The Wuppertaler Schwebebahn, a suspension railway in Wuppertal, Germany, circa 1913. Designed by Eugen Langen, the first track opened in 1901, and the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn is still in use today.
Medallion 25mm in diameter (1875) - Samuel Plimsoll.
Samuel Plimsoll (1824 – 1898) was a British politician and social reformer, now best remembered for having devised the Plimsoll line (the line painted on a ship’s hull indicating where the waterline should be at or below, reflecting the legal limit to which a ship may be loaded).
Plimsoll became destitute after failing to become a coal merchant, and then learned to sympathize with the struggles of the poor, so when his good fortune returned, he devoted his time to improving their condition.
His efforts were directed especially against what were known as “coffin ships”: unseaworthy and overloaded vessels, often heavily insured, in which unscrupulous owners risked the lives of their crews.
So, barrage balloons were tethered to the ground with metal cables, in order to defend against low-level aircraft attack, as collision with cables, or balloons, would damage the incoming aircraft. Sometimes small explosive charges would even be included. When dive bombers had to fly higher to avoid them, they flew into the range of anti-aircraft fire. Very clever.
— Milan Kundera (via cinnamon-coffee-kisses)
La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia Spain (by xeniussonar)
Celtic (Spain), 2nd century BC
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Shannongrove Gorget
Celtic (Ireland), 800-700 BC
The Victoria & Albert Museum
TIL that a gorget is a metal or leather collar designed to protect the throat in battle.
Celtic (France), 4th Century BC
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“The funeral chapel of Ferdinand III of Castile in Seville Cathedral bears inscriptions not only in Latin and Castilian but also (seen here) in Arabic and Hebrew (separated by a band of lions and castles, standing for Castile and Leon): an expressive symbol of a multi-cultural society.”
Ferdinand died in 1252.
It’s easy to think of medieval Europe as this homogenous mass. But it wasn’t, of course. There were travelers and trade routes and pilgrims and and refugees and those seeking a new opportunity and conquerors and the conquered.
Image from Medieval Panorama, p. 234.
Gold pavillon of Philip VI
Medieval, introduced AD 1339
Minted in France
Pavilioned in splendour
France was the first kingdom in western Europe to introduce gold coinage successfully. The gold metal came mostly from Africa or Hungary, via Italy. Silver flowed out of France in exchange. The designs on French royal issues, and particularly those of King Philip VI (reigned 1328-50), show an elaborate Gothic beauty, which set the style for other royal coinages in medieval Europe.
The pavillon of 1339 was a short-lived issue. When introduced it was valued at 30 sous tournois in the French monetary system. On the front the image of the king is shown seated under a pavilion-style canopy, hence the coin’s name. The canopy is decorated with fleurs-de-lis, the stylized lily that acted as the principal French royal symbol. The king holds a sceptre. The back of the coin shows a highly decorated cross, surrounded by a four-lobed design, and with crowns in its angles.
Ironically, the beautiful gold coins of this reign disguise the onset of a period of serious monetary confusion, as the beginning of the Hundred Years War between France and England in 1337 undermined the value of French coinage.