History

Home/History

The History of Business Cards

When Johannes Gutenberg introduced printing to Europe thanks to the invention of the printing press (15th century), nobody could imagine that this new machine would bring so many useful supplies and equipment, such as what we now call business cards. These presentation cards had even more meaning on the 17th century when they were created and so widely used. I bet not even Johannes Gutenberg, a German blacksmith, goldsmith and inventor could imagine that nowadays we could all buy thousands or millions of business cards from home thanks to a new service we now call: Online Printing.

As we said, on the 17th century business cards were widely used, of course not as much as today, but the vast majority of aristocrats in Europe had their own. They were more or less the size of a poker card of the 21st century, and sometimes the cards were engraved with gold and typefaces.

The 17th century visiting cards would be presented by aristocrat footmen to the servants at the home of a host to announce the arrival of a distinguished guest. And as we said, there were decorated with ornaments and sometimes elegant coat of arms.

By the 19th century, many more people started using them and in some houses it was a ‘must have’ thing, as a part of the century´s protocol. Many high class houses had silver card trays on the hall table along with a pencil and a piece of paper. Whenever somebody came they had to leave their cards there and therefore, in the future, it served as a catalog of those who had visited the house before.

According to Convey, during the Industrial era … ” with the rise of the middle class, a decrease in social formality, and more efficient modern printing techniques, visiting cards and trade cards eventually merged into the precursor to our modern business card. The “business card” became a must have item across both Europe and the United States. This shift, however, was not always smooth. Many in the upper class resisted this merger, creating awkward cultural and social divides. “

But what happened next, in the 20th century? Well as you might imagine, business cards became absolutely essential both for important people and all kind of companies. Every customer would ask for your business card and it would be very weird if your company or brand wouldn’t have one by the 1950’s. It became the established norm even for small businesses and corporate executives.

By the 1980’s a whole culture arose around business cards, nobody could leave home without carrying their own personal or brand business cards, there is even a scene in the American Psycho movie that represents the contagious lunacy that every business man suffered towards business cards.

But the point here is that it is now easier than ever to create the most trendy, fashionable and amazing business cards without having to resort to expensive printing professionals. You just have to make your own design with programs like Photoshop or look for an online printing company like HelloPrint to get the most amazing designs ever, and receive as many copies as you want directly at your home or office.

By | 2019-01-20T13:26:46+00:00 January 20th, 2019|History|0 Comments

Racism in History

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, Racism is:  “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” And then there is another meaning: “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”

Unfortunately, there has been racism since the beginning of history. And if you really get into it you will find facts that you did not want to know, for example, when you realize that even one of your favourite philosophers like the Greek Aristotle said that Greeks are free by nature while Barbarians (non-Greeks) are slaves because they are more willing to submit to a despotic government! This statement is published in a book by Kevin Reilly called ‘Racism: A Globar Reader’.

Just imagine how popular Aristotle would be if he had said that in 2019, he would probably lose all his credibility or would only be supported by the few racists that mingle with us in the 21st century. Or ar they not so few? Many people think that the United States of America, Spain or even Great Britain are still racist countries…

Racism in the United States has been there since the very beginning, we are talking about the Colonial Era. Only white Americans had privileges and rights while all other races had no rights at all. Education, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, etc, were exclusive privileges for white Americans. These kind of things remind us that we are true animals indeed, and that we don’t know anything about humans and how we really are. Racism in history still makes black people want revenge in America, let alone native Indians.

But black people and Indians weren’t the only ones who’ve suffered from racism throughout history, what about Jews after World War I ? Anti-semitism “was successfully exploited by the Nazi Party, which seized power in 1933 and implemented policies of systematic discrimination, persecution, and eventual mass murder of Jews in Germany and in the territories occupied by the country during World War II (see Holocaust)”, according to britannica.com.

Did you know that even National Geographic had a Racist Coverage for decades? And how do we know it? Because they have acknowledged it in an article by Susan Goldberg (Editor in Chief). This is what she wrote: “It is November 2, 1930, and National Geographic has sent a reporter and a photographer to cover a magnificent occasion: the crowning of Haile Selassie, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah. There are trumpets, incense, priests, spear-wielding warriors. The story runs 14,000 words, with 83 images. If a ceremony in 1930 honoring a black man had taken place in America, instead of Ethiopia, you can pretty much guarantee there wouldn’t have been a story at all. Even worse, if Haile Selassie had lived in the United States, he would almost certainly have been denied entry to our lectures in segregated Washington, D.C., and he might not have been allowed to be a National Geographic member.”

The architecture throughout history

Architecture exists since the first time someone had the idea of planning, designing and constructing a building of any type anywhere. Just think about it, when was the first time someone decided to change his own environment for good and with what knowledge? Who was the first architect on Earth? These are questions that might not have an answer but we are lucky we can enjoy buildings and constructions that can easily have more than 8,000 years of age…

When was Architecture created? It must have been during the Neolitic (more than 10,000 years BC), and thanks to this new type of men we now call architects, people could now become sedentary, as now they had new shelters, walls, houses and organized crops to be able to stay in a recently built town instead of having to move elsewhere from time to time. The era of moving from one place to another was a thing of the past.

These new constructions and buildings were created by men who could transform their environment into anything that was needed: a defensive castle, an independent or self-sufficient place, etc. People who had the ability of seeing these images on their head and making them real weren’t called architects yet, but now it is one of the most important professions in the world.

Then of course came the unbelievable constructions of the Ancient Mesopotamia with the Ziggurat of Ur, the Assyrian palace of Ashurnasrirpal II or the Ishtar Gate, which are buildings that can impress you even now, 5,000 years later.

Architecture was booming at that time, people with money wanted to become eternal and leave their footprint forever. This is how the pyramids of Giza were created or the Temple of Horus at Edfu, a typical example of Egyptian architecture.

But the trend wasn’t over yet, now it was time for the Greeks and their Agoras, surrounded by their buildings and temples. The Partenon in the Acropolis still rises as one of the most beautiful buildings of all time.

But what about the Colosseum or Coliseum? Romans took advantage of the architectural knowledge of the Greeks and even perfected it. The Roman’s aqueduct of Segovia is a good example of how important architecture can be to save or improve the lives of many people in towns and cities. The interior of the Pantheon in Rome, is also something that can amaze you now in 2018.

By then everybody knew that ‘something as external as a building could really have an impact on our daily mood’. Architecture was absolutely necessary by then and it’s still the same way today. Society needs good architects and especially the ones that go into things that aren’t mainstream like the professionals who choose to study a Master of architecture in Collective Housing.

There is such a competition nowadays that if you want to be the best you need to offer something different. This is why many students are now specialising themselves. A good example of this is what we said before: An architect that needs to specialize in Collective Housing or an Asian Historian who wants to specialize in Spanish History, for example. The fact remains, architecs are one of the most important professions today, at the same level as doctors. And from General-History we’d like to thank you all for your passion, time and effort.

By | 2018-12-21T16:57:27+00:00 December 21st, 2018|History|0 Comments

Spine problems?

Human beings have suffered spine problems throughout the ages. Fossilized evidence of bone straightening exists and the ancient Greeks perfected this art. Therefore, spine surgery is not new, whether used to correct back deformities in children or because some kind of surgical procedure was necessary. This was a far cry from the spine surgery we use today but it shows that we have always understood that bones can be straightened and corrected. (more…)

By | 2018-11-08T12:08:20+00:00 November 8th, 2018|History|0 Comments

Cosmetic Surgery and its Place in Modern Society

People have been concerned about their appearance from the beginning of recorded history. It might sound surprising, but cosmetic surgery has been around for centuries. The tools and methods may differ, but physicians have always searched for ways to make changes to the body of individuals who want a different look. Most of the procedures we see today have been in existence for many years. Their purpose is the same as it used to be, what has changed throughout the years are the tools and the methods used. For example, tattoos and piercings have been popular for centuries; injections and stitching were used to give the body a beautiful and smoother look, and were the beginning of cosmetic surgery. On the other hand, non-invasive surgery came into existence as a medical treatment which made it unnecessary to cut open the body during surgery, for example, non-invasive back surgery is a surgical procedure recommended for patients who suffer chronic neck or back pain. A degenerated painful disc is replaced with a new artificial one. The aim of this procedure is for the patient to regain a normal lifestyle.  In Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR), no bones are cut.

Different types of cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery, are different, however, they are closely related. They both deal with improving a patient’s appearance but their underlying principles are different.

Cosmetic surgery is focused solely on enhancing a person’s physical appearance. This can be performed on all areas of the body including the neck and head. Within the scope of cosmetic surgery are body contouring: liposuction, tummy tuck; facial rejuvenation: brow, neck, eyelids, and facelifts; breast enhancement: lifting, reduction; facial contouring: cheek, or chin enhancement, rhinoplasty; skin rejuvenation: Botox, filler treatments, and laser resurfacing.

Plastic surgery deals with repairing birth defects, reconstruction of normal functions and appearance. Some of these defects are caused by disease, trauma, burns, and birth abnormalities. Basically, the aim of plastic surgery is to correct dysfunctional areas of the human body; therefore, it is reconstructive. Plastic surgeons can perform cosmetic surgery, but they tend to specialize in reconstructive plastic surgery. In 1999, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons adopted the name American Society of Plastic Surgeons to emphasize the fact that plastic and reconstructive surgery is the same. Some examples of the procedures these surgeons perform are: hand surgery, burn repair surgery, breast reconstruction, lower limb reconstruction, breast reconstruction, congenital defect repair: limb defect repair and cleft palate.

The first cosmetic surgery

As time passed, doctors incorporated cosmetic surgery as a part of plastic surgery. Therefore, cosmetic surgery was born out of reconstructive surgery. This all began in central Asia. Asian physicians used most of the methods used in rhinoplasty today to beautify the shape of the noses of royal family members. Sushruta, an ancient Indian healer, was supposedly one of the first cosmetic surgeons in the world. He was the first person to perform skin grafting around the 6th century BC. He used a piece of skin from another body part to graft on the face to enhance and correct a person’s appearance.

By | 2018-06-26T16:21:11+00:00 June 12th, 2018|History|0 Comments

William Turner (Painter)

 

William Turner VeniceJoseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) was an English painter who stood out thanks to his extraordinary watercolour landscapes and oil paintings.

The particular confusion between brilliance and madness was very obvious in the biography of William Turner. An academic painter during his origins, Turner developed his art until reaching a free, atmospheric and in occasions, abstract style that made critics reject his creations until they finally understood he was just a genious. (more…)

Don’t forget to read books!

Don’t neglect your reading!

Expert or inexpert, millions of people read blogsites, blogspots, online books, political pamphlets etc. The offer is endless using the Internet. But one should NOT forget the good old book . . . books have been around in printed, readable form for centuries. A well-made bookshelf full of printed knowledge may take up much more room in your bed-sitter or your palace, but it is worth it.

Talking of books, General-History comes in book form too, in softback and on sale at reasonable prices on almost any of your Amazon outlets; www.amazon.com (USA), www.amazon co.uk, even www.amazon.es. which invariably deals with books in Spanish. General-History by Dean Swift has not yet been translated from the original English. The book is divided into 3 volumes – Vol. I with a red cover stripe, Vol.II with a green one, and Vol. III with a blue stripe. There are well over a thousand pages in all three volumes, all selected and edited from the website www.general-history.com

Please go to Amazon, click on ‘Books’, then key the following – General History Dean Swift. Up should comethumbsof all three volumes, with details of price and packaging, delivery etc. Do not be confused by the author-name: ‘Dean Swift‘ is a pen name of historian Jeremy Taylor.

This website receives an average of 100.000 visits per annum according to Statistics. Why not consider having all three volumes among your own books?

By | 2018-04-24T15:10:28+00:00 February 26th, 2015|History, Today, World History|0 Comments

The wit of two conductors

Sir Thomas Beecham / dailymail.co.uk

Sir Thomas Beecham / dailymail.co.uk

It is possible that many players in orchestras have heard very funny comments made to them during rehearsal, or even during the actual performance of an orchestral piece. But someone needed to be quick enough to scribble what was said, and this has not always happened. The following remarks were noted at the time, though critics simply attribute them to the speaker. (more…)

By | 2015-01-30T08:29:56+00:00 January 28th, 2015|British History, History, Humour|1 Comment

The demise of the Church of England

Dr. Michael Ramsey

Dr. Michael Ramsey

A distinguished elderly gentleman on a professional foreign tour, lay on his hotel bed waiting for news of a cancelled flight. His press secretary found him there, hands clasped behind his white head. He was repeating the words, “I hate the Church of England.” The secretary commented, “ It’s a good thing nobody’s here but me to hear you say that!” Dr. Ramsey, for it was he, said again, “Oh, but it’s true. I do hate the Church of England. Indeed I do.”

Ramsey was Archbishop of Canterbury at the time. At the time of his enthronement at Canterbury, he said, “Here in England, the Church and State are linked together . . . We ask for a greater freedom in the ordering and in the urgent revising of our forms of worship . . . If the link of Church and State were broken, it would not be we who ask for this freedom who broke it, but those – if there be such – who denied that freedom to us.”

The Reformation that took place in sixteenth century England was the process by which an English Church rejected the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church’s established doctrine and liturgy. At the same time it was the means by which Chancellor Thomas Cromwell, urged on by Henry VIII, sequestered Church lands and property ready for ‘redistribution’ to the Crown and those at Court who wished to buy it cheaply. Henry became Head of the Church of England (though he never stopped being a Catholic) and the ancient authority at Canterbury continued under the same name.

When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey Ramsey had been beside her when she was annointed by the Archbishop, Ramsey’s former headmaster Dr. Fisher. One should not be surprised to learn that Fisher had told the Prime Minister when the time came for his retiremen that he could not recommend his former pupil for the job. Harold Macmillan replied, “Well, Archbishop, you may have been Michael Ramsey’s headmaster, but you are not mine (Fisher had been Head Man at Repton; Macmillan a boy at Eton) and I intend to appoint Dr. Ramsey. Good afternoon.”

Dr. J.A. Robinson

Dr. J.A. Robinson

In the early 1960s the Bishop of Woolwich, Dr. J.A. Robinson, was apparently a real Church of England man, son of a famous theologian, married with three daughters and a son. He was not the ‘fashionable and photographed’ bishop, a trendy who might advocate practices and doctrines which would offend the sensibilities of any narrow-minded or puritanical church-goer. He was not a ‘Red Dean’ of Westminster, who believed that Stalin has established an Earthly Paradise. Nor was he Barnes, Bishop of Birmingham who once described himself as ‘a troubled theist’ – a difficult phrase which an unconcentrating news sub-editor rendered next day as ‘a troubled atheist’.

But it was this Bishop of Woolwich who wrote a very short paperback and offered it to a small Christian publishing company. When it was ready for what promised to be a tiny sale, the good Bishop wrote an ad. for his own book in The Observer with the hardly subtle headline ‘Our Image of God must Go’. Not even the mild Dr Robinson could have predicted the result; His tiny paperback opus Honest to God sold 300,000 copies in the three months after publication and was translated into other languages many times. Though hard to believe, it might well be that this little book was the beginning of the not so gradual collapse of the Church of England, and a great wave of disbelief in the Christian Church generally. Many previously practising Christians felt that what Robinson wrote was simply heresy, questioning the very basis of what they thought was Christianity itself. The Archbishop (Ramsey) wrote a short essay denouncing Honest to God, insisting on a more orthodox theology, but Macmillan wrote to him, ‘I think it is a mistake to bewilder people.’

The Most Reverend Arthur Michael Richard Ramsey was the hundredth Archbishop of Canterbury, and was surely one of the strangest occupants of that office, though historically one of the most significant. The old Great Britain was breaking up by the Sixties, in every sense, and Ramsey deliberately and systematically set in motion the machinery and the means required to dismantle the Church of England. He and others of course, but he was one of the key players.Part of the ‘dismantling’ which began in the middle Sixties of the last century was the Church of England’s stunning policy of selling off its parsonages, rectories and vicarages, as well as empty churches and accompanying land. The descending trend of church attendance was alarming and relentless. In 1968 only 5% of Anglicans went to Communion Service. Hardly anyone used churches for weddings, baptisms or funerals. Within ten years of the publication of Honest to God churches in England were getting together in desperation, calliong it ‘ecunemism’. In the future years,the Church would make the effort to delude itself that the sudden secularization of the West was not terminal. They tried popular music to attract believers, but the dwindling congregations were nothing to the millions who had firmly decided not to attend church. Britain after the 1960s became a purely secular state.

(I am indebted to Andrew Wilson and his book Our Times, the age of Elizabeth II; Hutchinson, 2008)

By | 2015-01-26T20:21:16+00:00 January 26th, 2015|History|0 Comments
Load More Posts