Archive for February 2004
Fivizzano, November 6, 1808:
“I am desperate because I find myself almost without black paper.”
The letters of a blind Countess.
“Pellegrino Turri had very personal reasons for developing carbon paper. He fell in love with a young woman, the Countess Carolina Fantoni, who had become blind “in the flower of her youth and beauty” (Adler, 1973), and Turri resolved to build her a machine that would enable her to correspond with her friends (including him) in private. Although the machine he constructed no longer exists, several of the Countess’ letters do, and from her correspondence it is clear that Turri’s machine combined carbon paper and the typewriter in a way that did not become prevalent for another 65 years.”
The passionate early history of carbon paper.
As for typewriters, they’re much more than “four rows of keys and a shift”:
In the typewriter we find the irruption of the mechanism in the realm of the word. … The typewriter veils the essence of writing and of the script. It withdraws from man the essential rank of the hand …
Heidegger, Parmenides lectures of 1942-43.
I like i like, because she likes things like old shops, and old cafés, and old bakeries – which are part of what British life is all about – and also things like Dazzle Ships (undeniable proof that Modern Art saves lives):
and the work of Abram Games, one of the most innovative modern graphic designers, who designed posters like this:
She also maintains the website for the Twentieth Century Society, the major object of which is “to save from needless destruction or disfigurement, buildings or groups of buildings, interiors and artifacts designed or constructed after 1914”.
Thanks to thingsmagazine.
© coll. R. Vergnieux.
From a collection of some 1,300 late 19th century postcards of Egypt at the Centre de Compétence Thématique d’Ausonius at the Université Michel de Montaigne in Bordeaux.
(select “Egypte” from the navigation bar, and then “CPA” from the dropdown menu).
‘Les Oeuvres d’Ambroise Pare’, Lyon: C. Prost, 1641.
The existence of dragons is documented in this text by the well known surgeon Ambroise Pare (1510 – 1590). The caption on page forty-eight reads:
“Here are represented two types of dragons that kill elephants. The dragons are quite glorious, because by their finesse and malice they defeat elephants which are the strongest animals on earth . . . They lay in wait for the elephants, and suddenly attack them, wrapping themselves around the elephants, tying the elephants’ legs with their tails so they can not walk. Then the dragons stuff their heads in the elephants’ trunks, impeding their breathing. They bite the skin of the elephants which they find most tender, scratch their eyes and suck their blood, so that the elephants die.
Pliny says that there are dragons in Ethiopia that are 10 coudees long [the distance from the elbow to finger tip]. In India some have been found that are 100 coudees long, and some fly so high in the air that they capture flying birds.”
From Seventeenth Century Works at the Mayo Medical Libraries.
From the pages of PM and AD Magazines, on view at The Doctor Leslie Project .
photograms by György Kepes, PM Magazine, February-March 1940.
illustration by Thomas Benrimo, PM Magazine, January 1936.
designs for Columbia Records by Alex Steinweiss, AD magazine, June-July 1941.