Sunday, January 31, 2010

Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town fashions are ready to share

STATEN ISLAND, NY -- In the curatorial department of Historic Richmond Town this winter, they are saying: If you know the story of the cape, you know the story of the man. Both stories — the cape and the man — are now accessible worldwide

Pretty much everything in the 100-acre village, which has 30 buildings, farmland, graveyards, art, vehicles (buggies, carriages, wagons and carts), tools, clothing, furniture and decorative objects, is headed that way.
Unlike newspapers and magazines, R-Town is unlikely to be harmed by its online avatar.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said curator Maxine Friedman. “The more people know about what we have, the easier it will be to share it.”

Yesterday afternoon, Ms. Friedman and associate curator Sarah Clark pulled selected garments out of their climate-controlled repositories during an informal fund-raiser.
Some attendees may well have been unaware of the riches on the premises. Sitewide, the complex has been updating storage, inventory and catalogues for 20 years now.
The chief goal is preserving the various collections -- expanding access is second place.
Historic Richmond TownFresh Kills T-shirt, circa 1992, previously owned by Francis Laub, a stationary engineer for the New York City Department of Sanitation. The process involves retrieval, research, evaluation and conservation. It’s full of surprises. Categories in which the quality of the holdings was under-known, research has brought treasures to light.
It all started in 1990 in the archives — virtually a whole building (the old PS 28 on Center Street). The place was several floors of paper: Books, photographs, documents, records and maps. The contents were catalogued, conserved, and re-filed in acid-free receptacles.
The following year, hundreds of items of furniture were retrieved from 15 storage buildings, evaluated and reinstalled in the new made-to-order Edna Hayes Storage Center.
Later, when it was time to survey the 4,000 ceramic items on the premises, an expert was retained. The ceramics timeline begins with a pre-Revolutionary porcelain tea cozy (probably brought to pro-British Staten Island by a soldier) and concludes, for the time being, with millennial Champagne flutes.

A costume dress, circa 1890-1910, with a bowling theme. The garment is associated with the Staten Island Quartette Club, which had its run 1861-1954. The research team began tackling clothing — the first collection to surface online — about a year ago. For now, it’s just highlights, not the whole closet.
There were reasons to post clothing first, according to Ms. Friedman. “Partly, its due to the amount of research we’d already done,” she said. “We’ve found there’s always interest in clothing.”
Dressmakers, designers, film and theater costumers are often anxious to examine a real, vintage garment close up; photographs and drawings are just no substitute.

One of the livelier male garments among the waistcoats, top hats, uniforms and baseball caps is a tasseled, blue wool and scarlet velvet cape. Liberace would have felt festive in this number.
It belonged to Sydney Howard Gay (1814-1888) of Livingston, a newspaperman. He wore the cape during speaking tours below the Mason Dixon line, where he was an abolitionist firebrand. How the cape functioned in this context — perhaps it was bullet-proof — isn’t explained.
Entries often include a narrative. Some have photographs of the garment being worn. Women’s clothing and accessories outnumber other categories.
Some items are practically iconic in American culture, like the Calvin Klein “designer” jeans from the 1970s, the early heyday of the style. They must have been well-loved. They are grass-stained, faded, practically threadbare.
Ms. Clark is particularly happy about a 200-year-old woman’s coat or pelisse. It has fine hand sewing and it’s intact, which is practically a miracle. “These were not uncommon garments,” she said, “but to have one in such great shape is very rare.”
Designer Ceil Chapman’s lace and tulle evening dress. Chapman was born on S.I. and worked in Manhattan’s famed Fashion District, circa the 1940s-’50s. A 1950s gown represents a link to the most glamorous actresses of post-war Hollywood. It was designed by Ceil Chapman (1912-1979), born in Rosebank. In her heyday, she dressed stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.
Last month, a Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) graduate candidate dropped by hoping to study selected items and offer conservation services (repairs and stabilization).
Her services were not required, it turned out. The menswear has survived in remarkably good form.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dancers united in passion

Dancers united in passion
Sydney Chinese Dance Group are coming to Hornsby RSL Club.
THEY work in diverse occupations, including accounting, teaching and business - but are united in their passion for dance.
The 15 members of the Sydney Chinese Dance Group also share a common desire to promote Chinese culture in Australia, volunteering to dance at many cultural events and celebrations.
In introducting the ensemble at one of their recent events, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the performers played an active role in nurturing the talent of young Chinese-Australian dancers and instilling an appreciation of their cultural heritage.
“It is pleasing to see the growing interest of all Australians in Chinese cultural events,” Mr Rudd said, noting “cultural diversity is an intrinsic part of Australian society and a unifying force for our nation”.
“The Chinese-Australian community is a significant part of the modern face of Australia and has played an important role in helping to build and maintain Australia’s strong relationship with China.”
The dance group was formed in 2004 by people who loved to dance outside of their regular jobs. They meet each Sunday to rehearse for several hours and share a love of performance.
Their latest production, Red Silk, draws on ancient and modern Chinese dance and incorporates the use of ribbons and fans. It includes an excerpt from the popular tale of Mulan and a collage of different dances.
“Some of the dances have a story and some of them are abstract,” Ms Zhang said.
“Some of the classic dance is thousands of years old and the upright hairstyles are also from the old culture.”
The group’s previous productions include Melody of Dance, Spirit of Dance and Dream of Dance.
Red Silk, which plays at Hornsby RSL Club on Saturday, February 20, at 8pm, features colourful costumes and fine tuned artistry.
The production is part of Chinese New Year celebrations at the club. Tickets are $13. Bookings:

Home: India celebrates its Diamond Jubilee as a republic

India marked its Diamond Jubilee as a republic today with nation-wide celebrations that included an impressive parade down Raj Path in the capital depicting the country's military prowess, its air power, its development in various fields and its rich and diverse cultural heritage.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid a wreath at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
It was on this day in 1950, three years after attaining independence from British rule, that the nation had adopted its Constitution.
The main event of the day - the Republic Day Parade down Rajpath - began under a blanket of dense fog over the capital that had reduced visibility to less than a hundred metres. Similar parades and various cultural events were held in all state capitals and all other cities and towns to mark the occasion.
President Pratibha Patil ,the chief guest President of Republic of Korea, Lee Myung Bak, the Vice President, Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and other dignitaries at president dais at the celebration of the 61st Republic day-2010 in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
President Pratibha Patil ,the chief guest President of Republic of Korea, Lee Myung Bak, the Vice President, Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and other dignitaries at president dais at the celebration of the 61st Republic day-2010 in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was the Chief Guest at the parade in Delhi, at which President Pratibha Patil took the salute. Vice-President M Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Ministers, ruling United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, diplomats, senior officials and thousands of people were present.
Millions more watched the parade live on television, with most channels telecasting the event live.
The entire city was under a tight security umbrella given intelligence warnings of possible by terrorist groups.
The parade ceremony began at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Dr Singh led the nation in paying homage to martyrs by laying a wreath.
An eternal flame burns at the Amar Jawan Jyoti to commemorate the indomitable courage of the Armed Forces personnel who have made the supreme sacrifice for the country. The Amar Jawan, the immortal soldier, is symbolised by a reversed rifle topped by a helmet.
Dr Singh was received by Defence Minister A K Antony when he arrived at the venue of the parade. Later, the Prime Minister received the President and Mr Lee when they arrived together.
After the National Tricolour was unfurled and the National Anthem was played as per tradition, the President conferred the Ashok Chakra, the nation's highest peacetime gallantry award, on Major D. Sreeram Kumar of 39 Assam Rifles, Major Mohit Sharma (posthumous) of 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) and Havildar Rajesh Kumar (posthumous) of 11th Battalion, The Rajputana Rifles.
The Band BSF Camel marching contingent passes through the Rajpath during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
The Band BSF Camel marching contingent passes through the Rajpath during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
The President then took the salute at the parade, which was commanded by Lt. General Kanwal Jeet Singh Oberoi, General Officer Commanding, Delhi Area. Brig Kuldip Singh was the parade Second-in-Command.
Param Vir Chakra winners Subedar Major (Honorary captain) Bana Singh (retd), Havildar Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK RIF and Havildar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers and Ashok Chakra Winners Lt Col Jas Ram Singh (retd), Brigadier C A Pithawalla, Cdr, HQ 3 Sect Rashtriya Rifles and Hony Naib subedar Chhering Mutup (retd) followed the Deputy Parade Commander on Jeeps.
The highlight of this year’s parade were the indigenous main battle tank Arjun, Smerch Multiple Launch Rocket System, Armoured Engineer Recce Vehicle, Sarvatra Bridge, Electronic Warfare System, Samyukta, ICV BMP-II Sarath, Ambulance Tracked and advanced light helicopter Dhruv.
The Armed Forces also displayed the indigenous systems being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRD), including the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, Agni-III Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, Shourya Surface-to-Surface Strategic Missile and the Rohini Radar.
Renowned sportspersons carrying the replica of queenbatton of Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi passes through the Raj path during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
Renowned sportspersons carrying the replica of queenbatton of Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi passes through the Raj path during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
There were loud cheers as a bevy of the country's best-known sportspersons, including boxer Vijender Singh, wrestler Sushil Kumar, weightlifter K Malleshwari, athlete P T Usha, shooter Samresh Jung, badminton player Pullela Gopichand, former hockey captains AjitPal Singh and Zafar Iqbal, swimmer Khajan Singh and veteran Olympian Milkha Singh passed by on the tableau of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The marching contingents of the Army included the horse-mounted columns of the 61st Cavalry, the Brigade of the Guards, Madras Regiment, Jat Regiment, Sikh Regiment, Dogra Regiment, Bihar Regiment, Gorkha Regiment and the Territorial Army.
The marching contingents of the Navy comprising 144 men were led by Lt. Commander Ajay Verma and the Air Force contingent comprising 148 men by Sq. Ldr. R. Katoch.
The tableau of Manipur passes through the Rajpath during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
The tableau of Manipur passes through the Rajpath during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
The marching contingents of paramilitary and other auxiliary civil forces included contingents from the Border Security Force (BSF), Assam Rifles, Coast Guard, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Railway Protection Force, Delhi Police, National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme. The camel-mounted band of the BSF was, as usual, a major attraction.
Tableaux from 21 states and Central Ministries and Departments presented the varied historical, architectural and cultural heritage of the country and showcased country’s progress in different fields.
Nineteen of the 21 children selected for the National Bravery Award – 2009 also participated in the parade. Two children have got the award posthumously.
The girls marching contingent passes through the Rajpath during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
The girls marching contingent passes through the Rajpath during the 61st Republic Day Parade-2010, in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
In the children’s pageant section, 750 boys and girls drawn from Kamal Model Senior Secondary School, Mohan Garden, Vandana International School, Dwarka, Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Yamuna Vihar, Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Maujpur, Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya Samlaka, Delhi and North-East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur different school of Delhi and regional cultural zones presented dances and other programmes.
Jaanbaz, the motorcycle display by men of the BSF drew big cheers. It consisted of 178 riders on 34 motorcycles performing Border Man Salute, Back Riding, Ladder Balancing, Guldasta, Operation Tawar, Seema Chowki Buland, Seema Prahari and Flag March under the leadership of Inspector Gurpreet Singh. They performed breathtaking stunts in a synchronised and synergetic display of coordination of mind, body and machine.
Three planes in arrow formation fly over Raj path during the celebration of the 61st Republic day-2010 in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
Three planes in arrow formation fly over Raj path during the celebration of the 61st Republic day-2010 in New Delhi on January 26, 2010.
The grand finale was a spectacular flypast by the IAF, despite the foggy conditions, with the AWACS participating in the parade for the first time. One IL-78, flanked by two AN-32 and two Dornier, flying in Big Boy formation, led the flypast. This was followed by one AWACS, flanked by two Su-30 MKI, flying in Sentry formation. Five Jaguars followed by five MiG-29 flew in Arrowhead formation. The breathtaking Trishul formation comprising three Su-30 MKI flew over Rajpath and, when in front of the saluting dais, the Su-30MKI aircraft at the centre carried out a Vertical Charlie manoeuvre.
The ceremony ended with the National Anthem and release of colourful balloons that brightened up the overcast sky

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Many historical books contain cartoons, but in most cases these are little more than a relief from the text, and do not make any point of substance which is not made elsewhere. Political cartoons should be regarded as much more than that. They are an important historical source which often casts vivid light on events, and which is useful both to the teacher and to the researcher. The essential of a political cartoon is that it is not meant to portray an actual event, but is designed to bring out points which are not adequately made by textual descriptions - or which can be understood by illiterate people, or by people in a hurry.

The medium of cartoons is a very old one. A famous palette from the dawn of pharaonic Egypt shows King Narmer (Menes) striking what appears to be a defeated enemy in front of a falcon, symbol of the god Horus.(1 ) It is unlikely that Narmer personally dispatched all his enemies, and even more unlikely that he contrived to have a falcon present to watch events. It is much more likely that this was a true cartoon, making an important point of propaganda. Pharaoh has divine backing. For that reason, he has been, and will continue to be, successful against his enemies at home or abroad. It is therefore advisable to support him in all his doings.

Four thousand years later, similar ideas were repeatedly put forward in the Byzantine empire. To give one of many examples, a tenth-century ivory relief shows the Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus crowned by Christ(2 ). As with the palette of Narmer, the artist did not suggest that the incident depicted actually occurred, and yet there are clear political implications. Constantine VII, like Narmer, has divine support and is therefore invincible. So the mosaic also qualifies as a true cartoon.

A sixteenth-century English woodcut(3 ) shows Henry VIII receiving the Bible from Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell, while simultaneously trampling Pope Clement VII, who is being consoled by John Fisher. No such scene could possibly have occurred, and the woodcut seems to have appeared first in the reign of Henry’s younger daughter; but the message to the devout is obvious. Henry was very powerful and very pious and his enemies were neither. No doubt his merits have rubbed off onto Elizabeth. These various points could all have been made in text, but a cartoon is far more vivid and is much more likely to stick in the viewer’s mind, particularly if he happens to be more or less illiterate.

By taking cartoons from different sources, it is often possible to see how events looked to people with opposing ideas. In Britain, political cartoons of a more or less modern kind received a great impetus during the long premiership of Sir Robert Walpole. There were ways in which criticisms of the government - on the stage, for example - could be at least partly controlled. But cartoons of Walpole - some quite vulgar - could not be controlled.( 4 ) To do so would have required a prosecution in front of a London jury; and there \zwas no way in which a London jury (whose members probably detested Walpole) would have convicted, whatever the evidence. The best that Walpole could do was to hire other cartoonists to glorify himself. The results looked pompous rather than persuasive.(5 ) The floodgates were open, and nobody, not even royalty, was immune. Early in the reign of George III the King’s mother and the Prime Minister, the Earl of Bute, were alleged (probably wrongly) to be lovers. and the cartoons which followed were sometimes crudely obscene.( 6 ) Other scurrilous cartoons about royalty and their sex lives followed later in the reign. What eventually put a stop to that sort of thing was not the law, but changing public tastes.

Until about 1830, British political cartoons were usually one-off efforts, much too expensive for most people’s pockets. They would have been bought either by comparatively wealthy people, or for display in shops, pubs and similar places. Then, quite suddenly, a number of satirical publications, usually with radical opinions, begin to appear, at prices within the range of the skilled artisan. These sometimes contain cartoons. Figaro in London was one such periodical, and occasionally casts useful light on developing political ideas. A cartoon of March 1833 shows William IV as a puppet controlled by Prime Minister Grey and Lord Chancellor Brougham ( 7 ) - an early recognition of one effect of the Reform Act of the previous year. A Figaro cartoon of April 1837 shows an angry crowd demonstrating for repeal of the Corn Laws, to the high embarrassment of two bakers, Whig Prime Minister Melbourne and his Tory rival Wellington. An anti-corn law association had already been formed in London; but this was a year before the principal Anti-Corn Law League was established in Manchester. It shows that radical London working people were very interested in moves towards Free Trade before the idea had fully caught on with north country employers.

Punch appeared early in the 1840s, and at first was very radical in outlook. “The home of the rick-burner” in 1844 shows an agricultural labourer, his wife dead in bed, with an empty cupboard and hungry children clustered around him. The Devil, brandishing a burning torch, incites him to incendiarism.( 8 ) The sympathies of the artist are evident. Punch soon became less radical in tone, though it tended to look at events from a more or less Liberal standpoint for a long time to come. Various competitors appeared. Most of these died quickly, but the Conservative Judy, and Fun, whose politics varied from time to time, both lasted from the 1860s into the early twentieth century, with many well-drawn cartoons. By comparing them with Punch, it is often possible to get different angles on controversies.

During the debate on the Irish Land Bill of 1881, Punch showed Gladstone tendering a bouquet to Hibernia, and thus drawing her attention and sympathies away from the villainous-looking representative of the Land League (complete with dynamite)( 9 ). Judy, by contrast, showed Gladstone and W. E. Forster as “the most liberal of Liberals with other people’s property”, handing title deeds to an Irish peasant, while a wounded landlord looks on.( 10 ) The Dublin Weekly Freeman takes another view of the matter. “The genius of the Bill” is the Irishman “Pat”, who wields a shillelagh marked “Land League” over Gladstone, compelling him to write the Irish Land Bill.( 11 )

In other countries and at other times, similar comparisons may be made. In the early part of 1941, there was a furious controversy in the United States as to whether or not America should follow the recommendation of President Roosevelt, and render great material assistance to Britain and other Allies through the vehicle of Lease-Lend. The pro-Roosevelt Washington Post featured a cartoon suggesting that the alternative was a globe dominated by Hitler( 12 ), with Uncle Sam sitting miserably on a branch outside. The isolationist and anti-Roosevelt Chicago Tribune ( 13 ) showed an aeroplane labelled “War Bloc”, (meaning those Americans - Democrats or Republicans - who were backing Roosevelt’s policy). It has just bombed the promises of both Roosevelt and his Republican opponent at the recent Presidential elections, leaving 50 million voters in the wreckage. Each cartoon is seeking to point out to Americans the appalling consequences which are likely to follow if its own views are not followed.

How did the beginning of the 1914 war look to various belligerents? Many British people are familiar with the F. H. Townsend cartoon in Punch ( 14 ), showing a type-cast German, complete with sausages, threatening a boy who defends a gate marked “No Thoroughfare”. The cartoon carries the caption “Bravo, Belgium!” The German attack on Belgium was the nominal cause of British intervention, and it certainly had a big effect on British public opinion; but it would be difficult to find corresponding cartoons in other major countries, Allied or enemy, giving that incident similar importance.

The Germans, by contrast, appear to have entered the war mainly for fear of Russia. A cartoon in the satirical Kladderadatsch shows a young boy brandishing a sword, crying “Up, German brothers, the Huns are coming!”( 15 ) This is probably an allusion to the great battle of 451 - which has been given various names - when Romans and several Germanic tribes joined forces to defeat Attila. (The British called Germans, Huns; the Germans called Russians, Huns. Both were wrong.)

A Russian cartoon of about the same period in Novoe Vremya takes a very different view of the beginning of the war( 16 ). Here, the other side are the aggressors. A German and an Austrian are on a hunting expedition when suddenly their intended quarry, a gigantic Russian bear, appears in front of them. The Austrian recoils in terror into the arms of the appalled German.
To the United States, still neutral at that date, the beginning of the war takes on the character of an accident. In a New York Tribune cartoon ( 17 ), Franz Josef of Austria has just pulled out a little rock, Serbia and released an avalanche. Such cartoons illustrate how the same chain of events could look very different from different national standpoints.

Domestic events are similarly illustrated by cartoons. The long struggle over Irish Home Rule generated many cartoons on both sides of the Irish Sea. To take just one example, shortly before the 1914 war the crucial question was what was to happen to Ulster, or at least the Protestant parts of Ulster, if Home Rule took effect. A cartoon in the Dublin Leprecaun ( 18 ), shows Ireland as a kindly mother with children from the three southern Provinces and also southern Ulster, seeking to encourage “the irreconcilable” north-east Ulster - a sulky little boy - into the family cottage “Home, sweet Home, Rule”. The Belfast Weekly News ( 19 ) shows Prime Minister Asquith and Nationalist leader Redmond with great knives labelled “Home Rule”, and “Rome Rule”, chasing the chicken Ulster. Asquith remarks to Redmond with astonishment, “He doesn’t seem to want to be killed”. The remarkably impartial Belfast Nomad’s Weekly sees matters differently again.( 20 ) Asquith and Conservative leader Bonar Law are in the “Conversation Room”, but their mouths are padlocked, and each is chained in place - Asquith by Redmond, Bonar Law by Carson.

Sometimes contemporary cartoons give an answer to modern puzzles. Many people today wonder why Hitler was able to secure control of Germany so easily. A cartoon in the Munich periodical Simplicissimus of October 1932 gives an idea.( 21 ) This was at the depth of the depression, and Germany was faring worse than most countries. “Mother Germany” is in the water, drowning and crying for help. Five men struggle furiously for a lifebelt to throw to her: a Communist, a Nazi, a Social Democrat, an old-fashioned Conservative and a representative of the Catholic Zentrum. The message seems clear. The artist, and very likely his reader, does not care much who gets control of the lifebelt, provided that somebody does, and uses it quickly. Three and a half months later, Hitler became Chancellor, and in that sense it was the Nazi who got the lifebelt. No doubt many people who would have preferred somebody else to do so were willing to acquiesce.

Just when did the erstwhile wartime allies become involved in a “Cold War”? >From 1941 until the end of the war, cartoons in Allied countries were more or less unanimous in emphasising the unity of Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union, and the righteousness of their cause. To see what happened thereafter, we have to be cautious in our use of cartoons. British and American cartoons were drawn by artists who sought to express their own opinions, or the opinions of their employers, which were not necessarily the opinions of their governments. Soviet cartoons, by contrast, would never have appeared without official backing. Some British and American cartoons were expressing big doubts about the Soviet Union at an early date, but they were not presenting an “official” view of the matter.

The first Soviet hint that anything was amiss appears to have been a drawing in the satirical Krokodil of November 1945, which criticises, rather gently, the American refusal to share atomic secrets. Uncle Sam and a female character representing Britain are sitting in a park with a baby, “Atomic Energy”, in a perambulator( 22 ). Bystanders wonder how the child will be educated; the answer is “Privately!” There is a certain disapproval; but cartoons from British and American periodicals which were by no means Communist express similar views. In August 1946, Krokodil featured a cartoon highly critical of anti-Soviet elements in the American press,( 23 ) though not the American government. It was not until the following year that a serious assault was made on official American policies, and when the attack did come it was furious..

Occasionally cartoons are extraordinarily prophetic. A Will Dyson cartoon in the Daily Herald of 17 May 1919 ( 24 ) shows the “Big Four” Allied leaders leaving the Palace of Versailles. Clemenceau of France remarks to the others, “Curious! I seem to hear a child weeping!” Behind a pillar is a little boy, and over his head are the words “1940 Class” - that is, the class who would be of military age in 1940.

In 1923, the French occupied the Ruhr in order to compel the Germans to pay reparations. A large section of British opinion deplored this high-handed and unilateral action. A drawing by the great British cartoonist David Low shows Premier PoincarĂ© of France, who has just despatched a vulture labelled “Revanche” to Berlin. The bird turns and says “Righto, Poinc., I’ll take your message, but I’ll come home to roost.”( 25 ) It did.
Cartoons sometimes say to the modern reader rather more than the cartoonist intended. A German cartoon in Das Reich of mid-1941 shows Hitler and Stalin in the water, clutching each other and each crying “Help!”( 26 ) Another cartoon in the same periodical and probably by the same artist, drawn shortly after the crucial battle of Stalingrad, shows men, presumably meant to be Russians, with knives between their teeth, crouching for the attack.( 27 ) The first cartoon shows the huge confidence Germans were expected to feel at the onset of the assault on the Soviet Union; the second already hints that the war has been lost and that Germans must expect something very unpleasant to happen soon.

Sometimes the cartoonist makes a point which seemed straightforward enough when the drawing was made, but conveys subtleties to the modern reader. How similar was Italian Fascism to German Nazism? At the beginning of the Italian attack on Abyssinia in 1935, a cartoon in Mussolini’s Il popolo d’Italia , entitled “The aggressor and the victim of aggression” shows an Italian soldier striking off the chains of an Abyssinian.( 28 ) Of course this was propaganda for domestic consumption, and of course the attack was not really designed to benefit the Abyssinian; yet the thinking behind the cartoon was clearly not racist. It is difficult to conceive of a cartoon in Nazi Germany pretending that the 1939 attack on Poland, or the 1941 attack on Russia, was designed to help the people of those countries. Nazism certainly was racist right from the start. Italian Fascist cartoons eventually went the same way, and in 1938 a periodical La difensa della Razza appeared, whose first issue shows a sword between an “Aryan” on one side and a typecast Jew and a black man on the other.( 29 ) Hitler has converted Mussolini.

Even the absence of cartoons may tell us quite a lot. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, several satellite countries sent troops in support of the attackers. The French “collaborationist” La Gerbe featured a cartoon, “The last Crusade”. Stalin and Litvinov are in Moscow, and see troops advancing towards them. Stalin asks whether the Americans are coming to his assistance. Litvinov replies that he can only see Europe coming.( 30 ) The implication is that many European countries are helping actively in the assault. Yet there is little indication in German cartoons of the period that their European confederates were playing an important part in the operation. A Russian cartoon, “Fascist Kennel”, got it right. Hitler gnaws at a bone, while his tame dogs from the satellites slaver hungrily.( 31 )

Another significant example of the importance of omissions is the way in which heads of government are portrayed - or not portrayed - in cartoons. German cartoons during the Nazi period did not portray Hitler, Russian cartoons during the Stalin period and for long afterwards did not portray Stalin, even in the most laudatory way. Yet British wartime cartoons repeatedly portrayed Churchill, and American cartoons portrayed Roosevelt, often in a highly unflattering way. When a government forbids cartoons about its political leaders, it is usually a sign that liberty is being eroded in other ways as well.

Examples of all such uses of cartoons - or the absence of cartoons - may be multiplied almost indefinitely, and applied to a vast range of historical contexts. Whatever else they do, they make us hear people of the past speaking. That is what history is supposed to do. Unlike political speeches, they are difficult to “edit” in order to make the point which the present-day historian considers important

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shockproof to 1.5m, waterproof to 3m and freeze proof to -10 degrees Camera

Olympus just released the Mju Tough 6000 Arctic Blue Compact Camera for outdoor enthusiasts.

Olympus Mju Tough 6000 Arctic Blue Compact Camera
The Mju Tough 6000 Arctic Blue Compact Camera is shockproof to 1.5m, waterproof to 3m and freeze proof to -10 degrees that is why outdoor enthusiasts love it.
Olympus Mju Tough 6000 Arctic Features and Specifications:
  • Optical zoom (x) 3.6x
  • Megapixels 10
  • Sensor type 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor
  • Colour Arctic Blue
  • Focal length (wide) 28
  • Focal length (tele) 102
  • Max aperture (wide) 3.5
  • Max aperture (tele) 5.1
  • Viewfinder type HyperCrystal III LCD
  • Movie mode AVI Motion JPEG
  • Screen size 2.7 inch
  • Card format xD, Micro SD
  • Battery model LI-50B (Lithium-Ion Battery)
  • Weight (g) 149
  • Size 95.33×63.4×22.4mm
  • Resolution 3648×2736
  • Screen resolution 230,000 pixel
  • Minimum focus distance 0.02m
  • File formats DCF, EXIF 2.21, PIM III, DPOF, AVI Motion JPEG
  • Connectivity DC input, Combined A/V & USB output, USB 2.0 High Speed

Thursday, January 14, 2010

History of Photography Part4

Reference Material

A Moment in Time

Timeline of photography, film and cameras.

History of Photography - Photo Gallery

An illustrated tour of how photography has advanced through the ages.

The Daguerreotype

After several years of experimentation, Daguerre developed a more convenient and effective method of photography, naming it after himself - the daguerreotype.

George Eastman - The History of Kodak

George Eastman invented dry, transparent, and flexible, photographic film (rolled photography film) and the Kodak cameras that could use the new film in 1888.

35mm Still Camera

The history of the 35mm still camera.

Digital Camera

The history of the digital camera.

Master Photographers

From Abbott to Winogrand, learn about each master photographer and their impact on the history of photography.

A History of Photography

From its beginnings till the 1920s - significant people, processes, and history.

Still Photography

The science and art of making permanent images on light-sensitive materials.

The Camera Obscura : Aristotle to Zahn

An apparatus in which the images of external objects, formed by a convex lens or a concave mirror, are thrown on a paper or other white surface placed in the focus of the lens or mirror within a darkened chamber, or box, so that the outlines may be traced.

Aerial Photography

Andrew Heafitz applied for and received his first U.S. patent for the camera shutter.

Photoflash Bulbs

The first modern photoflash bulb (or flashbulb) was made by Austrian Paul Vierkotter, who used magnesium coated wire in an evacuated glass globe.

History of Photography Part 3

Advancement of the Camera

By definition a camera is a lightproof object, with a lens, that captures incoming light and directs the light and resulting image towards film (optical camera) or the imaging device (digital camera). All camera technology is based on the law of optics first discovered by Aristotle. By the mid-1500s a sketching device for artists, the camera obscura (dark chamber) was common. The camera obscura was a lightproof box with a pinhole (later lens were used) on one side and a translucent screen on the other. This screen was used for tracing by the artists of the inverted image transmitted through the pinhole.
Around 1600, Della Porta reinvented the pinhole camera. Apparently he was the first European to publish any information on the pinhole camera and is sometimes incorrectly credited with its invention.
Johannes Kepler was the first person to coin the phrase Camera Obscura in 1604, and in 1609, Kepler further suggested the use of a lens to improve the image projected by a Camera Obscura.

Daguerreotype Cameras

The earliest cameras used in the daguerreotype process were made by opticians and instrument makers, or sometimes even by the photographers themselves. The most popular cameras utilized a sliding-box design. The lens was placed in the front box. A second, slightly smaller box, slid into the back of the larger box. The focus was controlled by sliding the rear box forward or backwards. A laterally reversed image would be obtained unless the camera was fitted with a mirror or prism to correct this effect. When the sensitized plate was placed in the camera, the lens cap would be removed to start the exposure.

Box Camera

George Eastman. a dry plate manufacturer from Rochester, New York, invented the Kodak camera. For $22.00, an amateur could purchase a camera with enough film for 100 shots. After use, it was sent back to the company, which then processed the film. The ad slogan read, "You press the button, we do the rest." A year later, the delicate paper film was changed to a plastic base, so that photographers could do their own processing. Eastman's first simple camera in 1888 was a wooden, light-tight box with a simple lens and shutter that was factory-filled with film. The photographer pushed a button to produce a negative. Once the film was used up, the photographer mailed the camera with the film still in it to the Kodak factory where the film was removed from the camera, processed, and printed. The camera was then reloaded with film and returned.

Flashlight Powder

Blitzlichtpulver or flashlight powder was invented in Germany in 1887 by Adolf Miethe and Johannes Gaedicke. Lycopodium powder (the waxy spores from club moss) was used in early flash powder.


The first modern photoflash bulb or flashbulb was invented by Austrian, Paul Vierkotter. Vierkotter used magnesium-coated wire in an evacuated glass globe. Magnesium-coated wire was soon replaced by aluminum foil in oxygen. On September 23, 1930, the first commercially available photoflash bulb was patented by German, Johannes Ostermeier. These flashbulbs were named the Vacublitz. General Electric made a flashbulb called the Sashalite.

Filters - Frederick Charles Luther Wratten (1840-1926)

English inventor and manufacturer, Frederick Wratten founded one of the first photographic supply businesses, Wratten and Wainwright in 1878. Wratten and Wainwright manufactured and sold collodion glass plates and gelatin dry plates. In 1878, Wratten invented the "noodling process" of silver-bromide gelatin emulsions before washing. In 1906, Wratten with the assistance of Dr. C.E. Kenneth Mees (E.C.K Mees) invented and produced the first panchromatic plates in England. Wratten is best known for the photographic filters that he invented and are still named after him - Wratten Filters. Eastman Kodak purchased his company in 1912.

35mm Cameras

As early as 1905, Oskar Barnack had the idea of reducing the format of film negatives and then enlarging the photographs after they had been exposed. As development manager at Leica, he was able to put his theory into practice. He took an instrument for taking exposure samples for cinema film and turned it into the world's first 35 mm camera: the 'Ur-Leica'.

Polaroid or Instant Photos

Polaroid photography was invented by Edwin Herbert Land. Land was the American inventor and physicist whose one-step process for developing and printing photos created instant photography. The first Polaroid camera was sold to the public in November, 1948.

Disposable Camera

Fuji introduced the disposable camera in 1986. We call them disposables but the people who make these cameras want you to know that they're committed to recycling the parts, a message they've attempted to convey by calling their products "single-use cameras."

Digital Camera

In 1984, Canon demonstrated first digital electronic still camera.

History of Photography part 2

Advancements in Photographic Films & Photographic Prints

Photographic Films

The first flexible roll films, dating to 1889, were made of cellulose nitrate, which is chemically similar to guncotton. A nitrate-based film will deteriorate over time, releasing oxidants and acidic gasses. It is also highly flammable. Special storage for this film is required. Nitrate film is historically important because it allowed for the development of roll films. The first flexible movie films measured 35-mm wide and came in long rolls on a spool. In the mid-1920s, using this technology, 35-mm roll film was developed for the camera. By the late 1920s, medium-format roll film was created. It measured six centimeters wide and had a paper backing making it easy to handle in daylight. This led to the development of the twin-lens-reflex camera in 1929. Nitrate film was produced in sheets (4 x 5-inches) ending the need for fragile glass plates.
Triacetate film came later and was more stable, flexible, and fireproof. Most films produced up to the 1970s were based on this technology. Since the 1960s, polyester polymers have been used for gelatin base films. The plastic film base is far more stable than cellulose and is not a fire hazard.
Today, technology has produced film with T-grain emulsions. These films use light-sensitive silver halides (grains) that are T-shaped, thus rendering a much finer grain pattern. Films like this offer greater detail and higher resolution, meaning sharper images.

  • Film Speed (ISO) — An arbitrary number placed on film that tells how much light is needed to expose the film to the correct density. Generally, the lower the ISO number, the finer grained and slower a film. ISO means International Standards Organization. This term replaces the old ASA speed indicator. The slower the film, the more light is needed to expose it.

Photographic Prints

Traditionally, linen rag papers were used as the base for making photographic prints. Prints on this fiber-base paper coated with a gelatin emulsion are quite stable when properly processed. Their stability is enhanced if the print is toned with either sepia (brown tone) or selenium (light, silvery tone). Paper will dry out and crack under poor archival conditions. Loss of the image can also be due to high humidity, but the real enemy of paper is chemical residue left by photographic fixer. In addition, contaminants in the water used for processing and washing can cause damage. If a print is not fully washed to remove all traces of fixer, the result will be discoloration and image loss.

  • Fixer (Hypo)—A chemical, sodium thiosulfate, used to remove residual silver halides (grain) from films and prints when processing them. Fixer "fixes" the remaining silver halides in place on either film or prints. Fixer is also called hypo.
The next innovation in photographic papers was resin-coating, or water-resistant paper. The idea is to use normal linen fiber-base paper and coat it with a plastic (polyethylene) material, making the paper water-resistant. The emulsion is placed on a plastic covered base paper. The problem with resin-coated papers is that the image rides on the plastic coating, and is susceptible to fading. At first color prints were not stable because organic dyes were used to make the color image. The image would literally disappear from the film or paper base as the dyes deteriorate. Kodachrome, dating to the first third of the 20th century, was the first color film to produce prints that could last half a century. Now, new techniques are creating permanent color prints lasting 200 years or more. New printing methods using computer-generated digital images and highly stable pigments, offer permanency for color photographs.

History of Photography

Pinhole Cameras to The Daguerreotype

"Photography" is derived from the Greek words photos ("light") and graphein ("to draw") The word was first used by the scientist Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. It is a method of recording images by the action of light, or related radiation, on a sensitive material.

Pinhole Camera

Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), a great authority on optics in the Middle Ages who lived around 1000AD, invented the first pinhole camera, (also called the Camera Obscura} and was able to explain why the images were upside down. The first casual reference to the optic laws that made pinhole cameras possible, was observed and noted by Aristotle around 330 BC, who questioned why the sun could make a circular image when it shined through a square hole.

The First Photograph

On a summer day in 1827, Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura. Prior to Niepce people just used the camera obscura for viewing or drawing purposes not for making photographs. Joseph Nicephore Niepce's heliographs or sun prints as they were called were the prototype for the modern photograph, by letting light draw the picture. Niepce placed an engraving onto a metal plate coated in bitumen, and then exposed it to light. The shadowy areas of the engraving blocked light, but the whiter areas permitted light to react with the chemicals on the plate. When Niepce placed the metal plate in a solvent, gradually an image, until then invisible, appeared. However, Niepce's photograph required eight hours of light exposure to create and after appearing would soon fade away.

Louis Daguerre

Fellow Frenchman, Louis Daguerre was also experimenting to find a way to capture an image, but it would take him another dozen years before Daguerre was able to reduce exposure time to less than 30 minutes and keep the image from disappearing afterwards.

The Birth of Modern Photography

Louis Daguerre was the inventor of the first practical process of photography. In 1829, he formed a partnership with Joseph Nicephore Niepce to improve the process Niepce had developed. In 1839 after several years of experimentation and Niepce's death, Daguerre developed a more convenient and effective method of photography, naming it after himself - the daguerreotype.
Daguerre's process 'fixed' the images onto a sheet of silver-plated copper. He polished the silver and coated it in iodine, creating a surface that was sensitive to light. Then, he put the plate in a camera and exposed it for a few minutes. After the image was painted by light, Daguerre bathed the plate in a solution of silver chloride. This process created a lasting image, one that would not change if exposed to light.
In 1839, Daguerre and Niepce's son sold the rights for the daguerreotype to the French government and published a booklet describing the process. The daguerreotype gained popularity quickly; by 1850, there were over seventy daguerreotype studios in New York City alone.

Negative to Postive Process

The inventor of the first negative from which multiple postive prints were made was Henry Fox Talbot, an English botanist and mathematician and a contemporary of Daguerre. Talbot sensitized paper to light with a silver salt solution. He then exposed the paper to light. The background became black, and the subject was rendered in gradations of grey. This was a negative image, and from the paper negative, Talbot made contact prints, reversing the light and shadows to create a detailed picture. In 1841, he perfected this paper-negative process and called it a calotype, Greek for beautiful picture.


Tintypes, patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith, were another medium that heralded the birth of photography. A thin sheet of iron was used to provide a base for light-sensitive material, yielding a positive image.

Wet Plate Negatives

In 1851, Frederick Scoff Archer, an English sculptor, invented the wet plate negative. Using a viscous solution of collodion, he coated glass with light-sensitive silver salts. Because it was glass and not paper, this wet plate created a more stable and detailed negative. Photography advanced considerably when sensitized materials could be coated on plate glass. However, wet plates had to be developed quickly before the emulsion dried. In the field this meant carrying along a portable darkroom.

Dry Plate Negatives & Hand-held Cameras

In 1879, the dry plate was invented, a glass negative plate with a dried gelatin emulsion. Dry plates could be stored for a period of time. Photographers no longer needed portable darkrooms and could now hire technicians to develop their photographs. Dry processes absorbed light quickly so rapidly that the hand-held camera was now possible.

Flexible Roll Film

In 1889, George Eastman invented film with a base that was flexible, unbreakable, and could be rolled. Emulsions coated on a cellulose nitrate film base, such as Eastman's, made the mass-produced box camera a reality.

Color Photographs

In the early 1940s, commercially viable color films (except Kodachrome, introduced in 1935) were brought to the market. These films used the modern technology of dye-coupled colors in which a chemical process connects the three dye layers together to create an apparent color image.


The Communication Revolution Part 5

The birth of motion pictures.

In the development of Thomas Alva Edison played a large part. Edison had seen a crude system made of Henry Heyl of Philadelphia. Heyl used glass plates fixed to the circumference of a wheel, each plate rotated in front of a lens. This method of pictures in motions was slow and expensive. Edison after seeing the Heyl show, and after eperimenting with other methods decided that a continuous tape-like strip of film needed to be used. He invented the first practical motion picture camera and with the cooperation of George Eastman started producing the new tape-like film, giving birth to the modern motion picture industry. The motion picture projector was invented to show what the new camera and film captured. Other inventors, such as Paul in England and Lumiere in France, produced other types of projecting machines, which differed in some mechanical details.

Public Reaction to Motion Pictures

When the motion picture was shown in the United States, the audiences were amazed. Popular actors moved from stage into the "movies". In the small town, early movie theaters were often converted storeroom, and in the cities, some of the largest and most attractive theaters converted into movie theaters, and new theaters were specially built. The Eastman Company soon manufactured about ten thousand miles of film every month. Besides offering amusement, the new moving pictures were used for important news events, historical events could now be visually

The Communication Revolution Part 4

The Camera

The last half century of the 1800s saw great advances in photography and photoengraving. While the first experiments in photography happened in Europe, Samuel Morse, introduced photography to America, in particular to his friend John Draper. Draper had a part in the perfection of the dry plate (the first negatives) and was one of the first photographers to do portrait photography.

George Eastman

A great inventor in photographic technology was George Eastman from Rochester, New York. In 1888, George Eastman introduced a new camera, which he called Kodak, and with it the sales slogan: "You press the button, we do the rest." The first Kodak camera was pre-loaded with a roll of sensitized paper (film) that could take a hundred pictures. A film roll that could be sent away for developing and printing (at first the entire camera was sent). Eastman had been an amateur photographer when the hobby was both expensive and tedious. After inventing a method of making dry plates, he began to manufacture them as early as 1880 before invented roll film.

After the first Kodak, there came other cameras filled with rolls of sensitized nitro-cellulose film. The invention of cellulose film (that replaced the glass dry plate) revolutionized photography. Both Reverend Hannibal Goodwin and George Eastman patented nitro-cellulose film, however, after a court battle Goodwin's patent was upheld as being first.
The Eastman Kodak Company introduced the first film cartridge which could be inserted or removed without the need of a dark room, that created a boom in the market for amateur photographers.

The Communication Revolution Part 3

The invention of the phonograph

The telegraph, the press, and the typewriter were agents of communication for the written word. The telephone was an agent for the spoken word. Another instrument for recording sound and reproducing it was the phonograph (record-player). In 1877, Thomas Alva Edison completed his first phonograph.

The phonograph worked by translating the air vibrations created by the human voice into minute indentations on a sheet of tinfoil placed over a metallic cylinder, and the machine could then reproduce the sounds which had caused the indentations. The record wore out after a few reproductions, however, and Edison was too busy to develop his idea further until later. Other did.
Phonograph machines were invented under a variety of different names, however, all reproduced with wonderful fidelity the human voice, in speech or song, and the tones of either a single instrument or a whole orchestra. Through these machines, good music was brought to those who could hear it in no other way.

The Communication Revolution Part 2

The invention of the typewriter

While new technology for printing newspapers was being developed, another instrument for journalists was coming into existence, the typewriter.

Early Typewriters

Alfred Ely Beach made a sort of typewriter as early as 1847, but he neglected it for other things. His typewriter had many of the features of the modern typewriter, however, it lacked a satisfactory method of inking the types. In 1857, S. W. Francis of New York invented a typewriter with a ribbon that was saturated with ink. Neither of these typewriters were a commercial success. They were regarded merely as the toys of ingenious men.

Christopher Latham Sholes

The accredited father of the typewriter was Wisconsin newspaperman, Christopher Latham Sholes. After his printers went on strike, Sholes made a few unsuccessful attempts to invent a typesetting machine. He then, in collaboration with another printer, Samuel Soule, invented a numbering machine. A friend, Carlos Glidden saw this ingenious device and suggested that they should try to invent a machine that print letters. The three men, Sholes, Soule, and Glidden agreed to try to invent such a machine. None of them had studied the efforts of previous experimenters, and they made many errors which might have been avoided. Gradually, however, the invention took form and the inventors were granted patents in June and July of 1868. However, their typewriter was easily broken and made mistakes. Investor, James Densmore bought a share in the machine buying out Soule and Glidden. Densmore furnished the funds to build about thirty models in succession, each a little better than the preceding. The improved machine was patented in 1871, and the partners felt that they were ready to begin manufacturing.

Sholes Offers the Typewriter to Remington

In 1873, James Densmore and Christopher Sholes offered their machine to Eliphalet Remington and Sons, manufacturers of firearms and sewing machines. In Remington's well-equipped machine shops the typewriter was tested, strengthened, and improved. The Remingtons believed there would be a demand for the typewriter and offered to buy the patents, paying either a lump sum, or a royalty. Sholes preferred the ready cash and received twelve thousand dollars, while Densmore chose the royalty and received a million and a half.

The Communication Revolution


Smart newspapermen of the time paid attention when the telegraph was invented. The New York Herald, the Sun, and the Tribune had been founded recently. The proprietors of these newspapers saw that the telegraph was bound to affect all newspapers profoundly. How were the newspapers to cope with the situation and make use of the news that was coming in and would be coming in more and faster over the wires?

Improved Newspaper Presses

For one thing, the newspapers now needed better printing machinery. Steam-powered printing in America had begun. New printing presses were introduced in the United States by Robert Hoe at the same time as Samuel Morse was struggling to perfect the telegraph. Before steam power, newspapers printed in the United States used presses operated by hand. The New York Sun, the pioneer of cheap modern newspapers, was printed by hand in 1833, and four hundred papers an hour was the highest speed of one press. Robert Hoe's double-cylinder, steam-driven printing press was an improvement, however, it was Hoe's son that invented the modern newspaper press. In 1845, Richard March Hoe invented the revolving or rotary press letting newspapers print at rates of a hundred thousand copies an hour.
Newspaper publishers now had the fast Hoe presses, cheap paper, could type cast by machinery, had stereotyping and the new process of making pictures by photoengraving replacing engraving on wood. However, the newspapers of 1885, still set up their type by the same method that Benjamin Franklin used to set up the type for The Pennsylvania Gazette. The compositor stood or sat at his "case," with his "copy" before him, and picked the type up letter by letter until he had filled and correctly spaced a line. Then he would set another line, and so on, all with his hands. After the job was completed, the type had to be distributed again, letter by letter. Typesetting was slow and expensive.

Linotype and Monotype

This labor of manual typesetting was done away with by the invention of two intricate and ingenious machines. The linotype, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler of Baltimore, and the monotype of Tolbert Lanston, a native of Ohio. However, the linotype became the favorite composing machine for newspapers.


The History of the Electric Telegraph and Telegraphy

The electric telegraph is a now outdated communication system that transmitted electric signals over wires from location to location that translated into a message.
The non-electric telegraph was invented by Claude Chappe in 1794. This system was visual and used semaphore, a flag-based alphabet, and depended on a line of sight for communication. The optical telegraph was replaced by the electric telegraph, the focus of this article.
In 1809, a crude telegraph was invented in Bavaria by Samuel Soemmering. He used 35 wires with gold electrodes in water and at the receiving end 2000 feet the message was read by the amount of gas caused by electrolysis. In 1828, the first telegraph in the USA. was invented by Harrison Dyar who sent electrical sparks through chemically treated paper tape to burn dots and dashes.


In 1825, British inventor William Sturgeon (1783-1850) revealed an invention that laid the foundations for a large scale evolution in electronic communications: the electromagnet. Sturgeon displayed the power of the electromagnet by lifting nine pounds with a seven-ounce piece of iron wrapped with wires through which the current of a single cell battery was sent. However, the true power of the electromagnet was its role in the creation of countless inventions to come.

Three Telegraph Systems Emerge Based on the Electromagnet

In 1830, an American, Joseph Henry (1797-1878), demonstrated the potential of William Sturgeon's electromagnet for long distance communication by sending an electronic current over one mile of wire to activate an electromagnet which caused a bell to strike. In 1837, British physicists, William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone patented the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph using the same principle of electromagnetism.
However, it was Samuel Morse (1791-1872) that successfully exploited the electromagnet and bettered Joseph Henry's invention. Morse made sketches of a "magnetized magnet" based on Henry's work. Morse invented a telegraph system that was a practical and commercial success.

Samuel Morse

While a professor of arts and design at New York University in 1835, Samuel Morse proved that signals could be transmitted by wire. He used pulses of current to deflect an electromagnet, which moved a marker to produce written codes on a strip of paper - the invention of Morse Code. The following year, the device was modified to emboss the paper with dots and dashes. He gave a public demonstration in 1838, but it was not until five years later that Congress (reflecting public apathy) funded $30,000 to construct an experimental telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore, a distance of 40 miles. Six years later, members of Congress witnessed the sending and receiving of messages over part of the telegraph line. Before the line had reached Baltimore, the Whig party held its national convention there, and on May 1, 1844, nominated Henry Clay. This news was hand-carried to Annapolis Junction (between Washington and Baltimore) where Morse's partner, Alfred Vail, wired it to the Capitol. This was the first news dispatched by electric telegraph.

What Hath God Wrought?

The message, "What hath God wrought?" sent later by "Morse Code" from the old Supreme Court chamber in the United States Capitol to his partner in Baltimore, officially opened the completed line of May 24, 1844. Morse allowed Annie Ellsworth, the young daughter of a friend, to choose the words of the message, and she selected a verse from Numbers XXIII, 23: "What hath God wrought?", which was recorded onto paper tape. Morse's early system produced a paper copy with raised dots and dashes, which were translated later by an operator.

The Telegraph Spreads

Samuel Morse and his associates obtained private funds to extend their line to Philadelphia and New York. Small telegraph companies, meanwhile began functioning in the East, South, and Midwest. Dispatching trains by telegraph started in 1851, the same year Western Union began business. Western Union built its first transcontinental telegraph line in 1861, mainly along railroad rights-of-way. In 1881, the Postal Telegraph System entered the field for economic reasons, and merged with Western Union in 1943.
The original Morse telegraph printed code on tape. However, in the United States the operation developed into sending by key and receiving by ear. A trained Morse operator could transmit 40 to 50 words per minute. Automatic transmission, introduced in 1914, handled more than twice that number. Canadian, Fredick Creed invented a way to convert Morse code to text in 1900 called the Creed Telegraph System.

Multiplex Telegraph, Teleprinters, & Other Advancements

In 1913 Western Union developed multiplexing, which it made possible to transmit eight messages simultaneously over a single wire (four in each direction). Teleprinter machines came into use about 1925. Varioplex, introduced in 1936, enabled a single wire to carry 72 transmissions at the same time (36 in each direction). Two years later Western Union introduced the first of its automatic facsimile devices. In 1959 Western Union inaugurated TELEX, which enables subscribers to the teleprinter service to dial each other directly.

Telephone Rivals the Telegraph

Until 1877, all rapid long-distance communication depended upon the telegraph. That year, a rival technology developed that would again change the face of communication -- the telephone. By 1879, patent litigation between Western Union and the infant telephone system was ended in an agreement that largely separated the two services. Samuel Morse is best known as the inventor of the telegraph, but he is also esteemed for his contributions to American portraiture. His painting is characterized by delicate technique and vigorous honesty and insight into the character of his subjects.

The Invention of Radio

Radio owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone, all three technologies are closely related. Radio technology began as "wireless telegraphy". Radio can refer to either the electronic appliance that we listen with or the content listened to. However, it all started with the discovery of "radio waves" - electromagnetic waves that have the capacity to transmit music, speech, pictures and other data invisibly through the air. Many devices work by using electromagnetic waves including: radio, microwaves, cordless phones, remote controlled toys, television broadcasts, and more.

The Roots of Radio

During the 1860s, Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of radio waves; and in 1886, German physicist, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz demonstrated that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves similar to those of light and heat. In 1866, Mahlon Loomis, an American dentist, successfully demonstrated "wireless telegraphy." Loomis was able to make a meter connected to one kite cause another one to move, marking the first known instance of wireless aerial communication.

Guglielmo Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.

Nikola Tesla

In addition to Marconi, two of his contemporaries Nikola Tesla and Nathan Stufflefield took out patents for wireless radio transmitters. Nikola Tesla is now credited with being the first person to patent radio technology; the Supreme Court overturned Marconi's patent in 1943 in favor of Tesla.

Growth of Radio - Radiotelegraph and Spark-Gap Transmitters

Radio-telegraphy is the sending by radio waves the same dot-dash message (morse code) used in a telegraph. Transmitters at that time were called spark-gap machines. It was developed mainly for ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. This was a way of communicating between two points, however, it was not public radio broadcasting as we know it today. Wireless signals proved effective in communication for rescue work when a sea disaster occurred. A number of ocean liners installed wireless equipment. In 1899 the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York. Two years later the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up to then, the Navy had been using visual signaling and homing pigeons for communication.
In 1901, radiotelegraph service was instituted between five Hawaiian Islands. By 1903, a Marconi station located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, carried an exchange or greetings between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII. In 1905 the naval battle of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war was reported by wireless, and in 1906 the U.S. Weather Bureau experimented with radiotelegraphy to speed notice of weather conditions.
In 1909, Robert E. Peary, arctic explorer, radiotelegraphed: "I found the Pole". In 1910 Marconi opened regular American-European radiotelegraph service, which several months later, enabled an escaped British murderer to be apprehended on the high seas. In 1912, the first transpacific radiotelegraph service linked San Francisco with Hawaii.

Improvements to Radio Transmitters

Overseas radiotelegraph service developed slowly, primarily because the initial radiotelegraph transmitter discharged electricity within the circuit and between the electrodes was unstable causing a high amount of interference. The Alexanderson high-frequency alternator and the De Forest tube resolved many of these early technical problems.

Lee DeForest - AM Radio

Lee Deforest invented space telegraphy, the triode amplifier and the Audion. In the early 1900s, the great requirement for further development of radio was an efficient and delicate detector of electromagnetic radiation. Lee De Forest provided that detector. It made it possible to amplify the radio frequency signal picked up by the antenna before application to the receiver detector; thus, much weaker signals could be utilized than had previously been possible. De Forest was also the person who first used the word "radio". The result of Lee DeForest's work was the invention of amplitude-modulated or AM radio that allowed for a multitude of radio stations. The earlier spark-gap transmitters did not allow for this.

Military Use and Patent Control

When the United States entered the first world war in 1917, all radio development was controlled by the U.S. Navy to prevent its possible use by enemy spies. The U.S. government took over control of all patents related to radio technology. In 1919, after the government released its control of all patents, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was established with the purpose of distributing control of the radio patents that had been restricted during the war.

Radio Speaks

The first time the human voice was transmitted by radio is debateable. Claims to that distinction range from the phase, "Hello Rainey" spoken by Natan B. Stubblefield to a test partner near Murray, Kentucky, in 1892, to an experimental program of talk and music by Reginald A. Fessenden, in 1906, which was heard by radio-equipped ships within several hundred miles.

Reginald A. Fessenden

Canadian, Reginald A. Fessenden is best known for his invention of the modulation of radio waves and the fathometer. Fessenden worked as as a chemist for Thomas Edison during the 1880s and later for Westinghouse. Fessenden started his own company where he invented the modulation of radio waves, the "heterodyne principle" which allowed the reception and transmission on the same aerial without interference.

True Broadcasting Begins

In 1915, speech was first transmitted across the continent from New York City to San Francisco and across the Atlantic Ocean from Naval radio station NAA at Arlington, Virginia, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. On November 2, 1920, Westinghouse's KDKA-Pittsburgh broadcast the Harding-Cox election returns and began a daily schedule of radio programs.
The first ship-to-shore two way radio conversation occurred in 1922, between Deal Beach, New Jersey, and the S.S. America, 400 miles at sea. However, it was not until 1929 that high seas public radiotelephone service was inaugurated. At that time telephone contact could be made only with ships within 1,500 miles of shore. Today there is the ability to telephone nearly every large ship wherever it may be on the globe.
Commercial radiotelephony linking North America with Europe was opened in 1927, and with South America three years later. In 1935 the first telephone call was made around the world, using a combination of wire and radio circuits.

FM Radio

Edwin Howard Armstrong invented frequency-modulated or FM radio in 1933. FM improved the audio signal of radio by controlling the noise static caused by electrical equipment and the earth's atmosphe. Until 1936, all American transatlantic telephone communication had to be routed through England. In that year, a direct radiotelephone circuit was opened to Paris. Telephone connection by radio and cable is now accessible with 187 foreign points. Radio technology has grown significantly since its early development. In 1947, Bell Labs scientists invented the transistor. In 1954, a then small Japanese company called Sony introduced the transistor radio.

FM Antenna System

In 1965, the first Master FM Antenna system in the world designed to allow individual FM stations to broadcast simultaneously from one source was erected on the Empire State Building in NYC.