Ramage

Archive for November 2004

Camouflage

I found myself in a huge hayloft (a very nice workshop!) and I painted nine ‘Kandinsky’s’ (…) on tent canvas. This process had a very useful purpose: to make artillery positions invisible to reconnaissance planes and aerial photography by covering them with canvases painted in a roughly pointillist style and in line with observation of the colours of natural camouflage (mimicry) (…) From now on, painting must make the picture that betrays our presence sufficiently blurred and distorted for the position to be unrecognisable. The division is going to provide us with a plane to experiment with some aerial photographs to see how it looks from the air. I’m very interested to see the effect of a Kandinsky from six thousand feet.

Franc Marc, extracted from the section on camouflage-painters at Art of the First World War.

Picasso is supposed to have said as a troop of camouflaged soldiers marched past him in 1918: "We made that possible."

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 30, 2004 at 11:17 pm

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Warning

It can’t be long, can it, before I put up a post about sealing-wax. Doh.

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 26, 2004 at 8:00 pm

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Brassicalia, and other persiflage

Ramage is, for some reason, cultivating an interest in cabbage. Whether it’s that we share a suffix (nothing I like better than a suffix, unless it’s a prefix, or a root).  Anyway, there’s plenty of brassicalia at earthly pursuits, including a mention on this wonderful cropping plan from a WWII Ministry of Agriculture pamphlet, and this picture of a very worthy-looking horny-handed son of toil by the name of Joe Bozell:

an employee of the Oliver Chilled Plow Company, South Bend, Indiana, was proud to pose for his picture with some of the fine potatoes and cabbages he had raised in his war garden. It is plainly to be seen that some of the company’s other workers who had gardens had to show extra fine results to beat this man’s products.

Further evidence of the cabbage’s importance to the war effort comes from the Australian War Memorial site. One need look no futher than this image, but there are several others. (Update: should these links appear to be broken, go to the ‘search our collections’ link on the main AWM page, and look for ‘cabbage’ and/or ‘cabbages’)

Also at earthly pursuits, Flowers Personified, featuring 52 steel engraved, hand colored plates by 19th century French illustrator J.J. Grandville, including the Sultana Tulipia, and Sister Nenuphar, the water-lily.

Lastly,

Is a person named Blodgett dwelling in the fungus name Blodgettia Wright, 1881? A Frederich H. Blodgett was co-editor of a work on Maryland plant life in 1910. May it be that person?

Sadly, we may never know, though there’s many a human-interest story concealed behind the dry nomenclature at Biographies of marine taxonomists and their friends. This is just page 1 – see also pages 2, 3 and 4.

Here, however, is an English coleopterist, from Beetles and Coleopterists, a Russian coleoptery site.

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 25, 2004 at 8:58 pm

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Dead Fred

old photograph

DeadFred is a searchable archive of old family photographs. This is Victor Fenner, who was born in 1904, and – who knows? – may be related to my paternal grandmother, Grace Fenner.

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 21, 2004 at 4:08 pm

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Cabbage leaf

I fancied Howard Oakleaf sounded like one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, so here’s a quote from ‘The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood’
by Howard Pyle (1853-1911), found at Classic Literature at about.com:

"Why," quoth the Beggar, peeping into the mouths of his bags, "I find here a goodly piece of pigeon pie, wrapped in a cabbage leaf to hold the gravy."

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 18, 2004 at 8:54 pm

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Oakleaf

photograph of Biltmore Forestry School students diving into a swimming pool near Sunburst, N.C.

Swimming pool at the top of the primeval woods in Sunburst, N. C.

From the Carl Alwin Schenk Collection, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina.

One of these chaps may have been Howard OakleafUrban Throm may also be in the picture (that’s another student, not a form of neurosis affecting city-dwellers suddenly confronted with a forest pool).

Also, after Humphrey Spender’s man with Bedlingtons, another man and dog photograph. From the Photo Album at the Rowville-Listerfield History Project, via boynton.

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 13, 2004 at 8:54 am

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Gathered round the microphone

One of these men (but which one?) was a major figure in the development of the microphone.

multiple portrait photograph of Emile Berliner

Multiple portrait of Emile Berliner, from Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry, part of the American Memory project at the Library of Congress.

a selection of more than 400 items from the Emile Berliner Papers and 108 Berliner sound recordings from the Library of Congress’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Berliner (1851-1929), an immigrant and a largely self-educated man, was responsible for the development of the microphone and the flat recording disc and gramophone player. Although the focus of this online collection is on the gramophone and its recordings, it includes much evidence of Berliner’s other interests, such as information on his businesses, his crusades for the pasteurization of milk and other public-health issues, his philanthropy, his musical composition, and even his poetry. Spanning the years 1870 to 1956, the collection comprises correspondence, articles, lectures, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, catalogs, clippings, experiment notes, and rare sound recordings.

As I’m sure you know

the microphone can interpret to our ears the jarr of molecular vibrations for ever going on around us, perchance the clash of atoms as they shape themselves into crystals, the murmurous ripple of the sap in trees, which Humboldt fancied to make a continuous music in the ears of the tiniest insects, the fall of pollen dust on flowers and grasses, the stealthy creeping of a spider upon his silken web, and even the piping of a pair of love-sick butterflies, or the trumpeting of a bellicose gnat, like the ‘horns of elf-land faintly blowing.’

That is to say, among other things…

Quote taken from J. Munro’s book Heroes of the Telegraph, ch. X., available at the World Wide School.

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Written by Dave Lovely

November 12, 2004 at 6:48 pm

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