Press enter after choosing selection
Graphic for events post

Media

Author Event | Paul Vachon Discusses "Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline"

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:27pm

Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820's, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.

Martin Bandyke hosts author Paul Vachon as he discusses and shows images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.

Graphic for events post

Media

Author Event | Vanishing Ann Arbor

Tue, 08/27/2019 - 9:00am

What restaurant did Car & Driver magazine rank as one of the best places for ribs?
When did we finally get a professional fire department? 
What was special about the downtown Denny's franchise?
Which longtime business got a Centennial Award even though it wasn't quite 100 years old? 
And who exactly was the man whose name is still inscribed at Fourth Avenue and Ann Streets?!

Join Vanishing Ann Arbor authors Patti Smith and Britain Woodman as they take you on a tour of our city’s past, from Bach & Abel’s dry goods store to Aunt Agatha’s bookstore. Learn about the history of public schools in Ann Arbor beginning with the log cabin built at the corner of Main and Ann Streets, through the ward schools, and to Ann Arbor High. Find out how folks passed time in the 1880s, from ice skating to bowling to socials. Trace the history of bookstores from Wahr’s and Sheehan’s to Common Language and the Wooden Spoon. Walk the streets with school principal Mary Clark, philanthropist Elizabeth Dean, and publisher Alvin Chase.

Come along to reminisce about the places you remember—Maude’s, Fiegel’s, Drake’s—and learn about the places you don’t.

Graphic for events post

Media

Graphic for events post

Media

Graphic for events post

Media

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for July 2019: Martin interviews John Wall, author of Streamliner: Raymond Loewy and Image-making in the Age of American Industrial Design.

Tue, 07/02/2019 - 10:42am

Born in Paris in 1893 and trained as an engineer, Raymond Loewy revolutionized twentieth-century American industrial design. Combining salesmanship and media savvy, he created bright, smooth, and colorful logos for major corporations that included Greyhound, Exxon, and Nabisco. His designs for Studebaker automobiles, Sears Coldspot refrigerators, Lucky Strike cigarette packs, and Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives are iconic. Beyond his timeless designs, Loewy carefully built an international reputation through the assiduous courting of journalists and tastemakers to become the face of both a new profession and a consumer-driven vision of the American dream.

In Streamliner, John Wall traces the evolution of an industry through the lens of Loewy’s eclectic life, distinctive work, and invented persona. How, he asks, did Loewy build a business while transforming himself into a national brand a half century before "branding" became relevant? Placing Loewy in context with the emerging consumer culture of the latter half of the twentieth century, Wall explores how his approach to business complemented―or differed from―that of his well-known contemporaries, including industrial designers Henry Dreyfuss, Walter Teague, and Norman Bel Geddes. Wall also reveals how Loewy tailored his lifestyle to cement the image of "designer" in the public imagination, and why the self-promotion that drove Loewy to the top of his profession began to work against him at the end of his career. Streamliner is an important and engaging work on one of the longest-lived careers in industrial design.

Martin Bandyke’s interview with John Wall was originally recorded on February 6, 2019.

Graphic for events post

Media

Who Holds the Power: Policing in Ann Arbor

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 12:19pm

Who holds the power in Ann Arbor when it comes to law enforcement? What does that mean for those who are not in power? How has this all changed over time? A panel of local experts discuss the role of police around the city and on the University of Michigan campus.

This was the second of a series series of discussions addressing the question: Who holds the power in Ann Arbor? The series, a partnership with the Michigan Daily, was made possible by the Poynter College Media Project. 

Graphic for events post

Media

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for June 2019: Martin interviews Ian S. Port, author of The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 4:58pm

“A hot-rod joy ride through mid-20th-century American history” (The New York Times Book Review), this one-of-a-kind narrative masterfully recreates the rivalry between the two men who innovated the electric guitar’s amplified sound—Leo Fender and Les Paul—and their intense competition to convince rock stars like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton to play the instruments they built.

In the years after World War II, music was evolving from big-band jazz into rock ’n’ roll—and these louder styles demanded revolutionary instruments. When Leo Fender’s tiny firm marketed the first solid-body electric guitar, the Esquire, musicians immediately saw its appeal. Not to be out-maneuvered, Gibson, the largest guitar manufacturer, raced to build a competitive product. The company designed an “axe” that would make Fender’s Esquire look cheap and convinced Les Paul—whose endorsement Leo Fender had sought—to put his name on it. Thus was born the guitar world’s most heated rivalry: Gibson versus Fender, Les versus Leo.

While Fender was a quiet, half-blind, self-taught radio repairman, Paul was a brilliant but headstrong pop star and guitarist who spent years toying with new musical technologies. Their contest turned into an arms race as the most inventive musicians of the 1950s and 1960s—including bluesman Muddy Waters, rocker Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Eric Clapton—adopted one maker’s guitar or another. By 1969 it was clear that these new electric instruments had launched music into a radical new age, empowering artists with a vibrancy and volume never before attainable.

Graphic for events post

Media

Martin Bandyke Under Covers for May 2019: Martin Bandyke interviews Kenneth C. Springirth, author of Detroit’s Streetcar Heritage

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 5:12pm

Kenneth Charles Springirth (born 1939) is a United States author, activist, politician, guest-speaker, photographer, and railroad historian. Detroit's Streetcar Heritage is Ken’s photographic essay of the Detroit, Michigan, streetcar system.

Replacement of slow moving horsecar service began with the opening of an electric street railway by the Detroit Citizens Street Railway in 1892. By 1900, all of the Detroit streetcar systems were consolidated into the Detroit United Railway (DUR). Following voter approval, the City of Detroit purchased DUR in 1922, becoming the first large United States city to own and operate public transit under Detroit Department of Street Railways (DSR). Between 1921 and 1930, DSR purchased 781 Peter Witt type streetcars. Although DSR purchased 186 modern Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) cars between 1945 and 1949, many streetcar lines were converted to bus operation. The last streetcar line on Woodward Avenue was converted to bus operation in 1956 with 183 PCC cars sold to Mexico City. Detroit's Streetcar Heritage documents the city's streetcar era plus scenes of the PCC cars in Mexico City, the Washington Boulevard Line which operated from 1976 to 2003, and the QLINE streetcar which opened in 2017 on Woodward Avenue linking Grand Boulevard with downtown Detroit.

Graphic for events post

Media

"Back Page": A Super Colossal Production (1936)

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 7:38am

This film was made by the Display Advertising Department of the Ann Arbor News in 1936. It's a humorous look at a day in the life of the advertising staff as they work to secure an advertisement from a local merchant and get it to press in time for the daily run. 1936 marks the year the Ann Arbor News building was completed at 340 E. Huron and the year the News acquired its new printing press, both of which are featured in the film. There's also a tantalizing glimpse of the Bell Tower under construction on the University of Michigan campus. The Library received this 16 mm film along with the clipping files and photo negatives from the Ann Arbor News.

Original: 16mm film, silent, 00:21:41, 1936

Graphic for events post

Media

"Back Page": A Super Colossal Production (1936), with live accompaniment by Steven Ball

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 7:01am

On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, the Ann Arbor District Library and the Michigan Theater presented the WORLD PREMIERE of "Back Page: A Super Colossal Production," a silent film made in 1936 by Ann Arbor News staff and recently unearthed from the archives of the Ann Arbor News. 

This film was made by the Display Advertising Department of the Ann Arbor News in 1936. It's a humorous look at a day in the life of the advertising staff as they work to secure an advertisement from a local merchant and get it to press in time for the daily run. 1936 marks the year the Ann Arbor News building was completed at 340 E. Huron and the year the News acquired its new printing press, both of which are featured in the film. There's also a tantalizing glimpse of the Bell Tower under construction on the University of Michigan campus. The Library received this 16 mm film along with the clipping files and photo negatives from the Ann Arbor News.

Original: 16mm film, silent, 00:21:41, 1936