Saturday, January 31, 2015

Insurrection Week

Welcome to Mexican Insurrection Week. We will be looking at old pictures from the Mexican Revolutions. I say revolutions, because Mexican history is littered with one revolution after another. I must say that I have trouble sorting out the good guys from the bad guys. For example, there are cases where the government became oppressive and a populist leader would organize the working class into a revolution. Then when successful, that populist leader would often be no better than the corrupt government that was brought down. So, I will not try to sort out the Good, the Bad and the Ugly this week, but will present pictures from the uprisings. We start with this picture of a rebel scout. The picture was from the 1911 revolution.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sharecropper Shack

This is a picture of an old Sharecropper Shack near Olive Hill, North Carolina. I actually find the cabin quiet attractive, and I would have no problem living there. You can see it is designed to allow a breeze through the cabin in summertime, and the large fireplace would keep it toasty in the wintertime. The picture was taken in 1939.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Massive Logs

Today's picture shows an Old Timers cabin made from some pretty massive logs. I guess you build with what you have, and this guy had big logs. The cabin was near Lake Itasca in Minnesota.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cabin and Mansion

Today we see a modest log cabin, with an immense mansion in the background. I would imagine life wat quite different in those two places. The picture was taken in 1902 near Stamford New York. I think the large building was actually a hotel, and I learned that it burned down in the spring of last year in a huge fire that completely destroyed it. No word on the fate of the small cabin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wood Cabin

Today's picture shows a wooden house that would be fairly typical of 100 years ago. The picture was taken in 1935, but the house was old at the time the photo was taken. It looks like probably the downstairs had living and kitchen areas, and upstairs had simple sleeping quarters. Note that the fireplace was in the center of the house, and would have been able to keep the entire house warm. A very modest, but completely adequat home.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Old Cabin

This picture features an old log cabin. The picture was taken in Alabama, and the house probably belonged to a sharecropper. The picture was taken in 1937. Notice that there are almost no windows.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


The centerpiece of homes a hundred years ago was a functional fireplace. You can see this photo of a home from 1935 has a prominent and functional fireplace. The fireplaces were designed to actually heat the home. Today, most fireplace inserts to not provide any meaningful heat, and in fact, since most pull air for the fire from the home interior, they actually create a draft that draws more cold air into the house than the heat they produce. In other words, most modern fireplaces have a net negative heating effect on the house. The fireplace above is large, built with real fire bricks, and could be used for heating or cooking.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Log Cabin

Welcome to Simple Homes Week here at OPOD. We will be going back to a day when people had modest simple style homes. Today's picture was taken in 1895, and shows a rustic log cabin.

Sometimes I wonder if we have gone to far in the grandeur of our homes today. I wonder if the complexity of our homes does not generate more stress than what is really needed . . . stress from making the payments, to keeping them clean, and keeping them repaired. 

While certain modern conveniences make life easier, at what point is enough enough? I think perhaps we hit the optimum house styles in the 1950's and 1950's. I grew up in a small modest house in the 1960's. The house was warm in winter, cool in summer, and had indoor plumbing. I think that is about all you really need.