The famous Cantino planisphere was made in 1502 by an anonymous Portuguese official at the request of Alberto Cantino, an Italian agent in Lisbon of Ercole d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. It is the earliest map showing the recent discoveries by the explorer Vasco da Gama, who, using a new portable version of astronomers’ astrolabe, charted Brazil, Newfoundland, Greenland, Africa, and India. Besides... Read More »
Daguerreotypes were the first commercially viable photographic process. Developed by French chemist Louis Daguerre in 1839, the technique quickly made its way to the US in the 1840s, the beginning of what some historians characterize as the "golden age" of childhood. Although the daguerreotype method was tedious—dependent on complicated chemical preparation, long exposure times, and an... Read More »
Strongly influencing the invention of Robert J. Clay's mechanized "Creeping Baby Doll" in 1871, were changing notions of childhood that fostered children's development.
Allowing babies to crawl on all fours as did Clay's doll reflected recent changes in childrearing practices. In Early Modern Europe and in early America, the association between crawling babies and the insane and animals... Read More »