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Fortified

Jean Errard (1554-1610) was a mathematician and military engineer who developed and published the fundamental work on fortification design and defense strategy in France. Although largely forgotten now, he was referred to as the “Father of French fortification”.  The typical medieval fortress and castle design of the past centuries focused on the construction of high […]

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The introduction of new technology has unanticipated and unpredictable outcomes for social interaction, interpersonal communication, and collective behaviors. As the new technology proliferates and fuses with our daily lives, the interplay becomes more visible, leading to public commentary, criticism, and jest. Today, it may be difficult to visualize the impact the telegraph had on life […]

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The International was a literary and arts journal founded by George Sylvester Viereck in New York prior to the onset of World War I. Viereck was an established poet and noted German sympathizer, publishing the periodical, The Fatherland, a propaganda journal funded by the German government to help promote pro-German understanding and keep America out of the […]

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For the Love of Books

Horatio Rogers Jr. (May 18, 1836 – November 12, 1904) committed his life to public service. A Civil War officer, lawyer, attorney general, and Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice, are among his accomplishments. Nonetheless, it was books and libraries that were his greatest love. He amassed some 4,000 volumes, tightly packed into his personal library. As […]

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Swedish Gymanistics

The Swedish gymnastics movement was introduced by Pehr Henrik Ling, who created a system that focused on the integration of healthy bodily development with muscular beauty. To support his system, he invented wall bars, beams, and the box horse. His influence led to another generation of followers and innovators. Baron Nils Posse, is considered the person […]

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The cliched image of friends and family gathered around a fireplace during Christmas had its origins in the Victorian Age. While people in rural villages would gather for conversation and entertainment at the local inn, the urban middle class of the Victorian era would typically entertain themselves and their friends in parlors of their own […]

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Charles Dana Gibson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1867. With aspirations of a sculptor, he apprenticed with Augustus Saint-Gaudens, but eventually turned to pen and ink for his career. His illustrations appeared frequently in magazines such as Life, Tid-Bits, and Time, and Puck. He typically portrayed characters from high society families of New York and Boston. His popularity in […]

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It would seem, then, that at last we have a veritable ghost, — a pure and unquestionable visitor of semi-spiritual material. It has appeared, at various times, in a small school-house in Charles Street, in Newburyport, and the evidence regarding it is too lucid and consistent to be passed by. -Loring, publisher Boston Newburyport, the […]

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Takejiro Hasegawa was a Japanese publisher focused on books for export to Europe, the tourist trade, and for foreign residents during Japan’s Meiji period. Hasegawa was noted for employing foreign residents as translators of famous Japanese poems and folktales and recruited notable Japanese artists as illustrators. In 1885 he started what was known as Ehon (“picture”) […]

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This book provides an early and valuable account of West Africa’s “Gold Coast” before it was completely transfigured by slavery and colonialism. Godefroy Loyer (1660-1715), a French missionary, was one of the earliest Europeans to explore and settle in this region. He gained a deep understanding of the language, culture, politics and economy of the Kingdom […]

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