Today we’re featuring a guest post from Sarah Pickman, a PhD student in the History Dept. at Yale. Sarah works on the history of exploration, field collecting, and natural history museums, and anthropology in nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her past work has focused on the material culture of expeditions, from field provisions to Polar gear. Sarah comes to Yale from New York, where she earned an M.A. in Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture at Bard College.
Any casual observer can see that there’s a certain vogue for retro technology in the air. So dust off your home canning system, pull out your vinyl records, and break out your…sextant?
Double-bridge sextant, c. 1798. Collection of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK, NAV1107
I spent last weekend in Albuquerque, at the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) annual meeting. On the way from the airport to my motel, the cab driver took me on an unsolicited “Breaking Bad” tour of the city. We saw the motel where lots of drug deals went down in the show (and, he noted, in real life.) We skirted the parking garage that was the site of a significant plot development. We waved hello to Jesse Pinkman’s house.
Local color, “European hospitality.” Who needs the conference hotel?
In the spirit of my cab ride, here’s an ad hoc excursion through a few things that went on over the weekend. Continue reading