The Rest Is History

French jam, “serious and thoughtful men,” and “blocks of lard and orange American cheese.”

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, September 16, 2022

Man at telescope, c. 1919. Photograph by Harris & Ewing. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• On the Renaissance astronomer, historian, and archaeologist Francesco Bianchini: “No one in Rome would let Francesco Bianchini punch a hole through their ceiling.” (The New York Review of Books)

• On John Jacob Astor IV’s scientific romance novel: “While women benefit from universal education, there is no mention of suffrage, and the physicians of the future are solely ‘serious and thoughtful men,’ whose research finds ‘the physique, especially of women…wonderfully improved.’ Meanwhile, Astor’s twentieth century is primarily shaped by white Anglophones conquering every region of the planet. A Journey in Other Worlds cannot imagine a future that is not built from colonial violence.” (The Public Domain Review)

• “In 1883 the U.S. Department of the Interior established the Code of Indian Offenses, banning all Native traditions. Cooking a ceremonial feast could land you in prison. Four years later, the government passed the General Allotment Act, which forced private ownership on tribal land, allowing white settlers to steal vast acreage. Tribes, now sequestered on reservations, relied on treaty-provisioned rations, then on government-issued commodities: bags of flour, powdered milk and eggs, blocks of lard and orange American cheese.” (The New Yorker)

• “How a mysterious French import became synonymous with jam.” (TASTE)

• The life and work of cinematographer James Wong Howe. (Current)

• “Beekeepers would knock on each hive, deliver the news, and possibly cover the hive with a black cloth during a mourning period…In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was believed that neglecting to tell the bees could lead to various misfortunes, including their death or departure, or a failure to make honey.” (New York Times)

• This week in obituaries: Jean-Luc Godard, Javier Marías, Fred Franzia, Irene Papas, Ken Starr, Marsha Hunt, Rommy Hunt Revson, James Stewart Polshek, Jack Charles, Lily Renée Phillips, Oleksandr Shapoval, Joseph Hazelwood, Alain Tanner, Diane Noomin, Art Rosenbaum, Tina Ramirez, Ramsey Lewis, Mavis Nicholson, Melvin Sokolsky, Earl Silbert, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, William Klein, Leslie Megahey, Lance Mackey, and Susan L. Solomon.