Thursday, September 28, 2006

The South Sea Bubble Collection


'Many became crazy because they believed in schemes.' The South Sea Bubble stock market crisis in the early part of the eighteenth century and the speculative mania surrounding it. Digital collection at Harvard Business School. Link…

Build your own Baird Televisor


Many of the earliest television receivers were home made, either from parts bought by hobbyists from electrical suppliers or from kits sold by Baird Television. These articles were published in Television, the 'official organ of the Television Society', between March and May 1928. They give full instructions of how to build a Televisor and operate a television link between two rooms. Link…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kent University Print Collection


William Hogarth (1697-1764) and Bernard Baron (1696-1762), Evening from 'Four Times of Day', 1738. Link…
This engraving after William Hogarth’s Evening scene is taken from his series of four paintings ‘Four Times a Day’ (1736) which now belong to the National Trust’s Upton House and a Private collection. Hogarth selected Baron amongst others to engrave his work which was to be sold by subscription along with a fifth print of Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn (1738) for the amount of one Guinea, which rose to five shillings per print after subscription. By this time Hogarth’s prints had proven to be immensely popular with the middle-class and as noted on the bottom inscription were protected from illegal copying, which Hogarth’s work had been subject to. He had campaigned for the Engraver’s Copyright Act, which came into force just a few years before this engraving was published.
This print is in its second state identified by the addition of the sister who taunts her crying brother (before her addition, the tearful boy had seemed unexplained). The girl is thought to be added by Hogarth himself and he also went on to correct the painting accordingly. The inscription Sadlers Wells above the door way and the inscription of the name Sr Hugh Middleton (famous for bringing freshwater into central London) on the tavern sign are also new, both helping to explain and enhance the narrative. This second state also shows added cross-hatching in various parts of the picture and changed details around the added girl. The reason for these changes is inscribed underneath the first state suggesting that Hogarth himself made the alterations, from the similarity in the handwriting.
Morning, Noon, Evening and Night are the titles in the series which describes the daily life of eighteenth-century London, but also the contrasts within it. Hogarth uses the idea of classical allegorical figures for the times of the day that had become popular decoration in stately homes, known as point-du-jour. However, with true Hogarthian wit he depicts this theme with an ironic and witty twist: in Morning the ‘Aurora’ is depicted as a frosty prude who contrasts with the heat of the amorous couples outside Tom King’s Coffee House. The protagonist of Evening contrasts the graceful and chaste Venus (as suggested by the story on her fan of Venus detaining Adonis from the Chase) and instead we are presented with a fierce pregnant wife who scolds her small flustered husband, a dyer by trade (as suggested by his darkened hands which would have originally been stained blue in the prints). The strategically placed cow horns behind his head indicate his cuckoldry. The two children behind them reflect the relationship of their parents by the girl taunting her younger brother over the toy king he holds. The parallels between the children’s relationship and the parents’, as Paulson suggests, shows that there is no escape in the future as there is no escape to the country.
Evening, a ‘pastoral’ scene set in Sadlers Wells (at the time a popular middle-class resort) is the only part of the series that is set outside central London. The family’s attempt to escape the heat of the city on a day out to north London is prominently seen as a failure in the flustered faces of the adults (the wife’s face would have originally been tinted with red). In particular the husband has been forced from his afternoon’s rest but is unable to escape the dominance of his wife or the burden of his children. The harassed couple are contrasted by the group behind them who have gathered in the open air for a more relaxing and cooling drink. The intense heat is suggested by the lush grape vine growing against the tavern and the dog that walks sluggishly while looking towards the cooling water. The milking of the cow shows that the time is early evening at around five. - Samantha Smith. Link…

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bird's-eye


3-D perspective maps from 1882. Link…

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ling long


Ling long women's magazine, published in Shanghai from 1931 to 1937, was popular during a time of dramatic material, social, and political change in China. Today, the magazine offers researchers a unique glimpse into women's lives in Republican-era (1911-49) Shanghai. Link…

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cambridge library


Photographs covering the British Empire, religion, military campaigns, amongst others. Link…
This photograph was taken by a soldier on the Kumasi Ashanti Expedition, Whale (Ju Ju) Big fetish play, Gold Coast (circa 1900). A large whale-shaped object approximately twenty to twenty-five feet in length. The object appears to be a boat covered in a tarpaulin, with a 'mouth' at one end, a 'tail' at the other and two propeller-like objects on the side, possibly representing fins. The 'whale' also has a number of ornately decorated objects mounted along its top.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

German photographs


I don't recall having seen this picture of Hitler before (Heinrich Hoffmann, 1885-1957). It comes from a German Historical Museum exhibition. Don't bother with any of the archives on this site though, they are all mutilated with an image blocking copyright monstrosity making them useless for research or display. Link…

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Yale University


The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library has a nice collection of American Indian images. Link…

Monday, September 18, 2006

McCormick-International Harvester


Advertising posters from the McCormick-International Harvester Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Link…

Friday, September 15, 2006

Biophorus paradisiacus


Scans from Fauna Japonica - Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (1842). Link…

The Pig-tailed Monkey


Images from the Divison of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. Link… [You need to unblock pop-ups]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Duke of York's Royal Military School, Dover


Two interesting articles. Dictionary of slang (why on earth would they have slang for protruding teeth - Doidies, were they that common?) Link… The sins of Pte Enos Seth. Link…

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Great Lakes lighthouses


Grand Haven Lights. Link…
The Mormon breakaway James Jesse Strang was on Beaver Island. Elizabeth Whitney Williams - lighthouse keeper on Beaver Island, relates her experiences of his time there in this second chapter of her book. (A child of the sea and life among the Mormons).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hanuman Chalisa


The story in Telugu script. Link… In English Link…

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Clayton Bailey's ray guns


Very cool pop guns. Link…

Friday, September 08, 2006

PNG files


An excellent collection of illustrations Link…

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Spanish library


Historical documents from Spain. Link…

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mohammed El-Bakkar


Six free albums of fabulous Middle Eastern music [mp3 format]. Link…

Friday, September 01, 2006

Golden Pages


Qur'ans and other manuscripts. Link…