The Lattimer Massacre, north-eastern Pennsylvania, 1897.

The anthracite miners of northeastern Pennsylvania were early members of the United Mine Workers of America. In 1897, anthracite miners were faced with low wages, poor working conditions and sporadic work. The miners struck to improve these conditions, but poor coal market conditions led coal operators to harden their opposition to the miners’ demands. The […]

Eddie Mabo, Indigenous Land Rights Advocate, 1936-1992.

Edward (Eddie) Koiki Mabo, was born on Mer (Murray) Island in 1936. He was exiled from the Island when he was 16, and worked across northern Queensland and the Torres Strait. He then settled in Townsville with his young family in 1962. Eddie established Australia’s first black community school in 1973. In 1982 Eddie Mabo […]

Queen Nanny, Slave Rebellion Leader, Jamaica, circa 1730s

Nanny, featured on the Jamaican $500 bill, was the leader of a group of slaves who revolted against their British oppressors. Queen Nanny was born into slavery sometime during the 1680s, a child of the Gold Coast, which is now Ghana. At some point Nanny, reportedly of royal blood, was able to escape a British […]

The Lowell Mill Girls Strike, Massachusetts 1836.

A group of Boston capitalists built a major textile manufacturing center in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the second quarter of the 19th century. The first factories recruited women from rural New England as their labor force. These young women, far from home, lived in rows of boardinghouses adjacent to the growing number of mills. The industrial […]

Victor Potticary, a Person of Interest.

I first met Vic Potticary in 1973 and 38 years later regard him to be one of the single biggest influences of my life. But what an annoying bastard he could be! When we were working the Hansard shift setting Parliamentary Debates, he would prattle…

Esther, Nick and the “Rocket Room.”

When the Netley complex was built it was claimed to be the most up-to-date printing establishment in the southern hemisphere, with the latest equipment and amenities one could want. It’s a pity that it was set up mostly for hot metal, not catering for the revolution of computer typesetting just around the corner. To go […]

William Cuffay, Chartist and Transported Convict, 1788-1870.

William Cuffay (1788-1870), the son of a former slave, was a leading figure in the Chartist movement, the first mass popular political movement in Britain. He was transported to Australia for allegedly planning an uprising against the British government. William Cuffay was born on a merchant ship in the West Indies in 1788, the son […]

Treating Coulrophobia: The fear of Clowns.

Clowns line up during the 22nd Latin American clown convention at Revolución monument, Mexico. Image Credit: Photograph by Edgard Garrido/Reuters. In order to be able to treat coulrophobia, one needs to analyze what is the origin of clown phobia: • Is it the fear of unknown? • The fact that behind the smiley face there […]

Rise and Fall of First Generation Phototypesetting – 2.

Compugraphic In the late 1960s Mergenthaler was purchasing perforator terminals to drive its lead casting Linotype machines, from a Massachusetts company named Compugraphic. This led to a new development… At this time Photon was the leading, if not the only, phototypesetter manufacturer; its president was a man named Bill Garth. He wanted to produce a […]

Rise and Fall of First Generation Phototypesetting – 1.

The Photon Begins It All. It really began shortly after the end of World War II, when two Frenchmen, Higonnet and Moyrou, developed a viable phototypesetter that used a strobe light and a series of optics to project characters from a spinning disk onto photographic paper. They licensed their patents to a Massachusetts firm called […]