Weaver’s Hall/Univeristy Library, Leuven, Belgium


Louvain Les Halles, Salle des Pas-Perdus
c.1910
Publisher: Nels (Ernest Thill)

Google Street View.

The burning of the Library of Louvain has caused two irreparable losses: the loss of an historic monument, a gem of the most beautiful architecture of two distinct periods—the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries—and the loss of the collection of manuscripts, books and. relics of the University of Louvain. Let me first say a few words about the monument in which was enshrined the Library of the University. This monument, known as the Halles Universitaires, was the old Halle aux draps, or Weavers’ Hall, of the town of Louvain, which in the course of centuries has been adapted and enlarged, as we shall shortly see.

The first stone of the Halle aux draps was laid in 1317, and in 1345 the building was completed. It consisted of a ground floor and an upper story in the roof; outside were fine doorways—the most beautiful specimens of the civil architecture of Brabant at the beginning of the fourteenth century; inside were two large halls, one of which had in the course of centimes undergone many changes; while the other—kept as it originally was, though restored—served as the Salle des Pas-Perdus of the Library of the University. This hail was divided into two parts by a series of vigorously moulded semi-circular arches; these arches rested on pillars with capitals ornamented with two rows of foliage and fruit. Magnificent brackets supported the oak beams of the ceiling; the subjects they represented were very varied: foliage, burlesque scenes, fantastic or hybrid beings; all were carved firmly and boldly, forming specimens rarely met with at that period in other parts of our country. Similar works are to be found with us only in a few rare monuments of the second half of the fourteenth century.

In 1432 the University of Louvain received permission from the town to convert a portion of the Halle aux draps into quarters suitable for schools and lecture rooms. This condition of things lasted until 1676, when the University purchased the Halle from the town; a little later, in 1680, extensive works were undertaken and a spacious story was added to the building. This story was divided into lecture rooms for the different Faculties. In 1723 a large building in the Perpendicular style was added to the Halles Universitaires for the purposes of the Library.
“The Library of the University of Louvain”, The Nineteenth Century, No. 59, May 1915

Few libraries in the world have experienced such a dramatic history as the library of the university in Leuven (KU Leuven). Established only a few years after the founding of the university in 1425, it collected rare books and manuscripts over the centuries, only to lose them to France after the French revolution. But much worse was to come during the two world wars in 1914 and 1940.

The original university library building has been located since 1636 in the old cloth hall (currently the University Hall). During the First World War, German soldiers put fire to the building and its precious collections. After the war, a new library with a bell tower was built with American support, with a greater magnificence, and was almost turned into a war memorial. . . But the building today is not the original one reconstructed after WW1. After acquiring more than 900,000 volumes, the library suffered a new disaster in mid-May 1940, just a few days after Nazi Germany’s invasion of Belgium. Again the library was completely destroyed by fire and only 15,000 volumes survived the disaster.
The Brussels Times


“Ruines de Louvain – The ruins at Louvain. Université. Salle des Pas Perdus. – University. Outer Hall.” University of San Diego

Meredith Publications, Des Moines, USA


Home of the Meredith Publications, Des Moines, Iowav
On back:
The Meredith Publications Modern, Fireproof Plants–Five stories, 123×155, with elevator, annex 25×55, built of concrete, streel reinforced where Successful Farming, Better Homes and Gardens, and The Dairy Farmer are printed each month, using latests improved up-to-date machinery and equipment.
1920s

Google Street View.

Edwin Thomas Meredith founded the company in 1902 when he began publishing Successful Farming magazine. In 1922, Meredith began publishing Fruit, Garden and Home magazine, a home and family service publication. In 1924, the magazine was retitled Better Homes and Gardens, and the first issue cost a dime on the newsstand.
Wikipedia.

On E. T. Meredith’s wedding day, his grandfather gave him several gold pieces, the controlling interest in his newspaper, and a note that said, “Sink or swim.” After returning his grandfather’s newspaper to profitability, Meredith sold it for a profit and began publishing a service-oriented farm magazine called Successful Farming in 1902. The magazine grew quickly, from a starting circulation of 500 to more than half a million subscribers by 1914. The company had grown proportionally, from five employees in 1902 to almost 200 in 1912. In 1999 the company had more than 2,500 employees and still occupied the same building that was established as company headquarters in 1912. The building went through some expansion as well, including an $18 million renovation completed in 1980.

After serving a year as Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of Agriculture, E. T. Meredith returned to his company in 1920 and decided to publish more magazines. In 1922 the company purchased one magazine, Dairy Farmer, and launched another, Fruit, Garden and Home. Meredith tried to make Dairy Farmer a national success for five years before merging it with Successful Farming. Unable to make a profit until 1927, Fruit, Garden and Home, a magazine similar to Successful Farming for the home and family, had start-up difficulties as well. At first, advertisers paid $450 per black-and-white page in Fruit, Garden and Home, as opposed to Successful Farming’s rate of $1,800 per black-and-white page. After a name change in 1924 to Better Homes & Gardens, the magazine’s fortunes turned around, allowing it to command $1,800 per black-and-white page of advertising by 1925. By the time of E. T. Meredith’s death in 1928, the year he was considered a candidate for the presidency.
From “International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 29″1999, Funding Universe

Gold Mine, Burtville, Australia


Gaston & King’s G.M. Burtville W.A.
1910s

Google Maps.

Burtville is an abandoned town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 29 kilometres (18 mi) south east of Laverton. In 1897, Gold was discovered in the area by two prospectors, B. Frost and J. Trugurtha. The surveyor, J. Rowe, planned the town lots in accordance with the Goldfields Act in 1901. The settlement was initially known as Merolia which is the Indigenous Australian name for the district. The town was eventually named after the grandson of the first chief justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court, Sir Archibald Burt. Archibald Edmund Burt JP was the chief mining warden of the Mount Margaret Goldfield.
. . .
The population of the town and district rose to approximately 400 by 1903 as a result of gold mining. The town also had a water supply from a government well and a sealed pan sanitation system. A police station was opened in 1903 along with a school and two hotels. A ten stamp state battery and five stamp battery known as The Burtville Ore Reduction works were operated within the town from 1903 to 1906. Another privately owned ten stamp battery that allowed public access known as The sons of Westralia was also operating at the time. By 1916 the population had reduced to 45 and the police station was closed.
Wikipedia.

The Nil Desperandum was the original lease pegged on the field by its discoverers Billy Frost and James Tregurtha . . . in 1897. They gave the Nil Desperandum away, and instead worked the Wanderer lease for two years, which turned out a low grade affair. . . . From 1905 to at least 1920, Thomas King and Herbert Gaston owned the mine. Both appear to come from Adelaide, or least had residences in Adelaide during the period. King took no active part in the mine, relying on a dozen telegrams a day from Gaston, detailing all aspects of operations. Gaston was a former Major at Southern Cross, the postmaster at Burtville, and also a Justice of the Peace, which carried the responsibilities of a law judge in the town. The following is enlightening:

“Probably the most interesting thing at Burtville is the administration of the law. This is dealt out at periods when policeman Manning musters up a sufficient number of derelicts to warrant a court, over which an affiable party named Gaston, being the only J.P. in the district, presides in a building about the size of a couple of horse boxes. No matter how heinous the offence, the penalty rarely goes beyond the limit of a half a crown fine”. The writer goes on to say Gaston has to put up with the dregs of Burtville in his court, loathes his J.P role, and escapes as soon as he can back to his mine.

Around 1912, Gaston began expanding the lease, with neighbouring Surprise, Away from Home, Away from Home South, Golden Bell North, Adelaide, and Bateman Hill leases acquired. Development took place at least on the last three, and were said to be joined underground to the Nil Desperandum. In 1922, Gleeson and party, Richards and party, and Smith and party are all operating on the lease.
mindat.org

Sir,— I am sorry to have to trouble you again with one of my letters, but this one is not a personal letter. It is one for the public. I went to Burtville on Sunday to see Messrs. Gaston and King’s mine, the Nil Desperandum. I will give you my opinion of it as it looks now. I may be wrong, but I will give it. Mr. Gaston, the manager, was very kind to me and showed me around. The dump for the battery to look at it one would pass it by, as it does not look any different from any other, but when you break the stone or lode matter you can see gold in most of it. The battery will tell, and if I am not mistaken it will astonish the mining world. We went down ladders for 50ft. Then 40ft. or 50ft. west is the golden belt. It is not a reef, nor is it a lode. I don’t know what to call it. It has been driven on for 56ft. and they are not through it. Mr. Gaston knocked down about 50lb. of stone at the end of the 56ft. which showed splendid fine gold. It may go on for 50ft. or 100ft. more. There are no signs of any large stones whatever. As it looks now it means wonderful discovery for the mining world. I think it will be worked by an open cut, as it may be 100ft. wide. If it turns out as it looks it means another Kalgoorlie. The formation is on the west side of the general working on the lease. The work done on the lease is a credit to the holders. There is nothing whatever to lead one to believe such a thing was below. There are no signs of a reef of any kind. The shaft was put down, and the drive put in for mining exploring, and the explorers got their reward, which they must be given great credit for. Mr. Gaston takes things very quietly; yet he must know what it means to him and to the public also. Of course no one can tell until it is opened up, but one thing is certain, and that is that it is not a rich patch only. — Yours, etc.,
F. H. HANN,
Nambrook, 17th September.
This letter is taken from the last issue of the “Laverton Mercury,” and the hope of the many, friends of Messrs. Gaston and King is that Mr. Hannwill prove to be a true prophet.
Coolgardie Miner, 4 October 1913

Great Laxey Wheel, Isle of Man


The Great Wheel, Laxey, I.O.M.
Postmarked 1905
Publisher: Frederick Hartmann (1902-1909)

Google Street View (approximate).

The Laxey Wheel, The Mannin Folk (song)

The Great Laxey Wheel (Queeyl Vooar Laksey) or Lady Isabella (as she is also known) is the largest working waterwheel in the world. A brilliant example of Victorian engineering she was built in 1854 to pump water from the Laxey mines.
Manx National Heritage

The Laxey water wheel was designed by the Manx engineer Robert Casement. The wheel’s axle was forged by the Mersey Iron Works of Liverpool but the cast iron rims were made on the Island by Gelling’s Foundry at Douglas. The timbers of the wheel were shaped by Manx artisans and the whole structure was assembled here on the Island. The official opening of this huge wheel took place in September 1854 and it was set in motion by the Honourable Charles Hope, the Lieutenant Governor of the Island. The wheel was named “Lady Isabella” in honour of the Governor’s wife. The wheel has a diameter of 72 feet 6 inches, (over 22 metres), and a width of 6 feet. It is capable of pumping 250 gallons of water per minute from a depth of almost 1,500 feet. The mine shaft from which the water was pumped was sited about 450 yards from the great wheel. The power from the wheel was transmitted to the pumping mechanism by a series of rods supported by and running along an imposing masonry viaduct.
Isle of Man.com

Oil Wells, Summerland, California


Oil wells in the sea, Summerland, near Satan Barbara, Calif
Postmarked 1924
Publisher: Western Publishing & Novelty Co., Los Angeles.

General location.

The Summerland Oil Field (and Summerland Offshore Oil Field) is an inactive oil field in Santa Barbara County, California, about four miles (6 km) east of the city of Santa Barbara, within and next to the unincorporated community of Summerland. First developed in the 1890s, and richly productive in the early 20th century, the Summerland Oil Field was the location of the world’s first offshore oil wells, drilled from piers in 1896. This field, which was the first significant field to be developed in Santa Barbara County, produced 3.18 million of barrels of oil during its 50-year lifespan, finally being abandoned in 1939-40.
Wikipedia

In California, Henry Williams by 1897 had successfully pursued the giant Summerland oilfield to the scenic cliff side beaches of Santa Barbara. With reports of “tar balls” on the beaches from natural offshore oil seeps, Williams recognized that the highly productive field extended into the Pacific Ocean. He and his associates constructed a 300 foot pier, mounted a cable-tool derrick, and began drilling. When California’s first offshore oil well proved successful, more than 20 petroleum companies rushed to Santa Barbara. They constructed 14 more piers, the longest extending 1,230 feet. Over the next five years more than 400 Summerland offshore wells were drilled.
American Oil & Gas Historical Society

Salt Marshes, Le Croisic, France


LE CROISIC (L. I.) – Marais Salants
(Le Croisic – Salt Marshes)
“Edition du Bazar de l’Océan, Le Croisic”

Google Street View (approximate)

The salterns of Guérande is a swamp of salt water about 1 700 hectares in size. The current saltmarshes began before the 9th century and lasted for several centuries. Around the year 1500, the marshes reached 80% of the current surface. The latest were built around 1800. In the middle of the 19th century, a gradual decline started for different reasons : competition from a salt mine, lower consumption of salt as a product of conservation and improvement of transport by land. The salt of Guérande used to be traded throughout Brittany, tax free until Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte decided to tax it resulting in the beginning of a decline of salt activity.
Wikipedia.

Suma Beach, Japan


The Beach, Suma ム望ナ山伏りョ演海浦の磨須

(Not sure on the transcription, it is hard to read in places. 須磨 is Suma.)

There is a white sandy beach in this ward, which attracts tourists to the Kansai region for sun bathing and popular events during the summer season. The same beach has appeared in the classic epics Genji monogatari, Heike monogatari, and Ise monogatari. Thus Suma is often referred as an utamakura or meisho, referenced frequently in waka poetry, Noh theatre, kabuki and jōruri.
Wikipedia.

“Suma, or Suma-no-Ura (4 M.), Shioya (6 M.), and Maiko (9 M.), all popular and attractive bathing-resorts W. of Kobe (main line of the Sanyo Rly., and the electric trolley), on the beautiful shore of the Inland Sea, possess fine shingly beaches (the delight of children), lovely sea views and a charm which has been the theme of native poets for ages. A day can be spent very pleasantly visiting the three places.
“…Many fishing-boats dot the placid waters, and long nets filled with silvery fish are often hauled up on the sandy shore [at Suma]. The sea-bathing is excellent and safe, with no heavy ground-swell or treacherous undertow.”
“Terry’s Japanese Empire”, T. Phillip Terry, 1914

Old Tokyo

There were three villages on this beach, Higashi-suma, Nishi-suma, and Hama-suma. None ofthese villages, however, seemed to have a distinctive local trade. According to an ancient poet, there used to be a great number of salt farms on the beach, but they must have gone out of existence years before. I saw small fish called kisugo spread on the sand to be dried. Some villagers–they hardly seemed professional fishermen–were guarding the fish against the crows that dived to grab them. Each had a bow and arrow in his hand. I wondered why these people still resorted to such a cruel means without the slightest sense of guilt, and thought of the bloody war that had taken place in the mountains at the back of the beach.
“Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and other travel sketches)”, Matsuo Basho, 17o2 (translated Nobuyuki Yuasa, 1966 Penguin Classics, p.88)

Pottery Factory, Quimper, France


Fabrication de la Faience bretonne à Quimper L’Atelier de Moulage
(Breton pottery factory in Quimper: The Moulding Workshop)
1900s

Street View (exterior)

Quimper faience is produced in a factory near Quimper, in Brittany, France. Since 1708, Quimper faience (“faïence” in French) has been painted by hand, and production continues to this day. The “Faïenceries de Quimper” were established in “Locmaria”, the historical faience quarter of the city of Quimper, near the center. The Faïencerie d’Art Breton, newly created in 1994, was also established in Quimper, but outside the historical quarter “Locmaria”. “Locmaria” now also houses a Quimper faience museum. The pottery’s design reflects a strong traditional Breton influence. One famous design which became typical for Quimper faience is the “petit breton”, a naive representation of Breton man and/or woman in traditional Breton costume. The “petit breton” became popular around 1870 and is still today the main design bought by tourists.
Wikipedia.

The oldest manufacturer of Quimper Faience is the Grande Maison HB-Henriot, which has continuously produced country pottery, specialising, in tobacco pipes made of white clay. But, at the end of the 15th Century, the arrival of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet in Locmaria (originally from the Moustier region) truly marked the beginning of “three centuries of Faience”. He could not have found a better environment to set up the factory – large timber promising combustion, an easily navigable river and low-cost labour. The first piece of faience was brought out in 1708, when his son, Pierre, master ‘faiencier’, came to join him in Quimper.
HB-Henriot Quimper Faience: Three Centuries of History, Passion and ‘Savoir-Faire’ (pdf)