Sullivan’s Travels

My friends Cameron and Tyler organized a movie night at The Invisible Dog Art Center last night. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a movie that dates back to 1941. I admit, I was afraid it would be a tad bit too slow for my taste. But boy, was I wrong.

Sullivan’s Travels is a fantastic movie, that kept me on the edge of my seat and made me want to rewind a few times so I can write down some of the dialogues.

About the movie: Sullivan is a successful, spoiled, and naive director of fluff films, with a heart-o-gold, who decides he wants to make a film about the troubles of the downtrodden poor. Much to the chagrin of his producers, he sets off in tramp’s clothing with a single dime in his pocket to experience poverty first-hand, and gets some reality shock. Written by Bob Doolittle.

In 1990, Sullivan’s Travels was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it as the #61 Greatest Movie of All Time, the first inclusion of this film on the list. In addition, the movie’s poster was ranked as #19 of “The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever” by Premiere.

If you have a chance to watch it, please do. It’s time well spent.

New York City guidebook from 1916

“The first characteristic of New York, which impresses the stranger from abroad, and in a less degree from other American cities, is its atmosphere of breathless hast, its pervading sense of life keyed to an abnormal tension.”

“One direct consequence of this unending hurry, which the visitor is quick to feel, is a certain brusqueness and lack of civility as compared with other cities. Not that the great, motley, democratic middle class is deliberately rude to strangers; it simply lacks the time for the little courtesies of life, and grudges two words where one can be made to answer.”

Excerpts from a New York City guidebook from 1916.

(via Kottke)

Antique Lithography Stone

This Antique Double-Sided Lithography Stone is quite the example of how far technology has brought us since the turn of the century. Long live vintage printmaking!


I see beauty (and humor) in this Vintage Wood Road Side Produce Sign. Rhubarb!

The disappearing Face of New York

I just rediscovered the wonderful photographs of James and Karla Murray’s book The Disappearing Face of New York over on the Retronaut.

Revolving Self Portrait

This revolving self-portrait by Felix Nadar is fascinating. See it animated over at the Retronaut.

Arthur C. Clarke Predicts The Internet

In 1974 Arthur C. Clarke told the ABC that every household in 2001 will have a computer and be connected all over the world. (Hello there, Internet!)

(via explore)

Cigarette Cards

Mrs. Easton has this unbelievable talent to find beauty in the ordinary. Pictured above are Cigarette Cards she dug up in the NYPL digital archives.

What it is

originally uploaded to Flickr by moose_greebles

This old-school LEGO ad from 1981 makes me happy!

(thank you Saha)

LEGO Patent Drawing

A LEGO patent drawing form 1958, discovered by the lovely Mrs. Easton.

13 Years Untouched

“When Mr. Moore Junior decided to retire, around 13 years ago, he simply stopped trading. He didn’t clear the window display, but left it just as it was on the last day of business.” Peter Berthoud tells the story of a store and its contents left to rot, but in the most artistic way possible: “The Most Interesting Underpants in London.

(via coudal)


Legs: From the Peculiar Snapshots Set on Flickr.

The Lively Morgue

The New York Times has a new Tumblr featuring their archival photo collection, it’s called The Lively Morgue. They will be publishing several photographs each week, some of which will be available for purchase and some of which will be accompanied by a more extensive back story posted on the Lens blog. They will gradually digitize the tip of the iceberg of this enormous trove, guaranteeing its continued utility and accessibility in the future. Wonderful.

(via @helena)

The Artistifier

The Artsifier Artistifier turns any YouTube movie into a black and white silent movie. Hilarious name, great execution. Yay Internets!

(Thank you Alexandra)


A Google Alert has pointed me to a blog called Playgroundology, and I am fascinated. A blog entirely dedicated to the world of playgrounds? Yes, please! Being a parent of small children I spend an awful lot of time on them and often wonder how they could be improved. Whenever I am traveling to other countries I am amazed at the differences in playground planning and thinking.

The Woodland Discovery Playground looks like quite a magical place.

Swings that create music?

And I couldn’t help but laugh while watching the above clip of a an adventure playground scene in the British documentary Seven Up. I would have thought it’s more of a construction site, compared to sterile-cookie-cutter-über-safe NYC playgrounds.

And then of course, there’s the Playground Papa classic. Made me laugh:

So, if you are like me, interested in all things Playgrounds, make sure to check out Playgroundology.

Christopher Payne

Linen Closets, Traverse City State Hospital, Michigan

Patient Toothbrushes, Hudson River State Hospital, New York

Bathtub, Fairfield State Hospital, Connecticut

Autopsy Theater, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, DC

I just spent way too much time on Christopher Payne’s site, staring at photos of abandoned asylums and hospitals. Fascinating.

(Thank you Sarah)


The EUScreen site is an astounding digital archive aiming to preserve Europe’s television heritage, 1900-present.

(via @dwell)

DIY Horse

Lovely Melissa Easton has an entire post dedicated to creating vintage 3 dimensional shapes out of paper. I found Le Cheval (The Horse) particularly charming, in a very analog way. She found them over at the amazing Agence Eureka.


This Cycle-Skating video, a sport of 1923, made me smile.

(via the kids should see this)

London Cafeterias 50s – 60s

Before chains like Starbucks took over the world of cafes, young Londoners of late 50’s and early 60’s met in places like these.

(via bblinks)

Big Letters

Wood type makes my heart beat faster! Check out these giant letter prints by Christie & Caleb, owners and operators of a small traditional letterpress company, located in the sunny South.

They recently were able to access three sets of rare and huge, antique wood type. These particular sets of type cam from a now defunct old print shop in Arkansas, where they were used to print giant Circus billboards in the 1940’s and 50’s!

The Big Letter Prints are printed on 140# cover, which is sturdy enough to lean on a shelf or mantle, or you can personalize your own words or phrases! Kids room, anyone?

How The Spacesuit Came To Be

A space suit is made out of a flight suit, a Goodrich tire, a bra, a girdle, a raincoat, a tomato worm. An American rocket ship is made out of a nuclear weapon, and a German ballistic missile; a ‘space program’ — a new organization with new goals — is made out of preexisting military, scholarly, and industrial institutions and techniques.
— Monchaux

Fascinating post on Fashioning Apollo: How the Spacesuit Came To Be over on brain pickings.


Discovering made my day.

The Spirit of Journalism circa 1940

Found this Manifesto for the Spirit of Journalism circa 1940 over at Brain Pickings. Made me look!