Thursday, May 5, 2016


Pour La Victoire has a lovely post this week on the poupee de mode. Today's fashion puppets tend to be taller, and to have reality shows, but the idea remains the same - get the images out to the public, on trends and fashions ... in the cheapest way possible. Ahem.

Many people have heard of the hypocaust, the ancient system of whole-building heating perfected and made most famous in the West by the Romans. I expect fewer of us have run across ancient air-conditioning: so enjoy a quick virtual trip to Kuwait, where a centuries-old evaporative cooling system has been unearthed at the island of Failaka.

Elsewhere on The History Blog, our author says "An old, damaged tin can may not seem like much of an archaeological discovery" - clearly, this guy hasn't met my pal Mojourner, an archaeologist himself and a tin-can enthusiast since way back. Still, the link above makes for an interesting look at high-end tins of the 19th century, a curious bit about onanism, and a whole lot of info about turtle soup. Ya know, in case you were curious whether there'd ever been such a thing!

Okay, and I really have to pause, because - nineteenth century dietetic magical obsessions with "aching sensibility" (a term I find hilarical) are sort of fascinating in a way. Don't even ask what Dr. Graham would have served out of a tin. (Hint: not turtle soup, he was vegetarian.)

But how many are there in Blackburn Lancashire ... ?

... It's been a long while since I linked to Isis' Wardrobe, but a recent post has a GLORIOUS array of images ... of holes! Centuries of simple to sumptuous design and function: the holes in our clothes.

The name Leaphart is plangently evocative.


Me said...

The corset looks super uncomfortable, but some of the gowns on the website are nice! Interesting to read about the ancient cooling system

DLM said...

There are so many misconceptions about corsets. One, that they're inherently uncomfortable. Two, that they're meant to squeeze a body to medically dangerous distortion.

I have ongoing issues with the whole idea that everyone in the past was dirty and stupid - and I have an equal problem with the idea we today are so damned smart (or clean). Take one look around, any day of the week, and humanity is as it ever was. We've always been brilliant and yet self-deluding. We've always been innovators and yet also cling to tradition, we fear change. The "oh the dirty stupid past" tag on this blog addresses the idea of chronological bigotry over and over again.

As it happens, American Duchess has a GREAT post right now, about stays (what we sometimes call corsets):

It's a good read, and includes great photos. Recommended. :) The corset is much more than a goth chick's method to seduce a goth dude.

Me said...

I'll check that out ;)