All posts tagged: history

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

My visit to the Edison Ford Winter Estates was a last minute decision designed to fill time while visiting my in-laws in Florida. Since I hadn’t done any research in advance, all I expected to see was a few historical homes, and maybe an antique car or two. It turns out, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison bought these neighboring homes on the Caloosahatchee River in the late 1920s to work with Henry Firestone on a very specific project. They were concerned with the Unites States’ dependence on foreign rubber, and were determined to find a plant that could be cultivated in the US, allowing for the production of domestic rubber. They constructed a laboratory on the land shared by Edison and Ford, and brought in plants from all over the world to test. Eventually they discovered a plant, goldenrod, that would work. Today the homes on the estate are preserved, along with the laboratory and 21 acre botanical garden created from all of the plants that were tested during the project. There is also a …

The Water Cure

The Leather Funnel is a short story written by Arthur Conan Doyle, during a period of time when he was a bit tired of his more famous literary creation, Sherlock Holmes. Branching out from Doyle’s popular detective makes for an interesting read that centers around dubious artifacts and unsettling dreams. Click to access tales-of-terror-and-mystery-002-the-leather-funnel.pdf

Strange Happenings in December

December is typically a month that horror fans and Halloween enthusiasts bemoan as the glitter encrusted, eggnog soaked, saccharine month of Christmas. I don’t mind the holiday itself, but the commercials, crowds, parties, and overwrought feel goodness that lead up to it in a typical year wears me out. Which is the funny thing about 2020, because many of the things I dread during the holiday season, expensive travel home, office parties, and generally burning out on social obligations aren’t possible this year. I’m essentially off the hook. Unfortunately, that is leaving a whole other group of people who do look forward to those things disappointed. Regardless of what group you fall into, you still have things to look forward to this month. There’s Krampusnatch and the winter solstice to celebrate (more on the solstice later this month), the brightest meteor shower of the year, and dark entertainment to enjoy. I’ve even got a list of Christmas horror movies at the bottom of this post. So muster up some enthusiasm worthy of Gomez Addams, and …

Muse of the Day

General Order No. 3, announcing the total emancipation of slaves, in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1865, freeing the last slaves in America two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued: The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

Mélancolie

After listening to the wistful and nostalgic tone of Francis Poulenc’s Mélancolie, it may not surprise you to know that it was composed in 1940, while Poulenc was living in war torn France. This performance is by Neil Rutman for Noontime Concerts, which streams a new concert from its archives every Tuesday at 12:30.