Today in History: July 22
I think best in wire.
Jean Lipman, Calder's Universe (Philadelphia: Running Press, 1989), 238.
Sculptor Alexander Calder, best known for his mobiles and innovative wire structures, was born on July 22, 1898 in Pennsylvania. Although his mother was an accomplished painter and his father an accomplished sculptor, the younger Calder began his career as an engineer. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1919 and held several jobs in that field before he began taking art classes at the Art Students League in New York City in 1923.
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind,
Alexander Calder, artist,
[between 1965 and 1980].
Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
Calder subsequently ventured into commercial illustration, covering prize-fights and the circus for the National Police Gazette. He then traveled to Paris, where he began experimenting with sculpture. The artist made his first motor-driven sculptures, which were later dubbed "mobiles," in the winter of 1931-32.
- Calder is one of a number of artists and sculptors featured in Creative Americans: Portraits by Van Vechten, 1932-1964. Browse the Occupational Index to locate other portraits of individuals who were prominent in the arts during the first half of the twentieth century.
- To find images of artists, their studios, and their work in the Library's Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC), try searching on subject headings such as: Art Education, Art Exhibitions, Art Gallery, Artists' studios, and Artists.
- Visit the Today in History feature on American sculptor Daniel Chester French, or search the Today in History Archive on painter or architect to find features about other artists.
On July 22, 1796, a party of surveyors led commissioned by General Moses Cleaveland arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, believing that an ideal location for a new town—Cleaveland, Ohio. The Connecticut Land Company had sent General Cleaveland to the Western Reserve—the northeastern region of Ohio—to speed the sale of the 3.5 million acres that the land company had reserved when Ohio was opened for settlement ten years earlier. In 1831, the Cleveland Advertiser dropped the first "a" in the city's name to reduce the length of the newspaper's masthead. From then on, the community was known as Cleveland.
Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, the town did not grow substantially until the Erie Canal was completed in 1825. The canal opened a passage to the Atlantic Ocean, making the city a major St. Lawrence Seaway port. Soon, the city became a center for commercial and industrial activity. This activity increased further in the 1840s when the railroad arrived.
Today, Cleveland (external link) continues to have a highly diversified manufacturing base although the economy has shifted towards health care and financial services. With the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (external link) and other attractions—including various museums, boating on Lake Erie, and a wide variety of entertainment options, Cleveland also has become a tourist destination.
Pennsylvania R.R. Ore Docks,
unloading iron ore…
Jack Delano, photographer,
America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, ca. 1935-1945
- To find other images of the city, search on the keyword Cleveland (or search on the names of other American cities) in these American Memory collections:
- Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920
- America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, ca. 1935-1945
- American Landscape and Architectural Design, 1850-1920: a Study Collection from the Harvard Graduate School of Design
- Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991
- Map Collections
- Photographs from the Chicago Daily News
- The African-American Experience in Ohio: Selections from the Ohio Historical Society, 1850-1920 (external link) illuminates the history of Black Americans in Ohio. Search (external link) the collection on the term Cleveland to learn more about news from that city. Read, for example, the 1904 Cleveland Journal article "Hospitality in Cleveland (external link)" which stated, "Cleveland is the most progressive city in America for all people." The Cleveland Journal was one of many newspapers (external link) read by and written for Ohio's black communities during the years 1850 to 1920.
- Search on Cleveland, Ohio, in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog to view a wide variety of images of the city.
- Search on the keyword Cleveland, Ohio, in Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 (external link) to find sheet music published in that city. See, for example, Me-ow One Step (external link), Nola (external link), and Mandy's Ragtime Waltz (external link) all published in Cleveland by Sam Fox.