Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Archive for September 17, 2014

The marine and the kitten, Korean War; ca. 1952.

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In the middle of the Korean War, this kitten found herself an orphan. Luckily, she found her way into the hands of Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor. He adopted the two-week-old kitten and gave her the name “Miss Hap” because, he explained, “she was born at the wrong place at the wrong time.” There’s a juxtaposition between the soldier and the human. He’s dressed for war but hasn’t lost the ability to care for another living creature.

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A Japanese cherry tree hacked down with the words “To hell with those Japanese” carved into it three days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.; December 10th, 1941.

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“In 1912 Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as a gift of friendship. First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted the first two cherry trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin.”

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I guess whoever felled the tree knew the symbolism.


The Telefontornet connecting some 5,000 phone lines in Stockholm; ca. 1890.

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“In the late 19th century, shortly after the patent of the telephone, the race was on to connect everyone to the phone grid. However, due to technical limitations of the earliest phone lines, every telephone required its own physical line strung between a house or business to a phone exchange where the call was manually connected by a live operator. The somewhat quixotic result of so many individual lines was the construction of elaborate and unsightly towers that carried hundreds to thousands of phone lines through the air.

In Stockholm, Sweden, the central telephone exchange was the Telefontornet, a giant tower designed around 1890 that connected some 5,000 lines which sprawled in every direction across the city. Just by looking at historical photos it’s easy to recognize the absurdity and danger of the whole endeavor, especially during the winter months. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. From high winds to ice storms and fires, the network was extremely vulnerable to the elements. Luckily, phone networks evolved so rapidly that by 1913 the Telefontornet was completely decommissioned in favor of much simpler technology. The remaining shell stood as a landmark until it too caught fire in 1953 and was torn down.”

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Stahlhelm, the stages of the helmet-making process of Stahlhelms for the Imperial German Army; ca.1916.

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In both World Wars, the most distinctive feature of the Germany army uniform was the item that has come to symbolize German militarism in even remotest corners of the world – the helmet, the Stahlhelm. Here, on a table set up outside a steel helmet factory in Lubeck, Germany, a display is set up, showing the varying stages of the helmet-making process for Stahlhelms for the Imperial German Army.


Motel manager pouring acid in the water when black people swam in his pool; ca. 1964.

uWSaBYu *According to multiple sources it was Hydrochloric acid.

This famous photograph by Horace Cort shows a group of white and black integrationists in the former Monson Motor Lodge swimming pool on June 18, 1964. The photo was connected to the St. Augustine Movement, named for the town in Florida where it took place.

The photo was taken right after anti-segregation protesters had jumped into the whites only pool and the manager thought this acid would drive the protesters out. It doesn’t matter that the acid didn’t harm them, his intent was to terrorize them. The protesters were arrested just a few minutes later. This photo made global news at the time and was a major embarrassment for the U.S.

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A view of Moscow; ca.1852.

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