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The Hall Typewriter: the world's first 'laptop'
Martin Howard from Antique Typewriter (previously) writes, "In 1881, Thomas Hall, a Brooklyn engineer, invented the first portable typewriter that would enable a person to type with the machine anywhere, even on one’s lap. This was also the first index typewriter, a typewriter with no keyboard that requires one to use a selector. In this case, a black handle is depressed to choose the characters when typing. The Hall, despite its unusual design, proved to be quite successful over the next twenty years."
history  typewriters  antique 
5 days ago by terry
The World Wide Web turns 30: our favorite memories from A to Z
Over the past 30 years, major portions of the web have come and gone. They’ve made us laugh and cringe, let us waste time and find friends, and reshaped the world in the process.

For its anniversary, we’re looking back at some of our favorite websites, from A to Z, as well as some key people and technologies. Of course, there was far too much good stuff to include, so we had to note some additional favorites along the way.
history  internet  web 
6 days ago by terry
Network 7
Network 7 was broadcast live on Sundays from noon until two o'clock and was conceived of as a 'channel within a channel', something young people could roll out of bed and watch the morning after the night before. Its mission statement was "News is Entertainment. Entertainment is News." It was known for its heavily self-branded, frenetic visual style with wild camera work, rapid cuts, very short items and "blipverts" - a dense combination of innovative graphics, and pop video style visuals explaining everything from Third World debt to bulimia.
television  history  youth 
6 days ago by terry
Oxford museum rethinks famed display of shrunken heads
Van Broekhoven points out that the Treatment of Dead Enemies display is both “cherished and feared” by visitors: “Many think of these objects as bizarre, gruesome, barbaric, a ‘freak’ show. The practice of headhunting, instead of being better understood, is misunderstood entirely. The Shuar communities do not want to be represented in these stereotypical ways.”

[...]

Van Broekhoven is also only too aware about the ethical sensitivities surrounding the original acquisition of tsantsas, since in some cases this involved violent and criminal behaviour by collectors who were responding to the appetites of museums.

This has been examined by the anthropologist Frances Larson in her recent book on severed heads: “Collectors behaved in a way that would have been criminal at home… Some stole the dead from hospital morgues, bought bodies from prison, offered people goods in exchange for bits of their dead relatives or asked the locals politely for enemy body parts after battles and raids.” Arguably it is inappropriate for museums to display human remains acquired in such circumstances.
museums  history  anthropology 
7 days ago by terry
Behold, the tiniest of books
A grand collection of miniature volumes — 950 of them — is now on display at the Grolier Club in New York City.
books  museums  history 
10 days ago by terry
Hans Prinzhorn’s Artistry of the Mentally Ill (1922)
Prinzhorn’s groundbreaking study, the first of its kind, gained much attention in avant-garde circles of the time, interesting artists such as Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and Jean Dubuffet. In the 1940s, the latter went on to coin the term Art Brut (Raw Art), which along with the related concept of Outsider Art, has continued to capture the public interest, to the point where it has today (some might say ironically) become a successful art marketing category in its own right.
art  history  psychiatry 
11 days ago by terry
See a dazzling, exuberant Renaissance calligraphy guide
Most of the actual text of Mira calligraphae monumenta is taken from the Bible—the “lorem ipsum” graphic filler used in those times. The dizzying circular text on a page featuring a pair of pears and a seashell is actually the Lord’s Prayer squeezed into an area the size of a quarter, dexterously rendered with a bird-quill pen and runny ink.
history  calligraphy 
17 days ago by terry
The Soviet Union encouraged children to take pictures, but rarely showed them
While Lunacharsky was promoting creativity, “the camera presented a ‘bounded’ potential—one limited by the camera’s frames and technologically driven, which would have allied well with the big industrial pushes of the new Soviet state,” says Reischl. Children were indeed being publicly encouraged to document the truth of life around them, but their creativity was subject to official oversight. “In an ideologically charged and driven place like the Soviet Union, an image always has a ‘right’ reading—and what’s ‘right’ can shift very suddenly,” she adds.
russia  photography  children  history 
17 days ago by terry
Why Do India and Pakistan keep fighting over Kashmir?
Two nuclear-armed siblings with a long history of armed conflict. Two prime ministers facing public pressure for military action. And a snowy, mountainous region that both nations have coveted — and occupied with troops — for more than 70 years.

It was almost inevitable that fighting would break out again between India and Pakistan.
history  geography  india  pakistan 
17 days ago by terry
Sylbo, the last speakers of the lost whistling language
In the age of mobile phones, the remaining "speakers" of a dying whistling language try to preserve a vital means of communication over vast distances.
history  language  video 
18 days ago by terry
A eulogy for AltaVista, the Google of its time
You appeared on the search engine scene in December 1995. You made us go “woah” when you arrived. You did that by indexing around 20 million web pages, at a time when indexing 2 million web pages was considered to be big.

Today, of course, pages get indexed in the billions, the tens of billions or more. But in 1995, 20 million was huge. Existing search engines like Lycos, Excite & InfoSeek (to name only a few) didn’t quite know what hit them. With so many pages, you seemed to find stuff they and others didn’t.
internet  history  historyoftechnology 
22 days ago by terry
CERN 2019 WorldWideWeb rebuild
In December 1990, an application called WorldWideWeb was developed on a NeXT machine at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN) just outside of Geneva. This program – WorldWideWeb — is the antecedent of most of what we consider or know of as "the web" today.

In February 2019, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the development of WorldWideWeb, a group of developers and designers convened at CERN to rebuild the original browser within a contemporary browser, allowing users around the world to experience the rather humble origins of this transformative technology.
cern  history  internet  web  historyoftechnology 
23 days ago by terry
Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps
The grandest comparative map of them all has to be the Andriveau & Goujon Comparative Mountains and Rivers Chart. This is where comparative mapping reaches its zenith. On one gigantic sheet, Andriveau & Goujon not only compare and contrast the heights of mountains and the lengths of rivers, but also add a table of waterfalls, show volcanic activity, levels of plant growth and tree lines, and add select cities and European buildings.
maps  history  geography 
4 weeks ago by terry
Aplomb
The men and women surrounded the table, and the audacious man, being chosen carver, whetted his great carving knife with the steel and got down to business and commenced carving the turkey, but he expended too much force and let a fart — a loud fart so that all the people heard it distinctly. As a matter of course it shocked all terribly. A deep silence reigned. However, the audacious man was cool and entirely self-possessed; he was curiously and keenly watched by those who knew him well, they suspecting that he would recover in the end and acquit himself with glory.
humour  history 
6 weeks ago by terry
Edited film footage from 1890’s Paris explores some of the everyday thrills of late 19th-century life
Videographer Guy Jones (previously) slows down film from the late 1800s to early 1900s to more accurately match the speed at which modern footage is recorded and played. In addition to editing the pace of the century-old film, Jones also adds in sound effects to make the scenes more relatable.
history  video  france 
7 weeks ago by terry
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee
Some saw Wounded Knee from the opposite angle. “Why,” asked a reporter from the Deadwood, South Dakota, Times, “should we spare even a semblance of an Indian? Wipe them from the face of the earth.” Writing for the Aberdeen, South Dakota, Saturday Pioneer after the murder of Sitting Bull, L. Frank Baum—the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — said it would be better if all Indians died rather than live as “the miserable wretches they are.” Two weeks later, after the massacre, he hit the same note but held it longer: “The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.”
history  usa  nativeamerica  anthropology  books 
7 weeks ago by terry
How black women were whitewashed by art
All it takes is a few minutes of searching ‘Queen of Sheba painting’ on Google Images to see a litany of reclining, exoticised white women glancing languorously either at the viewer or King Solomon. There were once some depictions of the Queen of Sheba as dark-skinned, but the Renaissance saw her whitewashing and sexualisation on a grand scale. For Ohajuru it jars with earlier depictions of her, such as that seen at the altarpiece of Klosterneuburg in Austria, which portrays her visiting the king next to an image of the Adoration of the Magi. “She was used as a prefiguration, a foreteller, a prophesiser, that a king would visit the baby Jesus, just as a queen visited Solomon.” By the 18th Century she is no longer a queen meeting a king to have a healthy debate – she is an idolatrous seductress.
art  history  religion  race 
8 weeks ago by terry
Old digital cameras Collection with original information and images, user manuals and drivers
Here is my collection of 600+ "old" digital cameras.
It is located in France.
You will find here original pictures of each camera as well as downloadable user's manuals and drivers.
history  photography  archives 
8 weeks ago by terry
Physical training for business men (1917)
This superb series of photographs can be found in the wonderfully titled 1917 publication Physical Training for Business Men by American author Harrie Irving Hancock. The book’s premise is that a certain quality of physical presence, “impressive carriage and appearance”, are essential to “those who would succeed in the business world”. This is not, however, all about pure athleticism. Despite his strength and endurance the athlete “may show many signs of bodily slovenliness” which would negatively effect his business dealings. More important than brawn is to foster “the appearance of physical ease, alertness, grace, and discipline.” It is these qualities which Hancock promises to build through the exercises shown, a mixture, so he tells us, of those used in the military and certain martial arts.
history  exercise  photography  illustration 
9 weeks ago by terry
How this all happened
If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you. The amount of growth that took place during that period is virtually unprecedented. If you learned that there have been no nuclear attacks since 1945, you’d be shocked. If you saw the level of wealth in New York and San Francisco, you’d be shocked. If you compared it to the poverty of Detroit, you’d be shocked. If you saw the price of homes, college tuition, and health care, you’d be shocked. Our politics would blow your mind. And if you tried to think of a reasonable narrative of how it all happened, my guess is you’d be totally wrong. Because it isn’t intuitive, and it wasn’t foreseeable 73 years ago.
usa  economics  history 
9 weeks ago by terry
100 years after the Great Halifax Explosion
BACON: The problem is that hastily stacked airplane fuel, it falls over and it ignites. So now you got the fuse lit on this amazing bomb. The crew knows what they're carrying, so they say, we're out of here. They hop in their two rowboats and go to the other side of the harbor, away from the population, and run into the woods as far as they can get. And now you've got a ghost ship, and that ghost ship slides perfectly on its own into pier six at the base of Halifax Harbor. And that is tragic.

INSKEEP: Oh, went right toward the city with what looks like, from the outside, a fire - not a good thing, but not disastrous.

BACON: For the locals, it's amusing. All the kids are walking to school at 8:46 in the morning. All the people are walking to work. They all stop by pier six to see this thing. And occasionally, barrels of benzol fuel - the airplane fuel - get launched into the sky, and it's oohs and aahs like July Fourth fireworks.

INSKEEP: And then the fire reached the main cargo of explosives - the 6 million pounds of TNT, the picric acid. The explosion was the largest on record until the dropping of the atomic bombs in World War II.

BACON: This thing shot up a two-mile-high mushroom cloud, probably the world's first. And it was just an unbelievable cataclysm - one-fifth the power of the atomic bomb. A one-ton anchor flew four miles. A one-ton cannon flew three miles the other direction. Human beings were flown half a mile in all directions. Half of Halifax is gone - 25,000 are homeless, 9,000 are wounded and 2,000 are dead in that split second.
usa  canada  history 
10 weeks ago by terry
The oral history of the Hampsterdance: The twisted true story of one of the world's first memes
It's a chapter of pop-culture history that could only have started in 1998, a time when more people than ever before were making sense of the internet for the first time.
internet  history 
10 weeks ago by terry
The Jones Live-Map
"Under its guidance the most muddling twists, turns and corners melt away behind you,” read the advertisement. [...]" The Jones Live-Map emancipates you from slavery to great, flopping maps and profound route-books that you can’t make head or tail of without stopping.”
maps  history 
10 weeks ago by terry
Time Lords: a history of authoritarian time changes
The case of Pyongyang time is far from the only example of an authoritarian changing a territory’s time zone as a means of asserting political control. And although setting clocks back or forward is often seen as one of the more benign uses of power (akin to changing a nation’s flag or national anthem), it’s interesting to note that ever since time zones began standardizing in the mid-nineteenth century, the manipulation of time has proved to be an almost irresistible draw for authoritarian rulers.
history  politics  time 
12 weeks ago by terry
Eric the Robot
Attendees that September were greeted by a robot named Eric who could stand up, bow, look left and right, deliver a four-minute opening address “with appropriate gestures,” and sit down. The speech, imparted by a radio signal, was described as “really sparkling” — apparently literally, as blue sparks shot from Eric’s teeth. 
robots  robot  history 
december 2018 by terry
"The Virtues of Coffee" explained in 1690 ad: the cure for lethargy, scurvy, dropsy, gout & more
Price made a “litany of claims for coffee’s health benefits,” some of which “we’d recognize today and others that seem far-fetched.” In the latter category are assertions that “coffee-drinking populations didn’t get common diseases” like kidney stones or “Scurvey, Gout, Dropsie.” Coffee could also, Price claimed, improve hearing and “swooning” and was “experimentally good to prevent Miscarriage.”

Among these spurious medical benefits is listed a genuine effect of coffee—its relief of “lethargy.”
coffee  food  drink  history  advertising 
december 2018 by terry
Viral history Twitter threads: 2018 was the year historians embraced the platform.
Historians used the Twitter thread to add context and accuracy to the news cycle in 2018. Here’s how they did it.
news  twitter  politics  history 
december 2018 by terry
Steven Pinker: The media exaggerates negative news. This distortion has consequences
News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a journalist saying to the camera, “I’m reporting live from a country where a war has not broken out”— or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as bad things have not vanished from the face of the earth, there will always be enough incidents to fill the news, especially when billions of smartphones turn most of the world’s population into crime reporters and war correspondents.
news  history  journalism  mentalhealth  psychology 
december 2018 by terry
Hundreds of Japanese firework illustrations now available for free download
In the early 20th-century English fireworks company C.R. Brock and Company (now known as Brocks Fireworks) published colorful catalogs displaying designs from Japanese companies such as Hirayama Fireworks and Yokoi Fireworks. Six catalogs of diverse pyrotechnic diagrams have been digitized and made available for download thanks to the city of Yokohama’s public library.
japan  history  illustration  drawings 
december 2018 by terry
The once-a-century refurbishment
York Minster’s Grand Organ is currently undergoing a major, £2m refurbishment, the first on this scale since 1903.

The instrument, which dates back to the early 1830s, is being removed – including nearly all of its 5,403 pipes – and will be taken to Durham for repair and refurbishment by organ specialists Harrison and Harrison.
york  music  history 
november 2018 by terry
Toward a More Radical Selfie
But I don’t mean to bemoan social media (boring, it’s been done, everyone’s worried but no one will change). Really, I want to use that labyrinth to try to find a route back to an entirely different type of self-portraiture, one that offers an alternative (and more positive) interconnection between character, work, and the female subject.
art  portraits  painting  history  society  celebrity 
november 2018 by terry
An Underground Sensation Arrives - The Chronicle of Higher Education
To be clear, this is not the story of a publisher’s dusting off an obscure gem: The Common Wind has long been revered by historians. Over the years, it’s been passed around, first in photocopies and later as a PDF. In 2008 the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor held a conference inspired by The Common Wind. It’s made its way onto required-reading lists and been cited hundreds of times. Not bad for an unpublished book in need of revision.
books  bookreviews  research  history  publishing 
november 2018 by terry
The last VCR to be made this month
Funai Electric, a Japanese consumer electronics company, will end production of VHS videocassette recorders (VCRs) at the end of July, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei. This will also mark the end of the format as a whole 40 years after it began production.
technology  history 
november 2018 by terry
Sound Mirrors' Portraits - Piercarlo Quecchia
They consist of concrete parabolas with a diameter of a few meters. In the twenties of the last century, their use combined with microphones, allowed to intercept planes directed towards the coast, discovering in advance any possible attacks. The need to be positioned near the coasts mainly in raised areas, the strong materiality of the concrete and their huge dimensions make them spectacular and extremely fascinating structures, able to dominate the entire surrounding landscape.
sound  sculpture  history  photography 
november 2018 by terry
Acoustic defense: photo series reflects on derelict British "sound mirrors"
“They represent an incredible demonstration of how sound can generate a physical form: both the curvature radius and the dimensions of the dishes are studied and designed according to the sound frequency that they must reflect,” explains the photographer. He hopes the series will continue to raise awareness of these artifacts.
sound  sculpture  history  photography 
november 2018 by terry
The paranoid fantasy behind Brexit
The other crucial idea here is the vertiginous fall from “heart of Empire” to “occupied colony”. In the imperial imagination, there are only two states: dominant and submissive, coloniser and colonised. This dualism lingers. If England is not an imperial power, it must be the only other thing it can be: a colony.
brexit  europe  history 
november 2018 by terry
Why people still use fax machines
When the New York Daily News covered this incident in April, readers were incredulous: The Department of Corrections could have its operations stymied by a broken fax machine? Who even uses fax machines anymore, let alone depends on them?

A lot of people. Fax, once at the forefront of communications technologies but now in deep decline, has persisted in many industries. Law-enforcement agencies remain heavily reliant on fax for routine operations, such as bail postings and return of public-records requests. Health care, too, runs largely on fax. Despite attempts to replace it, a mix of regulatory confusion, digital-security concerns, and stubbornness has kept fax machines droning around the world.
technology  history  offices  work 
november 2018 by terry
Download 437 issues of Soviet Photo Magazine, the Soviet Union's historic photography journal (1926-1991)
The early years of the Soviet Union roiled with internal tensions, intrigues, and ideological warfare, and the new empire’s art reflected its uneasy heterodoxy. Formalists, Futurists, Suprematists, Constructivists, and other schools mingled, published journals, critiqued and reviewed each other’s work, and like modernists elsewhere in the world, experimented with every possible medium, including those just coming into their own at the beginning of the 20th century, like film and photography.

These two mediums, along with radio, also happened to serve as the primary means of propagandizing Soviet citizens and carrying the messages of the Party in ways everyone could understand. And like much of the rest of the world, photography engendered its own consumer culture.

Out of these competing impulses came Soviet Photo (Sovetskoe foto), a monthly photography magazine.
history  photography  russia 
november 2018 by terry
You can browse 437 complete issues of 'Soviet Photo' magazine online
Dig deep enough, and you’ll find some really interesting (and surprisingly familiar) things in there. From standard street photography, to architecture, rooftopping, and (unfortunately) train track portraits, to conflict photography, even some pretty amazing photojournalism, and gear/equipment ads.
russia  photography  history 
november 2018 by terry
Letterlocking: Mary Queen of Scots last letter, a butterfly lock, England (1587)
Modelled after images of Mary Queen of Scots’ letter to her brother-in-law Henri III, King of France in the National Library of Scotland
paper  letter  history  video 
november 2018 by terry
The last letter of Mary Queen of Scots
Sire, my brother-in-law, having by God's will, for my sins I think, thrown myself into the power of the Queen my cousin, at whose hands I have suffered much for almost twenty years, I have finally been condemned to death by her and her Estates. I have asked for my papers, which they have taken away, in order that I might make my will, but I have been unable to recover anything of use to me, or even get leave either to make my will freely or to have my body conveyed after my death, as I would wish, to your kingdom where I had the honour to be queen, your sister and old ally.
letter  paper  history 
november 2018 by terry
Before envelopes, people protected messages with letterlocking
But it’s not the words that fascinate Jana Dambrogio, the Thomas F. Peterson conservator at MIT Libraries. For more than a decade, Dambrogio has been studying “letterlocking,” the various systems of folds, slits, and wax seals that protected written communication before the invention of the mass-produced envelope. To guard her final missive from prying eyes, the queen used a “butterfly lock”—one of hundreds of techniques catalogued by Dambrogio, collaborator Daniel Starza Smith, and their research team in a fast-growing dictionary of letterlocking.
paper  letters  history 
november 2018 by terry
Richard Baker: The birth of TV news
"All I did in that first programme, at 7.30pm on 5 July 1954, was to announce, behind a filmed view of Nelson's Column: Here is an illustrated summary of the news. It will be followed by the latest film of happenings at home and abroad. We were not to be seen reading the news because it was feared we might sully the pure stream of truth with inappropriate facial expressions, or (unthinkably) turn the news into a personality performance."
television  news  history 
november 2018 by terry
Is this the real face of Elizabeth I?
Artist Mat Collishaw is on a quest to reveal the real woman behind the mask of this famously image-conscious monarch.
video  royal  sculpture  history  queen 
november 2018 by terry
The little-known reason pencils are yellow
Amidst this myriad of spectacles was a rather less dramatic—but no less influential—innovation from a Czech manufacturing company named Hardtmuth Pencil. Its latest creation was formed, as all pencils are, of a graphite core housed in a protective wooden sheath. What stood out was its color—Hardtmuth’s “luxury pencil” was painted yellow.
design  colour  history 
november 2018 by terry
What can a linguist learn from a gravestone?
The key running theme of gravestone inscriptions is that they are for the living, and even for a more specific task: they reaffirm and reiterate membership in a group, and the beliefs that are part of the culture of that group. This does not necessarily mean that they are particularly informative about the life of the specific deceased, but they are full of useful, sometimes subtle cues about the community the deceased belonged to, and what they valued. [...]

Gravestone linguistics are shifty and unclear, for all their definitiveness. How much do you really trust the veracity of the statements? When was the last time you saw “in life, he was a real jerk” on a gravestone? But there’s information there, historical data to be pored over and analyzed. Spooky but productive.
death  language  writing  history 
october 2018 by terry
The myth of whiteness in classical sculpture
Greek and Roman statues were often painted, but assumptions about race and aesthetics have suppressed this truth. Now scholars are making a color correction.
art  sculpture  history 
october 2018 by terry
The Spirit Photographs of William Hope
Known as “spirit photographs”, they were taken by a controversial medium called William Hope. Born in 1863 in Crewe, Hope started his working life as a carpenter, but in 1905 became interested in spirit photography after capturing the supposed image of a ghost while photographing a friend. He went on to found and lead a group of six spirit photographers known as the Crewe Circle. Following World War I, support for the group, and demand for its services, grew as the grieving relatives of those lost to the war sought a means of contacting their loved ones. ... Later the same year Price published his findings, exposing Hope as a fraudster. However, many of Hope’s most ardent supporters spoke out on his behalf, the most famous being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote The Case for Spirit Photography, in response to Price’s claims of fraud. Hope continued to practice, despite his exposure, until his death in 1933.
photography  history  ghosts 
october 2018 by terry
100 websites that shaped the internet as we know it
Next year will be the 30th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s first proposal to CERN outlining what he originally called the “WorldWideWeb” (one word). Since then, Berners-Lee has had a few regrets about what’s become a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster, and who knows what the future holds. Below you’ll find our somewhat arbitrary idea of the virtual destinations that mattered most, ranked and curated by the Gizmodo staff and illustrated with screenshots that exemplify their history, as we’ve played, shared, fought, and meme’d our way into the current millennium.
computing  history  internet  web  timbernerslee 
october 2018 by terry
On its 30th anniversary, IRC evokes memories of the internet's early days
I used IRC in the early 1990s, when there were all kinds of fun things to do. There was a server with a bot that played Boggle. I was the know-it-all music snob who got kicked out of a chat channel someone set up at Woodstock ’94. I created keyboard macros that spewed out ASCII art. I skipped Mike Tyson’s pay-per-view boxing match in 2006 to watch someone describe it on IRC.

<jon12345> lewis connects again
<jon12345> arg
<jon12345> on the ropes
<CaZtRo> HES GOIN DOWN
<CaZtRo> tyson is DOWN
<DaNNe_> no!
<CaZtRo> DOWN DOWN DOWN
<DaNNe_> why ..
internet  history  computing 
october 2018 by terry
This vintage anti-distraction helmet looks like a creepy horror show prop
Distractions are all around us, whether it's ambient noise or the colorful items around you, and it's sometimes extremely difficult to concentrate on the task you need to finish. A 1920's anti-distraction helmet, known as the Isolator, was invented to address this issue.
productivity  gadgets  history  design  strange 
october 2018 by terry
Internet Relay Chat turns 30—and we remember how it changed our lives
There was a moment of silence, and then something odd happened. The channel went blank. The list of users disappeared, and NetCruiser politely played the Windows alert chime through the speakers. At the bottom of the IRC window, a new message now stood alone: "You have been kicked from channel #descent for the following reason: f*** off newbie". I guess the Internet of 1995 wasn't that different from the Internet of 2018.
internet  history  computing 
october 2018 by terry
Retro TV Channels from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s are on the internet for all posterity
This website of vintage TV also features crappy, snow-filled static screens, a mechanical-sounding TV channel switch and a slight delay when you change the channel before it appears on the screen. This is truly delightful and a nice way to spend an evening reminiscing about what TV used to mean for you (i.e. something significant and important in the pre-internet era).
history  video  television  retro 
october 2018 by terry
Native cartography: a bold mapmaking project that challenges Western notions of place
‘More lands have been lost to Native peoples probably through mapping than through physical conflict.’ Maps have been used not only to encroach on Native Americans lands, but to diminish their cultures as well. With every Spanish, French or English placename that eclipses a Native one, a European narrative of place and space becomes further entrenched. In an effort to help reclaim his region for his people, Jim Enote, a Zuni farmer and the director of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center in New Mexico, has organised a unique project intended to help bring indigenous narratives back to the land.
maps  america  culture  geography  history 
october 2018 by terry
Yahoo Japan is shutting down its website hosting service GeoCities
The company said in a statement that it was hard to encapsulate in one word the reason for the shut down, but that profitability and technological issues were primary factors. It added that it was full of “regret” for the fate of the immense amount of information that would be lost as a result of the service’s closure. [...]

The fact that GeoCities survived in Japan for so long speaks to the country’s idiosyncratic nature online. Despite the fact that Yahoo—which purchased GeoCities in 1999 for almost $4 billion at the peak of the dot.com boom—has fallen into irrelevance in much of the world, the company continues to be the dominant news portal in Japan. It still commands a sizeable market share in search, though it has steadily ceded its position to Google over the years.
internet  computing  web  history  japan 
october 2018 by terry
Sonic Territories: the Beishan Broadcast Wall exhibited
While standing on a frontier, the broadcast wall also abolishes it. Sound blurs boundaries and reaffirms the porosity of space. In August 2018, invited by Augustin Maurs and Ada Kai-Ting Yang, a group of five Taiwanese and international artists will re-activate and re-invent the Beishan broadcast wall in the course of an artist-run research residency. During this investigation, the loudspeaker construction will become a twofold instrument where outer and inner voices cross, and where artist voices merge with the voices of local participants.
art  china  history  taiwan  music  propaganda 
september 2018 by terry
ArtAsiaPacific: Sonic Territories Performance Recap
For “Sonic Territories,” five artists took over the still partially functioning Beishan Broadcast Wall. Comprising deeply site-specific performances, curator Ada Kai-Ting Yang’s ensemble rippled with resonances that spoke of peace while stirring at shared memories of displacement and conflict. 
china  taiwan  propaganda  music  history  art 
september 2018 by terry
Aural exhibition inspired by Kinmen’s Beishan Broadcast Wall bound for Berlin
Yang said instead of focusing on the pain caused by war, the exhibition emphasizes blessings, peace and the need to cloak the former battlefield with a sense of spiritual calm. It is also an attempt to heighten international awareness of Kinmen’s complicated history and the development of democracy in Taiwan, she added.
china  taiwan  propaganda  music  history  art 
september 2018 by terry
Beishan Broadcast Wall: Taiwan’s eerie sonic weapon
A stronghold of ‘sonic power’ has been brought back to life. Vivienne Chow talks to the artists behind a new project about different forms of propaganda – and the politics of silence.
taiwan  china  propaganda  art  music  history 
september 2018 by terry
"A Geological Parable" - Futility Closet
The Archaeopteryx was feeling pretty gloomy, for at that morning’s meeting of the Amalgamated Association of Enaliosaurians he had been blackballed. He was looked down upon by the Pterodactyl and the Ichthyosaurus deigned not to notice him. Cast out by the Reptilia, and Aves not being thought of, he became a wanderer upon the face of the earth. ‘Alas!’ sighed the poor Archaeopteryx, ‘this world is no place for me.’ And he laid him down and died; and became imbedded in the rock.
dinosaurs  history  fossils  science  humour 
september 2018 by terry
At the Newark Public Library, shopping bags carry local history
he Newark Public Library in Newark, New Jersey, has an unusual collection that can’t be found in its stacks. Stored in the library’s Special Collections department, in one filing cabinet and 61 archival Solander boxes—some of which are so full their latches barely close—are over 2,000 shopping bags. Meticulously cataloged by geographic location, size, and theme, the collection records the history of graphics, culture, and everyday life from the mid-20th century to the current day.
history  design  shopping 
september 2018 by terry
Pass the tortoise shell: Eve Houghton explores reading and writing across time and space
The history of the book does not always involve the study of either history or books. As James Raven shows in this slim, engaging volume, the question of what sort of object might count as a book remains very much up for debate. The history of the book in the Western world has traditionally made “book” synonymous with “codex” – gatherings of leaves folded or stitched together – but in Professor Raven’s geographically and chronologically wide-ranging account, it takes a variety of material forms: Chinese tortoise shells inscribed 3,000 years ago; Sumerian clay tablets impressed with cuneiform scripts; knotted string records, or khipus, used for record-keeping by South American Incan officials. The boundaries of the book seem even less clearly defined in the era of the blog post and Kindle.
books  history  reading 
september 2018 by terry
The breeds, personalities, temperaments and physical traits of the beloved pet dogs of Ancient Rome
In a tail-wagging video essay, Julien Blarel of Invicta History takes a look at an often ignored facet of daily ancient Roman life – their pet dogs. Blarel explains the type of breeds available along with their physical traits, personality and temperament with the help of wonderful illustrations by Beverly Johnson.
history  animals  dogs  rome 
september 2018 by terry
Conserve the sound
»Conserve the sound« is an online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds. The sound of a dial telephone, a walkman, a analog typewriter, a pay phone, a 56k modem, a nuclear power plant or even a cell phone keypad are partially already gone or are about to disappear from our daily life.
audio  history  sound  museums 
september 2018 by terry
How the index card cataloged the world
Carl Linnaeus, the father of biological taxonomy, also had a hand in inventing this tool for categorizing anything.
history  information  records 
september 2018 by terry
12 letters that didn't make the alphabet
You know the alphabet. It’s one of the first things you’re taught in school. But did you know that they’re not teaching you all of the alphabet? There are quite a few letters we tossed aside as our language grew, and you probably never even knew they existed.
writing  alphabet  history  language 
september 2018 by terry
Recently digitized journals grant visitors access to Leonardo da Vinci’s detailed engineering schematics and musings
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London recently published scans of two of the Leonardo da Vinci notebooks so website visitors can digitally zoom and flip through the drawings and musings of the Italian Renaissance painter, architect, inventor, and sculptor. Jumbled together in the delicate journals are thoughts on both science and art—detailed charts and speculations contained on the same pages as observational sketches of hats or horse hooves.
davinci  notebooks  books  history  engineering 
september 2018 by terry
In 1988, Acid House swept Britain. These fliers tell the story.
Mr. Little started doing sleeves for a friend’s record label, which led to the work on fliers. The Spectrum job did not pay well, he said — “I think about £100 and free entry to the club for life” — but he put a lot of effort into its fliers. He was told that the design had to feature an all-seeing eye, and he tried to give the flier a direct link to ’60s psychedelia, filling it with coded references to the Grateful Dead’s artwork. “Maybe three out of the 10,000 people made the reference,” Mr. Little said. But everyone who picked up one kept it, he said. “No one threw it in the street.”
music  design  history 
september 2018 by terry
Caerleon Amphitheatre
This Roman amphitheater is said to be King Arthur's legendary Round Table.
wales  history  newport 
september 2018 by terry
In 1900, photographing an entire train required the world’s biggest camera
Lawrence quickly went to work designing a camera that could hold a glass plate measuring 8 feet by 4 1/2 feet. It was constructed by the camera manufacturer J.A. Anderson from natural cherry wood, with bespoke Carl Zeiss lenses (also the largest ever made). The camera alone weighed 900 pounds. With the plate holder, it reached 1,400 pounds. According to an August 1901 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the bellows was big enough to hold six men, and the whole camera took a total of 15 workers to operate.
history  photography 
september 2018 by terry
K10k - Web Design Museum
Year: 2003; Categories: Design & Art, Magazines; Style: Pixel Design, Creative.
internet  design  history  webdesign 
september 2018 by terry
Web Design Museum
At present, Internet Archive keeps the visual form of over 327 billion websites, the oldest of which date back to 1996. This service is undoubtedly a great aid to anyone who would like to look at the internet past. Unfortunately, it does not enable to follow past trends in web design or to go through websites originating only in a certain period. The thing is that Internet Archive is not a museum with carefully sorted exhibits that would give visitors a comprehensive picture of the web design past with the use of selected examples. It is more like a full archive of the internet.

Therefore, Web Design Museum sets the main objective to trace the past web design trends, and to give general public the full picture of the web design past with the use of selected exhibits. At the same time, it seeks to use selected websites to outline the development of websites from the most distant past until present.
internet  design  history  webdesign 
september 2018 by terry
How the smiley face became a counter-cultural symbol
The yellow smiley face as we know it has been around for over half a century, but where did it come from? And how does it continue to grin when the general consensus says there isn’t much to smile about these days? Here, we trace the origins of the iconic graphic, from its corporate beginnings to its counter-cultural adoption.
design  history 
august 2018 by terry
The twenty-five-year journey of Magic: The Gathering
To change more rules, you needed to buy more cards. Many of the most powerful cards were rarely printed, which drove fans to crack open even more packs. By November of 1993, under the headline “Professor’s Game Casts Magic Spell on Players,” the Seattle Times reported that ten million cards had been sold in a few months. “I’ve wasted—no not wasted—I’ve used all my money just buying Magic cards,” an eleven-year-old boy named Jake told the Washington Post. He carried his deck around with him everywhere he went in case a game broke out. By 1997, Magic: The Gathering was so successful that Wizards of the Coast acquired Dungeons & Dragons. Newsweek noted that Wizards had sold two billion cards. A game like Magic, Garfield told the reporter, could “take over your personal operating system, like a virus.”
games  history  cards 
august 2018 by terry
'Spectacular' ancient public library discovered in Germany
It is not clear how many scrolls the library would have held, but it would have been “quite huge – maybe 20,000”, said Schmitz. The building would have been slightly smaller than the famed library at Ephesus, which was built in 117 AD. He described the discovery as “really incredible – a spectacular find”.
libraries  history  archaeology 
august 2018 by terry
Cosmography manuscript (12th Century)
This wonderful series of medieval cosmographic diagrams and schemas are sourced from a late 12th-century manuscript created in England. Coming to only nine folios, the manuscript is essentially a scientific textbook for monks, bringing together cosmographical knowledge from a range of early Christian writers such as Bede and Isodere, who themselves based their ideas on such classical sources as Pliny the Elder, though adapting them for their new Christian context.
astrology  diagrams  history  science  maps 
july 2018 by terry
Famous landmarks, before they were finished
It isn’t always possible to find an unusual perspective on famous landmarks, but photos taken during their construction can often provide one. In black-and-white or grainy color, they’re filled with promise but not yet substance—scaffolding around a skyscraper skeleton, pieces of a sculpture in a workshop, the foot of a tower reaching into nothing.
photography  architecture  history 
july 2018 by terry
Indigenous geographies overlap in this colorful online map
FOR CENTURIES, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND their traditional territories have been purposefully left off maps by colonizers as part of a sustained campaign to delegitimize their existence and land claims. Interactive mapping website Native Land does the opposite, by stripping out country and state borders in order to highlight the complex patchwork of historic and present-day Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages that stretch across the United States, Canada, and beyond.
history  geography  usa  australia  maps 
july 2018 by terry
Now That’s What I Call an oddly important document of British visual culture: Now releases its 100th CD
Older than the Macintosh PC, the Air Jordan, and the entire World Cup winning French squad, the Now series has finally notched up 100 editions, each stuffed to the gills with the kind of pop hits that pack a potent enough nostalgic punch to floor unwitting listeners.
music  history 
july 2018 by terry
How the Blog broke the Web
The old web, the cool web, the weird web, the hand-organized web… died.

And the damn reverse chronology bias — once called into creation, it hungers eternally — sought its next victim. Myspace. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest, of all things. Today these social publishing tools are beginning to buck reverse chronological sort; they’re introducing algorithm sort, to surface content not by time posted but by popularity, or expected interactions, based on individual and group history. There is even less control than ever before.
culture  history  internet  web  webdesign 
july 2018 by terry
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