7 Things I Love (8-15-2022)

Hi all, sorry I missed last week – a very dear family member, my Uncle, passed away and there was a lot going on.

My Uncle Bobby in Cuba in 1951

My Uncle Bobby was a devout Catholic and a HUGE lover of history and this week’s blog reflects those things as well as being sort of a tribute to him.

1. This Woman Who Was the First to Circumnavigate the Globe Alone – Everyone is familiar with Amelia Earhart and we all think of her as being the first woman to aviate, well, pretty much everything. But Amelia wasn’t alone when she made her infamous (and tragic) flight around the world.

“Looking back, Geraldine ‘Jerrie’ Mock might have said these were the things she preferred: a double shot of scotch over a bouquet of orchids. Pants instead of a skirt. And a trip around the world where she could’ve taken her own sweet time taking in the sights, instead of staring at the ceiling of a hotel, trying to sleep in preparation for her next flight.

Mock is the first female pilot to circumnavigate the world alone. During and after her ground-breaking 22,860-mile flight in 1964, the barely five-foot-tall pilot set 21 world records. ‘Just nobody else had the sense—or shall I say, the stupidity—to try it,’ Mock told Air & Space magazine just before she died at the age of 88 in 2014. ‘There were women who told me that they flew because of me. I’m glad I did what I did, because I had a wonderful time.’”

Who Was the First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World?
August 12, 2022 | Smithsonian Magazine

Between March 19 and April 17, 1964, Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock (above: at the start of her journey at Ohio’s Port Columbus Airport) flew her single-engine Cessna 180, dubbed “Charlie,” solo around the globe setting a world record. NASM 2007-10125, photo by Sheldon Ross, Columbus Dispatch

[Found on Smithsonian Magazine]

2. This Historic Photo – In 1906, Gabriel Lippman was the first person to create a color photograph. Although he won a Nobel Prize for his invention, his process was too time consuming and costly to be used commercially. The following year the Lumière brothers  introduced the Lumière Autochrome which allowed people to take color photographs.

Here’s how Autochromes work:

“Autochrome plates are covered in microscopic red, green and blue coloured potato starch grains (about four million per square inch). When the photograph is taken, light passes through these colour filters to the photographic emulsion. The plate is processed to produce a positive transparency. Light, passing through the coloured starch grains, combines to recreate a full colour image of the original subject.”

— From the Science and Media Museum

This process really made it much more accessible for general photographers to take color photos because they could use their existing cameras and simply purchase autochrome plates.

Kodachrome came out in 1935 and the following year a German company invented Agfacolor (but because of WWII it wasn’t released until 1949.)

The reason I’ve given a brief history lesson on color photography is because I wanted to show why it’s so unusual to have a “colour (not colorised)” photograph in 1928!

[Found by my friend Jeanne – thanks Jeanne!]

3. This Technique for Securing Letters – Before modern envelopes were invented, people used something called “letter-locking” to make sure that only the intended recipients read their missives.

Two of the most well-known individuals who used letter-locking were Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. On the eve of her execution, Mary wrote her last letter which was purported to be her last will & testament and a bid for martyrdom. She carefully made a slit to create a needle-like piece of the paper sticking out, folded the letter over and over, cut a slit through the letter, and threaded the needle through the slot until it was fastened tightly.

There are other letter-locking videos on this YouTube channel, from all through history and all over the world. They are fascinating! If makes me want to write real letters so I can try it.

There is one thing I noticed though – on some of the letter-locking videos the process ruins a small part of the letter. It made me think – what if someone was sending a love letter and they rip it open and they’re reading it and it says – I’ve waited so long to tell you this. I …. and then there’s a big splotch of sealing wax or the words were poked through by a spiral lock. AHHHH!

A reconstruction of how Mary, Queen of Scots’ last letter may have been secured shut using the spiral lock mechanism. Unlocking History Research Group Archive/MIT Libraries

[Found on Atlas Obscura and NPR]

4. These Photographs – Photographer Richard Silver has taken these breathtaking photos of the interior ceilings of churches from around the world and published them as a collection called Vertical Churches.

You can find out more about Silver’s podcast at the My Modern Met article. I’d also suggest checking out his website and his Instagram for more vertical churches photos and just more photos in general (he’s fantastic!)

[Found on My Modern Met]

5. This Juicer – Passed down from my Grandma Celeste to my Mom to me. Sometimes no amount of innovation can improve something. I mean, if you want to have a big ole’ electric juicer that might be better but there is no manual juicer better than this one, especially when you have to juice a bunch of citrus.

6. These (Not Surprisingly) Overlooked Medieval Women – In 13th century Europe, though things were prosperous or perhaps because of the prosperity, there was a lot of wars being waged. This led to many men being killed and women and children being left without a provider.

Enter the Béguines, were most likely the first feminists. They were a group of women who created female-only (and children) communes to provide refuge, support, and outreach.

“From the early 13th century, a loose movement of concerned women, the Béguines (origin and meaning of the name unknown) had started to spring up in towns and villages, not as formal institutions, but as local refuges, for mutual support and outreach. These discreet communities of like-minded charitable women were determined to respond to the suffering of the disadvantaged, beaten, abandoned, and even the rescue of children from the clutches of prostitution. Béguine women were never nuns, they had no religious affiliations, they were solely motivated by a mutual desire to provide service, support and welfare to the less fortunate in society.”

— From Surprise Surprise, a Medieval Feminist Movement Left Out of the History Books,’ June 16, 2022 | Messy Nessy Chic

[Found on Messy Nessy Chic]

7. These 3,300 Year-Old Shoes – Of course I can’t hear the words “King Tut” and not think of Steve Martin singing his song but once the song plays out in my head I am able to focus on how remarkable these sandals are. The first photo is a little misleading. It doesn’t show the wear and I thought to myself – these aren’t really over 3,000 years old.

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week


Song of the Week

Rest In Peace, Olivia.

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