A Cabinet of Wonders:
I already warned you, so surf at your own risk. I know what a sensitive bouquet of passion flowers y'all are, so I'll give you another chance to flee...
I've always wanted my own cabinet of wonders. An organised wooden case with lots of compartments to tuck interesting objects into. So why not have my own digital version? A reliquary would be cool too, but who wants bits and pieces of people hanging around?
I've put Mark Twain in my cabinet because he's so cool. The woman pictured with him was his long lost daughter. It could happen...
I think I'd need a cowboy in my cabinet as well. You never know when a cowboy's gonna come in handy. I mean look at all that stuff he's got there. Probably come in useful if say, you needed a clothes line...
Speaking of handy, I think I'd better have this beauty in here as well. A well made tool is a rare find. This is a classic. It's a plane. A very costly one nowaday's too. There are a slew of people who collect these tools and pay unbelieveable amounts of money for them. And when you look at it, it's really no mystery why.
Speaking of well made objects. This is a Brannock Device. Remember these? They're still made of steel. Imagine that. In a world of planned obsolescence, one of these will probably outlast your car, your refrigerator, your computer (har-har), your bank... Gotta have one of these.
"Ya know Brulée, that's a box of candy..." Sure, and it's serving a dual purpose here in the cabinet. First, I think it's a super example of finding beauty in the least likely place. I love this cheap little design. Second, it's a testament to the evil that can be done by clever design. Why don't they just shove cigarettes in the kids mouths and get it over with? It's a wonder to behold this little package and see how many threads one can spin off about our consumer culture and the depths people will sink to to make a buck.
The guy in the store looked at me when I put it on the counter and asked, "You're buying this for kids?" He seemed amused that I was buying it at all. "No," I said, "I'm buying it for the design." He looked more confused than amused after that, but he was still smiling.
She's having a grand old time, I want her in my cabinet too.
I found her in the NEFSC Historical Photo Archives. She was captured on film by Paul Galstoff. Thanks Paul.
Most of these images have been culled from the public domain - as in, they're copyright free. Three sites of interest...
1) NOAA Library and all of the sites it links to. You'll probably be seeing a lot of images from there. And why not? Our tax dollars go into building and maintaining that collection. Git over there and use some.
2) NEFSC Historical Photo Archives - Wicked cool.
3) PDimages.com - these folks do public domain searches for you. And they provide a selection of fun freebies.