A charming 1972 BBC documentary piece on Welsh miners and factory workers competing in an annual leek growing competition. “You’ve got to know your leeks, grow your leeks, show your leeks. ” From an Adam Curtis post about vegetables, which contains a good many vegetable videos.
British Pathé uploaded this sweet little demo of a 1927 car with front wheels that swivel flat.
This is a spectogram of a dial-up modem handshake sound. Via FlowingData. When I plugged in my first modem for the first time I heard this sound sequence and thought something was broken. Took me a few goes to figure out it was supposed to sound like this. Finally got connected and discovered bulletin boards. #waybackwhen
And Oona Raisanen has shared this image explaining what all those sounds are.
A lovely book “by Massachusetts based artist and teacher Frederik Whitney (1858-1949) on the lost art of blackboard drawing”.
“Ability to draw easily and well on the blackboard is a power which every teacher of children covets. Such drawing is a language which never fails to hold attention and awaken delighted interest”.
I found my Dad’s apprenticeship papers from 1942. He started a five-year Cabinetmaking and Machining apprenticeship on 15 shillings (less than one pound) a week and would have ended it on 67 shillings (over three pounds).
I tried to use the RBNZ inflation calculator to see what the equivalent wages would be in today’s money but unfortunately it wouldn’t throw back past 1961. So I looked at what 1 pound would buy in 1942 (about $85.66 worth of stuff in today’s money) and what 3 pounds would buy in 1947 (about $200.68 worth now).
I don’t understand the apprenticeship system in New Zealand today, but a good place to start researching might be this Step by Step Guide to Becoming a New Zealand Apprentice.
A 1-shilling coin in 1940 looked like this one, which was for sale on eBay ‘Buy Now’ for US$ 49.99.
The shilling would have been made of .500 silver. In 1947 the coins began being cast in cupro-nickel instead.
New Zealand switched to decimal currency in 1967. Some people will remember the TV ad from that year.
The Reserve Bank Museum is terrific for this kind of history (if you’re into that sort of thing).
My Dad died a while ago, and my Mum before him, so I am now in possession of a number of cardboard boxes filled with family things.
I expect I’ll eventually get through them but so for I’ve managed just one or two. From one came a little stack of recipe books bought during various school fundraisers.
These two recipes – for Roast Head of Pig and Roast Opossum – are from the charming 1970 Waharoa Kai Mana Recipe Book, which was created by the Waharoa Primary School PTA to raise funds for the school and sold for NZ$0.50 at the time.
First, select your pig’s head according to size of oven. Place head in your baking dish – clip off ear tips (so they don’t start a fire in the oven). Cover well with beef dripping and bake at about 350 degrees….
“The greatest advance in television since colour television itself.”
A 1960s demo reel for colour set with 7-function Wireless Wizard remote control.
I kinda love this idea. The Economist reported recently on the concept of using pneumatic pipes to deliver goods.
“In the late 19th and early 20th century, underground tubes were used in many cities to speed up the transport of mail between post offices and government buildings.
“Letters were put into capsules, the capsules into the tubes, and compressed air was then used to push the capsules from one station to the next.”
“It was not uncommon at the time to think that pneumatic post of this sort would develop into a wide network, like telephony or electricity.”
Franco Cotana, an engineering physicist at the University of Perugia, in Italy, said the system didn’t grow because of technological limitations at the time – “air compressors are expensive to operate and maintain, and the energy they produce dissipates quickly, so capsules can cover only short distances. But technology now exists to overcome those limitations.
“Pipenet, a system Dr Cotana patented in 2003 and has been developing since then, is based on a network of metal pipes about 60cm (two feet) in diameter. Instead of air pressure, it uses magnetic fields. These fields, generated by devices called linear synchronous motors, both levitate the capsules and propel them forward.
“The capsules are routed through the network by radio transponders incorporated within them. At each bifurcation of the pipe, the transponder communicates the capsule’s destination and the magnets pull it to the left or the right, as appropriate.
“Air pumps are involved, but their role is limited to creating a partial vacuum in the pipes in order to reduce resistance to the capsules’ movement.
“This way, Dr Cotana calculates, capsules carrying up to 50kg of goods could travel at up to 1,500kph—so you could be wearing a pair of jeans or taking photographs with a new camera only a couple of hours after placing your order.”
Rest of the story is here.