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Illuminated pages from 15th century Breviaries

Monday 19 March 2012 at 12:28

A breviary (from Latin brevis, ‘short’ or ‘concise’) is a liturgical book of the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office (i.e., at the canonical hours or Liturgy of the Hours, the Christians’ daily prayer). Below is a selection of illuminated Breviary pages from various unknown miniaturists working in and around Paris, Bruges and Gent in the middle of the 15th century.

For more info and higher res versions please see Wikimedia Commons






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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/19/illuminated-pages-from-15th-century-breviaries/


Robert Browning attempting to recite ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’ (1889)

Friday 16 March 2012 at 11:13



The voice of great English poet, Robert Browning (1812 – 1889) recorded while at a dinner party given by Browning’s friend the artist Rudolf Lehmann, on April 7th, 1889. The sales manager of Edison Talking machine, Colonel Gouraud, had brought with him a phonograph to show the guests and to record their voices. Browning, though reluctant at first, eventually gives in and begins to recite his poem ‘How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix’. Unfortunately, he “cannot remember me own verses” and gives up going on to expressing how he certainly won’t forget though this “wonderful invention”. He was to die just under 8 months later. When the recording was played in 1890 on the anniversary of his death, at a gathering of his admirers, it was said to be the first time anyone’s voice “had been heard from beyond the grave.”

I sprang to the saddle, and Joris, and he;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
‘Speed’ echoed the wall to us galloping through…
‘Speed’ echoed the…
Then the gate shut behind us, the lights sank to rest…


I’m terribly sorry but I can’t remember me own verses,
but one thing that I shall remember all me life is the astonishing [inaudible] by your wonderful invention.

Robert Browning!

[other voices]
Bravo, bravo, bravo.
Hip, hip, hooray.
Hip, hip, hooray.
Hip, hip, hooray.
Bravo.


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Internet Archive Link




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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/16/robert-browning-attempting-to-recite-a-poem-on-the-edison-cylinder-1889/


Richard Dadd’s Master-Stroke

Wednesday 14 March 2012 at 12:25

Nicholas Tromans, author of Richard Dadd: The Artist and the Asylum, takes a look at Dadd’s most famous painting The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke.

Detail of the main section showing the Fairy-Feller about to hew the nut - Source: Tate (Richard Dadd, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke c.1855-64, Tate)

Richard Dadd was a young British painter of huge promise who fell into mental illness while touring the Mediterranean in the early 1840s. He spent over forty years in lunatic asylums, dying at Broadmoor in 1886, but never gave up his calling, producing mesmerisingly detailed watercolours and oil paintings of which The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke is now the most well known. The picture’s history encapsulates the peculiar rise and, if not fall then the suspension, of its maker’s reputation, and indeed begs the question of what happens to any long-dead forgotten genius after they’ve been rediscovered.

Among the symptoms of Dadd’s illness – which sounds today like a form of schizophrenia – were delusions of persecution and the receipt of messages from the Ancient Egyptian deity Osiris. Dadd was commanded to kill his father (or the demon who it appeared to him had taken his place) and did so with efficiency in the summer of 1843, not long after returning from his tour. After an equally well planned escape to France, the artist was eventually admitted to the Criminal Lunatic department of Bethlem Hospital in Lambeth (now the Imperial War Museum) and it was here that he painted the Fairy Feller. According to the inscription on the back of the canvas it took him nine years to complete, although Dadd qualifies this claim with “quasi” (“sort of”) which may mean he only worked at it on and off between 1855 and 1864.

It is an exhaustingly complex image, with a substantial cast of characters, none of whom are doing much with the exception of the “feller” himself who is about to hew a hazelnut in half in order to provide the diminutive queen of the fairies, Mab, with a new chariot. Dadd’s starting point was evidently Mercutio’s teasing speech in Romeo and Juliet in which he imagines in excruciating detail the nightly wanderings of Mab as she seeds dreams in sleepers’ heads, nocturnal visions in which suppressed ambitions and desires reveal themselves. Dadd’s inscription further informs us that the picture was painted for the Steward of Bethlem, George Henry Haydon, and in a long poem (or at least rhymed catalogue) which the artist wrote in 1865, he gives a kind of cast-list as well as offering an account of how the picture came to be painted. It was apparently Haydon who suggested some “verse about the fairies” as a “point from which to throw” – presumably the Mercutio speech which may have been intended by the Bethlem official as a means of encouraging Dadd to revisit his early life before illness had struck, when he had made his reputation as a painter of Shakespearean fairy subjects. Victorian psychiatrists were in any case fond of writing on the “cases” described by the Bard, and Charles Lamb observed how, despite the extravagant imaginative leaps of his fairy scenes, Shakespeare himself presented a kind of inverse monomania, maintaining the thread of sanity even through the most outlandish journeys of the mind.

Photograph by Henry Hering (ca. 1856) of Dadd painting Contradiction: Oberon and Titania.

Having received the commission for a new fairy painting from Haydon, however, Dadd says inspiration failed to materialise. He took the idea of spiritual inspiration very literally, seeing indeed the work of spirits in all human endeavour. Individuals and entire cultures may aspire to noble achievements, but the help or hindrance of the spirit world was what counted and its genii were not inclined to submit themselves to human service for long. “What’s the use of attempting the enlightenment?” asked Dadd in some notes written in the 1850s. “What a number of times the destroying angel has triumphed over the different nations of the earth – sucking them up & knocking them down”. And equally for an artist seeking to pin down their genius and compel it to answer: “What a clever angel the genius of painting must be to escape from all these hot pursuits … but once free, not all the arts of any old fellow I suppose can lure back the pretty bird to its own disgrace and bondage.” Dadd’s theory of art was thus thoroughly pessimistic. The public were a waste of time, and “one might fancy pictures are like monks secluded from and very little noticed by the world so that after all what matters about its quality except to the few, the initiated”. This might at least allow that Haydon may have been a worthwhile patron, but as for the artist himself, “what more slavish than painting, what more hopeless?” So when seeking to make a beginning of the Fairy Feller, Dadd’s only strategy upon realising that “Fancy was not to be evoked / From her etherial realms” was to accept his passive role, to entirely empty his mind: “I thought on nought – a shift / As good perhaps as thinking hard.” Finally the method succeeded: “Indefinite, almost unseen, / Lay vacant entities of chance” and gradually the “Design and composition” evolved “Without intent”. Dadd’s description of the painting, which he styled Elimination of a Picture and its Subject, thus has a curious sense of disavowal about it, as if saying who is in it is all he can do, their significance being beyond his explanation. When Dadd comes to note the head of a man wearing a conical red cap, poking out of the landscape in the top-left of the picture, he tells us that “Of the / Chinese Small Foot Societee, He’s a small member. But / if Confucius sent him Now I can’t remember.”

“Of the / Chinese Small Foot Societee, He’s a small member. But / if Confucius sent him Now I can’t remember.” -Source: Tate (Richard Dadd, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke c.1855-64, Tate)

The characters of the Fairy Feller are mainly arranged in pairs and clusters. A group of men watch the feller intently while over the lead actor’s head is the Patriarch with epic beard, along the elongated brim of whose crown cavort a troupe of dancers apparently in Spanish costume, and indeed Dadd observes that “One is / dressed like to Duvernay”, that is Pauline Duvernay, a flamenco dancer famous on the stages of 1830s London. On either side of the Patriarch are pairs of maids and gallants, all showing an exaggeratedly gendered leg. Above the Patriarch are Oberon and Titania – rival monarchs to Mab who waits for her new chariot just below them to the left. She is, as Mercutio had described her, microscopic and yet painted by Dadd with an entirely convincing series of miniaturised impressionist touches. In the upper-left of the painting strange creatures summon further witnesses to the great moment of the splitting of the nut, and then Dadd offers – in the sequence of seven figures along the top of the picture – a version of the counting rhyme whereby boys allowed fate to choose them a profession, or girls a husband: soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, ploughboy, apothecary, thief. If the Fairy Feller were a work intended for critical interpretation, which it probably was not, then we might talk of the suspended action with which the seed was to be split; the deferred moment of sex; the mutual isolation of the groups of figures suggesting the impossibility of generating a family or a community; and we might connect these themes to Dadd’s awareness of his own position as a long-stay patient in London’s high-security lunatic asylum where, “shut out from nature’s game” and “banished from nature’s book of life, because some angel in the strife had got the worser fate”, his lot was “in a paradise of fools [to] contented live.” But Dadd knew, given the workings of spirits, angels and fate, that autobiography was a vain fiction, and we should be wary of assuming that his most famous picture must somehow be his personal testament.

The crown patriarch - Source: Tate (Richard Dadd, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke c.1855-64, Tate)


The as of yet uncracked nut with onlookers - Source: Tate (Richard Dadd, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke c.1855-64, Tate)

The Fairy Feller became Dadd’s most famous work because, in 1963, it entered the Tate collection where it was soon a popular favourite. It was presented to the Gallery by the then elderly poet Siegfried Sassoon, who had himself been given it by his mother-in-law, the daughter of the vastly wealthy connoisseur Alfred Morrison whose encyclopaedic collections included several Dadds. Sassoon had a special interest in the artist, having befriended, in the trenches, three brothers who were the grandsons of Richard Dadd’s elder brother. The Fairy Feller was presented to the Tate “by Siegfried Sassoon in memory of his friend and fellow officer Julian Dadd, a great-nephew of the artist, and of his two brothers who gave their lives in the First World War”, a dedication which always still accompanies the painting today. Sassoon of course had yet further personal reason for taking an interest in Dadd, having himself been a patient at Craiglockhart outside Edinburgh which functioned during the War as a hospital for shell-shocked officers.

Queen of the fairies Mab with her rival monarchs Oberon and Titania - Source: Tate (Richard Dadd, The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke c.1855-64, Tate)

The arrival of the Fairy Feller at the Tate, allowing Dadd a substantial audience for the first time since the 1840s, could not have been timed better if Sassoon had planned it (which he hadn’t: he donated the picture to a public collection having taken fright at the underhand tactics of an art dealer keen to relieve him of it). This was the period during which a new intellectual consensus was fomenting against the inherited system of nineteenth-century asylums, a consensus embracing everyone from the radical historian of psychiatry Michel Foucault to Enoch Powell, then British Secretary of State for Health. Dadd, having been more or less (if never completely) forgotten since the onset of his illness, now appeared something of a hero – a brave survivor of a vicious system which (so went the new story) locked away all those with whom the Victorians could not cope, which was to say many. Dadd appeared as the dark unconscious which underlay mainstream Victorian painting with its floppy maidens (Dadd contrarily had a penchant for sturdy women) and limp-wristed draughtsmanship (Dadd’s taught line was admired by some critics even when the world at large had forgotten him). The notorious magazine of Sixties counter-culture, Oz, ran a spread on the artist in 1971 and in 1974 Freddie Mercury used text from the Elimination poem for lyrics to a song titled the Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke which appeared on Queen’s second album.



But also in 1974 there appeared the results of a more sober, academic approach to Dadd. Patricia Allderidge took up the new post of archivist to the ancient Bethlem Hospital in the late 1960s and was able to recover much of Dadd’s forgotten biography and oeuvre, publishing her findings in the still indispensible catalogue to an exhibition devoted to the artist at the Tate. At this point, in retrospect, it seems the romanticised “anti-psychiatry” Dadd on one hand, and on the other the history of Dadd written from within the hospital itself, effectively cancelled one another out. At least, only the slightest amount of new research was published on the artist for decades after 1974. There seemed nowhere he might confidently be placed in the history of either art or psychiatry. So: how to deal with a long-dead forgotten genius once they’ve been rediscovered? If the talent in question never fitted in when alive, there’s little chance a permanent plinth in the pantheon of their field will be found for them even once posterity has handed them their posthumous prize. Once the ghost is raised from obscurity, where can we lay it down again?



Nicholas Tromans teaches at Kingston University, London. He curated the Tate Britain exhibition “The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting” in 2008 and his book on Richard Dadd, The Artist and the Asylum, was published last year. He recommends to PDR readers this blog about the history of psychiatry – maintained by Bethlem Hospital.


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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/14/richard-dadd%e2%80%99s-master-stroke/


Natural History of Shakespeare; Being Selections of Flowers, Fruits, and Animals (1877)

Tuesday 13 March 2012 at 13:01


Natural History of Shakespeare, Being Selections of Flowers, Fruits, and Animals, arranged by Bessie Mayou; 1877; E. Slater, Manchester.

Collection of little snippets from Shakespeare’s plays pertaining to the natural world: Garden Flowers, Wild Flowers, Weeds, Trees, Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices and Medicines, Grain, Birds, Animals, Fish, Reptiles, and Insects.

Open Library link



Letters From a Cat (1879)

Castaway on the Auckland Isles: A Narrative of the Wreck of the "Grafton," (1865)


Infant's Cabinet of Birds and Beasts (1820)

Old French Fairytales (1920)

Armata: a fragment (1817)

An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism (1803)

The Medical Aspects of Death, and the Medical Aspects of the Human Mind (1852)

Quarles' Emblems (1886)

Cat and bird stories from the "Spectator" (1896)

Wonderful Balloon Ascents (1870)

The Book of Topiary (1904)

The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (1899)

English as She is Spoke (1884)

The Danger of Premature Interment (1816)

The Last American (1889)

Pirates (1922)

Napoleon's Oraculum (1839)

Horse Laughs (1891)

Hydriotaphia/Urn-Burial and The Garden of Cyrus (1658)

Across the Zodiac: the Story of a Wrecked Record (1880)

Superstitions About Animals (1904)

The Diary of a Nobody (1919 edition)

The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, Illustrated with the Zoopraxiscope (1882)

The Eccentric Mirror: Reflecting a Faithful and Interesting Delineation of Male and Female Characters, Ancient and Modern (1807)

Uriah Jewett and the Sea Serpent of Lake Memphemagog (1917)

Yuletide Entertainments (1910)

Mythical Monsters (1886)

Madame Tussaud's Napoleon Relics, Pictures and Other Curiosities (1901)

James Joyce's Chamber Music (1918 American Edition)

Original acrostics on all the U.S. states and presidents, and various other subjects (1861)

Hand book of the carnival, containing Mardi-Gras, its ancient and modern observance (1874)

Selection of Type is just as important as the selection of words (1939?)

Natural History of Shakespeare; Being Selections of Flowers, Fruits, and Animals (1877)

An Alphabet of History (1905)

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/13/natural-history-of-shakespeare-1877/


Out of the Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly (1919)

Friday 9 March 2012 at 14:04



Max Fleischer (1883–1972) was a pioneer in the development of the animated cartoon and served as the head of Fleischer Studios. He brought such animated characters as Betty Boop, Koko the Clown, Popeye, and Superman to the movie screen and was responsible for a number of technological innovations. One of these was the Rotoscope, a technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement frame by frame. The technique was used to create his “Out of the Inkwell” series for Bray Studios. (Wikipedia)

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Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.



CLIPSSHORTFULL LENGTH SILENTFULL LENGTH TALKIE
Princess Nicotine (1909) 6min

Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) 12min

Last of the Mohicans (1920) 1hr11min

Meet John Doe (1941) 2hr3min

The Unappreciated Joke (1903) 1min

Frankenstein (1910) 13min

The General (1926) 1hr19min

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) 1hr19mins


The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1895) 21sec

The Great Train Robbery (1903) 10min

Wolf Blood (1925) 1hr7min

Reefer Madness (1938) 1hr8min

The Kiss (1896) 25secs

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (1940) 20min

Battleship Potemkin (1925) 1hr13min

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952) 1hr57min

Trapeze Disrobing Act (1901) 2min

Are You Popular (1947) 10min

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) 1hr11min

Scarlet Street (1945) 1hr43min

Annie Oakley Fires Her Gun (1894) 20secs

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) 13min

For The Term of His Natural Life (1927) 1hr33min

The Last Man on Earth (1964) 1hr27min

Operation Cue (1955) 52sec

Never Weaken (1921) 28min

Intolerance (1916) 2hr57min

Quicksand (1950) 1hr18min

Dutch Fashion Reel (1969) 1min50sec

Betty Boop: Minnie The Moocher (1932) 7min46sec

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) 1hr46min

Suddenly (1954) 1hr16mins


Buffalo Dance (1894) 14sec

American Day in Tripoli, Libya (1962) 14min

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) 2hr20min

Five Minutes to Live (1961) 1hr14min

VD is for Everybody (1969) 1min

Your Name Here (1960) 10min10sec

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 1hr11min

Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) 1hr53min

The Enchanted Drawing (1900) 1min29sec

The Night Before Christmas (1905) 8min44sec

Stella Maris (1918) 1hr13min

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) 1hr40min

Time-Lapse Demolition of the Star Theatre, New York (1901) 1min49sec

The Dream of Mrs L.L. Nicholson from Oakland, California (1924) 7min23sec

The Lost World (1925) 1hr8min

Gulliver's Travels (1939) 1hr18min

Dog Factory (1904) 4min37sec



Alice in Wonderland (1915) 42min

The Battle of San Pietro (1945) 43min

Out of the Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly (1919) 3min38sec

Prelinger Archive 35mm Stock Footage

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/09/out-of-the-inkwell-the-tantalizing-fly-1919/


The Battle of San Pietro (1945)

Thursday 8 March 2012 at 10:53



Documentary directed by John Huston who was commissioned by the US army to record their efforts to take Italy in the Battle of San Pietro Infine in 1943. The US Army ended up refusing to show the film because it was too honest in its portrayal of the high cost of battle and the difficulties faced. Huston and his crew were attached to the US Army’s 143rd regiment of the 36th division. Though a few scenes seem to be have been reconstructed outside of actual fighting, unlike many other military documentaries Huston’s cameramen did film alongside the infantrymen as they fought their way up the hills to reach San Pietro. These cameramen were in just as much danger as the soldiers on the ground, often within a few feet of mortars and shells exploding and bullets ricocheting nearby. The film is unflinching in its realism and was held up from being shown to the public by the United States Army. Huston quickly became unpopular with the Army, not only for the film but also for his response to the accusation that the film was anti-war. Huston responded that if he ever made a pro-war film, he should be shot. Because it showed dead GIs wrapped in mattress covers, some officers tried to prevent troopers in training from seeing it, for fear of it upsetting morale. General George Marshall came to the film’s defense, stating that because of the film’s gritty realism, it would make a good training film. The depiction of death would inspire them to take their training seriously. Subsequently the film was used for that purpose. Huston was no longer considered a pariah; he was decorated and made an honorary major. (Wikipedia)

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Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.



CLIPSSHORTFULL LENGTH SILENTFULL LENGTH TALKIE
Princess Nicotine (1909) 6min

Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) 12min

Last of the Mohicans (1920) 1hr11min

Meet John Doe (1941) 2hr3min

The Unappreciated Joke (1903) 1min

Frankenstein (1910) 13min

The General (1926) 1hr19min

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) 1hr19mins


The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots (1895) 21sec

The Great Train Robbery (1903) 10min

Wolf Blood (1925) 1hr7min

Reefer Madness (1938) 1hr8min

The Kiss (1896) 25secs

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (1940) 20min

Battleship Potemkin (1925) 1hr13min

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952) 1hr57min

Trapeze Disrobing Act (1901) 2min

Are You Popular (1947) 10min

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) 1hr11min

Scarlet Street (1945) 1hr43min

Annie Oakley Fires Her Gun (1894) 20secs

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) 13min

For The Term of His Natural Life (1927) 1hr33min

The Last Man on Earth (1964) 1hr27min

Operation Cue (1955) 52sec

Never Weaken (1921) 28min

Intolerance (1916) 2hr57min

Quicksand (1950) 1hr18min

Dutch Fashion Reel (1969) 1min50sec

Betty Boop: Minnie The Moocher (1932) 7min46sec

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) 1hr46min

Suddenly (1954) 1hr16mins


Buffalo Dance (1894) 14sec

American Day in Tripoli, Libya (1962) 14min

The Thief of Bagdad (1924) 2hr20min

Five Minutes to Live (1961) 1hr14min

VD is for Everybody (1969) 1min

Your Name Here (1960) 10min10sec

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 1hr11min

Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) 1hr53min

The Enchanted Drawing (1900) 1min29sec

The Night Before Christmas (1905) 8min44sec

Stella Maris (1918) 1hr13min

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) 1hr40min

Time-Lapse Demolition of the Star Theatre, New York (1901) 1min49sec

The Dream of Mrs L.L. Nicholson from Oakland, California (1924) 7min23sec

The Lost World (1925) 1hr8min

Gulliver's Travels (1939) 1hr18min

Dog Factory (1904) 4min37sec



Alice in Wonderland (1915) 42min

The Battle of San Pietro (1945) 43min

Out of the Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly (1919) 3min38sec

Prelinger Archive 35mm Stock Footage

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/08/the-battle-of-san-pietro-1945/


Photographs of the famous by Felix Nadar

Wednesday 7 March 2012 at 12:08

"Revolving" selfportrait by Nadar, ca. 1865




Félix Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1 April 1820, Paris – 23 March 1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist and balloonist. He took his first photographs in 1853 and pioneered the use of artificial lighting in photography, working in the catacombs of Paris. Around 1863, Nadar built a huge (6000 m³) balloon named Le Géant (“The Giant”), thereby inspiring Jules Verne’s Five Weeks in a Balloon. Although the “Géant” project was initially unsuccessful Nadar was still convinced that the future belonged to heavier-than-air machines. Later, “The Society for the Encouragement of Aerial Locomotion by Means of Heavier than Air Machines” was established, with Nadar as president and Verne as secretary. Nadar was also the inspiration for the character of Michael Ardan in Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon. In April 1874, he lent his photo studio to a group of painters, thus making the first exhibition of the Impressionists possible. (Wikipedia)

For more photographs by Nadar and for higher resolution copies please see Wikimedia Commons

Charles Baudelaire, 1855



Sarah Bernhardt, 1865



Louis Daguerre, 1844



Claude Debussy, ca. 1908



Eugène Delacroix, 1858



Gustave Doré, ca. 1855



Alexandre Dumas, 1855



Peter Krapotkin, ca. 1870



Franz Liszt, ca.1880



Stéphane Mallarmé, 1896



Edouard Manet, ca. 1870



Claude Monet, 1899



Jaques Offenbach, ca. 1860



Élisée Reclus, ca. 1895



Auguste Rodin, 1893



Henri Rochefort, ca. 1893



George Sand, 1877



Ernest Shackleton, ca. 1909



Jules Verne, ca. 1885



Emile Zola, ca. 1895







Operation Doorstep

The Spirit Photographs of William Hope

The Maps of Piri Reis

Dr Julius Neubronner's Miniature Pigeon Camera

Art in Art

Huexotzinco Codex


Sessions for the Blind at Sunderland Museum

Eugène von Guérard's Australian Landscapes

Landscape and Marine Views of Norway

The Mechanism of Human Physiognomy

Space Colony Art from the 1970s

Men in Wigs


De humana physiognomonia libri IIII (1586)

Field Columbian Museum

Maps from Geographicus

Arnoldus Montanus' New and Unknown World (1671)

World War II from the Air

Halloween Postcards

Engravings by Dominicus Custos

Kodak No.1 Circular Snapshots

Kitab al-Bulhan or Book of Wonders (late 14thC.)

The Daddy Long Legs of Brighton

Amundsen's South Pole Expedition (1912)

A Catalogue of Polish Bishops

Harry Clarke's illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe (1919)

The Embalming Jars of Frederik Ruysch (1710)

Labors of the Months from the Très Riches Heures (1416)

Photographs of the famous by Felix Nadar

Illuminated pages from 15th century Breviaries

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/07/photographs-of-the-famous-by-felix-nadar/


Lucy Isabelle Marsh

Thursday 1 March 2012 at 20:10




American singer Lucy Isabelle Marsh (1878 – 1956) made her career as a professional recording artist for the Victor Talking Machine Company. She was an anonymous mainstay of the regular recording program of the company from 1909 into the late 1920s, while at the same time, she quickly won popular and critical recognition under her own name as a major artist on Victor recordings. (Wikipedia)

MP3 Download
Internet Archive Link



Beela Boola by the Electric City 4 (1920)

Hungarian Rag - Pietro Deiro (1913)

As a Porcupine Pines for its Pork - Billy Jones & Ernest Hare
(1925)

Popeye, the Sailor Man - Al Dollar & His Ten Cent Band with Billy Murray (1931)

Chopins Funeral March - The Edison Concert Band (1906)

Houdini on his Water Torture Cell (1914)

Lomax Collection Recording of English, Sample 8

Enrico Caruso - A Dream (1920)

La Paloma (1903)

Orson Welles Show (1941)

Tokyo Rose (1944)

Fats Waller and His Orchestra live at The Yacht Club (1938)

Very early recording of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue (1924)

Rudolph Valentino singing (1923)

Aiaihea - The Hawaiian Quintette (1913)

Antony's Address Over The Body of Caesar (1914)

Charlie and His Orchestra

Excerpt from Handel's Israel in Egypt (1888)

The Voice of Florence Nightingale (1890)

General Pershing March - Imperial Marimba Band (1918)

Apollo 11 Onboard Recordings (1969)

Santa Claus Proves There is a Santa Claus (1925)

Whitney Brothers Quartet - The Little Red Drum (1908)

Edison reading Mary Had a Little Lamb (1927)

Lucy Isabelle Marsh

Robert Browning attempting to recite 'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix' (1889)

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/03/01/lucy-isabelle-marsh/


The selection of Type is just as important as the selection of words (1939?)

Monday 27 February 2012 at 15:36


Alphabetical Index to Type Faces, by G.A. Davis Printing Company; 1939?; Toronto.

An “Alphabetical Index to Type Faces” from the G.A. Davis Printing Company. What it says on the tin, but also generator of bizarre ‘accidental’ sentences such as “Summer-time with outdoor pleasures become flowers with nature”, “Domestic animals are nuisance when a hurry to men”, “Strong type faces used cold north winds” and the occasional poem: “History repeats itself as the years pass / Internal injuries are weakening / Injurious statements make yonder river flows fast”.

NB: The publishing date of 1900 given in the Open Library link appears to be incorrect, with some of the typefaces not being invented until the mid-30s. There is no indication of publishing date on the scanned copy itself, though there is a Library of Toronto stamp dated October 1939.

Open Library link



Letters From a Cat (1879)

Castaway on the Auckland Isles: A Narrative of the Wreck of the "Grafton," (1865)


Infant's Cabinet of Birds and Beasts (1820)

Old French Fairytales (1920)

Armata: a fragment (1817)

An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism (1803)

The Medical Aspects of Death, and the Medical Aspects of the Human Mind (1852)

Quarles' Emblems (1886)

Cat and bird stories from the "Spectator" (1896)

Wonderful Balloon Ascents (1870)

The Book of Topiary (1904)

The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (1899)

English as She is Spoke (1884)

The Danger of Premature Interment (1816)

The Last American (1889)

Pirates (1922)

Napoleon's Oraculum (1839)

Horse Laughs (1891)

Hydriotaphia/Urn-Burial and The Garden of Cyrus (1658)

Across the Zodiac: the Story of a Wrecked Record (1880)

Superstitions About Animals (1904)

The Diary of a Nobody (1919 edition)

The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, Illustrated with the Zoopraxiscope (1882)

The Eccentric Mirror: Reflecting a Faithful and Interesting Delineation of Male and Female Characters, Ancient and Modern (1807)

Uriah Jewett and the Sea Serpent of Lake Memphemagog (1917)

Yuletide Entertainments (1910)

Mythical Monsters (1886)

Madame Tussaud's Napoleon Relics, Pictures and Other Curiosities (1901)

James Joyce's Chamber Music (1918 American Edition)

Original acrostics on all the U.S. states and presidents, and various other subjects (1861)

Hand book of the carnival, containing Mardi-Gras, its ancient and modern observance (1874)

Selection of Type is just as important as the selection of words (1939?)

Natural History of Shakespeare; Being Selections of Flowers, Fruits, and Animals (1877)

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Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/02/27/selection-of-type-1900/


Hand book of the carnival, containing Mardi-Gras, its ancient and modern observance (1874)

Tuesday 21 February 2012 at 18:10


Hand book of the carnival, containing Mardi-Gras, its ancient and modern observance, by J. W. Madden; 1874; New Orleans.

Fascinating little book offering a brilliantly detailed insight into the 19th century New Orleans Mardi-Gras tradition, including a history of the Mistick Krewe of Comus, The Twelfth Night Revellers, and The Knights of Momus.

From Wikipedia: In Greek mythology, Comus or Komos (Ancient Greek: Κῶμος) is the god of festivity, revels and nocturnal dalliances. He is a son and a cup-bearer of the god Bacchus. Comus represents anarchy and chaos. His mythology occurs in the later times of antiquity. During his festivals in Ancient Greece, men and women exchanged clothes. He was depicted as a young man on the point of unconsciousness from drink. He had a wreath of flowers on his head and carried a torch that was in the process of being dropped.

"Female Eye", costume design, Krewe of Comus, New Orleans Mardi Gras, 1869


New Orleans Mardi Gras, 1916. Depiction of Comus parade float with art theme.


New Orleans Mardi Gras 1907. Illustration of King's float of Comus parade.



Open Library link



Letters From a Cat (1879)

Castaway on the Auckland Isles: A Narrative of the Wreck of the "Grafton," (1865)


Infant's Cabinet of Birds and Beasts (1820)

Old French Fairytales (1920)

Armata: a fragment (1817)

An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism (1803)

The Medical Aspects of Death, and the Medical Aspects of the Human Mind (1852)

Quarles' Emblems (1886)

Cat and bird stories from the "Spectator" (1896)

Wonderful Balloon Ascents (1870)

The Book of Topiary (1904)

The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (1899)

English as She is Spoke (1884)

The Danger of Premature Interment (1816)

The Last American (1889)

Pirates (1922)

Napoleon's Oraculum (1839)

Horse Laughs (1891)

Hydriotaphia/Urn-Burial and The Garden of Cyrus (1658)

Across the Zodiac: the Story of a Wrecked Record (1880)

Superstitions About Animals (1904)

The Diary of a Nobody (1919 edition)

The Attitudes of Animals in Motion, Illustrated with the Zoopraxiscope (1882)

The Eccentric Mirror: Reflecting a Faithful and Interesting Delineation of Male and Female Characters, Ancient and Modern (1807)

Uriah Jewett and the Sea Serpent of Lake Memphemagog (1917)

Yuletide Entertainments (1910)

Mythical Monsters (1886)

Madame Tussaud's Napoleon Relics, Pictures and Other Curiosities (1901)

James Joyce's Chamber Music (1918 American Edition)

Original acrostics on all the U.S. states and presidents, and various other subjects (1861)

Hand book of the carnival, containing Mardi-Gras, its ancient and modern observance (1874)

Selection of Type is just as important as the selection of words (1939?)

Natural History of Shakespeare; Being Selections of Flowers, Fruits, and Animals (1877)

flattr this!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/02/21/hand-book-of-the-carnival/