Saturday, August 30, 2008

Washington DC:World War Two Memorial

What a wonderful trip I had with my son, Derek in Washington, DC. The last time that I was here was well over thirty years ago when I was in the fifth grade. The mall has changed a lot since then, as well as the security at some of the sites.
The White House is completely unapproachable. I remember taking a tour bus right in front of it then, but now you can't get within a quarter mile of it. A shame.
The Capitol can be viewed from the outside, but you have to send a letter to your congress person for tickets to go inside. In fact, I happened to sit next to my congressman, Thaddeus McCotter (R- Livonia, MI) on the return flight. He was very friendly and told me to stop by his office before my next trip and that he'd make sure I got some passes to come in.
I'm going to be making a lot of posts on this trip as I saved over 300 photos (and took nearly 1000) during the five days that we spent there. I hope that you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed this trip! Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

This is the base of one of the flag posts that surround the memorial. It has the emblem of every branch of service at its base.
Located directly between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the World War Two memorial pays homage to both the founder and preserver of our great union. This is the view looking to the west...
...and to the east...

This quote is from the famous "Day that will live in infamy" speech. I must say that I am amazed that the final four words from FDR's speech "SO HELP US GOD" were omitted (in some misguided attempt at political correctness, I suppose).

This arch to the south represents the Pacific Theatre. Its identical northern counterpart represents the Atlantic theatre.

These eagles laying a wreath are inside the arches.

There are 4,000 gold stars. One for every 100 lives lost in the war.

There is a column for every state and territory of America during the war. This one is from my home state.

A photo of my son, Derek, my the fountain.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Greenfield Villiage

A couple of weeks ago I went to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI with the family. This "living museum" was created in the late 1920's by Henry Ford to encourage innovation and invention. It's an interesting place that has among other things the Wright Bros. bicycle shop and Thomas Edison's laboratory and workshop. It showcases the techniques and inventions of the late 19th and early 20th century. The glassblowing shop (above) is always one of my favorite demonstrations. Here are a few more photos:

This is the display case in the Wright Brothers bicycle shop. Note the early inner tubes and wrenches.

This is the "Invention Factory", Thomas Edison's workshop. One of the fascinating things for me is how all of the lathes, drill presses, and other machine tools throughout the workshop, and the entire village were steam powered. They would have a big boiler that would power a piston, that would turn a flywheel, which by the use of large belts, would turn a drive shaft that would run along the ceiling of the room. Belts connected to each machine would then be connected to this drive shaft . Later, these were converted to electric motors. Amazingly, these devices, apart from the mode of power, are easily recognizable as the ancestors of today's machine tools.

This is Thomas Edison's lab. At a this bench, he worked on the chemical composition for the filament in his electric light bulb. I have many other photos, but there just is not enough space here to show as many as I would like.

I'm currently in Washington, DC with my son seeing the sights, so expect several posts coming soon. Before I start on that, I wanted to share these. I downloaded them large size, so that you can see excellent detail if you click on them.