Archive of: history

  • The past

    Coronet 6-6, Cornbury Park

    Around 5 years ago I had to put my belongings in storage due to a pending move.

    5 years later I finally got them back, and while unpacking my cameras I realised that the Coronet 6-6 still had a film in it.

    Yesterday I got the film back from the developers.

    As best as I can remember (comparing them to existing digital shots from the time, plus when I received the camera), they were taken in Cornbury Park, during the winter of 2010, while I was working at Torchbox.

    This camera was a present from Auntie Marie, who is now sadly gone. So although the memories are bitter sweet, it’s a nice reminder of the power of photography.

  • Time

    Today, on the 13th May 2015, I stood at the top of Elizabeth Tower, next to Big Ben as it struck 3pm.

    Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, and there's Parliament…

    Sometimes our memory can be fuzzy about where we were, or what we were doing, at a particular moment in history, but I will always know exactly where I was at 3pm on the 13th May 2015.

    That’s a moment in time that hadn’t happened before, and won’t happen again, and it’s mine.

  • The power of metadata

    Two Way Street is a fantastic example of what you can do with good metadata around objects. Built by the team at Good, Form & Spectacle it allows you to explore the British Museum collection by multiple facets, including acquisition date, acquisition source, type, material, techniques, and many more.

  • Text lasts

    Text lasts. It’s not platform-dependant, you don’t just get it from one source, read it in one place, understand it in one way. It is not dependent on technology: it is what we make technology out of. Code is text, it is the fundamental nature of technology. We’ve been trying for decades, since the advent of hypertext fiction, of media-rich CD-ROMs, to enhance the experience of literature with multimedia. And it has failed, every time.

    James Bridle – The New Value of Text.

  • It's got dents and burns

    You look at the shuttle, it’s not as if it’s this pristine, shining, gleaming piece of metallic technology – it looks like a ship, it’s got dents and burns and inside multiple crews have whacked the paintwork and you can see scratches and things. They are ships that have been operated and lived in and done these incredible voyages all with their individual characters.

    Piers Sellers, meteorologist and NASA astronaut.

  • A visual history of the credit card

    Fascinating insights via this visual history of the credit card from

    The first bank credit card, the BankAmericard, was unveiled when Bank of America gave out 60,000 unsolicited cards in Fresno, Calif., in 1958. Unlike in the past, when getting a loan might have meant taking a trip to the bank’s basement, this card was a ticket for anyone to spend freely and decide when was best to pay it back.

    Times have changed that’s for sure.

  • Looking down the barrel of a gun

    Starting when she was 16, Ria van Dijk would go to the fair and play on the shooting gallery. Every time she hit the target a camera was triggered to take a picture, which the shooter would as a prize. “In almost every picture #7“ is the result. A chronological series of shots (pun intended) between 1936 and the present day.

    Now 88, Ria van Dijk is still shooting.

    Hat tip: Kottke.

  • The first digital camera

    In December of 1975, after a year of piecing together a bunch of new technology in a back lab at the Elmgrove Plant in Rochester, we were ready to try it. “It” being a rather odd-looking collection of digital circuits that we desperately tried to convince ourselves was a portable camera.

    The story behind the world’s first digital camera

  • Gatorade

    Getting the plane up and down was not the only challenge. Staying airborne — and alert — for countless hours, looking at nothing but sky, was another. I learned the hard way, for example, that you can get diaper rash from Gatorade.

    The things you learn. From an interview with a retired U-2 pilot.

  • Surprising stories behind 20 Muppet characters

    Despite being word-challenged, he manages to do a pretty convincing Little Richard impression and, surprisingly, had mad beatbox skills.

    Things you didn’t know about Beaker, from Surprising stories behind 20 Muppet characters.

    Bonus fact, Gonzo’s original name was “Snarl the Cigar Box Frackle”.

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