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Gang Roundup – July 2018 (1920s pictures)

So summer has arrived in this corner of the world (Italy), and if you think I’m happy, I’ll just say I was a penguin in another life. You see my problem, don’t you?
But there’s a nice side to it. Cicadas. You can hear them everywhere here in Verona. Where there’s a patch of green with at least a tree, you’ll hear at least one cicada (more often a few of them) singing. I’ll never understand how such little creature can make such a racket, but I love listening to them.
There’s a stretch on my way to work, a big bend where the street from the train station enters one of Verona’s main boulevards (Corso Porta Nuova) and a colony of cicadas live there. Every summer at the pick of the season (we’re still not quite there yet) they sing so loud that they nearly cover the noise of the traffic. Stubborn little worriors, sing on!!

London in the 1920s – 21 Incredible Pictures Show the Face of England over 90 Years ago

I can’t resist vintage photos and the ones collected in this post are the kind a favour: everyday life and people. Come on, what about this awesome photo of a flock of sheep on the streets of London surrounded by cars? It’s absolutely priceless. And the one of the bobby by  night? Fantastic!
Photos like these really brings home how the past is a foreign land, even if not quite. It’s familiar, we recognise it, and still it is also so very different that we sometimes can only hardly imagine what it felt like.
I suppose this is why I feel fantasy and history go so nice together.

Milano, anni 20, 30…

And this is Milano, 1920s through the 1940s. It looks a lot like Berlin in the same time, don’t you think so?

Well, now I’ll confess you why I’m perusing photos of Milano in the 1920s. I’m working on a short story. It’s for a planned dieselpunk anthology of stories inspired by fairy tales. I don’t mean that I’m in, I need to submit first ahd cross my fingers, but I want to try. I mean, this is exactly what I write.
The story is still at a planning stage, but I’m almost ready to start the first draft.

This 1931 Chicago Gangland Map Could Be Yours…For Only 20,000 English Pounds!

Well, we were talking about history and fantasy, weren’t we?
This is an authentic map, in the sense that was first published in the 1930s. It supposedly depicts the different gangs’ turfs… though as the author advice, it is not based on reality as much as on media creative news and above all Hollywood lore. Still even the fantasy inside the history tells us somethign interesting. Not about Chicago Gangland in the 1930s, I’m afraid, but more about people and their fantasy – and possible desires? – of the time.
History is a strange beast.

Marie Curie’s Research Papers Are Still Radioactive 100+ Years Later

I never expected this and still I should have. After all, Marie Curie died of the prologued exposition to radioactivity during her and her husband’s researches. Can you imagine that her papers are still so radioactive that it’s dangerous to consult them without protection?
It makes you think, how the first explorers exposed themselves to danger without knowing it. Marie liked the glowing green light int he dark, she thought it was magical. Today we know it is deadly.
Makes me wonder what are we doing today that people will considered mindlessly dangerous in one hundred year.

After WWI, men started to take women’s soccer seriously, then they banned it

It is widely known that WWI allowed women in all countries invovled to advance in area that were formely closed to them. Sports was one of these areas, even if it is seldom cited.

Here the story of a remarcable woman and footballer who started off her carreer during WWI but he then played football for almost three decades.

Coming to America

Sad as it might appear, immigration seems to have been a ‘problem’ for the western world for a long time.
This article explores the American immigration law in teh 1920s, and exposes the fears behind the writing of these laws.
It’s weaked how the same fears mould our minds and our hearts today. And not just in America. Immigration is a such a hot matter in Europe today that some opinionist believe it might be the undoing of the EU. I wish I could say that’s just terrirism, but unfortunately I can see the signs myself. It is a very entangled situation and in parts it is so bad because we have allowed it to go this far, doing nothing for fear of the consequences and creating the worse possibel circumstances we our own fears. I hope we’ll be able to learn somethign from this, before it is too late.

Museums of the New Age

A new Twitter meme about WIP prompted me to a quick research that I know I will have to look more in depth int he future. The prompt asked where the bulk of the story is set and since I’m talking about Bones of the Titans, a gret part of the story will be set in a museum. I then realised that I’m not at all sure what that museum will look like. In the 1920s, the conceptions of museal exposition was changing, but it was still very much inpronted to the 1800s conception, very far from what we are accustomed to today.
So I looked up some vintage photos (and believe me, it isn’t easy to come by them) and I ended up discovering this article and its great footage.

Lost Among the Angels by Alice Duncan

Mercy Allcutt, Boston Brahmin, wants to experience life in all its grittiness. How better than by working for a down-on-his luck PI in Hollywood? Once she discovers what PI actually stands for, she knows Mr. Ernest Templeton is the boss for her.

Raised in the ivory tower of proper Boston, when well-bred Mercy gets a job with Ernest Templeton, Private Investigator, she’s ecstatic. Ernie, a jaded ex-cop, is incredulous. Together, they must cope with a stray child, kidnapping, blackmail, murder, a toy poodle, a vamp, a stalker, Mercy’s overactive imagination and Ernie’s strong protective streak. Throw in a speakeasy, Chinatown, and a couple of down-and-dirty criminals, and Mercy and Ernie are in for a drama that will put the motion picture industry to shame . . . if they can survive long enough to tell the story.

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GANG ROUNDUP - July 2018 - Many history links this month. Vintage photos, women footballers during WWI, and immigration in the 1920s... right up with issues we're facing today

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  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 14:58

    What a great roundup of articles and resources, Sarah! It is sad that, after so long, there is still such suspicion and trouble about immigration. I hope we resolve the matter at some time soon. As I looked at your other articles, I thought it was fascinating that Marie Curie’s research papers are still radioactive. Not surprising, as you say, but so interesting. I doubt the people of that time had any idea of how dangerous radium would be.

    • Post Author
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 21:53

      I really hope we’ll come to our senses and try to work together for a solution about immigration. But at the moment, it looks like it is a bomb ready to explode and everybody is trying to push it into someone else’s hands.

  • Roland R Clarke
    Posted July 8, 2018 at 03:55

    Love the sound of cicadas, although we aren’t hearing them this summer, here in Idaho. We’ve had to resort to playing a recording at night instead. Old photos tell so much…I remember all the ones that my grandparents had from the early 20th century – some even older.

    • Post Author
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 21:56

      That’s such a treasure, Roland! I have a few photos of my family from the earlier part of the XX century, but most are from right before or after WWII. I come from a family of stage actors from my father’s side, some of their offical photos have survied.
      I remember my granddad still had their script when I was very little, but then he threw everythign out. Such a great shame! I so wish I still had those.

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Posted July 8, 2018 at 20:39

    Hi Sarah – loved seeing Milan videos … the Duomo, diving into the swimming pool, going about normal life; then Marie Curie’s papers – interesting and rather worrying; sheep in London – they are allowed once a year to have ‘a drive’ and a fair in London organised by The Worshipful Company of Woolmen – this year in September! Great clips for your research …cheers Hilary

    • Post Author
      Posted July 9, 2018 at 21:57

      I don’t belive it! So we can still see sheep in London? 😀

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