4473 posts tagged with history.
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“an ahead-of-its-time innovation and an exactly-of-its-time decadence”

The Legend of the Choco Taco [Eater] “For just about everyone other than the French inventor of the Cronut, the Choco Taco [wiki] is the stuff of nostalgic summer sweet tooth obsession — the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream "novelties." Its acolytes are legion. Restaurant pastry chefs and boutique scoop shop owners regularly pay homage.”
posted by Fizz on Aug 26, 2016 - 30 comments

Why the lids on beer steins? [1] The real reasons!

Why do beer steins have lids? Steve will set you straight.
posted by zennie on Aug 22, 2016 - 38 comments

Did the ‘Two-Fingered Salute’ really come from the Hundred Years War?

I found this after giving my 9-year-old daughter the apparently incorrect version of the story. ”However it really came about, we can be pretty sure that it’s bugger all to do with medieval archers.”
posted by dfm500 on Aug 22, 2016 - 35 comments

Globalization is ancient

Mapping the Mercantilist World Economy Our current globalized capitalist world economy was built on Mercantilist foundations, put in place in the first phase of global European expansion, the second phase being that of the formal European empires of the industrial age. In the case of the “New World” in the Americas, Europe’s Mercantilists were creating entirely new trade networks and hinterlands. In the Old World of Afro-Eurasia however, Europe was rearranging the existing, much older, world economy it had been part of since the Middle Ages. I wanted to illustrate this first phase of global capitalism with thematic maps.
posted by infini on Aug 22, 2016 - 13 comments

John Locke: Against Freedom

If Locke is viewed ... as an advocate of expropriation and enslavement, what are the implications for classical liberalism and libertarianism? The most important is that there is no justification for treating property rights as fundamental human rights, on par with personal liberty and freedom of speech.
In an essay in Jacobin entitled John Locke Against Freedom, Australian economist John Quiggin argues that Locke's "classical liberalism offers no guarantee of freedom to anyone except owners of capitalist private property." [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Aug 22, 2016 - 9 comments

"never met a Spanish cape or Siberian squirrelfur lining he didn't like"

Matthäus Schwarz was a 16th Century German accountant with a taste for fine clothing who managed to parlay his fashion sense into a noble title. He documented his life and clothing in an illuminated manuscript that has been recently translated, annotated and republished as The First Book of Fashion by Professor Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward, and includes reconstructed outfits by Jenny Tiramani. The process of remaking one of Schwarz's outfits is shown here. As befits a scholarly tome about a work often likened to modern style blogs, there is a First Book of Fashion Tumblr. Schwarz's son, Veit Konrad, also made his own illuminated style diary, but did not continue after his father's death in 1574. A slightly inaccurate copy was made in the 18th Century, a scan of which is available on Wikimedia Commons. Prof. Rublack puts Schwarz in context as a man of the Renaissance.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 21, 2016 - 4 comments

“A place with so much atmosphere you have to push it aside to get in.”

As TGI Friday's goes minimalist, signalling the demise of restaurant Americana kitsch, what happens to all the antiques? Containing a pretty fascinating and comprehensive history of the development of the "good-time" chain restaurant/bar and the antique-picking and design work that created its signature feel. Previously.
posted by Miko on Aug 21, 2016 - 206 comments

“A building heavy with secrets"

In 2005, junior Harvard historian Caroline Elkins's controversial first book, Imperial Reckoning: Britain's First Gulag, resurfaced the history of Britain's brutal internment camps for the ethnic group the Kikuyu, believed to be supporters of the 1950s Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. She then found herself working for survivors of the camps in a landmark case seeking reparations from the British government. The plaintiffs were aided by the stunning discovery at the time of their case of massive archives--1.2 million files worth--held in illegal secrecy by the Foreign Office which included files systematically removed from former colonies as the British withdrew. (Note: many of these links contain descriptions of violence against civilians.) [more inside]
posted by praemunire on Aug 20, 2016 - 24 comments

"Tattoo With Heritage Since 1300"

Inside the World's Only Surviving Tattoo Shop For Medieval Pilgrims
posted by Elementary Penguin on Aug 20, 2016 - 11 comments

Poor Bugger Me, Gurindji

[This post includes links to names, images and audio of Aboriginal Australians who have died.] It is fifty years this week since the start of the Wave Hill Walkoff of 1966-1975, which led to the first victory of the land-rights movement in Australia. Indigenous workers went on strike at the Vestey mega-station in Australia's Northern Territory. Walking off the job and sitting down in Daruragu country, the Gurindji people began a nine-year campaign to regain control of their land. To mark the occasion, I give you Gurindji Blues, recorded during that struggle in 1971 by Galarrwuy Yunupingu and Vincent Lingiari and written by Ted Egan. I have long lost my copy of this single and wanted to hear it again tonight. Thanks internet! [more inside]
posted by valetta on Aug 20, 2016 - 14 comments

In the midst of a vast solitude

In the 1920s the US industrialist wanted to found a city based on the values that made his company a success – while, of course, producing cheap rubber. The jungle city that bore his name ended up one of his biggest failures
Drew Reed, Fordlandia – the failure of Henry Ford's utopian city in the Amazon, The Guardian (19 August 2016). [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Aug 19, 2016 - 19 comments

Map of Roads Leading to Rome

Explore the Peutinger Map is a website companion to Prof. Richard J. A. Talbert's Rome's World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered (Google Books, Amazon). It presents The Peutinger Map in different ways, including with overlays and lists of geographical features. But what's The Peutinger Map? Also known as Tabula Peutingeriana, it is a Medieval copy of highly stylized 4th Century map of the Roman road network, extending to India. Jacob Ford explains why it is often compared to modern public transit maps [pdf] and then redraws one section as a New York Metro map. Euratlas has scans of the Medieval manuscript stored at the Austrian National Library and Wikimedia Commons has a high quality scan of Konrad Miller's authoritative 1888 facsimile edition.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 14, 2016 - 22 comments

...a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath.

Today, the Hillary Clinton campaign launched a new "With Her" podcast, chronicling her historic run for office. Clinton also released her 2015 tax returns while Sen. Tim Kaine released 10 years’ worth of his. With just 87 days until Election Day, 538's "Election Forecast" looks dire for Republican nominee Donald Trump, who continues to rely on wild, desperate claims to capture each news cycle.
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2016 - 2661 comments

Part Finnish, part Native American

In the Great Lakes region there are people with roots in Finland and among indigenous North American peoples. It’s impossible to know how exactly many of these so-called ‘Findians’ exist, but their numbers are estimated in the hundreds. Author Katja Kettu, journalist Maria Seppälä and photographer Meeri Koutaniemi documented their lives over the course of three years. Their experiences form the basis for their book, ‘Findian country’.
posted by infini on Aug 11, 2016 - 7 comments

A Drawing Of A Crying Lady Liberty At The Pearly Gates

In 1967 political cartoonist Pat Oliphant drew an editorial cartoon just to win the Pulitizer - "one of the worst cartoons I've ever drawn" - trying to appeal to the judges' tastes and prevailing political opinion. And guess what happened.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 10, 2016 - 38 comments

O Sister, Where Art Thou?

This past May on Metafilter, we looked at “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls”, a wildly popular variety show that was broadcast every Wednesday night in the 1930's and 1940's from the state prison in Huntsville, TX. It featured performances by male and female prisoners. No recordings of the show have ever been found. In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree State Farm prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country and their performances were broadcast on Thirty Minutes. The Goree All Girl String Band captured the hearts of millions of radio listeners but never cut a record or went on tour and have thus been ignored by music historians. When they were paroled, they nearly all vanished forever. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 9, 2016 - 2 comments

The new New Deal

How to Give Rural America Broadband? Look to the Early 1900s
posted by Michele in California on Aug 8, 2016 - 18 comments

"A Remarkable New Photo Map of Old London"

Citylab: "Launched last week, Collage, The London Picture Map allows you to trace London’s visual history street by street. Supported by the City of London Corporation, it’s the result of two full years of digitizing and mapping images from the London Metropolitan Archive and the Guildhall Art Gallery, which together possess the largest collection of London images in the world." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 5, 2016 - 6 comments

Porta Polonica: culture and history of Poles in Germany

Porta Polonica is a site (courtesy of the Westphalian State Museum of Industrial Heritage) devoted to the culture and history of Poles in Germany. Some examples of the dozens of articles therein: an account of the novelist Witold Gombrowicz’s year in Berlin; a biography of the pioneering harpsichordist, pianist and composer Wanda Landowska; a piece about Jan Łukasiewicz, who devised what was once known as ‘Reverse Polish Notation’; a brief account of Rosa Luxemburg’s career; an article about star of stage & (silent) screen Pola Negri; and a piece about the letter ‘P’ worn by the millions of Polish forced labourers in wartime Germany.
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2016 - 1 comment

PENUP

Seymour Papert, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Logo Foundation went PENUP today. Many of us who learned programming in the 1980s started with LOGO, which spawned other langauges like StarLogo. Today, its spiritual successor is probably Scratch.
posted by dmd on Aug 1, 2016 - 70 comments

Xerox Alto: Restoring the Legendary 1970s GUI Computer

Startup incubator Y-Combinator acquired a Xerox Alto and Ken Shirriff is currently in the process of restoring it to working condition.

Overview of the Alto and Its Place in History
Day 1: Power Supplies and Disk Interface
Day 2: Repairing the Display
Day 3: Inside the Disk Drive
Day 4: Microcode Tasks and Trying To Boot
"Hello World" in the BCPL Language (Precursor to C) on the Alto Simulator [more inside]
posted by Pong74LS on Jul 31, 2016 - 25 comments

I've got yer credentials right here.

35 Classy Slang Terms for Naughty Bits from the Past 600 Years [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 31, 2016 - 36 comments

A vocabulary fight turned constitutional crisis

Law professor Zephyr Teachout first rose to prominence as the director of internet organizing for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign. She's published the acclaimed political history book Corruption in America. In 2014 she primaried Andrew Cuomo from the left, winning half of NY's counties despite Cuomo refusing to even mention her name. And now? She's running for Congress. [more inside]
posted by galaxy rise on Jul 30, 2016 - 9 comments

Twinkle, Twinkle, Vogel Staar: On Mozart's Feathered Collaborator

If you whistle a tune often enough to a starling, the bird will not only sing it back to you, it will improvise its response and create something new. On May 27, 1784, Mozart whistled a 17 note phrase to a starling in a Viennese shop and to his delight it spat the tune right back — but not without taking some liberties first. So he bought it and brought it home. That bird lived with him for the three most productive years of his life, during which he completed more than 60 compositions, including Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The piano concerto as we still understand it was built in those rooms. The “Jupiter” Symphony began and Figaro ended. Melodies that two centuries of humans have since whistled could have first been volleyed between a genius and his pet bird.
posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2016 - 21 comments

The Weed Route

In the winter of 1980 The Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road) abandoned almost 2000 miles of track between Miles City, Montana and Cedar Falls, Washington -- part of a passenger and freight shipping route known as the “Pacific Coast Extension.” Today, what's left of the Extension is "cut up among different railroads and the best engineered rail line through the rugged Rockies and Cascades is but weeds and trails, a vital transportation artery no longer available to shippers and the American economy." But in August 1980, before it was abandoned, two former locomotive firemen and engineers spent $400 to rescue a track-maintenance railway car, a 1952 M-19 Fairmont Speeder, from a scrap heap in a Maine train yard. They used it to travel the route and took photos along the way. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 27, 2016 - 20 comments

Lest we forget

European refugees in India, Africa and the Middle East
During World War II in Europe over 40 million refugees sought shelter away from the catastrophic bloodshed that engulfed the continent for over six years.
posted by infini on Jul 26, 2016 - 12 comments

Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?

Victorian Women of Color: A Rare ViewPhotos of Women of Color from this era are hard to come by, especially "family" photographs. Sadly these beautiful and touching images go unnamed. A couple of these photos were taken when there was still slavery in the United States. [Downtown LA Life Magazine is] honored to present these images as part of our dedication to the photographic history of our country. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jul 25, 2016 - 15 comments

How to buy a car in the U.S.S.R.

It was a bit harder than you might think....
Ronald Reagan told the joke:
a guy in a Soviet country is told he has a 10 year wait for a car.
This man laid down the money, and the fellow in charge said to him:
Come back in 10 years and get your car.
The man answered: Morning or afternoon?
And the fellow behind the counter said: Ten years from now, what difference does it make?
And he said: Well, the plumber is coming in the morning. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp on Jul 22, 2016 - 21 comments

Popcorn, always with the popcorn

Popcorn. Not just a snack, but a metaphor for schadenfreude. And darn tasty to boot. You can mix equal volumes popcorn and milk without raising the level of the milk, which is kinda fun but doesn't taste very good. Or.... [more inside]
posted by sotonohito on Jul 22, 2016 - 63 comments

You can’t be sure where any search will lead.

It all started with a question, one my parents had been unable to answer for 70 years. What happened to the French doctor they had taken in during the Russian siege of Budapest? He was an escaped prisoner of war. They were just trying to hang on. Together, they hid in a cellar, beneath the feet of German soldiers who had made the home their headquarters.
San Francisco Journalist John Temple follows the threads of World War II into the present.
posted by Rumple on Jul 16, 2016 - 20 comments

Hey Blondie! You know what you are?

A condensed history of white rappers
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2016 - 124 comments

Roman Inscriptions of Britain

Roman Inscriptions of Britain is a searchable online database that "hosts Volume One of The Roman Inscriptions of Britain, R.G. Collingwood's and R.P. Wright's magisterial edition of 2,401 monumental inscriptions from Britain found prior to 1955. It also incorporates all Addenda and Corrigenda published in the 1995 reprint of RIB (edited by R.S.O. Tomlin) and the annual survey of inscriptions published in Britannia since."
posted by jedicus on Jul 14, 2016 - 5 comments

Medieval Graffiti

"The past five or six years have seen a massive rise in one particular area of medieval studies – an area that has the potential to give back a voice to the silent majority of the medieval population. New digital imaging technologies, and the recent establishment of numerous volunteer recording programmes, have transformed its scope and implications. The first large-scale survey began in the English county of Norfolk a little over six years ago. The results of that survey have been astonishing." [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jul 12, 2016 - 24 comments

“What bothers me is the way people were applauding him.”

To "more fully understand why conservative [American] politics [has] become synonymous with no-questions-asked support of Israel," Author Tom Bissell went on a ten day “Stand with Israel Tour” hosted by right-wing Jewish Conservative talk show pundit Dennis Prager. My Holy Land Vacation: Touring Israel with 450 Christian Zionists, is this month’s Harper’s Magazine cover story. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 12, 2016 - 29 comments

TC BANKCALL # TEMPORARY, I HOPE HOPE HOPE

Margaret Hamilton's source code for Apollo 11 on Github! The extraordinary code from the original Apollo 11 guidance computer has been converted to .s files for syntax highlighting and posted to Github. The project was undertaken by Virtual AGC and the MIT Museum. [more inside]
posted by jasper411 on Jul 12, 2016 - 22 comments

(W)Here lies Constance Wilde?

"Oscar Wilde’s long-suffering wife is supposed to be buried in Italy. So what’s her gravestone doing in a cemetery in Spain, and who lies under it?" [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Jul 11, 2016 - 4 comments

When the joke backfires

Women Were Included in the Civil Rights Act as a Joke And a racist joke, at that. But working women and black civil rights lawyers had the last laugh when they brought women’s workplace rights to the courts and won.
posted by infini on Jul 11, 2016 - 15 comments

Tired of the Treachery and Political Confusion of the 21st C?

If so, you can revel in the continual treachery and political confusion of the long history of England in its assorted forms via the History of England Podcast. The genial and enthusiastic David Crowther works his way through the tumultuous course of events, only occasionally enlisting his children to put on amateur theatricals to illustrate some dramatic moment or other. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust on Jul 10, 2016 - 12 comments

Globalization before Its Time: Kutchi traders

The Arabian Sea has a special place in Indian business history. For centuries the cities and settlements on the Arabian Sea littoral traded with each other, exchanging Indian textiles for horse, armaments, pearls and ivory. In turn, some of the textiles were passed on to the Atlantic slave trade in Africa as a medium of exchange, or sent overland to European markets. Coastal merchants* indigenous to the region bordering the sea engaged in this business and developed sophisticated systems of banking and shipbuilding to support the mercantile enterprise. The Hindu and Muslim traders of Kachchh were examples of such groups of people. text via [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 8, 2016 - 7 comments

Long read essay on Africa

Africa In The New Century
An essay by the Cameroonian philosopher and post-colonial theorist Achille Mbembe. Entitled “Africa In The New Century”, the essay advances one of the most profound arguments yet for the growing—if still marginalised—hypothesis that the future of humanity is being subsumed by the future of Africa.
text via
posted by infini on Jul 7, 2016 - 15 comments

Space Junk

Bonhams is hosting an auction of Space History on July 20th. Now is the time to get that full scale Sputnik model for your living room.
posted by agatha_magatha on Jul 4, 2016 - 15 comments

Track Changes

Matthew Kirschenbaum talks to The Atlantic about his book on the history of word processing, what early word processing looked like, early adopter Len Deighton, and how writers of all kinds adapted to the new technology.
posted by Artw on Jul 2, 2016 - 28 comments

Don't make the mistake of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison

This candid 2011 talk about the history of OpenSolaris fork Illumos doubles as a history of the late Silicon Valley giant Sun, its engineering and corporate culture, its disastrous acquisition by Oracle, and the rise of open source in the 2000's. [more inside]
posted by whir on Jul 1, 2016 - 21 comments

The Paintings of Ben Sakoguchi

In a series of colorful, captivating, and often provocative paintings, Los Angeles artist Ben Sakoguchi (b. 1938) examines how baseball, long referred to as America’s national pastime, reflects both the highs and lows of American culture. The son of a grocer and avid baseball fan, Sakoguchi juxtaposes the iconic imagery of vintage orange crate labels from the 1920s to the 1950s with whimsical, eccentric, and sometimes scathing portrayals of America’s beloved sport. [more inside]
posted by dfm500 on Jun 30, 2016 - 8 comments

“This was not Holocaust education but miseducation,”

Man Who Claimed to Have Escaped Auschwitz Admits He Lied for Years [The Guardian] Joseph Hirt said he fabricated story of being sent to camp and meeting Nazi doctor Josef Mengele to ‘keep memories alive’ about history of the Holocaust. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 25, 2016 - 34 comments

and a star to steer her by

Being on a 61-foot vessel with no engine in the middle of the ocean is, indeed, as tough as it might seem. The Hokule'a is on a mission. Catch them on their east coast tour!
posted by vrakatar on Jun 23, 2016 - 12 comments

Lotteries were all the rage in eighteenth-century Paris.

Voltaire’s Luck by Roger Pearson [Lapham's Quarterly] “It was once said of Voltaire, by his friend the Marquis d’Argenson, that “our great poet forever has one foot on Mount Parnassus and the other in the rue Quincampoix.” The rue Quincampoix was the Wall Street of eighteenth-century Paris; the country’s most celebrated writer of epic and dramatic verse had a keen eye for investment opportunities. By the time d’Argenson made his remark, in 1751, Voltaire had amassed a fortune. He owed it all to a lottery win. Or, to be more precise, to several wins.”
posted by Fizz on Jun 22, 2016 - 7 comments

The shining

The Polyamorous Christian Socialist Utopia That Made Silverware for Proper Americans
posted by Joe in Australia on Jun 22, 2016 - 26 comments

African and African American Studies: Introduction to Wakanda

"T’Challa emerged as the fictional representation of those countless dreams denied; the unbroken manhood that Ossie Davis famously invoked after the assassination of Malcolm X. Wakanda symbolized the dreams of black utopias like Ethiopia and South Africa that had grown as the Black Freedom Struggle grew over the twentieth century. In this moment when superheroes become a way to explore contemporary anxieties about activism and authority, the Black Panther provides an opportunity for global audiences to study the traditions of black nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and the variety of African indigenous cultures. Dr. Walter Greason (Monmouth University) took a few minutes to suggest a collaborative exploration of these influences" in the Wakanda Syllabus.
posted by ChuraChura on Jun 19, 2016 - 6 comments

Metrocosm: The History of Cities Visualized

The History of Cities Visualized: Metrocosm
posted by y2karl on Jun 18, 2016 - 9 comments

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