Tobacciana

As the name implies, tobacciana refers to collectibles or antiques related to all types of tobacco products including both cigars and cigarettes. This type of memorabilia takes us back in time to when cigarettes were actually viewed as healthy. Even before that, any well-to-do man was expected to adjourn to the drawing room for a cigar with his scotch or cognac after dinner.

Dunhill Broadboy lighter

The United States Super-Secret Nuclear Missile Base under the Polar Ice

Project Iceworm was the code name for a top-secret United States Army program during the Cold War to build a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites under the Greenland ice sheet. The ultimate objective of placing medium-range missiles under the ice — close enough to strike targets within the Soviet Union — was kept secret from the Danish government. To study the feasibility of working under the ice, a highly publicized “cover” project, known as Camp Century, was launched in 1960. Unsteady ice conditions within the ice sheet caused the project to be canceled in 1966.

 

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Details of the missile base project were secret for decades, but first came to light in January 1995 during an enquiry by the Danish Foreign Policy Institute (DUPI) into the history of the use and storage of nuclear weapons in Greenland. The enquiry was ordered by the Danish parliament following the release of previously classified information about the 1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash that contradicted previous assertions by the Danish government.

 

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To test the feasibility of construction techniques a project site called “Camp Century” was started by the United States military, located at an elevation of 6,600 feet (2,000 m) in northwestern Greenland, 150 miles (240 km) from the American Thule Air Base. The radar and air base at Thule had already been in active use since 1951.

Camp Century was described at the time as a demonstration of affordable ice-cap military outposts. The secret Project Iceworm was to be a system of tunnels 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) in length, used to deploy up to 600 nuclear missiles, that would be able to reach the Soviet Union in case of nuclear war. The missile locations would be under the cover of Greenland’s ice sheet and were supposed to be periodically changed. While Project Iceworm was secret, plans for Camp Century were discussed with and approved by Denmark, and the facility, including its nuclear power plant, was profiled in The Saturday Evening Post magazine in 1960.

 

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The “official purpose” of Camp Century, as explained by the United States Department of Defense to Danish government officials in 1960, was to test various construction techniques under Arctic conditions, explore practical problems with a semi-mobile nuclear reactor, as well as supporting scientific experiments on the icecap. A total of 21 trenches were cut and covered with arched roofs within which prefabricated buildings were erected. With a total length of 3,000 metres (1.9 mi), these tunnels also contained a hospital, a shop, a theater and a church. The total number of inhabitants was around 200. From 1960 until 1963 the electricity supply was provided by means of the world’s first mobile/portable nuclear reactor, designated the PM-2A and designed by Alco for the U.S. Army. Water was supplied by melting glaciers and tested to determine whether germs such as the plague were present.

Within three years after it was excavated, ice core samples taken by geologists working at Camp Century demonstrated that the glacier was moving much faster than anticipated and would destroy the tunnels and planned launch stations in about two years. The facility was evacuated in 1965, and the nuclear generator removed. Project Iceworm was canceled, and Camp Century closed in 1966.

The project generated valuable scientific information and provided scientists with some of the first ice cores, still being used by climatologists today.

 

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According to the documents published by Denmark in 1997, the U.S. Army’s “Iceworm” missile network was outlined in a 1960 Army report titled “Strategic Value of the Greenland Icecap“. If fully implemented, the project would cover an area of 52,000 square miles (130,000 km2), roughly three times the size of Denmark. The launch complex floors would be 28 feet (8.5 m) below the surface, with the missile launchers even deeper, and clusters of missile launch centers would be spaced 4 miles (6.4 km) apart. New tunnels were to be dug every year, so that after five years there would be thousands of firing positions, among which the several hundred missiles could be rotated. The Army intended to deploy a shortened, two-stage version of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman missile, a variant the Army proposed calling the Iceman.

Although the Greenland icecap appears, on its surface, to be hard and immobile, snow and ice are viscoelastic materials, which slowly deform over time, depending on temperature and density. Despite its seeming stability, the icecap is, in fact, in constant, slow movement, spreading outward from the center. This spreading movement, over the course of a year, causes tunnels and trenches to narrow, as their walls deform and bulge, eventually leading to a collapse of the ceiling. By mid-1962 the ceiling of the reactor room within Camp Century had dropped and had to be lifted 5 feet (1.5 m). During a planned reactor shutdown for maintenance in late July 1963, the Army decided to operate Camp Century as a summer-only camp and did not reactivate the PM-2A reactor. The camp resumed operations in 1964 using its standby diesel power plant, the portable reactor was removed that summer, and the camp was abandoned altogether in 1966.

 

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When the camp was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be entombed forever by perpetual snowfall. A 2016 study found that the portion of the ice sheet covering Camp Century will start to melt by the end of the century, if current trends continue. When the ice melts, the camp’s infrastructure, as well as any remaining biological, chemical and radioactive waste, will re-enter the environment and potentially disrupt nearby ecosystems.

 

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Got to give it to the Americans, they have big bold ideas. Sometimes not for the betterment of the world however.

Colorful History

Daniel Boone is an American action-adventure television series starring Fess Parker as Daniel Boone that aired from September 24, 1964, to May 7, 1970, on NBC for 165 episodes, and was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Arcola Enterprises, and Fespar Corp. Ed Ames co-starred as Mingo, Boone’s Cherokee friend, for the first four seasons of the series. Albert Salmi portrayed Boone’s companion Yadkin in season one only. Country Western singer-actor Jimmy Dean was a featured actor as Josh Clements during the 1968–1970 seasons. Actor and former NFL football player Rosey Grier made regular appearances as Gabe Cooper in the 1969 to 1970 season. The show was broadcast “in living color” beginning in fall 1965, the second season, and was shot entirely in California and Kanab, Utah.

The Big Valley is an American Western drama television series which ran on the American Broadcasting Company Network (ABC) from September 15, 1965 to May 19, 1969—comprising 4 seasons. The series is set in the mid-late 1800’s on the fictional Barkley Ranch in Stockton, California. The one-hour episodes follow the lives of the Barkley family, one of the wealthiest and largest ranch owning families in Stockton, lead by the matriarch Victoria Barkley (Barbara Stanwyck) and her sons Jerrod (Richard Long), Heath (Lee Majors), Nick (Peter Breck), and daughter Audra (Linda Evans). The series begins approximately 6 years after the death of the family patriarch Thomas Barkley. Although he is never shown in the series (other than a painting), the character of Thomas Barkley is referred to as a major plot point many times. The character of Heath Barkley is introduced in episode one as the illegitimate son of Tom Barkley. His presence and claim to the Barkley name is the focus of much of the dramatic plots in season one. While the successful and rich are often portrayed, in present day, as the unscrupulous villains, the Barkley family are portrayed as the upstanding citizens of Stockton, modeling justice, fairness, and often times, going against popular sentiment to uphold the underdog’s rights. The series was created by A.I. Bezzerides and Louis F. Edelman and produced by Levy-Gardner-Laven for Four Star Television.

The past in color 1843-1947

c. 1930

An overhead view of people on 36th St. between 8th and 9th Aves., New York. Manhattan’s Garment District has been the center of the American fashion industry since at least the turn of the twentieth century – in 1900, New York City’s garment trade was its largest industry by a factor of three. The entire fashion ecosystem, from fabric suppliers to designer showrooms, exists within an area just under a square mile. Native New Yorker Margaret Bourke-White was in her mid-twenties when she took this picture. She would later become Life magazine’s first female photojournalist and, during WWII, the first female war correspondent. The two cars shown are a 1930 Ford Model A 4-Door Sedan, left, and a Ford Model A Sports Coupe, right.

1949

Stanley Kubrick is a hugely significant figure in the history of cinema, directing 13 major feature films including Spartacus, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and the ground-breaking 2001: A Space Odyssey. But prior to his film career, the young Kubrick was an apprentice photographer at Look magazine. First using a camera for his school’s publication, he was offered an apprenticeship at Look after he submitted a photograph. This picture of people arriving at the Chicago Theatre, North State Street, Chicago, is drawn from a set of pictures the 21-year-old Kubrick took for the Look series “Chicago – City of Extremes”. The theatre production in question, starring Jack Carson, Marion Hutton, and Robert Alda, was John Loves Mary, a farce.

1863

Confederate prisoners at Seminary Ridge during the battle of Gettysburg. Until 1863, both sides in the American Civil War of 1861-1865 used a parole system for prisoners. A captured soldier vowed not to fight until he had been exchanged for a soldier fighting for the opposition. But in 1863, when this picture was taken, the parole system proved untenable, because Confederate authorities would not recognize a black prisoner as equal to a white prisoner. The direct result was that the number of troops being held in prisons increased massively, on both sides. Just over 400,000 soldiers were taken captured and placed in prison camps during the American Civil War. One in ten of all deaths during the war occurred in a prison camp – a total of more than 55,000 men lost their lives incarcerated.

c. 1864

This Union soldier is believed to be Sergeant Samuel Smith, together with his wife Molle, and daughters Mary and Maggie. Smith served as a soldier in the 119th US Colored Infantry, enlisting at Camp Nelson, Kentucky. Formed during the American Civil War, after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect on January 1st 1863, the 175 regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) were largely but not exclusively formed of African-American soldiers. In total, around 180,000 free African Americans together with Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Island Americans were enrolled in the USCT – around one tenth of the Union force. Almost 2,700 were killed in combat – but that is a figure dwarfed by a total of 68,000 killed chiefly by disease – the largest cause of death in the War. The regiments were led by white officers.

1918

Oklahoma’s Fort Sill – the burial place of the Native American, Geronimo – housed static kite balloons, inflated with hydrogen such as this one. The balloons were deployed for the observation of artillery attacks, and were secured with guiding cables by groups of ground staff. Six troops were killed in the accident captured here on camera, at Henry Post Field at the Fort. The hydrogen in a balloon was ignited by a what is believed to have been a static electricity charge, created as the folds of the balloon fabric were rubbed together. Thirty more troops were injured.

1905

The “Empire State Express” (New York Central Railroad) passes through Washington Street, Syracuse, New York. The Empire State Express was the flagship train of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. It also had world renown as the first passenger train with a speed scheduled above 50 mph, as well as undertaking the longest scheduled nonstop run, between New York City and Albany, for 143 miles. Trains have run on the roads of Syracuse, New York since 1859, earning the city the sobriquet “the city with the trains in the streets.” As well as the obvious safety concerns, the situation also brought noise, dirt and pollution to Syracuse citizens. At peak points, around sixty trains ran along Washington Street – though that era finally came to an end in 1936 with the arrival of an elevated railroad and a new station on Erie Boulevard East. The final train to run on Syracuse streets was the Empire State Express – eastbound.

1918

Celebrations on Wall Street, New York following the surrender of Germany. This picture is almost what it seems – but not quite. We know the exact moment this picture was taken, 1:52 PM on Thursday November 7th, 1918 – four days before the end of World War One. The premature report of the end of the Great War originated in a casual lunchtime conversation between Admiral Henry Wilson, commander of the American Naval forces in French waters, and Roy Howard, President of United Press. Wilson passed on a report of a telephone call he had received from a friend employed in the American Embassy declaring an armistice had been signed. Howard, believing he had just been handed the greatest news story of the his career years, circumnavigated the various systems of checks and censorship in place, going so far as to forge the signature of his foreign editor. He transmitted the story to New York unscrutinized, giving the time of cessation of hostilities as 2pm – eight minutes after this picture was taken. Traders on Wall Street were the first to be aware of the news, and trading ended at 1pm. As the news spread, the entire city was caught up in the celebrations. The next day, the New York Times described the United Press transmission as “the most flagrant and culpable act of public deception.” The Armistice treaty signed at the end of World War One by the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, went into effect on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, 1918. Yet close to 3,000 men lost their lives on the final day of the War, as, despite the announcement of the Armistice, fighting did not actually cease until that specific moment.

c. 1904

A ride at Coney Island’s Luna Park. When Frederic Thompson and Elmer Dundy built their A Trip To The Moon ride for an exposition in Buffalo, New York State in 1901, they had a hit on their hands. The centerpiece of the ride was an airship powered by wings which flapped, named Luna. Moving the ride to Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park for 1902, Thomson and Dundy then leased more land and created Luna Park, using 1,000 spires, a quarter of a million lights, and $700,000. On its opening night, 60,000 people paid ten cents each to enter Luna Park – rides cost extra. But in 1908, Luna Park was eclipsed by Dreamland, with a million lights. Dundy died in 1907, and Thompson went bankrupt. Luna Park continued to exist, but successive owners struggled to realize any potential it possessed. In 1944, it was wiped out by fire.

1900

Mulberry Street was at the very centre of Manhattan’s Little Italy, an ethnic neighborhood that followed from the mass immigration to New York of Italians after the 1880s. By the turn of the twentieth century, nine out of ten people in the Fourteenth Ward of Manhattan had an Italian background. Mulberry Street itself took its name from the Mulberry trees that grew around Mulberry Bend – the point in the street where it curved around what was then the Collect Pond. This scene, shot in 1900, shows something of the breadth of activity of Little Italy – vegetable stalls; barefooted children; shoe, boot and clothing merchants; a wagon of barrels and sacks; furniture removal men; and blankets, quilts and rugs left out to air – or to sell.

1910

“11 a.m. Newsies at Skeeter’s Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. St. Louis, Missouri.” As a photographer working for social reform, Lewis Hine found a number of advantages in photographing “newsies” – boys who sold newspapers on street. Unlike the work he did photographing child workers in mines, factories and mills, Hine could photograph the boys without either seeking permission from employers, or, more typically, circumnavigating them. The photographs could be achieved with more time, and with more focus and attention on the subjects he shot. To achieve this sense of direct connection, Hine would bring his camera down to the eye level of his subjects. Not only taking photographs of child workers, Hine also talked to them and sought to document and record their experience. n aggregate, he created a body of work that displayed an unacceptable standard of living for many thousands of children and which ultimately achieved a change in cultural understanding of what it means to be a child, and in the law.

1885

Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill. Taken at William Notman’s studios in Montreal, Quebec, during Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, in August of 1885, this photograph bore the title “Foes in ’76 – Friends in ’85.” Sitting Bull was 54 when he agreed to join William Cody’s Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in 1885. Paid a signing bonus of $125, and $50 a week, his role in what was essentially an American circus was to ride round the arena once per show, in the opening procession. Sitting Bull was the star attraction – but after four months, he had had enough, and returned to the Standing Rock Reservation. It was a far cry from 1876, when, as spiritual leader to the Lakota Sioux, Sitting Bull had inspired his tribe in the defeat of Custer’s 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Following the battle, Sitting Bull was driven into exile in Canada, until starvation forced him to surrender to the US Government. Transferred onto Standing Rock, Sitting Bull was was shot and killed by a Reservation police officer in 1890.

1896

The “Street of Gamblers,” Chinatown, San Francisco. Two men and one woman on board the American brig Eagle were the very first Chinese immigrants to San Francisco. From 1849, Chinese people were drawn by the laboring opportunities for the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, as well as the California Gold Rush – though racial discrimination was pronounced and enshrined in law, culminating in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1892, which outlawed immigration from China for the next decade. San Franciscan studio photographer Arnold Genthe was drawn to San Francisco’s Chinatown, capturing many hundreds of photographs of its people – often without their knowledge. The pictures are true to the culture Genthe saw – although he also cropped out Western elements. Here, Genthe has captured the essence of a Chinese hutong market transposed into San Francisco, crowded with men wearing black chángshān shirts and sporting the Manchu queue hairstyles – mandatory for all Chinese men until the 1910s. Excepting Genthe’s images, very few photographs remain of San Francisco’s Chinatown prior to the earthquake and fires of 1906. Most photographic collections were lost, but Genthe’s survived, stored in a bank vault.

July 1947

Portrait of Art Hodes, Kaiser Marshall, Henry (Clay) Goodwin, Sandy Williams, and Cecil (Xavier) Scott, Times Square, New York. Although born in the Ukraine, Jazz pianist Art Hodes was brought up in Chicago, and spent most of his career in “The Windy City”. Hodes became known for the Chicago Jazz style, but in order to find success, he had had to move to New York, in 1938. Here, Hodes and his River Boat Jazz Band – Joseph “Kaiser” Marshall on drums, Henry “Clay” Goodwin on trumpet, Sandy Williams on trombone and Cecil “Xavier” Scott played clarinet and tenor sax – are playing on a horse drawn cart to promote their concert that night – with special guest Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden. Writer and (self-taught) photographer William P. Gottlieb spent the ten years from 1938 to 1948 interviewing and photographing the leading, largely New York-based, jazz musicians of the time, including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billie Holiday. A columnist for the Washington Post, Gottlieb started to take his own pictures when the Post wouldn’t pay a photographer.

 

 

Huge Ancient Rock Tomb

Mada’in Saleh is an ancient city of pre-Islamic period located in northern Saudi Arabia, about 1,400 km to the north of capital Riyadh. It lies in a strategic position on one of the most important ancient trade routes, which linked the south of the Arabian peninsula to the north, as well as to the great economic and cultural centres of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt. It is considered one of the most important and oldest ancient cities in the country and the second largest city of the Nabateans who ruled in the first century AD. Today, Mada’in Saleh is an archeologically important site with majestic ruins that are often compared with those of Petra. The most stunning among these ruins and the most iconic symbol of Mada’in Saleh is Qasr al-Farid, rising four stories tall not far from the center of the ancient Nabataean city of Hegra.

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