Casting calls can be miserable. But, in the 17th century, Nathaniel Giles pushed into really bad behavior: he and Henry Evans, exercising a royal warrant, illicitly kidnapped children to perform at Evans’ Blackfriars Theater. They snatched thirteen-year-old Thomas Clifton off the street,
… handed the boy a script and threatened him with a beating if he didn’t learn his lines.
A portrait of Pullman porter Alfred MacMillan on the Capitol Limited by Jack Delano (at Shorpy).
ICYMI: An archive of conceptual designs for Metro’s system map by Massimo Vignelli.
Maggie Jones offers a remembrance of Aiko Herzig Yoshinaga, archivist.
Thanks to Cameron Binkley and his librarian contacts at the California Academy of Sciences, I now have confirmation that Laura White’s memorial to her husband, as specified in her will, was indeed realized at CAS. According to academy’s 1958 annual report, the Lovell White Hall of Man and Nature was part of the Hall of Science (along with the Alexander Morrison Planetarium).
The Whites’ daughter-in-law Ruth gave an oral history interview in 1976. She fills in some of the details of the White-CAS connection.
RB: So then I gave [the Garden of Allah] to the California Academy of Sciences and they had it for about three years, two or three years and they loved it. The reason I selected that to give it to is because the California Academy of Sciences has a memorial for Ralston’s father, Mr. Lovell White. His mother gave it to the California a memorial there, so I thought it would be very appropriate for the —
CE: The Academy of Sciences. Were they delighted with the bequest?
RB: They certainly were delighted but regrettably their income was restricted to be spent in the City and County of San Francisco so they had to give it up painfully.
A mystery inside a mystery: The Garden of Allah, Ralston and Ruth’s Marin County home, is not the Los Angeles resort of the same name that is the setting for Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah.
The Hall of Science was demolished as part of CAS’s rebuild in 2008, so maybe Laura and Lovell would have been better off with a plaque or a statue.
A few days ago, I was flipping back through my posts from my California trip in 2011, including notes I made at Tenaya Lake. In today’s paper, Daniel Duane explains how it got that name, and the story isn’t pretty.
… Tenaya Lake — a place so important to me that I want my ashes scattered there — is named not in honor of Tenaya but in joyous celebration of the destruction of his people.
In the course of researching the life of Laura Lyon White (Mrs. Lovell White), I came across an interesting turn of events concerning LLW’s estate.
Laura’s husband, Lovell, a banker, died in 1910. Laura died in 1916. Their one surviving son, Ralston, married Ruth Boericke. The terms of Laura’s will specified that, if Ralston and Ruth had no children, a third of the estate was to be held in trust by the Savings Union Bank and Trust Company, later the American Trust Company, to build a monument to Lovell “typical of banking development in the State of California”. This provision seemed reasonable enough in the prosperous years before 1929. However, Ralston and Ruth’s financial circumstances declined during the Great Depression. Thus, when Ralston died in 1943, at his urging, Ruth contested the provision for the memorial.
Ruth lost her case, as far as I can determine, in a appellate court decision handed down in 1945. But if so, American Trust should have erected something. Yet I can find no evidence that a monument was built. I’ve written to a couple of knowledgeable sources, but so far have found no plaques or statues.
Now, in the old California Academy of Sciences, there once was a Lovell White Hall of Man and Nature. It was so designated by 1953, and still went by the name Lovell White Hall in 1986. The original Earthquake Theater was installed there. But Lovell White Hall would have come down in the 2008 rebuild; there is no such place in today’s California Academy of Sciences.
Did LLW’s money go to the CAS? I’m still following some leads.
A longread for a snow day: Linton Weeks compiles dozens of pointers to techniques and technology that have been preserved, essentially unchanged, from a century ago.
Catching up on a lot of bookmarks, so this will be a bit of a link dump.
The states of North and South Carolina are completing the resurvey of their common boundary, using high- and low-tech means, as Stephen R. Kelly notes in a recent op-ed and Kim Severson reported some time back. The colonial-era border was intended to consist of two straight lines, the 35th parallel and a diagonal crossing up from the coast. But 18th- and 19th-century surveyors made a hash of it, resulting in today’s rumpled compromise.
The rework was not intended to smooth out any of the coarse wrinkles, like the wobble around the city of Charlotte, but rather to replace the notched trees, now dead, and wandering survey monuments (including one moved by a golf course in order to impress golfers [?!]) that had originally marked the boundary.
But rest assured! South of the Border is still where it “Otto B.”
Cleaning out the e-mail folders and bookmarks: here’s a list of notable graduates and attendees of Northwestern University. That’s all.
Matt Johnson annotates a video, from film shot in the late 1950s, of a streetcar trip from downtown to Branchville in Prince Georges County.