Category Archives: History

Why the U.S. doesn’t use “colour”

Color is spelled “color” in the U.S. but “colour” in the U.K and elsewhere in the former British Empire because Noah Webster took advantage of his dictionary to simplify American spelling. My only complaint is that he missed a few words since … Continue reading

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World Photo Day

I learned today from Facebook that August 19 is World Photo Day. In fact, August 19 has been World Photo Day since 2010. It celebrates the French government’s purchase of the original photography patent for the daguerreotype on August 19, 1839. … Continue reading

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The World’s First Home Printer

The first home printer was not invented by Hewlett Packard or even by Epson. Instead, it was invented by Benjamin Franklin, who had a printing press installed in his home in Passy so that he could publish bagatelles, satires, pamphlets, and … Continue reading

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The Invention of Photography

Who invented photography? The answer isn’t as clear as it might be, since a number of people developed photographic systems in the 1830s and 1840s. Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport’s Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, a True Story of … Continue reading

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An Isolated Invention

Xerography had practically no foundation in previous scientific work. Chet [Carlson] put together a rather odd lot of phenomena, each of which was relatively obscure in itself and none of which had previously been related in anyone’s thinking . The … Continue reading

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In the Beginning

In the beginning there was handwriting and it was useful. It was however limited. Rooms of scribes were required to copy even a single manuscript. Books were restricted to the very wealthy and the average person existed in ignorance. Next … Continue reading

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Prisms, Light, and Color

It’s amazing what you can learn from your kids. This week I learned that light travels in a straight line through a prism until it exits the prism at which time it is magically dispersed into its component colors. This … Continue reading

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Is it really necesssary to remove people from photos?

Time Magazine’s The Vanishing Art of the Family Photo Album includes a detailed description of photo albums and how they have changed over time. Several albums include mutilated photos with what would appear to be one person completely obliterated from … Continue reading

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Just Call It a Photo

Dear Minneapolis Institute of Arts, I had lunch at your museum today, and visited the The World at Work: Images of Labor and Industry, 1850 to Now exhibition. This exhibit included Paul Shambroom’s “Color coupler print” of the Badger Foundry … Continue reading

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Wrong Color

I received a response from the Osseo School District in response to my posting on Elementary School Teachers Please Stop For the printing industry- yes, Mark Mizen is correct and our students learn about these CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key … Continue reading

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