Friday 6 February 2015

Men of Yore: Centenary Special

The Men of Yore series has been running for around 100 posts (two years!) so in honour of it's centenary we have a collection of motion pictures from the late 1800s and early 1900s, the time when motion picture technology was in it's infancy.

These videos allow us to see life as it was a mere five generations ago, and to see the industrial age in real life (as best as we can) instead of reading it from text or still photos. Which allows for a more personal experience: feeling in the midst of it rather than analysing it from afar like a cold historian might do.  This is a privilege that not only allows us to see life 'back then' (the past is really no different from the present, it just happened a while ago).  It also allows us to see the people who inhabited and constructed the modern world that we have inherited and benefit from.  Many of those people are average John Doe's like thee and me, it's interesting to observe their body language and mannerisms, much of which appears to be confident, masculine and yet also relaxed.

And remember that this is just a small collection of the many videos that are out there. To find more simply go to youtube and enter 'victorian era' in the search box and you'll be presented with many more films of various lengths.  The videos below are all very short, around five minutes or less, it means that you're not going to waste your time watching hour long documentaries.

1896-1900: Victorian era footage from around the world.  (~6 minutes long)

Lost film footage of 1904 London.  (~1 minute long)

Berlin in 1900 in colour. (~5 minutes long)

Earliest surviving film and sound recording 1888.  (~3 minutes long).

Clips of films taken in New York City dating from 1898 to 1906.  (~2 minutes long).

And there we have it, the world as it stood four or so generations ago.  Who know where we'll be in five generations time, or what the world will look like.  It really depends on what the men who live in now it decide to do, what their Will is, what brings them Joy.  That's what makes the future possible, and indeed makes the future: Willful Joy.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Not politicians, not generals, not economists, but Willful Joy.  The Joy that men get by expressing their Will, in whatever way they wish to.


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