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    Dwarf figure Campeche, Mexico. Maya. 550 AD to 850 AD. Dwarfs were important members of royal Maya courts. They are portrayed serving food, playing musical instruments, holding sacred objects for the ruler, and as diviners and scribes. Their elevated social roles were steeped in cosmology and religious mythology, especially that of the maize god, who was assisted by a dwarf when the deity set the Three Stones of the cosmic hearth at the beginning of Creation.

    The JKL Museum of Telephony, San Andreas, California, is appealing for donations to replace its stock. Everything you see in this photo was completely destroyed in the September 2015 wildfire.

    "Private Nov. 24 1880 Dear Sir, I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the son of God. Yours faithfully Ch. Darwin"

    In the rugged mountains of northern Ethiopia, Lalibela is a religious center that's home to 11 famous rock-hewn churches. Click for CNN article, and more great photos are here:

    The oilbird, or guacharo, is not a morbidly obese bird. It’s called “the whale of the air” because like its larger, ocean-dwelling brethren, it contained oil—oil that was harvested yearly, and which lit lamps and greased up South American society...

    How Thousands of Women Kept The U.K.'s Timber Industry Afloat | Mental Floss UK

    1856: America's first female detective, Kate Warne, joined the Pinkerton Agency. Agent Warne's biggest case came in 1861, as she thwarted an assassination plot against Lincoln by infiltrating Southern community, gathered intel on the attack plans, and then safely smuggled the President on his train journey by having him pose as her 'sick brother'.

    Hertha Ayrton (born Phoebe Sarah Marks), 1854-1923. Engineer, mathematician, physicist, inventor. Rejected by Royal Soc. on basis of her gender, the Society later awarded her the Hughes Medal for her work on electric arcs and physics of ripples in sand and water. When journalists attributed the discovery of radium to Pierre but not Marie Curie, Ayrton wrote: “Errors are notoriously hard to kill, but an error that ascribes to a man what was actually the work of a woman has more lives than a cat.”

    When Fleming attempted a demonstration to prove his partner Marconi's claims (that his wireless radio transmissions were immune to interference), the scientist/magician Nevil Maskelyne decided to demolish this falsehood in the most embarrassing way he could...

    How Fashion Helped Defeat 18th-Century Anti-Vaxxers [The Atlantic]

    Article: New York Public Library - Busting the myth that families' names were changed at Ellis Island

    Gertrude Elizabeth Blood was 22 when her mother brought her to Scotland in search of a suitable husband. One fateful September night in 1880, she caught the eye of Lord Colin Campbell, son of the Duke of Argyll... [click]

    The Weird Truth About Arabic Numerals - YouTube

    This pocket-size early 16th century Book of Hours is bound in silver. Catholic Church. Book of hours : manuscript, [not after 1530] MS Typ 10...

    A 19th century phenakistiscope: a revolving paper disc, producing the illusion of movement through many frames. The design is oldest known example of animation in the modern style, made in 1840 by Joseph Plateau. Via erikkwakkel.tumbl...

    Colonial soldier with German women, 1919. In the period following World War I, French colonial troops were used as part of the Allied occupation of the German Rhineland, in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles. Germ Hitler wrote about the Black Shame in Mein Kampf, decrying the "negrification" of Europe. His government would later sterilize 500 or so mixed-race children born of African servicemen and German women (the so-called "Rhineland Bastards"),

    Amelia Lee was a racial and gender minority in 1910 when this photo was taken. The Page Act of 1875 had the intended effect of severely decreasing the population of Chinese Americans. Laws like the Page Act that specifically barred female Asian immigrants made it nearly impossible for those Chinese who were born in the U.S. or Chinese who had immigrated before 1882 to have families.This was the first and only time in U.S. history that a racial group was singled out for immigration exclusion.

    Emily Hobhouse (1860-1926) was a Cornish campaigner and activist, most famous for bringing the appalling conditions of the British concentration camps to the attention of the British public during the 2nd Boer War. She also worked to improve the conditions and save the live of the people there, although under much criticism from those back in England.

    UK: Mary Fairfax Somerville (1780 – 1872) was a Scottish science writer and polymath, at a time when women's participation in science was discouraged. She studied mathematics and astronomy, and was the second woman scientist to receive recognition in the United Kingdom after Caroline Herschel.

    Front cover of Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887, containing the Sherlock Holmes tale "A Study in Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    1890s: Bicycles were an instrument of feminism, increasing women's mobility and agency, and began to redefine Victorian ideas about femininity. Bikes were popular with many women in the suffrage movement, and helped to stoke dress reform movements and push for fashions more suitable for physical activities. To counter this came a backlash from male authorities, including a claim from doctors that cycling could cause a condition called "bicycle face"... [Click for article]

    Standing 1.75 meters tall (almost 6 ft), this book takes six people to carry; flipping the page is like an exercise at the gym. A gift from the Amsterdam professor Johannes Klencke, the so-called Klencke Atlas was made in 1660 for the English King Charles II. The large maps were meant to be cut out and pasted on the wall, which never happened. Pic: Klencke Atlas, kept in the British Library. More in this BBC short film:

    The Nimrud lens or Layard lens is a 3000-year old piece of rock crystal, which was unearthed by Austen Henry Layard at the Assyrian palace of Nimrud, in modern-day Iraq.[3][4] It may have been used as a magnifying glass, or as a burning-glass to start fires by concentrating sunlight, or it may have been a piece of decorative inlay.