Tools of the trade chess equipment

Tools of the Trade - Chess Equipment Chess is not complete without its gears. Over the years, little has changed to the equipments used for chess games. The board and pieces, with the exception of the rules, have remained slightly similar to its predecessors. However, the trend of designing chess sets has been practiced for several centuries. Themes from different sources, be it literature, movie or popular culture, were used to design the board and pieces used for chess games. The Chess Sets There are several variations of designs for chess sets. Basically, chess pieces used for the game are figurines that are taller than they are wide. They are also available in an array of designs. However, probably the most popular design is the Staunton design, after Howard Staunton, the 19th century English chess player. Staunton designs were created by Nathaniel Cook. Staunton style chess sets were first seen in 1849 and were created by Jaques of London. Since then, the Staunton designs were considered as the standard design used for actual chess games. The demand for the universal model of chess pieces were renewed during the late 18th century and early 19th century. During those times, chess was beginning to become popular and gained interest particularly in international plays. The styles and varieties of the conventional form started in the 15th century and had expanded by the beginning of the 19th century. During that period, some of the most popular conventional styles and chess sets were the English Barleycorn, the French Regence, the St. George and the Central European Selenus. Most of the pieces used were tall, cumbersome during chess games and easily tipped. However, the major disadvantage of such chess sets was on the uniformity of the pieces. The game’s outcome could be altered due to the player’s unfamiliarity with the opponent’s pieces. The Staunton Chess Set The early 19th century called for the need of a standard chess set with pieces that were universally accepted by chess players of different backgrounds. The first solution to the problem was released in 1849 by John Jaques of London, which was then the games and sports manufacturers of Hatton Garden, London, England. Although Nathaniel Cook was credited with the Staunton design, it was believed that his brother-in-law, John Jaques, conceived the design. The Staunton chess design underwent several theories. Firstly, the development of the set has utilized prestigious architectural concepts. Since the architects of London were influenced by the neoclassical style of the Romans and Greeks, the appearance of the new chessmen was based on this style and the piece achieved what seemed to be symbols of the Victorian society. The second theory involved Jaques experimenting with a design, which would not only be accepted by the players but could also be produced at an affordable price. Eventually, Jaques synthesized and borrowed several elements from pre-existing sets to create a new design that used universally acknowledged symbols atop usual stems and bases. More so, the pieces were compact, well-balanced and weighted to give a set that was understandable as it was useful. During the third theory, the Staunton design was the combination of both theories with the synergy of Nathaniel Cook and the artisan John Jaques. The design was then patented in March 1, 1849; Nathaniel Cook registered the Ornamental Design for Chessmen. During that date, there was no provision for the registration of any design of ivory and was only limited to articles chiefly made of wood.

A sense of responsibility

"I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul." - William Henley (1849-1903) Our lives are only as good as we decide to make them. We should make short and long range plans and then follow them through, reviewing them as we go. It is our design and determination that decide our destiny, and this is our responsibility. When things are not right we should blame nobody, for that only dodges the problems that are our own and that we must fix ourselves. Let's examine our own actions and decide how things will be. "Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be." - Thomas Kempis (1380-1471) We should make a special effort to be what we want to be, giving consideration to what others might wish of us. We must do our duties, complete our tasks, be kind and honest. When there is the temptation for an immediate pleasure that may be harmful to us or to others, we must resist. Where there are injustices we must speak up. "It is not alone what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable." - Moliere (1622-1673) We are individuals and should do what we believe in, taking responsibility for our actions. A good critical look at ourselves is very helpful in determining what needs changing. It may also see much good to be proud of. Not in the clamor of the crowded street, Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat. - Henry Longfellow (1807-1882)

Hot sauce history a lip smacking mouth watering story

The hot sauce history is the history of enterprising men fired by the fiery chilly into crafting the hot sauce that is a rage among the gourmet lovers. The hot sauce history also chronicles their ventures to create ingenious hot sauce variations that grace almost every cuisine in the world. Sauce historians have gathered information mainly from the labels on the hot sauce bottles housed in private collections. Hot sauce advertisements obtained from city directories and newspapers are other resources. Information in general is sparse, but whatever are available, points to a rich and varied hot sauce history. The flaming hot sauce had a humble beginning in the form of cayenne sauces in Massachusetts way back in1807. 1849 is a landmark year in the history of hot sauce. The first sauce import took place in 1849 when England’s Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce made its way into the USA and Colonel White raised the first chronicled Tabasco chilly crop. Colonel White prepared the world’s first Tabasco sauce and advertised it. Hot sauce was now well and truly geared towards commercialization. A variation of the hot sauce came out in 1860 when J. McCollick & Co. of New York City produced a Bird Pepper Sauce. But the hot sauce really captured the imagination of the public with Edward McIlhenny’s ripened Tabasco hot sauce in 1868. 1870 and 1906 are high watermarks in hot sauce history whence McIlhenny secured a patent on the Tabasco variety of hot sauce and the McIlhenny clan trademarked the Tabasco brand, respectively. Hot sauce marketing broke new grounds with Chicago-based William Railton’s 1877 advertisement copy for his Chilly Sauce, which positioned it as an exotic variety with medicinal benefits. The legendary Poppie’s Hotter ‘n Hell Pepper Sauce had its moorings in south Louisiana under Poppie Devillier in 1893. The success of the Tabasco hot sauce opened the floodgates to experimentation with various flavors. Thus in 1916, Charles Erath of New Orleans produced the Red Hot Creole Pepper Sauce; in 1923 Crystal Hot Sauce made its debut courtesy Baumer Foods, Louisiana; in 1941 the La Victoria Sales Company created a stir with red taco sauce, green taco sauce and enchilada sauce. These experimentations were not confined to only the entrepreneurs. Homemakers too were dabbling their hands at hot sauces, as evident from recipes for barbecue and curry sauces found in “Mrs. Hill’s New Cookbook”. Hot sauce had spread like wild fire. The hot sauce juggernaut rolled on with David Pace’s picante sauce, made in 1947 and Chris Way’s Dat'l Do It Sauce and Hellish Relish, in the beginning of the 1980s. Hot sauce history says that Los Angeles leads the way when it comes to hot sauce consumption, with 3.3 million gallons consumed in 1990. Modern hot sauce history is replete with manufacturers like Sauces & Salsas Ltd, Le Saucier, the first dedicated sauce and hot sauce retail outlet and Chi-Chi’s vying to grab a share of the consumers’ appetite. Hot sauce surely sells like hot cakes.

Hot sauce history a lip smacking mouth watering story

The hot sauce history is the history of enterprising men fired by the fiery chilly into crafting the hot sauce that is a rage among the gourmet lovers. The hot sauce history also chronicles their ventures to create ingenious hot sauce variations that grace almost every cuisine in the world. Sauce historians have gathered information mainly from the labels on the hot sauce bottles housed in private collections. Hot sauce advertisements obtained from city directories and newspapers are other resources. Information in general is sparse, but whatever are available, points to a rich and varied hot sauce history. The flaming hot sauce had a humble beginning in the form of cayenne sauces in Massachusetts way back in1807. 1849 is a landmark year in the history of hot sauce. The first sauce import took place in 1849 when England’s Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce made its way into the USA and Colonel White raised the first chronicled Tabasco chilly crop. Colonel White prepared the world’s first Tabasco sauce and advertised it. Hot sauce was now well and truly geared towards commercialization. A variation of the hot sauce came out in 1860 when J. McCollick & Co. of New York City produced a Bird Pepper Sauce. But the hot sauce really captured the imagination of the public with Edward McIlhenny’s ripened Tabasco hot sauce in 1868. 1870 and 1906 are high watermarks in hot sauce history whence McIlhenny secured a patent on the Tabasco variety of hot sauce and the McIlhenny clan trademarked the Tabasco brand, respectively. Hot sauce marketing broke new grounds with Chicago-based William Railton’s 1877 advertisement copy for his Chilly Sauce, which positioned it as an exotic variety with medicinal benefits. The legendary Poppie’s Hotter ‘n Hell Pepper Sauce had its moorings in south Louisiana under Poppie Devillier in 1893. The success of the Tabasco hot sauce opened the floodgates to experimentation with various flavors. Thus in 1916, Charles Erath of New Orleans produced the Red Hot Creole Pepper Sauce; in 1923 Crystal Hot Sauce made its debut courtesy Baumer Foods, Louisiana; in 1941 the La Victoria Sales Company created a stir with red taco sauce, green taco sauce and enchilada sauce. These experimentations were not confined to only the entrepreneurs. Homemakers too were dabbling their hands at hot sauces, as evident from recipes for barbecue and curry sauces found in “Mrs. Hill’s New Cookbook”. Hot sauce had spread like wild fire. The hot sauce juggernaut rolled on with David Pace’s picante sauce, made in 1947 and Chris Way’s Dat'l Do It Sauce and Hellish Relish, in the beginning of the 1980s. Hot sauce history says that Los Angeles leads the way when it comes to hot sauce consumption, with 3.3 million gallons consumed in 1990. Modern hot sauce history is replete with manufacturers like Sauces & Salsas Ltd, Le Saucier, the first dedicated sauce and hot sauce retail outlet and Chi-Chi’s vying to grab a share of the consumers’ appetite. Hot sauce surely sells like hot cakes.

33 essential year end financial tasks

The end of the year is a traditional time of celebration, excitement, reflection and planning – not withstanding the hectic holiday shopping of course. However, the end of the year also holds another, lesser-known but more significant, importance - the optimal time of the year to complete year-end financial tasks. A new booklet in the Financial Booklets Series from Marshall Rand Publishing reveals the most essential of these tasks. Managing your personal finances always begins with you. By not completing certain essential tasks, you risk making costly mistakes and placing your financial independence, control and security at risk. The benefits of completing these financial tasks typically include protecting and growing your investments, cutting your tax bill, jump starting your retirement savings, improving your credit rating and reducing your insurance costs. “The end of the year is not only the optimal time to address all personal finances, but also is the deadline for completing some specific tasks,” says Scott Frush, president of Frush Financial Group and author of 33 Essential Year-End Financial Tasks (available at FinancialBooklets.

com). “For example, the last trading day in December is the final opportunity to sell losing investments and offset resulting capital losses against existing capital gains for that tax year.” Here Frush shares seven of the essential year-end financial tasks revealed in his new booklet. 1. MINIMIZE CAPITAL GAINS: Capital gains taxes can significantly reduce total portfolio performance and increase your tax bill. As a result, harvest appropriate capital losses to offset against existing capital gains. 2. REBALANCE YOUR PORTFOLIO: Due to fluctuating market prices over the year, your portfolio and respective holdings may have changed. To ensure that your portfolio remains optimal - or aligned to achieve your goals and objectives - you may need to sell some investments and buy other investments with the proceeds. 3. MAXIMIZE RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS: Consider increasing contributions to your retirement account – 401(k), 403(b), IRA or other, if permitted. The compounding impact from increased contributions will become quite sizable over time. Take full advantage of employer matching. 4. ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY FUND: An emergency fund is used to protect against a loss of income as a result of layoff, disability or death. As a general rule, your emergency fund should amount to between three and six months of your average monthly expenses. 5. CONSIDER BUNCHING ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS: If you are close to benefiting from itemizing your deductions, consider "bunching" them in alternating tax years. One year you itemize deductions - and benefit from the excess itemized deductions over the standard deduction - and the next tax year you take the standard deduction. 6. DRAFT OR MODIFY ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS: Having an estate plan (will, living will, trust, power of attorney, etc) is essential for avoiding probate, minimizing estate taxes and ensuring assets go to whom you designate. 7. MAKE TAX-EFFICIENT CHARITABLE GIFTS: Making gifts of highly appreciated assets, namely stocks, can be very beneficial by reducing your tax bill. In most cases, taxpayers benefit by obtaining both a charitable tax deduction and avoiding capital gains tax on the highly appreciated asset. With the end of the year fast approaching, it is crucial that you address your personal finances and complete certain essential tasks, especially those with deadlines. Remember, managing your personal finances always begins with you. To obtain your copy of 33 Essential Year-End Financial Tasks, order online at FinancialBooklets. com or mail $4.75 to Marshall Rand Publishing, P. O. Box 1849, Royal Oak, MI 48068-1849.

33 essential year end financial tasks

The end of the year is a traditional time of celebration, excitement, reflection and planning – not withstanding the hectic holiday shopping of course. However, the end of the year also holds another, lesser-known but more significant, importance - the optimal time of the year to complete year-end financial tasks. A new booklet in the Financial Booklets Series from Marshall Rand Publishing reveals the most essential of these tasks. Managing your personal finances always begins with you. By not completing certain essential tasks, you risk making costly mistakes and placing your financial independence, control and security at risk. The benefits of completing these financial tasks typically include protecting and growing your investments, cutting your tax bill, jump starting your retirement savings, improving your credit rating and reducing your insurance costs. “The end of the year is not only the optimal time to address all personal finances, but also is the deadline for completing some specific tasks,” says Scott Frush, president of Frush Financial Group and author of 33 Essential Year-End Financial Tasks (available at FinancialBooklets. com). “For example, the last trading day in December is the final opportunity to sell losing investments and offset resulting capital losses against existing capital gains for that tax year.” Here Frush shares seven of the essential year-end financial tasks revealed in his new booklet. 1. MINIMIZE CAPITAL GAINS: Capital gains taxes can significantly reduce total portfolio performance and increase your tax bill. As a result, harvest appropriate capital losses to offset against existing capital gains. 2. REBALANCE YOUR PORTFOLIO: Due to fluctuating market prices over the year, your portfolio and respective holdings may have changed. To ensure that your portfolio remains optimal - or aligned to achieve your goals and objectives - you may need to sell some investments and buy other investments with the proceeds. 3. MAXIMIZE RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS: Consider increasing contributions to your retirement account – 401(k), 403(b), IRA or other, if permitted. The compounding impact from increased contributions will become quite sizable over time. Take full advantage of employer matching. 4. ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY FUND: An emergency fund is used to protect against a loss of income as a result of layoff, disability or death. As a general rule, your emergency fund should amount to between three and six months of your average monthly expenses. 5. CONSIDER BUNCHING ITEMIZED DEDUCTIONS: If you are close to benefiting from itemizing your deductions, consider "bunching" them in alternating tax years. One year you itemize deductions - and benefit from the excess itemized deductions over the standard deduction - and the next tax year you take the standard deduction. 6. DRAFT OR MODIFY ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS: Having an estate plan (will, living will, trust, power of attorney, etc) is essential for avoiding probate, minimizing estate taxes and ensuring assets go to whom you designate. 7. MAKE TAX-EFFICIENT CHARITABLE GIFTS: Making gifts of highly appreciated assets, namely stocks, can be very beneficial by reducing your tax bill. In most cases, taxpayers benefit by obtaining both a charitable tax deduction and avoiding capital gains tax on the highly appreciated asset. With the end of the year fast approaching, it is crucial that you address your personal finances and complete certain essential tasks, especially those with deadlines. Remember, managing your personal finances always begins with you. To obtain your copy of 33 Essential Year-End Financial Tasks, order online at FinancialBooklets. com or mail $4.75 to Marshall Rand Publishing, P. O. Box 1849, Royal Oak, MI 48068-1849.

The early history of broadway musicals

Broadway as a symbol Broadway is the street in New York that has come to symbolize live theater entertainment and musicals throughout the world. Today the area, known to tourists and theater-goers, stretches from W.41st Street, where the Netherlander Theater is located, up to W. 53rd Street's Broadway Theater. Only four theaters are located physically on Broadway, the Marquis at 46th Street, the Palace at 47th Street, the Winter Garden at 50th Street and the Broadway at 53rd. All the other legitimate houses are located east or west of this twelve block stretch. Broadway Stars. By the 1830's America was exporting stars to Europe. The first notable American actor to make a successful tour was Edwin Forrest, who at nineteen, had played Iago to Edmond Kean's Othello. Forrest's second tour of Great Britain, in the following decade didn't fare as well. He was hissed off stage. Though the disruption of his tour was a personal feud with a British actor, its results were well publicized in the American Press and his return to the American stage was received with populist fervor. This "personal feud" became an international incident and demonstration of class struggle in 1849, when the British actor in question was scheduled to perform at the Astor Place Opera House in New York. A riot ensued on the night of May 10th which was put down with troops and cannon. Broadways first marquis. In 1891, the first electric marquis was lit on Broadway. The theater was on Madison Square at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue at W. 23rd Street. The Flatiron Building now occupies the site. By midway through the following decade, the street blazed with electric signs as each theater announced its shows and stars in white lights. By the turn of the 20th Century the street had an entirely different look, with as many as sixteen theaters on Broadway itself and many others located on the side streets or other avenues. Broadway was much more than a mere twelve blocks. It started at 13th Street and wound its way a mile and a half up the Avenue to 45th Street, ending in the heart of Long acre Square. This first decade of the century also saw the construction of many theaters, most notably the New Amsterdam on 42nd Street in 1903, along with four others in that same year, that are still standing today. Our Broadway. The first decade of the 20th Century was both boring and transformational in the history of our Broadway Musicals. The seeds of that transformation go back to 1882, and the construction of The Madison Square Theater at 24th Street. The Mallory’s, who had built the theater, had employed a young actor-manager from San Francisco along with two brothers from the lower Eastside to help manage the theater. David Belasco, who had the distinction of appearing on stage with another unknown child, Maude Adams, in San Francisco in 1877, was soon to become a playwright, theater owner and builder. The two brothers from the lower Eastside were, of course, Charles and Daniel Frohman. The first sign of the transformation occurred when producer Rudolf Aronson decided to build a theatre of his own. At the time, theatres were concentrated between Union Square and 24th Street.

Harriet tubman

Harriet Tubman Sometimes when we think of legionary outlaws who gave their life efforts to help a downtrodden and oppressed people, figures like Robin Hood or some other dashing male hero springs to mind. In black history, we have just such a character but this champion of her people did not ride the forests with merry men. Harriet Tubman, a humble and diminutive black woman truly qualifies as such a profoundly legendary figure that her exploits would rival Robin Hood’s or any other hero of cultural legend. Small wonder she was often referred to as “Moses of her People.” Harriett Tubman was born in 1822 in Dorchester County, Maryland to a slave family of the estate of Anthony Thompson. During her slave years, she endured many hardships and harsh treatment which left her with scars and even as susceptibility to epileptic seizures that resulted from a head injury. It was common for slaves to change hands and that was part of Harriet’s life as well. Finally in 1849, she ran away to freedom but she by far did not run away from her people. Over the next few years Harriet Tubman became a true warrior for the salvation of her people who were locked in slavery. Harriet didn’t just find a safe place and count her blessings for making it to freedom. She saw the need for the Underground Railroad in the salvation of hundreds more like her and it became her life’s mission to maintain the regional stations of that railroad for as long as it took to give liberty to all who had the courage to flee slavery via that resource. Harriet Tubman showed the kind of courage, resourcefulness and intellect that a field general for any army would be proud to boast. All totaled Tubmen lead thirteen separate missions to bring African Americans to freedom along the Underground Railroad. That means that she personally lead over seventy slaves to freedom and had a direct influence on the freeing of at least that many more. And by keeping the Underground Railroad operational and out of the reach of slave hunters and authorities who sought to shut it down, she indirectly was influential in the salvation of hundreds, perhaps thousands more. Who can say how many prosperous and influential black families in this country today owe the lives of their ancestors and the success they have achieved since those dark days to the brave work of Harriet Tubman. When Civil War came, Harriet didn’t retire satisfied that she had done her work for her people. She continued to work tirelessly for abolitionist movements and to do her part for the war effort. She became one of the first ever female spies for the North during the war and her military abilities were so well developed that she actually was put in a position of leadership to command the raid on Combahee Ferry in 1863. After the Civil War was over, Harriet Tubman continued her work on behalf of abolitionist movements and for women’s rights until she retired to write her memoirs. Her contribution during this crucial time in black history was so revered that the US Postal Service honored her with a stamp in 1978. There have been many heroes and heroines in the long uphill struggle for liberation, freedom and equality for African Americans in this country. During this brutal time when Harriet Tubman stood in the gap for her people, the plight of black Americans was as much life and death as any other time in history. Small wonder her name is revered as one of the icons of the fight for freedom prior to the Civil War. And small wonder she was referred to as Moses to Her People and will be remembered in that way for generations to come. PPPPP 636

If elias howe invented the sewing machine why is it called a singer

Sorry ... the history books aren't quite right. Elias Howe did not invent the first sewing machine. In fact, if you define sewing machine as "a machine that can sew items in a practical and usable manner", then he didn't invent a sewing machine at all! Actually, the first sewing machine patent was received in 1755 by Charles Weisenthal in London. Technically, his machine did embroidery, but it was the first to recognize that an eye-pointed needle did not need to pass entirely through a garment. This machine was not labor or time-saving, though, and was thus not a practical solution as a "machine that can be used for sewing". Another machine was invented in Paris in 1804 by Thomas Stone and John Henderson -- it involved a pair of pincers on either side of a piece of material. The pincers would grab a needle as it passed through the material. This machine was no faster than hand-sewing and was not accepted as a solution, either. In 1790, Englishman Thomas Saint patented a machine that had many of the features of a real sewing machine: an overhanging arm, a straight, perpendicular needle, a horizontal cloth table, and needle fed from a spool. It's doubtful whether or not Saint ever really built his machine, though. A version made in 1873 from his original patent plans did not work. In 1830, Frenchman Barthelemy Thimonnier patented the next sewing machine. This one actually worked -- although it was a huge device set in a frame similar to a wooden loom. It was able to sew a straight chainstitch and was about as fast as a hand sewer. By 1831, Thimonnier had about 80 seamstresses in his tailoring shop using his machines to sew uniforms for the French army. The machines could sew about 100 stitches a minute by that time. Technically, Thimonnier invented the first machine that could be used to really accomplish some sewing. Unfortunately, for him, the social structure of the time was not ready to accept this type of technilogical advance. Fearful for their jobs, mobs of journeyman tailors rushed his shop and destroyed his machines. Thimonnier tried at least twice more to introduce his machines (now improved to 300 stitches a minute), but similar bad luck dogged him. He finally gave up and died a poor man in 1857. In 1834, the sewing machine was invented again in New York by Walter Hunt. Hunt's machine was a major improvement over previous one's. Instead of stitching the easily unraveled chainstitch like all previous machines, Hunt's could produce a lockstitch. He did this by using two thread spools: one above, one below. He used a shuttle to push the lower thread through the loop caused by the needle pushing through the fabric. This same principle has since been used by all successful sewing machines. Unfortunately, for Hunt (and others, it turns out), he neglected to patent this machine with the two threads and a shuttle system. Hunt was also a Quaker; when his daughter suggested his machine would do harm to seamstresses who might be put out of work, Hunt seemed to agree. He took no further interest in his sewing machine. Not long after, in 1839, a Bostonian machine shop owner named Ari Davis was approached by two men who wanted to build a knitting machine. During their discussions, Davis suggested they try a sewing machine instead. The men figured such a machine would be a financial bonanza and Davis attempted -- and failed -- to create such a machine. The noteworthy part of this Boston venture was that Davis had an apprentice who took an interest in this matter. The apprentice's name was Elias Howe. Howe began trying to develop a sewing machine on his own. He came up with the idea of using two threads and a shuttle -- the same idea Hunt had used ten years earlier. Howe continued to develop his machine; by 1845 he had completed a machine that was able to perform all the stitchwork to assemble two suits of woolen clothes. In 1846 Howe received a patent on his device. The journal, "Scientific American" was impressed as they praised Howe's "extraordinary invention". Perhaps Hunt would have received similar praise had he bothered to patent his device more than ten years earlier. Unfortunately, "Scientific American" were the only ones impressed. Howe spent three years trying to drum up interest in both American and England. By 1849, he was basically broke. His wife died (and he had to borrow the money to reach her bedside before she died). He attended her funeral in a borrowed suit; he then heard that the ship containing all his household goods was wrecked and all his goods were lost. Discouraged, He gave up his sewing machine quest and took a machine shop job for a weekly wage. Actually, Howe's machine failed for a good reason, it was not quite a practical solution. His machine did not have a presser foot; in order to sew fabric, the pieces had to be matched inside a metal frame. This frame was then attached to the machine and guided the stitching. Once you reached the end of the frame, it had to be removed and the fabric reset. This meant that A) no continuous stitching was possible, and B) you could only stitch in straight lines, you could not follow a curve. Because of this, Howe's machine could not be considered a serious solution to the sewing problem and was therefore not a true and practical "sewing machine". In 1850 a familiar name entered the sewing machine world -- Isaac Singer. I think that Singer should be considered the inventor of the first practical sewing machine -- it could stitch continuous lines, it could stitch around curves, it used a pressor foot, and it was a marketable solution available for a reasonable price. Other inventors also introduced sewing machines to compete with Singer -- and the sewing machine industry was born. However, Elias Howe was not quite finished. He noticed that all sewing machines used two threads and a shuttle. He held a patent on this method (even though Hunt had invented it first a decade earlier) Howe then embraced that great American business plan, "Those who can, do -- those who can't, sue!" Howe began a vigorous legal campaign against all sewing machine manufacturers. It's interesting to note that it was impossible to build a practical sewing machine solely by using Howe's patents. It took many patented items (they soon ranged into the 100's) in order to construct a workable sewing machine. Still, the idea of two threads and a shuttle was also an essential component of a usable sewing machine. The courts agreed. Howe soon received royalties of up to $25 per every sewing machine sold. Without selling a single machine of his own design, Howe became rich. Singer and others tried to oppose him. They uncovered Walter Hunt's earlier work and tried to find some proof that was presentable in court in order to break Howe's patent. Unfortunately, when Hunt lost interest in his device, he neglected to keep any of the devices he had already constructed or notes of their workings. Although Hunt was first, it was impossible to prove in court and Howe's suit held up. So -- it's apparent that Elias Howe did not invent the first sewing machine. He didn't even invent the first sewing device. What he did do was be the first to patent a component that was used by the real inventor of the first workable, usable, and marketable sewing machine, Isaac Singer.

History of citrus

The pleasing appearance of citrus trees and the fruit was mentioned by many ancient travelers, even though the fruit of citrus trees had not evolved to the point as an important food staple, the fragrance of all parts of the citrus trees, including the flowers and fruit, were desirable perfumers of rooms and were thought to repel insects. The occurrence of citrus in Europe and Mideast were thought to have been natural occurring native trees and shrubs, but historians today believe that the ancestor of the citrus trees, Citrus medica L., was introduced by Alexander the Great from India into Greece, Turkey, and North Africa in the late 4th century BC. The most ancient citrus was called ‘citron.’ There are ancient clues from wall paintings in the Egyptian temple at Karnak that citrus trees had been growing there. There were other suggestions that citrus trees may have been familiar to the Jews during their exile and slavery by the Babylonians in the 6th century BC. Even though speculations suggest that citrus trees were known and grown by the Hebrews, there is no direct mention in the Bible of citrus. The first recording of citrus, Citrus medica L., in European history was done by Theophrastus, in 350 BC, following the introduction of the fruit by Alexander the Great. In early European history, writers wrote about Persian citrus, that it had a wonderful fragrance and was thought to be a remedy for poisoning, a breath sweetener, and a repellant to moths. Citrus was well known by the ancient cultures of the Greeks and later the Romans. A beautiful ceramic tile was found in the ruins of Pompeii after the city was destroyed by a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Another mosaic tile in the ruins of a Roman villa in Carthage, North Africa, in about the 2nd century AD, clearly showed the fruit of a citron and a lemon fruit growing on a tree branch. Early Christian tile mosaics dating back to 300 AD of both oranges and lemon were shown in lemon-yellow and orange colors surrounded by bright green leaves and freshly cut tree branches; the relics can still be seen in Istanbul, Turkey at mosques that once were churches of Emperor Constantine. It is not known how, where, or when the exceptional present day varieties of citrus trees developed, such as the sweet orange, lemon, kumquat, lime, grapefruit, or pummelo, but there appears to be a general consensus of opinions that all these citrus developments and improvements were obtained by natural and artificial selection and natural evolution. It is well known, that the Romans were familiar with the sour orange, Citrus aurantium L. and the lemon tree, Citrus limon. After the fall of Rome to the barbarian invasions and the Muslims, the Arab states rapidly spread the naturally improving cultivars of citrus fruits and trees throughout much of North Africa, Spain, and Syria. The spread of sour orange, Citrus aurantium L., and the lemon, Citrus limon, extended the growing and planting of these trees on a worldwide scale by planting the seed, which produced citrus trees very similar to the parent trees. The Crusades conquest of the Arabs later spread citrus planting and growing throughout Europe. The sweet orange, Citrus sinensis, appeared late in the 1400’s, near the time of Christopher Columbus, who discovered America. After trade routes were closed when the Turks defeated the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453, centered in Constantinople (Istanbul), many European kings began to seek alternate, trade, sea routes to open trade by ships with China and India. The sweet orange tree introduction into Europe changed the dynamics of citrus fruit importance in the world. The voyage of Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gamma, recorded that in 1498, there were multitudes of orange trees in India, and all the fruits had a sweet taste. The new sweet orange variety, known as the “Portugal orange” caused a dramatic surge in citrus planting, much like the much later appearance of the “Washington navel orange” tree introduction into California. The lime, Citrus latifolia, was first mentioned in European history by Sir Thomas Herbert in his book, Travels, who recorded that he found growing “oranges, lemons, and limes” off the island of Mozambique in the mid 1600’s. Lime trees today are available in many cultivars. In 1707, Spanish missions were growing oranges, fig trees, quinces, pomegranates, peaches, apricots, apples, pear trees, mulberries, pecans, and other trees according to horticultural documents. The Mandarin orange, Citrus reticulata, was described in Chinese history in the late 1100’s, but was unknown in Europe, until it was brought from a Mandarin province in China to England in 1805, where it spread rapidly throughout Europe. The pummelo, Citrus grandis, also called the shaddock and the ‘Adam’s Apple’ was growing in Palestine in the early 1200’s and was planted and grown by the Arabs. The pummelo is believed to have an Asian origin and was planted as seed in the New World. The grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, is believed to have arisen as a mutation from the pummelo tree. Grapefruit were so named because they grew in clusters like grapes, but most gardeners considered them to be inedible until A. L. Duncan found an outstanding seedling grapefruit that was named Duncan grapefruit in 1892; the original tree is still alive and growing in Florida. Christopher Columbus introduced citrus on the island of Haiti in 1493. It is believed that he brought citrus seed to be planted and grown of the sour orange, the sweet orange, citron, lemon, lime, and pummelo fruits. Records show that these citrus trees were well established in the American colonies in about 1565 at Saint Augustine, Florida, and in coastal South Carolina. William Bartram reported in his celebrated botanical book, Travels, in 1773 that Henry Laurens from Charleston, South Carolina, who served as a President of the Continental Congrees, introduced “olives, limes, ginger, everbearing strawberry, red raspberry, and blue grapes” into the United States colonies after the year 1755. William Bartram in his book, Travels, reported that near Savannah, Georgia, “it is interesting to note that as late as 1790, oranges were cultivated in some quantity along the coast, and in that year some 3000 gallons of orange juice were exported.” Many of these wild orange groves were seen by the early American explorer, William Bartram, according to his book, Travels, in 1773, while traveling down the Saint John’s River in Florida. Bartram mistakenly thought these orange trees were native to Florida; however, they were established centuries earlier by the Spanish explorers. The citrus industry began rapidly developing in 1821 when the Spanish gave up their territories and its many orange groves to the United States. Wild orange tree groves were top-worked with improved cultivars and residents traveling to Florida realized how refreshing orange juice tasted; thus began the shipments of oranges, grapefruit, limes, and lemons that were sent to Philadelphia and New York by railway and ships in the 1880’s. Citrus plantings were extensively done in California by the Spanish missionaries; however, the commercial industry began to grow with the 1849 Gold Rush boom, and efforts to supply the miners from San Francisco with citrus fruit were successful. The completion of the Transcontinental Railway further stimulated the citrus industry, since citrus could be rapidly sent to eastern markets. Later improvements of refrigeration helped to increase citrus growing and planting, mainly oranges, lemons, and limes throughout the world in 1889. Florida at first dominated citrus production in the United States, but because of some devastating freezes in 1894 and 1899, Satsuma orange trees were virtually wiped out in the Gulf States. Thousands of acres of Satsuma orange trees were wiped out in Alabama, Texas, and Louisiana in the hard freeze of 1916; thus the citrus production of the United States began to shift from Florida to California. Citrus is marketed throughout the world as a beneficial health fruit that contains Vitamin C and numerous other vitamins and minerals in orange and citrus products lime marmalade, fresh fruit, and frozen and hot-pack citrus juice concentrates.

Family life or how to buy tableware

For someone who appreciated the finer things in life, who wants everything to be just right, the luxury and elegance of Spode and MInton is for you. They have something for every stylish dining occasion, whethere formal or relaxed, with friends and family. If you want your home to be beautiful make sure to add a value to this one with beautiful Spode and Minton Porcelain Sets. Timeless-Elegant. Superior quality and never go out of style You'll get absolutely what you want. The History of Spode and Minton Josiah Spode I, 1733-1797 Josiah Spode, a former apprentice of the great Staffordshire potter, Thomas Whieldon, and continued by his son Josiah Spode II. Josiah Spode I established a factory in 1761 in Shelton, and another in the town of Stoke in 1764. He built up a highly successful business, first in cream ware (a delicate cream-colored earthenware) and later (from 1784) in pearl ware (fine white-glazed earthenware) transfer-printed in blue; his son, also trained as a potter, ran the firm's warehouse in London. Josiah Spode II led the development of bone china, which became the standard English porcelain body from about 1800 onwards. Spode's two famous contributions to the Pottery Industry were the perfection of transfer printing in 1784 and the development of fine bone china in about 1799. (although bone china is a porcelain it is always referred to as bone china) The successful development of bone china by the Spode factory at Stoke-on-Trent (around 1770-present - the exact date the factory was stared is not known), for wares of outstanding beauty and economy in the Regency style of the early 1800s, ensured its preeminence among commercial producers. Spode's nearest rival was Minton (1796-present), outstanding in the Victorian period for its "art" porcelains. Among Spode's chief followers in producing bone china for the mass market were Davenport (c. 1793-1887); Wedgwood for a short period between 1812 and 1822 (Wedgwood later re-introduced bone china production, and they continue production today); Ridgway, New Hall, and Rockingham. A host of lesser concerns served the expanding middle-class market. Spode created many of his patterns after Chinese designs, he developed a highly effective method of transfer printing with blue under glazes. He also experimented with a transparent but durable bone china, arriving at a formula that is still used. His son Josiah Spode II, 1754–1827, took over the pottery factory in 1797. He is credited with having introduced feldspar into Spode ware and for producing pottery of a high technical excellence. Spode remained at the forefront of bone china and stone china production until 1833, when the factory was acquired by William Taylor Copeland and Thomas Garrett: it remained under their names until 1847, when Copeland became the sole owner. Tomas Minton 1765-1836 Thomas Minton founded his factory in 1793/6 in Stoke-upon-Trent. Minton was Spode's nearest rival. He was famous for Minton ware - a cream-coloured and blue-printed earthenware majolica, bone china, and Parian porcelain; his factory was outstanding in the Victorian period for its "art" porcelains. He also popularized the famous so-called Willow pattern. Herbert Minton, 1793–1858, succeeded his father as head of the firm, and to him was due its development and reputation. He enlisted the services of artists and skilled artisans. The first products of the Minton factory were blue transfer-printed wares, but in 1798 bone china (porcelain containing bone ash) was introduced, with considerable success. Until 1836, when Thomas Minton died and his son Herbert took over the business, the factory's staple products consisted of useful and unpretentious tablewares in painted or printed earthenware or bone china, following the typical shapes and decorative patterns of the period; figures and ornamental porcelains were made increasingly from the 1820s. In the 1820s he started production of bone china; this early Minton is regarded as comparable to French Sиvres, by which it was greatly influenced. Minton's was the only English china factory of the 19th century to employ a Sиvres process called pвte-sur-pвte (ie: painted decoration in white clay slip instead of enamel before glazing). Minton also produced Parian figures. The Minton factory was the most popular supply source in the 19th century of dinnerware made to order for embassies and for heads of state and the factory is still producing to the present day as part of the Royal Doulton Group. Herbert Minton, one of the outstanding entrepreneurs of the 19th century, introduced new techniques and methods of production and established Mintons reputation for both industrial enterprise and artistic excellence. A. W. N. Pugin, Sir Henry Cole, and Prince Albert were close associates whose designs were used by Minton. The painter and sculptor Alfred Stevens, the French sculptors Hugues Protвt and Йmile Jeannest, and the painter John Simpson were also employed there. In 1845, Herbert Minton took Michael Daintry Hollins into partnership, and the tile-making side of the business became known as Minton Hollins & Co. Herbert Minton's successful experiments in making encaustic tiles during the 1840s had set him at the forefront of a huge industry supplying the needs of institutions, churches, and domestic interiors all over the world. Later, he was a leader in exploiting industrial techniques for producing printed and painted tiles, and for the rest of the century the firm produced tiles in a vast array of styles, many of them designed by leading artists such as Christopher Dresser, Walter Crane, John Moyr Smith, and William Wise. Relief-moulded tiles were introduced to the Minton range from the 1860s. Minton produced some of the finest examples of Parian ware, a marble-like unglazed porcelain body developed during the 1840s and used most successfully for sculptural pieces. John Bell, the American Hiram Powers, and Albert Carrier de Belleuse were among the sculptors who produced statuary for Minton; scaled-down models of larger pieces by contemporary and past sculptors were also produced in Parian, and sometimes the material was used in combination with glazed and painted bone china for display pieces. The French ceramist Lйon Arnoux became art director at Minton in 1849 and remained there until 1892. Among his achievements were the development of Renaissance-inspired ceramics such as inlaid earthenwares, pieces painted in the style of Limoges porcelain, and the richly colourful majolica, first shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and used for all kinds of objects from large garden ornaments and elaborate display pieces to dishes and jugs for the table. Marc-Louis Solon introduced the pвte-sur-pвte technique to Minton, having developed it previously at Sиvres. This laborious process involves building up a design in relief with layers of liquid slip, each one having to dry before the next is applied. Using this technique, Solon and his apprentices modelled diaphanously clad maidens and tumbling cherubs on vases and plaques with a skill that was unmatched at any other factory. After Herbert Minton's death in 1858, the firm was run by his nephew Colin Minton Campbell, a similarly dynamic and innovative director. Oriental decoration preoccupied Minton from the 1860s onward. Highly original pieces, both in earthenware and bone china, evoked Chinese cloisonnй enamels, Japanese lacquer and ivories, Islamic metalwork and Turkish pottery. In 1870, Minton's Art Pottery Studio was established in Kensington, London, under the direction of the painter W. S. Coleman, in order to encourage both amateur and professional artists to decorate china and tiles for Minton; although popular and influential, the studio was not rebuilt when it burnt down in 1875. Minton's output of distinguished ornamental wares continued unabated to the end of the 19th century and beyond. From 1902, a range of slip-trailed majolica wares represented Minton's contribution to Art Nouveau. Minton's ability to pursue these often expensive technical and artistic challenges is a tribute to the success of the tablewares which have been the firm's financial backbone throughout its history. As part of Royal Doulton Tableware Ltd., Minton is today able to fulfill sumptuous special commissions while still producing the tablewares that ensure its economic success. http:// aroundourhome. com/porcelain. htm http:// aroundourhome. com/Minton_porcelain. html

Tea at sea

Marylyn Monroe famed amongst other things for her love of Tea once said that, “World Peace would be with us if politicians drank tea at meetings” – or something to that effect. And she was very true in her words, very true indeed. A cup of Tea does wanders to all that drink it. Did you know that people in Britain and the Republic of Ireland consume the most tea per person in the world? I always thought it was Japan or China but then their cups are much smaller than our cups! It is also interesting to note that more than 2,000,000,000 cups of tea are drunk every day throughout the world! That is a gigantic amount of cups and I can but imagine how many I contribute to that figure, about one I might guess! In weight terms, that equals out to 2 and a half million tones of Tea being drunk throughout the world every year or from a British point of view just under 6lb’s per person per year is consumed! Where does tea come from, who' had the first cup of Tea and why does everybody like it? The answer is not from the supermarket, my mother and because it is cheap and easy to make. There is a deep routed culture and history behind Tea, something that all dedicated Tea drinkers should have knowledge of. Tea became very popular to the British gentry in the seventeenth Century. This was when Tea became widely known and built itself initially into an upper class act of snobbery! Tea at this time was only grown in China and was a closely guarded secret of the Chinese Emperors of the time. Tea was bought and shipped from China to the rest of the world, Japan, Formosa, India, America and Europe in a variety of ships of different nationalities. Dutch and Spanish ships competed with the massive fleets of the British Empire to carry tea to where it was most needed. For the most part companies like the Dutch East Indian Company whom first imported Tea to Europe and The British East India Company controlled most of the market for themselves. From any old ship to specially built Clippers this tea was brought from China to the Western World in ever increasing quantities, yet no matter how many ships were built or how much tea was grown they could not keep up with the Western Demand! Famous ships' like the Cutty Sark will ring a bell with most. This ship is typical of those used purely to carry Tea from China to Europe and hence to the Tea Rooms’ of the wealthy. Large barrel like ships designed to carry as much cargo as possible and built with quantity in mind rather than of speed. The early Nineteenth Century saw ships like the Cutty Sark being replaced by sleeker and faster ships and in 1834 a ship called The Oriental completed a voyage from Canton to London in 95 days. 15 days less than the Cutty Sark would have taken. Tea in America was the third most important import during the eighteenth century and Tea sparked off what was to become the separation of Britain and America – the War of Independence. Does the Boston Tea Party ring a bell? This was where armed immigrants dressed as Indians secretly boarded three clipper ships in Boston Harbor and threw all of the imported tea into the sea. A show of resistance against the high taxation of the British Government on Americans settlers and by throwing the Tea away they sparked off the war. Yep, the Boston Tea Party in December of 1773. Maybe they should have all just sat back and have a cup of tea to think about it, but then that would mean that Britain would still control colonies in America! Wow, except for “Tea” history would be so different. In the late eighteenth/nineteenth Century America and Europe fast became the major players in the Tea Trade. Competition was fierce and ships battled the seas to leave first, sail fastest and arrive first to whichever port they may be going. Bigger ships, faster ships and more of them were used yet at no point could they keep up with the growing demand. Tea was rapidly being reduced in price and spreading through all walks and classes of society. The rich and the poor could now all relax with a cup of tea but only if faster ships could be built or more vessels could be found! The Chinese tried to keep the trade even with all countries but Britain in a show of determination wooed the Chinese with inbound Opium from India thus breaking any vestiges of rebellion. Through opium shipments and thus a resultant lack of orientation on the part of the Chinese through drugs the British controlled Tea Shipments out of China and to the rest of the world for many a year. Bigger ships and faster ships but all still very slow and small in comparison to the ships of today. The start of the decline of the Clipper era was in 1869 when the Suez Canal opened thus shortening sailing times from Asia to Europe by many days. Then with the invention of the steam ship good-byes where said to the heroic dashes and brave men who battled the oceans to bring tea to our shores on the wooden sailing ships. The story of Tea does not end with the demise of the sailing ships and clippers. Long before that happened many a budding tea drinker found great interest in Tea Growing. How was tea grown, where does it come from and many asked the simple question of “why do we have to buy it from China?” Of course, if the secret of “how to grow tea” could be found then all would be so much simpler. If somebody could get that secret from the Chinese then tea could be grown in other places and closer to the demands of European and American Tea drinkers. If somebody could steal the secret and grow it in India, Ceylon, Turkey and other such places where ships could ply their trade on shorter and therefore more frequent voyages and where tea was closer to the places it was needed in, life would be so much better. Tea was first used in China a thousand or so years before the rest of the world even knew about it. It took a ‘thief’ in 1849 disguised as a Chinese Merchant to go to the Tea regions in China, to learn how the closely guarded tea was produced and eventually to bring back samples of the plants. In fact this ‘thief’ was Robert Fortune a Botanist from England and he was commissioned by the Tea Commission to steal from the Chinese and observe their secretive methods of Tea Making. Wow, what a brave man he must have been! He managed to watch and gain valuable insight into the arts of growing tea, to appropriate various tea plants and to take them to Calcutta. A Botanist to Thief to Tea Grower – an excellent career move! He noted that: Tea needs loose, deep and acidic soil and high altitudes to grow best and he eventually saw his dream come alive with the planting of twenty thousand tea tree saplings at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains. And from this point we come across some of the famous names in Tea. Those that are with us today and who were at that time referred to as “gentlemanly Tea Merchants”. To name but a few: Thomas Lipton, Thomas Twining and James Taylor. Through Robert Fortunes thieving skills the Tea Island of Cyprus sprang into being, India became famous for its Assam Tea and Darjeeling and today Tea is now a major revenue earner for over forty countries. Tea Drinking is a ritual in many a society. In China guests must be greeted with a bowl of tea, tea is synonymous with Buddhism in the Far East and to the Zen faith in Japan. Russians love of tea is depicted through the Samovar, in Morocco we have the famous Mint Tea and in Europe’s Tea Houses history and culture lives on deep and faithful as part of life itself. And in Japan one can gain a Diploma in Tea Mastery from one of three schools dedicated to the teachings in the “Way of Tea” (cha-do) So Tea culture is very strong all over the world but why is this so? Why do we drink tea? Why do we insist on drinking tea every day of every week? What is it that makes us sit down and slowly consume a cup when there are things to do, shopping to get and kids to feed? Why do we suddenly give up all that is necessary and sit back with a cup of tea and smile as if we have not a care in the world? The answer is in itself. People love Tea for its calming essence and the culture that goes with it. Tea is used in times of trouble and to escape from life, not because of any association but because Tea does have many a body altering ingredient, even if we know nothing about them. We in the Western World drink cups of Black Tea and do not associate such with any medical or body altering feature but little do we know. Even those thousands of years ago when China alone drank tea, they drank it to cure many an ailment or problem that they might suffer from. It is known today that certain teas can cure headaches, reduce cholesterol or improve ones sight amongst many hundreds of other cures and results. These are specialty teas and not the ones we associate with morning or afternoon Tea-time but they are readily available should one look into it. Our Western culture is sparked from the calming essence associated with the Black Tea, more from a cultural point of view than from its physical properties. For your information though; the average Tea contains vitamins A, B and E. A cup of tea is rich with minerals of iron, copper, zinc, sodium and contains fluoride to fight the cavities. So much, all in a cup? Yes, it is true that so much can be in so little! So whilst you are sitting back and relaxing, you can now think about what it is doing for you! Two points that tea drinkers often struggle with is the question of milk! The first is the question of, “with or without Milk”? First of all Green teas and Mint Teas do not go with milk. They are kept well away from that sort of thing. Milk goes with Black Tea to dilute it’s often bitter and harsh taste and has stemmed from there into an everyday requirement. The second is that of milk before or after pouring the tea into the cup? Does one pour the milk in first and then the tea, or the tea first and then top up with milk? Each to his/her own way, I say, but there is a rather more rooted reason for milk first. Milk was originally placed in the cup first to prevent the gentle porcelain from cracking when the hot tea was poured into it. What becomes more important is whether or not the Tea is brewed in a Teapot or it is being infused in the Cup itself. I say this with regard to people who place a Tea Bag in the cup, then pour milk onto the tea bag and then add the boiling water. This is not allowed! This way destroys all the culture associated with Tea and needless to say the Tea itself does not infuse correctly. In this case the Milk must be added after the water and infusion has taken place. Whilst writing all the above a certain picture kept coming into my mind, a piece of “Tea Culture” that is depicted in the famous Asterix and Obelix Cartoon Series. It is in the one where The Romans come to Britain to expand their Empire and are very upset because the British always stop fighting at ‘Tea Time”. The picture in my mind is of the Romans hanging around impatiently, wanting to attack and conquer the British, but they are all sitting back and sipping Tea – not fighting until they have finished their brews! Beware though folks of the tea today! Tea bags are produced and made for the simple reasons of economy and ease of transportation to your supermarket shelves. Tea bags are easy to use but do be suspicious of a tea that as soon as it is in contact with water turns black! I am sure that it cannot be Tea. Stick to the real stuff that has taste. If you have any further questions please do go to the Tea Council Web Site to dialogue with the experts or to gain extra information to what has been given above. Failing that an excellent Book on Tea is available and called “The Little Book of Tea” and published by Flammarion. A French Publisher – good excuse to go to France and taste some wine! “I’ll put the Kettle on and we can talk all about it”