I think my mother wrote shorthand. I remember her scrawling, at a breathless pace, what appeared to be unintelligible marks on stenographers paper. It was gibberish then, and it is gibberish now. But stunning in its economy and gesture. These two pages are a perfect example of Pitman Shorthand, popular in the UK, and second only to Gregg Shorthand in the US. Gregg Shorthand is far less compelling, and even a little boring, because of the uniform thickness of the line. For more information on the Pitman method, go here. Images from here.
Always a good idea to have some emergency first aid knowledge in one’s back pocket. From, of course, the NYPL archive.
If you haven’t seen this already, here are a few updates on the transportation options around town. Go to the MTA’s site for maps and regular updates.
Despite the fact that this slim volume was intended for younger children, it tells a compelling story about how far we have come in the world of craft. Among other things. I wonder what Martha would say.
We had a boatload of tomatoes from the garden and the farmers’ market this year, so I decided to do some proper canning of sauce. Because tomatoes fall into that danger zone of medium acidic foods, unless you have a pressure canner, you need to add some lemon juice or citric acid to the sauce in order to make the whole process safe. All the recipes I looked at (I settled on the one from this wonderful book by Ashley English) recommended using bottled lemon juice, because real lemons vary in their acidity. This could be an issue: read sickness or death. Not in my nature to mess around with that! So, I moseyed on over to the local supermarket and picked up one bottle each of lemon and lime juice (I was also canning tomatillo salsa). It wasn’t until I got home and used the lemon juice that I really looked closely at the packaging. It’s a great design. And when seated next to the bottle of lime juice, they do tell a funny story. I did a little homework and found out that the bottles were designed in 1955, and have been in continuous production by the same Swiss firm, Sidag AG. Yep, almost 60 years old. World Radio Switzerland ran a series about Swiss design and highlighted the bottles as part of their excellent programming.
I don’t typically mind separating a few eggs the old fashioned way, but this new and improved method might come in handy if one were talking volume. I am very intrigued by the fact that the demonstration is taking place on the couch and not in the kitchen. Also note that the video has been viewed over 10 million times. Thanks to Danièle for sending my way.
More cigarette cards from the astonishingly large digital collection at the NYPL. In honor of the Olympic Games. Right.