Friday, June 29, 2018
A General Map of the Southern British Colonies (1776). Note the separation of East and West Florida.
The British only owned Florida for a brief moment (1763-1783), but during that time they did take a stab at turning the territory into a productive colony. In 1764, the British Parliament set aside £500 (British pounds sterling) as a bounty for cultivating silk, cotton, and indigo in East Florida, and authorized generous land grants for citizens who stepped forward to develop these industries.
The British government took a considerable interest in New Smyrna, providing money for transporting laborers and developing infrastructure. In the spring of 1767, Turnbull sailed into the Mediterranean to hire workers for his new enterprise. He encountered unexpected resistance from the Ottomans over his plan to hire away Greek workers, so he made stops in southern Italy and Minorca to pick up more. By the time Turnbull finally sailed for East Florida, he had about 1,500 workers under contract, mostly Minorcans. These settlers would be indentured servants.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Blanche was a creative thinker and sought out ways to improve the quality of life. She received three patents over the span of 50 years. Her first patent was on January 4, 1927 for a system of color standards which she invented with her brother Adelbert Ames, Jr. The object of the system of colors was to provide uniformity of colors through individual color cards in order that a desired color could be identified. Up to this point there was no such system in place for professions that worked regularly with colors, such as painters, decorators, dressmakers, and potters. Figure 1 displays a drawing of the system of color standards.(Ames & Ames, 1927)
Source: Ames & Ames, 1927
Blanche’s second invention was a propeller snare. She received the patent for this invention on April 24, 1945. The purpose of this invention was to entrap enemy airplanes by entangling their propellers in suspended cables. Once the propellers came into contact with the propeller snare’s they would act like a brake bringing the entire airplane to a stop. The propeller snares were made of inflammable material which could also be equipped with explosives. (Ames, 1945)
The specifics of this invention are not complex, but attention to detail is required. The snare was made of a strand of string cord or rope wire that formed a sequence of loose lengths that were suspended in air without tension. These snares could be supported in a variety of ways. One method was that a second strand would be attached to a main strand with clips or knots spaced at various intervals. Another form of support was to connect two or more strands with rings at various locations along the propeller snare. The snares were most often suspended with balloons. The propeller snares were successfully use during World War II to entrap enemy planes. Figure 2 displays a drawing of the propeller snare. (Ames, 1945)
source for above images and text: https://brendapolendey.wordpress.com/cultural-research/4-technology-blanche-ames-inventions/
Once, in Rio de Janeiro, Oakes learned of a Brazilian orchid that had been discovered decades earlier and sent abroad to the foremost authority on the area’s orchids. The specimen was lost en route; its only ghost was a watercolor drawing that had been made before it was sent. Because the drawing did not show enough detail to classify the orchid, and no further specimens had been found, the species remained in a kind of scientific limbo. Returning later from an expedition to Brazil’s Mount Itatiaia, Oakes and Blanche found a large fallen tree blocking their path. Growing on that tree was a single orchid—incredibly, it was a specimen of the lost species. Blanche, not Oakes, was given the discoverer’s honor of the taxonomic name: Loefgrenianthus blanche-amesiae.
above text and images source: https://harvardmagazine.com/2017/07/blanche-ames
OrchidaOrchidaceae, titled after the family that orchids belong to, was written by the world-renowned botanist Oakes Ames. Ames began collecting orchids at the ripe age of 15 in his hometown of North Easton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1898, and soon thereafter founded the Ames Botanical Laboratory, where he studied both orchids and ethnobotany. Ames was a pioneer in both fields, being one of the first botanists to study plants that are economically and culturally important to human cultures, as well as writing the most thorough treatise on orchids the botany community has ever seen--the seven volume Orchidaceae.
above image and text source: https://cumuseum-archive.colorado.edu/Research/Objects/apr09_orchidbook.html
Blanche Ames Ames drawing at her deskPhotographs courtesy of Borderland State Park.