It only took a hundred years for this technology to truly take hold for the average person, but they sure understood what it would mean: DEVICE NOT IN DEMAND Some Objections to Proposed Telephone Attachment. A man in Portland, Ore., has invented a telephone attachment that will enable the person at one end of the […]
Scientific, automotive, and news publications announced this marvel of modern design in 1907: Can you guess what they are? Yes, they’re goggles, but what doesn’t come across in these images is that the “lenses” are actually steel plates. “Looked at from the distance of two or three feet away these plates appear to be solid […]
The promise of flying cars and jetpacks in the 21st century has been around a long, long time: here is a comic from the french journal Le Pele-Mele: IN THE YEAR 2006 Aeroplanist to friend: “Just look down and you’ll see how backward they are in this part of the world. Why, the peasants still […]
Alongside the glass plate of Sanssouci Palace is this ambulatory image: The plate is marked “Hospital Yard, Vienna”. I’m sure there have been many different hospitals in Vienna over the years, but the architecture clearly identifies this building: the Vienna General Hospital, otherwise known as “Allgemeines Krankenhaus der Stadt Wien”. The image above would […]
In Guys and Dolls, the song “Adelaide’s Lament” rattles off any number of diseases that Adelaide might be suffering from — one is le grippe. By the fifties, the name was pretty much obsolete: today, we call legrippe “the flu”. Catarrh is another one of those obsolete disease names, too. It mostly just […]
A few years ago I bought a small box containing ‘magic lantern‘ slides, small glass plates with photographs on them, at an antique store in Minnesota. They’re essentially for use in the slide-projector of the late 19th century and early 20th century, a way to share photos with an audience. Five plates are in […]
As technology changes, sometimes we get stuck on old terminology; we “dial” a phone, the first TV channel is “2”, and we flatten things with a “steamroller”. Most steamrollers today, of course, are gas or diesel powered, but they’re still ‘steam’ to us. Steam-power ran most construction machinery in the 19th century, but slowly […]
Click for full image You might think Disney invented immersive amusement park rides, but he was a latecomer to the game. As trolley car services grew in cities, they looked for ways to expand ridership. One popular solution: buy land towards the end of the line, and build an amusement park. You can’t count on […]
Click for full imageA hand-colored portrait of a seated boy, holding a book in his lap. Appears 1900s.
Man in fur-collared, double-breasted driving coat, driving cap, with a pair of gloves in his hands. Appears 1900s. Photo by C.M. Howe, Erskine, MN.