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Architecture & Design Culture & Society

A trip through New York City, 1911

A trip through New York City, 1911
A trip through New York City, 1911

In 1911, Swedish film company Svenska Biografteatern recorded its trip to New York.

Fortunately, the footage survived and most recently was speed-corrected and reproduced with added street sounds of car horns, horses, and police whistles to give us a sense of the environment back then.

Some observations:

  • Notice all the people wearing hats
  • The streets look a bit empty compared to today’s zoo
  • Cable powered trolleys
  • The kids go nuts when the camera is on them. Nothing’s changed!

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Culture & Society

The evolution of the price tag

The history of the price tag goes back to the founding of brick and mortar stores.

Can you imagine having to haggle over everything you bought in a store?

But as businesses got bigger in the 1870s, shopkeepers needed a way to streamline pricing for both sales clerks and customers alike. Two department stores helped pioneer the price tag: Macy’s in New York and Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia.

They adopted the Quaker’s concept of one price on all items, no questions asked. Price tags thus removed the hassle for both stores and the customers.

The price is right, usually

Dynamic pricing still exists though. Whether it’s an Uber surge or last-minute airline tickets to Tahiti, we churn across the internet looking for the best price.

If you're a WRITER or aspiring blogger, I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Architecture & Design

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

In the 1880s, French designers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier mocked up what would become the Eiffel Tower.

Maurice Koechlin's first drawing of the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france
Maurice Koechlin’s first drawing of the Eiffel Tower 

Thankfully, someone held on to 14 of the rejected designs. Number 3 seems to come closest to the final design, with embellished trusses added to the lower tier.

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france #history
Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

It’s hard to imagine Paris without the iconic Eiffel Tower today. However, engineer Gustave Eiffel never built the structure with the intention of keeping it up.

The city wanted to tear it down after the Exposition Universelle of 1889. But the same community of artists who criticized the Eiffel Tower’s initial design ended up mobilizing to save it.

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Science

The spherical nature of the Earth

The world is round, and it has been for some time despite the rise of the flat earth movement.

Take a look at some of the armillary spheres below, starting with the Chinese diagram from 1092. Even back then, they had could rationalize that the Earth adopted a round shape.

The curvy nature of the Earth is manifest.

Chinese Diagram, 1092

From Su Song’s book of 1092 

Damascus, 1526

Work of Taqi al-Din from the Constantinople observatory

Germany, 1585

Sphere on top of an astronomical clock, made in Kassel, Germany by Jost Bürgi and Antonius Eisenhoit

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