Tag: lost urban features

Hair. Big Hair.

BibliOdyssey has up a boggling array of satirical giant hair illustrations from the 1770s. Apparently, there was a reactionary wave of mockery in English and French presses to the ever-growing size of women’s hair styles at the time: These are so otherworldly. I feel like there’s a “Hair-onymus Bosch” joke in here someplace. This illustration [...]

Sports before radio

I was just talking about this with a friend, so I was happy to randomly come across photos of it via shorpy.com. It’s somewhat in the same vein as the Harris 20th Century Railroad Attachment in the sense of My god, I can’t believe this was commonplace one hundred years ago. Prior to the advent [...]

Pneumatic tube update

In response to the Pneumatically Prague post, readers TK and DS sent along this link with more info on the system, including this impossibly-cool photo of the control system… … and this description of what sounds like a really fun technological show-down between pneumatic tube, messenger and telex system: There was an experiment in about [...]

Halfway goats and Malick Sidibé

Friday’s goats in trees post brought to my mind the fact that several acquaintances of mine who have travelled in central African countries have mentioned spotting goats that are half white and half black– not speckled, but divided neatly down the middle. Here, via Flickr user Maody, is one example: I also noticed another such [...]

Harris 20th Century Railroad Attachment

One of my favorite possessions is a replica Sears Roebuck catalog from exactly 100 years ago. For a great many rural Americans at the time, the Sears catalog was the only access to goods outside of their local general store and, as a result, the catalog – sometimes called ‘The Consumer’s Bible’- contains basically every [...]

Futurism and the Musee Mecanique

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Futurist Manifesto, when F.T. Marinetti (the self-proclaimed ‘most modern man in Europe’ at the time) introduced his cult of dynamism to the world through a combination of incendiary rhetoric, genius publicity stunts and Fascist agitating. The Futurists were fascinated by speed, technology, war, Moussellini, masculinity, action and [...]

Enjoy Mock Duck

I found this vintage promotional Holiday Inn postcard in my step-mother’s house and it instantly became one of my prized images, earning the strongest magnet on my refrigerator door and loosely inspiring – with its garish, ghoulish Stepford-leisure-suit vibe - the whole ‘Enjoy Mock Duck’ concept. As with the White Album or Carl Lewis’ disastrous rendition [...]

Frontier-style justice with Mayor Schmitz

With the recent talk of martial law in Tehran, my thoughts have been wandering back to the 1909 San Francisco earthquake and its insane aftermath, when the city’s mayor issued a blanket proclamation warning that any and all looters found in the streets would be shot dead on the spot. And, apparently, over 500 civilians [...]

On the Old Apartment Rule

I wholly support the Old Apartment Rule, partly because I’ve had the good fortune to experience it.  For about half of the decade that I lived in New York City, I made my home in a tiny sixth floor tenement walk-up on Houston Street.  I first lived there for four years from ’95 – ’99, [...]

More on flying lounges

Compare this photo with the swinging social atmosphere shown in Purephazed’s Pan Am post directly below. I’ll take the Pan Am party, thank you very much. The above photo is, of course, the grueling Amtrak lounge, a sort of airborne version of the bar scene in Star Wars. What’s interesting nowadays about Amtrak from a [...]