An amazing contraption!

This week, Sepians were asked to look for mechanical contraptions. I wasn’t able to get out to a shop, so I perused my photo collection for something that would fit. Just recently, I posted a Sepia Saturday post that would fit the current prompt perfectly. It had a clay processing station and two pony traps; but since I don’t really want to recycle a post like that, I’ve come up with a more modern amazing contraption.

1971 Puma Tent Trailer

1971 Puma Tent Trailer – Vivitar 110 camera

Americans have long had a love affair with the “inexpensive” vacation, camping. The camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting industry has not only grown through the years but thrived with a wide variety of gizmos and gadgets to facilitate the perfect camping weekend. Up until recently, it wasn’t uncommon for families to own or rent tent trailers – a combination of a tent and a travel caravan that had the best of both worlds. This was our tent trailer and it saw thousands of miles of American roadways over its 20+ year lifespan. The tent trailer when closed looked like a oblong box on wheels, but when raised, the canvas sides would expand, the beds would be pushed out (the bit protruding behind the trio there), and it included a propane stove, water pump sink, and flushing portable toilet! This was the height of camping luxury in 1971 when it joined our family.

Jan 14, 1971 Inside of new Puma trailer bought Jan 13, 1971

Jan 14, 1971 Inside of new Puma trailer bought Jan 13, 1971 – Polaroid Print

camping 2

The dining area of our trailer – Kodak print

Each of the “bedrooms” had curtains that could be closed for privacy, as well as zippered windows to allow in fresh air. The plates you see on the table there we had until about 8 years ago when I gave the camping boxes to a friend. There were four plates, bowls, cups and saucers – red, green, yellow and blue. It got to the point that we each (i.e. my sister and I) had to have our “own” plate. We each had a drawer for our stuff and a space for our suitcase. The icebox took a huge block of ice, Dad had various barbecue implements to cook outside and Mom could whip up just about any sort of meal on the inside stove.

The lemon

The lemon- Little Deschutes River area, Oregon

To pull the tent trailer, we originally had a blue Ford station wagon – the type with the faux wood siding. The above car was the second station wagon and my mother hated it. It was a lemon in more than color, but I remember this was ordered off the line, special to our needs. It had power locks! The station wagon, once delivered to our home, was then taken to a local mechanic where it was wired specially to feed power to the trailer so the breaks would work, and also the frame was reinforced for hauling. In the early days, the trailer was pulled out by my parents from its storage area beside the house and then hooked up to the car. Pretty fast my Dad bought a special two wheeled pulling device which was crank & chain driven, although I don’t recall exactly what it was called. This allowed him to more easily maneuver the trailer around the corner of the house and down to the car. Having a trailer inspired a variety of special equipment purchases, including a special sewing kit to repair torn canvas, special jacks, mirrors for the car, and tools to fix or repair whatever we could while on the road. Also, a chain saw.


Cutting firewood, Oregon – Kodak print, Brownie camera?

camping 3

Watching Dad cut firewood – Vivitar 110 shot of the same event


And a minibike. A Honda, as a matter of fact. My mother hated this one.

Hold on tight!

Hold on tight!

We bought the tent trailer when I was 3 years old, and my parents sold it when I was around 25 or so. After so many years, wood rot had taken hold and the sides of the trailer were just falling apart. They had replaced the uprights that raised and lowered the roof, and upon cranking it up, one of the uprights punched through the floor! It was sold to a scrap hauler who intended to strip it down to  the steel frame and repurpose it.

There is so much more I could say about this amazing contraption, our Puma tent trailer, but I will perhaps save that for another day. For more amazing contraptions, click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

And away we go!


Edith A Nunn


Bicycle girl

For this week’s Sepia Saturday, I am posting a photo that I’ve been holding onto for weeks! This is my great grandmother, Edith A Nunn. My dad tells me that Ama, as she was called, was tiny, maybe just around 5 feet tall. You can tell she isn’t much bigger than the bicycle she has posed with. It’s ironic because I am 6 feet tall and one of my cousins is 6′ 5″. Amazing what a century of health and nutrition will do for a family!

Edith was born in 1871 in the Sheldon family descended via the McKinstrys and Coles from the Mayflower family of Stephen Hopkins. I don’t know if it meant all that much to her family, but we do have a very old family tree, written in red ink for some reason, charting out the lineage. I suppose I could use that to apply for membership in the Mayflower descendants club or whatever it is called, but honestly the last thing I need is another hobby, lol.

So, Edith lived from 1871 to 1944. A while back I posted a photograph of her husband, Albert E. Nunn (Apa) with his brother Herb and sister Lizzie. That particular photograph led an online friend and fellow old photograph collector to speak with her neighbor, who happened to also be related to the Nunn family via another brother. Small world! Edith had five children, three singles and a set of twins. Sadly, one of the twins died at age three.

Margaret & Mildred

Margaret & Mildred

This photo came with a little story. You will notice that one girl has her hem pulled down while the other’s is up and showing the ruffles. As the photographer was setting up the photo, Apa pulled the dress on the left down to match the other dress and at the same time Ama raised the dress on the right. Neither one caught what had happened and the photo was shot as we see it.

For more photos of people with bicycles and other things from around the world, click over to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

Two wheeled adventurers

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Lots to talk about!

This post is being reblogged as part of the Sepia Saturday 200th blogiversary! All the posts submitted this week will be included in a Sepia Saturday book to be published some time later this year. Please show your support to other Sepians by clicking through and visiting their sites. It is an honor to be included in such an interesting, prolific group!!

Happy blogiversary to youuuuuu!

North Island Naval Air Base

For a Sepia Saturday post, I found this nice shot of North Island Naval Air Base, in San Diego, CA. While I do not have a date for the photo, it looks like something from the 1940s or 50s. North Island Naval Air Base was founded in 1917 and is recognized as the birthplace of American Naval aviation. But before we discuss the Naval aviation history, let’s look back at the island itself.

In 1886 the island was one of two – North Coronado and South Coronado. The two together were formed from a sand spit and were purchased for development to become a residential resort for the wealthy. South Coronado was developed but the North Island remained wild. It was used for horseback riding and hunting by guests at J. D. Spreckles’ hotel, which later was christened the Hotel Del Coronado. A fellow named Glenn Curtiss took out a lease on North Island and operated a flying school until 1914. Then, a newcomer to the aviation industry named George Martin started flying from the island and showing off his aircraft. Martin of course later became the owner of Martin Aircraft, one of the world’s best aircraft companies for many decades.

Among the many “firsts” at North Island was the first parachute jump in the San Diego area, first sea-plane flight, first mid-air refueling and the first nonstop transcontinental flight in 1923. Prophetically, Curtiss also trained the first Japanese aviators, including a young pilot named Yamada who later became Admiral of the Japanese naval aviation forces in World War II. Charles Lindbergh’s first transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St Louis originated on North Island after the aircraft was built in San Diego.

Another brief touch of fame for the base resulted from the first commander Lieutenant Commander Earl W. Spencer Jr., USN after his ex-wife Wallice Warfield became the wife of King Edward of England in 1936 and the world was shocked when he abdicated his throne to be with her.

North Island and South Island were originally separated by a waterway but during World War II this was filled in, allowing better access to the entrance of the base.

North Island was the home of the Navy’s first four aircraft carriers: USS LANGLEY, USS LEXINGTON, USS SARATOGA and USS RANGER. Lexington  fortuitously departed Pearl Harbor on December 5th, and Saratoga was in San Diego on December 7th. Along with the two other aircraft carriers the Navy had in the Pacific, they missed the terrible bombing attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th which drew the US into World War II.

The base is still in operation today and can be accessed by the amazing Coronado Bay Bridge.

Coronado Bay Bridge

For more amazing Sepia Saturday images, where the theme is ships, crowds, travel, sailing and more, click over and jump off from there!

Anchors aweigh!

Through these portals…

We can date this photo after 1947 because of the acronym USAF. The United States Air Force was formed in 1947 and previously had been called the US Army Air Corps or the US Army Air Services. Prior to the Air Force being established as an independent branch of the US military, air operations were jointly handled by the Army for land based operations and the Navy or Marine Corps for sea based operations. My uncle and my father in law were in the Air Force, although they never knew each other. This photo shows two men at the doors of what is obviously a flight school.

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