The French website Collection Appareils is an impressive online archive of over 10,000 vintage cameras, each with pictures and information!
A titanic work managed and curated by Sylvain Halgand, who classified models by brand, from Ace to Zion, including of course some famous brands such as Canon, Leica, Nikon or Fuji, but also forgotten brands like Lachaize, Cornu, Lumière or Sem.
When Phileas Fogg decides to circle the globe in Around the World in 80 Days, the 1873 novel by Jules Verne, he doesn’t take a suitcase.
“We’ll have no trunks,” he says to his servant Passepartout, “only a carpet bag, with two shirts and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you. We’ll buy our clothes on the way.”
At the time, the suitcase as we know it today hardly existed. In Verne’s day, proper travel required a hefty trunk built of wood, leather, and often a heavy iron base.
The best trunks were waterproofed with canvas or tree sap, as steamships were a reigning mode of travel.
Without this protection, a suitcase in the hold of a heaving, leaky ship would probably have been wet within a few hours, and crushed by sliding trunks within a few more.
The Humble Carpet Bag.
When the suitcase finally did catch on at the end of the 19th century, it was quite literally a case for suits. A typical suitcase came equipped with an inner sleeve for storing shirts, and sometimes a little hat box on the side.
But even in the early 20th century, the “dress-suit case” was only one of countless styles of container that travelers could buy, from steamer trunks to club bags to Eveready portable wardrobes. These were boom times for the baggage business.
Which, of course, probably seems like an utterly useless fact. Most people care about containers much less than they care about the things containers contain—the pairs of pants, the paperback books, the miniature bottles of shampoo.
But the history of the suitcase spans every major transportation revolution since the steamship.
And this means that suitcases carry a lot more than spare socks and underwear—they carry in their design a subtle history of human movement.
There was perhaps nothing so satisfying to a fellow in America in 1878 than to have a massive moustache–or at least the idea of one, a call to high fashion in hairstyles for men.
But since not everyone could produce a garden on their upper lip there was always someone around to take advantage of the necessity of hope–in this case, the hope was provided by Smith & Co of Palatine, Illinois.
They sold a concoction of some sort that promised (on three applications) to produce a heavy moustache and/or beard with ‘no injury”.
The detail from the following snippet, which is actually a tiny detail from a full-page sheet of ads (see below)
A little research reveals the packet for the miracle-growth:
Moustache elixir[Source, Historic New England site]
I’m sorry now that I didn’t collect these before-and-after images, as I’ve seen dozens over the years–this one was a little too beforey-and-aftery to pass up.
View of the Arch of Constantine from the Colosseum by Gioacchino Altobelli (c1865)
Photographs of the act of photography were common in the 20th century but less so in the 19th, when every negative was a challenge to make.
One had to contend with tricky chemistry, cumbersome glass plates and large cameras, so each picture was carefully premeditated – and no photographer would allow a camera to interrupt his or her picture so noticeably unless he or she wanted it there.
Perhaps, then, this image was produced as part of an advertisement for Gioacchino Altobelli’s own enterprise
Whilst conducting research into my family tree, I discovered a small collection of little girls born around between 1897-98 who were named either ‘Diamond’, ‘Jubilee’ or ‘Diamond Jubilee’, in honour of Queen Victoria’s landmark anniversary.
Looking a bit closer and going for a wildcard search, I found that it was a very popular phenomena!
Even the boys didn’t escape; you have to feel a bit sorry for ‘Jubilee Frederick’.
There were also a large number of children, again of both genders, given “Jubilee” as a middle name (at least was easier to hide), and the same thing had happened ten years earlier for the Golden Jubilee!
It wasn’t just anniversaries that were marked in such a way.
Nowadays it’s fairly common for a woman to either keep her maiden name when married, or double barrel it for her children.
Wind things back and such a practise was socially unacceptable; when you married you took your husband’s surname and that was that. But there were women who didn’t want to lose that connection.
My boyfriend discovered one of his direct ancestors was named ‘Inman’. After a quick search of marriage record, he discovered the boy had been given his mother’s maiden name.
Likewise my own grandfather was given the name ‘Avery’. My Mum was under the impression it was after his mother’s brother, in fact it was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name.
We should not forget the tradition for naming the occasional child born at sea.
After all, the voyage to a new life in Australia took several months and if your good wife was already expecting before you set off, then there was a chance she would ‘be delivered of a child’ onboard.
When this happened, it was only natural to name the child after the ship itself. Of course, this is fine if your daughter is born on the good ship Martha, but if that ship is called ‘Ostara’, are you really blessing your child, or cursing them?
People like to use the past as an excuse to change the way we behave in the future.
But if we started using any kind of official list, we’d be robbing ourselves of a tradition that many are ignorant of.
Little Gandalf may be quite proud of his name in the future…
If your child really hates their name, they can change it by deed poll when they’re eighteen.
In the mean time at least you can point out ‘Jubilee Frederick’, and remind them that it could have been worse.