Ox Cart, Madeira

Madeira Corro de bois

This cart without wheels, built with wicker and wood, with seats showing bright coloured fabrics, glided like a sled and was pulled by two oxen led by a “boieiro” (a herdsman dressed in white, with flat boots and straw hat). The herdsman carried a lamp with him to light the way in the absence of street lighting. The story goes that the first oxcart built in Madeira, in 1477, belonged to the English captain C. Balkey. Until the first quarter of the twentieth century this was the most popular form of transport in Funchal and it was classified into two categories: luxury carts and modest carts. The first was aimed at tourism services, weddings and funerals, and the other was used in all other situations.
Visit Madeira

The Madeiran ox cart will have been influenced by the model of the ox cart from the Northeast of Portugal and the traditional Madeiran cart, an unwheeled drag vehicle used for the transport of goods. It was a means of transport with capacity for four people, widely used in the first half of the 19th century, essentially in the city of Funchal, as it was unsuitable for the steep slopes and paths of rural areas. However, its use was not very common among the people. Only the more affluent classes had a yoke of oxen or horses to use as transport and would have conditions for the regular maintenance, necessary for this type of vehicles. . . . “It resembles a type of carriage, without wheels, dragged by oxen. It consists of a wooden box, or braided part of wickers, made of chestnut-tree wood, til or Brazilian mahogany, supported by piles of dynamometer half springs on the threshold, which is covered by a metallic ribbon”.
Cultura Madeira

Barengraben (Bear Pit), Bern, Switzerland

Bern. Bärengraben
Postmarked 1927
Publisher: Photoglob

Google Street View.

Legend has it in 1191 Duke Berthold the Fifth swore to name his newly founded town after the first animal he killed in on a hunt the surrounding forest, which turned out to be a bear. The town embraced this bear-centric world view and decided that if they were going to be called bear, they should have some bears. In 1513, the first bear pit was set up in the city near the Käfigturm (Cage Tower) in what is present day called Bärenplatz (Bear Square.] This bear pit was relocated in 1764 to the Schanzengraben (Moat) in Bollwerk, in front of the gateway to the city. The final, still visible bear was opened on May 27, 1857. . . . In an age before animal rights, the bears were treated inhumanly and kept crowded in the small pit, resulting in fights between the bears and the resulting injuries. Fed a vegetarian diet, onlookers tossed bits of cheese to the well fed animals. The bears did occasionally get their fill of meat when an eager onlooker tumbled head over heels into the pit.
concert venue from time to time.

Atlas Obscura

The first records of bears being kept in the city come from 1513, when the chronicler Valerius Anshelm described how the Bernese returned home victorious from the Battle of Novara, carrying both the captured standards and a living bear as spoils of war. The first bear pit was at what is still called the Bärenplatz (Bear Plaza). The current pit is the fourth such enclosure, following on from pits at various locations around the city, and was first opened in 1857.[1] In 1925, a smaller adjacent pit was added to raise the young bear cubs. Between 1994 and 1996, the Bärengraben was completely renovated to improve conditions for the bears. Despite this, the keeping of bears in what still remained a bear pit led to many complaints. This, as well as new legal requirements, prompted a rethink of how the bears should be kept. As a result, the BärenPark was opened in 2009, on the steeply sloping land between the Bärengraben and the bank of the River Aar. The original bear pit and the BärenPark were linked by a tunnel, allowing the bears to make use of both spaces.

“Bärengraben in Bern”, from Wikimedia Commons

Milk seller & dog cart, Belgium

Laitière flamande – Vlaamsche melkboerin
[Flemish milkmaid[
Postmarked 1932

The milkman is almost unknown in Belgium, and except for a few boys and lads who accompany their mothers or elder sisters, all the sellers and carriers of milk ara women, who go round with their little carts and the brightly-polished copper or brass milkcans which are so well-known to all tourists. A word may well be said regarding the excellent management of the Belgian dairy farms, and of the milk supply. Inspections of the milkcarts and the milk are frequently held in most of the large towns for the purpose of ascertaining whether the many regulations that exist for the proper conduct of the business are being duly carried out. Not only is the milk itself carefully tested, but the cans are examined to see that they are thoroughly clean, and in every respect in a state of good repair. The condition of the dogs and the harness by which they are attached to the carts also comes in for inspection, lest the former should not have been properly fed, and the latter should in any way chafe or gall the animals.

Whatever one may think of the employment of dogs for the purpose of traction of milk and other small carts (and, of course, many humanitarians are strongly opposed to the custom), there can be no doubt that as a general rule the aninmls are well and kindly treated, and their comfort is wel) looked after by the authorities. Of recent years the owners of each cart have been obliged to provide a small piece of carpet or sacking for the dog to lie upon when resting, and also a drinking bowl.
The Catholic Press, 19 November 1914

Kalabagh, Pakistan

Kala Bagh, Murrie Hill.
Publisher: H. A Mirza & Sons, Delhi (1907-1912)

Google Maps (general location).

Kalabagh was a small cantonment in Hazara District, North West Frontier Province on the road between Abbottabad and Murree, in the area popularly known as Murree Hills. During the summer months it was occupied by one of the British mountain batteries which were stationed at Rawalpindi in the winter.
Fibiwiki (Families In British India Society)

Two of the Infantry Regiments are located in the Murree hills during the hot weather, and tlie three Mountain Batteries proceed, one to each of the following Gallis — Khaira Galli, Kalabagh, Bara Galli.
“Gazetteer Of The Rawalpindi District 1893-94”, F A Robertson, 1895

Grosser Garten, Dresden, Germany

Palais (Altertums-Museum)
Dresden – Königl Grosser Garten
Publisher: Rudolf Brauneis, Dresden

Google Street View

The Großer Garten is a Baroque style park in central Dresden. It is rectangular in shape and covers about 1.8 km². Originally established in 1676 on the orders of John George III, Elector of Saxony, it has been a public garden since 1814. Pathways and avenues are arranged symmetrically throughout the park. The Sommerpalais, a small Lustschloss is at the center of the park.Ori ginally established outside the old walls of the city, the park was surrounded by urban areas by the second half of the 19th century. Dresden Zoo and Dresden Botanical Garden were added late in the 19th century.

The most impressive park in the region, the Grand Garden, is located at the heart of the Saxon capital. The 147-hectare garden, inspired by its French counterparts, was commissioned by Elector John George III in 1678. The two main avenues converge at the Palace that is now used as a venue for festivals and exhibitions. The Palace is surrounded by the baroque section of the garden. The remaining part is designed as an English landscape park with winding paths, small forests and bodies of water.
Grosser Garten Dresden

“Plan des Großen Gartens von 1850”,(from Wikimedia Commons).

Zoo, Hobart, Australia

Peacocks at Zoological Gardens, Hobart, Tasmania
Publisher: Valentine & Son Publishinh Co., Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane

The zoo was first established as a private collection in a garden in Sandy Bay that the owner, Mary Roberts, opened to the public. When she died in 1921, the zoo was gifted to the city, and moved to this site on the Domain, where it was opened two years later. You can read about that here. . . . These gates were erected a few years back. They say interesting things like: “The Beaumaris Zoo opened here in 1923. In its early years it was a popular outing for the people of Hobart, but in the 1930s, the Great Depression led to falling attendance and rising financial losses. The zoo closed in 1937. In 1942, the Royal Australian Navy converted the site in to a fuel oil storage depot. It remained in use until as recently as the 1990s, when the four storage tanks were removed.”
A Visit to the Zoo (more pictures)

Mrs Roberts owned and operated the zoo until her death in 1921. The Roberts family then gifted the zoological collection to the Hobart City Council and, with a subsidy from the Tasmanian State Government, the zoo was moved to the Queens Domain. With sweeping views of the Derwent, the site underwent a restoration to house more than 100 animals and 220 birds and was opened in 1923. Elephants, bears, tigers, eagles, zebras, ducks, rabbits and spider monkeys featured as attractions. But the zoo is most famous for being home to just one animal. The last captive thylacine nicknamed “Benjamin” was trapped in the Florentine Valley, near Mt Field in 1933 and sent to the Hobart Zoo where it lived for three years.
The Hobart

The Beaumaris Zoo at Hobart has been closed, but the evacuation of the animals and birds is no small problem. The polar bears, particularly, are determined not to be disturbed, and to date it has been found impossible to ensnare them for shipment to the Wellington (N.Z.) Zoological Gardens for which they have been purchased. It is a condition of sale that before they are taken delivery of the Hobart City Council must crate them. The bears have other ideas, and all attempts to trap them have failed. Different methods have been tried, with the object of decoying them into the den of their pit, but they are cunningly suspicious. No longer do they sleep in the den. For a time they were placed on reduced rations, and then a tempting meal was placed in a corner of the den. The male bear, with remarkable cunning, managed to reach the food with his front paw, and dragged it into the open, where it was devoured by the pair. There is a likelihood of the council seeking the assistance of the Melbourne Zoo authorities to capture the bears. A pair of Tasmanian devils has been sold to a private zoo in Brisbane.

Daily Examiner, 19 November 1937

Racetrack, Tijuana, Mexico

Club House and Grand Stand at Race Track, Tia Juana, Mexico
Publisher: M. Kashower Co, Los Angeles (1914-1934)

Google Maps.

British Path: Film footage of a race meeting, Tijuana 1925

The first professional race track opened in January 1916, just south of the border gate. It was almost immediately destroyed by the great “Hatfield rainmaker” flood of 1916. Rebuilt in the general area, it ran horse races until the new Agua Caliente track opened in 1929, several miles south and across the river on higher ground.

The Mexican Government has notified that it will not permit the construction of a race track at Tia Juana, Lower California. Several wealthy Americans were interested in the venture. Furthermore, it is stated that it is the intention of the Mexican authorities to close the Juarez track, which has been conducted for the last few years by an American syndicate. The move against racing is said to be the first in a crusade by the Mexican Government against all sport on which money is wagered.
Referee, 29 December 1915

Back in 1909, all horse racing in California fell victim to an antigambling reform movement, and those in the state connected with the sport — inspired by the well-known success of the Juarez track across the border from El Paso — decided to build a track in Tijuana and exploit its proximity to Southern California population centers. A group of men headed by San Francisco boxing promoter James (Sunny Jim) Coffroth undertook the job of construction and management of a new racetrack in Tijuana. . . . Coffroth had little interest in horse racing as a sport, but he had a genius for promotion, plus numerous contacts among horsemen, journalists, businessmen. He obtained a major portion of the financing to build the Tijuana track from Adolph Spreckels, whose family — he was the brother of John D. Spreckels — for decades after made strong denials of the old man’s involvement. Spreckels was a horseracing buff and the owner of the Napa Stock Farm. He felt that Tijuana racing might help to return the sport to California; an added incentive may have been the fact that he owned the railroad spur to the border and needed an attraction like the racetrack to encourage people to make the ride to what was then a “desolate, scattering, wind-swept village,” as a Los Angeles Times writer described it at the time.

At the time the track was being built, General Esteban Cantu was in effective control of Baja California. He had been sent to the area in 1911 by the Mexican government to drive out the Americans who had come to Mexico to assist the revolution. Although the new revolutionary government in Mexico City vetoed the racetrack idea. Cantu, strongly of independent mind, was all for it, so construction proceeded on schedule. On January 1, 1916, the track, with a wooden grandstand, sparkling white fence, and 114-foot-long liquor bar, opened for business less than a quarter mile from the border crossing. (The site of the track is now partially covered by the freeways and by the Tia Juana River canal.) Coffroth’s friends in the press helped publicize the event and 10,000 people showed up on opening day. . . . On the day the track opened, it started raining again after a long drought. At first this seemed an auspicious omen, but the rain didn’t stop. It turned out to be one of the worst floods in Southern California history, which some believed had been brought on by a self-proclaimed magician known as Hatfield the Rainmaker, who had been hired by the City of San Diego to end the drought. The waters rose and the Tia Juana River flooded into the newly opened racetrack. Coffroth was undeterred; he obtained from Adolph Spreckels more money to rebuild the track. “Take it from me,” Coffroth proclaimed to the press, “Tijuana, with San Diego so close, is the ideal place for the Sport of Kings.” The rebuilt track (at the same location in the river bed) was officially called the Sunset Racetrack but usually known simply as “the Tijuana track.”
“The amazing and slightly sordid story of Aqua Caliente racetrack” (San Diego Reader)

It seemed the racing gods didn’t want Tijuana to have a racetrack. The first track, the Tijuana Jockey Club, was destroyed twice in its first year before Adolph Spreckels, who owned the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, stepped in to save it. . . . The track location was near the U.S./Mexico border, and opening day’s six races drew 10,000 Californians, who were legally denied betting on horse racing at home at the time. The San Diego Union reported, “Surrounded by the mauve hills of old Mexico, as though nature intended the spot for the site, lies the magnificent new Tijuana race course, a miles from the thriving little village.”
It border location was also its downfall, as it was built on the low ground of the Tijuana riverbed. The sparkling new facility was only one week old when the nature that “intended the spot” included heavy rains and the word flooding in 25 years, which destroyed the track. To keep the momentum, the hastily rebuilt and reopened the track. That’s when Spreckels stepped in to help; they reopened the following year. Prohibition in the U.S. had fun-seeking Americans flocking south to newly opened Baja resorts and casinos. In 1928 American entrepreneurs built a beautiful casino at Agua Caliente (hot water) on higher ground on the outskirts of Tijuana. The following year they added the Hipódromo Agua Caliente (Caliente Race Track) on the location. The horsemen from the Tijuana Jockey Club had moved up the hill.
“Baja Legends: The Historic Characters, Events, and Locations That Put Baja California on the Map”, Greg Nieman, 2002, p.62

Your luck will be the luck of “Sure Thing, Johnny.” You will hope with him, you will cheer with him. You will stand with the mob in the Grandstand as tho great race nears Its tremendous finish. For thrilling, fast action romance it is a screen story of intense, spell-binding interest. All the life, all the colour of Tia Juana–America’s classic racing event–is mirrored in this gripping romance.

The Mercury, 18 September 1924

On a recent visit to Southern California, I took the opportunity to go south into Mexico, a country I had always, wished to see because of its romantic history. The first Mexican town i encountered was Tia Juana, a place consisting of honkey tonks, dance halls, faro tables, gambling dens, and saloons, chiefly patronised by Americans, who swarm across the border to slake a thirst accumulated under prohibition, and to see the races at the celebrated Tia Juana race track.

In this town can be seen the largest bar in the world, occupying an entire block, and measuring 2llft. of rows and rows of shining bottles. It could be fittingly called the “drunks’ paradise*” .The saloons are run in real frontier style, and most of them have soft-eyed Mexican girls lurking round to coax the unwary, stranger to “loosen up” on his roll. The southern maid is not so hard-faced as her nordic sister, but she prevails just the same. On race days the crowd is cosmopolitan, and of all colours–from the ebon of the negro through shades of tawny and yellow, to the white of the Caucasian. The day I was there Jack Dempsey and Estelle Taylor attended the races, probably to spend some of the cash Dempsey got when he lost the fight at Chicago.
The Australasian, 28 January 1928