A Daily History of Holes, Dots, Lines, Science, History, Math, the Unintentional Absurd & Nothing |1.6 million words, 7500 images, 4 million hits| Press & appearances in The Times, Le Figaro, MENSA, The Economist, The Guardian, Discovery News, Slate, Le Monde, Sci American Blogs, Le Point, and many other places... 4,200+ total posts
It seems to me that this is the first time that a spotter's guide to enemy aircraft appeared in The Illustrated London News for WWI--ditto the Illustrirte Zeitung. I luckily own both journals covering the war years, and I've been through every page of coverage, and I do believe that this is probably a very early display of German aircraft identification for popular use. Of course it couldn't really get that much earlier, as the war was on for 150 days or so. And the "air forces" in general were very new--the German army received their first aircraft in 1910 for what would eventually become the (for France it was 1911), so the concept of a unified fighting force of the air was still very new. In another 1111 days or so, the aircraft losses for the Entente and the Central Powers would be about 110,000, or about 5,500 of these pages showing destroyed aircraft.
In the last day or so I've been checking through some of my popular journals looking for references of the first usage of a tank in combat in WWI (which occurred in April, 1917). Popular Mechanics had a quick reference in their monthly issue for Map 1917, though now that I am into September 1917 for Scientific American I haven't found anything on the tank in its pages. (Still to come is the Illustrated London News which I do recall having a large piece on the tank in April, 1917; and also the Illustrirte Zeitung, which I also recall having something on the tank in their place quite quickly following the tank's appearance, which was an introduction to a new form of warfare that caught Germany very much by surprise.
[Popular Mechanics, August, 1917, pg 307]
It will no doubt be of interest to many that in August 1917, just four months after the first use of the tank that Popular Mechanics had a fairly detailed article for children of all ages on constructing a toy tank. Almost as quickly as a monthly magazine can report on an event, Popular Mechanics did so and then very quickly thereafter had a DIY project in its pages of the new innovation. I reprint the four-page article in full:
[This expandable image is from the blog's copy of the publication--full text can be found at the Internet Archive, here: https://archive.org/details/cu31924083814453]
The idea of the frontier in American history has been around for quite some time, made famous and mostly-invented (and closed) by Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893, and expanded, imagined, enticed, magnified, micro-analyzed, and generally messed with ever since. There have been all sorts of frontiers introduced into the study of the birth, expansion and filling-up of this country, from the very earliest colonial periods of Indian frontiers, “far-western” river frontiers of the Connecticut, Delaware, Hudson (!) and Susquehanna, to the Appalachian frontier of the early western reaches of the colonies, to the transportation frontier, the slavery frontier, the gold and mining frontier, the gun frontier, and so on.
Here's another bit to add: the newspaper frontier.
I just happened upon a volume of the US Census of 1880, with a special report by S.N.D. North entitled History and Present Condition of the Newspaper and Periodical Press of the United States…and published in 1882. What provoked me was the map of Texas newspapers for 1880. It very clearly, and like no other map of its kind, delineates a fantastic line/frontier between the Texas with newspapers and the Texas without newspapers. We see very clearly that the frontier of the newspaper stops fairly abruptly (and wonderfully) at the 100th meridian, with only two newspapers in all of the rest of Texas found beyond that point (and those just barely beyond the 100th. And it’s the 100th meridian that mostly marks the vertical middle of the country, running through North and South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, the Texas/Oklahoma borders, and so into Texas—if you folded this map vertically in half it folds virtually on the 100th meridian. An odd bit, it is, half of the country and then approaching half of Texas.
I should report that the newspapers west of the 100th meridian were in Kinney County (population 4,440) with the Fort Clark News (established in 1880, at exactly the year of census) and Donley County (population 160, with the monthlyClarendon News and a 50-cent annual subscription rate). The newspaper development also sort of followed the frontier fort development, almos tall of which (but four) were east of the 100th.
Of course the population and easier-natural-resources are located east of this point, I know, but it is still quite a jolt to see the line of newspapers get drawn in the sand so vividly. There isn’t anything else quite like this so far as the newspapers go, except, a little, for Florida, where the line gets drawn north and south, splitting the peninsula roughly in half, the southern part holding only five counties at this point.. But it is a much more robust image for Texas given the number of newspapers that were being published—280 periodicals and newspapers for Texas versus 45 for Florida, with 11,374 in the entire country*—so that the difference between the have-newspapers and haven’t-newspapers in Texas is that much more vivid.
Texas needed more papers: there were 1.5 million people living in the massive state in 1880, almost twice as many as there were in 1870, and almost half of what there would be there in 1900. That was another story, entirely—even in 1880, which is only 130 years ago, there were only 270,000 people living in the entire state, not even close to half of the county population of Pinelas today.I’m just enjoying the surprise of the straight-edge frontier in Texas.
The deal too was that Texas wasn't at the top of the lisst for average area for each publication per square mile, with each periodical providing coverage for 936 miles. But that again is for Texas east of the 100th meridian--throw in the rest of the state, and that number skyrockets. (There were 13 states with a higher mileage distribution than Texas, topped by Indian Territory,m with basically nothing, with each paper servicing an area of 21,000 square miles.
Also, Texas' 225 counties had 119 counties publishing newspapers and/or peridoicals, compared to the national figures, which were 2,605 counties and 2,073 publishing papers.
*Just for the sake of comparison, the number of newspapers and periodicals per state for 1880 was as follows: Illinois, 1017; New York, 1411; Pennsylvania, 973; Ohio, 774; New Jersey 215. Also, oddly, the average circulation of the Florida and Texaspapers was roughly the same: 1,282 for Texas and 1306 for Florida (with an average for the country at 4137).
The following is a relatively prefunctory visualization of data, found in the Scientific American for March 31, 1917. It displays the populations of eight U.S. territories in relation to that of the United States, standing here as a professorial Uncle Sam to somewhat wincing representatives from the territories (including Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, Guam, Samoa, and the Danish Islands).
Earlier in this blog I made a quick post for an interesting graphic for the American School of Correspondence--here we have another design intimating a medico-sociological structure based upon income. It probably isn't that far from the truth, though I seldom see it displayed in such a fashion. No doubt the difference in facial appearances and their associated income has to do with the level of work and the draining effect of long-term physical work. This image was published in Illustrated World in February, 1916--at this point, life expectation for males was about 50 and females about 54
No doubt there exist many opportunities to mine the radio broadcasting past with the statistics in this publication, though for my purposes now, I'm just reproducing a few of its very engaging graphic displays of information. The document, The Good New Summer Time, a Probe of the Summertime Listening Audience of Today, published by the National Broadcasting Company, and printed in 1936, contains useful information regarding programming and advertising for the relatively new medium of radio. The standards for the graphics are both light and a little complex--for example, in the display immediately below/center in the montage, we see a comparison between summer and winter adult audiences, the data points plotted in units of a standing man and seated woman listening to the radio.
There really wasn't that much data to be displayed, though the designers managed to fill the page in a pleasing way. It seems, overall, that this was an uncommon effort to display a small amount of highly useful limited-distribution data in an engaging manner.
Continuing what has become a series of posts from 1917 (all this prompted by looking for early mentions of the first use of a tank in battle during WWI) we come to The Enormity section. There are others to come, but there is something extra here in measuring production in terms of tall buildings--in this case, the Woolworth Building. In 1917 this was the world's tallest building, and was so from 1911-1930, with 53 floors and 792' high, its neo-Gothic greatness replaced by the Bank of Manhattan (928') and then by the Chrysler Building, followed by the Empire State Building, and then the World Trade Center, and so on, which I mention just to put the Woolworth into perspective as a famous building capable of being used as a standard of measure. What our graphic from the Scientific American (January 6, 1917) as to show is the enormity of the newish American automobile industry. The large car is supposed to represent the amalgamation of all cars built in the U.S.--the striking thing about the graphic for me is the second car, which is the production for only the year 1916. In the background we see an enormous gold coin for the annual expenses of the car industry, and further back still the enormous cans of gas and oil used annually (which I guess were configured in terms of volume of the Woolworth Building). All-in-all, the visualization got its point across pretty effectively.
While looking through a volume of Scientific American (January-July 1917) for a technical reference on the newly battlefield-introduced tank ( I could find none) I stumbled upon this intriguing info-graphic for American Telephone and Telegraph. This of course is from at least seven decades before the concept of "wire" started to lose its shine in communications, and decades after the second "T"--for "telegraph"-- in "A.T.&T." lost most if not all of its meaning. This interesting half-page ad displays the total amount of telephone and telegraph wire and cable in the A.T.&T. system--enough to reach from the Earth to the Moon and back again, 40 times (which is about correct calculating from the perigee).
[Source: Scientific American, June 23 weekly issue.]
This morning the writer Clifton Wiens alerted me to his friend's blog Fevered Mutterings where I found the article "How Fast Do You Want to Get There?" which was illustrated with two fine early isochrone maps. The isochrone/isochronic map is a map of time travel, depicting how long it would take to reach different places from a central point, the variants detailed in colors. (For the record they all seem to assume good or normal or scheduled arrivals and departures, good weather, no impudent problems...so you probably would have to calculate for longer times, given the nature of the beast in the 19th/early 20th century.) In any event, I wanted to reproduce them here along with others that I find.
The first of the maps is probably the first of the isochrones, made by the very-multiply-talented Francis Galton. It appeared in 1881(and then again in 1882) in "On the Construction of Isochronic Passage Charts" in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society (Royal Geographical Society) page 657.
The next example is by John G. Batholomew with his Isochronic Distance Map and Chart which was first published 1889 (and then again in 1914) in his Atlas of Commercial Geography or earlier
The following maps are not quite the same, being historical and retroactive, and show rates of travel in the U.S. over certain decades (and seen earlier in this blog in the post "Time Travel in the Early U.S., 1800-1857" http://longstreet.typepad.com/thesciencebookstore/2012/02/travel-time-in-the-young-republic-1800-1830.html:
[Source: Allan R. Pred Urban Growth and the Circulation of Information, 1790-1840 (Harvard, 1973)]
[Source: Allan R. Pred Urban Growth and the Circulation of Information, 1790-1840 (Harvard, 1973)]
Sources and Notes
Another good collection of modern isochrones can be found here: http://www.citymetric.com/transport/its-christmas-so-here-are-11-beautiful-isochrone-maps-showing-travel-times-different
Another view of the Allan Pred maps can be found here: Michael Graham Richaard, "How fast could you travel across the U.S. in the 1800s?" http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/stories/how-fast-could-you-travel-across-the-us-in-the-1800s
Also, another older map is by Albrecht Penk's "Isochronenkarte" first published 1887 "Isochronenkarte der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie". Deutsche Rundschau für Geographie und Statistik: 337
Glorious Gearworks, Extended--Models of the Solar System, 1817-1821
JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I'd like to make a quick addition to an earlier post on a form of Pearson's planetarium. This is from the same source, though from a few years later, and involves Pearson's Satellitian, which was a differently-abled device. All of the images appeared in the magisterial if not occasionally problematic Cyclopedia of Abraham Rees (1743-1825).
The first image is a cross section for he "Satellite Machine by Roemer", followed by "Janvier's Jovilabe, and the with Willliam Pearson's "Satellitian", all appearing on the same 11x8" sheet and printed in 1820.
First, the Roemer:
Here's a description from Rees on the Roemer instrument (this courtesy of Google Books; the images are my own):
A good article on the Roemer and the Pearson machines appears in the Edinburgh Magazine, volume 15, 1832, http://tinyurl.com/ogo36n9
And the Janvier:
And the Pearson machine:
This is the second Pearson instrument, the heart of a beautiful orrey created by William Pearson (1767-1847, and one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society) as found in the 1817 volume of Rees, and features the main gearing for a mechanical display of the functioning of the Solar System:
This is the detail from the following, full-length version, which is 8"x10"--so there's a fair amount of detail in a limited field:
And the beautiful Dadaist detail of Jupiter and Saturn:
The marks in each of the squares below represents one aircraft--and as a matter of fact if you click on one of the 25-square squares you will be able to zoom in and see the detail, which is basically missing at this level. Germany lost (meaning destroyed or damaged beyond repair) "76,875 aircraft, of which 40,000 were total losses and the remainder significantly damaged. By type, losses totaled 21,452 fighters, 12,037 bombers, 15,428 trainers, 10,221 twin-engine fighters, 5,548 ground attack, 6,733 reconnaissance, and 6,141 transports" (According to the "Equipment Losses" for WWII on Wiki.) The aircraft graphic uses images of German aircraft--I would much rather have display U.S. and/or U.K. aircraft losses, but that could not be done using the German plane images. (The U.K. lost more than 42,000 planes, and the U.S. 95,000.) So for right now, we'll just have the German graphic, the source of which is the 7 September 1940 issue of the Illustrated London News, which displayed one thousand destroyed German aircraft brought down over Great Britain in 28 days (see here):
Here's an interesting cross section by the great and invaluable George Horace Davis, appearing in the November 1942 issue of Popular Mechanics, page 41. I've noted elsewhere that Davis reminds me of Thomas Nast, in a way--his output was enormous and workmanship wonderful, seemingly publishing drawings like this every few weeks, if not more frequently, reminiscent of the fantastic production of Nast. I can only imagine that Davis was seeing most of the detail in his memory rather than referring endlessly back-and-forth to references--I don't know that this is so, but it does make good sense. (For other work by Davis, just enter his name in the google box for his blog appearances.)
I do not have the source for this though I believe it is from Science Magazine from 1960. The ad was placed LANL looking for new hires, and employed the artwork of Emil Bisttram (Taos, New Mexico), representing the new ARPA (pre-DARPA) work for the detection of nuclear explosion tests conducted in outer space, Project VELA. ("In a continuation of presidentially directed programs, Eisenhower assigned ARPA in the summer of 1959 the task of developing the technologies necessary for the detection of nuclear tests, what would become Project VELA (Vela means watchman in Spanish). This program would examine technologies for detection space and atmospheric tests by satellites (VELA , undertaken by the High Altitude Detection panel (the Panofsky panel) of PSAC, which recommended that a satellite system be employed to detect atmospheric or space nuclear tests as part of a verification system for a possible nuclear test ban treaty."--"DARPA Space History", here: http://qnet.me/legal/DARPA%20-%20Background.pdf
I found this down in the warehouse this morning, published in Popular Science Monthly, September 1951. It sin't every day that you see a periodic table with drawings showing the employment of the elements, especially the stained glass windows for the element with the atomic number 92. Actually uranium glass was a "thing" once upon a time,, at least until the Cold War kicked in, putting a crimp in the supplies of uranium for glass plates and beads and that sort of thing.
A Picture-Book about the Costs of Medical Care was composed by the Julius Rosenwald Fund in 1932. One of the major data visualizations in the short pamphlet was the distribution of medical care according to income--and it comes as no surprise that during the Depression that the wealthiest people are enjoying more medical care than the other classes. The stats are mostly not displayed in this pamphlet so there's not much that I think I can say about them--except that it seems that the class distinctions/percentage in this chart are similar to the William Thompson & Joseph Hickey (2005) class model.
So from the Rosenwald Fund the numbers are described like so (with the addition of the bureau of Labor Statistic's calculated figures for teh purchasing power of the 1932 dollar in 2016):
<$1,299, 15% of the population, ($20,957 in 2016 dollars)
$1,200-$2,000, 35% of the pop, ($34,938 in 2016 dollars)
$2,000-$3,000, 25% of the population ($52,392 in 2016 dollars)
$3,000-$5,000, 15% of the population, ($87,321 in 2016 dollars)
$5,000-$10,000, 7% of the population, ($174,643 in 2016 dollars)
$10,000+, $2.9% population, (greater than $174,643 in 2016 dollars)
The Thompson/Hickey model
Upper middle class 15%
Lower Middle Class 32%
Working class 32%
Lower classes (including the working poor 20%
The bottom two classes in the Rosenwald could constitute the poor and the working poor, making 50% which is what is most in-line with the Thompson/Hickey model. It is a little more difficult to work the numbers and try to distinguish the super rich, rich, upper middle class, and middle class in other models against the Rosenwald graphic. However when you look at two other models the poor and the working poor add up to about the same as above; the Dennis Gilbert model (2002) finds 55% in this category and the Leonard Beeghley (2005) finds 57%. This is real smashmouth statistical surfing, I know, but it does seem as though there is a good correlation between the Rosenwald working class/working poor/poor numbers from 1932 and more recent models.