A tea tale from our sister site Orange Moon Tea Society
On this day in 28 BC one of the earliest observations of a sunspot was seen by the Han dynasty astronomers in China. In 1869 the first Transcontinental Railroad is completed linking the east to the west in the United States. And in 1908 the very first Mother’s Day is observed in the US in Grafton, West Virginia. Sidney Blower knows very little about these dates and their recorded events, but she does know a thing or two about the sun. You see, on May 10th in 1913 Ms Blower catches the sun and successfully brews it into her new tea.
The idea came to Sidney one night as she sat with her mother and father on the porch of their country home. The sun was starting to set in the distance and it took with it the last of the light her aging parents could see by. No matter how many candles she lit or how she tried to lighten up their home for those dark hours, her parents would see nothing but shadows and this distressed her so. As she watched that sun she wondered to herself if she could capture just a little of it and gift it to her parents so they had a small light in that darkness.
Sidney’s first few attempts were haphazard events that she didn’t like to think about. A sunburn came from one and a sun itch (something she would tell people you had to experience because no words could properly describe the sensation) came from the other. She knew she was onto something though. She just needed to find the right medium to work with.
There came a moment, as Sidney gently led her parents to the dinner table, where her mother reminded her to bring in their sun-tea. The young woman walked back to the porch and picked up the large jar of amber colored water that had been left with a light weave of material filled with loose tea leafs to cure in the sun. Sidney looked at that beautiful thing of tea and knew she could somehow get the sun into that jar better than just using its warmth to brew her tea. Continue reading This Day in Tea May 10th 1913
I’m always amazed by how many variations there are on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein fiction. Countless movies, retellings and what have you. What often surprises me is how few horror fans I encounter who have actually read the book. And Shelley’s writings, like many in that era, is simply beautifully written. If you haven’t read it, you can download a free copy of it here.
On the topic of Frankenstein, there is an interesting essay on science behind the story. “Professor Sharon Ruston surveys the scientific background to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, considering contemporary investigations into resuscitation, galvanism, and the possibility of states between life and death.” You can read the full article here.
The artwork included with our entry here is the High Priestess card from our Halloween Tarot deck. Follow this link to see the whole deck. ;)
A PENNY DREADFUL: The first entry in Etta Diem’s Encyclopedia of Harmful Sensations. As recorded from second hand accounts from Phineas Luft and Gertrude Vermooth
In the late 1900’s at the height of the Spiritualist movement, Huxley Auspex took his place among the movement’s elite by creating and ushering into the world the Auspicmoriscope. The fantastic claims of this invention were simple: The user looked into the eyepiece and turned the handle and the spirit realm became visible within the instrument’s view finder.
The instrument caused a stir among even the most hardened in the community and Auspex became a quick celebrity, embraced by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He followed this rise to celebrity by creating a variety of variations on his original device, each offering claims more brilliant and fabled than the next. The final version of the auspicmoriscope was a heavy contraption that came complete with a strange scrying board and typewriter like letter box that was meant to allow the user to type in messages or relay the names of those they wished to contact. Auspex claimed the additions to the device allowed for better locating and displaying of those the viewer desired to see.
Continue reading A is for Auspicmoriscope and the Asphodel