Month: November 2016

Gabriel Metsu

Few artists create a style so distinct that it is recognizable to an untrained eye. Johannes Vermeer is one. Meet the now-obscure artist who Vermeer displaced from the pantheon of Dutch Masters.

The Also-Rans

Unsung Heroes, Loveable Losers, Runners-Up, and Forgotten Failures (That Will Change Your View of Success)

Catherine Littlefield Greene

A Rhode Island aristocrat who became a widowed plantation owner in the Reconstruction Era South may have been more instrumental to the invention of the cotton gin than Eli Whitney.

Marion Mahony Griffin

Frank Lloyd Wright cultivated a mystique of solitary inspiration, ensuring that his accomplishments were regarded as the works of one man’s towering genius. The draftsman who was critical in visualizing much of his early work was a genius in her own right.

Early promo image for Hydrox cookies

Hydrox

In a cautionary tale for all of today’s artisanal food-makers, a small bakery sees its innovative new cookie concept copied by a much larger rival. Losing market share is bad enough but being transformed in the public imagination from original to knockoff may sting even more.

Eulace Peacock

Jesse Owens’ greatest rival might have claimed a share of the sprinter’s four gold medals and a place beside him in history exposing the idiocy of Hitler’s Aryan racism… but for a common muscle pull.

Harold Lloyd

In the 1920’s, Harold Lloyd’s silent film stardom outshone Charlie Chaplins. Today, we remember The Little Tramp while The Glasses Character is a cinephile’s trivia question answer.

Avis

An upstart gains initial traction by exploiting an underserved niche and, years later, nearly unseats the incumbent through a revolutionary ad campaign.

Willie Mosconi

A man without peer in the “Noble Game of Billiards” could not compare with his huckster rival in the game of “pool” played out in the barrooms and basements of post-war America.

Helvetica

In a case of collateral damage during the early PC wars, a revolutionary font, alternately loved and hated, is overtaken on the web by an inferior copycat.