The Rest Is History

The evolution of the disposable razor, the invention of the sports bra, and the collective groan of archivists everywhere.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, April 22, 2022

Untitled—Man Getting a Shave, from the portfolio Photographs of New York, by Reginald Marsh, c. 1938, printed 1976. Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of Dr. Katherine Alley and Dr. Richard Flax, 1982.

• “Especially during these past two years of the pandemic, when gathering with elders has been tricky at best, I’ve been anxious about all of the memories, histories, and knowledge we stand to lose. They are the stewards of this nation’s civil rights, and I fear that our history might die with them.” (The Atlantic)

• “Erasing the strife from the creation story of the Jogbra, as it was called, has sanitized and simplified the narrative. Female empowerment in the post–Title IX era has become the default storyline—why ruin a plucky underdog yarn with dollops of angst and conflict? Why portray complicated, real women and their divergent drives and opinions when you can stick to the facile script?” (Defector)

• Reading T. Thomas Fortune’s 1884 book Black and White: Land, Labor, and Politics in the South in 2022. (Boston Review)

• Meet the general contracting company responsible for dismantling twenty-three Confederate monuments in the past two years. (New York Times)

• The story of disposable razors, told through Gillette’s pursuit of more blades. (Decoder Ring)

• Revisiting the film Strange Victory. (Current)

• “An exhibition of erotic art found among the ruins of Pompeii will aim to show inquiring minds that racy scenes were present in homes across all sections of society and public spaces and that the images were not looked on in a scandalous or embarrassing way.” (The Guardian)

• “The white supremacists in North Carolina had figured out something important: the Fourteenth Amendment was a weapon that could be turned against itself if Congress and the courts did not intervene. And that’s precisely what happened throughout the South. Black criminality was constructed to fit the needs of the prevailing racial order.” (Mother Jones)

• “If you’d like to elicit the collective groan of archivists everywhere, simply ask aloud, ‘Why don’t archives just digitize everything?’” (JSTOR Daily)

• This week in obituaries: Robert Morse, Liz Sheridan, Bilquis Edhi, Rosario Ibarra, Kevin Lippert, Charnett Moffett, Letizia Battaglia, Kathryn Hays, Radu Lupu, Art Rupe, Ann Hutchinson Guest, Mike Bossy, Franz Mohr, Christopher Coover, Harrison Birtwistle, Marvin Chomsky, Peter Swales, Dede Robertson, Jill Knight, and DJ Kay Slay.