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Read a 1943 Letter From Gelett Burgess to Mayor La Guardia About Sign Fonts

 

City dwellers are often subject to bad typography, but in 1943, artist, author, and humorist Gelett Burgess decided to do something about it. He took the issue up with then-mayor Fiorello La Guardia, and did so in the most writerly way possible: with verse.

The New-York Historical Society recently shared the letter from Burgess, in which he wrote:

WHY IS IT he who paints the signs
On New York’s numbered streets combines
Such Threes and Sixes, Eights and Nines?

For, at a distance, when it’s late,
It’s hard to differentiate
Between a Six, Nine, Three and Eight.

He continued on for 11 stanzas, concluding with:

Oh, Mr. Mayor, be kind! Be wise!
Our street signs please do modernize
With numbers we can recognize!

The complaint letter didn’t go unnoticed, or unanswered. La Guardia wrote back, also in verse, and even referenced Burgess’s 1937 book Look Eleven Years Younger. His seven-stanza response ends with:

A whole new set is what we want,
And meantime, praying on our knees
Our genial government to grant
Priorities

“A post-war project!” we will cry
And when a fleet of signs appears
The City will look younger by
Eleven years

You can read both cheekily written messages in full, complete with excellent letterheads, over at the New-York Historical Society Tumblr page.

[h/t @john_overholt]

Images: Twitter

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Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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