The NYC Wigwam that Wasn’t

The NYC Wigwam that Wasn’t

Anyone who has been to New York for more than a day trip has almost certainly visited Central Park or one of the many museums and art destinations that surround the park.

Central Park, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, was designed by landscape architect and writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the English architect Calvert Vaux in 1858 after winning a design competition. Central Park remains one of the most famous sightseeing spots in New York. The park, with a perimeter of 6.1 miles, was opened on 770 acres of city-owned land and was later expanded to 843 acres. The real estate value of Central Park was estimated by property appraisal firm Miller Samuel to be about $528.8 billion in December 2005.

Central Park’s size and cultural position, similar to London’s Hyde Park and Munich’s Englischer Garten, has served as a model for many urban parks, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Tokyo’s Ueno Park, and Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

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Pajamas for Zeppelins

Pajamas for Zeppelins

LONDON SEES NEW STYLES IN PAJAMAS:
ZEPPELIN SCARES ARE THE REASON

The Zeppelin scares in London have produced new and interesting styles in slumber wear. Londoners, knowing that they may be called forth into the street at any time of night, are now going to bed properly prepared. Pajamas are having a greater vogue for both men and women, probably because the design of the garment permits a measure of modesty in rapid flight

The old-fashioned “nighty” has been almost altogether abandoned.

Source: Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 16, 1915

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25,000 Lomax Manuscript Pages Online

25,000 Lomax Manuscript Pages Online

Today the American Folklife Center announced the online publication of the Lomax Family manuscripts. This project begins today, with access to 25,000 pages created primarily by Alan Lomax during the 1940s and 1950s on the LOC website here.

After 1942, when Congress cut off the Library of Congress’s funding for folk song collecting, Lomax continued to collect independently in Britain, Ireland, the Caribbean, Italy, and Spain, as well as the United States, using the latest recording technology, assembling an enormous collection of American and international culture. In March 2004 the material captured and produced without Library of Congress funding was acquired by the Library, which ‘brings the entire seventy years of Alan Lomax’s work together under one roof at the Library of Congress, where it has found a permanent home.’

God moves on the water

Lightnin’ Washington (vocalist), John A. and Alan Lomax, recordists. Lightnin’ Washington was an African American prisoner in the prison hospital at Darrington State Farm, Texas in 1935 when this was recorded.


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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Omens?

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Omens?

Belief in good omens or harbingers of good luck have been around forever and are part of what makes us human.
  • Select the item in each pair that describes a good omen or something meant to bring good luck.

     

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55 Omens of Bad Luck

55 Omens of Bad Luck

The Journal of American Folklore is an amazing resource. It is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the American Folklore Society. The journal has been published since the society’s founding in 1888. It comes out on a quarterly schedule and incorporates scholarly articles, essays, and other content related to folklore in the US and around the world.

Many individual articles have been digitized and indexed as part of the Early Journal Content project on JSTOR making them “Free to Anyone in the World.” They make up some of the nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone by JSTOR.

This collection was submitted by Mr. A.J. Ritchie and were published in the April 1898 issue of the journal.

Omens of Bad Luck

  • Boots or shoes raised off the floor or ground.
  • Placing the feet on the table.
  • Walking over white flag-stones.
  • Walking under a bridge or ladder.
  • Walking under an elevated railroad when the train is passing over.
  • In removing, to clean the room or house you leave.
  • To kill a spider.
  • To find a spider in your room in the morning.
  • To meet a cross-eyed person first in the morning. (Bad luck for the day.)
  • To carry ink about or spill ink.
  • Red Haired WomanFor a woman to meet a red-haired woman early in the day.
  • For a man to meet a red-haired man early in the day.
  • To have a woman as a caller first on Monday morning.
  • To have a flock of crows fly over your head.
  • To hand salt to another person. (Bad luck to the other person.)
  • After sitting down to the table, to change your place.
  • In dressing, to put on any article of clothing inside out.
  • To stub the left toe.
  • To be born under certain stars known as unlucky stars.
  • To turn a bed on Sunday.
  • To use poplar in any piece of furniture in a house or camp, or for a lumberman to snub his raft to a poplar.
  • To look into a mirror before retiring.
  • To find a horseshoe pointing away from you.
  • For a cock to crow in the evening.
  • To go directly through a house without stopping or sitting down.
  • To meet an old woman.
  • To find a five-leaved clover.
  • To see the moon first through glass.
  • To have a gentleman with a flat foot call on New Year’s Day.
  • Not to kill the first snake you see in the season.
  • For a strange cat to come to the house.
  • For a preacher and a white horse to travel in the same steamer.
  • To meet a lean pig.
  • On finding a cricket in your room at night, to kill it.

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