Amelia Earhart Deep Sea Diving off Block Island, 07/25/1929

From the series: Photographic File of the Paris Bureau of the New York Times, compiled ca. 1900 - ca. 1950. Records of the U.S. Information Agency, 1900 - 2003

According to the date, this photo was taken just 1 day after the pioneering aviatrix’s 32nd birthday (born July 24, 1897).


Victorian tear catcher.
Funeral attendees would catch tears shed for the departed during the service and place them in the tomb.


fig. 16.—new paris reflector, from recreations in astronomy with directions for practical experiments and telescopic work (1886)

tags: #history #astronomy


On this day in history July 11, 1804: United States Vice President Aaron Burr kills former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel with pistols. The duel was held in Weehawken, New Jersey, ironically occurring on the same spot where Hamilton’s son had died defending his father’s honor two years before. As his son, Hamilton would die the next day from his injuries.

Burr became one of the most hated men in America. He would later plot to overtake the lands of the Louisiana Purchase and would be arrested for treason in 1807. Burr would be acquitted on a technicality and fled to Europe.

tags: #history


Sir Nicholas Winton is a humanitarian who organized a rescue operation that saved the lives of 669 Jewish Czechoslovakia children from Nazi death camps, and brought them to the safety of Great Britain between the years 1938-1939.

After the war, his efforts remained unknown. But in 1988, Winton’s wife Grete found the scrapbook from 1939 with the complete list of children’s names and photos. Sir Nicholas Winton is sitting in an audience of Jewish Czechoslovakian people who he saved 50 years before.


tags: #history


1917-ish photo of Soviet planespotters in exotic headgear; according to a commenter, the binox are focused at infinity “so that when you found the source of the sound by turning your head, you could see the aircraft creating that sound.”

tags: #history #wwi


The Third Imperial Egg and Blue Serpent Egg Clock

Carl Fabrege 1887 and 1895

This particular egg (L) was lost for quite some time until 2012. It was recently sold to a third-party private collector via Wartawski Jewelers in 2014. The gg on the right was for a while thought to be 1887 Egg despit it not fitting the description quite close enough. Upon discovery of the Third Imperial egg and it too being identified in an old photograph of Maria Fedorovna’s Fabrege Eggs Fabrege scholars re-evaluated the Blue Serpent Clock Egg as the 1895 egg that was thought missing. The confusion rests on that both are working clocks as their surprises. The 1895 egg (R) is owned by Prince Albert of Monaco and resides there in Monaco. If the egg is from 1895, then it was Nicholas the II’s gift to his mother Maria Feodorvna on Easter. 

Note: The 1886 Egg is missing as are they 1888 and 1889 making the Third Imperial Egg the second oldest Imperial Egg. Fabrege mad another clock egg for the Duchess of Marlborough in 1902. It looks similiar to the Blue Serpent Egg but has a silver base instead. 

tags: #art #history
Listing Abraham Lincoln: Postal and Irish


(A post from Dr. James Cornelius, the curator of the Abraham Lincoln Collection here at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum)

Lincoln’s name makes it on to lots of lists these days, so you might ask: when did he first get listed, at least in print?  Service in the Black Hawk War in 1832 got him on to muster rolls, and a pension list, as has long been known.  Election to the state legislature in 1834 / 1836 / 1838 / 1840 also put him forward.  We think his name first appeared in national newspapers in 1840, when he was an elector for the Whig presidential candidate, Gen. William Henry Harrison.

Two very out-of-the-way listings — one of them a new discovery — are worth listing here.

1.  The federal government put out a biennial Register of All Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States.  (Today this is known as the Federal Register.) A copy of this dull and hard-to-find publication has recently entered the collection at the ALPLM.  As of Sept. 30, 1835, amid the 297 pages of small print, including all people doing printing work for the government, and all cashiers of the Bank of the United States (which ceased operations about a year later, triggering a panic), is a long list of every postmaster in all 24 states, plus 3 territories.  


   Lincoln took home $56 for his work that year; the Irishman in Chicago, $649.00.

This 1835 edition is thus the first time that Lincoln’s name appeared in a federal publication.  Somehow the Democratic President Andrew Jackson had commissioned the known Whig legislator A. Lincoln as postmaster of New Salem, Illinois, back in 1833.   Lincoln did not appear in the 1833 biennial report, having taken up duties too late in the year; and he appeared again in 1837 only as a quarter-time employee, after his post office had been closed.  (Jackson earned $25,000 a year as president; Lincoln earned that same salary, much reduced by inflation, 30 years later.)  We do not know who exactly prevailed upon Jackson — more likely upon his postmaster-general, Amos Kendall of Massachusetts — to give Lincoln the tiny job, since the U.S.P.O. burned all such recommendation letters in the 1890s.  

2.  A more momentous and surprising listing came a decade later.  Prof. Christine Kinealy of Drew University in New Jersey, for her book Charity and the Great Hunger in Ireland (2013), read the thousands of names printed in an official report and extracted, among others, Lincoln’s name. She mentions this directly on page 209.


The 1849 report from London listed subscribers to the “extreme distress” fund from all over the world.

He donated £5 (roughly $24.00 then, or very roughly $1,000 today) for famine relief.  As a new Congressman from Illinois’s 7th district, Lincoln had tried and mostly failed to win the Irish-American vote.  He was the only Whig in the entire Illinois delegation of 7 representatives and 2 senators, and the Irish voted Democratic.  He also had many Scots-born constituents, who were drifting Whig.  Let us dispense with politics, though: Lincoln always felt the burdens of the poor, and gave what he could, and the new level of catastrophe spawned by blighted potatos throughout Europe caused special harm in the bulk of Ireland where the one-crop food source left millions vulnerable.  Prof. Kinealy reports that an earthquake in Caracas, Venezuela, and a famine in India had previously generated international relief help, but the severity of the potato blight, worse in 1846 than in 1845, had engendered the first truly organized international relief effort.  Most donations arrived in 1847.  Democratic President James Polk contributed; so did any number of British lords and ladies, Canadian and Indian expatriates, and U.S. bankers and shipping magnates.  And a humble married man, father of two, from Springfield, Illinois, who never mentioned this donation in his next four runs for public office.

Thanks for assistance to John Hoffmann, and to book donors June and George Wiggins.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand: I came here to have a good time and I honestly am feeling so attacked right now
tags: #history
Archduke Franz Ferdinand: I came here to have a good time and I honestly am feeling so attacked right now
tags: #history