Nabokov's Notebook

Nabokov's Notebook A blog about the science in art and the art in science.
"I discovered in nature the nonutilitarian delights that I sought in art. Both were a form of magic, both were a game of intricate enchantment and deception." -Vladimir Nabokov (Writer, Lepidopterist.)

The National Archives’ The Way We Worked online gallery offers a remarkable sight-seeing trip through the lives of American workers in centuries past. 

The image at top left is not related to science, but I couldn’t part with the eyes of the boy in the center of the shot. From the caption: 

“Group showing a few of the workers stringing beans in the J. S. Farrand Packing Co. Those too small to work are held on laps of workers or stowed away in boxes”

By Lewis Hine, Baltimore, Maryland, June 7, 1909

Then there’s that image of a pair of women in gas masks, which provide them with necessary oxygen for cleaning up around a 1940’s Indiana steel mill. 

And the shot at top right, whose contents I still don’t quite understand:

“A Hanford technician, wearing a protective mask fitted with the receiver of a two-way radio system, points to a blackboard drawing that demonstrates ‘how to talk your way around a huge nuclear reactor.’ When the reactor is loaded or unloaded, the fuel is handled by two men, one at the front and the other at the back of the reactor. The area around the rear face of the reactor is radio active, and a worker can remain there only for a limited time.”

By an unknown photographer, Hanford Works, near Richland, Washington, ca. 1961

Along the bottom panel —a woman surgeon at work in 1944, industrial chemists in 1967, and a rural operating room welcoming the Germ Theory era in 1924. 

I recommend that you check out the rest of the gallery for yourself.

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