Gothic Architecture

5 February 2013
The Notre Dame de Paris in Paris, France, is perhaps the most famous example of Gothic Architecture, 2007. (Source)

The Notre Dame de Paris in Paris, France, is perhaps the most famous example of Gothic Architecture, 2007. (Source)

Nave of Reims Gothic Cathedral (France) looking west. (Vassil; Source)

Nave of Reims Gothic Cathedral (France) looking west. (Vassil/Source)

Gothic architecture arose in Western Europe from the 12th to 15th century. Marked by groined vaulting, pointed arches and the flying buttress, Gothic is one of the most familiar and utilized styles in Europe’s notable cathedrals, abbeys and churches. It was also used outside of religious structures in castles and town halls.

Evolved from Romanesque architecture, Gothic design, at a glance, bares little resemblance to its predecessor. Simple construction, heavy walls and rounded “Romanesque” arches dominated European architecture in the 10th and 11th centuries under Romanesque architecture. Whereas Gothic structures used rich ornamentation while the buildings themselves seem lighter and taller than anything before. However, Gothic utilized  vaulting and arches, albeit pointed instead of round, as did the Romanesque buildings but in a more intricate way. Overall, Gothic architecture is considered far “busier” than Romanesque even though there are fundamental similarities.

The pointed arches were more than decoration. They redistributed weight and allowed structures to be taller with slender columns. Additionally this paved the way for buildings to have more decorative stain glass windows and gave the interior an airier feel. As with other architectural styles, Gothic design varied based on its location in Europe.

  • French Gothic was dominated by flying buttresses, heavy ornamentation and the introduction of the rose window. One of the most famous cathedrals in the world was built in Paris between 1163 and 1250 – Notre Dame de Paris.
Reims Cathedral in Reims, France is a good example of French Gothic incorporating the rose window (located in the center of the cathedral). (Source)

Reims Cathedral in Reims, France is a good example of French Gothic incorporating the rose window (located in the center of the cathedral). (Source)

  • English Gothic was slower than France Gothic in incorporating elaborate ornamentation but did eventually. Lasting from the late 13th to early 16th centuries, English Gothic featured the iconic flying buttresses with more slender columns and high, stained-glass window, to name a few. The early-English Gothic style can be seen all around the country, but the Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury, England is a great example. For famously, the Westminster Abbey in London was created in early 16th century with late-Gothic being the main design influence.
The early English Gothic style is best seen in the Salisbury Cathedral located Salisbury, England. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom. (Source)

The early English Gothic style is seen in the Salisbury Cathedral located Salisbury, England. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom. (Source)

  • In Italy and Germany, it was important for them to try and keep their architectural autonomy. However, they liked the idea of Gothic vaulting which allowed for higher ceilings and grander space. They took it a little further than the French and English architects, by also raising the side aisles to the same height as the main nave (the central area leading to the high altar or the main body of the church). The Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany is a great example of the German Gothic style with its side aisles raised to almost be the same height as the main nave. During World War II, Cologne was heavily bombed by Allied Forces and the Cologne Cathedral withheld 70 hits but did not collapse. It has been said that Allied aircraft purposely did not destroy the cathedral in the later years of the war because the high twin spires could be used easily as a navigational landmark.
Cologne Cathedral in Germany show how German architects interpreted the Gothic style with raised aisle columns along with the nave. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest facade of any church in the world.

Cologne Cathedral in Germany shows how German architects interpreted the Gothic style with raised aisle columns along with the second-tallest spires and largest facade of any church in the world. Additionally, it is the cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. (Source)

Cologne Cathedral stands undamaged while entire area surrounding it is completely devastated. Railroad station and Hohenzollern Bridge lie damaged to the north and east of the cathedral. Germany, April 24, 1945. (National Archives)

Cologne Cathedral stands undamaged while entire area surrounding it is completely devastated. Railroad station and Hohenzollern Bridge lie damaged to the north and east of the cathedral. Germany, April 24, 1945. (National Archives)

By the 15th century the Renaissance style began to flourish in Italy. Gothic architecture gave way to this new architectural design that emphasized classic style and artistic prestige through patronage. In the mid-1700′s, the movement – Gothic Revival (also known as Neo-Gothic or Victorian Gothic) started in England and its popularity grew quickly into the early 19th century. The movement also spread into the United States. Gothic Revival declined sharply in the early to mid-20th century, but it can still be seen in some structures to this day.

Sources
A Digital Archive of Architecture
Victoria and Albert Museum
Sarah Cunliffe, Sara Hunter & Jean Loussier, eds.,  Architecture: A Spotter’s Guide, New York: Metro Books, 2010, 68-75.

Keep Out!, 1945

4 February 2013

Photo Credit: World War II Database

Corporal Luther E. Boger of Concord, N.C., 82nd Airborne Division, reads a warning sign in the street of Cologne, Germany on April 4, 1945. In the background there is a Thompson submachine gun and Panther tank wreck. The building behind the wreck is the Cologne Cathedral. It has been said that the cathedral was not destroyed because it’s tall spires could be used by Allied aircrafts for navigational purposes. This street leads to the Rhine River. From March 6-7th, 1945, Allied troops captured Cologne’s western part while the Germans still had a stronghold on the eastern shore of the Rhine River.

FDR & Wheelchair

3 February 2013

Photo by Margaret Suckley. Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, New York.

“Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fala and Ruthie Bie [a friend's granddaughter] at Hill Top Cottage in Hyde Park, N.Y. The better of two extant photos of FDR in a wheel chair.”

Animals in War: “Lobo,” Vietnam

1 February 2013

[Zim's Note: I have wanted to do a post about the use of animals in war for a while now. Instead of glossing over their collective war efforts, I thought it would be best to make it into a series. Animals have been instrumental during the wars and have been credited with saving many lives. However, they rarely (until fairly recently) receive their due credit. Here are their stories.]

During the Vietnam War, more than 4,000 dogs served in various positions with the United States military forces. Though their scouting and sentry duties, it is believed that these dogs saved up to 10,000 American servicemen. The number of dogs killed in action has been tallied at 232, while 295 dog handlers were also killed during the war. By the end of the conflict, only about 200 dogs returned to the United States, the rest were either euthanized or given to the South Vietnamese who, reportedly, did not know how to handle them. These dogs were considered “a surplus of war.”

Lobo

I came across some Marine Corps photographs of Sgt. Spano and his war dog Lobo. This series shows Sgt. Spano and Lobo completing a parachute jump in Da Nang, Vietnam in August 1968.

“Lift—Lobo gets a lift onto the plane as the jump gets near.”

“Lift—Lobo gets a lift onto the plane as the jump gets near.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Away they go—Spano and Lobo dive out of the plane for the long awaited jump.”

“Away they go—Spano and Lobo dive out of the plane for the long awaited jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Soaring high—With Lobo lowered for the touchdown the two just ride out the jump.”

“Soaring high—With Lobo lowered for the touchdown the two just ride out the jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Water—Sgt. Spano shares a canteen of water with Lobo after the jump.”

“Water—Sgt. Spano shares a canteen of water with Lobo after the jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

“Success—Sgt. Spano and Lobo show their joy after successfully making their first jump.”

“Success—Sgt. Spano and Lobo show their joy after successfully making their first jump.” Photo Credit: Jonathan F. Abel Collection/United States Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections

Online research came up with very little on both Sgt. Spano and Lobo. Sgt. Spano’s name (or at least his last name) does not appear on either the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall or on lists of killed dog handlers. There were more than one dog named “Lobo” serving in Vietnam and two baring the name were killed in action. Lobo (with ear tattoo of “58M4″) was killed February 15, 1969 and Lobo (with ear tattoo of “729M”) was killed June 25, 1970. However, I’ve ruled them out as the Lobo in these photographs since the two killed were listed as Army.

If you know of any other information on these two heroes, please let me know!

Sources:
Jessica Ravitz, “War dogs remembered, decades later,” CNN, February 12, 2010.
The United States War Dog Association

“Got wings? Let’s Fly!”

31 January 2013
Lane County Historical Museum (Catalog Number L82-516-16068)

Lane County Historical Museum (Catalog Number L82-516-16068)

“These young women in costume, including ”wings” on their shoulders, short skirts and boots are posing behind propeller of a bi-plane for the 4th National Amateur Air Meet held at Springfield [Oregon] Airport July 23 & 24, 1938.”

The Face of the One-Dollar Bill

30 January 2013
Salmon P. Chase on the obverse side of the first official $1 bill of the United States in 1862. (Source)

Salmon P. Chase on the obverse side of the first official $1 bill of the United States in 1862. (Source)

“Show me the money!” In order to pay the expenses for the Union Army during the Civil War, the U.S. Treasury decided upon a national “greenback.” Up to this point there was no national paper currency (as we know it today) issued by the government. Initially, it started with the $1 and $2 bills. The one-dollar bill has an interesting history, especially since George was not the first man to be featured on the bill.

Portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, officer of the United States government. (Cropped Photo Credit: Mathew Brady/Library of Congress)

Portrait of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, officer of the United States government. (Cropped Photo Credit: Mathew Brady/Library of Congress)

The U.S. Treasury was ordered the task of creating the currency. Salmon P. Chase, a former senator, was serving as Secretary of the Treasury under President Lincoln. He was responsible for designing the original $1 bill in 1862. When searching for a portrait to grace the front of the bill, he did not look far. He chose himself. Hoping to run for president, he probably used this opportunity to get his ‘face’ out there.

A few years later the Supreme Court declared that the money designed during the Civil War unconstitutional. By 1869 a newly created $1 bared the portrait of the first president – George Washington – who has been on the bill ever since.

Chase and Lincoln had, what one could call, a love/hate relationship. Lincoln depended on Chase and his contacts to hold the interest of the Radical Republicans. Chase and Lincoln both shared strong anti-slavery ideals and agendas. Chase tried twice to resign but Lincoln denied both attempts. He finally accepted Chase’s third resignation, but gave Chase the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court position later that year.

Chase failed to receive the nomination to run for the presidency twice. However, his portrait graced the $10,000 Federal Reserve Note from 1929 until it was discontinued after the Great Depression. Chase National Bank was named after him, even though he was not connected to the bank. The bank has since evolved into JPMorgan Chase, if you have a credit card that bares part of that name – you now know why.

Salmon Chase on the $10,000 bill. It was the highest denomination US currency ever to publicly circulate. Although a $100,000 bill featuring the portrait of Woodrow Wilson was issued, its purpose was to transfer funds between Federal Reserve Banks, and not to pass in retail transactions. Since 1969, the highest denomination note issued in the US has been the $100 bill. (Photo Credit: Museum of American Finance)

Salmon Chase on the $10,000 bill. “It was the highest denomination US currency ever to publicly circulate. Although a $100,000 bill featuring the portrait of Woodrow Wilson was issued, its purpose was to transfer funds between Federal Reserve Banks, and not to pass in retail transactions. Since 1969, the highest denomination note issued in the US has been the $100 bill.” (Photo Credit: Museum of American Finance)

Sources:
Ethan Trex, “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Salmon Chase,” Mental Floss, May 21, 2010.
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Museum of American Finance
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

New York Public Library Lions, 1948

29 January 2013
Photo Credit: National Archives

Photo Credit: National Archives

“The lion statues at the New York Public Library, with a mantle of snow during the record December 1948 snowfall.”

“The bitter tears of Johnny Cash”

28 January 2013

[via Salon]

[Zim's Note: The article is a bit long but definitively worth the read if you like Johnny Cash and/or Native American topics.]

The untold story of Johnny Cash, protest singer and Native American activist, and his feud with the music industry

By Antonino D’Ambrosio, Sunday, Nov 8, 2009

Johnny Cash touring Wounded Knee with the descendants of those who survived the 1890 massacre in December of 1968.

Johnny Cash touring Wounded Knee with the descendants of those who survived the 1890 massacre in December of 1968.

In July 1972, musician Johnny Cash sat opposite President Richard Nixon in the White House’s Blue Room. As a horde of media huddled a few feet away, the country music superstar had come to discuss prison reform with the self-anointed leader of America’s “silent majority.” “Johnny, would you be willing to play a few songs for us,” Nixon asked Cash. “I like Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie From Muskogee’ and Guy Drake’s ‘Welfare Cadillac.’” The architect of the GOP’s Southern strategy was asking for two famous expressions of white working-class resentment.

“I don’t know those songs,” replied Cash, “but I got a few of my own I can play for you.” Dressed in his trademark black suit, his jet-black hair a little longer than usual, Cash draped the strap of his Martin guitar over his right shoulder and played three songs, all of them decidedly to the left of “Okie From Muskogee.” With the nation still mired in Vietnam, Cash had far more than prison reform on his mind. Nixon listened with a frozen smile to the singer’s rendition of the explicitly antiwar “What Is Truth?” and “Man in Black” (“Each week we lose a hundred fine young men”) and to a folk protest song about the plight of Native Americans called “The Ballad of Ira Hayes.” It was a daring confrontation with a president who was popular with Cash’s fans and about to sweep to a crushing reelection victory, but a glimpse of how Cash saw himself — a foe of hypocrisy, an ally of the downtrodden. An American protest singer, in short, as much as a country music legend.

(more…)

Free Chest X-Rays for Tuberculosis, 1955

27 January 2013
Photo Credit: Jackson, H. Francis/University of Washington Libraries

Photo Credit: Jackson, H. Francis/University of Washington Libraries

“Crowd standing by sign advertising free chest x-ray screening on Crown Hill, Seattle, ca. 1955.”

Odd Ads: Scotch Tape

26 January 2013

I came across this 1940′s advertisement on Pinterest and had to share it. I have heard of odd things being used as haircut templates but this is the first time Scotch Tape has been thrown into the mix. According to the ad, “Fix fringe to forehead with “SCOTCH” Tape and cut across top of tape. Fringe cuts straight, hair trimmings stick to tape – and won’t fall in eyes.” Based on that cut, bangs falling into her eyes will not be a problem for a LONG time….

This ad has also inspired a new website series, “Odd Ads of the Past.” So stay tune for odd advertisements of the past!

In Their Words – Betty White

25 January 2013
(Found via Huffington Post/Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

(Found via Huffington Post/Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

“Friendship takes time and energy if it’s going to work. You can luck into something great, but it doesn’t last if you don’t give it proper appreciation. Friendship can be so comfortable, but nurture it-don’t take it for granted.”

- Betty White, actress, comedian and writer

Attempting the World’s Largest Omelet, Washington, ca. 1929-1932

24 January 2013
Photo Credit: Vern C. Gorst/University of Washington Libraries

Photo Credit: Vern C. Gorst/University of Washington Libraries

Woman with slabs of bacon tied to her feet standing in a giant skillet holding an enormous wooden spatula in an attempt to create the world’s largest omelet, Chehalis, Washington, ca. 1929-1932.

Crowd surrounding a woman skating around a giant skillet with slabs of bacon tied to her feet, holding a giant wooden spatula, Chehalis, Washington, ca. 1929-1932

Photo Credit: Vern C. Gorst/University of Washington Libraries

Crowd surrounding a woman skating around a giant skillet with slabs of bacon tied to her feet, holding a giant wooden spatula, Chehalis, Washington, ca. 1929-1932.

Alaska – 2 Cents per Acre

23 January 2013
The cancelled check for the purchase of the Alaska territory. The check was issued August 1, 1868, and made payable to the Russian Minister to the United States, Edouard de Stoeckl. The receipt indicates that de Stoeckel accepted full payment on behalf of the Emperor of Russia at the U.S. Treasury Department, Washington, DC. (National Archives)

The cancelled check for the purchase of the Alaska territory. The check was issued August 1, 1868, and made payable to the Russian Minister to the United States, Edouard de Stoeckl. The receipt indicates that de Stoeckel accepted full payment on behalf of the Emperor of Russia at the U.S. Treasury Department, Washington, DC. (National Archives)

In 1867 the United States, led by Secretary of State William Seward, purchased the Alaska territory from Russia. After controlling most of the area that is now Alaska from the late 1700s until 1867, Russia sold the territory for $7.2 million dollars. This equals out to roughly two cents per acre. The U.S. gained a new territory of around 600,000 square miles. Alaska was admitted into the union as the 49th state in 1959, also making it the largest state in the United States.

Alaska’s Heritage

Bicycle for Four

22 January 2013
Wallace Kirkland—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Wallace Kirkland—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

“Four-man bicycle is powered by five chains and has brakes on both its wheels. The bike was built by Art Rothschild (top position) who broke three ribs while learning how to ride it.”

W. Eugene Smith, Battle of Saipan, 1944

21 January 2013

W. Eugene Smith—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

“Photographer W. Eugene Smith’s picture of a Marine drinking from his canteen during 1944′s Battle of Saipan is as iconic a war picture as any ever made. In fact, when the U.S. Postal Service released a “Masters of American Photography” series of commemorative stamps in 2002, Smith was included — and this image was chosen as representative of his body of work.”

LIFE

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