Resources.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
 GM, 608 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Wed 21 Jan 2009
at 19:23
Old style gas stations and stores
Old Baltimore Gas Stations
1920's Gas Stations and Motor Courts Everywhere, USA
Historic Route 66 recalls the golden era of automobile travel. Small towns unfolded as families took to the highway. Motels, and attractions popped up along the sides of the road. Today major highways have supplanted much of the route, but more and more of the towns time left behind are burnishing their road-history for visitors.
1920's Gas Station - Middletown, KY
Picture of the "First Gas Station in Middletown".
According to the historic marker, it was built in the late 1920's. It sold Aetna Oil products. When US 60 was rerouted in 1936 and bypassed this location, it was put out of service as a gas station. It found other uses over the years, including a dry cleaner's office and taxi stand. In 1996 it was dontated to Middletown, and they have since restored and maintained the building.
Old Trails - US and Canadian Roads in the 20th Century
 GM, 613 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Thu 22 Jan 2009
at 18:42
Good ideas for expedition supplies
List of items with more information for camping equipment:

Survival Kit (including a compass, flint and steel, Water Cleaning Kit, waterproof matches, several days of field rations)

Knife & Sheathe

Spade (Small take apart folding shovel)

Grooming kit (Shaving supplies and mirror)

WWI British Field Officer's Cuttlery

3 Safari Outfits with extra pair of boots, vest, wide brimmed hat (made with hidden pockets), passport


This message was last edited by the GM at 17:11, Wed 29 Oct 2014.

 GM, 635 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Thu 5 Feb 2009
at 18:47
A Snapshot History of America  - Time Magazine

The Book, Who We Were: A Snapshot History of America

Nice photo album of the past.
Capt. Richard Maxwell Drake
 player, 78 posts
 Steamship Captain
Thu 5 Feb 2009
at 19:06

SAN FELIPE ... a remote desert community enjoying the benefits of a warm, dry, winter climate, and a hot, humid (Florida-like) summer. The Sea of Cortez is one of the world's most prolific salt-water habitats with sport fishing tours being available for avid anglers (see, for example, Drake's Fishing Tours on this site).

Located 125 miles south of the International border between Calexico, California and Mexicali, Baja California, the primary route to San Felipe is via Mexico's Federal Highway 5. A secondary route exists via Tijuana following Highway 1 south to Ensenada, Highway 3 east to Highway 5 and south from there to San Felipe.
The largest major metropolitan area with good airline and transportation connections is San Diego, about 5 hours drive by car north-west of San Felipe.

Geopolitically a part of the Mexicali municipality, San Felipe depends upon tax-based funding for all its public services. It is governed locally by a "Delegado" (Mayor), representing Mexicali's Presidente, who is responsible for all municipal matters.

San Felipe was founded in 1916 as a commercial fishing port. Still operating a sizeable shrimp-fishing fleet of small pangas, the pueblos' principal income has changed over the past five years, from fishing to tourism to retirement living and real estate, with as many as 250,000 American and Canadian visitors annually. November through March is the prime "snowbird" season with mobile homes arriving from all regions of the US and Canada. Increasingly we now also see tourism and investment in retirement homes from places as far away as Australia. Hotel rooms are at a premium and traffic jams are routine on the road to and from the border crossing in Mexicali. During the summer months, May through September, the weather is ideal for a relaxed lifestyle on the beaches. Fishing is good and the pace of life slows considerably. There are dozens of accommodation options in Baja. You can find timeshares for sale and rent, hotels or motels, all overlooking the Sea of Cortez. If you're planning on basking in the warmth of San Felipe again and again, consider purchasing property there.

With a population topping 25,000 (including foreign residents), this seaside community is a delightful retirement area. Over the past several years there has been a major influx of retirees who are building homes here and cashing out on their property investments in the USA. Local businesses provide the requisite services including, but not limited to, House Design Services, Architectural Services, Construction Services, Lumber Yards and Hardware Stores.

San Felipe is a "cash" society, they may accept Traveler's Cheques. And there are a couple places that will actually provide cash for you.

El Marino/OXO liquor-grocery store on the corner of Calle Chetumal and Mar de Cortez
Bancomer on Mar de Cortez and also on Calz. Chetumal
Banamex on Calzada Chetumal
The El Dorado Ranch office area (by the swimming pool)

The city water supply comes from wells about 30 miles south of town. While it is considered safe to drink, it has a high mineral content. Bottled water and mineral water is available at all liquor and grocery stores and excellent, purified, water is available at KonsAgua, Pelicanos and other producers for around $.12 a gallon. Purified water is used in all restaurants and homes and for making ice for the bars.

The city sewage system is unusual for a coastal town in that most of it does not discharge into the sea; it is piped to a plant in the desert for treatment. Septic systems are used for all properties away from the town's main collector system. This includes all developments to the north and south of San Felipe along the beaches. In some cases these septic systems are barely able to cope with the major influx of visitors on weekends.

The sea water is maintained as clean as possible because of the great dependence of the town on the fish and shrimp industries. Tests of the bay water in past years have revealed minimal detectable e-coli contamination. However, the further away you are from beachfront development, the cleaner the water will be. Because of the high salinity of the sea water, swimming and floating are almost effortless. Twice a month, around the time of the new and the full moon, very large tides develop and you will see the spectacular rise and fall of the water - see our tide tables.

Although San Felipe has an airport (symbol SFE) there are no commercial flights here. Visitors travelling from distant locations in the USA, Mexico or internationally will want to fly into a major airport. The closest ones are San Diego (SAN) in California, and Mexicali (MXL) and Tijuana (TIJ) in Baja California. Imperial airport (IPL) in El Centro does have commuter service to Los Angeles and Phoenix where connections to all major intercontinental carriers can be made.

Small cargo planes make air delieveries bi-weekly, but more frequently are shipments by truck.
Capt. Richard Maxwell Drake
 player, 79 posts
 Steamship Captain
Thu 5 Feb 2009
at 19:22
Pictures of San Felipe

I want everyone to have a flavor of the time on the Princess and in San Felipe.

These are from Tony Reyes Fishing Tours, but in our game it will be Drake's Fishing Tours and the Princess will be a little more... nice.

This is a diagram of the Gulf Princess

This is a picture of what the Paddle Steamer would look like docked with passengers.
Another picture of the steamer underway:

These are the Geoffroy's Cats that roam the Princess:

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:00, Fri 23 Jan 2015.

 GM, 641 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sun 8 Feb 2009
at 15:25
1926 Snow mobile and Kinograms Newsreel
A video of a 1926 designed "Snow-Motor" using a tractor body ot a Chevrolet body.
It was very cool to watch. I'm surprised that they don't have these around!

Typical Kinograms Newsreel from the silent era, featuring Jack Dempsey, a balloon race, women dancing in chilly breezes, a juggler, and opium being confiscated and burned in Shanghai.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:28, Sun 08 Feb 2009.

Capt. Richard Maxwell Drake
 player, 81 posts
 Steamship Captain
Sun 8 Feb 2009
at 15:33
Engine Room Tour Of 1922 Heritage Steam Tugboat SS Master...
Engine Room Tour Of 1922 Heritage Steam Tugboat SS Master...

Chief Engineer, Doug Shaw gives us an impromptu look at the inards of the Master's engine room, both while at sea (Noisy) and while alongside dock. She's powered by a triple expansion engine.

Gives an idea what it is like inside a paddlewheel steamer.
 GM, 642 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sun 8 Feb 2009
at 15:44
Flying Car About to Take Off? 1918
Flying Car About to Take Off?

An aeronautic startup looks to complete a prototype of its roadworthy aircraft within a year.

In 1918, long before George Jetson commuted to Spacely Space Sprockets, the U.S. Patent Office issued Felix Longobardi the first patent for a vehicle capable of both driving on roads and flying through the air. But given all the impractical prototypes built since Longobardi's original whimsy, history suggests that any vehicle design combining these two modes of transport will be a commercial failure: aero-auto hybrids always seem to result in a compromise that serves both functions poorly.

Now a group of MIT alums believe that they are on their way toward overcoming this problem. Founded in 2006 and called Terrafugia, their startup, based in Woburn, MA, recently produced the first automated folding wing for a light sport aircraft. (A light sport aircraft is a type of airplane deemed by the Federal Aviation Administration to be easier to fly and hence more accessible than regular private planes.) The wing, however, is just the first step toward an aero-auto hybrid that the company plans to call the Transition.

This summer, the group demonstrated its folding wing at the annual AirVenture aviation festival in Oshkosh, WI. With more than 650,000 attendees, the festival is the most important event in experimental-aircraft aviation.

"Going into this, we knew our two biggest design challenges to make it practical would be the wings and the power train," says Anna Mracek Dietrich, an engineer at Terrafugia and the company's chief operating officer. "By validating the durability of the wing's construction and engineering, we've checked one major design challenge off of the list, and now our focus is on the second."

Previous prototypes of road-drivable aircraft have featured manually folding or detachable wings. But to allow for a seamless and quick transformation from plane to car and back, the Terrafugia team has devised a system that allows the pilot to enfold or extend the wings by pushing a button in the cockpit. Dietrich says that at Oshkosh, the researchers opened and closed the wings more than 500 times--the equivalent of three to five years of typical use--and that they're more than pleased with the wings' durability.

The wing features off-the-shelf electric actuators, but Dietrich says that the team had to design from scratch the mechanical linkages between the actuators and the rest of the craft. The group also uses dual electromagnetic locks to hold the wings tightly to the fuselage when they're enfolded.

"We're building the rest of the first vehicle now," Dietrich says. "Our schedule calls for us to start flight testing by the end of 2008, and so far we're on track for that."

The technical challenge now before the team is to build a power train that uses one engine both in the air and on the ground and is capable of running on a tank of super unleaded gasoline--the kind that can be bought at any gas station. To make the transition between engine uses smooth, the team is devising a mechanism to transfer power from the propeller to the wheels and back as needed. The difficulty here, Dietrich says, is that the system has to be as simple, reliable, and lightweight as possible. (For the team, the weight of the vehicle is a constant concern, not only because the vehicle has to be relatively light in order to fly, but also because FAA regulations require it to be less than 1,320 pounds.)

"They're doing some interesting things," says Mitch LaBiche, an engineer at LaBiche Aerospace, a company based in Alvin, TX, that has assisted the military in the construction of a wide variety of flying vehicles, from the F-117 to the Apache AH-64 helicopter. LaBiche's company is now working to build a flying sports car called the FSC-1. "[The Transition] is a light sports aircraft, so they're going to have to work hard to meet the weight requirements," LaBiche says.

The greatest nontechnical challenge Terrafugia must face is meeting the regulatory requirements of both the FAA and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To satisfy FAA regulations for the category of light sports aircraft, the Transition must have a maximum level speed of 138 miles per hour, a one- or two-person occupancy, and fixed landing gear, among other things. For the NHTSA, the Transition must be able to pass the same requirements that a regular car would.

"There are systems in place with both organizations to make working with them as painless as possible," Dietrich says. "It is still a lot to go through, but we've made inroads with both, especially the FAA."

The company plans to build and sell between 50 and 200 Transitions a year, most likely starting in 2009, and it's marketing the vehicle to the roughly 600,000 licensed pilots in the United States. The Transition will be comparable in size to a Cadillac Escalade but won't be nearly as heavy. Terrafugia plans to charge $148,000 per vehicle.

"Very interesting! I would love to have one," says Kenny Huffine, a pilot for a major commercial airline who flies recreationally. "My one concern, though, is about having a plane parked around other cars. If it were pushed or damaged, would that make it unflyable and dangerous?"
 GM, 649 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Mon 9 Feb 2009
at 20:38
Bix Beiderbecke - composer

Leon Bix Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931) was an American jazz cornetist and composer, as well as a skilled classical and jazz pianist.

One of the leading names in 1920s jazz, Beiderbecke's career was cut short by chronic poor health, exacerbated by alcoholism. Critic Scott Yanow describes Beiderbecke as the "possessor of a beautiful, distinctive tone and a strikingly original improvising style. Beiderbecke's chief competitor among cornetists in the '20s was Louis Armstrong, but (due to their different sounds and styles) one really could not compare them." Bix Beiderbecke recorded many jazz standards during his career in the 1920s and early 1930s, including "Riverboat Shuffle", "Copenhagen", "Davenport Blues", "Singin' the Blues", "In a Mist", "Mississippi Mud", "I'm Coming, Virginia", and "Georgia On My Mind".

Bix Beiderbecke was one of the great jazz musicians of the 1920s, the Jazz Age. Beiderbecke first recorded with the Wolverine Orchestra in 1924. The ensemble was casually called the Wolverines, named for "Wolverine Blues" by Jelly Roll Morton, a tune that they played often. The group recorded the jazz standards "Riverboat Shuffle", written for the band by Hoagy Carmichael, and "Copenhagen", written by Charlie Davis. Jazz composer and pianist Hoagy Carmichael had booked their appearance at Indiana University in 1924.

Bix Beiderbecke became a sought-after musician in Chicago and New York City. He made innovative and influential recordings with Frankie Trumbauer ("Tram") and the Jean Goldkette Orchestra.
Capt. Frank McCloud
 player, 285 posts
 Veteran of the war
 Jack of all Trades
Tue 10 Feb 2009
at 19:16
Coctails of the period.
I encourage everyone to include as many mixed drinks into this post.
If you can't add them, let me know and I'll add them.


The El Presidente is a mix of rum, curacao, vermouth, and grenadine. The El Presidente originated in Havana, Cuba and was popular from the 1920s through the 1940s. The cocktail was named in honor of Cuban President Gerardo Machado and quickly became the preferred drink of the Cuban upper class.

Cafe Cubano (Cuban coffee)
1. Using an espresso machine, add the desired amount of finely ground coffee, common Cuban style brands include Bustelo, Pilon and La LLave (I'm partial to Bustelo supreme, I buy the Cuban brands online from the Cuban Food Market).  You can also purchase fresh whole coffee beans from supermarkets like Albertson's or Whole Foods, any of the very dark roast Colombian brands will work best for Cuban coffee. I myself grind whole beans there at the store so that it is fine, fresh and ready to be made (espresso grind setting).  Do NOT store your ground coffee in a freezer, but do keep it in a cool place away from sunlight.  If you insist on drinking real Cuban coffee, only one site online sells it (pictured at the bottom of this page with a link).

2. For every demitasse cup of coffee you plan on making, use a teaspoon of sugar. The key to Cuban coffee is that it be very sweet. The trick here is to put the sugar into the glass carafe before you even brew the coffee.

3. Brew the coffee just as you would an espresso. The coffee will pour over the sugar in the carafe as it begins to brew. After it is finished filling the carafe, stir it briskly as there will still be a little undissolved sugar. Pour the coffee into several demitasse cups and enjoy.

* For Cafe con Leche, simply use 2 parts Cuban Coffee to 1 part steamed milk.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:24, Tue 10 Feb 2009.

 GM, 654 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Thu 12 Feb 2009
at 12:55
San Felipe  - San Phelipe de Jesus
I contacted the wonderful people of San Felipe to get some information on what life was like in their town during the 20's. I was surprised to discover that the town itself wasn't as developed as I thought it would be. I am including all the information I gathered on it. I will load and post the pictures on my site and provide links.

Historically, there was no town as we depicted it, but we will continue on as though it was an established and growing Mexican fishing village. They just won't have anything sophisticated there. General and dry goods stores (prevalent), clothing stores, gas station, and other stores like that. Also, the Spanish mission would likely be redeveloped, but not in the greatest of shapes, more like what you would see in a western movie. Most items for construction would be brought in by water, the roads would be very rough and trecherous. The adobe buildings would be built from naturally found materials.

For our purposes, the Delegado was established, only to maintain order and communication with the outside world. And to assist the fishermen and their customers coordinate activities. The demand for the Totuava and Corvina continues to grow and natives are drawn to fishing to supliment their income. The community grows to handle the constant influx of fishermen and merchants. I am using the name of the current Delegado for our game, since one did not exist in the 1920's.

We can take a 'little' literary license in projecting the town as more developed at this time than I estimated. It is often difficult to get maps of areas at earlier time periods and almost impossible to get a completely accurate representation. But we continue to search and strive for accuracy when possible. It was a stroke of fortune to find someone who was interested in indulging our fun game. I think it was pretty cool.

I will thank Mr. Colleraine for his generous and gracious assistance. I am always excited to discover information and facts that few other people are remotely interested in. I'm sincerely fascinated by all that we discover as we research for this game. I hope you share in my excitement!


Hi Cal,
An intriguing request!

The port of San Phelipe de Jesus has been mentioned in exploration accounts from about 1760. However there were extended periods, as the old Spanish missions fell into ruins, when the area was barely inhabited. Expeditions show that as late as 1905 there was no permanent settlement here but that migratory fishermen came during the winters, probably from Guaymas, to catch totuava. The first census to show a permanent population was in 1930 (271 people). This grew to 427 people in 1940.

There was no road connecting the village to Mexicali until the mid-1940's (completed in 1950) and that is when development of the area started in earnest. There was no local government and no Delegado until the early 1960's.

For the period that you are interested in, around the end of the 1920's, all I have been able to come up with is the following which is slowly being added to our website.

I hope you can find some useful tidbits in the text below.

Tony Colleraine


The first permanent residents arrived at San Felipe during the period 1910 to 1915. Northern Baja California offered them the Mexicali Valley's rich soil for agriculture in addition to the gulf's fish resources. During this time towns and villages of permanent residences took form, and the village of San Felipe was established.


San Felipe first attracted fishing folk from Guaymas. The totuava was held in high esteem by the fishermen of Guaymas. Chinese residents of that Mexican mainland port discovered that the sound or swim-bladder of the fish was of unusual character, and not dissimilar to that of fishes in the Orient, which, when properly dressed and dried, sold for astonishing prices. [George Roger Chute, "The Totuava Fishery of the Gulf of California," California Fish and Game XIV (October, 1928), p. 276.] The product secured from the swim-bladder is called "buche" and is made simply by removing the bladder and as much of the peritoneum as possible and drying it in the sun. Sometimes as much as three pounds of this dried material is secured from one fish. Today's market for "buche" is not as large as it was fifty years ago, but the $1.50 to $2.00 price per pound still remains the same. The Chinese consider it a great delicacy, and use it in chop suey and other dishes. [Craig, loc. cit.] [Chute, op. cit., p. 277.]

The people of China took so well to the new product that a regular sound-drying business arose in Guaymas at the turn of the century. Many Mexicans, induced by the high prices offered for sounds of "buche", set to sea in dug-out canoes in quest of the fish. Eventually, so many of the totuava were caught that to capture more became exceedingly difficult. A group of former German seamen also were attracted to the Guaymas fishery. When local scarcity reduced their revenue, these eager men went sailing into virgin waters to discover the "buche"-yielding fish where it might be plentiful. These Germans found rich fishing grounds far to the north on the opposite side of the gulf, fifty miles from the mouth of the Rio Colorado.


At the foot of a high rock headland, in the curve of San Felipe Bay, the German fishermen built shelters of desert brush and adobe. They found fresh water available and commenced work. This settlement, about one-quarter of a mile north of the present-day site of San Felipe was called Campo Uno (plate 9).

Plate 9. Site of Campo Uno at the Base of San Felipe Point.

Fishing was rich and the venture highly productive. The Germans sailed back to Guaymas with canoes loaded with bales of "buche". The spectacle of their splendid success so emboldened the natives that each year thereafter increasing numbers of them followed the pioneers across the gulf to San Felipe. Only men went the first season but during the second, wives and children were brought; in this way the village grew. San Felipe grew from an original five Germans to many hundreds of Indians and Mexicans. [Ibid.]

Analysis of recent photos of Camp Uno reveals five or six remnants of the original shelters. Some of the adobe walls have been weathered to ground level, leaving only a square discolored pattern visible in the soil (plates 1-13). Water was piped from the lowland area behind the beach ridge at the present site of the village today. [Statement by Jose Hernandez Limon, personal interview.] The Campo Uno site at the base of Point San Felipe offered the settlers good protection from northerly winds. Affording further protection, was a small inlet which fronted the site within the larger bay of San Felipe.

Plate 10. An Old Spanish-built Wall at Campo Uno.

Plate 11. Rubble at the Site from Adobe Walls that once stood at the first Camp.

Plate 12. Further Evidence of Dwellings at Campo Uno.

Plate 13. Ruins on the Beach.

Soon Camp Uno could no longer support the sudden arrival of great numbers of people who flocked from Guaymas. The settlement expanded southward to encompass the present-day site of San Felipe adjacent to the small tidal estuary. Shelters were made of desert bush, adobe, and tents. The number of shelters gave San Felipe its first semblance of permanent settlement.


The equipment used in catching the totuava was small. In 1927 the largest boat in the fleet was a sailboat about thirty-eight feet long, with a small auxiliary gasoline engine. The smallest boat was a flat-bottomed skiff which could accommodate two fishermen (plate 14). Between these two extremes were round and flat-bottomed row boats, very small launches propelled by small gasoline engines, and Indian canoes or skiffs were commonly used. The skiffs were made from huge logs hollowed out by the Indians on the mainland. They averaged from twenty to twenty-five feet long, and were about two feet in diameter. These canoes were equipped not only with sails, but three or four fishermen, each of whom worked a paddle. [Wiley V. Ambrose, "New Game Fish Lures Sportsment to Gulf," Touring Topics, XIX (January, 1927), p. 39.]

Plate 14. An Original Log-hewn Fishing Vessel.

The tackle used by the fishermen was a line composed of quarter inch rope with heavy wire leaders and on the end was a hook about seven inches long. They used a fish called Corvina as bait. Corvina resembles sea trout, being about twenty inches long and weighing up to four pounds. When the large hook was baited with one of the Corvina, the line was carried to the bottom with heavy sinkers, and the fisherman waited for results.

During a day's catch, some of the boats would take as many as six or eight of these fish. That was all that could be carried in boats of that size. Each fish would bring one to two dollars worth of "buche". The carcass of the fish was left to rot. Only the swim bladders or sounds were saved, these being cleaned with exact care and dried in the intense heat of the desert sun.


It is impossible to calculate the tons of fish these people wasted securing only the swim bladder. News of the presence of the fishing camp and the waste of fish reached the border town of Calexico. In 1924 two wholesalers from the United States struck south in their Model T trucks to investigate San Felipe and the story of the large fish. They finally arrived after two and a half days of hard traveling over the sand dunes and salt flats of the Colorado desert. [Statements by J. J. Camillo and Harry Orfanos, personal interview.] The wholesalers, recognizing the possible value of the totuava in United States markets, bought some of the fish at five cents apiece from the eager Mexicans. In the United States the excellent eating fish sold well, encouraging the wholesalers to continue the business. Soon afterwards other fish buyers came to San Felipe and engaged in the business of buying and selling totuava. By 1927, San Felipe had become a well-known fishing port to fish wholesalers in the United States. By this time the Mexican fishermen were selling the totuava at four cents a pound, thereby realizing a good profit from their fish catch.

In 1927 there were fifteen trucks hauling totuava from the small gulf port to the United States border. Short traveling time with a full load of totuava was important to prevent spoilage. Within a short period of time the fish buyers were able to negotiate the trip to Mexicali with a full load of fish in ten to twelve hours. At the border an ice truck waited to carry the totuava to processing plants at San Diego and San Pedro.

The following is an account of a traveler who in 1927 made a run to San Felipe:

"It would be hard to describe realistically the road across these flats. Generally speaking, it was nothing but two ruts, and the travel had cut them down about to the depth of our axles. As may be imagined, the roads were winding, full of chuck-holes, and a speed of over six miles an hour was impossible. In various places turnouts are found where vehicles may pass without sinking in the spongey earth.

This entire barren waste glittered in the sunlight like silver, on account of the white salt which had dried on it, and the only signs of human touch in the whole great distance were piles of decaying fish which we found in great numbers. These fish had been unloaded from trucks coming north from the fishing camp of San Felipe, the trucks having broken down or become stuck and forced to unload. We also ran across a number of trucks and machines that had broken down and had been abandoned, standing out, as great derelicts, against the horizon. [Ambrose, op. cit., p. 38.]

The records of the United States Customs at the entry port of Calexico show that a sportsman brought the first totuava across the border there in 1923.

"Seventy-five pounds sea bass-two fish." reads the meticulous record, and that ended the business for the year. [Chute, op. cit., p. 278.] The following year, with the arrival of fish wholesalers from the United States, the importations rose to 170,000 pounds. The following season's annual increment exceeded one million pounds.

"Totuava Catch of the Gulf of California by Seasons, July First of One year to July First of the Next. [Chute, op. cit., p. 281.]


1924-25.....171,000 lbs.

1925-26.....664,000 lbs.

1926-27.....1,039,000 lbs.

1927-28*.....1,838,000 lbs.

*To April 25

During the summer months many of the fishermen of San Felipe would wander away from the bay, following the migrating schools of totuava down the gulf. But in autumn, once again the men would straggle home to San Felipe. Again the truckers would begin their seasonal hauling of the totuava to ports in the United States.

Probably no other food fishery has sent its product to market by so strikingly a method. It is believed that the four hundred mile Gulf-to-San Pedro route is the longest motorized fish transit known... [Ibid.]

The superior food fish and wholesale price made the transit very profitable for the wholesalers and pleasing to the Mexicans who made extra money. Perhaps the most important effect was the encouraged permanent settlement of San Felipe Bay.


The initial boom of the totuava industry began to level off in the 1930's, but the demand for the excellent food fish continued. Mr. J.J. Camillo, a seafood broker, is credited with introducing totuava to restaurants in San Diego and Los Angeles. The totuava became a prized delicacy, with initial demands exceeding the supply. Originally, all the totuava was hauled to California markets, but the mid 1930's found increasing amounts sent to Phoenix, Kansas City, St. Louis, and other inland cities.

Little is known about San Felipe during the 1930's and 1940's. Reports of the fish crossings at the border and population of the village were the only subjects printed about San Felipe during these years.

Totuava was the basis for other small mainland fishing camps on the gulf. These villages also sent their fish to the United States across the border at Calexico. Generally speaking, San Felipe accounted for 85-90% of the total totuava catch passing the border, and today San Felipe still enjoys this same percentage.

The period 1930 to 1940 was rather static in the life of San Felipe. The village was still isolated from much of Mexico and California. The inhabitants resided in rather crude habitations made of adobe, desert brush, some wood, and occasionally metal secured from auto skeletons. The village had no electric power. Water was available from wells easily dug in the ground. No tourist accommodations existed, for only the hardiest of vacationers attempted the route to San Felipe. Village supplies were obtainable at a bay-front grocery owned by a Chinaman who lived at San Felipe since 1916. Of course, the most popular spot in town was the cantina that helped the menfolk of San Felipe pass many idle hours. Similar to most Mexican villages the life in San Felipe stabilized to a slow pace as the residents became permanent.

No population statistics exist for the years 1910 or 1920; in 1930 the census of population classified San Felipe as an "Embarcadero" or port, with a total population of 287, of whom 192 were men and 95 women. [Censo de Poblacion 15 Mayo: Baja California Distrito Norte (Mexico,, D.F. Estados Unidos Mexicanos 1932).] The 1940 census reclassified San Felipe as a "Pesquiera" or fishing village, with a total population of 427; 284 men and 143 women. [Estados Unidos Mexicanos 6º Censo de Poblacion 1940 Baja California Territorios Norte y sur (Mexico, General de Estadistica 1948).] In a ten-year period from 1930 to 1940 the population of San Felipe doubled. However, the 1930 population was quite small, therefore, the 1940 doubling of population is not particularly unusual.

VI. THE VILLAGE, 1940 TO 1950

The mid 1940's found a new highway to San Felipe under construction. This Mexicali-to-San Felipe link guided the village from isolation. The completion of the highway was one of the most dramatic occurrences in the history of San Felipe. The village was in ready access to the large cities of Baja California and the United States border. This easy access to the north immediately offered the village better and swifter transportation of its number one resource--fish. The village also gained greater attention of fish wholesalers from the United states who helped San Felipe develop and expand its fishing industry. Easy passage to the gulf coast village offered San Felipe the greatest opportunity for future development with the arrival of tourism.


United States interests saw profits to be made in San Felipe's fishing industry. The village was not only in proximity to the totuava fishing grounds, but also near the shrimp of the upper gulf. With the proper negotiations, the United States' interests agreed to supply the fishermen of San Felipe. Large, thirty-five to fifty foot long diesel fishing boats and equipment were given in return for fifty per cent of the catch.

In order to aid San Felipe and other fishing communities of Mexico, the Mexican government initiated fishing cooperatives. The cooperatives were organized on three levels: local, regional, and national. The government also organized a bank from which the local cooperatives could borrow money at low interest to improve their methods of fishing. But today in San Felipe, as in other fishing villages, most of the needed funds come from the foreign interests rather than the government banks.

In order to fish commercially at San Felipe, a fisherman must belong to one of the four local co-ops in the village. The local co-ops are composed of a group of twenty to eighty fishermen who unite and pool their resources. Through the cooperatives the catch is sold. Without the co-ops fierce competition among the individual fishermen results in very low prices for their catch. By means of the co-ops, fish prices can be somewhat regulated and equipment can be purchased easily by the greater cash reserves of the co-ops.

Each local co-op called "Cooperativa de Produccion Pesquiera," pools its members' catch and sells it to the regional co-op known as the "Federacion de Cooperatives de Produccion Pesquiera," who in turn sells to wholesalers. Each regional cooperative may administer ten to twenty local cooperatives. Owners of the fishing vessels receive approximately fifty per cent of the vessel's catch. The other fifty per cent is then shared among seven to eight crew members on the vessel. The captain receives one and one-half shares; the engineer one and one-quarter; and the crew receives one share apiece.


The fishing boats are from thirty-five to fifty feet and use gill and trammel nets. These net boats have replaced skiffs and canoes of earlier days. The nets used in the fishery are usually from 1000 to 1500 feet long and the gilling mesh between ten to fourteen inches stretched measure. The nets are generally fixed perpendicular to the shore in shallow water, being set at high tide and left in position from one to three days, depending on the availability of totuava. During the set, the boat lies at anchorage just beyond the offshore end of the net. Two crew members in a skiff run the length of the net every two to three hours removing totuava, sharks, and porpoises.

"Camaron" or shrimp are captured by a purse net, which is dragged near the ocean floor while the fishing boat maintains a speed of about four miles per hour. A small net is lowered while the boat is working and then raised every half hour to check on the amount of shrimp in the area. A heavy catch indicates what is happening in the big purse nets and they are raised and emptied accordingly. By law, one-third of the shrimp harvested in the gulf must remain in Mexico, but the other two-thirds usually goes to the United States where prices are higher than domestic markets.


The one hundred and twenty-five mile long highway between San Felipe and Mexicali was completed in 1950. This highway put the village within easy and direct communication with Mexicali and the United States border. The trip to the border requires two hours auto traveling time, a far cry from the two and one-half day journey that the first buyers experienced.

The highway opened new economic horizons for the village. Now tourists could easily travel to San Felipe, taking advantage of the pleasant climate and excellent sport fishing. The first to see the future possibilities was Sr. Jose Hernandez Limon, now residing in San Felipe. In 1946 Sr. Limon had heard of the pending highway construction to San Felipe. Realizing the attractiveness of San Felipe to tourists, Sr. Limon and his partner purchased thirty-two thousand acres of land surrounding the bay. Included were the village lands, which he turned over to the government in order that the villagers could claim their land holdings legally. [Discussion with Jose Hernandez Limón.]

The village was not prepared for the influx of tourists that came in the first few years after 1950. The village offered nothing to the visitor. There were no tourist accommodations, no electricity, and poor sanitary conditions. These initial tourists were telling others about the poor conditions they found at the village. Therefore, the future of tourism for the village was bleak. Sr. Limon and others approached the Mexican government and pleaded for financial support to help San Felipe acquire electricity and proper sanitary conditions. The result was a study in 1952 by the government of the existing conditions found at San Felipe. [Enrique Santos de Prado Rojas, Estudio e Informe General Sobre las Condecciones Sanitarias en el Puerto de San Felipe, Territorio Norte de la Baja, California. (Mexico, D.F. 1952), p. 17.] The report well illustrated the problems of the village. The 1952 study estimated the population at seventeen hundred inhabitants, thirteen hundred fixed population, and four hundred transient. The inhabitants of San Felipe were in the immense majority Mestizo with a small nucleus of Chinese.

According to the report, the village was not formed according to any preconceived plan. The majority of the streets were, and still remain, sinuous and narrow, crossing the land freely within an idealistic grid pattern. Much dust invades the houses contaminating the air and drinking water. In 1952 there was no public lighting. The majority of the dwellings were illuminated with petroleum or gasoline lamps. Only a few shops possessed auxiliary generators. The report found that a majority of the houses were fabricated from the trunks of ocotillo with the gaps filled with mud. The soil was the floor.

The report summed up the section on housing:

"The hygienic conditions of these inhabitations leaves much to be desired; each one houses about eight persons, including the elders, a transmissible disease will be felt in a major or minor part by the total family. [Ibid.] A major portion of the inhabitants in 1952 consumed the local well water. This water is hard, and contains many carbonates that tend to discolor the teeth. Only a few of the inhabitants bought decanters of purified water at a price of three pesos (25 cents) brought from Mexicali. The report discovered that the well water produced many digestive problems. The dominant maladies of the population at that time were respiratory problems, digestive ailments, and venereal diseases. [Ibid., p. 28.]

In 1957, five years after the Sr. Limon's initial plea, work was begun on a one million peso (80,000) electrification project for the port of San Felipe. Cost of the power plant, distribution lines and other facilities were underwritten jointly by the local businessmen and the state government. [News item in the San Diego Union, November 14, 1957.]

In subsequent years Limon's partnership was dissolved, and the vast land holdings were subdivided and sold. Sr. Limon retained a beach front tract of land just south of the village, and there began construction of a trailer court for tourists. Soon other villagers followed in Limon's footsteps by constructing motels, hotels, and trailer courts, thereby offering appropriate tourist facilities and enhancing the future of tourism at San Felipe.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:16, Wed 29 Oct 2014.

Nick Grant
 player, 50 posts
 To the skies!
Sat 7 Mar 2009
at 23:43
1926 Snow Mobile
In reference to:
A video of a 1926 designed "Snow-Motor" using a tractor body ot a Chevrolet body.
It was very cool to watch. I'm surprised that they don't have these around!

I found some more about this and similar vehicles:

The 1922 Patent for the “Snow Motor Vehicle”:

An excellent picture of one of the few Fordson’s left with the screw-drive in good condition:

Just for reference, a Fordson with its normal undercarriage:

And from Wikipedia, some solid information:
    In the 1920s the Armstead Snow Motor was developed. When this was used to convert a Fordson tractor into a screw propelled vehicle with a single pair of cylinders; the combination became known as the Fordson Snow Devil. A film was made to show the capabilities of the vehicle as well as a Chevrolet car fitted with an Armstead Snow Motor.[4] The film clearly shows that the vehicle copes well in snow. Steering was effected by having each cylinder receive power from a separate clutch which, depending on the position of the steering gear, engages and disengages; this results in a vehicle that is relatively manoeuvrable. The promotional film shows the Armstead snow motor hauling 20 tons of logs.
    In January 1926, Time magazine reported:
      “Having used the motor car for almost every other conceivable purpose, leading Detroit automobile makers have now organized a company entitled "Snow Motors Inc.," to put out a machine which will negotiate the deepest snowdrifts at six to eight miles an hour. The new car will consist of a Ford tractor power-plant mounted on two revolving cylinders instead of wheels—something on the order of a steam roller. The machine has already proved its usefulness in deep snow previously unnavigable. One such machine has done the work which formerly required three teams. In Oregon a stage line uses a snow motor in its two daily round trips over the Mackenzie Pass between Eugene and Bend. Orders are already in hand from Canada, Norway, Sweden, and Alaska. The Hudson Bay Co. has ordered a supply to maintain communications with its most northern fur-trading stations. The Royal Northwest Mounted Police have also gone into the market for snow motors, and may cease to be horsemen and become chauffeurs, to the deep regret of cinema people. A number of prominent motor makers have also been interested in the proposition from the angle of adapting the snow motors equipment to their ordinary models. Hudson, Dodge and Chevrolet are mentioned especially as interested in practical possibilities along this line.”

And finally, while it’s not old, something similar:

This message was last edited by the player at 23:56, Sat 07 Mar 2009.

 GM, 731 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Wed 8 Oct 2014
at 19:33
Reference material
Colin's Period Weapons Vehicles Clothing Daily Costs ad nauseum.
A Sourcebook for the 1920's
Radio in the 1920s

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:49, Wed 08 Oct 2014.

 GM, 758 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 13:40
Re: Reference material

1920's washing machines. Someone had to do it back then.
 GM, 759 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 18:05
Re: Reference material
Driers of the 1920s.
1920s Vacuum cleaners.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:16, Wed 29 Oct 2014.

 GM, 760 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 18:08
Re: Reference material
Laptops and office supplies of the 1920's.

1920's laptop:

1920's office equipment.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:18, Wed 29 Oct 2014.

 GM, 761 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 18:13
Re: Reference material
Early Office Museum
Antique Office Photographs 1920s
 GM, 762 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Sat 18 Oct 2014
at 18:33
Re: Reference material
Home appliances in the 1920s.
Images of appliances of the 1920s.
Lillian 'Lil' Lebeau
 GM, 363 posts
Sun 19 Oct 2014
at 22:34
Re: Reference material
Photo of a 1920s Drug Store:

Article about Drug Stores:


This message was last edited by the GM at 22:38, Sun 19 Oct 2014.

Lillian 'Lil' Lebeau
 GM, 364 posts
Sun 19 Oct 2014
at 23:03
Re: Reference material
I don't know if we've linked this blog before but this gal researches her stuff!
 GM, 763 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Mon 20 Oct 2014
at 20:27
Re: Reference material
Links to the Mexican freedom fighters, revolution, and Christiada Knights.
 GM, 765 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Tue 21 Oct 2014
at 12:40
Re: Reference material
Nautical terms.


This message was last edited by the GM at 15:20, Tue 21 Oct 2014.

 GM, 768 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Wed 22 Oct 2014
at 19:53
Re: Reference material

Candies of the 1920's!
Lillian 'Lil' Lebeau
 GM, 412 posts
Mon 19 Jan 2015
at 05:18
Re: Reference material
Map Image of Miami

 GM, 791 posts
 Welcome to Adventure!
Thu 29 Jan 2015
at 15:15
Re: Reference material

What is known about Joe Bananas...