History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

24 September, 2014

The Alps in Photochrom

High time for photochroms! Today, the Swiss Alps, in images published in 1905. 

Photochroms, for the uninitiated, are a kind of photolithograph, made commercially in the late 19th and very early 20th centuries. 

Library of Congress

Gemmi Hotel and Leuk, Valais. Source

Library of Congress

Bernese Alps, from Stanserhorn. Source

Library of Congress

Frutigen, church and Alps. Source

06 September, 2014

An Air-Ship Built For Two: Songs of the 1910s

Before there were records, there was sheet music. Popular songs could be enjoyed over and over again at home, if only you had someone who could play the piano and sing all right. Thanks to the New York Public Library's collection of popular American sheet music, we can still enjoy these songs over and over again. Or at least the titles and covers, which are pretty great. 

In February we had a look at love songs of the 1890s; this time around the decade is the 1910s. By then, of course, there were also records, and of course, by now, there's Youtube, so, amazingly, a few of the selections below come with the chance to listen, too. 

So what did people like in their songs in the 1910s? Apparently rags, romance, and air travel. 

New York Public Library

Published 1910. Source

New York Public Library

Published 1913. This one actually stayed popular for a long time, at least into the 1950s. You can listen to a 1913 recording, although it doesn't have the words. Source

New York Public Library

Published 1912, and apparently a classic rag. On YoutubeSource

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