Liberty Street Economics
Return to Liberty Street Economics Home Page

90 posts on "Historical Echoes"

October 11, 2013

Historical Echoes: Throwing Coins into a Fountain—Who Is Getting Paid?

Amy Farber

Do you throw coins into a fountain when you see that others have done so?  A comprehensive and thoughtful student project on wishing well use in Southern California has been posted on the internet by University of California, Irvine, anthropology professor Bill Maurer. The 2006 project bases its findings on interviews of people throwing coins into fountains and states that:

Although the exact origins of this practice are unknown, offering money to water is an old tradition that can be dated back to Roman-British and Celtic mythology. Since then, the tradition of making a wish with a coin has been passed down through generations by socialization, evolving from a religious ritual into a fun, yet superstitious, cultural practice in Southern California.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Throwing Coins into a Fountain—Who Is Getting Paid? " »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (1)

October 04, 2013

Historical Echoes: A Central Bank by Any Other Name Is Still . . .

Amy Farber

Perhaps you enjoy being read to out loud. Perhaps you enjoy being read to on subjects related to central banking. Perhaps you would enjoy being read the Wikipedia entries for central banks around the world. If so, and your reader was to read the following beginning sentences for central bank entries, you would hear:
The central bank of Trinidad and Tobago is the central bank of Trinidad and Tobago . . . . The central bank of Yemen is the central bank of Yemen . . . . The central bank of The Bahamas is the central bank of The Bahamas . . . . The central bank of Jordan is the central bank of Jordan . . .

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: A Central Bank by Any Other Name Is Still . . . " »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 27, 2013

Historical Echoes: The Changing Face of Education in the United States

Rajashri Chakrabarti, Amy Farber, and Max Livingston

In two recent posts on New York and New Jersey and a series of interactive graphics, we explored the effect of the Great Recession on school district finances. But if we expand our scope a little wider, we see that school finances have been changing significantly over the past century. This makes sense, as schools have also changed a lot. Although we may take our current system for granted, schools at the turn of the century looked rather different from their present-day counterparts. As ideas of how to educate students changed, and as education became more common in the population, momentous changes took place not only in how education is imparted, but also in how much education costs and how it’s funded.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: The Changing Face of Education in the United States" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 23, 2013

Historical Echoes: It Wasn’t Brain Surgery - It Was the First Economic Table

Amy Farber

François Quesnay, an eighteenth-century brain surgeon and physician to France’s King Louis XV, was also the first to put economic data into a table. He became interested in economics while serving the king at Versailles. Quesnay led the physiocrats, the first economic school of thinking and supporters of a reduction in taxes on agriculture and of relatively laissez-faire policy. In 1758, he wrote Tableau Oeconomique (Economic Table - the table itself appears on Roman numeral p. x), which explores the relationship between economic classes. (You can view the tabular part of the original manuscript of the Economic Table on the Archives de France website and a larger image here.)

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: It Wasn’t Brain Surgery - It Was the First Economic Table" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 09, 2013

Historical Echoes: Off the Charts!

Kathleen McKiernan

The visual representation of information, knowledge, or data has been around since the time of the caveman. But it wasn’t until 1786, when William Playfair, a Scottish engineer, published The Commercial and Political Atlas, illustrating for the first time how economic data could be represented by charts. Playfair’s work preceded that of Florence Nightingale—broadly acknowledged as the founder of modern nursing—who used information graphics in the 1850s to convince Queen Victoria that reform was needed in the British military health service. Nightingale developed the Coxcomb chart—a combination of stacked pie and bar charts—to assess mortality among soldiers during the Crimean War.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Off the Charts!" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 19, 2013

Historical Echoes: “Happy Days” and Little Green Pieces of Paper

Amy Farber

In 1965, Baby-Boomer kids may have been treated to TV footage of a high-stepping chorus line and thousands of people cheering to the background tune “Happy Days Are Here Again.” They may have noticed the tinny sound of the singing and the antiquated clothing styles of the people in the footage and, not knowing why they were looking at this, thought: Hey, this is a really great song.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: “Happy Days” and Little Green Pieces of Paper" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 12, 2013

Historical Echoes: Andy Warhol and the Art of Money

Megan Cohen

Money has been a topic of keen interest throughout history. As noted in a previous post, this fascination has extended into artwork created centuries ago through modern times. One artist who expanded the concept of what people perceive as art was Andy Warhol.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Andy Warhol and the Art of Money " »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 28, 2013

Historical Echoes: Skull Bumps and Economic Behavior

Amy Farber

Phrenology (see this amusing four-minute video), popular in the first half of the nineteenth century, was the study of skull shape and contours (believed to indicate the location of more- and less-developed areas of the brain) in order to discern individuals’ abilities and personality traits (called “faculties” in the phrenologists’ jargon). A clear map of the various skull sections and their corresponding faculties can be found in this excerpt from Samuel Wells’ version of the 1840 Fowler's Practical Phrenology: Giving a Concise Elementary View of Phrenology.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Skull Bumps and Economic Behavior" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 31, 2013

Historical Echoes: How to Choose a Bank, Past and Present

Amy Farber

In May 1953, an article from Kiplinger’s Changing Times titled “No, All Banks Are Not Alike” advised, “You want a bank that is safe, convenient, pleasant to visit; one that offers all the regular banking services and makes reasonable charges for them; one that is well managed and competently staffed, and whose officers and tellers are friendly and willing to advise you on your major financial problems.” It also recommends considering whether the officers of the bank participate in civic affairs and whether the bank provides tours for children.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: How to Choose a Bank, Past and Present" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 24, 2013

Historical Echoes: Seeing through the Blackout of 1965 and Other Trials

Amy Farber

In November 1965, the northeastern United States experienced a thirteen-hour blackout—the biggest in history to that date. Life magazine did a spread (p. 36) with some surreal and gloomy pictures of stranded, dazed, well-dressed passengers sleeping every which way all over New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. A book was written that same year by the staff of the New York Times, When the Lights Went Out, which describes in detail how people and various agencies in New York had to cope and make emergency adjustments.

Continue reading "Historical Echoes: Seeing through the Blackout of 1965 and Other Trials" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Historical Echoes | Permalink | Comments (1)
About the Blog
Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from economists working at the intersection of research and Fed policymaking.

The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.

Upcoming Posts
Useful Links
Feedback & Custom Guidelines
Liberty Street Economics invites you to comment on a post.
Comment Guidelines
We encourage you to submit comments, queries and suggestions on our blog entries. We will post them below the entry, subject to the following guidelines:
Please be brief: Comments are limited to 1500 characters.
Please be quick: Comments submitted more than 1 week after the blog entry appears will not be posted.
Please try to submit before COB on Friday: Comments submitted after that will not be posted until Monday morning.
Please be on-topic and patient: Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been reviewed to ensure that they are substantive and clearly related to the topic of the post. The moderator will not post comments that are abusive, harassing, or threatening; obscene or vulgar; or commercial in nature; as well as comments that constitute a personal attack.  We reserve the right not to post a comment; no notice will be given regarding whether a submission will or will not be posted.
Archives