The 24 two-minute recordings are believed to include the earliest surviving audio of Christmas time in the UK, if not the world. They were found on wax cylinders belonging to the descendants of the Wall family who recorded many of their Christmas and New Year gatherings on a phonograph machine between 1902 and 1917.
The late 1800s and early 1900s, fueled by early sci-fi by the likes of Jules Verne, was abound with dreams of being able to take a quaint weekend trip to the Moon or through the solar system as easily as one could sail across the Atlantic. And in 1901, an amusement park ride designer concocted an elaborate ship that would take passengers on a virtual journey from the Earth to the Moon and back.
Ever since the beginning of film, Charles Dickens stories have served as good sources of inspiration for filmmakers. The oldest know movie based on a work of Charles Dickens, ‘The Death of Poor Joe’ from 1901 was recently discovered in London, making it the oldest known such Dickensian film.
Georges Méliès’ 1902 short film “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” was only 10 minutes long, but its charming use of story and special effects has been an inspiration to filmmakers for over 100 years. Just recently, the French duo Air released a 30 minute soundtrack for the silent film, which you can listen to for free on NPR.
On November 16, 1904, John Ambrose Fleming invents and patents the thermionic valve, the world’s first vacuum tube. From there, an electronics revolution was born and we’ve been going at breakneck speed ever since. All of the electronics around you and that you deal with on a regular basis wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the vacuum tube. It literally changed everything.
Walk into any bookstore these days and you’ll see a plethora of gay and lesbian fiction. Back in 1906, this wasn’t the case, but there was lesbian fiction nonetheless. In the early 1900s, homosexuality was considered something one just didn’t talk about, and if it was mentioned, it was something that only depraved men did… which makes Gregory Casparian’s The Anglo-American Alliance. A Serio-Comic Romance and Forecast of the Future that much more remarkable.
At this year’s New York International Auto Show, Porsche showed off their brand new Panamara Hybrid, but they also brought along a hybrid of theirs that’s a bit older. As in 111 years older. The Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus uses a small gas-powered motor to charge up electric hubs on the wheels.
None of the original Lohner-Porsche versions are still around, so this replica was painstakingly recreated over the last seven years. They didn’t even have the original drawings, so they had to work from a handful of photographs along with some written descriptions.
When frenchman Louis Mantin died in 1905, he mandated that his house be sealed up for a century, then reopened to the public as a museum. And now it is, effectively becoming a time capsule. The mansion has been largely untouched and became somewhat dilapidated, though through a large grant, it’s been refinished to its pristine state.