This is a perfectly restored film of a trip through New York City in 1911. The sound was added by a foley artist but the film itself is amazing.
You can zoom it out, it’s that good a restoration. Incredible wormhole to another time.
Comic from 1919 imagines what it’s like to have a phone in your pocket
“W. K. Hasleden’s ‘The Pocket Telephone: When Will it Ring?’ was first published in The Mirror on March 5th 1919. It is reproduced here with the assistance of the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent and Mirrorpix.”
America’s Shameful History of Housing Discrimination
This is a brilliant comic by Jamie Hibdon and Sarah Mirk.
For what it’s worth, the very first place I lived with my parents was a Levitown development in Hicksville, New York. I have pictures of the little white cape, white picket fence and all the houses looking pretty much the same. My father was a returning GI who no doubt qualified for a loan to buy there. Given my parents’ politics I doubt the reason they bought there was racially motivated but my father was a real estate broker so no doubt he was well aware of the policies noted in this piece. We lived there for four years, then moved to an apartment closer to where my father was working.
The Fresh Air interview with Richard Rothstein noted in the comic is here:
A ‘Forgotten History’ of How The U.S. Government Segregated America
This is a very nicely done history of the pen but also of the BIC company.
The World is Getting Redder
Katy Doughty has put together a great comic history of the color red. Brilliant.
"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.
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
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
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.
Today in history (January 4th)
Alan Taylor at The Atlantic has put together a fantastic collection of images.
It was amazing for me to put faces to Popeye and Olive Oyl (#5).