The Pedoscope

How many of you remember the Pedoscope? While it might sound like a telescope for pedophiles, it was actually a machine that could be found in many shoe and department stores from the 1920s till as late as the 1970s in some countries. Also called an X-ray Shoe Fitter or Foot-o-scope, it was a fluoroscope that let … Continue reading The Pedoscope

Bipartisan

“It is true that the president needed a few Democratic votes to pass the Thirteenth Amendment in the lagging days of a lame-duck Congress, but he never attached any symbolic importance to its coming before the public as “bipartisan” legislation. He was an unembarrassed Republican who took every opportunity to call himself a Republican; and … Continue reading Bipartisan

Asparagus

Bannister: “If you were to serve asparagus, for example, you would lay a finger bowl but no cutlery. The English eat it with their fingers. Americans do not.”  Who knew serving asparagus could be so fraught? Certainly not Church, the Russell family’s butler, who is being schooled in the ways of the English by Bannister, … Continue reading Asparagus

At Tony Pastor’s

When Cornelius Hackl tries to convince Barnaby Tucker, his fellow employee at Horace Vandergelder’s shop in Yonkers, to go to New York City with him, he sings “Put On Your Sunday Clothes”, one of the great ensemble numbers in Hello, Dolly! Alas, Cornelius really doesn’t know much about the upper classes in NYC of the … Continue reading At Tony Pastor’s

Political Differences?

“He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” — Benjamin Franklin Early in the Ken Burns documentary on Benjamin Franklin the narrator claims that Franklin “let political differences destroy his relationship with his son.”  Knowing a little bit about the history of Ben and his son William, I immediately … Continue reading Political Differences?