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Wear Celluloid Collars and Cuffs (ca.1870)

Thursday 7 November 2013 at 17:14

A charming set of 19th Century American trade cards, advertising - via the medium of a frog and gnome-like character - collars and cuffs made of a waterproof linen (celluloid).

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/11/07/wear-celluloid-collars-and-cuffs-ca-1870/


The Manuscripts of Emily Dickinson

Tuesday 5 November 2013 at 16:25

Mike Kelly, curator at the Archives and Special Collections of Amherst College, explores highlights from their Emily Dickinson collection, a huge variety of manuscript forms - from concert programmes to chocolate wrappers - which give us a fascinating insight into how the poet worked.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/11/05/the-manuscripts-of-emily-dickinson/


Phenomena of Materialisation (1923)

Thursday 31 October 2013 at 16:39

Phenomena of Materialisation, a contribution to the investigation of mediumistic teleplastics, by Baron von Schrenck Notzing, translated by E. E. Fournier d’Albe; 1923; K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, E. P. Dutton in London, New York. English translation of Phenomena of Materialisation, a book by German physician and psychic researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing which focuses on a series of séances witnessed between the years 1909 and 1913 involving the French medium Eva Carrière, or Eva C. Born Marthe Béraud, Carrière changed her name in 1909 to begin her career afresh after a series of seances she held in 1905 were exposed as a fraud. Her psychic performances as Eva C gained the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, who believed she was genuine, and also Harry Houdini, who was not so convinced. Another researcher who became interested in her case was Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. A series of tests he devised between the years 1909 and 1913 convinced him that Eva C was the real deal and in 1913 he published his Phenomena of Materialisation detailing the sessions and the reasons for his belief. It has been noted that these sessions with Schrenck-Notzing verged on the […]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/31/phenomena-of-materialisation-1923/


Photographs from a séance with Eva Carrière (1913)

Thursday 31 October 2013 at 16:27

This remarkable series of photographs are from a book entitled Phenomena of Materialisation by German physician and psychic researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing. The book focuses on a series of séances that Schrenck-Notzing witnessed between the years 1909 and 1913 involving the French medium Eva Carrière, or Eva C. Born Marthe Béraud, Carrière changed her name in 1909 to begin her career afresh after a series of seances she held in 1905 were exposed as a fraud. Her psychic performances as Eva C gained the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, who believed she was genuine, and also Harry Houdini, who was not so convinced. Another researcher who became interested in her case was Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. A series of tests he devised between the years 1909 and 1913 convinced him that Eva C was the real deal and in 1913 he published his Phenomena of Materialisation detailing the sessions and the reasons for his belief. It has been noted that these sessions with Schrenck-Notzing verged on the pornographic. Carrière’s assistant (and reported lover) Juliette Bisson would, during the course of the séance sittings with Schrenck-Notzing, introduce her finger into Carrière’s vagina to ensure […]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/31/photographs-from-a-seance-with-eva-carriere-1913/


Alfred Russel Wallace: a Heretic’s Heretic

Wednesday 30 October 2013 at 15:40

On the centenary of his death, Michael A. Flannery looks back at how Alfred Russel Wallace's take on evolution, which radically reintroduced notions of purpose and design, still speaks to us in a post-Darwin world where problems of sentience and of the origin of life remain, some would argue, as intractable as ever.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/30/alfred-russel-wallace-a-heretics-heretic/


Jap Herron: A Novel written from the Ouija Board (1917)

Tuesday 29 October 2013 at 16:09

Jap Herron, the novel written, supposedly, by a deceased Mark Twain from beyond the grave, dictated via the medium of a Ouija board.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/29/jap-herron-a-novel-written-from-the-ouija-board-1917/


Tommy Burns knocking out Bill Squires (1907)

Thursday 24 October 2013 at 18:13

A Miles Brothers film of the legendary heavyweight prize boxing match between Bill Squires and Tommy Burns, played out at Ocean View, California, on July 4th 1907. Weighing in at a measly 178 pounds, the 5’7″ Canadian Burns was a 10-1 underdog against Australia’s Bill Squires who was coming off a 20 consecutive knockout streak. To the shock of all present, this mismatch came to an unexpected end in the first round when Burns KO’d Squires in one of the fastest knockouts in the history of boxing up to that point. The fight was labeled the “shortest and fiercest contest on record”. Burns would go on to secure a reputation for knocking out the biggest men in the sport. He wrote, in a book brought out in 1908, about how the face of boxing was changing, no longer being about brute strength but speed: “In modern boxing speed is nearly everything, and I have always considered my success to be primarily due to the fact that lacrosse and hockey had taught me to be spry and smart on my feet before I ever thought of donning a pair of boxing gloves.” Housed at: Internet Archive | From: The Library of […]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/24/tommy-burns-knocking-out-bill-squires-1907/


An Account of a Chinese Cabinet (1753)

Wednesday 23 October 2013 at 17:50

“A Further Account of What Was Contain’d in the Chinese Cabinet”, by Hans Sloane, M. D. from Philosophical Transactions, January 1753; London. An account by Sir Hans Sloane detailing the contents of a Chinese cabinet (which includes a “Sea Horse Tooth”) procured by a Mr Buckley during travels in China. A physician by trade Sloane was also an avid collector of natural curiosities and upon his death, bequeathed the entirety of his collection to the nation and, together with George II’s royal library, it was opened to the public as the British Museum in 1759. A note at the end of this account, which appears in the January 1753 accounts of the Royal Society (the same month that Sloane would pass away), praises the collecting of Mr Buckley: It were to be wished other travellers into Foreign parts would make such enquiries (as Mr Buckly [sic] who sent these to the Royal Society has done) into the Instruments and Materials made use of in the places where they come, that are any manner of way for the Benefit or innocent delight of Mankind, that we may content our selves with our own Inventions, where we go beyond them, and imitate […]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/23/an-account-of-a-chinese-cabinet-1753/


The Sketchbooks of Jacques-Louis David

Tuesday 22 October 2013 at 16:47

Selections from “Album 11″, a sketchbook belonging to the French neoclassical painter and revolutionary Jacques-Louis David. The sketches are from his student years in Rome in the 1770s, a time in which he became obsessed with the ancient and Renaissance art to be found in the city. During this period he made well over 1000 “Roman sketches” and relied on them as a visual resource throughout his career. Once returned to Paris, David dismantled his sketchbooks and reorganised the leaves into albums according to type, numbering 12 in total. This 11th album – held by the Getty Research Institute and included in The Getty’s Open Content program – is mainly concerned with studies of the bas-reliefs and sculptures from prominent Italian collections, including the ancient Roman paintings unearthed in Pompeii and Herculaneum. David was arguably the most influential European artist of the late 18th century, his thoughtful style of “history painting” marking a change in the moral climate at a crucial time in European history: the end of the Ancien Regime and birth of the French Revolution. David, a close friend of the revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre, was an active supporter of the French Revolution (he voted for the execution […]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/22/the-sketchbooks-of-jaques-louis-david/


Elizabeth Bisland’s Race Around the World

Wednesday 16 October 2013 at 15:51

Matthew Goodman explores the life and writings of Elizabeth Bisland, an American journalist propelled into the limelight when she set out in 1889 – head-to-head with fellow journalist Nellie Bly – on a journey to beat Phileas Fogg’s fictitious 80-day circumnavigation of the globe.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/10/16/elizabeth-bislands-race-around-the-world/


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