Resistance Fighter Noor Inayat Khan Honoured With Plaque in Central London

Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive.

Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive.

Female spy, Noor Inayat Khan, born in Moscow to Indian and US parents, made history in WWII when she became the first Muslim woman to be deployed behind enemy lines in Paris, France in 1943.

Today she is making history once more as…

Source: Resistance Fighter Noor Inayat Khan Honoured With Plaque in Central London

The Hidden Histories of Black Americans in Paris – Atlas Obscura

Josephine Baker in Paris, photographed by Carl Van Vechten (right). © ESTATE OF BEAUFORD DELANEY BY PERMISSION OF DEREK L. SPRATLEY, ESQUIRE, COURT APPOINTED ADMINISTRATOR, COURTESY OF MICHAEL ROSENFELD GALLERY LLC, NEW YORK, NY; PUBLIC DOMAIN

Josephine Baker in Paris, photographed by Carl Van Vechten (right). © ESTATE OF BEAUFORD DELANEY BY PERMISSION OF DEREK L. SPRATLEY, ESQUIRE, COURT APPOINTED ADMINISTRATOR, COURTESY OF MICHAEL ROSENFELD GALLERY LLC, NEW YORK, NY; PUBLIC DOMAIN

MONIQUE WELLS MOVED FROM TEXAS to Paris in 1992 for a job, and she ended up staying indefinitely. Like generations of Americans before her, Wells and her husband fell in love with the City of Light. But since she went there as a veterinary pathologist, and not as a tourist, it was years before she asked herself where she’d go if she only had a few days in Paris.

Then Wells and her husband, Tom, started a company that created custom travel itineraries. Travelers would…

Source: The Hidden Histories of Black Americans in Paris – Atlas Obscura

France Before the Revolution – For Bastille Day | toritto

The Queen’s Chamber at Versailles

The Queen’s Chamber at Versailles

…Versailles had all the pomp and pageantry of power.  The Court was composed of some 18,000 people, perhaps 16,000 of whom were attached to personal service of the King [Louis XVI] and his family with some 2,000 being courtiers, the favored guests – nobles engaged in a daily round of pleasures who were also feathering their nests seeking favors from …

Source: France Before the Revolution – For Bastille Day | toritto

Franz Reichelt: The Parachuting Pioneer and His Infamous Stunt

I do wish that ArtLark had found a different way to repeat their posts because I have to re-reblog every time as the previous year’s outing then no longer links to the content. Hence this reblog of a reblog today!

A R T L▼R K

51BjddXgkXLOn the 4th of February 1912, Austrian-born inventor and tailor Franz Reichelt, also known as the Flying Tailor, died tragically by jumping from the Eiffel Tower, whilst trying out his own creation, a coat parachute. Even though, having worked on the prototype for two years, and having had it rejected numerous times by aeronautic organisations and competitions, Reichelt had so much foolish confidence in his design that he decided to go ahead with his plan; he said: “I want to try the experiment myself, and without trickery, as I intend to prove the worth of my invention.”

“Reichelt’s pride and joy was a wearable parachute, so that airline pilots could deploy it to increase their chances of survival if they needed to eject from their aircraft (because that happens all the time?).Tests with a prototype from his fifth-floor balcony on dummies proved successful, but those prototypes weighed 150…

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Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue – Atlas Obscura

A corpse is carried out through the morgue, c. 1840s. PUBLIC DOMAIN

A corpse is carried out through the morgue, c. 1840s. PUBLIC DOMAIN

In August 1886, when curious Parisians opened up the newspaper Le Journal Illustré and read its cover story on “Enfant de la Rue du Vert-Bois,” a four-year-old girl found dead with a single mysterious bruise on her hand, they knew what to do. One by one, readers of the paper rushed to the Paris Morgue, where they pushed their way into…

via Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue – Atlas Obscura

WWII Bunker Under Gare de l’Est – Paris, France – Atlas Obscura

Bright sunlight streams in through the glass sunroof as thousands of travelers make their way across the central halls at the Gare de l’Est. The Parisian landmark is a key terminal in the French railway system. But underneath the daily humdrum activity there exists a carefully maintained bunker, whose history is shrouded in secrecy.

Source: WWII Bunker Under Gare de l’Est – Paris, France – Atlas Obscura

Sir Mark Sykes and a Lead Coffin | The Immortal Jukebox

mark-sykes-001‘At a solemn service before sunset in a rural Yorkshire churchyard, a battered lead-lined coffin was reburied hours after being opened for the first time in 89 years. As prayers were recited, samples of the remains of Sir Mark Sykes, the aristocratic diplomat and adventurer whose grave had been exhumed, were being frozen in liquid nitrogen and transported to a laboratory with the aim of saving millions of lives.

During his life, Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes made his mark on the world map. As the British government’s lead negotiator in a secret 1916 deal with France to carve up the Ottoman Empire, he laid the groundwork for the boundaries of much of the present-day Middle East and, according to some critics, its current conflicts.

But it was the manner of the death of this Conservative MP, British Army general, and father of six children, that may yet prove the source of his most significant legacy by providing key answers in how medical science can cope with 21st-century lethal flu pandemics.

Early in 1919, Sir Mark became one of the estimated 50 million victims of the so-called Spanish flu and died in Paris.

His remains were sealed in a lead-lined coffin and transported to the Sykes family seat in Yorkshire. He was buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, adjoining the house.

Were it not for the fact that Sir Mark’s body was hermetically sealed by a thick layer of lead, the story of his life would have passed quietly into history.

But the accident of chemistry – the decay of soft tissue encased in lead is dramatically slowed – has presented scientists investigating ways to deal with the inevitable mutation of the H5N1 “bird flu” into a lethal human virus with a unique opportunity to study the behaviour of its predecessor.

There are only five useful samples of the H1N1 virus around the world and none from a well-preserved body in a lead-lined coffin. Sir Mark’s descendants are delighted that his influence may reach a different sphere of human endeavour. His grandson, Christopher Sykes, said: “We were all agreed that it was a very good thing and should go ahead. It is rather fascinating that maybe even in his state as a corpse, he might be helping the world in some way.”

Source: Curtis Mayfield & Major Lance express the inexpressible : Um, um, um, um, um, um! | The Immortal Jukebox

20 Rare Color Photos Of Paris Taken 100 Years Ago.

In the era of black and white photos, French banker Albert Kahn wanted to capture the great cities of the world in color. So in 1909, he commissioned four photographers to take their cameras around the world, documenting what they saw in color.

One of those cities was Paris, and these photos taken in 1914 capture…

Source: 20 Rare Color Photos Of Paris Taken 100 Years Ago.

The mysterious selfie queen of Paris high society

When she first visited the photography studio of Mayer & Pierson in 1856, Virginia Oldoini had already become notorious in Paris society. Married at 17 to Italian Count Francesco Verasis di Castiglione, she had been dispatched to Paris to convince Napoleon III to support Italian unification — instead, she promptly became his mistress.

Their dalliance was brief but helped establish her reputation as a…

Source: The mysterious selfie queen of Paris high society

The First Ever Stethoscope Was a Simple Wooden Tube | Atlas Obscura

Dr. Laennec’s stethoscope. (Photo: John Cummings/CC SA:BY 2.0)

At the Necker Hospital in Paris, Dr. René Laennec stood at the bedside of a female patient who complained of heart trouble. To better understand this woman’s ailment, the doctor had limited options. This was 1816, and the standard procedure for auscultation—listening to the respiratory system—involved…

Source: The First Ever Stethoscope Was a Simple Wooden Tube | Atlas Obscura

On this day: the world’s first motor racing contest | In Times Gone By…

The world’s first motorsport contest took place on the 22nd of July, 1894 from Paris to Rouen, France. First, a selection event was held in which sixty-nine cars participated. The main 127 ki…

Source: On this day: the world’s first motor racing contest | In Times Gone By…

Paris Between the Wars – “L” is for Jeanne Lanvin | Martha Reynolds Writes

PORTRAIT OF JEANNE LANVIN, BY DUFAU, 1925

The woman whose name is synonymous with French haute couture was born in Paris in 1867, the eldest of eleven children. She trained as a milliner (hatmaker) and dressmaker before establishing herself as a milliner at the age of 22.

Lanvin made dresses for her young daughter and caught the eye of some of Paris’ wealthiest individuals, who…

Source: Paris Between the Wars – “L” is for Jeanne Lanvin | Martha Reynolds Writes

An Englishman Traveling in France in 1822 | Geri Walton

It was common for the English to travel to France. One nineteenth century English traveler kept detailed notes about his 1822 trip and experiences as he traveled from Calais to Paris, France. He also noted the reason for his trip was “to give a true picture of France and Frenchmen: if my countrymen and fair countrywomen will believe the report of a plain but close observer, they may derive a useful warning against the follies and vices of a nation which they have, perhaps, been taught to envy, and learn to appreciate the…

Source: An Englishman Traveling in France in 1822 | Geri Walton

Gargoyle of the Day: Notre Dame de Paris | A Scholarly Skater

Today’s grotesque is a true classic. The gargoyles of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris are neither the oldest nor the most interesting of their kind, but they have certainly become the most famo…

Source: Gargoyle of the Day: Notre Dame de Paris | A Scholarly Skater

The 1910 Great Flood of Paris. | If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History

In the last week of January 1910, the Seine River flooded the city of Paris and its surrounding neighborhoods causing an estimated 400 million francs worth of damage. Fortunately, no deaths were recorded, but Parisians suffered the indignity of being stranded in the homes and or in the streets of Paris. Emergency services and the military were forced to make headway through the saturated streets in boats to rescue people from second-storey windows and to distribute relief aid. At the conclusion of the emergency crisis that gripped the city, many Parisians were left to wonder what happened?

In the weeks leading to the flood, heavy winter rainfall across northern France filled the Seine’s tributaries. When the deluge of water reached Paris on the 21st January, authorities became increasingly alarmed at the slowly rising Seine. Winter floods were a common occurrence in Paris, but when the Seine River began to rise a lot swifter than usual, panic gripped the city. Over the course of the following week, the Seine rose to an elevated height of 8.62 metres. In the city itself, the water threatened to…

Source: The 1910 Great Flood of Paris. | If It Happened Yesterday, It’s History