Monday, February 18, 2013



As I’ve worked through the scrapbook, this little piece of redwood has been quite pesky as it wasn’t fastened in any way and just kept slipping out whenever I’d open the book.  What could it be and what significance did it have?  Today I have figured it out!

Grandma wrote this in her scrapbook:


So that’s why it says “The Submarines” on the redwood – she got this at the Panama Pacific International Exposition when she was there on October 18, 1914.

As I researched the Submarines Exhibit from the Pan Pacific International, I ran across a description of the Submarines from “The red book of views of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition”:

The first thing to greet the eye of the visitor to this great spectacle is an allegorical front, with cascades of moving water typifying the restlessness of the ocean.  Neptune sits proudly over all, basking in the beams from a near-by lighthouse.  At the dock the passenger enters a steel submarine, is taken beneath the waters where he sees a shipwreck, marine animals, and a typical ocean floor.  Landing again, he is taken through the labyrinths of Neptune, a succession of wonderful scenes by H. Logan Reid of New York City. 

And when I looked at this photo from the San Francisco Museum, it looked very, very familiar to me.


And here’s from Grandma’s scrapbook!

Building 1 Building 2

Now I’ve figured out what those buildings were – sounds like it was a pretty cool exhibit back in 1914.

From Images of America, San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition, by Dr. William Lipsky:

In some ways ahead of its time, the Submarine Ride was one of the largest attractions on the Zone – and one of the most expensive to build.  Fairgoers entered through one of the shark mouths, then wandered through coral caves or voyaged under the waters of the seven seas aboard a facsimile of a U.S. Navy submersible.  Among other sites, they visited Neptune’s workshop, tropical sponge beds, sunken galleons, blue grottos of Capri, mermaids and mermen, and Davy Jones’ locker.  But it wasn’t all smooth sailing: a violent storm battered the submarine before returning it safely home.

And based on this ticket, I can verify that she was, indeed, there on October 18, 1914.


I wish I knew the story about why the date (12) was crossed out and a new date (18) was written in.  But I do know that she was there on the 18th because not only does the redwood and the ticket show that date, but this little memento of her ride on the Hippodrome Carroussel with MG.


The Hippodrome Carroussel was built by Charles I.D. Looff (1852-1918), who was a master carver and builder of hand-carved carousels and amusement rides in America.  He built his first carousel at Coney Island in 1876 and during his lifetime manufactured over 50 carousels and built the famous Santa Monica Pier. 

And then there was this gift from Al, whomever that might be.

Scotch Mints

Grandma must have worked on this memory book (or scrapbook, as I’ve called it) for many years.  Because in 1918 she wrote this to her then fiancé, my grandfather, Sigmund Levy.

Letter Part 1 
Letter Part 2

Oh Grandma, how I wish I’d had the opportunity to talk to you about all of this stuff!


  1. Wow! What cool finds Debi! The Exposition must have been quite the exciting event to attend in it's day.

    1. I think it was, Jana. Especially since my grandmother traveled some distance (Monterey-San Francisco) to get there.

    2. Debi,

      I just wanted to let you know that this post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Doing the research on the Exposition and exhibit enhanced the significance of a simple wood chip and collection of tickets. That must have been a mind-blowing way to spend the day in 1914, absolutely worth remembering and documenting in her scrapbook.

    1. I do enjoy doing a little research about the events she went to and it is fun to think about her being there.

  3. What great mementos to have! I love this post.