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clarence

Doggerland in the 1920s

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While writing Odd Soot, I spent a lot of time reading news clippings from the 1920s. Most of the material never made it into the rulebook and now I would like to share some of best pieces. 

They give a nice feeling for daily life in Doggerland through the small everyday things that define the era. Most of them reflect life in any European country, not only Doggerland. 

First out, a couple of British car models. 

 

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Today, I have some European 1920s fashion advice, mostly for a gentleman. Interestingly, pictures of female leisure clothing are hard to find. There is an abundance of exclusive dresses and impractical shoes, but not much for adventuring PCs. 

 

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Here is a quite lovely ad for Kodak’s ‘revolutionary motion photography.’ The PCs might not want to film their kids but they might try to capture any weird or magical experiences to use as evidence in their cases. 

For simplicity, I would use the skill Art (Photography) for this type of camera too.

 

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5 hours ago, clarence said:

I wonder, could you adjust the speed of film by turning the crank faster/slower? 

Almost certainly; in fact, it's challenging NOT to ...

When you see those old movie-cameras with a hand-crank, that crank is almost always providing 100% of the mechanical power driving all operations (mainly advancing the film, but also winding the springs and then actuating the shutter).

 

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Cool. How fast could a human make it go?  15 fps? Would a handy PC be able to develop a high-speed film technique to capture strange phenomena in even greater detail?

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1 hour ago, clarence said:

Cool. How fast could a human make it go?  15 fps? Would a handy PC be able to develop a high-speed film technique to capture strange phenomena in even greater detail?

Something like 18fps -20fps was usually the aim, near humans' persistance-of-vision limits.  Down around 15fps(ish) many (most?) folks begin seeing the sequence-of-stills effect.  I suspect the manual crank system won't work correctly above 25-30ish fps:  the moving pieces, spring-loaded, lever-armed, counterweighted... they have certain operations that go no faster than they go, no matter how fast you crank.  Back in the days of typewriters -- back in the days of manual typewriters -- getting the mechanism jammed was a real thing.  175ish wpm was the manual record, 220ish wpm is the record for an electric typewriter, and I presume the innards of the old cine-cam would have a similar limitation.  But I don't actually know for certain.

Also, humans driving a crank near their own limit will tend to get uneven rates, speeding up and slowing down.  A nice even pace is best. 

Newer machines could, in principle (dunno if anyone ever built such) use a suite of internal springs/gyros/etc to store the human cranking and output a smooth framerate, but AFAIK such technology didn't exist in the 1920's... except it probably did, on Eorthe!    😉

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Flicker rate of the human eye is taken to be 16 Hz, I believe; standard video rate of 30 frames/s is approximately double that, but employing a nice number.  24 frames/s was standard for motion picture film, IIRC, and is 1.5 times the flicker rate.

Using a flywheel to even out small fluctuations in the turning rate was well known technology back then; think of treadle sewing machines, for example.  I'm not sure that they bothered to use it in these cameras, but they could have.  Surely in Doggerland they might.

Gear mechanisms that don't jam would be crucial to Doggerland's technology, considering the operations of the Difference Engines...  I'm sure they would have worked that out to high precision.

 

Edited by Matt_E
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Yes, precision gears were probably easy to find. Difference engine construction rely on them. I also assume the movies were quite short (a couple of minutes?), so a flywheel could be used to ‘automate’ the actual cranking. That way, 60 fps might be achievable - or even more?

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I think the limiting factor here might have been the cost of film!  30 fps gets you twice the recording time of 60 fps, and if your eye can't really tell,... 🙂

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37 minutes ago, Matt_E said:

I think the limiting factor here might have been the cost of film!  30 fps gets you twice the recording time of 60 fps, and if your eye can't really tell,... 🙂

But when you slow it down, 60fps gets twice as many flicker-of-an-eye details...

Why stop there, though?  Why not aim for ultra-high speeds?  120fps?  500fps?

I mean... there probably should be something worth seeing, if you're gonna bother adding this to your game...

 

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chlorodyne.jpg.2cd01593d8b06a27cfc799ea4ff66ba9.jpg

A bit of trivia from Wikipedia: 

'Chlorodyne was one of the best known patent medicines sold in the British Isles. It was invented in the 19th century by a Dr. John Collis Browne, a doctor in the British Indian Army; its original purpose was in the treatment of cholera. Browne sold his formula to the pharmacist John Thistlewood Davenport, who advertised it widely, as a treatment for cholera, diarrhea, insomnia, neuralgia, migraines, etc. As its principal ingredients were a mixture of laudanum (an alcoholic solution of opium), tincture of cannabis, and chloroform, it readily lived up to its claims of relieving pain, as a sedative, and for the treatment of diarrhea.’

The recipe is quite alarming (from Materia Medica by William Hale-White & A.H. Douthwaite (1932):

'Mix chloroform 75, tincture of capsicum 25, tincture of Indian hemp 100, oil of peppermint 2 and glycerin 250 with alcohol (20 per cent) 450. Dissolve morphine hydrochloride 10 in the mixture. Add to it diluted hydrocyanic acid 50 and enough alcohol (90 per cent) to make 1000. Strength. 1 millilitre contains chloroform 7.5 centimils; morphine hydrochloride 1 centigram; acidum hydrocyanicum dilutum 5 centimils. Dose 5 to 15 minims - 0.2 to 1ml’

Finally, a word of caution from Wikipedia:

'Though the drug was effective in many ways, its high opiate content also made it very addictive, and deaths from overdoses, either accidental or deliberate, became a frequent occurrence.’

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On 6/4/2019 at 12:10 PM, Matt_E said:

...

Using a flywheel to even out small fluctuations in the turning rate was well known technology back then; think of treadle sewing machines, for example.  I'm not sure that they bothered to use it in these cameras, but they could have.  Surely in Doggerland they might...

Historically, the early cinema cameras did NOT have flywheels or the like, not even professional models.  Studio-shot films were shot at a frame-rate dependent on how fast the cameraman cranked!

Amusingly, even some of the early /projectors/ were hand-cranked, and when you got an unfortunate pairing of speeds you could end up with absurdly-sped-up or slowed-to-still-frames effects.  Luckily, an attentive projector operator could change how they cranked, and compensate a bit for bad technique by the cameraman...

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172121644_Circus1.thumb.jpg.caa7875bf121fd80083165d6befe10cb.jpg

The circus is coming to town!

Football elephants, boxing kangaroos and the funniest clown in the world - what else could anyone need?

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On 6/4/2019 at 10:12 AM, clarence said:

I wonder, could you adjust the speed of film by turning the crank faster/slower? 

That was how the first timelapse photography was invented.

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