|A lock of Napoleon Bonaparte's hair|
My grandmother was born in 1917. That’s three years after the start of World War One, five years after the Titanic sank, fourteen years after the first powered flight. She was probably walking when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1918 and ninety-seven years later, she’s still alive.
|Conrad Heyer, photographed in 1852 when he was 103.|
He was the earliest born american to be photographed
and the only person to be photographed who crossed
the Delaware with George Washington
People tend to think of the past as something that happened a long time ago, but my grandmother would be the first to tell you that those years that she has lived flew by like a freight train. My great-grandmother, whom my father knew well, was held up by a bandit in Yellowstone National Park in 1908…those sorts of things seem like foggy memories from the deep past, when, in reality, what happened one hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, or three hundred years ago, only happened three lifetimes ago, if everyone lived as long as my grandmother.
|The bullet that killed Nelson in 1805|
Unfortunately, this is the best picture I can find
as the bullet is on display in Windsor Castle
and photography isn't allowed
Shakespeare is still funny; we relate to Jane Austen so much that countless movies have been made of her books; even Aesop, an ancient Greek philosopher is read to children at bedtime. The Romans, who we humorously like to refer to as ancient, lived lives that would have seemed perfectly understandable to us. They talked politics at dinner, they had glass in their windows, they even had fountains in their gardens…and in the streets of Rome, urchins were busy painting graffiti on the walls of buildings.
People are still as much people today as they were a thousand years ago. They still like desert, good drama and nice clothes. Taste and fashion may have changed over the years, but the intent is the same. The various forces that motivate people to do things are the same; we haven’t become any wiser, smarter or stronger over our years of existence.
|This tile, recently found in Leicester, England, was rolled out|
2,000 years ago and a puppy walked on it before it was quite dry