CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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Restoring the Lost Sense

June 26, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Spa Histoire et Bibliographie by Albin Body (1888).

This is the best "foodstuffs with humanoid legs" item we've seen all week + n.  The stout and the bread are musicians (why not the rum?  Well, reggae traces back only to the 1960s), while Sir Loin sits out the dance and reads a paper.  We do note one inaccuracy -- the butter in the U.K. is much bigger than that.  Note the one foodstuff that costs 3 d/2 -- is it perchance mutton dressed in lamb prices?  From The Dawn of the XIXth Century in England, 1886.

June 25, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1893 issue of The Quiver magazine.  The caption reads: "Out of the darkness behind her was slowly growing a human face."

An illustration from an 1881 issue of Cornhill magazine.  The caption reads: "They always fly at me, and nobody else."

June 24, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1889 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.

The majestic front of eternity has vanished and left only ephemeral time (to paraphrase James Henry Snowden).

This one is from Punch, 1889.

June 23, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.

June 22, 2014 (permalink)

"Driven Mad by Birds": an illustration from an 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.

June 21, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Illustrated British Ballads: Old and New by George Barnett Smith (1886).  The caption reads: "Bar the door! Put out the light, for it gleams across the night."

An illustration from an 1884 issue of The Quiver magazine.  The caption reads: "Again she was writing a letter which involved a giving up."

June 20, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Revelations of a Sprite by Auber Melville Jackson (1897).  The caption reads: "Two spiders brought her a dead fly."

An illustration from an 1888 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.

Like a stopped clock, she was correct twice a day.  (The caption reads, "She stopped, like a clock.")  This bit of time suspension is from Cornhill, 1875.

June 19, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1875 issue of Wide World magazine.  The caption reads: "Light-heart, dissolving."

June 18, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1883 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.

June 17, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from a 1914 issue of Saturday Evening Post magazine.

June 16, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Haunted Photograph by Ruth McEnery Stuart (1911).  The caption reads: "The cat glaring at the picture."

June 15, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Echoes from the Rocky Mountains by John Clampitt (1889).

June 14, 2014 (permalink)

"Confusion": an illustration from an 1885 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.  The dialogue reads:

Pater (fuming) — "Don't look at me, sir, with—ah—in that tone of voice, sir!"
Filus — "I never uttered a—"
Pater (waxing) — "Then don't let me see—another syllable, sir!"

June 13, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration by Hugh Thomson for Northanger Abbey and Persuasion by Jane Austen (1897).  The caption reads: "He attended to her large, fat sighings."

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