The Montparnasse Derailment

On the afternoon of October 22, 1895, Guillaume-Marie Pellerin, the engineer of the Granville–Paris Express train, was irritable. He was behind schedule, though it was anyone’s guess why, since the train left Granville at 8:45 a.m., its usual time. Pellerin hated to be late. The speed of steam locomotive No. 721 may have been slowed by its cargo.…

Read More

The First Tour de France

The very first Tour de France took place in July 1903. The bicycle race is world-famous today but in 1903, it initially did not excite much interest. The six-stage race was scheduled to occur in June, but the registration was far below expectations. Disappointed organizers decided to make a few changes. They delayed the race for…

Read More

Traces of the Anti-Saloon League

Ever heard of the Anti-Saloon League? I passed this sign on Jones Street in San Francisco one day and took a photo of it. A major force in American politics until Prohibition was repealed back in the 1930s, the Anti-Saloon League was instrumental in building support for temperance. The organization started in 1893 in Ohio, and…

Read More