEA. DAVID THOMPSON TRAVELS:
    “IMAGINATION CAN HARDLY FORM AN IDEA OF THE WORKING
    OF THIS IMMENSE BODY OF WATER UNDER SUCH
    COMPRESSION, RAGING AND HISSING, AS IF ALIVE. ”
    “IGNUS, THE IROQUOIS, WHO HE HIRED TO BE THE
    STEERSMAN GOT BOUNCED RIGHT OUT OF THE CANOE. IT WAS THAT POWERFUL, AND
    NONE OF THESE GUYS CAN SWIM. SO THEY DO THIS CRAZY
    FRENETIC RESCUE AND GET IGNUS ON SHORE AND SQUEEZE
    ALL THE WATER OUT OF HIM” AT THE TIME, ABOUT THREE
    HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILES OF THE COLUMBIA HAD
    BEEN CHARTED. BY THE END OF THE SUMMER,
    THOMPSON WILL HAVE SURVEYED THE REMAINING NINE
    HUNDRED MILES. DAVID THOMPSON:
    “THE COLUMBIA PRESENTED MUCH STEEP ROCK, OFTEN IN
    STEP LIKE STAIRS OF 20 TO 30 FEET PERPENDICULAR. ”
    TRAVELING WITH THE CURRENT, IT TOOK THOMPSON JUST TEN
    DAYS TO GET TO THE PACIFIC. “IT’S ABOUT 700
    RIVER MILES. HE STOPS AT EVERY VILLAGE
    ALONG THE WAY AND DOES HIS LITTLE RAP, I’M COMING
    TO TRADE YOU KNOW. YOU SHOULD TRAP BEAVER,
    I’LL BUILD A TRADE HOUSE HERE. HE SAYS THAT AT EVERY
    VILLAGE THAT HE COMES TO AND HE STILL MAKES
    IT IN 10 DAYS. ” THOMPSON MET 150
    FAMILIES OF SANPOIL,. NEAR THE SANPOIL RIVER. “THEY ALL,
    FORMED A LINE IN AN ELLIPSIS; THEY DANCED WITH
    THE SUN IN A MINGLED MANNER,
    ALL THEIR DANCES ARE A KIND OF RELIGIOUS PRAYER”
    HE MET METHOW, JUST BEYOND THE
    OKANAGAN RIVER, AND, 120 FAMILIES OF
    SINKAUSE, AT ROCK ISLAND NEAR WENATCHEE. “THE WOMEN ADVANCED ALL
    ORNAMENTED WITH FLLETS AND SMALL FEATHERS,
    THEY SMOKED WITH THE MEN”
    THOMPSON SMOKED WITH 62 SAHAPTIN SPEAKING MEN,
    THE WANAPUM, NEAR PRIEST RAPIDS. AND THERE WERE THE YAKIMA. THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    “THESE PEOPLE, ARE MAKING USE OF THE SEINE NET, WHICH
    IS WELL MADE FROM WILD HEMP, WHICH GROWS ON THE RICH LOW
    GROUNDS. ” AT THE DALLES CULTURE
    PATTERNS CHANGED FROM PLATEAU TO COASTAL. THE THREE HUNDRED FAMILIES
    CAMPED THERE WERE SPEAKING BOTH SAHAPTIAN AND
    CHINOOKAN LANGUAGES. DAVID THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    “THE CHIEF CAME AND INVITED ME TO HIS HOUSE,. THE INSIDE CLEAN AND WELL
    ARRANGED HAD SEPARATE BED PLACES FASTENED TO THE
    WALLS THAT RAISED ABOUT 3 FEET ABOVE THE FLOOR”
    THOMPSON FELT STRONGLY THAT THE LANDS OF THE COLUMBIA
    THAT HE HAD SURVEYED BELONGED TO GREAT BRITAIN. WHAT THOMPSON CALLED A
    ‘SATISFACTORY BOUNDARY’ FOR CANADA, INCLUDED MUCH OF
    TODAY’S AMERICAN NORTHWEST. THOMPSON JOURNAL:
    “HERE I ERECTED A SMALL POLE WITH A HALF SHEET OF
    PAPER WELL TIED AROUND IT, …KNOW HEREBY THAT THIS
    COUNTRY IS CLAIMED BY GREAT BRITAIN AS PART OF
    ITS TERRITORIES” ON JULY 15, 1811,
    THOMPSON’S PARTY ARRIVED AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA
    RIVER, AT FORT ASTORIA. ALEXANDER ROSS, A SCOT
    CLERK FOR THE PACIFIC FUR COMPANY
    “WE WERE RATHER SURPRISED AT THE UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL
    OF A NORTH WEST PROPRIETOR AT ASTORIA. MR. THOMPSON. HE CAME DASHING DOWN THE
    COLUMBIA IN A LIGHT CANOE MANNED WITH EIGHT IROQUOIS
    AND AN INTERPRETER. ” THE ASTORIANS FOUND
    THEMSELVES IN AN ODD SITUATION. THOMPSON CLAIMED THEY WERE
    PARTNERS, BUT TO THEIR KNOWLEDGE, NO JOINT
    AGREEMENT HAD TAKEN PLACE. THEY DANCED AROUND EACH
    OTHER NOT KNOWING WHETHER THEY WERE FRIEND OR FOE. LATER, THE PARTNERSHIP
    DID INDEED FALL APART. BY THE END OF THE SUMMER,
    THOMPSON HAD SURVEYED THE ENTIRE COLUMBIA RIVER FROM
    ITS HEADWATERS TO ITS MOUTH. ONE OF HIS MOST
    MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTIONS. PADDLING HARD ON LAKE
    SUPERIOR, THE 2008 DAVID THOMPSON BRIGADE WILL SOON
    COMPLETE THE FINAL LEG OF THEIR JOURNEY
    TO FORT WILLIAM. THOMPSON TOO, RETURNED
    EAST, CROSSING THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FOR HIS FINAL
    TIME, AND RETIRING FROM THE FUR TRADE IN 1812. FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS,
    THOMPSON WORKED ON HIS MAPS OF WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. IT WAS AN ENORMOUS
    UNDERTAKING, USING HIS SURVEYS AND DISCOVERIES
    FROM THE LAST 20 YEARS. “HE STARTS WORKING
    ON HIS GREAT MAPS. SORT OF MAGNUM OPUS TO SHOW
    IN ONE GRAND CANVAS WHAT HE’S BEEN DOING WITH
    ALL OF HIS LIFE. ” ONE OF THOMPSON’S WALL SIZE
    MAPS WAS HUNG IN THE DINING ROOM AT FORT WILLIAM TO BE
    USED BY TRAVELERS HEADING WEST FOR THE NEXT
    FOUR DECADES. “HE LIVED DURING A TIME
    THAT REALLY SAW THE TRANSFORMATION OF
    WESTERN NORTH AMERICA. SO WHEN HE WAS BORN IN
    1770, EUROPEAN PEOPLE KNEW VERY LITTLE ABOUT WHAT WAS
    SOUTH AND WEST OF HUDSON’S BAY. BY THE TIME HE DIED IN
    1857, THE WEST WAS BEING PREPARED FOR
    EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT. SO, HE’S A FIGURE WHO
    EXPERIENCED ALL THAT, AND IN SOME SENSES WAS
    THE AGENT OF THAT. ” HIS EXPLORATIONS OPENED
    WHAT WOULD BECOME THE PRIMARY TRADE ROUTE ACROSS
    THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS TO THE PACIFIC. THIS INLAND NORTHWEST
    PASSAGE WAS THE LAST LINK OF A FUR TRADE HIGHWAY
    CONNECTING A CONTINENT FROM SEA TO SEA. HIS TIRELESS MAP WORK
    REALIZED THE DREAM THAT HE EXPRESSED IN A LETTER TO
    A FRIEND AFTER HIS FIRST WINTER AT THE SOURCE
    LAKES OF THE COLUMBIA. DAVID THOMPSON’S LETTER: I
    WISH TO HEAVEN YOU COULD BE TRANSPORTED BY SOME GENIIS
    TO SEE HOW THIS COUNTRY IS FORMED. ♪ ♪

    The Mystery Of The Nevada Triangle (Area 51 Documentary) | Timeline
    Articles, Blog

    The Mystery Of The Nevada Triangle (Area 51 Documentary) | Timeline

    August 14, 2019


    September, 2007 One of America’s richest men went missing on a solo flight in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada Steve Fossett was a world-famous pilot who cheated death on dozens of record-breaking flights How could he just vanish off the face of the Earth? ‘There were rumors he was in Argentina, There were rumors that he had faked his death.’ ‘A lot of people, especially wealthy people, sometimes they just kinda- check out. ‘I’m walkin’ away from this.” Fossett, who’d made the first solo balloon flight around the world, had disappeared in America’s very own Bermuda Triangle An area of Nevada and California, in which more than 2000 planes have crashed in the last 50 years Some call it the ‘Nevada Triangle’ ‘It’s just something that’s been passed around by pilots in this area for decades; that, y’know, in the old days planes would go missing, nobody ever found the airplane.’ ‘They were talking about hundreds, and hundreds of planes that had vanished into the, uh- ‘Nevada Triangle’, ‘Devil’s Triangle of Nevada’.’ The Nevada Triangle is a mysterious area, with an unforgiving landscape of high mountain and desert Inside its borders is Area 51; a top-secret military base, famous for rumors of UFO sightings, and unsolved plane crashes Only by unlocking these mysteries, to try and find out what happened to Steve Fossett, can we learn why so many planes crash, or disappear in the Nevada Triangle Yerington, Nevada 8:45am, Monday, the 3rd of September, 2007 Record-breaking pilot Steve Fossett took off on a solo flight in a 2-man stunt plane A weekend guest at a ranch 60 miles from Reno, he didn’t tell his hosts where he was going Simply saying he’d ‘be back in a few hours.’ After 3 hours his worried friends declared him missing They triggered the biggest peace-time search and rescue operation in US history It was led by the Nevada wing of the US Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol ‘There was no flight plan file, the only information we had was that, y’know, he was basically takin’ off on a, uh- Sunday joy ride, and flying 395 corridor.’ Fossett’s reputation for fearless flying kept his rescuers optimistic ‘This man can be found alive.’ ‘Any sighting, or anything that seems to be- appears to be accurate with the information known about the aircraft, we are following up with it, come in.’ Fossett had taken off from this desert air strip, the Flying M Ranch owned by his friend, billionaire hotelier, Baron Hilton The potential search area was huge; 8 times the size of Britain ‘He had about 4 hours of fuel on-board that aircraft, and it flies at about 120 miles an hour So, uh, that means that in 4 hours he could cover 480 miles, 500 miles and then to 3.14(r)^2 it’s 3/4 of a million miles, so unless we have some very good clues as to what direction, what piece of that, there’s no way that we could search 750000 square miles.’ The searchers were looking for a pilot who, at the age of 63, had amassed 115 world records ‘There’s a large number of aviation records, but there are 3, uh, what are called ‘absolute’ world records One of them is for distance, one for them for duration, and one for altitude, and, uh, I set 2 of them today.’ Terry Delore flew with Fossett for 5 years Together they set more than 10 world records for gliding The last one just weeks before Fossett disappeared ‘He was interested in what he calls the ‘ultimate challenges’, ‘ultimate achievements’, things that nobody’s ever done before Do something further, or faster, or longer, or, uh, whatever.’ Fossett was a driven man, he saw adversity as a challenge Surely he couldn’t have lost his life on a 2 hour pleasure flight? ‘He trained himself to be able to put up with all a variety of conditions that nature would throw at him, because all he was looking at was the goal of the end, y’know, to finish his challenges. To get the records, to, uh- To get where he wanted to go.’ Fossett had been a risk-taker all his life It had made his fortune By the time he was in his 40s he’d made, lost, and made again millions on the Chicago stock exchange ‘I’ve set a goal, which is at the very limit of this aircraft. If I’ve miscalculated to any extent, I will be unable to finish this flight.’ But had Fossett miscalculated that Sunday morning? The Sierra Nevada mountain range runs down the Western coast of the United States, and straddles the Border of California and Nevada The air strip he’d taken off from in Yarington is in the middle of what has become known as the Nevada Triangle It has seen more than 2000 plane crashes over the last 50 years ‘Since the 2nd World War there’ve been, uh, hundreds, and hundreds of planes that’ve crashed, uh, in the desert, and in the Sierra Nevada, so it is a treacherous place for aircraft.’ Frank Mullen is a newspaper journalist He started to plot out the crash sites ‘The map that I put together of 129 crashes, uh, are only crash sites where there’s still debris on the ground There’s been actually more hundreds, and hundreds of crash sites around the state.’ The area covers almost 25000 square miles Half the size of England There are many theories why so many planes go missing here From unusual atmospheric effects, to alien intervention In the search for Steve Fossett, investigators will explore each one in the hope of finding him ‘I gotta say the most critical part of a search is probably about the first 24 hours It’s the best possibility for someone that’s injured in a crash- survivable crash, to still be found alive your best options at being able to get help to this person, or these people as fast as you can.’ But Fossett wasn’t found on the first day, or the second ‘I would say after about 3 days we are pretty confident that we’re searching for wreckage, rather than an individual who needs to be rescued, unfortunately, uh- The temperatures go down pretty low at night, even in the summer times here, and if a person is injured, they’re not gonna survive very long usually.’ Fossett was not only an adventurer in the skies, he sailed oceans, and made 2 attempts on Everest ‘When you say the name ‘Steve Fosset’, then that changes your whole perspective, and if anyone was going to survive the thing, and come walking out- maybe broken and battered, but still alive, we really thought it would be him.’ The rescuers didn’t want to give up hope, because if anyone could beat the Nevada Triangle, it would be Steve Fossett That is, if he was still in the Triangle The mountains of the Sierra Nevada stretch for nearly 400 miles along the border of California and Nevada In September, 2007, they were the focus of a massive search and rescue operation Steve Fossett, the record-breaking aviator, had not been seen for 2 days since taking off on a pleasure flight As search planes combed the peaks and valleys, they reportedly spotted dozens of plane wrecks that had laid undisturbed for years ‘The planes that went in, down in these rocks here, were just small pieces that were found by hunters a good year after it went in, and uh, it was- just not visible from the air.’ It wasn’t news to the locals, but the world was discovering this region of the Sierra Nevada was an aviation graveyard ‘Initially the TV cable networks were all saying there were hundreds of planes that had flown into Nevada, and, uh, were never seen again. Just vanishing into thin air, and, uh- This turned into talk of the Nevada Triangle on CNN and the other TV networks Bermuda Triangle located in the desert of Nevada, where people just vanish More than 2000 planes have crashed in the Nevada Triangle since 1962 In the Southeastern corner, at the bottom of the triangle, is Area 51, a top-secret military testing site For years it has been associated with UFO sightings, alien encounters, and unexplained crashes ‘When it comes to someone vanishing, and you look at what else is in the area, and you see the proliferation of military bases, and secret technologies and so forth, it’s not a hard leap of faith to say ‘gee maybe these other things are involved in this mysterious disappearance?” Area 51 was within Fossett’s flight range ‘There are rumors that Steve Fossett got into Area 51, or that there was some incident there Somebody who would really get into the airspace of Area 51 would definitely be, uhm, forced down if they really entered the airspace.’ The idea that Fossett was forced down here is not so far-fetched to say Jorge Arnue has spent years studying satellite photographs, and investigating unexplained sightings, crashes, and what actually goes on in Area 51 ‘These 3 f-16s here seem to be pretty much on standby, just in case an intrusion in the airspace would happen.’

    B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)
    Articles, Blog

    B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)

    August 13, 2019


    female narrator: THE RAPID GROWTH OF AMERICA IN THE 19TH CENTURY CAN, IN PART, BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE EXPANSION OF ITS RAILROAD NETWORK. THIS MAP SHOWS THE LAYOUT OF THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD, WHICH, WHEN CONSTRUCTION BEGAN IN 1828, PROMISED TO LINK UP THE FAST-GROWING PORT OF BALTIMORE WITH THE WESTERN STATES. BALTIMORE IS NOW HOME TO THE B&O RAILROAD MUSEUM, AN IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION OF ENGINES AND HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS HOUSED IN AN ENORMOUS ROUNDHOUSE. BUT IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO BE A TRAIN SPOTTER TO ENJOY THIS MUSEUM, THEN THINK AGAIN, BECAUSE WHAT LIES WITHIN TELLS A FAR GREATER STORY ABOUT THE GROWTH OF A NATION. Mr. Wilson: I LIKE TO CALL THE RAILROAD SORT OF THE FIRST INTERNET, BECAUSE IT CONNECTED PLACES WHERE PEOPLE COULDN’T GET TO BEFORE, AT LEAST NOT EASILY, AND CERTAINLY IT CHANGED THE WAY PEOPLE HEATED THEIR HOMES. IT CHANGED THE WAY PEOPLE COMMUNICATED WITH ONE ANOTHER. IN THE EARLY DAYS OF AMERICA, MOST PEOPLE NEVER VENTURED MORE THAN 50 MILES AWAY FROM WHERE THEY WERE BORN. SO, REALLY, THE RAILROADS, AS THEY STRETCHED ACROSS THE COUNTRY, GAVE PEOPLE MOBILITY IN A WAY THAT HAD NEVER EXISTED. narrator: NOW, HAVING A LOOK AT SOME OF THE OTHERS, THERE’S A MARKED TRANSITION. I MEAN THAT, TO ME, IS A BEAUTIFUL-LOOKING THING. Mr. Wilson: WELL, WE FIND THAT TRANSITION, IF YOU GO BACK TO THE EARLIER STEAM LOCOMOTIVES, WHERE THE BOILER WAS STANDING UPRIGHT. WELL, IN ORDER TO GET MORE POWER, THEY FOUND OUT THAT A LARGER BOILER WAS NECESSARY. SO, THEY LAID THEM DOWN IN A HORIZONTAL FASHION, AND THEN LOCOMOTIVES BEGAN TO GET LARGER AND LARGER, BECAUSE THEY WERE CARRYING MORE AND MORE PEOPLE, MORE AND MORE FREIGHT, AND ACTUALLY HAD TO TRAVERSE MOUNTAIN RANGES. AND THE ONE YOU’RE REFERRING TO ACTUALLY DATES FROM THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR PERIOD, AND ENGINES AT THAT TIME WERE ACTUALLY A THING OF BEAUTY. THEY WERE DESIGNED TO BE SLEEK, AND ATTRACTIVE, AND DECORATED IN A VERY HIGH FASHION. THE CIVIL WAR ACTUALLY WAS A BREAKTHROUGH IN RAILROADING, AND THEY BECAME, ACTUALLY, A STRATEGIC WEAPON FOR THE ARMIES, NOT ONLY CARRYING MUNITIONS AND HEAVY EQUIPMENT VERY QUICKLY, BUT TROOP MOVEMENTS OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TROOPS ON BOTH SIDES COULD GET TO THE FRONT OR TO THE BATTLE LINES IN A TIME PERIOD THAT WAS MAYBE FIVE TO SIX TIMES FASTER THAN EITHER MARCHING OR GOING IN A WAGON TRAIN. narrator: AND THAT WAS STEAM. NOW, WHAT IS THIS? I MEAN, THIS IS A CAR THAT BASICALLY APPEARS TO BE A TRAIN?>>WELL, IT’S A CAR THAT WAS CONVERTED TO RUN ON RAILROAD TRACKS, AND IT WAS A TRACK INSPECTION CAR AND ALSO USED BY THE EXECUTIVES OF A RAILROAD. THEY WOULD OFTEN GO OUT ON THEIR LINE, AND INSTEAD OF THE EXPENSE OF RUNNING AN ENTIRE TRAIN TO TAKE AN EXECUTIVE OUT TO INSPECT THE LINE, OR TO GO VISIT HIS PEOPLE SOMEWHERE, THEY CONVERTED THESE AUTOMOBILES WITH FLANGED WHEELS, AND THEY RODE JUST LIKE A CAR, BUT THEY RODE RIGHT ON THE RAILROAD TRACKS. narrator: AND NOW THIS ONE HERE, THE 592, IS MY FAVORITE ONE, BECAUSE IT’S ENORMOUS. I MEAN, TELL ME ABOUT THIS ONE. FOR SURE, I CAN’T IMAGINE IT GOING ANYWHERE. IT JUST LOOKS SO CUMBERSOME. Nr. Wilson: THIS IS ONE OF THE, ACTUALLY, THE FASTEST STEAM LOCOMOTIVES THAT EVER RAN IN AMERICA. narrator: WOW. Mr. Wilson: THIS LOCOMOTIVE, IN ITS DAY IN THE 1920S, WAS CAPABLE OF RUNNING AT MORE THAN 100 MILES AN HOUR. AND SO, THE TIME IT TOOK TO GET FROM DC TO NEW YORK IS ABOUT THE SAME AS IT DOES ON AMTRAK TODAY. narrator: WOW, SO THIS– I MEAN, THIS IS PROGRESSIVE, ISN’T IT? Mr. Wilson: YES, IF YOU LOOK AT EUROPEAN TRAINS, THEY DON’T HAVE THAT V-SHAPED, WHAT WE CALL A PILOT.>>OKAY.>>BUT ITS NICKNAME IS A COW CATCHER, AND SO THAT V-SHAPED GRILL IN THE FRONT THAT’S DOWN BY THE TRACKS WAS MEANT TO PUSH OBSTRUCTIONS OFF THE TRACKS, AND COW CATCHER BECAUSE LIVESTOCK IN THE EARLY DAYS OF AMERICA WOULD JUST WANDER ACROSS THE RAILROAD TRACKS. AND AS THE TRAIN CAME DOWN, IT WASN’T STOPPING. IT WAS JUST GOING TO PUSH THE COW OR THE SHEEP OR WHATEVER WAS STANDING ON THE TRACKS TO THE SIDE. narrator: WHAT DID THE RAILROAD MEAN TO BALTIMORE? I MEAN, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED HERE IF THE RAILROADS HADN’T COME ABOUT?>>WELL, IT’S VERY INTERESTING, BECAUSE THIS IS THE BIRTHPLACE OF RAILROADING IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE, AND IT WAS A REACTION TO THE CANAL TECHNOLOGY UP IN NEW YORK. SO, THE ERIE CANAL THAT WAS BUILT AND OPENED TWO YEARS PRIOR TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE B&O RAILROAD HERE IN BALTIMORE, THREATENED THE COMMERCE OF BALTIMORE’S PORT, BECAUSE IT REACHED INTO THE MIDWEST, WHERE A LOT OF GOODS WERE BROUGHT EAST. SO, IT WAS REALLY THE FATHERS AND THE MERCHANTS OF THE CITY GOT TOGETHER, AND THEY ACTUALLY WENT TO THE UNITED KINGDOM, KIND OF STOLE RAILROAD TECHNOLOGY FROM THEM, BROUGHT IT BACK TO AMERICA, AND LAID OUT AMERICA’S FIRST LONG DISTANCE COMMERCIAL RAILROAD WHICH WENT FROM BALTIMORE TO THE OHIO RIVER. narrator: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A TRAIN SPOTTER TO NOTICE THIS ONE, IT’S ABSOLUTELY HUGE. AT 126-FEET LONG, IT’S THE LONGEST LOCOMOTIVE HERE. AND IF YOU DIDN’T THINK THAT A RAIL MUSEUM WAS FOR YOU, WELL, LET ME TELL YOU, IT’S REALLY HARD NOT TO BE IMPRESSED BY THE SHEER SIZE OF THESE VEHICLES. AND, OF COURSE, IF THE RAILROAD HADN’T EXISTED, THEN AMERICA WOULDN’T BE WHAT IT IS TODAY.

    See USA’s Only Railroad Dam (1874)
    Articles, Blog

    See USA’s Only Railroad Dam (1874)

    August 13, 2019


    (Music) We’re probably in the most historic
    place in Allen, Texas believe it or not. We’re having the ribbon-cutting of the
    Historic Water Station. (Music) This is where Allen all began. It was virgin
    territory until the railroad decided they needed to come through. Obviously
    the steam locomotives needed water. The old stone dam in itself, being built in
    1874, is just magnificent. This is the only known railroad water station dam
    left in the United States. The dam obviously backed up the water so they could
    be pumped into the tank and then the locomotives would stop, take on water to
    create steam, that’s what would drive the locomotives. We wouldn’t have been here
    if the railroad hadn’t come through, built the dam and then in turn
    planted the town of Allen. Very neat to have a piece of history right out our back door.
    The City has had to do a tremendous amount of work to open this
    up and make it available to the community. We have a prefabricated
    corten steel bridge that crosses over the creek. There’s the interpretive trail
    that gives you a history of the area. I think the City did a great job with the
    signage, showing pictures of the railroad and the workers that were here and just
    kind of what it looked like. You also get to see where the old water station used
    to set up by the tracks and where the old tank sat, that used to fill up the
    trains. This is a really good place for you to come to walk, to bring your kids
    for a family outing. It’s definitely something you want to take advantage of
    and you can bring out the family and there’s something to do for everyone. A
    really nice backdrop and rest stop for folks that are enjoying the trail. I
    think it’s pretty neat because all these trails have started to combine, and
    great running paths, and a lot along it now that you have an opportunity to see and visit. I think it is a tremendous asset both recreationally and historically. It’s just a beautiful piece of art they put together to recognize a piece of history.
    So it will help bring people out to find out where the roots of Allen came from. So people should be familiar with it now that it’s
    been restored and the park area has been developed. Just to be able to come out
    here and bring family and friends out here, it’s kind of something we wanted
    for our son growing up in a community that has options like this. You can
    reach the historic water station from the trailhead in Allen Station Park,
    located on Cedar Drive just south of Exchange Parkway. For more information
    visit AllenParks.org

    Laws Railroad Museum And Historic Site Tour – Laws/Bishop California
    Articles, Blog

    Laws Railroad Museum And Historic Site Tour – Laws/Bishop California

    August 13, 2019


    there’s old Mount Tom and some of the
    other Sierra Nevada here we are at the Laws Museum I think it’s kind of focused
    on railroad stuff is it not railroad and mining so this is the Carson and Colorado Depot
    that was the original depot for Laws California and it’s still here and I
    believe it’s still in the same place this is the telegraph office
    so here’s your waiting room here was the ticket booth here’s the
    baggage room look at all the old cases we had one like that didn’t we gave it to
    a friend of ours who was an enthusiast about the cases funny slogans there look at all the
    old lanterns look at the old scale there that’s
    pretty cool the general store there’s your old can
    collection look at all the old stuff I wish I could run across some of those old cans and storage boxes look at the old skis up there and the snow shoes there’s a big can of chewing tobacco wow
    that’s a pretty big supply old safe so here’s the western display with all
    the saddles wall of horseshoes of different styles and sizes and then all
    the brands look at all the different branding irons and saddles chaps look at those vintage chaps be
    cool to have some of those wouldn’t that’s a little weird they have a face on each side so this
    was the laws post office the last original laws post office all the post
    office boxes you get a combination for your box this is the stove house lanterns and cook
    stoves and heating stoves probably some of those were kerosene the smaller ones
    here is the print shop so that #5 is an engraving machine this is a hand
    printing press looks like another press all the files of type back there
    all the old adding machines typewriters interesting this is the
    pioneer building rifles and pistols those top ones were laying out the weeds
    for a while and some nice knives look at the one with the bayonet on there man lots of ammo boxes too, old ones some
    neat knives it’s quite a museum that must be an aviators suit, that warm one floors are a little creaky, that’s what you’re hearing some sewing machines a
    couple of pianos mandolin an old guitar a couple of horns the penny farthing
    bike the old radios that’s looking across at the old depot again and we
    have a train out here – it looks like the Slim Princess it’s a 1947 White the
    first truck purchased by the Bishop Rural Fire Protection District and was in
    service until the early 90s Wow really hasn’t been out of service that long 47 to
    90 that’s pretty good here it is here’s the medical offices building here’s a
    barber shop the actual glasses there are your lenses and your is that
    the corrective lenses back there the box to test you right for testing yeah and
    your instruments to make glasses okay here’s the doctor’s office all the
    medical books and journals they reference the exam table medicine cabinet all the
    other instruments oh here’s the dentist chair oh here’s
    the pharmacy here’s the textile building here’s your
    dressmaker beauty salon look at the old hair curlers
    isn’t that crazy look at that curling machine here’s the
    agents house so every agent lived in this house so they lived here until 1960
    from when it was built in 1883 here’s the laundry so in 1913 the kitchen was added got the
    well pump right there little icebox nice fancy cook stove so that kind of winds
    up the row of general interests building’s garage medical offices here’s
    the rail yard the train again nice view of the mountain that’s looking down
    towards Big Pine here’s the engine house 1875 alright let’s cross the track looks both
    ways boy look at the mountains down there there’s a grader that’s a big skid of some sort look at that thing boy is that heavy duty that might be for skidding logs or
    something this size the chains on there Wow I know that’s a chain so this is the water well building there’s the well head so this is original
    that supplied water to these tanks over here well that’s the tram drive oh I see yeah
    I get it oh this was like this was to the Tungstar oh that’s cool we were just up there well we didn’t get up to there but
    we saw the tram here’s an arrastra another way to grind ore simple type of mill so this is a mock-up of a head frame and
    a hoist so here’s your engine that would run the
    hoist gasoline engine and they would go up the top of the
    headframe on this incline shaft and pull this ore cart up or they call it a skip
    so they would pull that cart all the way up the head frame here dump and hit the
    chute into the loading carts or loading bin which ever you had okay this was the drill sharpening
    station where they had a vise and a little forge here with the hand powered
    blower and a water bucket to quench it to re temper it and had all their tools
    over here that they used to sharpen the drill bits they would re sharpen these and then
    they would re temper them okay over here is a mock-up of a mine they’re drilling in there ore carts come out of the mine on the
    tracks up into the mill and that was powered by a big hit and miss engine here’s
    the mill so this is where it
    comes in, in raw form into the jaw crusher there then you go over here to the
    the roll crusher goes up those little teeny buckets dumps
    into the hopper the feeder and then your stamp mill goes from one inch to dust so here we are looking at a
    Fairbanks-Morse hit from this 15 15 horsepower gasoline engine what year
    would this be from Ron? 1912 that’s smooth as silk isn’t it there she goes it’s called a Jaeger it was made by Hercules so here’s the miners cabin that’s a
    little cook stove yeah that’s an ice chest not a
    refrigerator a bathhouse yeah you got your light and wood stove the
    silver canyon saloon belly-up sawdust on the floor poker table
    pretty neat the big Jim Beam bottle look at the size of that sign that’s with the old
    glass how big these letters are all the glass is gone look at the planes up there
    those old wood planes here’s the blacksmith shop here’s his Forge and the big bellows over here we have to bend it here’s the wagon display this ought to be
    interesting hay wagon freight wagon I know I know it’s crazy isn’t it what was that one used for?
    that’s a heavy freight wagon I think yeah that’s for heavy freight what kind Samson sieve grip
    well maybe that’s because of the way the wheels look only six of these huh so that’s a pretty special one Levi Strauss there’s a nice gazebo just outside of
    the schoolhouse West Bishop school 1914 here’s the classroom I will not
    talk in class okay we’re getting on the train a nice wood stove a sink so
    that’s the slim princess the Southern Pacific narrow gauge locomotive oh boy
    you better know your valves you better know your valves
    to run this baby ringing the bell boy those are loud look at the size of the bells this is part of a movie set they’ve got some
    nice collections of things that’s for sure look at the arrowheads wow i wonder how old they are I wonder how they know that I guess they do never found an arrowhead in my entire life probably stepped on one look at thew drills tie it on the end of the stick and make
    hand drill here are the engineers tools for making
    their drawings slide rules then survey instruments some of the testing stuff
    your carbide lights all the minerals this is the bottle house home of the
    postmistress look at the blue bottles well let’s see how many of those have we had
    not too many actually look at all the bottles every color and
    all the purple ones we see a lot of the purple glass you know but we don’t see
    any full bottles I think they’re all here
    oh so that fades with the sun is that they’re saying it gets
    more colored with the sun those big crock down there cobalt blue bottles you know it’s crazy man they’ve got the bottles here all my life I’ve wanted to find an insulator
    and I now I know they’re all here that’s why I can’t find it these are all fancy booze bottles
    these are all coke bottles yeah different states on the bottom okay I guess this is just a house not
    just a house but an old house built in 1914 by the James Shaw family located on a
    ranch in Bishop oh boy the old radio to put your shoes on and
    take your jacket off and hang it up put your shoes in the box that’s a
    Westinghouse well that’s an electric range isn’t that an oven is that an electric refrigerator too or is
    that still in ice box must be electric with the deal up on top