Category Archives: history

Standing stones

We can only assume these old photographs taken by the Colonial Office and held at The National Archives are of the Bako National Park in Borneo. The rock formations shown in these undated images must surely have been lost to … Continue reading

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There she blew

One of the aims of the explorers was to discover islands with fur-bearing seals, and these were found, inter alia in South Georgia, which had been re-discovered by Cook in 1755. Here, in 1902, were found two large cauldrons for … Continue reading

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Never a cross word

The Guardian’s Crossword Blog is a regular source of the unusual and extraordinary. This week there’s a look back at the strange case of the D-Day Crossword Clues, the still unsolved story of amateur footballer, schoolteacher and crossword compiler Leonard … Continue reading

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All roads lead

The London Evolution Animation (via MeFi – from the comments, Wonderful London in 1924 and 2014, by Simon Smith)) / related, The Mapping London Blog / Six months, 73,000 locations, ‘the aim is to collect at least one photograph from … Continue reading

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Buzz bombs

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Chocks away

The UK’s lost, abandoned and obscure control towers / aerial views of UK Active & Disused Airports, Airfields, Heliports & Landing Sites / related, ghostly images of abandoned wartime airbases / Bunkertours, no longer updated but hunkering down for eternity … Continue reading

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Oklahoma City sonic boom tests

The Oklahoma City sonic boom tests, or the Oklahoma Public Reaction Study, was conducted from February 3 to July 31, 1964. ‘A total of 1,253 booms were included in the program.’ ‘However, a large percentage (40%) of the public polled … Continue reading

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Then, now and tomorrow

A thoroughly depressing gallery of pictures: Syrian heritage in ruins: before and after. Related, Dresden, before and after; Third Reich Berlin, then and now; WWII Coventry, then and now; San Francisco: Before and After the 1906 Earthquake and Fire; London’s … Continue reading

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Climbing the ladder

One interesting detail that emerged from last year’s hugely depressing media-saturated celebrity trial was the revelation that Charles Saatchi was his own most avid fan (‘Elisabetta Grillo tells fraud trial of travelling round London four times a week to buy … Continue reading

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The age of the train

Any historical discussion of British railways has to include the Beeching Report, ‘The Reshaping of British Railways’, now excoriated as ‘one of the most notorious government reports of the 20th century… The report often adopted an overly-simplistic analysis of the … Continue reading

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Monument to a ruined age

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford uses ficionalised lives to look at the myriad ways the plan affected the lives of Russians, especially those labouring deep within the system. There’s a fascinating post at A Year in Berlin detailing a monument … Continue reading

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Yellow Fever

Ship of Death: A Voyage That Changed the Atlantic World chronicles the voyage of the Hankey, a British ship travelling from a failed West African colony for freed slaves to the Caribbean and North America. Travelling with them were infected … Continue reading

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I walk on concrete / I walk on sand

Bob Mazzer’s portfolios of life on the Tube in the 80s and 90s is doing the rounds (posted at Spitalfields Life, linked via MeFi). Flickr is the place to go for countless sets of old London imagery: City of London … Continue reading

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Reading between the lines

A proto-satnav: leather-cased scrolling travelling map from the 1920s, ‘a Bakelite cased unit housing a pair of rollers manually operated by two winding arms to the side, with 24cm wide plastic window displaying a Bartholomew’s road map for South-West England’ … Continue reading

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Lost in action

John Glassie’s Tumblr is a repository of ‘interesting things’, many of which have some bearing on the great Athanasius Kircher, and specifically to Glassie’s book, A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change (more … Continue reading

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Wood and mazes

Moby is busy making the shift from musician to amateur architecture blogger to presenter. He’s no Meades, but the short film, Moby Celebrates LA Architecture is designed to whet your appetite for an upcoming exhibition, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern … Continue reading

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Colour and culture

‘When the fashion industry declares that lime green is the new black, or instructs us to “think pink!,” it is not the result of a backroom deal forged by a secretive cabal of fashion journalists, designers, manufacturers, and the editor … Continue reading

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The original postcard versions

Postcards, new year’s cards and much, much more at the colossal collection of Japanese postcards at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Above, From an Airplane (Hikoki kara), late Meiji era. We also like this: To Tomita Beach, circa 1936. … Continue reading

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Lu, Kraft and UFOs

Lefèvre-Utile bake biscuits. Better known as LU, the French company started in Nantes in 1846, initially as a distributor for Huntley and Palmers before then baking their own. Best known for their elaborate posters by Alfonse Mucha and Firmin Bouisset, … Continue reading

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Bribery, Yakuza and Kamikaze

Mitsuyasu Maeno, ‘a Japanese actor who appeared in roman porno films. He died in an (unsuccessful) suicide attack on Yoshio Kodama, a multi-millionaire right-wing leader and leading figure in the Lockheed bribery scandals‘, part of a much wider system of … Continue reading

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