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Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday links

The Long, Unusual History of Pickles.

ICYMI, last Friday's links are here, and include the history of the sneeze guard, how big a tsunami can really get, how to build an igloo, and advice from 1595 on how to slim down in 14 days.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Photograph of Lincoln's First Inauguration

Credit: Library of Congress
This vintage photograph is of Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration on March 4, 1861. The image, one of only three known to exist, shows a large crowd gathered outside the east side of the US Capitol to attend Lincoln’s swearing-in ceremony. Maine’s Bowdoin College Museum of Art recently acquired one copy - the two two other copies are in a Smithsonian Institution collection and the Library of Congress.

It’s thought to have been taken by renowned Scottish-American photographer Alexander Gardner (wiki), known for his work during the US Civil War.

Credit: Library of Congress
 Per Gizmodo
The sheer existence of this 156-year-old photo is a small miracle unto itself. Photos this old, without proper care, will undergo various stages of decay. Photos, slides, and negatives are made by using chemicals that are sensitive to moisture, light, and changes in temperature. As time passes, these chemicals degrade and the image starts to fade away, typically turning yellow and developing cracks. Other factors, such as exposure to oil, dust, dirt and some gases also contribute to picture deterioration.

The type of camera used to take this photograph is not known, but given the time period, it was likely a camera that used a “wet plate” negative process, an important development that allowed for a theoretically unlimited number of positive prints on paper. Despite the blurry, ghost-like features in the photograph, this method was considered fast at the time, requiring only a few seconds for exposure.
More at Gizmodo