Nuggets From Afar

When the fall chill hits and you wrap yourself in a shawl and feel like drifting off to other times and places, these links might inspire you.

The Evolution of Love Songs. In case you ever forget the words to Let Me Call You Sweetheart, here rendered by the Peerless Quartet in 1911.


Chrysalis is a firm of archaeological consultants that specializes in the history of New York. They’ve recently pursued excavations in the South Street Seaport Historic District that recovered two intact nineteenth-century wooden water mains. Other treasures: eighteenth-century toddlers’ slippers crafted of leather, and British Revolutionary soldiers’ buttons, which turned up along the original shoreline of Manhattan. A liquor bottle seal circa 1764 brings that time alive.


Between 1885 and 1908, a collector named William Hayes Ward amassed a bounty of 1,157 cylindrical seals dating as far back as the beginning of the fifth millenium. If you like tiny images on semiprecious carved stones from Mespotamia – gods, bulls, antelopes galore — you will want to take a look at these enchanting objects, which formed the core of J.P. Morgan’s collection.


Living With Herds: A Visualization Dictionary is a short film by a research fellow at an Australian university that shows how Mongolian herders communicate with their animals.


Women’s bodies were never meant to be squeezed into corsets, which is immediately apparent when you check out x-ray images from 1908.

woman xray

Linguistic fossils offer a glimpse of times gone by.


And finally, secret, tiny fairy doors began materializing all over Ann Arbor. This was in 2005. Perhaps not surprisingly, the carpenter turns out to be a children’s book author. Doors have appeared at the library, the pet store, the children’s hospital. Anyplace they’d be sure to raise an eyebrow and the corners of your mouth.

tiny door


Filed under Art, Culture, Fashion, History, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Music, Nature, Writing

4 responses to “Nuggets From Afar

  1. Why thank you. My next novel, Savage Girl, comes out in March and takes place in Gilded Age New York. It was a gas to research and to write — about a wild child from the west brought up in the hectic pre-debut mode of 1875 Manhattan. A murder mystery, too.

  2. Jeff Dymowski

    Jean, I wanted to tell you that I read, “The Orphanmaster” and I really loved it! I felt like you transported me back to New Amsterdam! You really captured the period. I am a history freak & from your blog I notice you are one too. I live in Manhattan & am fascinated by that period. I look forward to reading your book on the Phillipse women & “Love Fiercely”. I am also intrigued by the gilded age as well. Keep up the great work.
    All best,
    Jeff Dymowskil

  3. Looking at culture through the lens of history: fun.


    FUN! You inevitably inspire me to refresh my memories;
    how I enjoyed the story and the sounds of the COMEDIAN HARMONISTS, what I learned about the CYRUS CYLINDER at the British Museum,
    that HIMALAYA (the movie with the herds of yaks) makes me yearn to visit Nepal,
    how glad I am that I didn’t live as a fashionably-dresed woman in The GIlded Age,
    AND how I wish I still had my 1980 copy of Brian Froud’s FAERIES.
    Be that as it may, (I love that fossil) … they are refreshed memories. THANKS!

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