Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mule Train, part the second.

Since Stamppy had so many interesting questions regarding the Mule Train photo I posted earlier, I thought I would make a whole new post for my answers, and include a modern-day photograph of that same section of town. Here is the "modern" photo and the mule photo again, followed by question and answer, yay!

Why isn't the lady on the right even looking at the horsies as they pass thru town? Oh, probably because she's seen mule trains before. Did you notice the horses aren't moving? They're just standing there for the photo.
Maybe lady on right was looking at them, but just happened to turn to speak to a friend at the moment the photo was taken. The mules appear to be waiting for something (I hope they're not Waiting for Godot, because, as I recall, he never shows up) -- maybe they're waiting for the bumper-to-bumper-to-buuuuuuumper traffic to ease up. There's a man walking in the back by the wagon -- maybe it's the driver, and perhaps he's stopped to pick up some sausages at the local locker plant.
The shadow of that tree looks a little suspicious, too. The angle of the shadow doesn't match with the angle of the man's shadow on the left.
The shadows all look to me like the sun is coming from the front and left. Note the mule in front with his head turned -- his shadow sticks out more, but because his head is stuck out more.
Have you identified any of the buildings? Would this photo be taken from the 4 corners, or looking in the direction of the 4 corners?
The view is looking up N Monroe, on the west/left side. The two buildings on the left are no longer there -- they are where the Wendt building (The Diner) and the something else building are now. The next long building with the pointies on top is where Raaaaaaay's Tog and Video are. The next building with the upward swoop and a diamond shape near the top is where Minuteman is now. And the next building with three windows is where Audrey has her Place. And that's as far as my "modern" picture goes to.
Why are there 2 different heights of electric poles? And they're so close to each other!
I don't know about the poles... maybe they had one set for telephone/telegraph, and one for electricity?


Stamppy said...

Woa, you just happened to have a similar view in your repretoire!

Take a ruler and line it up with the shadow of the man on the left. Then slide the ruler over to the tree on the right, and you can see that the shadow angles are different. Try not to scratch your computer screen when you do that. I had seen the horsie shadow and it's so sharp and clear that it made me think it was faked, also. And look there, further up from the tree, over the woman's head - it appears to be another "tree shadow" but it's looming way too high over the street (or it's a flaw on the postcard?). I'm not trying to burst your bubble by telling you a mule train never stopped at the 4 corners in Waterloo, because Waterloo did have trains passing by, but those were on the railroad tracks at the turn-around at the end of North Monroe. Why, I can remember, back in '72, we all hurried to the turn-around just in time to see a passing Circus Train on its way either to or from Milwaukee, either to or from Baraboo. It was my second exciting memory of Waterloo -- to see all the friendly townfolk gathered for the Circus Train; people were spilling out of Wendts store, it was a blast! My first exciting moment was seeing the Duck Crossing sign on the west end of town - then I KNEW I would enjoy living there in a town that had ducks crossing the street. Oh, back to your postcard....

Yea, bumper to bumper traffic can be a BIG problem when you're the 2nd or 3rd car in the lineup at the 4 corners. Why, there was a day when traffic was backed up, bumper to bumper, all the way to the F&M Bank by the bridge! It took AT LEAST 2 minutes for me to finally make it thru the 4 corners! Good thing someone invented car radios to help me pass the time.

That man walking away from the local meat market DOES look like he could be holding one of Dean's Meat & Locker Plant's famous and huge Wiener & Kraut Day wieners! If so, you could date the photo as being in September! Then do some galaxy research to see if the sun would be at that angle at that time of year. Ah, I seem to be obsessed with the shadows again.

You could also stop by the local electric company, Waterloo Water & Light, and ax them about the light poles. I bet they would know!

Me the Great said...

I believe the pole-shaped thing on the right of the photo is just that -- a pole! One of those telephone/graph/electric ones -- it's much too straight and circular to be a regular tree. And it has some kind of strange mesh-like bands around the bottom area. And you can see how the "grain" goes straight up and down, more like a hewn object rather than a grown object. And then I think the "tree shadow" you see looming up on the grassy knoll is the tree itself! So the tree would be on the right side of the walk, and its branches stretch out into the street, causing the dappling shadows on the pole-shaped object. See the tree up the street -- how big it's grown -- it supports my theory.

I did line up the ruler with the shadows and you are right -- they don't quite have the same angle. But maybe there's just enough curvature of the earth from one side of the street to the other that would account for the shadows being slightly off? The mule shadows seem to line up okay. Somebody should just ask Crow and be done with it! Ha!

Isn't there a mighty river at the end of the turnaround? Did trains stop there, or just went past there? (Probably that experience in '72 was where my deep-seated hatred for circus trains comes from!)

Two minutes to get through the corners is just ridiculous! Someone should have been down there directing traffic!

This would have been far too early for one of Dean's big wieners, but I bet the guy *wished* he could have gotten one then.

Me the Great said...

Also, if US telephone poles went by the same style as Australian telephone poles, then the the taller poles appear to be telephone ones, from after 1900, because the crossarms have a square outline, as seen in Figure 3 here:


Stamppy said...

But friend, it hasn't been too long....was just a twig....

That's nice about the Austrailian telephone poles, but too bad there's no USA telephone pole info online. Maybe there's a telephone pole forum somewhere out there in cyber land.

Upon closer examination, I do see that the "tree" is really a pole with a wire mesh around it. Maybe the wire mesh was to keep woodpeckers from pecking the pole.

That woman on the right could be lined up at the Courier office to renew her subscription, and had turned her head for a moment to check her place in line.

I've scribbled on a copy of the postcard and have sent it to you via email. It highlites the things I wrote about, such as shadows and telephone poles.

What is that machine that the horses are pulling? Oh great, now you have to study farm machinery, too yet.

The Mighty Maunesha River flows along the end of the South part of North Monroe Street, at the turnaround. The RR tracks are higher up. I never seen a train stop in Waterloo to let passengers out, but I think it once did. Ha ah, you'll have to study that further, too. Seems like Waterloo had a train station, but I could be wrong - that was before my time.

That's too bad you had a terrible experience with circus trains. Circus trains, animals, clowns and freaks can be very entertaining. Strange, too, how your oldest Godchild had a fear of clowns when he was younger.

Waterloo did have a traffic control person! At one time, the local retired police chief directed traffic on high traffic days such as the famous Waterloo Wiener & Kraut Days.

As the Crow flies, so flies the Crow!

Me the Great said...

I searched and searched for information on USA telephone pole info, but found nothing. Boo!

I will look for the scribbled-on postcard in my email box.

I don't think it's a machine they're pulling, but a very large wagon or set of wagons. You can see some great pictures of 20-mule train wagons here:

They did have a train station at some point -- some day I should post a picture of that, too!

Caw! Caw!

Stamppy said...

The wagon the horses are pulling looks more like a thrashing machine. It's very tall.

Me the Great said...

But why would they need that many mules for a thrashing machine?

Stamppy said...

Cuz thrashing machines are HUGE. ha ah, I don't know nuttin' bout horse/mule teams OR thrashing machines. AHAAAHHAAHHA

Me the Great said...

Hahahaha, me either!