Thanksgiving with the Tindles and their Phonograph

On Thanksgiving Day in 1917, exactly one hundred years ago, the Tindle family of New York City gathered to celebrate the holiday.  There’s nothing unusual about that in itself, of course, but they chose to mark the occasion by making a record on their cylinder phonograph, allowing us to listen in on their gathering a…

Time-Based Averaging of Indiana University Yearbook Portraits

To help celebrate Indiana University’s upcoming bicentennial in 2020, I’ve been applying time-based averaging techniques to university-related images that document long-term change on a scale far beyond that of ordinary time-lapse efforts.  These techniques can be used to create either still images or video animations, and I’m aiming to do both, maybe leading to a…

A Song for Labor Day

There aren’t many songs out there about Labor Day, but even so, I have a clear favorite.  Released in 1955 exclusively on a hard-to-find benefit LP for paraplegic civilians, this is a song so catchy—and so unintentionally humorous—that I can’t resist trying to rescue it from its present obscurity.  So give it a listen and…

George Hachenberg and His Electro-Music (1860-1897)

In 1871, an enterprise known as the Musical Telegraphy Company was incorporated in New York State to apply “electricity to musical instruments…so as to enable one or more musicians to play simultaneously many instruments.”  Its president was George P. Hachenberg (1824-1904), a man who probably did more than anyone else to shape American popular thought…