Brady, Mathew – American Photographer

Mathew Brady (1823 to 1896)

Mathew Brady, the child of Irish immigrants, was born in upstate New York in Warren County, but details of his early life are few. Even the year of his birth is an estimate that Brady later offered. Around the age of sixteen, he moved to New York City, making his living as a department store clerk and filling out his income with a small business manufacturing jewelry cases. Photography [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler Hickock)

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok

Unlike the Hollywood nice guy from 1950′s television, the real Wild Bill Hickok was a born killer and compulsive gambler.

Between his birth as James Butler Hickok in 1837 and his 1876 death, Hickok defined the fiercely independent Wild West peacekeeper that never stayed long in one place. Raised to anti-slavery parents in Illinois, Hickok developed a strong sense of loyalty and duty that lasted his entire life. [...] Click here to continue reading.


Battleship Maine – Spanish American War

The Battleship Maine

Construction of the U.S.S. Maine was authorized in August of 1886, and she was launched in 1889 and commissioned in 1895. After several years spent patrolling the East Coast and Caribbean, orders sent the Maine and her crew to Cuba in response to continued civil unrest on the island.

The photograph above is a 1896 image of the ship framed in a sheet iron frame made from remnants of [...] Click here to continue reading.


Panoramic – Definition

Panoramic Views

Accurately rendering a panoramic view has long challenged, obsessed and inspired artists. The trend seems to have sprung up in the 17th century, with works that served both as slightly more helpful, more detailed maps with various public or important buildings marked, but also as advertisements for towns and cities. Matthaeus Merian, a Swiss engraver who spent most of his career in Frankfurt, where he also ran a publishing house passed to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Bakelite

Bakelite

Scandal & the Story of Bakelite Bakelite hit the market in 1907, heralding the arrival of the modern plastics industry. Bakelite was the first completely man made plastic, as until then, plastics such as celluloid, casein, and Gutta-Percha all had as a base a natural material. It was developed by Belgian-born chemist Dr. Leo Hendrick Baekeland who started his firm General Bakelite Company to produce the phenolic resin type plastic. Bakelite was inexpensive [...] Click here to continue reading.


Hoosier and Hoosier Cupboards

Hoosier and Hoosier Cupboards

The word “Hoosier” is one of those words whose origins are lost to time. Even The Oxford English Dictionary offers no real guidance about where the word came from. What we do know is that “Hoosier” was first documented in the mid-1820s, and within a decade, it had entered general usage. John Finley, a Hoosier himself from Richmond, write a poem titled, “The Hoosier’s Nest” that was published in 1833, [...] Click here to continue reading.


O’Sullivan, Timothy H. – Photograph

Timothy H. O’Sullivan (circa 1840 to 1882)

Timothy O’Sullivan immigrated to New York City from Ireland with his parents when he was a small child and it was there that he later found work in Mathew Brady’s photography studio. (Brady, who was afflicted with vision problems that struck when he was still a young man, depended heavily on the talent he found in recruits like O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner.) While O’Sullivan appears to have [...] Click here to continue reading.


Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is in New York City and connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was designed by John Augustus Roebling as a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge. Roebling was killed in an accident just before construction started in 1869. His son Washington A. Roebling who had assisted his father in the design of the Brooklyn bridge and several other projects then took over the job of chief engineer at the [...] Click here to continue reading.


Martinez, Maria – Native American Potter

Maria Martinez and the Martinez Potters

Few craft artists, Native American or otherwise, can claim worldwide fame and appreciation, but these accompanied the life of potter Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo. Through her hard work and generous sharing of her techniques, Maria reintroduced the art of pottery making to her people, providing them with a means of artistic expression and for retaining some aspects of the pueblo way of life.

San Ildefonso Pueblo [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wetherbee, Isaac Augustus

Isaac Augustus Wetherbee, 19th Century Portrait Painter & Photographer

Isaac Augustus Wetherbee (also spelled Wetherby) was born in Providence, Rhode Island on December 6th, 1819 to Isaac Wetherbee and Sophia Greene. He was painting in the Norfolk County / Boston area in the late 1830′s and 1840′s. The 1842 Boston City Directory lists him as a portrait painter and he is thought to have been one of the earliest Daguerreotype photographers. According to the [...] Click here to continue reading.


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