Monday, January 30, 2012


Director Henry Hathaway with Gene Tierney and Gary Cooper on the set of the 1941 movie Sundown.

next episode: dogs and nazis (not a good combination)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trouble in the Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz. It is at its narrowest 34 miles wide.

At the top of the map the city of Bandar Abbas is shown. It is the main base of the Iranian Navy. It was formerly known as Cambarão and Port Comorão to the Portuguese,  Gombroon to the English and as Gamron or Gumrun to the Dutch.

Marco Polo visited the port in 1272 and 1293. In 1497, European colonialists headed by Vasco da Gama landed in the region. In 1508, the Portuguese, led by Alfonso de Albuquerque invaded the area with 7 warships, they conquered the city in 1514. Backed by the English navy, the city was recaptured by Shah Abbas the Great from the Portuguese in 1614.

Dutch trading post in Gamron (Bandar Abbas) in 1704 (source).

In 1616 the English East India Company established a trading post in Bandar Abbas. The Dutch wanted to compete so the Dutch East India Company dispatched ships to the city. The first Dutch ships arrived in 1623 and a trading post (a factory) was set up. They improved the relations with the local government by helping them with the expulsion of the Portuguese from Oman. The factory was in operation until 1758.

next episode: Gary Cooper

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Court of the Munich Royal Residence


Hans von Marées: 'Cour de la Résidence royale de Munich' ('Courtyard with the Grotto in the Munich Royal Residence'), 1863. Found on Peacock's Garden Art Blog.

next episode: ?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

City Wall Marrakech

Marrakech city wall (photo RfA, 2010)

The inner city of Marrakech (Morocco) is surrounded by a 12 km long city wall dating back to the 12th century. Its use was more esthetic than defensive, since the rulers had seen city walls in Spain and wanted to have one for their town as well...

The holes are made to attach scaffolding, and for ventilation purposes.

next episode: ?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Civil War Era CDV Hoop Dress Sisters - part I

The carte de visite (CDV) was a type of small photograph the size of a visiting card. This one shows a nice lady in a civil war era hoop dress. I'm no expert in dresses so I hope it's indeed a hoop dress.

next episode: Marrakech

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Isola del Giglio

The island of Giglio. The disaster with the cruise ship Costa Concordia took place near the Punta Gabbianara (slightly above the center of the eastern coast).

Giglio Island, Isola del Giglio in Italian, is one of the seven islands that form the Tuscan Archipelago. It is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. The island's name means Goat Island in Latin and ancient Greek. It has some wide sandy beaches. The population is mainly engaged in fishing, fruit growing and tourism.

Distance from mainland: 9.5 miles
Highest point: 1627 ft
Area: 9.2 sq miles
Population: 1500

The island has been an Etruscan stronghold and it was an important base under the Romans. In 1544 the infamous pirate Barbarossa ('red beard') occupied the island and deports the whole population (700 persons) as slaves to Tunesia. Later the famous De Medici family lived on the island for a while.

Giglio Castello, one of the three municipalities on the island. Nice city walls!

next episode: Hoop Dress Sisters  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Maude Fealy with Hat

I have a lot of Maude Fealy postcards. This particular one shows her with a hat. I'm not a hat aficionado, although sometimes I long back to the days men had to wear top hats. This hat looks like it has been made out of ostrich feathers, it suits her well I think. Maude played in several silent movies. At one point (1913/1914) she even was positioned as a strong competitor to Mary Pickford.

The posting of this picture was triggered by Sepia Saturday.

next episode: Marrakech

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Virtual Online Digital Web Museum

The entrance of the Food Museum

A lot of websites are a kind of museum one way or another. But it is a nice idea to make the site also look like you are inside a museum building. For instance you can vist this Food Museum. The actual exhibition may be a bit disappointing though. For that matter you better visit the Google Art Project.

next episode: ?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Trees Burning Party

Annual burning of Christmas trees in Amersfoort (photo RfA) 

Friday evening on my way home from work I noticed a bunch of fire trucks in the park near where I live. So I decided to take a look. It appeared that the city had collected old Christmas trees for 50 ct each, and this was the moment of igniting the large burn pile!  Luckily the firemen had everything under control, they even had time to take pictures themselves.

next episode: a virtual museum

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Waterloo Veteran of the Month: Monsieur Burg

Grenadier Burg, Grenadier of the Guard with his white beard.

Some of the earliest photographs of veterans are a series of fifteen original sepia views of members of Napoleon’s army taken when these old soldiers were well into their 70’s and 80’s. They were acquired by Mrs. Brown and are now part of the Brown Military Collection of the Anne S. K.Brown University Library, Providence RI.

next episode: Laura

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Twenty Twelve!

Holiday Guests Toasting the New Year in New Amsterdam, 1640.

A happy new 1640 2012 to all my readers!

next episode: a veteran


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