Tag Archives: 18th Century

1780: The Dark Day

The 19th of May, 1780, was distinguished by the phenomenon of a remarkable darkness over all the northern States, and is still called the Dark day. The darkness commenced between the hours of 10 and 11 A. M., and continued … Continue reading

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1939: The History of Spitting

The pioneering sociologist Norbert Elias published The Civilizing Process in 1939 with the aim of tracing how Europeans came to imagine what it meant to be “civilized.” In the book, he argues that increasing interdependence in society—in which difference social … Continue reading

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1371: The Strangest Duel

The strangest duel I ever met with, was one fought Between a dog and a man in the year 1371, in the presence of King Charles V of France… A Gentleman of the Court was supposed to have murdered another, … Continue reading

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1797: Reading a Book

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson: Benoît Agnès Trioson Reading a Book (1797) Born Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy in 1767, Girodet suffered the death of his father in 1784 and his mother in 1787. Dr. Benoît-François Trioson, a close friend of his … Continue reading

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1759: Rocky Bay

Alexander Cozens: Rocky Bay Scene (c.1759–65)

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1732: The Morals of Chess

Although Benjamin Franklin likely composed his essay “The Morals of Chess” as early as 1732, it was first published in 1786, during the height of interest surrounding Wolfgang von Kempelen’s mechanical chess-playing Turk; Franklin himself had lost to the machine … Continue reading

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1735: Snake

Illustration from Albertus Seba’s Thesaurus, Vol. 2 (1735); the full title of the work is in Latin and Dutch: Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio – Naaukeurige beschryving van het schatryke kabinet der voornaamste seldzaamheden der natuur [Accurate Description of … Continue reading

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1784: Cenotaph

Etienne-Louis Boullée: Cénotaphe de Newton (1784); for his proposal for a cenotaph for Isaac Newton, Boullée envisioned a 500-foot tall sphere encircled by plateaus containing hundreds of cypress trees. (source)

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1725: Music Library

Giuseppe Maria Crespi: Libreria musicale (c. 1725)

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1795: The Staircase Group

Charles Willson Peale: Staircase Group (Portrait of Raphaelle Peale and Titian Ramsay Peale I) (1795)

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