Saturday Scenes

Thu 28 March 2013

Moving on Up

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:16

On the 23rd of March in 1857, Elisha Otis’s first elevator was installed in New York City. Elisha Otis had always fancied himself an inventor, however he didn’t have any success until he took on a contract to convert a sawmill to a bedstead factory. His most famous invention came from a practical difficulty while he was cleaning up the factory. He needed to get the old debris to the upper levels of the factory but he felt the hoists weren’t safe. He worked with his sons to find a solution.

Invent Now | Hall of Fame | Elisha Graves Otis

If one could just devise a machine that wouldn’t fall…. He hit upon the answer, a tough, steel wagon spring meshing with a ratchet. If the rope gave way, the spring would catch and hold.

In 1854 Otis dramatized his safety device on the floor of the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York. With a large audience on hand, the inventor ascended in an elevator cradled in an open-sided shaft. Halfway up, he had the hoisting cable cut with an axe. The platform held fast and the elevator industry was on its way.

Elisha Otis formed a company to sell the safety elevators. Today, the Otis Elevator Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of vertical transport systems.

On the 23rd of March in 2013, up-and-coming photographers all over the world submitted these super-successful (and safe) Saturday scenes:

And these are the high risers that took them:

Upwards and onwards! If you’d like to join us at high elevation, then don’t plunge into despair! Simply take a photograph on Saturday and send it to @SatScenes with a location!

Fri 22 March 2013

Making Friends in Far Away Places

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:54

On the 16th of March in 1621, the early settlers in Massachusetts met their first Native American (er, “savage” as they referred to him). The pilgrims from the Mayflower had settled here and knew that there were native Americans in the area but had not yet spoken to them. Samoset strolled directly into the middle of their settlement and asked them for beer. In English. Specifically, he said, “Greetings, Englishmen. Do you have any beer?”

From The Recamier

A member of an Abenaki tribe that resided at that time in what is now Maine, Samoset was a sagamore (subordinate chief) of his tribe and was visiting Chief Massasoit, the sachem, or leader, of the Pokanoket, and “Massasoit” of the Wampanoag Confederacy. He had learned his broken English from the English fishermen that came to fish off Monhegan Island. After spending the night with the Pilgrims, he came back two days later with Squanto, who spoke English much better than Samoset, and who was able to translate when the Pilgrim leadership met with Chief Massasoit. Samoset was entertained with other Native American leaders in the harbor of present-day Portland, Maine in 1624; after that, the first Native American to contact the Pilgrims fades from history. (The Pilgrims in their accounts kept calling him Somerset instead of Samoset; most of the Pilgrims were from South West England, and the county of Somerset.)

On the 16th of March in 2013, natives from all over the world posted photographs to amaze the hardiest pilgrim:

And here are the photographers who took them:

Would you like to see your photograph featured here?

Simply take a photo on a Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes! Every week I retweet the Saturday Scenes and then collect them all for a special post here. We’d love to see yours.

Fri 15 March 2013

Ivan Ivanovich

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:02

On the 9th of March in 1961, Sputnik 9 was launched into space with Ivan Ivanovich on board.

Ivan Ivanovich – a Russian placeholder name like our John Doe – was a phantom cosmonaut – a mannequin dressed in a cosmonaut suit as a part of the Russian space programme. Choir music was broadcast from his chest to test the communications system. He was also on board to test the landing system: once the spacecraft was descending towards the ground, Ivan Ivanovich was ejected from the capsule with a parachute.

Ivan Ivanovich (Vostok programme) – Wikipedia

Ivan Ivanovich was made to look as lifelike as possible, with eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes and a mouth. He was dressed in a cosmonaut suit, with a sign reading “МАКЕТ” (Russian for “dummy”) placed under his visor, so that anyone who found him after his missions would not think he was a dead cosmonaut or an alien.

His second space flight, Korabl-Sputnik 5, on March 26, 1961, was similar – he was again accompanied by a dog, Zvezdochka, and other animals, he had a recording of a choir (and also a recipe for cabbage soup to confuse any listeners) inside him, and he safely returned to Earth. These flights paved the way for Vostok 1, the first manned flight into space on April 12, 1961.

In 1993, Ivan Ivanovich was auctioned to a US businessman for $189,500. He is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

And on the 9th of March in 2013, another edition of Saturday Scenes was successfully launched:

And here are the absolutely real people (neither dead cosmonauts nor aliens) who took them:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark http://twitter.blog.me.uk/ for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph on Saturday!

Fri 8 March 2013

Put Your High Heels On

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:53

On the 2nd of March in 1430, the Great Council of Venice passed a law to limit the height of women’s high heels. Chopines, type of platform shoes, were originally used as an overshoe to protect shoes and dress from the mud in the street; however they soon became a status symbol for the nobility. At the peak of their popularity, the shoes could be as high as 20 inches (50 cm). Women wearing these chopines, which were popular with both nobility and courtesans, required canes or even servants to help them walk.

History of Footwear

The Church, which usually abhorred the extremes of fashion, approved the chopines. The height impeded movement, particularly dancing, reducing the opportunities for sin. The chopines caused their own set of unique problems. In England, the marriage bond could be annulled if the bride had falsified her height with the chopines. In Venice, the chopine was eventually outlawed after a number of women in Venice miscarried after falling from the chopines during their pregnancies.

Meanwhile, riding boots with heels became popular with men in England and France. However, their heels were commonly only between three and four inches high. In the 1630s, European women began to wear heels as well and by 1740, men had stopped wearing the boots as they were considered effeminate.

And over five hundred years later, on the 2nd of March in 2013, many fashionable photographs were taken, some from as high as 20 inches!

And these are the fashion-victims who took them:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark http://twitter.blog.me.uk/ for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph on Saturday!

Fri 1 March 2013

Don’t Mess with Schoolteachers

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:29

On the 23rd of February in 1739, a murderer was caught because his former school teacher recognised his handwriting. Dick Turpin was an English highwayman man who was known as a poacher, burglar, horse thief and murderer.

Turpin was hiding from the law at the Ferry Inn in Yorkshire under the alias of John Palmer when he landed in trouble for breaching the peace: he shot another man’s cock in the street and then threatened to shoot the man who rebuked him. He was committed to a House of Correction when he could not pay the required surety.

Local magistrates soon discovered that he had no apparent source of income. He was imprisoned in York Castle under suspicion of being a horse thief. However, his true identity was not discovered until he wrote a letter to his brother-in-law at Hempstead.

Dick Turpin – Wikipedia

From his cell, Turpin wrote to his brother-in-law, Pompr Rivernall, who also lived at Hempstead. Rivernall was married to Turpin’s sister, Dorothy. The letter was kept at the local post office, but seeing the York post stamp Rivernall refused to pay the delivery charge, claiming that he “had no correspondent at York”.

Rivernall may not have wanted to pay the charge for the letter, or he may have wished to distance himself from Turpin’s affairs, and so the letter was moved to the post office at Saffron Walden where James Smith, who had taught Turpin how to write while the latter was at school, recognised the handwriting. He alerted JP Thomas Stubbing, who paid the postage and opened the letter. Smith travelled to York Castle and on 23 February identified Palmer as Turpin. He received the £200 (about £27,000 as of 2013) reward originally offered by the Duke of Newcastle following Turpin’s murder of Thomas Morris.

On the 23rd of February in 2013, some excellent photographs were taken from locations all over the world. It would be criminal not to at least take a look!

And these are the upstanding citizens who took them:

Did you know that you can find out what people are up to on other days of the week? Just take a look at the Twitter list for Saturday Scenes of 2012!

If you submitted a photograph this year, you have been added to the list. It’s fun to watch it grow as the year progresses.

And if you haven’t submitted yet – join us! Just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

Did you know that you can find out what people are up to on other days of the week? Just take a look at the Twitter list for Saturday Scenes of 2013!

If you submitted a photograph this year, you have been added to the list. It’s fun to watch it grow as the year progresses; we’re up to 62 members already!

And if you haven’t submitted yet – join us! Just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

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