I offer the following moment in time for your consideration, a year during which some amazingly cool people lived. The year is 1890, and alive during this brief snapshot of history were 25 individuals whose contributions have an impact on our lives to this day.
This list started because I’ve always been intrigued that some of my favorite painters and writers were contemporaries. I sometimes wonder if they knew each other, although I know it is not likely. I just like to imagine DH Lawrence sitting at a cafe with Rainer Maria Rilke, telling him that he needs to lighten up and find someone to love. I picture Monet inviting himself to sit down, complaining about the critics of Impressionism. Freud leans in from another table to tell them all that they are stuck in the “id” stage of personality development.
I began to notice other monumental historic celebrities were also cranking out their brilliance around the same time. I did some googling and came up with more important figures, and a few who are lesser known but equallly important. In the end, the list is entirely based on my own personal taste and random whims, but I welcome you to comment and toss in your additions.
I can tell you that as a result of these 25 historic celebrities, Angela’s life is richer. I am able to read my favorite books while listening to impressive music and viewing amazing art, while wearing jeans and eating corn flakes. I can enjoy the conveniences of lights and phones, the priveledge of voting, and the reassurance of the modern nursing system to care for me if I fall ill. I can pursue philanthropic endeavors and engage in esoteric debates about philosophy and psychology. And finally, I can enjoy the world of fashion, rich with colors and textures.
I am not saying that I wish I had been alive during this time, as I willingly acknowledge my spoiled nature could not carry me more than a couple of days without modern amenities. I can, however, express my gratitude to all of these go-getters, whose ambition and ingenuity has propelled me into a far more comfortable and richly diverse existence.
I’m sure you will recognize almost all of these names, with the possible exception of the person who invented the electric guitar, the chemist who brought color to the fashion world and the Reverend who started the Salvation Army. See if you can figure those out.
1. Writers, Poets, Publishers, Philosophers:
D. H. Lawrence 1885-1930
Robert Frost: 1874-1963
Joseph Pulitzer: 1847-1911
Stephane Mallarme: 1842-1898
Mark Twain: 1835-1910
2. Academics, Scientists, Inventors:
George Washington Carver: 1864-1943
Sigmund Freud: 1856-1939
Thomas Edison: 1847-1931
Florence Nightingale: 1820-1910
Adolph Rickenbacker: 1886-1976
Alexander Graham Bell: 1847-1922
Sir William Henry Perkin: 1838-1907
3. Business, Philanthropy, Human Rights
Levi Strauss: 1829-1902
John Kellogg: 1852-1943
Andrew Carnegie: 1835-1919
Susan B Anthony: 1820-1906
William Booth: 1829-1912
John D. Rockefeller: 1839-1937
4. Art and Music
Van Gogh: 1853-1890
Pablo Picasso: 1881-1973