Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rules of the Road

Driving in Taiwan was different in many ways from what we were accustomed to in the States.  There were differences with the local laws, of course, but there were also some differences in traditional customs and courtesies on the streets and roads.

To make the transition to a new driving environment a bit easier, the U.S. Taiwan Defense Command and the Military Assistance Advisory Group co-published a guide to driving in Taiwan.  Scott in Taipei recently came into possession of the 1958 version of the guide and has been kind enough to share it with us.  I was especially fascinated by the rates for pedicabs (which were no longer in use when I arrived in Taipei) and the taxi rates.  I believe that the $NT to $US conversion rate was probably the same 40-to-1 ratio in 1958 as when I was there during 1973-74.  I didn't own a car while in Taipei so I often took taxis to wherever I needed to go.

As always, you can click on any of these images to view a larger version.  I'll be converting this document to a single PDF file for downloading in case anyone is interested in having a copy.  When it's ready, it will be posted in the column to your right, in the same area as other PDF files that I've previously made available.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Taipei Transports of the 1960s

Here's another group of photographs from Bill Amborn.  He wrote:

"Here is a small photo collection of ways in which goods and people were moved around in 1963-1965. I was intrigued by how things moved and stationed myself in a spot to photographed whatever came by. The photos were all taken in the same area, probably along Zhongshan Bei Lu. This is more part of the general history of Taiwan than anything to do with the military, a different slice than one might usually encounter.
I don’t know how much had changed in the ten years between my tour and yours, but now when I cruise around the roads on Google today, it is just incredible."
I believe I saw most of these methods of transport still being used during 1973-74, though probably far fewer of them than were around ten years earlier.  The exception would be the pedicabs.  I think they had been banned from the streets of Taipei by then.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated Photo of USTDC Gate

During 2010 I published two photos of the USTDC entrance gate (some called it the back gate).  It was located approximately where the taxi rest area next to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is located today.  One photo showed the entry gate as it looked when I was there during 1973-74 and the other showed it as it appeared in 1957.  The earlier photo was taken by Charlie Hoppe who was an intelligence officer there during 1955-57.  That earlier post can be found HERE.

Charlie recently loaned a box of his original slides to my buddy Kent Mathieu (Taipei Air Station blog), who has been restoring the images.  He realized that one of them was the same one that I posted in 2010 of the TDC gate.  Kent has done a beautiful job on this.  Here, after more than 50 years in storage, is the restored image as it appeared in 1957.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More Typhoon Gloria Photos from 1963

A couple of years ago, Bill Amborn (formerly at USTDC/J24) sent me some photos that he took of Typhoon Gloria flooding in 1963.  Today he sent me a few more great Typhoon Gloria photos that he recently had developed from some old negatives.  He has annotated each of them for your information.