What looks like a ghostly apparition was, in fact, a handy-dandy rubberized portable darkroom with which one could drape oneself whilst processing photographic plates. Read more….
How did the future of years past differ from today’s present? For one thing, there are a lot fewer flying and floating contraptions littering the sky these days. Click to see some wonderfully odd postcards featuring visions of what several Massachusetts towns might look like “in the future.”
Vibrating furniture was a thing in 1905. This Detroit company doesn’t seem to have lasted very long, but its trimmed-in-fringe product was a featured exhibit at the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial. Read more….
Whether you trod the boards in the theatrical world or slogged through the sawdust on the carnival circuit, “The Billboard” was essential reading for keeping up with news and employment opportunities in the show-biz world. Almost everything you needed could be found in the magazine’s classified and advertising pages. Check out some of the more interesting ads found in issues from 1904 and 1905.
Using living trees as antennas was an important element of inventor Maj.-Gen George O. Squier’s system of telephony, which was developed for use during WWI as a way to intercept enemy messages which had been electrically transmitted, as well as to receive and transmit messages from just anywhere with a living tree nearby. More about Squier’s odd-sounding “tree wireless” inside.
Between 1908 and 1910, the city of Buffalo, New York issued a challenge to the city’s children: collect as many Tussock Moth cocoons as possible, and collect a bounty of ten cents a quart. Kids made lots of money and Buffalo’s trees were saved.
It’s lassoes vs. electric dynamite guns in this thrilling story of a crazy armored vehicle and a battle with masked desperadoes in Texas!
Mosquito bars were serious business in the days before wire screens covered windows and doors. If you expected to get an insect-bite-free night’s sleep without having to rub yourself with kerosene, a mosquito bar was essential. See a variety of them as depicted in fine art, popular art, and photography.
Camera setup for an early industrial film about the Larkin Factories in Buffalo, New York. More on the film inside.
Poor sad watermelon! This was one of a set of 12 Valentine’s Day cards featuring anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables (yes, it’s a Valentine’s card!). More at the link.