This is exactly what is needed in the Libraries - forget carrels and collaborative meeting spaces - HAMMOCKS.
Reblogging ourselves because it’s “National Hammock Day” - why not? There’s a surprise hammock aficionado if you check out the entire brochure for J.B. Patterson’s Textile Novelties.
It has been brought to my attention that in the tags on last week’s post for Cow Appreciation Day (not really a holiday) the link to the YouTube video for the song “I Like Cows" by the Minneapolis band The Suburbs, which I quoted from liberally, was incorrect.
It has been amended for your listening pleasure. If you like that sort of thing.
Oh, hello there!
Friendly skeleton from Natural History for the use of schools and families (1864)
Jean Picard - Scientist of the Day
Jean Picard, a French astronomer, was born July 21, 1620. In 1669-70, Picard successfully measured the length of a degree of latitude. He carved up eighty miles of open country north of Paris into 13 adjoining triangles. He carefully measured one side of one triangle with measuring rods, and then measured all the other sides by triangulating with precision quadrants. After he had thus measured this line of triangles, he set up a zenith telescope (one that looks straight up) at the two endpoints and sighted on a star, and determined that the two endpoints were 1 degree and 12 minutes apart. He concluded, therefore, that for a separation of precisely one degree, the two points would be 69.07 miles apart, which is thus the length of one degree of latitude at the latitude of Paris. Assuming the earth were a perfect sphere and every degree were like every other, this would mean that the earth has a circumference of 24,865 miles.
Within the next eighty years, it would be discovered by a French expedition to Ecuador that a degree of latitude on the equator is shorter than one at Paris, and another French expedition would determine that both are shorter than one in Lapland. This means that the earth is not a sphere, but is shaped more like a grapefruit, being wider at the equator than through the poles. Picard’s Mesure de la Terre (1671, issued 1676) was one of the first publications of the recently-founded Paris Academy of Sciences; we have a copy in the History of Science Collection.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Catalog of patterns for hairwork including rings, bracelets, watch fobs, and of course designs for mourning jewelry.
Per the price list in the back, the mourning hair art pictured would be $7.50-$13 including frame. Bargain?
For more hairwork, check out the blog post one of our librarians at the Cooper-Hewitt wrote.
For this throwback Thursday, a pic of Smithsonian Libraries’ wonderful Interlibrary Loan staff with some cutting edge 1994 technology (note the “pen” style barcode scanner.) As a bonus - the view of our catalog in 1994.
50% of those pictured are still wonderful, and still with Interlibrary Loan - lookin’ good Mike (far right) and Wanda (far left)!
Who remembers the days before digital photography? The fumes in the darkroom, the surprise when your picture actually turned out, the thumbs….oh, the thumbs!
Kodak film ad from the early 20th century. From the National Museum of American History Library’s trade literature collection.
In some circles, July 15th is celebrated as National Cow Appreciation Day, but here in the Libraries it’s always cow appreciation day - so go out there and give that special heifer in your life a big hug!
Image taken from “Van Pelt’s Cow Demonstration" (1911).
There are 3 parts to the campaign:
- Completely transcribe and review Baird’s Index of Correspondence
- Upon completion of Baird’s Index, you’ll UNLOCK the diary of one of Baird’s correspondents. Who will it be? Watch this space (and Twitter & Facebook) for more details. With these projects, you’ll have a window into how the Smithsonian’s early professional social network was established, using telegraph and scientific observations from around the world.
- Connect with us here at the Smithsonian via a Google+ Hangout on Air (like this one) to get behind-the-scenes knowledge about Baird from Pam Henson, the director of the Institutional History Division of the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Here’s the catch: you only have 2 weeks! If you contribute to help push the Index to completion, you will get a special invitation to participate in the behind-the-scenes webcast. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on a fantastic opportunity to learn about Baird and early Smithsonian history from the esteemed and entertaining Pam Henson, the director of the Institutional History Division of the Smithsonian Institution Archives!
Aw yeah! We <3 Baird. He donated his personal library to establish the U.S. National Museum (USNM) Library (now the National Museum of Natural History Library.)
Plus, impressive facial hair.
Je me trompe ou il commence à faire plus chaud ici?
Jouyeux quatorze juillet everyone!
Original image from La Guirlande (1919)
It’s James McNeill Whistler’s birthday! Celebrate by admiring his palette, searching for his butterfly signature in our fully digitized James McNeill Whistler collection, 1863-1906, circa 1940, or going to freersackler and blissing out in the Peacock Room.
Scanning book after book can often leave us at the Libraries Imaging Center feeling quite peckish. Thankfully, past readers of the items we digitize, sometimes leave scrumptious snacks to munch on!
Did we really almost forget Nikola Tesla’s birthday? Shame on us! The ever fascinating Tesla was born July 10, 1856 to Serbian parents in what is now Croatia. This image of Tesla is from the February 1919 issue of Electrical Experimenter. Tesla published what amounts to a pretty nifty autobiography, My Inventions, in the publication:
III. My Later Endeavors
See all our copies of The Electrical Experimenter we’ve digitized, where you can find some of the other articles he penned:
Tesla’s Views on Electricity and the War in August 1917, p.30
The Effect of Statics on Wireless Transmission, January 1919, p.627
Famous Scientific Illusions in February 1919, p.692
The True Wireless in May 1919, p.27
Electrical Oscillators in July 1919, p.228
Galileo, pop-up Euclid and a manuscript written in infamous iron gall ink were among the treasure our interns saw yesterday. Not pictured: Wonder Woman No. 1 (yes, really!).
So who’s it going to be? Argentina or the Netherlands?
On the left, Argentina’s national flower, the ceibo, or coral tree (Erythrina crista galli) and on the right, the tulip, which is the Netherlands’ national flower.
Coral tree from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and the tulip from our Seed Catalog Collection.