As Confucius said,” Study the past if you would define the future.” History makes the present better and the future bright. It teaches us not to repeat our mistakes. Today we are taking you on a trip down memory lane of February 19. From Edison’s gramophone to “feminine mystique”, a lot of things happened that made our present easy. You will also know about the digital camera of the 19th century and an 800 pages long poem.
1856: Tin-type camera patented by Hamilton-Smith
Tin-type cameras were famous during the 19th century. They had a great contribution in showing what America and the world looked like at that time. On February 19, 1856, American scientist and photographer, Hamilton-Smith got the patent for tin-typein Gambier, Ohio. Tin-types were similar to daguerreotypes. But they were cheaper and were mostly used in carnivals and fairs. These cameras recorded the events of the Civil War. They were a type of folk art through the 19th and early 20th centuries. Furthermore, portraitists used them on sidewalks. Images produced by these cameras were indestructible and permanent. Moreover, you can get pictures of those times even today. They were pretty much like the digital cameras of today.
1878: Thomas Edison is granted a patent for his gramophone
In 1877, a young man walked into the office of Scientific American magazine and presented the phonograph in front of the editors. For the first time in human history, a machine greeted the humans present in that room. This young man was none other than Thomas Alva Edison. The phonograph was one of the earliest inventions of Edison. Though there were many devices to record sound before Edison’s gramophone. But others could only record sound. Edison modified his design and added the function to reproduce sound as well. One year later, on February 19, Edison was granted the patent for the gramophone. Moreover, with the invention of the gramophone, he became “the wizard of Menlo Park”.
1963: “The Feminine Mystique”
Today, in 1963, W.W Norton published “The Feminine Mystique”. Betty Friedan wrote this book. It marks the start of the second wave of feminism across Europe. Furthermore, in 1964 over a million copies were sold making it the bestseller in non-fiction. Friedan, speaks about the opinions and desires a woman has apart from doing traditional work they have to do. Moreover, she also talks about how men are dominating the political and economical world. The book tells women how to end this gender discrimination and excel in every field in their life.
1949: “The Cantos” wins 1st Bollingen Prize
On this day in 1949, Ezra Pound won the first Bollingen Prize. It was given to him for his poetry, The Cantos. He wrote it between 1915 to 1962. It is an incomplete poem of 800 pages. Furthermore, there are 116 sections. Each of the sections is a canto. Ezra Pound was a pro-Fascist during World War II. He was arrested post-war and was confined till 1958. Hence, the Cantos is incomplete. It is considered one of the most modernist poetry of the 20th century. Also, there are lots of geographical and medieval references in the poem.
2007: Tumblr was founded
On this day, David Karp founded Tumblr in 2007. Tumblr is a blogging and social media website. Within two weeks of its launch, it gained more than 75,000 users. Furthermore, in June 2012, it did its first advertisement campaign with Adidas. In 2019, Tumblr was sold to Automattic.Inc. Moreover, it reported over 488 million blogs as of January 2020 on its website.
2019: New York City bans hair discrimination
Two years ago, on February 19, the Human Rights Commission of New York banned discrimination based on hair. Before this decision, a lot of Black people had to face discrimination or were even because of their hairstyle. They had to face discrimination in schools, at the workplace, and in public places. Therefore, the guidelines issued mentioned the right of New Yorkers to maintain their “natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locks, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state.” Furthermore, if anybody is found violating these guidelines, they have to pay a penalty of up to $250,000. This action of the Human Rights Commission allowed the people to live freely and equally with others in the same place.