Posts tagged ‘Civil War’

Silver Shadows: The Modernity of Ancient Photography

Recently, the New Yorker featured a story on “the fading world of the daguerreotype.”  The journal reported that only 1% of the 19th century photographs created using this primitive method of developing survive today. It is a percentage that is, of course upsetting, it’s not too dissimilar from the percentage of silent films that have survived to our modern day: 90% have been lost to time and to inadequate preservation methods. Both, I have found, are incredibly regulatory and are the reason for this post: Daguerreotype was the first exposure (literally) mankind had of itself. It pulls back the curtain of mankind: centuries of shadow are suddenly made bright and clear. Read more ►

A History Lesson By Way of Franklin Pierce, Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln’s Really Great, Awesomely Bad Hair

So, there’s this obsession with the 16th president of the United States that I’ve had pretty much all my life. It hit me, all of a sudden, early in the 7th grade when for no reason at all I found myself crying because I was assigned to cover Franklin Pierce for our presidential reports instead of Lincoln. Our teacher assigned the presidents in alphabetical order and my surname came just two letters shy of “L”. And so the fate of Mr. Lincoln’s five page double-spaced, Times New Roman report was destined for a classmate who, bless his heart, was under the impression that every sentence ought to begin with a pronoun. (And, judging by his Facebook profile, this still appears to be the case. Not that I stalk old classmates on Facebook. Ever.)
Read more ►