Posts tagged 19th century
Posts tagged 19th century
A view of Pennsylvania Avenue in 1860 via Ghosts of DC:
Drawing shows a woman and child exiting the telegraph office, and the National Hotel, at Pennsylvania and 6th Street, NW, as carriages and people move up and down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. The view is toward the Capitol, with its incomplete dome by A. Miller in 1860. (Library of Congress)
Georges Méliès, La lune à un mètre, France, 1898.
Modern movies, your argument is invalid. You will never be more awesome or more frightening than Melies.
Hellz yes son
“OH SHIT LET’S GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE”
did you hear about this thing called animated gifs? it turns out that they’re excellent for reanimating the persistence of vision phenakistiscope discs of the 1800s. in this disc created by john dunn in the 1830s (and reanimated by yours truly 179 years later), we get a chance to see the idyllic scene of a mom working on her biceps and a dandy dad demonstrating his jazz hands and rejecting the embrace of his eager baby over and over and over forever.
original disc image provided by room 26 cabinet of curiosities.
…as was the style at the time.
from: liner notes to “People Take Warning: Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs, 1913-1938” (Tompkins Square)
Railroad Bill’s corpse, laid out for public display after being killed by a posse of private railroad “detectives” and Alabama law enforcement around 1896. The man holding the rifle is Constable J. L. McGowan, who was credited with delivering the fatal shot. This photo was circulated as a souvenir, available for 50 cents, at the time of the killing.
Though his true identity remains contested, it’s generally accepted that “Railroad Bill” was Morris Slater, a convict-lease laborer that was rented from the state of Alabama by a Florida turpentine extractor and had escaped after killing a lawman in 1893. Then, in early 1895, an armed trainhopper fired on a group railroad workers that were attempting to detain him. After hijacking a railroad car, he ran off into the woods, setting off a manhunt that tracked him to Bay Minette, AL, where, when cornered at Bay Minette, the man slew Baldwin County Sheriff James H. Stewart and fled back to Florida. Then, on July 4, 1895, Railroad Bill celebrated his independence by preserving it, when cornered outside of Bluff Springs, FL, he shot and killed Sheriff E. S. McMillan and once again escaped into the woods of North Florida.
Over the following year, as Railroad Bill continued to evade capture, he developed a sort of “Robin Hood” persona for distributing goods stolen off the L&N train line to impoverished Southern African-Americans and undercutting local merchants. Many began to attribute supernatural powers to the fugitive, saying that his elusiveness was do to his ability to shapeshift. Meanwhile, southern African-American communities paid dearly for the exploits of the outlaw. Reports of unfortunate men, who were misidentified as Railroad Bill and murdered by local posses, poured in from Alabama, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Georgia. Railroad Bill was finally caught in March of the following year, when a gang of bounty hunters gunned him down in a general store in the depot town of Atmore, AL. According to some reports, he was shot as he quietly sat upon a barrel eating cheese and crackers. According to others, he was killed in a heated firefight. After Bill’s death, which occurred in a time period infamous for carnivalesque public lynchings, his body was taken on tour to Pensacola and Montgomery, where spectators paid 25 cents each to view the corpse. His final resting place is unknown.
In the years following Bill’s death, two parallel legacies developed. On one hand, to the southern White community, he was a symbol of the threat that African-Americans would play to the white supremacist political order, should they be left to their own devices. But among Black bluesmen and balladeers, he was an symbol of resistance similar to Jesse James and Pretty Boy Floyd in later years.
Listen to Etta Baker’s version of “Railroad Bill,” and hear more songs and stories from America’s great steel highways, on this week’s American Routes.
Via Kottke: “In 1896 the Olympic race, seventeen competitors started the race and only about half finished. The winning time was just under three hours and the third place finisher was disqualified for covering “part of the course by carriage”. Dastardly!
ca. 1861-1872, [Notice of an address by Rev. Dr. Bellows upon presentation of cheese to the Sanitary Commission]
I’ll be there.
Drawing of Hat to Prevent Drowning, 10/14/1840 - 10/14/1840 (by The U.S. National Archives)
The worst part was that they couldn’t blame the Jews entirely, since it was the day after Christmas.
“The 1811 Richmond Theatre fire occurred in Richmond, Virginia, USA on December 26, 1811…The fire, which killed 72 people including many government officials, was at the time the worst urban disaster in American history…
…The evening of December 26, 1811…at Christmas time, and being the last opening of the season, the theatre…was packed with an excited audience of 598 people, with 518 adults and 80 children to view the pantomime which commenced immediately after the play was finished.
The fire started after the curtain fell following the first act, when the chandelier (that originally belonged to a robber) was lifted toward the ceiling with the flame still lit. The lamp became entangled in the cords used to lift the chandelier and it touched one of the items used in the front scenes, which caught fire. As soon as the boy worker who was operating the cords saw the flames, he fled the building. The flames rose up the scenery and spread from one hanging scene to the other; there were 35 such hanging scenes which could be lowered. There were, in addition to the hangings, the borders that provided the outline of the building, the skies and so forth. All of these caught fire sequentially. Pine planks (with shingles over them) fixed over rafters with no plastering and ceiling spread the flames, which fell from the ceiling and spread extremely rapidly. The impact of the fire was worsened because the stage curtain hid the initial flames from the audience…
…Many members of the upper echelons of Richmond society were in attendance on the night of the fire, and many were killed in its aftermath; among the dead were listed Pages, Nelsons, and Braxtons, all members of some of the First Families of Virginia.”
The Harvest Moon
[New York : Published by Currier & Ives, between 1860 and 1870]
SUMMARY: Reapers gathering bundles of wheat by moonlight; river in the background.
“Holy shit WTF dude?!”
Joice Heth was an African American slave who was exhibited by P. T. Barnum between 1835 and 1836 with the claim that she was the 161-year-old nursing “mammy” of George Washington. As a 7-month traveling exhibit for Barnum while making around $1500 a week, Heth told stories about “little George” and sang a hymn.
After she died, Barnum set up an autopsy to be performed on February 25, 1836, in front of fifteen hundred paying spectators in New York’s City Saloon to prove her age. When the doctor declared the age claim a fraud, Barnum insisted that the autopsy victim was another person, and Heth was alive, on a tour in Europe. Later, however, Barnum admitted the hoax.