Posts filed under History

British Pathé Archive

Hiking Hints by John E. Walsh in 1933

Newsreel archive British Pathé have uploaded and made public their entire collection of 85,000 historic films. The archive features footage from around the world dating between 1896 and 1976. Obviously the first thing I searched for was hiking; oh what a wonderful collections of gems surfaced. Above we see "Hiking Hints" from 1933 by John E. Walsh he details the best gear for the 1930's British hiker.

Gear advice from John Carbeth Wells in 1932

Some sage advice from  John Carbeth Wells the "Super Hiker" who in 1932 at the age of 21 had hiked across Britain, China, Africa, Japan, Malaya and U.S.A. You can browse or search the whole Pathé Archive here.

Posted on May 2, 2014 and filed under Classic Kit, History.

House of Hardy – 1969 Catalogue

  The House of Hardy - Anglers Catalogue 1969

The House of Hardy - Anglers Catalogue 1969

Found this gem in Macleod's Books, Vancouver. What a wonderful book shop, there are piles of seemingly unorganized books to rifle through. This catalogue came from its depths; a real fishing time capsule, one to study and drool over. I uploaded a whole bunch of catalogue pages here. Check out the "Anglers and Sportsman's Pipe."

  The House of Hardy - Mark 1969

The House of Hardy - Mark 1969

The imagery in this catalogue is pure fishing gold but I especially love their logo - thick lines and great colours.

Posted on November 6, 2013 and filed under Books, History.

Geocaching

  Caching Kit, Ready

Caching Kit, Ready

I'm a latecomer to the activity but I now have my caching kit down. Doesn't everyone have a custom rubber stamp? I'm now at 50 caches, not that epic compared to some, but I have ticked off 4 countries and it gives me a great excuse to head out, and it adds a further exploratory element to my adventures.

  Memorial to William Crossing:William Crossing at Duck's Pool in central southern Dartmoor

Memorial to William Crossing:William Crossing at Duck's Pool in central southern Dartmoor

The origins of caching are fascinating too. The earliest form of this outdoor hobby is probably "letterboxing" which was said to have started in Devon, England in 1854. William Grossing wrote in his "Guide to Dartmoor" that James Perrott placed a bottle for visitors to leave their cards at Cranmere Pool on the northern moor. This evolved into a set of boxes placed around the moor where hikers left letters and postcards, the next people to come along would pick them up and put them in the post - hence "letterboxing".  The boxes were so remote that often weeks or months went by before the letters were collected and mailed, this gave an air of excitement, anticipation and mystery to the whole venture.

  Caching Stamp

Caching Stamp

The idea behind "letterboxing" is taken to a new level with Geocaching, it leads adventurers all over the world in search of hidden goodies.  If you're not a cacher give it a try, it's fun, interesting and often takes you to places you wouldn't go. Get started here.

Posted on October 30, 2013 and filed under History.

Ten Commandments of Camping

  C.B Colby

C.B Colby

Penned by the marvelous author and illustrator C. B. Colby these commandments were most likely compiled while he was the Camping Editor of "Outdoor Life Magazine". Simple, sensible, practical and as relevant now as ever.

1. Thou shalt not arrive or depart a campground with great chaos
2. Thou shalt not despoil any living thing about thee
3. Thou shalt not be slovenly about they tent site
4. Thou shalt not make loud noises after 10 p.m.
5. Thou shalt not let thy pets and children run wild
6. Thou shalt not give advice unless it is sought after
7. Thou shalt not hesitate to give aid if it’s needed
8. Thou shalt not crowd thy neighbor unduly
9. Thou shalt not borrow unless desperate
10. Though shalt not know more about camping than all others
— C.B Colby

Just in time for some spring camping, are there any others people would like to see on there?

Posted on May 20, 2013 and filed under History.

Paul Petzoldt

National Outdoot Leadership School History

Having read Paul Petzoldt's wonderful "Wilderness Handbook" I was familiar with his work with the National Outdoors Leadership School (NOLS), however I feel like I got a real insight into the great man from a set of videos filmed in the 1960s about NOLS. They give such a fascinating look into the roots of the school and into Petzholdt; his experience, passion and philosophy of the outdoors.

NOLS - Thirty Days to Survival

Petzoldt is a real hero, with a truly incredible resumé. In his youth he climbed extensively in the Grand Teton range and eventually founded the Petzoldt-Exum School of American Mountaineering in the 1930s. He spent time living in England which gave him the opportunity to climb in Europe, particularly in the Swiss Alps during the late 30s where he honed his skills and made a double traverse of the Matterhorn in one day with his climbing buddy Dan Bryant of New Zealand.

Petzoldt was selected to go on the first American expedition to K2, and during the Second World War he became a representative of the Department of Agriculture in Lend-Lease and then became a tutor to the troops of the U.S Army's 10th Mountain Division. After the war, he went on to teach thousands of youthful American's to love and thrive in the outdoors through the 'Outward Bound' program in Colorado in 1963, and then through the founding of NOLS in 1965. He was a true outdoors philosopher and pioneer, believing that youngsters should not be taught at, rather they should be involved in their own progression and learnings.

Sadly Petzoldt died in 1999, however his legacy lives in the people he inspired and through NOLS which still runs to this day. Thank you to NOLS for sharing these videos and for keeping his legacy alive.

Weston the Pedestrian

  Edward Payson Weston

Edward Payson Weston

On 22 February 1861 Edward Payson Weston stood outside the State House in Boston, and with his sites set on Washington D.C., he strode forward on his first walk across America. This walk was undertaken as a result of a wager he placed on the 1860 presidential election. Weston lost by betting against Abraham Lincoln and as part of the terms of the bet he was to make an appearance at the swearing in of the new president. 10 days and 10 hours after setting off from Boston, having battled snow, rain and mud, he arrived in D.C. The media coverage his walk gained was the inspiration that led him to become one of the most famous pedestrians in American history.

Weston was born in Providence, Rhode Island on 15 March 1839. He served as a Union spy in the American civil war and, as the story goes, he developed his keenness for walking after having his horses shot from under him, forcing him to walk to deliver dispatches. This ability to walk paid dividends when he was employed as an office boy and eventually a reporter for the New York Herald - in a time before telephones and cars he was able to get to breaking stories before the competition.

  Edward Payson Weston

Edward Payson Weston

Weston's second large walk was in 1867 from Portland, Maine to Chicago - a journey of 1200 miles which he covered in just 26 days. At this time he took part in many indoor and outdoor pedestrianism contests and even travelled internationally, spending 8 years in Europe challenging local walkers. In 1879 he defeated "Blower" Brown, the British champion, by walking a truly incredible 550 miles in 141 hours, 44 minutes in one of the "6 Day Races" at the Agricultural Hall, London, earning himself the famous Astley Belt. All the while he was spreading the word about the benefits of walking and cautioning people about the over use of the automobile and the perils of a sedentary life.

Over the following decades Weston achieved more super human walking feats. In April 1906 he walked  100 miles in less than 24 hours from Philadelphia to New York. In 1907 he repeated his walk from Portland, Maine to Chicago and shaved 24 hours off his original time. In 1909, at the age of 70, he walked the entire width of the United State; from New York to San Francisco a distance of 3,895 miles in 104 days 7 hours. He made the return journey the year after, covering 3,600 miles in 76 days, 23 hours and 10 minutes. His last big walk was in 1913 from New York to Minneapolis to lay a cornerstone of the Minneapolis Athletic Club, 1,546 miles which he covered in 51 days.

After so many high profile, incredible feats Weston slipped into obscurity. He became estranged from his wife and children and ended up in the care of his long time secretary Miss O'Hagen. In 1927, on the corner of 11th Street and 7th Avenue in New York City, he was struck by a taxi cab and never walked again. The motorcar, which he so vehemently rallied against in the promotion of a pedestrian lifestyle was the thing that eventually ruined him. It is said that he was rescued from poverty by the author Anne Nichols, who became his benefactress in his final years yielding him $150 per month to live on. He died of old age 2 years after the car accident.

So what makes Weston such a special character. To start with he was an incredibly accomplished athlete. He was one of the greatest walkers in the world and if he lived nowadays he would probably have sponsors and be on TV. Sadly, he has come to represent an obsolete ideal, a way of life that everyone has turned their back on. What he stood for seems almost quirky and twee, but at the time he was making a real stand and championing an alternate and legitimate lifestyle.

It would be hard now to repeat the routes that Weston took, sadly we now have to drive somewhere so that we can walk.

If you're interested in finding out more about Payson and the art of professional, long-distance walking,  "Weston, Weston, Rah-Rah-Rah!" and "King of the Peds" by Paul S. Marshall and "Man in a Hurry" by Marshall, Nick Harris and Helen Harris are all great places to start.

Posted on January 27, 2013 and filed under Hero, History.

Vintage Campsite Brochures

  Vintage Campsite Brochures

Vintage Campsite Brochures

I was fortunate enough to be sent a collection of vintage American and Canadian campsite brochures from the 60s and 70s.

The collection was sent to me by Justin V. Clark who came across them while archiving the papers of Grady Clay. Clay, now in his 90s, is a veteran American landscape, architecture and urban planning journalist, he has led an extremely illustrious life. He is the author of many books, was a long-time editor of Landscape Architecture magazine and also the former Urban Affairs Editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Clark believes these brochures are from the many cross country trips which Grady took during his research. You can find out more about Clay here most of his books are still available from Amazon.

 You can view large versions of the entire collection here.

Posted on January 6, 2013 and filed under History.

Shackleton and Scott's Huts

 Shackleton's Cape Royd Hut

Shackleton's Cape Royd Hut

Just over a year ago I posted about a magnificent 360 degree view tour of Mawson's Hut at Cape Denison and just recently I came across a site with full interior views of Shackelton's base at Cape Royds and Scott's base at Cape Evans.

Shackelton's hut was erected in 1908 at Cape Royds, Antarctica; this is where he and nine of his men were left to winter before commencing their push for the pole. Unfortunately Shackleton was forced to turn back with just 97 miles to go, but he did travel further south than anyone before and he was was the first to summit the polar plateau. Other members of his expedition accomplished similar magnificent feats by being first to successfully climb Mount Erubus and also the first to reach the Magnetic South Pole.

 Cape Royds Interior

Cape Royds Interior

You can navigate around the hut here. Someone once told me there were boxes of Kendel Mint Cake on the shelves somewhere within the hut but no matter how hard I look I haven't found them - let me know if you do.

Scott's Cape Evans Hut is in fact his second property on the antarctic, the first being Discovery Hut on Ross Island from the 1901 Discovery Expedition. The Cape Evans hut was constructed in 1911 as part of the Terra Nova Expedition where Scott set off from on his ill-fated journey to the pole. Cape Evans was named after Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell"Teddy" Evans, Scott's second in Command. He chose this location in the hopes that it would not ice over like the Discovery Hut, enabling his ship to come and go more reliably.

 Scott's Cape Evans Hut

Scott's Cape Evans Hut

You can navigate through Scott's Cape Evans hut here. I'm not sure if it's just the sentimentality that comes with knowing the outcome of these huts, or something in the way that they we're photographed, but there seems an unmistakable somberness to Scott's Cape Evan's hut - a sadness that doesn't come through in Shackleton's. These huts are magnificently preserved thanks largely to the efforts of the United Kingdom and New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trusts they are both incredibly moving time capsules from the Golden Age of Exploration.

Vintage Mountain Club Logos

 Adirondack Mountain Club

Adirondack Mountain Club

 The Alpine Club of Canada

The Alpine Club of Canada

 The American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club

 Appalachian Mountain Club

Appalachian Mountain Club

 The Colorado Mountain Club

The Colorado Mountain Club

 Mountaineers

Mountaineers

I have been attempting to round up some old mountain club logos and I thought it might be interesting to compare the current marks with their earlier incarnations. I love every one of these. If there are any more vintage club logos out there that should be included please let me know; this may well end up as part 1. I'd particularly love to get my hands on some European, Asian or Russian marks.