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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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Tokyo 1911

Ogawa Kazuma (1860-1929), remarkable Japanese photographer, printer and publisher, was an innovator in photomechanical printing and photography during the Meiji and Taisho periods. He started studying English and photography at the age of 15, moving to Tokyo in 1880 where he was hired as an interpreter in the Yokohama Police Department, meanwhile learning photography. Wanting to improve his English […]

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This early Civil War Era broadside from 1861 entitled: “Comparison of Products, Population and Resources of the Free and Slave States” was compiled by John M Batchelder, most likely from 1850s data. At the top of the chart is an illustration of former New York Policeman, Peter Hart, whose heroic attempt to keep the flag flying over Fort Sumter […]

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Beginning operations in 1906, The Aladdin Company of Bay City, Michigan became one of America’s most long lived manufacturers of mail-order pre-fab homes. By 1918 Aladdin accounted for almost 3% of all new housing in the United States. With its steady growth and soldified reputation in the homeowner market, Aladdin ventured into mass produced industrial housing, mostly […]

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