Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Blog statistics 2013

Blog statistics 2014
With the year 2014 just on the other side of the horizon it is that time again, time for the compilation of my annual report. This statistical survey needs to see the (short) light of day. Fortunately the world does not consist of stats and figures only. But if you are a "list man", which I am, publishing this survey is nothing less than an obligation. Why? An obligation to whom? Well, that's a good question, next question please.

To provide you with these statistics I use the figures published by Blogger. Some of these figures are published in two different places. Take for instance the page views for each post. They are shown in a top 10 list and also against each individual post. They should be the same but they aren't. There is a possibility to indicate whether you want to include or exclude the page views you cause yourself. I always exclude those so that cannot be the reason. In any case, I publish what Blogger tells me...

The best of Sepia Saturday
In 2012 I joined Alan Burnett's happy crowd of Sepia Saturday bloggers, one of the best "blogging decisions" I ever made. It was a tremendous stimulus to write a weekly post about subjects that are close to my heart. However, in 2013 I said goodbye to them. Why? Well, I feel that if you participate, you have to go all the way. In this case that means that you have to read the blogs of your fellow Sepians and leave a comment of some sort. Usually there are at least 30 interesting blogs to look at. After almost a year that appeared to be too time consuming. Most of the time it took the better part of a weekend to accomplish this task. So, much to my regret I had "to resign". But occasionally I drop in and have a look at the blogs of some of my "old" friends. During one of those visits I read that Alan proposed to have a book published to celebrate the 200th week of Sepia Saturday. Every Sepian was welcome to join. So I did together with close to 70 fellow bloggers. I am now the proud owner of The Best Of ... For those interested, this piece of virtual  literature can now be ordered in a tangible form. Just click on the link hereafter and become the proud owner of a book that soon will be a collectors item. The price is € 7,56 excl. shipping or whatever that is in your currency.

As you can see in the stats below, my depart from Sepia Saturday and other circumstances caused a dramatic blog production drop. But I hope you will agree with me that apart from blogging there are also other things in life worth pursuing. With this profound remark I invite my dear readers, to have a look at the figures and see what y'all accomplished in 2013. Thank you very much for visiting my blog! 

2013 Page views Posts Views/day
Jan 6,505 6 210
Feb 5,398 5 193
Mar 4,990 5 161
Apr 4,262 4 142
May 5,754 6 186
Jun 5,311 12 177
Jul 3,814 0 123
Aug 4,426 4 143
Sep 3,068 0 102
Oct 2,834 1 91
Nov 3,160 2 105
Dec 3,143 3 101
Year 52,665 48 144
vs 2012 +36% -54%

Most popular posts: top 10/2013           Page views 
An American Moor in Leiden 434
Sepia Saturday - Sales Promotion 367
Dutch born abroad 326
Home! Sweet home! 303
Orie's, all-in the family? 292
Sepia Saturday - Snow 283
Sepia Saturday - The watchman 253
Sepia Saturday - Auntie Miriam 234
Sepia Saturday - Words, words, words 223
My coat of arms 187

Between brackets last years ranking.
Most popular browsers u/i 2013 % Page views
Chrome (1) 30%
Internet Explorer (2) 29%
Firefox (3) 22%
Safari (4) 7%
Opera (5) 6%
Most popular OS u/i 2013 % Page views
Windows (1) 78%
Linux (3) 7%
Macintosh (2) 6%
iPad (4) 3%
Android/iPhone (5/6) 2%
Origin countries u/i 2013            Page views
Netherlands (1) 39,544
United States (2) 19,006
Russia (3) 5,322
France (5) 4,701
Germany (4) 3,034
UK (7) 1,488
Belgium (6) 1,378
Canada (8) 562
Australia (9) 478
Ukraine (-) 421

All time top 5 most popular posts            Page views
Dutch ancestors 9,462
Dutch surname equivalents abroad 7,716
Born in Nederlands Indië/Dutch East Indies 2,154
Our aircraft - 12 812
Saved from the dustbin - 2 680

In the category First time visits per country it is worth mentioning that this year we passed the 10,000 visitors mark for The Netherlands as well as the 3,000 mark for the USA. From the start in 2008 Blogger recorded a total of 94,000 page views.

I wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2014! 
Last year I showed you a home made video of the New Year firework here in Castricum, The Netherlands. This year I'll display one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. It is made by the Hubble Space Telescope and shows the spiral galaxy Messier 106. Speaking of firework ...

Messier 106
Spiral galaxy Messier 106 (click to enjoy!)

Image credits: 
Messier 106 scientias.nl

Friday, 27 December 2013


G.Th. de Langen - A. Doelman
G.Th. de Langen - A. Doelman
The Hague, Dec. 27, 1916
Voor de tekst in het Nederlands, zie na de Engelse tekst
Today 97 years ago my maternal grandparents got married. At the time my grandfather Gerardus Theodorus de Langen was 28 years old. Granny, her name was Antje Doelman, was four years younger. Their marriage lasted for almost 51 years. It came to an end when grandpa died on Oct. 20, 1967. 
Unfortunately I have no information about the wedding itself. I know it took place in The Hague but where it was celebrated I have no clue. Also the guest list vanished in the mist of history. However, it is more than likely that the persons mentioned in the marriage certificate participated in the festivities. Those were:

  • the parents of the groom: Jan de Langen and Johanna Margaretha van den Bosch
  • Huwelijksakte De Langen x Doelman
    Marriage certificate
  • the father of the bride: Pieter Doelman
and the two witnesses:
  • the brother of the groom: Bruno Jan de Langen
  • the stepbrother of the bride: Anton Mattheus Warendorff
The official marriage took place in the town hall located at the Groenmarkt. It is probable that right after the official ceremony they went to the nearby studio of photographer C.J.L. Vermeulen at 11 Toussaintkade where their official wedding picture was taken. 
During the early months of their marriage the couple lived at the Hoefkade, a little south of the city center.
In 1903 grandpa started to work for a central procurement organization called Eigen Hulp. In 1916 he was still there making a career in the accounting department. 
As was normal in those days grandma's career was at home. She truly managed the household and the finances pertaining thereto. All income and expenses were recorded in a booklet. The first entry dates from December 28, 1916, one day after her marriage took place.
Record of household income and expenses Dec. 28-30, 1916
Although Grandma does not provide insight in what she bought, she shows how much she spends in the various shops on a daily basis. It is always fun to see the prices of the various articles of almost a century ago, right in the middle of the Great War. (To avoid misunderstandings, the Netherlands did not participate in this war but many people from Belgium fled to the low countries.)
Expenses December 28:
Grocer (kruidenier) 2 guilders and 24½ cents
Butcher (slager) 65 cents

Coal and peat (kolen en turf) 1 guilder 35 cents
Oil fuel (olie) 12 cents
Baker (bakker) 20½ cents
Milk (melk) 13 cents
Potatoes and vegetables (aardappels en groenten) 26½ cents 
Glassware (glas) 11 cents
To give you an impression of the value of the Dutch guilder then, I'll convert some of these amounts into US$ and UK£. In those days US$ 1.00 = UK£ 0.20 = Dutch guilder 2.40.
So for the grocer Grandma paid a little less than a dollar or UK£ 0.19. And the butcher received the royal amount of $ 0.27 or  £ 0.05. (My apologies for not using shillings and pence.)
Although all this bookkeeping may seem a little childish, for Grandma it was a method to control expenses and save money. In the late thirties she surprised my grandfather with the news that she had saved enough money to buy a house! And so they did. I believe they paid some 5.000 Dutch guilders for the house shown below on the right hand side. Now, if that is not an economical housewife, I don't know who is!
14-18 Mispelstraat, The Hague
Nederlandse tekst
Vandaag zouden de grootouders van mijn moeders kant 97 jaar getrouwd zijn. Dat zou wel een unicum geweest zijn maar dat hebben ze niet gehaald. Hoewel, bijna 51 jaar is ook een mooie tijd! Toen mijn Oma en Opa trouwden waren ze 24 en 28 jaar oud. Ik heb helaas geen informatie over de (plaats van de) bruiloft, noch over de genodigden. Maar aangenomen mag worden dat de mensen die in de trouwakte genoemd staan, er in ieder geval bij zijn geweest. Dat zijn:
  • de ouders van de bruidegom: Jan de Langen en Johanna Margaretha van den Bosch
  • de vader van de bruid: Pieter Doelman
  • en de twee getuigen:
  • de broer van de bruidegom: Bruno Jan de Langen en
  • de stiefbroer van de bruid: Anton Mattheus Warendorff
Het burgerlijk huwelijk vond plaats in het toenmalige stadhuis aan de Groenmarkt. Dat is niet zo gek ver verwijderd van de fotostudio van J.C.L. Vermeulen aan de Toussaintkade 11. Daar werd de "officiële" huwelijksfoto gemaakt (zie helemaal bovenaan).
In die eerste maanden van hun huwelijk woonde het paar aan de Hoefkade. Grootvader werkte toen al sinds 1903 op de administratie van Eigen Hulp, een inkooporganisatie voor o.a. kruideniersartikelen met eigen winkels voornamelijk in het Haagse. Opa zou later hoofd van de administratie worden. Thuis zwaaide Oma de scepter. Daar moet niet al te veel betekenis aan gehecht worden maar zij bestierde wel het huishouden. Alle inkomsten en uitgaven werden vastgelegd in haar huishoudboekje. De eerste aantekeningen daarin dateren van 28 december, twee dagen na het huwelijk. Via mijn moeder heb ik de hand op het boekje weten te leggen. Hoewel Oma niet aantekende wat en hoeveel ze kocht, is het toch leuk om te zien hoe de dagelijkse uitgaven toen (halverwege de Eerste Wereldoorlog) lagen.
Kruidenier 2 gulden en 24½ cent (tegen de koers van de euro zou dat € 1,02 zijn)
Slager 65 cent (€ 0,30)
Kolen en turf 1 gulden 35 cent (€ 0,61)
Olie 12 cent (€ 0,05)
Bakker 20½ cent (€ 0,09)
Melk 13 cent (€ 0,06)
Aardappels en groenten 26½ cent (€ 0,12)
Glas 11 cent (€ 0.05)

Zeker met deze getallen klinkt het vandaag-de-dag allemaal wat kinderachtig om zo de uitgaven bij te houden maar voor Oma werkte dat prima. En ze wist er ook nog van te sparen. Aan het eind van de dertiger jaren kon ze Opa, tot zijn verrassing, meedelen dat ze genoeg gespaard had om een huis te kopen. Daar had ze dan wel zo'n 20 jaar over gedaan, maar toch, petje af. Het verhaal wil dat Opa geen idee had dat zoiets tot de mogelijkheden behoorde. Vervolgens kochten ze voor 5.000,= gulden het huis Mispelstraat 18 in Den Haag (zie foto) waar ze tot in de vijfiger jaren zijn blijven wonen.
Het moge duidelijk zijn dat Opa en Oma niet meer onder ons zijn maar ik bewaar de allerbeste herinneringen aan ze! 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sinterklaasavond/Saint Nicholas Eve

Sinterklaasgedicht Miebies
Sinterklaasgedicht van Piet Miebies
(Den Haag 1924 - Uitgeest 2001)
Please scroll down for a summary in English.
Sinterklaasvierende families hebben vaak zo hun eigen tradities. Bij de een ligt de nadruk op het maken van surprises, bij de ander meer op het maken van gedichten. 
Surprises variëren van ingepakte cadeautjes tot ingenieuze contrapties die het woord 'surprise' meer dan verdienen. In onze familie zochten wij het in het dichterlijke. Dat zijn niet noodzakelijkerwijs mooie, lieve mededelingen op rijm, nee, ik zou het eerder kleundichten willen noemen. De ontvanger van het presentje werd, voordat hij tot uitpakken mocht overgaan, eerst geconfronteerd met zijn handel en wandel van het afgelopen jaar. Overbodig te melden dat zulks in krachtige en onthullende termen geschiedde. Het gebruik van grove taal was sommige familieleden helaas niet vreemd. 
Na deze boetedoening mocht er dan uitgepakt worden. 
Gelukkig maakten niet alle familieleden zich schuldig aan het maken van rijmen vol met vuige en lasterlijke taal. Een hele kleine groep, waartoe ik mij mocht rekenen, produceerde poëzie van hoog niveau. Ook mijn oom Piet, hij is helaas niet meer onder ons, behoorde tot dat selecte gezelschap. Hij kon rijmen als de beste. Daarnaast excelleerde hij in het maken van onzinnige rijmen. Nicht Evelien diende als zijn jaarlijks weerkerende bron van inspiratie voor gedichten in dit genre. Veelal had het weinig met 5 december van doen. Maar door de aanwezigheid van de handtekening van de Sint weten we ook vandaag nog dat het hier om een Sinterklaasgedicht moet gaan. De tekst zet ik hieronder.

Waar ambachtelijke normen
En kunstgevoel elkaar ontmoeten,
Daar huppelen subtiele vormen
In het rond op kousenvoeten.
Het uitbundig liefdesleven
Tussen kunst en noeste vlijt
Heeft ons opnieuw een vrucht gegeven
Die uitstijgt boven vorm en tijd.
Dit heeft de wereld iets te zeggen,
In eigen stijl, in eigen taal.
Maar vraag mij niet dit uit te leggen,
Want ach, wij zijn toch allemaal
Slechts gastarbeiders in de verte
Van het onbegrepen "hoe?",
Eten worteltjes of erwten
En Zondags tutti frutti toe,
Waarin de edele vrucht verschraald is
Tot een weeë, zoete brij,
Waar elke pit al uitgehaald is
Door de consumptiemaatschappij.
Proletariers aller landen
Stelt U eensgezind te weer
Op dat het heilig vuur blijft branden,
En eet geen tutti frutti meer.
Het leven gaat niet over rozen,
Wij moeten hard er tegen aan.
Maar wie het goede heeft gekozen,
Die kan de voorwas overslaan.

Sinterklaas in Amsterdam
The Dutch Santa is called Sinterklaas or Saint Nicholas. His birthday is on December 6 and the celebration takes place on Sinterklaasavond or Saint Nicholas Eve. He is known as the friend of all children. Up till approx. 5 or 6 years old children firmly believe in his existence. Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is the assistant of Sinterklaas. He drops all their presents in the chimney during nighttime so that the children find their gifts in the morning near the fireplace.
Traditionally the grown ups in the family draw lots and buy (a little) something. The present is either packed in an appropriate but surprising way or people produce a rhyme. Usually the rhyme is somewhat critical about the recipients behavior during the past year. In our family another genre was practised. My uncle Piet was a star in producing nonsensical poems. One of those is reflected above.  I am afraid that I am unable to provide you with a translation that does justice to the original text. So you have to believe me when I say it is absurd.

Photo credit: http://www.iamexpat.nl

Monday, 25 November 2013

Politieke Opsporingsdienst

Politieke Opsporingsdienst
To read this text in English please scroll down.
De naam Politieke Opsporingsdienst, ook wel bekend als de POD, doet mij denken aan zeer repressieve overheidsinstanties in de Soviet-Unie die, ten tijde van Stalin, jacht maakten op mensen met politiek onwelgevallige ideeën. Maar de Soviets hadden niet het exclusive recht op dit soort activiteiten. De Nederlandse regering in ballingschap heeft in februari 1945 een soortgelijke dienst opgezet. Het doel was om elementen, die tijdens de oorlog met de Duitsers hadden geheuld, op te pakken. Te denken valt aan NSB-ers, Nederlandse SS-ers, verraders en oostfrontvrijwilligers. De dienst, bestaande uit 80 locale POD's, heeft een goed  jaar bestaan: op 1 maart 1946 ging hij op in de Politieke Recherche Afdeling (PRA).
In de meeste gevallen werden de ruim 100.000 (!) arrestanten berecht door de Bijzondere Gerechtshoven en Tribunalen. 

Het opsporingsregister, waarvan hierboven het omslag, kreeg ik op een merkwaardige wijze in mijn bezit. Ik vond het zo'n 20 jaar geleden op een rommelmarkt in Amstelveen, het stond zomaar in een krat met oude boeken. Ik wist van het bestaan van de POD maar mijn aandacht werd nog meer getrokken door het woordje Geheim. Toen ik het boekje doorbladerde, bleek al snel waarom het geschrift die kwalificatie had meegekregen: het staat van voor tot achter vol met de namen van arrestanten en mensen die gesignaleerd stonden. En niet alleen namen maar ook adressen, geboortedata en soms een beroep. In totaal bijna 300 bladzijden met meer dan 13.000 arrestanten! En dan ook nog ruim 1.700 gesignaleerden. Bij elkaar 15% van het totaal aantal in Nederland gearresteerden. Een interessant boekje dus, helemaal vol met ook nu nog gevoelige informatie! Ik herinner me dat ik het voor één gulden gekocht heb.
Overzichtskaart POD-afdelingen
Survey of the 80 POD departments
De in mijn register genoemde personen zijn voornamelijk afkomstig uit de dubbel gearceerde delen van het land: de provincie Noord Holland en delen van Zuid Holland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overijssel, Drenthe en Groningen.

Uit beide voorwoorden wordt duidelijk dat het opstellen van dit register een initiatief was van de POD Zaanstreek. Het register had o.m. als doel aan andere POD's duidelijk te maken wie er al gearresteerd was. Dan hoefde men elders niet meer naar zo'n persoon op zoek. Een loffelijk streven (?) dat zelfs door de Inspecteur van de Opsporingsdienst niet dwingend wordt voorgeschreven aan de overige POD's. Veel meer dan toejuichen doet hij het niet. Of dat toejuichen ooit in een echt landelijk register heeft geresulteerd, is mij niet bekend.
Voorwoord door het Hoofd POD Zaanstreek R.R. Pel
Introduction by POD director R.R. Pel
Voorwoord door Inspecteur Ir. D. Noordhof*
Introduction by the Bureau Inspector Ir. D. Noordhof
Hoewel ik een zelfverklaard liefhebber van lijstjes en het maken daarvan ben, denk ik niet dat de tijd al rijp is om hier delen van dit register te publiceren. Maar elke keer als er in de pers sprake is van een Nederlandse oorlogsmisdadiger, kan ik toch niet nalaten even in het register te kijken. En soms kom ik zo'n naam dan tegen zoals die van de op 24-5-2012 op 90-jarige leeftijd (!) in Duitsland (!) overleden SS-er Klaas Carel Faber, die voor de oorlog het beroep van winkelbediende uitoefende. 

The Bureau of Political Investigation
The name of this unit sounds very much like a Soviet government body during the days of the cold war. The names of Stalin and Berin come to mind. However, political investigations have not always been the prerogative of communist nations. Just before the end of the second world war a similar unit was founded here in The Netherlands. Its purpose was to arrest and bring to court all those who had collaborated with the Germans during the war. All in all this Bureau and its successor investigated some 100,000 Dutch nationals (!).
In September 1945 the Zaandam branch of the Bureau issued a register showing the names, addresses and birth dates of all people arrested up to that date. The cover is shown above. The register itself contains the data of close to 15,000 people.

When I visited a jumble sale in the early nineties I ran across this issue. In a crate full of books I saw a register marked 'Secret' ('Geheim' in Dutch). When leafing through it, it quickly dawned on me what it was. And I was also aware of the sensitivity of this material. Even almost 70 years after the war publishing these names would not go by unnoticed. Therefore and despite the fact that most persons mentioned are no longer among us, I'll refrain from publishing the details. But whenever the name of a Dutch collaborator or war criminal pops up in the press here, I can't resist the urge to see whether he is mentioned in this register.  All in all I think I've been lucky to have been able to buy this register. I remember the price was one Dutch guilder, at the time some 30 US cents...

*Ik heb niet kunnen vaststellen of dit dezelfde Ir. D. Noordhof is die later directeur bij Philips is geworden.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

If space is scarce...

You'll find the text in English after the Dutch text.
De hier afgebeelde kaart kreeg ik ooit, samen met andere poststukken uit het voormalige Nederlands Indië, van mijn Poeldijkse schoonzusje. De reden om 'm te laten zien is niet omdat het een familiestuk is (want dat is het niet, althans niet van mijn familie) of omdat het een al wat ouder poststuk zou zijn (het poststempel is van 5-12-1895). De reden is de manier waarop de achterkant van de kaart beschreven is. Dat is gedaan op een wijze die doet vermoeden dat de schrijfster moeite heeft haar hele boodschap op de beperkte ruimte weer te geven. Je zou denken dat je de regelafstand wat kleiner zou kunnen houden maar dit is natuurlijk ook een manier.

De kaart is geschreven op 4 december 1895 en gericht aan Herman Lans die in of bij Soerabaja op Oost Java woonde. De afzendster heet Bertha. De tekst is verder niet zo relevant. Vermeldenswaard is nog wel een subtiele, kritische opmerking die Bertha maakt over een boek dat ze kennelijk (voor haar verjaardag?) van Herman ontvangen heeft. Ze schrijft: "Hartelijk dank ik je voor je felicitatie en het boek; het was niet gefrankeerd maar dat doet er niet toe...". Nou, ...
Hoe dan ook, de kaart is goed leesbaar en daar gaat het maar om.

Update 20 nov. 2013: Van een schoonzusje (Karin) van één van mijn schoonzusjes (bent u daar nog?) hoorde ik dat de geadresseerde H. Lans, haar grootvader Herman Willem Lans is. Hij is geboren in Banda Neira (NOI) op 30 dec. 1879 en overleden in Batavia (NOI) op 14 jun. 1944 . Afzendster Bertha was zijn oudere zus Bertha Elisabeth Lans, geboren in Banda Neira op 20 nov. 1878, vandaag precies 135 jaar geleden! Zij overleed in Lawang op 21 jun. 1960.
Er is een site met veel meer gegevens over deze familie en die vindt u hier.

English text
Some time ago my sister in law presented me with some letters and postcards from the former Dutch East Indies. One of those is shown here. Although this piece is fairly old, it was first stamped in Weltevreden (presently known as Bogor on West Java) on December 5, 1895, that is not the reason for presenting it here. What struck me was the method to utilize the available space. Rather than decreasing the spacing between the lines the authoress turned the card 90 degrees and started writing again. Funny, never seen it before.
That text on this postcard is not very relevant for this post. However, sender Bertha made a small remark which made me smile. She apparently received a book from addressee Herman, possibly as a birthday present. Herman omitted to prepay the package. So Bertha wrote: "Thank you very much for your congratulations and the book; there were no stamps on the package but that doesn't matter..." Well, ...
In any case, the postcard is clearly legible and that does matter.

Update Nov. 20, 2013: A sister in law of one of my sisters in law (are you still with me?) informed me that the addressee H. Lans was in fact her grandfather Herman Willem Lans born in Banda Neira (DEI) on Dec. 30, 1879. He died in Batavia (DEI) on Jun. 14, 1944 . The sender was his younger sister Bertha Elisabeth Lans. She was born in Banda Neira on this very day (!) in 1878. She passed away in Lawang (DEI) on Jun. 21, 1960.
More information about this family on this site.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Sepia Saturday 200: The Celebration

You have never heard of Sepia Saturday? Well, that's your loss! But in case you want to know I'll provide you with a little info. About 200 weeks ago Alan, Kat and Marilyn started a blog with the name I mentioned. The idea was (and is) to inspire bloggers by showing a sepia photo every week. And whatever thoughts/ideas/memories come to mind when looking at these pictures, you put those on "paper" and circulate same among your fellow Sepians. The vehicle to circulate your contribution is the Sepia Saturday website. No strings attached.
To celebrate the milestone of reaching the 200 mark, Alan came up with the splendid idea to have a book published showing past contributions. As this is my chance to hide my humble writings in a piece of 21st century literature, I'll happily re-publish my Sepia Saturday 164 blogpost.

Sepia Saturday - The watchman

Sepia Saturday 200
T1 is code for Turtle 1
When I saw the theme picture for this week I was very much surprised because I immediately recognized a member of the RSSSATP, you can tell by the protruding little fingers. As you can see he is closely watching a species of the Dermochelys coriacea. Beg your pardon, you don't know what RSSSATP stands for? That is the Royal Society for the Strategic Study of Advancing Turtles in the Pacific. Since you are apparently unaware of this important semi military organization, maybe I should explain their objectives. First of all I have to say it is a secret organization, a lot of hush hush. That is because of its strategic significance. Its membership is restricted to army and navy biologists and it is highly unusual to see a picture of a member in action. 
You may wonder about the pipe. Well, so do I but my guess is that this officer is a pipe smoker. On the other hand I wouldn't be surprised if the pipe, or its smoke, is related to the study he is carrying out. Smoke curtains and all that. Because rumour has it that the research of this eminent organization has to do with amphibious landings. You may know that certain turtles live in the sea but lay their eggs on the beach. The study aims at investigating the methods these turtles use to overcome the surf without capsizing. For this purpose certain marks have been applied to the turtle's shield. That is done to facilitate air reconnaissance.  I am afraid I can't give you any further details without being accused of all kinds of nasty things.
Despite the risk of revealing state secrets I will base my Sepia Saturday contribution on the wristwatch the officer is wearing. Although I am not a wristwatch wearer (what a word!) myself, I do have a few heirlooms. To be honest some of these objects have not yet reached that status yet but one day they will.
Bulova Accutron
Bulova Accutron 1960
This Swiss watch dates from 1960. It is a very special watch because the movement is determined by a tuning fork. Rather than giving you the wrong info I quote from Wikipedia. "The tuning fork movement was a horological revolution.
Previously, electronically regulated timepieces were limited to some scientific instruments, being too large for a personal watch. The Accutron was also the first wristwatch precise enough to qualify for U.S. railroad certification." And if you qualify for the U.S. railroad...
You can see the tuning fork between the two electromagnetic coils at the top of the watch left. Unfortunately there is something wrong with my watch. When I activate the watch it runs way too fast. So if it has to become a valuable heirloom I need to have it repaired.
The next timepiece is a pocket watch. It was given to me by my Aunt Jo. Aunt Jo was married to Johannes Frederikus Miebies (1899-1958), the son of my grandfather's brother and the previous owner of this watch.
Omega pocket watch
Omega pocket watch 1913
I tried to date this pocket watch by comparing it with Google images. But no success there. Fortunately most Omega pocket watches have been numbered. This one carries number 4322892. That means it has been manufactured in 1913. So this year it is exactly 100 years old! It is also Auntie Jo's birth year. Coincidence? I don't think so but I'll ask her, she's still among us! [Last month she celebrated her 100th birthday!]
Smiths 30Hours
Smiths 30Hours
Smiths English Clocks Ltd was operational between 1931 and 1979. I think this model was manufactured during the 50's but I am not sure. Apparently these 30 hours clockworks were a specialty of Smiths. I don't know why the clocks were 
limited to a 30 hours running time. There might very well be a technical reason for that. 
Neither do I know when 30 Hour mechanisms were made. But no matter when that was, it's still running like you know what. It produces a nice ticking noise for easily more than 36 hours.
My clock is integrated in the showcase like cabinet shown here. When we bought it the antique dealer said the cabinet was English made. For all I know it could have been Turkish as well. I am not an expert in these matters but possibly one of the Sepians is. 
The last watch on display here is another pocket watch. According to my mother it belonged to her father Gerardus Theodorus de Langen (1888-1967). It is a watch that puzzles me because I am not even certain in which country it has been made, Switzerland or France. It is a Judex montre de precision (precision watch) with serial number 997331.
Judex pocket watch
Judex pocket watch possibly 1920-1930
I saw another Judex pocket watch with a similar diamond shaped decor. That one was made between 1920-1930. Unlike the Omega shown above this one is running fine.
When I opened the back of the watch there was another surprise: the original warranty. It mentions the serial number and the fact that the case is made of silver (argent). The term épreuve de réglage means 'test' or 'control'. But the nature of the test is not clear to me. I noted that the watch-glass has been replaced by plastic. At least I assume it has been replaced because I don't think plastic was used for the original. Maybe grandpa inadvertently dropped it somewhere.
Well, this is it. I am running out of ticking devices. It's time for you to watch other stories. So hasten yourself to the Sepia Saturday site. But be careful, don't turn turtle!
Wendy said...
What a magnificent collection. My favorite though is the china cabinet with built-in clock. I love old cabinets, but I've never seen one with a clock. In fact, I never knew they made such a piece.
Boobook said...
Thanks for the background info on the military aspects of the theme photo - most enlightening.
tony said...
Peter.I too do not wear a watch these days (due partly to my mobile phone telling me the time these days:also watches never last.they or their straps always break!)I notice you even have a dutch clock on your blog now! (P.S. I am full of admiration for the RSSSATP!)
Lovely's Blot said...
I'm another non watch wearer since the advent of mobile phones.. but I felt rather nostalgic looking at all those watches.
Postcardy said...
You have a nice collection. I always wear a watch, and I always buy cheap ones.
Mike Brubaker said...
When the wristwatch replaced the pocket watch, time became a convenient glance to the wrist. Now that the cellphone is replacing the wristwatch, time is back in the pocket. How is this progress?

Of course some of us, {and we know who we are} have too much time on our hands.
Bob Scotney said...
I have a collection of watches too, on all of the tick has expired. I have reached the stage in life when it is only occasionally that time is important to me. I tell the time by days - my week ends on a sepia day.
Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...
What a nice transition from the top secret undercover military turtle study to your nice collection of watches.

How nice that Aunt Jo is still here at 100 years old!

Kathy M.
Little Nell said...
I'm really surprised that you got away with revealing so much about the RSSSATP. If you're not here next week we'll know why. I loved your collection of timepieces as I have a fascination with old watches, especially fob watches. I still wear a wristwatch, though the date section is getting harder to read; I think it's shrinking!
barbara and nancy said...
Oh, you really had me going there about the turtle military research. Until I got to the air reconnaissance part. Then I knew you were just joshing us.

Great collection of watches. I think you should actually use at least one of them, just for nostalgia sake.
Brett Payne said...
I have a gold Cyma wristwatch which used to belong to my grandfather, still in the original case, although the leather strap is, I'm sure, a replacement. It works well, but I don't use it, even though I rather like it, because it's not very strong and the back has already been cracked (and repaired) once.

An interesting post, which prompted me to look up mine - I'm guessing it's from the 1950s, although I didn't find the exact one online. Thanks.
Titania said...
Peter, watch out for your watches, a fine collection. The cabinet looks very elegant but I have never seen one with an inbuilt clock. I am going now for the lightest titanium eco watches, turned on by any light!
Jackie van Bergen said...
A great story and some great timepieces. Reminded me of some I have from great aunts. And what a great cabinet - I'm jealous!
And Happy 100th to Auntie Jo!
We are going to Maastricht for Christmas this year with my husband's cousins and 90 year old Auntie Thea. I hope she makes it to 100 too.
Hazel said...
I thought there had to be something behind the photo. This prompt was not shot for nothing. It seems to me 'strategic' is usually associated with hush-hush slash secret.
Alan Burnett said...
My grandfather was a watch and clock repairer in the winter (during the summer he was a window cleaner)and therefore I find I have an ancestral pull towards clocks. Wonderful things, the old ones, there is a fine sense of logic to them which you don't find with the modern battery operated things. Having said that I wear a cheap modern thing, but your post tempts me to go in search of a clockwork watch. What influence you have on me Peter.
Mike Burnett said...
That "Ticks" the box. Sneaky link.
Nigel Aspdin (Derby, UK) said...
May I suggest an answer as to why your cabinet clock is "30 hours"? I think it is a mains electric clock (a matter which will be obvious on inspection) and the 30 hours refers to the length of time it will run after the power fails.

Kristin said...
I have had several watches, starting with the broken one an aunt gave me for my college graduation gift. I have never worn them because I just don't care what time it is most of the time.
Karen S. said...
Peter, I always enjoy following the thoughts you share, and it never fails I usually learn new things, that I'm glad you mentioned! Great story, perfect photos and indeed what an amazing watch collection !!!!
Tattered and Lost said...
Very good post. I love the pocket watches. I have my grandfather's watch he wore while working on the Pennsylvania RR. And I have one that belonged to my grandmother which she won for selling newspaper subscriptions. She gave me the watch before she died and I wore it around my neck with pride. Then one day at school, following recess, I went back to class to discover it had fallen off the chain. I was horrified. I had to wait until lunch time to go out and look for it. I found it, but there was now a small dent in the case. I never wore it again. It broke my heart that I'd damaged it. It now sits in a case in a drawer.
Peter said...
@Little Nell
Well, you know why :) You must be clairvoyant!
Titanium watches..., somehow that doesn't surprise me.
Hope you'll have merry and white Christmas in Maastricht. On second thoughts, the white may be a bit to slippery for your Aunt Thea!
I notice North Sea water also conducts influence.
I'm sorry to disappoint you but there isn't anything electrical about it.
I don't think your granddad would have wanted that... He'll be honored if you wear it again, serious!

Thank you all for your comments. Much appreciated!


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