Lights That Changed Advertising

The neon sign is an evolution of the earlier Geissler tube, which is an electrified glass tube containing a “rarefied” gas (the gas pressure in the tube is well below atmospheric pressure). When a voltage is applied to electrodes inserted through the glass, an electrical glow discharge results. Geissler tubes were quite popular in the late 1800s, and the different colors they emitted were characteristics of the gases within. They were, however, unsuitable for general lighting; the pressure of the gas inside typically declined in use. The direct predecessor of neon tube lighting was the Moore tube, which used nitrogen or carbon dioxide as the luminous gas and a patented mechanism for maintaining pressure; Moore tubes were sold for commercial lighting for a number of years in the early 1900s. Read more

Meaning Behind Modern Day Tattoos

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as, “In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian tatau. In Tahitian, tatu.” The word tatau was introduced as a loan word into English; its spelling was changed over time from the “tattow” seen in late 18th century writing to the modern “tattoo” and its pronunciation was changed to conform to English phonology. Read more

If Hip Hop Should Die Before I Wake

I’ll put an extended clip and body ‘em all day. Hip hop (stylized as Hip-Hop) is a broad conglomerate of artistic forms that originated within a marginalized subculture in the South Bronx and quickly spread through other parts of New York City such as Harlem among African American and other Black youth mostly from the Caribbean during the 1970s. It is characterized by four distinct elements, all of which represent the different manifestations of the culture: rap music (oral), turntablism or “DJing” (aural), breaking (physical) and graffiti art (visual). Read more

Street Fashion And Urban Subcultures

Prior to the 20th century, the African American population was primarily rural. The Great Migration of African-Americans created the first large, urban black communities in the American North. It is conservatively estimated that 400,000 left the South during the two-year period of 1916-1918 to take advantage of a labor shortage created in the wake of the First World War. The 20th century cultures of many of the United States’ modern cities were forged in this period. Read more

Everything About Café Racers

The café racer is a light and lightly powered motorcycle that has been modified for speed and handling rather than comfort. The bodywork and control layout of a café racer typically mimicked the style of a contemporary Grand Prix roadracer, featuring an elongated fuel tank, often with dents to allow the rider’s knees to grip the tank, low slung racing handlebars, and a single-person, elongated, humped seat. Read more

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