Council Against Intolerance in America

A Pretty 1940 Map of American Diversity, Annotated by Langston Hughes

Slate: This map, issued by the Council Against Intolerance in America in 1940, shows the ethnic groups living in the United States, offering a picture of their geographical locations, typical employment, and religious commitments.

The map omits state boundaries, opting instead to show the mix of ethnic groups by area. For heavily-populated areas, such as the Northeast or Chicago, pop-out keys framed with line drawings of people engaged in typical industries show the diversity of urban citizenry.

Altas Obscura: “Maps of this kind were not particularly common and especially not at this scale,” says Ian Fowler, the director of Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine, who notes that the physical map itself is quite large. “While this map does borrow stylistic elements from pictorial maps produced during the 1920s and ‘30s, it is very unique in its emphasis and display of information.”

See also

Progression and regression

Annotated map of diversity in 1940s America

The Council Against Intolerance, a New York group active from the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, was founded by left-leaning Jewish author James Waterman Wise. Wise is notable for having warned of the dangers of Nazism in several books as early as 1933. — Slate

Gallery

The Dark Past of Sea Monkeys

Great Big Story: This is the story of how a tiny, magical creature was transformed into a cultural phenomenon by inventor, marketing genius and complicated eccentric Harold von Braunhut. Full of fun facts (both charming and disturbing), Just Add Water is a colorful short film about a half-century of marketing directly to children, the force of nostalgia in pop culture, and an unlikely meeting of flim-flam and hard science. A film by Penny Lane.

Evolution of the English Alphabet

Evolution of the English Alphabet

Matt Baker: Fyi, the above chart was actually just a simplified promo for a much larger chart – a Writing Systems of the World poster. So, if you’re concerned about the fact that thorn, wynn, or any other letters are missing, rest assured that they were indeed included on the main chart.

History of the Alphabet →

Use your words

Evolution of the English alphabet

“Shouldn’t you have titled this ‘Evolution of the Latin Alphabet?'” Well, yes, that would have been correct as well. But it’s also not incorrect to refer to an “English alphabet”. Obviously, many European languages use the same Latin script. But some use a slightly different number of letters. When one is referring to the set of Latin letters used for a particular language, it’s ok to refer to that set as the “[language name] alphabet”. — Matt Baker / UsefulCharts.com

Gallery

Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London

Entries to a Competition to Design a New Tower in London (1890)

The Public Domain Review: A selection of the more inventive entries to a competition to design a new tower for London. The year previous, 1889, saw the hugely successful Eiffel Tower go up in the centre of Paris, and the good people of London, not to be outdone, decided to get one of their own. A wonderful array of designs were put forward. Many were suspiciously similar to the Eiffel Tower and many erred on the wackier side of things…

The very practical design number 37 by Stewart, McLaren and Dunn was eventually chosen to be awarded the 500 guinea prize-money and built in Wembley Park. Construction began in 1892 but the company in charge of the erection, The Metropolitan Tower Company, soon ran into problems including falling chronically behind schedule due to marshy ground and then financial difficulties which eventually led to their liquidation in 1889. Construction ceased after only 47 metres had been completed.

(via @PublicDomainRev)

See also

Craft and creativity

Entries to a competition to design a new tower in London to rival the Eiffel Tower (1890)

A selection of the more inventive entries to a competition to design a new tower for London.

Gallery

Medieval trade routes and geography

Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope.

Medieval Trade Routes and Geography

Credit for this map goes to Martin Månsson who posted this on /r/MapPorn, which has some interesting discussion.

The map also depicts the general topography, rivers, mountain passes and named routes. All of which contributed to why cities came to be, and still are, up until modern times.

The Silk Road is not just one, but many roads that leads through all of Asia, from Constantinople in the west, through Central Asia and the Himalayas, to Liangzhou in the east. During this time, the Chinese Song dynasty was in its height and it was one of those Chinese dynasties that were open to foreign trade and invested in commerce and infrastructure. Foreign trade was mostly concentrated to the southern ports were both Jews and Muslims had their own communities.

(via @stephenniem)

See also

Miscellany

Map of medieval trade routes

The high middle ages were a time when the stars aligned in terms of commerce for many areas of the world. In central Europe many German and French cities initiated annual trade fairs, some of which are still active today – most notably in Frankfurt.

Gallery

Diglû

Diglû

Diglû consists of 440 characters and 404 pictograms developed for the analysis and mediation of archaeological finds. It was developed as a research project of the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research as a part of the doctoral thesis of Fabienne Kilchör.

A lineal typeface designed with 6 weights and 844 pictographic symbols Diglû is a substantial subset of the Unicode standard focused on one specific area of application.

Diglû will be made available through the independent type foundry Extraset.ch, where other pictograms serving different niches will be developed.

(via @typeroom_eu)

See also

Craft and creativity

Diglû: a pictographic typeface for archeology

A lineal typeface designed with 6 weights and 844 pictographic symbols.

Gallery

The Story of Tetris

Gaming Historian: In 1984, during the Cold War, a Russian programmer named Alexey Pajitnov created something special: A puzzle game called Tetris. It soon gained a cult following within the Soviet Union. A battle for the rights to publish Tetris erupted when the game crossed the Iron Curtain. Tetris not only took the video game industry by storm, it helped break the boundaries between the United States and the Soviet Union.

See also

Tetris, by Box Brown