Throwback Thursday


thanksgivingFrom All of Us at The Hire Solution

THROWBACK THURSDAY: History of the Boardroom

In the 16th century the ‘board’ (that hunk of wood) was the name of the table at which a council met and it also came to signify the meeting of such a council around tboardroom 2his table. By the early 17th century the ‘board’ identified the group of people who meet at a council-table – the recognized word for a body of persons officially constituted for the transaction or superintendence of some particular business.

This is an example of what is known as “metonymy,” a figure of speech in which something associated with a concept stands in for the concept itself – a kind of linked term. The Oval Office, for example, is used to refer to the activity within it and may be used as a substitute for the office of President. The “board” (table) is a metonym for the body of persons in charge of some organization.

The full phrase “board of directors,” which further describes the type of the board, first appeared in 1712, but “board” still could and often did, and still does stand on its own. Today we have more boards then one could shake a stick at including title, boards of Control, boards of commissioners, local (government) boards, school Boards, The Big Board (N.Y. Stock Exchange), etc.boardroom 1

Interestingly, other furniture-related expressions are “chair,” used both as a verb and a noun: “to chair a meeting” and “to take the chair” and “table a motion.”

Throwback Thursday: Brian Epstein Discovers The Beatles

{Excerpted from the Brian Epstein bio at The Beatles Bio online}

On this day in 1961, Brian Epstein, who managed The Beatles until his death in 1967, discovered the group at London’s Cavern Club while working at a record store.

The magazine Mersey Beat was where Epstein first took note of the name “The Beatles” when they were featured on the cover of issue two. His curiosity is said to have been was piqued when a customer, Raymond Jones, came into the store and asked Epstein for a copy of “My Bonnie,” a single recorded by the band in Hamburg.

Jones asked Epstein, “There’s a record I want. It’s ‘My Bonnie’ and it was made in Germany. Have you got it?’

Epstein shook his head. ‘Who is the record by?’ he asked. ‘You won’t have heard of them,’ said Jones. ‘It’s by a group called The Beatles….’

The record store was a short walk from the Cavern Club on Mathew Street, so on November 9 Epstein watched The Beatles play a lunchtime concert, after which he went to the group’s dressing room and met “the boys.”

Despite his lack of experience, Epstein became their manager in January 1962, and quickly asserted his influence over their dress and onstage performance.

After hawking the band around a number of London labels, Epstein eventually secured an audition at EMI’s Abbey Road studios, where George Martin decided to sign them.

Brian Epstein with NEMS artists

Brian Epstein, standing, with several of the groups he managed. On the far left are Beatles John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney

Epstein was key to the success of The Beatles – Paul McCartney later said: “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian”. He also managed a number of other Liverpool acts, including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas.

As The Beatles retired from live performance in 1966, Epstein found his influence on the group waning. He had used amphetamines from the earliest days with the band, but his use of pills became an increasing problem as he became more involved in the London drug scene of the 1960s.

During the recording of Sgt Pepper, Epstein spent time trying to kick his drug habit, including spells in the Priory in Putney, London, but died of an accidental drug overdose on August 27, 1967.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: First U.S. Weekly Women’s Fashion Magazine

{excerpted from the Harper’s Bazaar website}

The cover of the first issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine, published Nov. 2, 1867

Cover of the first issue of Harper’s Bazar, published Nov. 2, 1867

The nation’s first fashion weekly magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, debuted on Nov. 2, 1867 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016. The magazine was one of the first publications dedicated to looking at the lives of women through the lens of fashion.

“A repository of fashion, pleasure, and instruction” is how Harper’s Bazar described itself on the cover of its inaugural issue, in 1867. Bazar—then spelled without the double “a”—was founded by Harper & Brothers, a New York–based publishing firm run by siblings James, John, Joseph Wesley, and Fletcher Harper. They’d also ventured into periodicals with Harper’s New Monthly and Harper’s Weekly, illustrated journals conceived to present contemporary fiction and writing on the arts, science, and politics.


Fletcher Harper

It was the youngest of the Harpers, Fletcher, who came up with the idea for Bazar after stumbling upon a copy of a publication called Der Bazar, from Berlin. Like the Harpers’ journals, Der Bazar featured artwork and writing on a range of topics. But Der Bazar also covered fashion, and illustrated its stories with elaborate woodcuts of the clothes that people were wearing in places like Paris, Vienna, and London. Fletcher soon discovered that Der Bazar had agreements with other publications to syndicate its illustrations—which it provided by sending electrotype duplicates of the original

woodcuts—and he became interested in pursuing a similar arrangement. The Industrial Revolution had given rise to a new leisure class in the U.S., which was obsessed with all things European; and there was room, Fletcher reasoned, for a publication aimed at affluent women that operated as a kind of guide on how to live—and live well—in the modern world. Fletcher presented his brothers with his plan, and after a bit of convincing, Harper’s Bazar was born.

cover second a

The first cover on which the second “a” appeared in Bazaar, December 1930.

From the outset, it was clear that Bazar‘s definition of fashion went far beyond clothes. Alongside brisk reports on style and well-mannered instructions on how to tie a bow and pin a bun, there were sharp pieces of fiction and poetry and musings on family, work, and social mores. Writers such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Henry James, and later, Thomas Hardy, all contributed to Bazar. Emmeline Raymond, who founded the influential French fashion publication La Mode Illustrée, served as Bazar’s Paris correspondent, and wrote a column that offered glittery glimpses of French society and style.

modern Harper's

Modern-day Harper’s Bazaar

As the U.S. entered its Gilded Age, there was also a fascination in America with the predilections of the larger-than-life characters of Victorian England, which the novelist James Payn chronicled in his recurring “English Gossip” feature; while George William Curtis wrote about culture and domestic life in a column called “Manners Upon the Road” (which he signed, “An Old Bachelor”); and the magazine’s society maven, Mary Elizabeth Wilson Sherwood, explored the realms of etiquette and social grace.

Read more about the history of Harper’s Bazaar magazine at its website

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Chicago Theatre Opening Oct. 26, 1921

The grandeur of The Chicago Theatre often leaves its visitors breathless. The elegant lobby, majestic staircase and beautiful auditorium complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling, are components of an amazing building called “the Wonder Theatre of the World” when it opened on October 26, 1921 with Norma Talmadge on screen in “The Sign on the Door.” A 50-piece orchestra performed in the pit and Jesse Crawford played the mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. After a “white glove inspection,” a staff of 125 ushers welcomed guests who paid 25 cents until 1 p.m., 35 cents in the afternoon and 50 cents after 6 p.m.

The Chicago Theatre was the first large, lavish movie palace in America and the prototype for all others. It was constructed for $4 million by owners Barney and Abe Balaban and Sam and Morris Katz, and designed by Cornelius and George Rapp. It was the flagship of the Balaban and Katz theatre chain.

Built in French Baroque style, The Chicago Theatre’s exterior features a miniature replica of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, sculpted above its State Street marquee. Faced in a glazed, off-white terra cotta, the triumphal arch is sixty feet wide and six stories high. Within the arch is a grand window in which is set a large circular stained-glass panel bearing the coat-of-arms of the Balaban and Katz chain—two horses holding ribbons of 35-mm film in their mouths.

The grand lobby, modeled after the Royal Chapel at Versailles, is five stories high and surrounded by gallery promenades at the mezzanine and balcony levels. The grand staircase is patterned after that of the Paris Opera House and ascends to the various levels of the Great Balcony.

chicago theater 2

Photo from Curbed Chicago

The 3,600 seat auditorium is seven stories high, more than one half of a city block wide, and nearly as long. The vertical sign “C-H-I-C-A-G-O,” at nearly six stories high, is one of the few such signs in existence today. A symbol of State Street and Chicago, the sign and marquee are landmarks in themselves, as is the 29-rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ.

Balaban and Katz spared no expense on the workmanship and materials for this miniature Versailles. Marshall Field’s supplied the drapes, furniture and interior decoration. Victor Pearlman and Co. designed and built the crystal chandeliers and lavish bronze light fixtures with Steuben glass shades. The McNulty Brothers’ master craftsmen produced the splendid plaster details and Northwestern Terra Cotta Company provided the tiles for the facade. Artist Louis Grell painted the 10 ceiling murals in the auditorium, the largest mural over the stage measuring over 30’ across.

During its first 40 years, The Chicago Theatre presented the best in live and film entertainment, including John Phillip Sousa, Duke Ellington, Jack Benny, and Benny Goodman. The Chicago Theatre was redecorated in preparation for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and “modernized” in the 1950s when stage shows, with few exceptions, were discontinued. In the 1970s, under the ownership of the Plitt Theatres, The Chicago Theatre was the victim of a complex web of social and economic factors causing business to sag. It became an ornate but obsolete movie house, closing on September 19, 1985.

In 1986, Chicago Theatre Restoration Associates, with assistance from the City of Chicago, bought and saved the theatre from demolition and began a meticulous 9-month multi-million dollar restoration undertaken by Chicago architects Daniel P. Coffey & Associates, Ltd. and interior design consultants A.T. Heinsbergen & Co. of Los Angeles, interior design consultants. The Chicago Theatre reopened on September 10, 1986 with a gala performance by Frank Sinatra.

Since that time, an array of the entertainment world’s brightest stars and greatest productions have graced the stage, including Allman Brothers Band, Arcade Fire, Blues Traveler, Kelly Clarkson, Harry Connick Jr, Ellen DeGeneres, Aretha Franklin, Kathy Griffin, Gipsy Kings, Indigo Girls, Alicia Keys, David Letterman, Lyle Lovett, Oasis, Dolly Parton, Prince, Diana Ross, Van Morrison, Widespread Panic and Robin Williams.