Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper

I decided to do some research on African-American newspapers in order to get a sense of the types of articles that were published in the past. As I began looking for sources, I came across relatively old articles made by Baltimore Afro-American company which was founded in 1892 by a former slave known as John Murphy. Like many other newspapers, Baltimore published articles about sports, societal or cultural issues, food and even humorous stories. The image below, shows a very unconventional article published in 1893 with the title: “Best way to get rid of rats”. The author of the article suggests that people can kill rats by feeding them “emetic tartar”, a substance that will make them sick and will force them to leave the house.

Baltimore News 4Many of the articles that I found were associated to robbery or crime stories. For instance, the image below was published in 1925, under the title “Good Lord, How He Can Shoot”. The article describes a robbery in which Andrew bennett (African-American individual in the middle of the picture) stopped three bandits. He injured one of the bandits with a pistol , although he never used a gun before. In the picture, he is handing the gun to a detective.

Baltimore article

Something that surprised me is that I literally found over 2000 articles related to marital issues (e.g. cheating on another person, child custody, economic issues). It appears that sharing personal issues or stories with the public was a common practice. The article below shows an article published in 1941 with the title, “Wife says Hubby won’t Pay Rent”. In this article, the wife explains that her husband spends the whole day at home drinking alcohol and he doesn’t provide anything for the family.

Baltimore, Marital issues

Finally, as expected, I found many articles related to racial issues affecting African-American communities. The article below was published in 1946, with the title “Asks Federal Laws to Punish Racists”. The article describes a convention that took place in Atlantic city with the goal of making racist actions or prejudice into a federal crime.

Baltimore, Racism

Clearly a lot can be learn about different issues affecting individuals and the community by looking at newspapers. Baltimore is one of the many newspapers that can help us achieve those goals.

Sources:

http://guides.lib.washington.edu/news/enews

WWII American Posters

I’ve always been interested about WWII and the different events that led to the genocide of six million Jews (i.e. Holocaust), therefore, I decided to make a post related to this topic. I searched the archives from the UW library and I found very interesting posters made by the U.S. Government, which were meant to be use for propaganda between 1939-1945. The image below shows Nazis burning books (an event that took place in 1933) but the poster itself was published in 1943.

American Poster 1943The year 1933 was an important turning point for Jews living in Germany because Hitler’s government passed different laws that allowed the exclusion and discrimination of Jews. They were removed from jobs and other public services. During the same year, Nazi officials conducted campaigns to burn books related to Jewish literature or anything that was viewed as inappropriate in Nazi Germany. The image below shows another poster published in 1942 in which Nazis are burning books and there is a large book with a quote from president Franklin Roosevelt that says, “People die but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that  embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know books are weapons”

American Poster #2, 1942

Finally, I found another poster (shown below) that dates back to 1943. During this year, anti-semitic attitudes were common in Germany and multiple massacres were taking place in the extermination camps. The poster below shows a hand (with a Nazi symbol) holding a dagger that goes through a bible. There is also a text that reads, “This is the enemy”. This poster clearly shows that Nazis were perceived by Americans as dangerous individuals and their actions were opposite to the religious values/beliefs of American culture.

American Poster 3, 1943

I think these posters are useful because they can help us understand the American attitude towards Nazis during WWII. Although, I couldn’t find any posters created by Nazis, I’m sure they also used them for propaganda purposes. There are also a variety of personal diaries, photographs, and governmental documents that can help us understand more about people’s attitudes and actions during WWII.

Sources:

Benz, W., & Sydenham-Kwiet, J. (1999). The Holocaust: A German historian examines the genocide. New York: Columbia University Press.

http://guides.lib.washington.edu/content.php?pid=90255&sid=687755

Ointment Bottle

Broken ointment bottle from the lab

Broken ointment bottle from the lab

One of the most interesting artifacts that I analyzed during the bottle lab is a small medicinal-type of bottle. The bottle is colorless and it has a wide-cylindrical body with threaded lips. The embossing on the surface of the bottle says, “CHESEBROUGH, NEW YORK.” So I decided to do some research on those words and it turns out that “Chesebrough” is the name of the manufacturing company which was created by a person named Robert Augustus Chesebrough in 1872. This bottle contained some type of medicinal ointment (i.e. cream, unguent) used for minor wounds or bruises.

According to the information that I found from the SHA website on glass bottles, Chesebrough company was located in Brooklyn, New York. Many ointment containers were made out of glass but it was also common to see metal and ceramic containers during the 19th century. Many containers include the trademark, “Vaseline” which started to be used in 1877. The product was initially marketed around 1860s as “good for man or beast.”

I also found a website that provides a brief history of the company. According to the information, oil workers initially used the ointment bottles in order to heal cuts or burns. These were widely used by regular people working in extreme cold weather (to prevent dry skin). It is interesting to know that U.S. soldiers also used such bottles during WWI in order to heal their bruises or prevent sunburn.

Sources:

http://www.vaseline.com.pk/about-us/history/

http://www.glassbottlemarks.com/chesebrough-manufg-co-vaseline-jars/

http://www.sha.org/bottle/medicinal.htm

Anthropology Building

As many of you know, Denny hall is UW’s first structure that was built back in 1894. It was named after Arthur Denny (the person who donated the space for the construction of the building). Although the building was initially called “Administration building” it changed to “Denny” since he was the one who donated and cleared the land for the construction of the building. The architect responsible for its construction was Charles W. Saunders. I found some of his architectural drawings of the rear north elevation that date back to 1894. Charles designs or architectural style is French Renaissance. I posted some actual images of the building being constructed during that time.

Architectural Drawings (Denny Hall)

Architectural Drawings (Denny Hall)

Construction site (Denny Hall)

Construction site (Denny Hall)

A few years after its construction, I found images of a large auditorium that was located at the bottom floor of the building which dates back to 1905. The building had a total capacity of 600-800 students. The interior of the building also included a large library which was the only one available on campus at the time. According to the information that I found, the library system contained about 6000 volumes.

Auditorium (Denny hall)

Auditorium (Denny hall)

Library (Denny Hall)

Library (Denny Hall)

The building also contained different exhibits and science labs owned by the young naturalist society. The collection included different rock specimens (geology), small section on native American artifacts and animals (ducks, crabs). these collections were eventually moved to another building (i.e. Burke museum) in 1962.

Exhibit (Denny hall)

Exhibit (Denny hall)

Exhibit part 2 (Denny Hall)

Exhibit part 2 (Denny Hall)

Exhibit part 3 (Denny Hall)

Exhibit part 3 (Denny Hall)

Although I found a wide variety of resources (e.g. articles about the building, pictures of the construction, architectural drawings, images of the interior and exterior part of the building as well as students) I couldn’t find maps of the land. I found multiple images of the building at different times but I noticed that the land looks significantly different in some of them. Maps could help me understand how the landscape changed over time.

Resources:

https://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcollections/collections/exhibits/site/bldgs

http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=2565

http://opb.washington.edu/sites/default/files/opb/Architecture/ULAC%202007-11-30%20Denny%20Hall%20Site%20Program.pdf

http://kuow.org/post/founding-university-washington-one-student-time

http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2013/09/university_of_washington_campu_1.html

http://www.lochkelden.org/historic-photos.htm

Gender Differences and Gravestones

Based on the information that our team collected from the survey of the gravestones at Calvary cemetery, there is evidence of some differences in terms of gender. For instance, I decided to make a graph that would compare the number of deaths (per gender) every 30 years. Although our sample is relatively small (N=33), the overall trend shows interesting results. Between 1861-1890 and 1921-1950, we collected information from a total of 7 males that died during those periods but what’s interesting is that we didn’t collect any information from females during those periods (i.e. they were completely absent). Women are clearly underrepresented during those periods perhaps due to the fact that female population was smaller or our group failed to collect enough data from those sections. I also want to highlight the fact that between 1891-1920, the number of deaths per gender was very similar. likewise the most recent range of dates between 1981-2011 suggest that the population of male and female burials was more evenly distributed.

I also wanted to compare the different shapes of gravestones and see which types were more popular among males and females. For instance, “tablets” are the most common type of gravestone in our sample. The number of tablets used by males is slightly higher than those used by females (7 vs 5). Another interesting observation is that the number of  “monuments” and “columns” used is significantly higher for males than females. This is important because the majority of columns and monuments are more elaborate (i.e. complex designs and made out of polished granite or marble). These types of gravestones also include more descriptive epitaphs because they tend to be larger in sizes. I think this could reflect some gender inequalities (e.g. more expensive and complex structures for males) however, we need larger samples in order to make such conclusion.

Fig: Gender and Gravestone shape

Cultural Heritage (Blog)

“The cultural heritage” blog was created by Nicole Beale. She is a PhD student from the University of Southampton who specializes on cultural heritage. The articles that have been published in this blog address very important topics such as cultural preservation, laws and ethics within archaeology, museum policies and public archaeology projects. Although the overall content of the site is not very acessible to the general public, I think the topics are appriopiate for students who are considering going into the field of archaeology. The blog offers a variety of links to different publications, cultural and other archaeological blogs, as well as museums. The goal of the blog is to improve awareness about these important topics (i.e. cultural heritage and laws) and how such information can be used by local museums and archaeological projects.

http://theculturalheritageweb.wordpress.com/

Bones Don’t Lie (Blog)

Bones

“Bones Don’t Lie” is an interesting blog created by Katy Meyers. She is a PhD student from Michigan State University who focuses on mortuary archaeology and Bioarchaeology. If you are interested in paleopathology, bones, diet, war crimes, forensic science and funeral/burial practices,  then you should check out this blog. The articles published in this blog are very accessible to the general public as well as university students; therefore, making this blog very enjoyable to a wide variety of audiences. The blog is very well organized and it includes links to other archaeology blogs as well as online bookstores. The purpose of the blog is to keep people update with the latest information on bioarchaeology.

http://bonesdontlie.wordpress.com

Garbology Project at the UW

Garbology is a field of study that attempts to understand modern culture through the analysis of what is thrown away in the trash. As part of a Historical archaeology assignment, our class was required to conduct a garbology project around the UW campus with the goal of understanding more about the type of people who used the trash cans. The University of Washington is a perfect place to collect samples not only because of its large population but also due to its wide variety of students of different ages and cultures.

Our team decided to collect samples from the business building (Paccar Hall) and the art building. We obtained garbage from areas that were relatively close to the cafeteria as well as the classrooms. We were expecting to obtain samples that would reflect the type of food that they consume and the type of materials that they used in regular basis. Although stereotypes are often misleading and many of them are wrong, we couldn’t ignore the fact that business and art majors are perceived through stereotypical lenses. For instance, we expected to find more expensive trash in the business building because we associated this place with people who earn a lot of money and work many hours. On the other hand, we expected art majors to be more concerned with recycling because people in that building are perceived as people who care about nature and the environment.

Some of the most common items found on both trash cans include yogurt, fruits (i.e. apples, bananas), napkins, disposable coffee cups and energy bars. Although we couldn’t find any significant results, the general pattern of collections suggest that users relied on food that is mostly found at the UW campus. We found many disposable coffee cups in both trash cans suggesting that the users forgot to use the appropriate containers (compost). Based on the items that we found, it was concluded that business majors tend to waste a lot more (e.g. half eaten sandwich, full bag of chips) than art majors. However, we couldn’t find major differences between both buildings in terms of recycling and expenditure patterns.

Abner’s Life

sleepy cat
Abner was born in San Salvador, EL Salvador and speaks Spanish fluently
since he lived in that country for 13 years. When he was a kid, he used to
visit the coastline with his friends almost every weekend. Although he spent a significant amount of time near the ocean he never liked seafood. He lived and
grew up in a city most of his life; however, he always preferred spending more time in the countryside because he enjoys hiking. His other hobbies include watching horror films, playing soccer and listening to a wide variety of German, Spanish and English music.
Most of his family lives in Toronto, Canada and Seattle; and he moved to the U.S. around 8 years ago. He has been in other countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Chile. he went to Shoreline Community College and then transferred to the UW 2 years ago. He is currently trying to obtain a double major in psychology and archaeology. His interests in psychology include neuroscience, development and clinical counseling. Since he was a little kid, he always felt fascinated by archaeology because he comes from a culture that cares about tradition and ancient civilizations. Some of his interests in archaeology include ancient Greece and Rome as well as the development of Mayan civilization.