history

Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?

"Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads?" from Dial M Films on Vimeo.

The story of the charming, honest ad campaign DDB created for VW… universally acknowledged to be the greatest and most influential of all time.

This is brilliant, both the ad campaign and the documentary. If you’re not old enough to remember these, just enjoy the idea that this was a revolution in advertising.

Note: I had a lot of VWs, from bugs and buses. I bought them cheap, worked on them, and used extras for parts or working models. How to Fix your Volkswagen for the Compete Idiot by John Muir was my bible.

[via Kottke.org]

Bill Atkinson on the birth of the Macintosh computer

Leo LaPorte interviews Bill Atkinson on the 40th anniversary of Apple, Inc. on the birth of the Macintosh computer.

I was a very early Mac user, met Bill Atkinson numerous times in the HyperCard days when I demoed it for Apple, and met various members of the early Mac team after Steve Jobs gave me my first Macintosh in late 1984.

This is great stuff and Atkinson (and Andy Hertzfeld) were pioneers in the history of personal computing. I met Andy when he gave me an early (beta) copy of Switcher at Macworld.

[via The Loop]

Historic Photos of the Lincoln Memorial

Historic Photos of the Lincoln Memorial

This is a fascinating collection of images put together by Alan Taylor at The Atlantic.

I haven’t been to Washington, DC in many years but I can say with certainty that standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial is awe inspiring.

This collection of images shows the mall in front of the memorial as a swamp, before it was developed. Amazing.

Mike Nichols, an American Master

Mike Nichols, an American Master

This is a brilliant biographical documentary on the late director Mike Nichols done by his early standup improv partner, Elaine May.

Mike Nichols is best known as both a theater and movie director and he’s directed some incredible movies including: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf (his first film), The Graduate, Silkwood, Heartburn, Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, Regarding Henry, The Birdcage, Charlie Wilson’s War, and many more.

The American Masters documentary is based in part on an interview Nichols did with the producer Julian Schlossberg where Nichols tells the story of his life. May has taken the interview and added all of the relevant contextual information including interviews with many of the people Nichols knew and worked with, period photographs and video, and much more. It’s an incredible story of an incredible life and even if you’ve never seen his films or plays, my guess is you’ll find it fascinating.

This show aired on PBS in the United States January 30th (last night) and you can watch the entire thing here on the web at the above link. The web video will expire on February 27 so I highly recommend watching it soon. I’m not sure how and where this video will be available in the future.

Here’s a small tidbit on the making of the documentary: Filmmaker Interview with Producer Julian Schlossberg.

Flickr Commons, participating institutions

Flickr Commons Participating Institutions

It started with The Library of Congress in June, 2007 and has grown considerably since then.

The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.

And they’re doing just that.

I could have posted a lot of stuff here but I hope anyone who reads this will follow the links and poke around. If you have a blog, all of these images are easily embedded. I like to give some context when I use things like this but it’s not always possible.

Have fun.

Walt Whitman, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865

Walt Whitman, image by Mathew Brady, 1865

From Flickr member The U.S. National Archives.

Rear end of Bridal Veil mill

Rear end of Bridal Veil mill from hotel. Palmer, Oregon. 1910

From Flickr member The Field Museum Library.

Group photograph captioned 'Hungarian Gypsies all of whom we...

Hungarian Gypsies coming into Ellis Island, 1905

Ruth St Denis in a Burmese solo dance.

Ruth St Denis in a Burmese solo dance, 1923

From Flickr member New York Public Library

Överenhörna Church, Södermanland, Sweden

Överenhörna Church, Södermanland, Sweden, 1905

Evertsberg Chapel, Dalarna, Sweden

Evertsberg Chapel, Dalarna, Sweden, 1900

From Flickr member Swedish National Heritage Board