In 1901, Buffalo was the center of civilization, site of the Pan-American Exposition, and Thomas Edison was its God. His Roentgen X-Ray machine sat in the Temple of Science. But the futuristic machine gave no hope to the fallen president. Edison was called up from New Jersey to get his machine to run, but before he could, the gynecologist at the fair who improvised McKinley's surgery had already sewn him up. McKinley died of gangrene within a few days. Thomas Edison's filmmakers, however, immortalized him in jerky video, their kinetoscopy—the first president captured on film.

 

Holmes viewer, a mechanical optical contraption, was named for the great Bostonian, Fireside poet, philosopher, and eloquent scientist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., not to be confused with the other great American, his son, Civil War general, Chief Justice, and member of the Metaphysical Club, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Apart from his prescient essay extolling the wonders of the stereoscope, Holmes wrote other tracts, including his great triplet set on the evils of Western quackery—his thunderous “Astrology and Alchemy,” which made him persona non grata among several wishful thinkers on Minetta Street; his scathing taxonomy of Occidental ignorance, “Medical Delusions of the Past”; and his most elegant screed, “Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions,” in which he called his subject a "mingled mass of perverse ingenuity, of tinsel erudition, of imbecile credulity, and of artful misrepresentation, too often mingled in practice." His work on hygienic prophylaxis, that is, the need for surgeon...

Underwood & Underwood, maker and distributor of stereo cards and other visionary equipment, was founded in 1881 by brothers Elmer and Bert on Sesame Street in Ottawa, Kansas. At one time Elmer and Bert were “the largest publishers of stereoviews in the world with ten million views a year.” Take that, Instagram! See Brownie camera.

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