Saturday, October 27, 2018

Today -100: October 27, 1918: Of toys, tiny admirals, and charming educations

Ah, now I understand how it is that German toys are arriving in the US. They were purchased before the US declared war, and have just arrived, without warning, from the Netherlands. The US wholesalers say they won’t accept them, even though they paid for them.

Commercial Service That Has No Effect on Spanish Flu Being Promoted As Having An Effect on Spanish Flu of the Day -100:

So many telephone company operators are out with the flu that they’re having to ask callers if their call is really necessary.

Obit of the Day -100: “Admiral Dot,” famous midget, who dies on the same day as his daughter, both from Spanish Flu.

Displayed as a child by P.T. Barnum, he toured with various circuses for 25 years before opening up a hotel for circus folk in White Plains, New York.

Evidently I missed the death of diplomat Henry Adams in March. His autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, is published. The NYT declares it “charming.” It will win the Pulitzer.

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  1. The telephone operator item reminds me of the time I ordered a large glass of tap water at a restaurant at the height of Cape Town’s water crisis and the waitress asked me if I was really going to drink the whole thing.

    It’s very annoying for my project that the two American classics of 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons and The Education of Henry Adams, were written so close to the end of the year. I just started TMA, and am planning to listen to Hemry Adams as an audiobook after I finish Eminent Victorians, but I may run out of time.

  2. Time and quantity of material, always a problem with 20th century history. You have to admire medieval historians, who have to do more with less, like Fernand Braudel writing about what cutlery was in use in different periods based on paintings of the Last Supper. But historians of more recent periods must, as Strachey says, "row out over that great ocean of material, and lower down into it, here and there, a little bucket, which will bring up to the light of day some characteristic specimen, from those far depths, to be examined with a careful curiosity."

  3. I love that Strachey comment, which is especially appropriate to my non-professional efforts. I didn't particularly notice it when I was listening--occupational hazard of audiobooks. I'm enjoying Eminent Victorians so far except for the part where it turns out to be such a great stroke of luck that Cardinal Manning's wife dies.