Browse Items (509 total)

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The jukebox is much older than one might assume. In 1887, Louis Glass, who owned a gin joint in San Francisco, thought to combine Thomas Edison’s Class M electric phonograph with a showy oak cabinet, and the jukebox was born. This technology did not…
Item Type: Technology

Early Advertisement for Eastman Kodak Company
George Eastman first started to experiment with wet plate photography as an amateur in 1978, but felt the process cumbersome. Inspired by British journals on photography, he began formulating his own dry plate emulsions and eventually designed a…
Item Type: Event

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Ida B. Wells was front and center in the post-slavery civil rights movement in the USA. She published this pamphlet as part of a larger effort to show that even though slavery was over, the systemic oppression of African Americans continued.
Item Type: Event

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While there were plenty of earlier illustrations and editorial cartoons published in newspapers, The Yellow Kid is widely recognized as the first American comic strip. It is particularly noted for its early use of text bubbles and recurring…
Item Type: Event

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Chemical wood pulp paper is longer lasting and more durable than unprocessed wood pulp paper. Manufacturers used caustic chemicals, originally sulfites, to break down the wood fibers and remove the lignin from the pulp. Chemical pulping made for…
Item Type: Event

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April 15, 1900 The Exposition Universelle of 1900, otherwise known as the 1900 Paris Exposition, featured a series of photographs compiled by W. E. B. Du Bois and titled “The Exhibit of American Negroes. There were 363 images that showed…
Item Type: Event

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In 1902, British postal legislation allowed for the divided back postcard, which meant it was possible to write messages on the back of the postcard. Originally, the front of a postcard would have a lithographed image or drawing (primarily…
Item Type: Technology

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Signal converters have been around in analog form at least since the invention of the telegraph, and possibly as far back as the ottoman empire. However in their most familiar iterations, as digital converters, they have been around for roughly 70…
Item Type: Technology

"Spirit of the Past"
Photographer Edward S. Curtis begins creating The North American Indian, a forty-volume edition of photogravures and writings that attempt to illustrate Native American life to the mass public. He is the first to document and cite the phenomenon of a…
Item Type: Event

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The Triode amplifier was invented in 1906 by Lee de Forest. It improved on earlier designs like the Fleming valve by adding a grid with a charge in addition to the two diodes. By 1912 the amplifying properties of the triode had been fully fleshed out…
Item Type: Technology

Figure 2: RGB versus CMYK color
As printing techniques continued to progress at the turn of the 20th century, color became the next big hurdle for photography and eventually printing. With halftone printing, the challenge was being able to better integrate text and image such that…
Item Type: Technology

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Marconi’s first transmission relied on amplitude modulation to send a ‘wireless telegraph’ from England to Newfoundland. The transmission ‘bounced’ off the ionosphere and was received in Canada. Marked the first time in history that information…
Item Type: Event

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Introduced in 1912, the Vest Pocket Kodak Camera was a small, simple, and inexpensive snapshot camera. Eastman Kodak employed the use of lazy-tongs in the construction of the Vest Pocket Kodak, a scissor arrangement that connected the front and back…
Item Type: Technology

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airmail has the obvious effect of making mail more timely, and timeliness is an important part of the relevance of the political pamphlet.
Item Type: Event

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The Battle of Belleau Wood was the first extensive battle in which American troops were involved during World War I. In the three weeks of seemingly inexhaustible German bombardment, American forces were faced with new kinds of warfare, including…
Item Type: Event

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In January 1920, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the sale and distribution of alcohol, went into effect. During this period of Prohibition, businessmen, mobsters and opportunists alike established speakeasies so that any savvy American might find a…
Item Type: Event

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The recording at Westminster Abbey of the hymns sung at the funeral for the unknown warrior mark the first time that electrical recording using microphones and plastic discs, which were stored in an offsite location were made. However because of poor…
Item Type: Event

A page of the original Aliens Act of 1905
In December of 1920, Act 17, Section 3 of the Alien Order Act was passed. This act equipped police officers with the power of photographing any alien. The photograph requirements and camera were not standardized at the time, though they did require…
Item Type: Event

Clarence Kennedy photographed by friend and fellow photographer Ansel Adams
The argument over the practice of using reproductions was particularly poignant amongst art history scholars and professors at the turn of the century. Clarence Kennedy’s Harvard University Ph.D. dissertation focusing on Greek Sculpture and the…
Item Type: Event

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Under Mayor Jimmy Walker, the New York City legislature passed the Cabaret Law, preventing three or more persons from dancing in any given club or bar at one time. Establishments could apply for a license, but these were hard to come by. Purported to…
Item Type: Event
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