colony square

The fashion item with perhaps the most romantic history is the handkerchief. This symbol of love and femininity has been the basis of many traditions throughout a very long history. Historical evidence reveals handkerchiefs being included in dowries, bequeathed in wills, and reported as “missing” in official police documents. It’s amazing that an item that had such a practical beginning could have acquired such sentimental meaning.

History of The Handkerchief

Handkerchiefs were not mentioned much prior to the 14th century, but the few references we have state that they have been used for more than just wiping noses. They have been worn on the head, veiled faces, covered mouths to protect from stench and disease, and been waved in greeting. In Pathos, Cypress, people make wishes and hang handkerchiefs on the tree at the entrance to Agia Solomoni Church.

During the Middle Ages, a lady who gifted a man the “couverchef” on her head marked him with her favour. A knight would don his lady’s handkerchief for good fortune in battle. The pocket handkerchief is thought to have been invented by King Richard the II of England, who reigned from 1377 to 1399.

In 1536, King Henry VIII and his wife Anne Boleyn were watching a tournament when Anne’s handkerchief fell onto the field during a pass. One of the combatants picked it up, wiped his brow with it, and handed it back to her, infuriating the king, who stalked away.

The handkerchief became a symbol of wealth and social status in European society, especially in the courts of Italy and France. Handkerchiefs were richly and intricately decorated, a must-have fashion accessory. The dainty pocket handkerchief apparently made its debut when a Venetian lady made a square of pure flax and decorated it with a lace edge. She displayed her handmade creation in a gathering in a garden. Her creation attracted a lot of interest and many ladies then copied her. To better display their handkerchiefs, women wore them draped across their arm or held in their hand rather than tucked away in a pocket.

During the 16th century, tobacco made its way into Europe. By the 17th century, ladies were taking snuff but were bothered by the brown stains on their noses. The handkerchief had a new job. Coloured handkerchiefs came into fashion because they could better hide the brown stains than dainty white handkerchiefs.

Until the 18th century, handkerchief shapes were frequently round, oblong, or square. Marie Antoinette claimed that the square handkerchief was most practical and raved over its beauty. Louis XVI then issued a mandate requiring that handkerchiefs be square, setting the precedent that remains to this day.

It was said that during Napoleon’s reign, Josephine would hold a handkerchief to her mouth to show disapproval when speaking to the lower classes. Eventually, the handkerchief’s popularity spread beyond the upper classes to the commoners and to the New World. Colonial women began carrying square, lacy handkerchiefs that were essential to complete an outfit.

By the 20th century, men adopted the handkerchief as a social status symbol. The left breast suit pocket was developed to showcase a man’s handkerchief tucked in and showing just the top edge. A man’s outfit was not complete without this final touch.

Victorian Handkerchief Codes

In the Victorian era, young couples developed a way to covertly communicate without arousing the suspicion of their chaperones. The way in which a woman handled her handkerchief spoke volumes:

   Drawn across the lips… “We should meet.”
   Held to the left cheek… “No.”
   Held to the right cheek… “Yes.”
   Drawn across the forehead… “We are being watched.”
   Thrown over the shoulder… “Follow me.”
   Drawn across the cheek… “I love you.”
   Drawn through the hands… “I hate you.”
   Dropping it… “We should be friends.”
   Folding it… “I wish to speak with you.”
   Winding it around the middle finger… “I am married.”

In his 1877 publication “Secrets of Life Unveiled,” Daniel R. Shafer wrote, “The handkerchief, among lovers, is used in a different manner than its legitimate purpose. The most delicate hints can be given without danger of misunderstanding, and in ‘flirtations’ it becomes a very useful instrument. It is, in fact, superior to the deaf and dumb alphabet, as the notice of bystanders is not attracted.”


Traditionally, the handkerchief has been associated with love, so it’s no surprise that wedding traditions have arisen featuring the handkerchief. The monogrammed bridal handkerchief came from the tradition of young brides stitching their initials onto their handkerchief and their future husband’s surname.

Irish brides would carry a handkerchief up their sleeve to symbolise their faith that babies would be born to the union. If the first baby was a girl, the handkerchief would be transformed into a baby’s bonnet and the stitches later undone for the daughter’s own wedding.

In China, couples exchange new red handkerchiefs that have mandarin ducks as a symbol of monogamy.

In Greece, the newly married couple dances a traditional handkerchief dance in which they each hold an end of a handkerchief before inviting the wedding guests to join them on the dance floor.

Belgian brides carry a handkerchief embroidered with her name. The bride’s parents then frame the handkerchief and display it on the wall.

In the United States, the bridal handkerchief is passed from mother to daughter. A bride who cried on her wedding day is believed to never cry during her marriage. This developed from a farmer’s belief that a bride’s tears were lucky and would help their crops grow.

The handkerchief as a practical object gradually disappeared from use with the invention of disposable tissues in the 1950s under the slogan “Don’t carry a cold in your pocket.” Yet, the handkerchief lives on in tradition and in the hearts of romantics everywhere who still value the comforting utility of a square piece of cotton softened over countless washes, charming faded prints, and the faint scent of a loved one’s perfume clinging to the threads.

Artwork: Godspeed, by Edmund Blair Leighton.


The Historic Spanish Town Square :: 'The Original Emancipation Park’

This specific area of Jamaica boasts arguably the most significant sites and monuments of the country’s history spanning the years of colonialism onward. Generally acclaimed to be the most impressive of its kind in the West Indies. While the town was of significance for the Spanish during their rule, the square gained its prestige from the English, who constructed in the area the Court House, the House of Assembly, Rodney’s Memorial and King’s House (the Governor’s official residence on the island).

In more recent times, the Square has become the site of The Jamaican Peoples Museum of Craft and Technology, which occupies the space of the former stables block of the English. The site hosts many of the island’s key artifacts ranging from items of the Amerindians through to the English. The Jamaica Archives is also located in the area.


Concept pieces for Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom

Something about this land got lost between the beautiful concept art and the real thing, and I’m not sure I can identify it. The historically-costumed characters add a lot of atmosphere and sense of time to the paintings, which could possibly work well in reality with costumed actors. (Would they just get lost in the massive crowds though?) Or maybe it’s all the New England-style autumn foliage, which obviously wouldn’t translate too well to the Florida climate. 

My guess is that it’s mainly just the architecture of these paintings that made it to real life, and that the architecture alone is just a bit too similar to what Americans are used to seeing every day. Either way, I always feel like Liberty Square is the most overlooked of the lands at the Magic Kingdom, and that most people just breeze through it on their way to Haunted Mansion or Splash Mountain. Compare that especially to New Orleans Square at Disneyland, which is practically an attraction in itself.


Deutschland’s Kolonien-Spiel: the 19th-century board game that trained German kids in colonialism

The board game Deutschland’s Kolonien-Spiel—Game of Germany’s Colonies—once offered children a voyage through the German territories abroad, from Europe through Africa to Asia. Produced in 1890, the game arrived during a peak moment of colonial fervor.

Not only did players encounter the trials and tribulation of traveling in foreign lands, but they also learned about the colonies and their own supposed role as bearers of civilization. 

At the turn of the 19th century, child’s play was about more than having fun. As the market for toys grew, toy producers sought to appeal to ever-greater audiences by touting the educational value of their products. The map at the center of Deutschland’s Kolonien-Spiel, for example, imparted authority and pedagogic value.

This relic from childhoods past is part of the Getty Research Institute’s special collections—also home to a French colonial board game—and was recently digitized for online viewing.

Read more about the game and its components on the Getty Iris.

richardsprincessbob  asked:

#27 for Bellarke?

ao3, prompt list

“Why did I agree to this?” Bellamy grumbles, pulling a pair of plaid trousers off the rack and holding them up so Clarke can make an appropriately disgusted face.

“Because it’s your sister’s event,” she tells him for the twentieth time.

“It doesn’t start until ten, Clarke.”

She holds up a lacy shirt with big bell sleeves, wondering how visible the large stain will be in the dark. Thrift store shopping is always hit or miss.

Luckily, they’re shopping for zombie costumes, meaning questionable stains and rips aren’t out of the question.

They’re doing all this for a program Octavia is coordinating for Old Arktown, the minor tourist attraction that puts their town on the map. It’s nothing more than a small square of colonial-era shops, but school field trips and educational family vacations mostly keep it in business.

They hired Octavia to run their social media, but she ended up as more of a liaison between the historical society and the demographic they have the most trouble catering to: ‘young people.’ Hosting haunted tours for Halloween had been her idea, and Clarke signed up as much because it sounded fun as because her best friend’s sister was running it.

“Ten isn’t that late,” she tells Bellamy now, exasperated.

“It is when you have to wake up at six thirty.”

“Which you don’t because tomorrow is Saturday, and you don’t have school.” She spies black laces and flips through the rack, locating the corset. “I don’t get why you’re being so difficult about this. Nobody made you sign up. Clearly you thought it was going to be fun.”

“I thought I’d be manning the ticket booth or something, not having to dress up.”

“Did you not tell Octavia what you wanted to do? I told her I wanted to be a scarer and she said it was no problem.”

There’s a long enough pause she has to look up, and when she does the tips of his ears are red, his eyes so focused on the clothes in front of him that she isn’t sure he’s actually seeing anything.

“I told her to put me on whatever you were doing,” he mutters, pushing a hanger aggressively to the side. Clarke bites back an affectionate smile. He’s so predictable.

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Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva)

…a striking “fox-colored” species of mining bee (Andrena spp.) which is native to Europe, ranging from the Balkans to southern Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Tawny mining bees are often encountered in light woodlands and dry grasslands, but will occasionally be seen in parks and gardens. Adults fly from March to May, pollinating a range of plants. Tawny mining bees will construct solitary nests underground, but these nests are often located in colonies only a few square meters apart. 


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Hymenoptera-Andrenidae-Andreninae-Andrena-A. fulva

Image: ©entomart


I freaking love ants! What they can do is Amazing! This one ant colony covers 50 square meters (450 square feet) and goes 8 meters (24 feet) into the ground!

May 23, 1916 - Verdun: French Attack Fort Douaumont

Pictured - Over the top.

Towards the end of the spring, the French war effort was still fixated on defending Verdun to the death.  True to fashion and pre-war plans, however, the French were never content to sit around and wait for German attacks.  Instead, they made a point of counter-attacking whenever possible, trying to blunt Germany’s edge. 

On May 23, an attack launched at Fort Douaumont briefly seemed to succeed in reclaiming Verdun’s ultimate prize.  The fort, which had fallen bloodlessly, and humiliatingly, to the Germans only a week into the battle, was more than worth is prize in lives.  French machine-gunner Robert Desaubliaux described its overwhelming impact on the battlefield: “They dominate us from Fort Douaumont; we cannot take anything without their knowing it, nor dig any trench without their artillery spotting it and immediately bombarding it.”

The fort also dominated the imaginations of the French commanders.  In April, Joffre re-shuffled the command at Verdun, promoting General Petain to commander of Army Group Center, and making Robert Nivelle the head of the Second Army duking it out at Verdun. Nivelle was intelligent and persuasive, with piercing eyes and a complete command of English.  It was he, not Petain, who coined the famous mantra of the defenders of Verdun: “On ne passe pas!”  “They shall not pass!”

Nivelle’s right-hand was his chief-of-staff, General Charles Mangin.  Troops called him “the butcher” or “the eater of men”.  Born in Africa, he was the picture of a colonial soldier, square-jawed and burnt by the sun.  “His whole appearance gave the impression of an eagle searching for prey,” remarked an American journalist.  He was reckless of his troops’ lives and of his own, a hard-hitting and callous commander.  On May 23, he launched the assault on Douaumont. 

For five days prior, French artillery soaked the fort with thousands of shells.  Battalion commanders were told that they could “reach the fort with our rifles slung, as it would be completely flattened.”  The shelling smashed in Douaumont’s entrance and destroyed its generator, plunging the hundreds of German wounded inside into total darkness, but apart from that failed to make a single breach.  The artillery had finished its role, now the infantry had to play its part.

A few German shells bracketed the French trenches immediately before zero hour; although seemingly unimportant, old veterans shuddered, knowing that it meant the Germans had their range and were just waiting for the French infantry to appear.  French planes, firing new rockets, had downed five German observation balloons that morning, but either way there was little element of surprise left to the French attack, and as soon as the whistles blew and the poilus charged over the top,  yelling “Pour la France!”, German shells and bullets began to take their toll.

Mangin fed reinforcements into the battle continually, despite reports that some had lost over 40% of their troops.  Two companies actually made it to Douaumont’s ramparts, and appeared, momentarily, to have succeeded.  But they had only their rifles and bayonets.  “The Boche counter-attacked with grenades.  The two companies, defenseless, were annihilated.”  A battalion coming to help them lost five hundred men on the approach.  “the dead were piled up as high as the parapet.”  France was willing to sacrifice as many men as it needed to hold Verdun.  The question was whether it could survive the loss.