Sunday, May 29, 2011

Start of the Circus

I'm currently reading a great book I picked up at Goodwill for $2.25.  It's A Ticket to the Circus by Charles Philip Fox from 1959.  The book details the history of the Ringling Brothers Circus and includes tons of great photos, sketches, and documents.

The first year the Ringling Brothers officially took the show on the road was 1884.  The show was billed as Yankee Robinson and Ringling Bros. Great Double Shows, Circus and Caravan.  Quite the name isn't it?!?  This was the only year the Brothers ever took second billing.

I'm sure I'll be sharing other interesting things about the Ringling Brothers as I continue to read this book :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


After watching the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie I got to thinking about pirate history...

After just a quick search I learned something that should have been fairly obvious.

Pirates did not actually look like Captain Jack Sparrow...wait?!?!  What?!?  o.O

Ok, all joking aside.  I didn't really believe that historical pirates dressed like the Hollywood version of pirates...but it is really fun for the movies.  *Side note- I was the theatre costumer in college so I was loving that aspect of the film* 

I did a google search and found this website.  After a quick look around it seems like it has some pretty good info.  It's 11:30 p.m. and I need to head to when it's day time I'll be reading up more about pirates and what they really wore...and other pirate-y things :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fun Fact- Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by John Pemberton, but it was his bookkeeper Frank Robinson who named the soda and who's script handwriting the classic logo is designed from.

Coca-Cola's first year of sales grossed $50...a $20 loss for the inventor.  It was Permberton selling the
Coca-Cola formula and advertising that saved the soda and made it what it is today. 

*If you're wondering...I don't drink Coca-Cola, but find it's history very interesting and have collected several Coca-Cola items, vintage bottles, and fabric over the years :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thrifted Finds

Today I picked up Southern Nature Stories- Book III from 1941 and My Story by Marilyn Monroe from 1974.  Both are hardcover and $1 each at the thrift store.  The books should have some fun history and things to learn.

While flipping through the nature book I saw that the last section is about photographing nature!  (My husband and I are both photographers.)  There are illustrations of different early 1940s cameras in the book that are so fun to look at!  Oh and the original book price...only $.92. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Ever wondered about the singers and actors you hear in old cartoons?

Champagne Lady Norma Zimmer from the Lawrence Welk Show provided the singing voice for the White Rose in Disney’s 1951 release of Alice in Wonderland.

Norma had a successful career including a small role in a Bing Crosby film, but was most remembered for her 22 years on the Lawrence Welk Show.

As a Lawrence Welk fan I was sad to hear that Norma passed away on May 10, 2011, at the age of 87. I had the pleasure of meeting
Norma at a Lawrence Welk reunion show in 2004. I picked up her biography simply titled Norma a while back and have been meaning to read it.

By the way, I wrote my high school senior paper about Lawrence Welk…chose the topic willingly after years of watching reruns on OETA and attending the reunion show. I got to interview Welk star Tom Netherton for the paper- my first and most memorable interview!

I’m sure I’ll cover more Lawrence Welk topics along my history journey :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fun Fact- Lassie

Lassie was the longest running family show on network television.

-The Story of Lassie, 1994

Campbell's Soup sponsored Lassie during it's entire nineteen years.  Campbell's asked that their products be visible on the set and it become one of the first instances of product placement.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Putting on the Gloves

My husband recently bought me the Mickey Mania game for SEGA GENESIS. *Yes, the game from the early 90s* The player plays through several of the original Mickey Mouse cartoons starting at Steamboat Willie.

I have yet to make it through the first full level (I'm really bad at video games unless it's Sonic).

But the game got me thinking about Mickey. After a quick google search I found some fun info.

Mickey first appeared in Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho. Both failed due to lack of distribution. It was Steamboat Willie, in 1928, that is considered to be the first 'real' appearance of Mickey Mouse.

In Steamboat Willie it was hard for viewers to see Mickey's black hands against his black body. A couple of cartoon shorts later in 1929, Mickey was given his classic white gloves. The white gloves stayed, even after the switch to color in 1935.

Photo credit

Friday, May 13, 2011

What it's all About

Everything I knew about history prior to college was knowledge I sought out. I learned my history by watching Wishbone and reading [auto]biographies and historical fiction :)

In college I had a fantastic Native Peoples teacher who further spurred my love of history.

Because of my self taught way of learning I probably can’t tell you what year the Mayflower reached America or what countries were a part of the Axis power in WWII. But that’s not all history is about!

This blog is to challenge myself to get back into history. I want to learn about old Hollywood stars, sewing history, Native American traditions, the history of photography and videography and many, many other things. Things that are interesting and fun! As I embark on my learning journey I want to share my discoveries with you. Sometimes it will be a quick fun fact or trivia question and other times more in depth research. I hope you will join me as I explore the fun side of history.

By the way…you’re probably wondering who I am. My name is Whitney and I can be found in most corners of the internet under the name ‘aglanceatmyworld’ or ‘Whitney Sews’.

I am a mid-twenties gal from Oklahoma. I’m married to my best friend, Jeremiah, who I met in college.

My favorite place to be is Silver Dollar City, which is no surprise since it’s a theme park set in the late 1800s and full of history!

Well that’s enough about me. I’m super excited to get started learning and sharing and I hope you are too!