Archive for the ‘history’ Category

This joint is jumpin’

vintage advertising image of two clowns, a grasshopper, and a cereal packet

Page from a most unusual advertising booklet for Quaker Oats, 1898.

Professional instruction is available:


There is inspiration on hand:



…here, too:


…not to mention, here:


Yes, folks, it’s all happening, down at the Ole’ Internet Archive! Cast off your inhibitions, and get on down there.

Or else, I suppose the more enervated among you could always just go and look at the wisteria:


Japanese Lantern Slides From The E. Raymond Wilson Collection


Written by Dave Lovely

May 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Thing plus Swing=meaning/time

Image showing young woman playinga tambourine. Fresco from Herculaneum

Young woman playing a tambourine. Fresco from Herculaneum.

photograph of circus act The Cliquet Family

The Family Cliquet

photograph of Alcide Capitaine

Alcide Capitaine

Written by Dave Lovely

March 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Posted in history

Tagged with


page spread from The Book of Accidents

The Book of Accidents: Designed for Young Children. New Haven : S. Babcock, Sidney’s press, 1831.

via Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

Written by Dave Lovely

June 23, 2008 at 8:22 pm


images from mid-19th century Shepherds' Guide

… with the idea of proto-constructivist agit-prop on the fells, stray Herdwicks limning quasi-Malevichs, near-Mondrians, organised by eager sheepdog commissars. Kurt Schwitters perhaps nearby, appreciating this rural echo of the vanished hopes of Weimar modernism.

Smit Marks: “The smit mark is a bold stroke or pop, spot, or other coloured mark on the sheep’s body, that can be seen clearly from a distance.” – from a page about Shepherds’ Guides from a very interesting general site about the history of the Lake District.

See also Barry McKay’s lecture delivered at the Hidden Typography Conference, St Bride Printing Library, 20 October 2003.

Written by Dave Lovely

May 12, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Hands off

The orator, like the hysteric, is the anxious object of an abstracting gaze, made to perform his every natural affect and impulse according to a predetermined plot. At times, you can almost imagine that he revolts against this inhuman regimen, that he is madly signaling for assistance, or raises his arm at a random and rebellious angle, letting it drift along a dotted line of his own choosing, through the air’s uncharted ways.

the orator

From A. M. Bacon, Manual of Gesture (1875).

The vexed history of gesture, from Cabinet magazine.

Written by Dave Lovely

July 31, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Posted in gesture, history, language

Reverting to type

More on Darren Wershler-Henry’s The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting, via John Latta, who cites the following haunting and incantatory utterance:

Amaranath sasesusos Oronoco initiation secedes Uruguay Philadelphia.

This will be running through my head as I fall asleep tonight…

What? Oh, something to do with aligning the keys. Have you no soul? I’ll have to read this book, though. 344 pages on the history of typewriting? It’s got to be good.

Written by Dave Lovely

July 25, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Posted in books, history

Tagged with