Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Louche and Technical Appendix About Colour Fixatives

Dragon trees,by Ludwig. Source.

On 22 March, 1951, Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll (1903--1973), married Margaret --Sweeney, I think?-- anyway, the woman born Margaret Wigham (39), a Celanese heiress, of all things.  This post is apparently not going to get very far past chemical engineering! A "few years later," per Wikipedia, the jealous Duke arranged to have a locksmith break into a secured cabinet in their Mayfair pied-a-terre.

Compromising pictures were found, and some other evidence leading to a long list of suspected lovers, including Sigismund v. Braun, the diplomat older brother of rocket scientist Wernher v. Braun, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Duncan Sandys, former son-in-law of Sir Winston Churchill, upon whom suspicion immediately fell --but, on that, I'll let the point of this post hang for a moment. The divorce trial ended with the Judge observing that Lady Argylle's insatiable sexual appetite was such that, well, the divorce could proceed, and a private investigation came to the conclusion that "the headless man" could not be Sandys, as the pubic hair shown curled wrong, or something.
One of these is Argyll, the other isn't. Photographer not named, from Pinterest: Shelley Gibbon via Shinjanee

This, it turns out, was a mistake. There were actually "two headless men," and one of them was Sandys. Margaret, apart from almost certainly suffering from some kind of bipolar disorder --like virtually all the principals except perhaps Ritter v. Braun, albeit his brother being very much involved in things going up and down-- went about as far as she could to hint that the headless man was Sandys. They were Polaroid pictures, she pointed out, and in those days, the only Polaroid ---"polaroid" camera in England was held at the Air Ministry, where Sandys was. . . 

Well, here we are again, circling the story back. Sandys was a Churchill man in the late 1930s, attacking the Ministry for being wet on defence. In 1937, he was made a Royal Artillery officer in Anti-Aircraft Command, and on 1 June 1938, Sandys asked a question in the House which cited the actual number of the new 3.7" AA guns in Army service. The information was secret, and although Sandys was eventually not prosecuted on grounds of the immunity of the House, the question of just where he had received the information from remained a problem until his father-in-law became Prime Minister.

God only knows what would have happened had his father-in-law been aware that Sandys was cheating on his wife, that he was sharing his lover with a German diplomat, or that he had borrowed a polaroid camera from the Air Ministry to take salacious pictures. And why was the only polaroid camera in Britain kept under security at the Air Ministry, anyway? 

Also, ick. Like I said, I have some sympathy for Margaret, but, contra the Australian patent troll, the medical uses of lithium were known in 1937, lithium bromide having been isolated in the 1850s as an active ingredient in some of the chalybeate springs traditionally resorted to by maniacs or their families. So she could have sought treatment; but as for maniacs who don't, people, and that most definitely includes Duncan Sandys, shouldn't take advantage of them.

Off the soapbox, and on the problem here.. Polaroid camera? Didn't Edwin Land premiere the first instant camera to a breathless New York audience on 21 February 1947, and wasn't the first "4lb Polaroid Land Camera Model 95 was on sale at the Jordan Marsh department store in Boston for $89.75?"

First, let's get this out of the way. I couldn't not include this publicity still for Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face, but it's got naughty bits, so, as a compromise, it's below the fold. 

Now that I'm ripping off an opera, it's only fair to sample it. Here's the ouverture.

The actual model of the "headless men" camera remains a mystery for the moment, or a confusion in Margaret's mind. Although why that confusion was allow to remain is another question. There is a very vague acknowledgment at the head of the Wikipedia article that Land's was only the first commercially viable instant camera, that Samuel Shlafrock, a New York inventor, had a 1923 patent for an instant camera. This is not the first, either, by a long shot, as there is another, even earlier New York patent dating to 1851. The New York fixation very strongly suggests research at the New York patent office. How many other wild-eyed dreamers a thorough search of old patents would reveal is an open question. Now, that said, finding an actual, working instant camera of 1938 is another matter, entirely, and it is not like anyone is inclined to research the matter. Eastman Kodak had to pay Polaroid almost a billion dollars, back in the 90s when a billion was worth something, for suggesting that Land was not the truest and onliest begettor --but that is of the final, 1968 system that we might associate with "Polaroid" in general.

So a search for working instant cameras of the 1930s is not turning up results. At the very least, the prehistory of the technology involves fairly bulky cameras with internal developing processes. At another, it might be different conceptually. The only reason I can think of that a "polaroid" camera would be locked up at the Air Ministry is that it was being put to shady purposes --well, shady as pornography, anyway. Perhaps they were out there as "self-developing" cameras, obviating the need to send your shameful images to the druggist? But that wouldn't have been an issue for the Air Ministry, you would think. Postal interceptions, on the other hand. . .

So Land's breakthrough, a self-developing film consisting of multiple layers of chemicals between layers of transparent plastic, each held in little reservoirs at the top of the film and then spread through the layer by the force of a roller, really is a breakthrough --of 1968. The 1948 camera is little more than a development of the well-known, if only from patents, concept of an internal dark room, and required some skill on the part of the photographer to time and peel off the negative.

So where does that leave Margaret's pictures? Since they were identifiably "polaroid" shots, they were a peel-off negative type. Were they "Polaroid?" I know now that the "Polaroid system" wasn't out there in 1945. I misread my hasty snapshots of the August 1945 number of Fortune, which actually referred to the "Polaroid system" of polarised lens for car headlights intended to reduce headlight glare. ( Discussion here.) So was Land patent trolling an existing concept in 1948? It sure looks like it, but I'd like some definitive evidence, and one thing I can tell you is that  Google Search is in love with connecting "first instant camera" with "Polaroid Land Camera." Old numbers of The Illuminating Engineer will probably take us in a very different direction, here and on the matter of Land's original patent for an acetate sheet polariser, but "probably" is just probably.

And there we go. A dead end, a headless man.

Matter the second:

"Specifically Socotra," c.  Joanthan Kessel, 2012. (I'm asserting the copyright on Kessel's behalf, if that's legal, since he doesn't do so on his blog.) Model: "Puck."

Socotra's an odd place. It's also, be it noted, where Afonso d'Albuquerque's effort to build a blockading port against Mecca fell afoul of lack of potable water. So he went on to make up a story about being the "Caesar" of the eastern seas, and the rest was five centuries of orientalising essentialism. Thanks, geography! It's also not the Canary Islands. The similarity is that both have dragon's blood trees, actually one of a number of monocots probably most closely related to asparagus(!), which produces a distinctive, blood-red resin,  much used in a variety of folk medicines, as an incense, and as a substitute for cinnabar. (No wonder it was so hard to replicate results in old-time alchemy. . . )  Dragon's blood trees are actually fairly widespread, but it's in small quantities in fairly exotic places, and resin collecting is probably a bit of a labour burden on the host communities. 

The Canary Islands, per the received tradition, were settled by people in some indefinite past (by characterising their primeval technology as Neolithic, we can get away with assigning them to the Stone Age, although their language is so close to neighbouring Moroccan languages that we can have another argument about time depths, areal influences and linguistic drift), and then victimised by Europeans beginning in perhaps 1291, and including some northern Europeans amongst the motley lot. The name dates from Roman times, and signifies a longstanding belief that Romans frequented the islands, although the new taste is to credit Numidians of Juba's time, faring out from the reestablished purple-extracting station of Mogador in pursuit of, it would seem, dog seals, hence "Canaries," although other etymologies are possible. 

As so often on the fringe of the Roman world and elsewhere, out to sea, across the desert, up the hills, we have a region pausing at the edge of history for  centuries, and, finally, invited in. And none too kindly, as you cannot deal with the early history of the Canaries without slave raiding. (Yes, Renaissance Europeans had a very profitable slave market, grand theories of the onward march of freedom aside.)  

But that's not the point of this discussion. The case once made here --it's just J. H. Parry's point-- is that Madeira was settled so late (in 1418) not because it was late in discovery, but because the prerequisite was a station on Porto Santo, a rock of 42s sq kilometers that no-one is likely to land on from the north, but with, perhaps, some seal rookeries to exploit, and, later, an obvious refuge for  ships sailing northbound back from the Canaries finding the wind a bit too fresh for them. A refuge which, incidentally, hosted dragons blood trees.

Don't think we're taking shore leave here, boys. "Porto Santo - Ilheu de Baixo" by João Máximo - originally posted to Flickr as Porto Santo - Ilheu de Baixo. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons -

So why, the reconstructed logic goes, not stay on Porto Santos long enough to tap the local dragons blood trees if you are returning empty handed from a trip to the Canaries, having found the natives with no stock on hand? Once you are there, and the winds that brought you die down, you can see beaches on the Madeira shore that look practicable, and obviously there is plenty of fresh water and firewood there, both hard to come by on Porto Santos. Here, I'll footnote a "select" biography for this discussion, compiled more than a decade ago. Some of it hardly needs referencing, while other material, particularly the modern view of Henry the Navigator, da Gama and Albuquerque, could stand with being better known.(1)

But wait! There's more! Fibers, stuffs and dyes!

Unlike animal fibres, vegetable fibres, wool, and silk are produced by agriculture, with the intervention of a domestic animal in the latter two cases. It may well be said that there were four ancient cultures; and four fabrics. Silk (China), cotton (India), and flax (Middle East.) Flax spread west and east with wheat and barley, stopping in the far east on the monsoon line. Hemp and jute don't fit our neat little story, and, anyway, was an industrial, rather than fashion product, and you've got to draw the line somewhere. 

Linen is made from flax. It is a “bast” fibre, so-called because the fibres taken from the flax plant are from the bast, or underbark that runs the length of the stalk, irrigating the plant. Because of its origins, linen threads contain internal tubules that conduct water. This gives it the very desireable property of “wicking away” moisture such as sweat from the skin, although on the other hand it is even more resistant to dyes than other vegetable fibres. Ancient linens are known above all from Egypt Although known in Europe in ancient times, Greek and Roman consumers resisted Egyptian linens when they appeared in large quantities, if we can take the testimony of the playwright Aristophanes (448–380) at his word (which strikes me as a much longer stretch than it was when I wrote these words, twelve years ago.) 

Flax, and therefore linen, has an additional advantage, and that is that its oil-rich seeds are entirely innocent of the fibrous material. The oilseeds can be harvested separately, and used for various purposes. Flax is sometimes harvested twice, once to take the seeds and then later mowed for the stalks. Flax fibre is separated from the stalks by “retting.” Traditional retting relied upon wet rot. In some fields dew supplied the necessary moisture. In other areas the flax was gathered and thrown into pools and streams. This is much faster than dew retting, but if the rotting is allowed to carry too far, the fibre will be damaged. The flax must be inspected frequently by experienced persons and removed from the bath the moment it is ready. The mass of semi-decayed material is then broken, “scutched,” or riven, then “hackled,” or combed. These processes serve to separate the fibres from other matter, then align them. Each of these three steps may be automated or done by hand, but in either case it is significantly more physical work than is required for any other fibre material. The result is one of the strongest and most durable of vegetable fibres, with a white, soft, and lustrous finish after bleaching. 

Cotton, the great fabric of India, modern Egypt, and America, is a boll fibre. The fibres pack the cotton seeds in a capsule that grows at the end of the plant. At the simplest extreme, cotton thread can be made by simply unravelling fibres out of the boll one by one, picking the seeds clean, and then twisting the threads together standing in the field. Egyptian cotton can be as much as 2 inches long from the boll, and is, along with Sea Island cotton (a variety that grows only on relatively small islands) the most commercially valuable grade. American fibres are not normally more than 1.25 inches and are less valuable, while much of the modern Indian and Egyptian crop is very short staple and not well appreciated. The virtue of the long staple cottons, particularly Egyptian, is that the seeds can be removed with a cotton gin of very simple design, whereas traditionally American cotton was cleaned by hand. 

Cotton is noteworthy for being light, relatively cheap due to the low labour cost of its production, and above all readily washable. Although it shrinks in warm water, preshrunk cottons retains its strength when wet, and the vegetable fibre resists chemical attacks by mild alkalis and chlorine. This means that it is robust in soap, even bad soap, and can be bleached repeatedly. Cotton democratised underwear in the early 19th century. Although the effect of explaining this in class --I say as an observer, not someone who went down that road, is uncomfortable.

The animal fibres differ from the vegetable fibres in that evolution has designed it for a much more difficult task. Wool’s work begins by protecting the sheep from the dirt of everyday life that would otherwise irritate the skin. It is thus often very dirty. The hair’s insulating properties are then maintained by a thin film of “yolk,” chemically similar to the material found in eggs. It contains a natural oil with a unique power for absorbing water, as well as for penetrating and protecting the skin itself. Lanolin, a common base for cosmetics and a traditional moisturiser, is made by combining wool yolk with water. Wool can be worked with the yolk still on the fibre, and often has been, but it will rot and become rancid quickly. It must be washed out, but because it is not water soluble (luckily for the sheep), a soap must be either added to the wool or in some way produced by reaction with it. Soap, basically a partially saponified oil with alkalis (typically NaOH) bonded into it, takes most, but not all of its detergent power from the fatty acids, but the residual alkali is required. Ashes are the common soap base, but pure potassium salts produce more reliable results. The upshot is that washing wool in potash water at a moderate heat will automatically produce a soap in the wool. The danger is that while in a well-manufactured and finished soap the alkali has all become bonded into the soap emulsion, carelessly manufactured soap (and this is about the definition of the soap produced by washing wool in ash water) will contain residual free alkalis that can significantly alter the pH of the resulting water-soap solution. Even moderately basic solutions (that is, solutions whose pH has been driven below 7 by the presence of a base such as is produced by the action of alkali) can be enormously damaging to wool. Moreover, wool is also irreparably damaged if the wash is carried too far and it is entirely stripped of oil. Some must be either preserved in the fibre during the washing. Traditional wool preparation depended on the experience of the workers and careful selection of the raw materials, such as the ashes used. Barilla, or soapweed, widely grown in Spain and the Canary Islands, was the preference of European wool workers when they could get it, although various seaweeds gathered around the Scottish Isles had a valuable high potash level as well, and North American ashes were shipped to Europe extensively in the 19th century, until the Germans. etc.

Wool stands out from the vegetable fibres for its insulating properties. Wool is the only true agriculturally produced cold-weather fabric. Settlement in northern Europe, the north of China, the Himalayas, and even the open desert of Arabia and the Sahara would be unimaginable without wool, yet the first impoverished settlers who turned to wool because they could not afford fur and leather were precisely the people who could not afford to prepare their wool properly. Life in the early agricultural north was probably a very smelly affair, as woollens that people could not afford to clean before weaving, or launder afterwards, slowly rotted from their backs. Even then, although wool is a cold weather fabric that confers excellent rain resistance in spite of not being water proof, it is still not suitable to low temperatures unless it is woven very finely. No less than 22,400 yards of yarn are spun out of 1 lb of the highest grade of English woolen yarn, and in a classic woollen winter coat of 1900, this would be turned back into a 30 oz/ yard fibre. Considering that a man’s woollen great coat probably approached 3 yards of cloth, obviously a wool winter coat not only cost a great deal, but was also very heavy –especially when wet.

Yet even with all this, and taking into account the fact that the weaves mentioned above were the finest ones of the 19th century, winter in wool-wearing Scandinavia and Britain of the old days was not a matter of being toasty warm, but of endurance. A classic insults of Viking Iceland called a man someone who “stood in front of the fire too long.” A greatcoat would not provide protection in -40"weather, and it would hardly be surprising if no farmers or indeed large population lived in regions where winter temperatures reached this low before modern times. It is all the more amazing that not only did people live there, but that some of them did without houses, notably in the high plains of Asia. There is one reason, and one reason only that people came to live in Mongolia, Siberia, and the high Tibetan plateau in numbers beyond that which the native fur-bearing animal population would support, and that is the fact that many fibres, but most significantly and fully, wool, will “felt,” or crush together into a bonded mass, under washing and external working. This process is widely employed in settled countries to manufacture hard wearing and waterproof fabrics used, for example, for hats. “Fulling” mills were used for these purposes. In these, soaked wool was constantly hammered in the presence of soap, fuller’s earth (various clay-like earths with a demonstrated oil-absorbing properties that occur widely, but with differing compositions and therefore precise absorbent properties), and in traditional mills the familiar fecal material for promoting the breakdown of unwanted organic materials, are known going back to very early times. They were an obvious area of application for some kind of automation, so as to free workers of the need to actually manipulate the noisome fluids, and a fulling mill has been discovered in the ruins of Pompeii. For human history, however, the most important fact is the loss of 40–50% of the wool in the felting process. This makes felts very expensive in terms of raw wool. A typical sheer removes about 6lb of wool from a sheep. An 8 square yard 30 oz felt blanket absorbed the yield of 6 sheep (at 4lb wool shear), and by simple arithmetic a yurt 7 metres long with 2 metres average headroom on a 3 metre width textile floor would absorb the shear of 150 sheep or more. The nomads could raise this many sheep only by committing virtually the whole of their tribal labour to caring for their herds. They could not shear and treat anything like this amount of wool, and relied instead on selling their animals and buying back the finished felt. 

There is much more; fibres, to be useful, must be turned into thread. But the Industrial Revolution is a silly place, so let's not go there. Up until it was established as the biggest thing that ever happened, the history of fabric waving was trivial in comparison with textile colours. Bleaching, dyeing, and the methods of establishing patterns are MUCH, MUCH BIGGER DEALS THAN A BIT OF AUTOMATED WEAVING! And yet no-one seems to care. You know, 'cuz girls like, you know, fashion and stuff? And icky girls don't do history of technology! They do, like, history of fashion. OMG look at that ancient dress!

Sorry, ranting. Bleaching is the elementary colouration process, used to remove the natural yellow tinge of linen, wool, and some silks. Many silks, and for the most part cotton, do not require bleaching. Modern textile science distinguishes these compounds into ones that can be reduced by acids, alkalis, ultraviolet light (combined with atmospheric ozone). As the first two require acid and alkali agents, traditional bleaching, as carried out by societies that did not have access to industrial-scale quantities of chlorine, ammonia, lime, and other such materials, used widely available organic acids. Urine, sour milk, buttermilk, and equivalents. One traditional English recipe calls for keeping woollens in mixtures of buttermilk, sour milk, and cow dung (probably to accelerate organic breakdown in the milk products) for up to six months at a time. At the more sanitary extreme, sunlight and air sufficed to bleach linens that were laid out for a sufficiently long time. This helps us understand how the snow-white linen cloth became an emblem of early Egyptian civilisation –few other ancient societies benefited from so much sunshine!

The next stage of colouration is dyeing. Supposedly the Egyptians did not dye their linens until exposed to foreign practices; more likely they were discouraged at first from linen’s poor dyeing properties. Actually, this may be overstating the case. It is fairly easy to colour linen (or wool, cotton, silk, and so on) with mineral colouring. The problem was that mineral dyes are not waterfast. So a fine linen could be easily coloured for a special occasion, and then washed clean. It is only when one wishes for the colour to last through a washing that the issue of dyestuffs proper arises. There are a dazzling variety of historically important dyes, but only a few are really important. “Purple,” a dye made by the Phoenicians from a variety of Mediterranean shellfish by a vat method, was by far the most important dye of antiquity, but madder and woad, plants that appear widely across Europe, provided a more economical alternative. Madder is a “mordant” dye. It will not effect fibres at all in its natural state, and must be combined with a mordant that alters the chemistry of the interaction and causes the dye to bind with wools and cottons. There is a hidden advantage to this, for depending on the mordant, madder will give red, orange, reddish brown, purple, and black. Combined with woad, which yields a blue, these traditional dyes supply a basic palette. Purple was apparently chemically similar to indigo, a vat dye that yields a wide range of often vibrant blues depending upon treatment. The ancient Phoenician dyers presumably achieved an at least equivalent range of colours, for their product long held the field against indigo imports from India, which began at a remote date, according to archaeologists. Of course, this is old writing from even earlier sources, so we're talking the ancient, pre-scientific days of '50s archaeology. . . 

From about 500AD on, chemical dyeing in Europe was confined to north Italy, and particularly Venice. The discovery of the New World also introduced new vat dyes, including logwood (best known as a source of good black dyes), cochineal (for reds and yellows.) These imports were, however, brought into Europe at excessive prices according to many continental rulers, who encouraged experimentation with dyestuffs. “Prussian blue,” a not very distinguished mineral colourfast dye was used for homespun products in the Electorate of Brandenburg from 1710, and was followed by a Saxon blue in 1740. 

None of this would have been possible without the proper water, by the way. Available waters often contain materials that are inimical to bleach and dye work. Hard water is not useful taken in its entirety. Water obtained from too close to an urban centre will include “organic matter” (i.e., residual feces) that interfere with the process at every step. Traditional dyers were for this reason often located in rural regions, where the rain water was pure, or near unfouled streams of soft water. Dyers who had to work in large riverine cities could use water dipped from the centre of their rivers by water boats, which was often fresh, at least for smaller towns. In extreme cases, such as the corporations of Lille, Paris, and London, the dyers were victims of their own success. As population grew up, in no small part because of the success of the textiles industry, supplies of good water declined. Purification by chlorine and anti-hardness treatments began to rectify this problem in the 18th century.

All this blah-blah, and I'm no closer to dragon's blood. It's a mordant dye producing scarlets, if you were wondering, and was largely driven out of the market by the New World dyestuffs.

Chemical knowledge is such an important part of this story that it simply demands discussion. The range of chemical agents used in traditional bleach and dye work covers almost every one used before the late 19th century development of industrial organic chemistry, as well as many that are imperfectly understood even today. Often they were used in the form of natural earths and vegetable (and animal) products. This made their exact composition, as well as working strength, unknown. Organic reagents, organic dyes, organic water, for Heaven's sake. The Royal Society took it upon itself to reveal the craft secrets of the London Corporation of Dyers in a publication of 1662, but this work only covered a fraction of the available knowledge. Even today we do not know how many of the traditional processes work.. And again I emphasise that no region enjoyed a particular advantage in this process. Again and again we find techniques in general use that originate in evey corner of the world, from Morocco to Japan. Manila, Korea, Morocco, Japan. In old times, everywhere in the world you could find a unique local knowledge producing a tradeable textile. It's like humans have an innate inclination to truck and barter, or something. 

Or that we like to look good. Either way.

The story of stuffs is an interlocking story of industrial refinement and the drives of fashion. Ultimately, it was consumers who determined what materials would sell. Their desire for elegant, attractive, and by modern standards fairly bright and garish clothing ensured a steady development in all branches of technology. Despite the importance of textile manufacturing in the history of England, there is no doubt that the most important of these technologies was chemistry, and one of the striking facts about this chemical industry is just how far it came before the development of modern chemical theory. Indeed, in the early days of modern chemistry one of the chemist’s most important tasks was the analysis of reactions that were already perfectly well understood so that artificially produced chemicals could replace natural products. An important incentive for this replacement was lack of access to the original. You can writte interms of chemical engineering, of the relentless pursuit of a profitable route to synthesis that produced good dyes, instant cameras and ta-da! atomic bombs. Or you can write in terms of craft knowledge and trade secrets, better kept if you are not tempted to threaten world socialism with them.(2)

1. Boxer, C. R. “Faith and Empire: The Cross and the Crown in Portuguese Expansion, Fifteenth to Eighteenth Centuries.” 241–258. In The Globe Encircled and the World Revealed. Ed. Ursula Lamb. Aldershot, Hamps, U.K.: Variorum, 1995; Earle, T. F. and John Villiers, ed. Albuquerque: Caesar of the East: Selected Texts by Afonso de Albuquerque and his Son. Translated and with an Introduction by T. F. Earle and John Villiers. Warminster, Wiltshire, U.K.: Aris and Phillips, 1990; Larner, John. “The Certainty of Columbus: Some Recent Studies.” 27–48. In The Globe Encircled and the World Revealed. Ed. Ursula Lamb. Aldershot, Hamps, U.K.: Variorum, an imprint of Ashgate Publishing, 1995; Parry, J. H. The Age of Reconnaissance. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1963; Randles, W. G. L. The Evaluation of Columbus’ ‘India’ Project by Portuguese and Spanish Cosmographers in the Light of Geographic Science of the Time.” 12–26. In The Globe Encircled and the World Revealed. Ed. Ursula Lamb. Aldershot, Hamps, U.K.: Variorum, an imprint of Ashgate Publishing, 1995; Russell-Wood, A. J. R. “Seamen Ashore and Afloat: The Social Environment of the Carreira da India, 1550–1750. 93–110. In In The Globe Encircled and the World Revealed. Ed. Ursula Lamb. Aldershot, Hamps, U.K.: Variorum, an imprint of Ashgate Publishing, 1995; Russell, Peter. Prince Henry, ‘The Navigator:’ A Life. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000; Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

2. This chapter was originally produced by a shelf scan of the history of fashion/textiles shelves in UBC's old Main Library, where devoted writers shared their open source knowledge of traditional dyes and textiles with the world. Apparently, I rewarded them by not citing them in my notes. So it's all about male scientific appropriation of a traditionally female and craft profession. Irony!

Fear her.

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