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All of British Pathé’s film archive now on YouTube

If you thought the New York Public Library’s map release was a time sink, you’d best settle your affairs and fully stock your bomb shelter because British Pathé has released its entire archive of 85,000 newsreels, documentaries and raw footage on YouTube. British Pathé was once a dominant feature of the British cinema experience, renowned [...]

1940s Chicago in living color

A rare color film of Chicago made in the 1940s was discovered at an estate sale in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the south side of Chicago by a professional film colorist, fortuitously enough. The canister was labeled “Chicago Print 1? which was intriguing enough to entice Jeff Altman to spend $40 to buy the [...]

First day of the Somme in a 24-foot cartoon

The Battle of the Somme began at 7:30 AM on July 1, 1916. At the end of that first day, 20,000 British troops were dead and 40,000 injured, the worst day in British Army history. The French, their numbers weakened by Verdun, had 1,590 casualties, the Germans 10,000-12,000. These horrific figures didn’t stop the battle. [...]

Leicester group's Orpheus Project releases S.P.Q.R. - Roman inspired music CD

An ancient history resource article by Mary Harrsch © 2013 The Orpheus Project, a Leicester based early music group, have released a new CD of ancient Roman-inspired music entitled S.P.Q.R. The album is the result of four years research...Show More Summary

Too Much Johnson found in Italy

Too Much Johnson, in addition to being an irresistible double entendre, is a silent movie made by Orson Welles in 1938 as a companion piece to the eponymous 1894 play by William Gillette being staged by the Mercury Theatre, Welles’ New York City repertory company. The film, much like Gaul, was divided into three parts: [...]

18th c. wooden railway found in Newcastle shipyard

Archaeologists excavating the site of the Neptune Shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne, northeastern England, before development have discovered a 25-meter (82 feet) stretch of an 18th century wooden railway. These rails weren’t transporting trains — they wouldn’t be invented until the next century — but rather wooden wagons, aka chaldrons, pulled by horses. This is [...]

Color films of Britain in the 1920s

A reader — he knows who he is — pointed me to this video, a remarkable color film of London in 1927 that has been making the Internet rounds the past couple of days. The uploader notes that it’s the work of British film pioneer Claude Friese-Greene using a color process invented by his father [...]

Tesla Wardenclyffe laboratory bought for museum

Last year’s hugely successful Indiegogo campaign to raise $850,000 for the nonprofit Tesla Science Center to build a museum dedicated to the genius inventor Nikola Tesla at his Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham, New York, has borne fruit. The 15.69-acre laboratory site and all its buildings are no longer the property of Belgian multinational Agfa. As [...]

Explorator 16.03

I’m posting this here for now because Yahoo isn’t letting me send it out; I await email from technical support:   ================================================================ explorator 16.03                                     May...Show More Summary

Notre Dame gets new bells for her 850th birthday

Notre Dame de Paris, the Gothic cathedral that is one of the most famous churches in the world, turns 850 years old this year and has gotten a new set of nine bells for a birthday present. The new bells range in size from 767 kilos (1691 lbs) to 1.91 tons. They were blessed in [...]

Concussion and PTSD in the Ancient World

The Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus depicting Roman conquest of Barbarians, 2nd - 3rd century CE. Photographed at the Palazzo Altemps, Museo Nazionale Romano, in Rome Italy by Mary Harrsch. After I suggested in my review of "Semper Fidelis...Show More Summary

Medieval clapper bridge swept away in flood

Tarr Steps is a clapper bridge (a bridge constructed using unmortared stone slabs) over the River Barle in Exmoor National Park in Somerset. It’s at least 600 years old — it is referenced in primary sources starting in the 1400s — but some theories date it to the Bronze Age, as early as 1000 B.C. [...]

The Year in History Blog History

I said in last year’s Year in History Blog History that I would attempt to make this a yearly tradition, so welcome to the second annual Year in History Blog History! Just a few days ago I was griping about the endless parade of crappy best-of lists so prevalent in the press between Christmas and [...]

Colosseum Restoration Coming Soon?

I have definitely been remiss in covering all the assorted goings-on with proposed restoration of the Colosseum by the Tod shoe folks and bits falling off and the whole thing sloping, so in anticipation of better coverage from me on this sort of thing, here’s a brief item on where we’re at in terms of [...]

How Do You Raise A Man?

On October 28, the following review of A Boy of the Agoge appeared on amazon.com. It was contributed by "Thomas E." -- not further identified. I'd like to share it with you, and my thanks to Thomas E! Helena P. Schrader has the kind of academic credentials that make you wonder what you did with your life. Show More Summary

In Explorator 15.23

Forgot to post this the other day: ================================================================ ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME (AND CLASSICS) ================================================================ A major Roman mosaic find from...Show More Summary

Earliest films shot in natural color digitally restored

In 1899, British photographer Edward Raymond Turner and his financier Frederick Lee patented a process for making natural color moving pictures. Color was seen in film from the very beginning. The Annabelle Serpentine Dance was filmed in Edison’s Black Maria Studios in 1895, but it was hand-tinted after the film was shot. At least three [...]

Jesus Monkey restoration eclipses original

On Monday, August 6th, a group from the Centro de Estudios Borjanos (CESBOR), an institution dedicated to research and support of the history and culture of the small town of Borja, outside Zaragoza in the autonomous region of Aragon, northeastern Spain, visited a local church to examine the condition of a certain fresco. The painting [...]

I am the very model of a staunch Roman Republican

I don’t think we’ve ever posted this one here before and a tip o’ the pileus to Joanne Conman for reminding us of its existence … goes to some Gilbert and Sullivan tune, of course … here’s the first verse: I am the very model of a staunch Roman Republican I like to read from [...]

Stolen “Sarcophagus of the Quadrigas” returns after 21 years

An exquisite yellow marble sarcophagus carved in high relief with quadrigae, four-horse chariots, racing at the Circus Maximus has been returned to its hometown of Aquino, about 60 miles south of Rome, 21 years after it was stolen from the Church of Santa Maria della Libera. The sarcophagus, a masterpiece of Roman funerary art from [...]

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