Maria A. Wood SchGbt - History

Maria A. Wood SchGbt - History

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Maria A. Wood SchGbt

Maria A. Wood

(SchGbt: t. 344; L 125'; b. 2816"; dr. 9'; a. 2 32-Pdm)

The wooden sailing vessel Maria A. Wood was purchased at Philadelphia 21 September 1861 and commissioned there 19 November 1861, Master Anthony Chase in command.

Assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, Maria A. Wood arrived Fort Pickens, Pensacola 17 December 1861 to assume patrol duties In the gulf. In West Pass early in 1862, she participated in the Union occupation of Pensacola 10 May. She was ordered to Santa Rosa Island 5 September to blockade East Pass, to the mouth of the Mississippi in early November, and to Horn Island Pass in late November.

In January 1863, she was ordered to Philadelphia for repairs. Returning to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in 1864, she operated off New Orleans, Pensacola, and Mobile Bay into 1865. She removed obstructions In Blakely Channel and Spanish River, near Mobile, in April 1865 and remained in the gulf squadron after its cutback in October.

Maria A. Wood sailed north early in 1866, decommissioned 22 August and was sold at New 'York to W. H. Allen 6 September 1806.


The discovery of gold in the southern Black Hills in 1874 set off one of the great gold rushes in America. In 1876, miners moved into the northern Black Hills. That’s where they came across a gulch full of dead trees and a creek full of gold and Deadwood was born.

Practically overnight, the tiny gold camp boomed into a town that played by its own rules that attracted outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers along with the gold seekers. Wild Bill Hickok was one of those men who came looking for fortune. But just a few short weeks after arriving, he was gunned down while holding a poker hand of aces and eights – forever after known as the Dead Man’s Hand.

Calamity Jane also made a name for herself in these parts and is buried next to Hickok in Mount Moriah Cemetery. Other legends, like Potato Creek Johnny, Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen, created their legends and legacies in this tiny Black Hills town.

You can find these colorful characters walking the streets of present-day Deadwood as a part of Deadwood Alive. This theater troupe reenacts the major historic events – like the Trial of Jack McCall and Wild Bill’s assassination— that inspired the legends you know today.

Deadwood has survived three major fires and numerous economic hardships, pushing it to the verge of becoming another Old West ghost town. But in 1989 limited-wage gambling was legalized and Deadwood was reborn.

Today, the town is booming once again. You’ll find modern-day casinos, resort hotels, full-service spas, big name concerts, and some of the best parties in the entire United States. Come walk in the footsteps of our legends and make history in Deadwood. We’ve been entertaining guests since 1876.

Deadwood Gaming Package

Get your game on in Historic Deadwood with 24/7 gaming halls where you’ll find the latest slots and a variety of live poker games!

Terri Schiavo

Tim Boyles/Getty Images

A photograph of Terri Schiavo (Schindler) before her heart attack. Schiavo suffered a severe lack of oxygen and brain damage, falling into a persistent vegetative state. She was then on life support, hooked up to a feeding tube for 15 years.

From 1995, Schiavo's husband began fighting to allow his wife to die. No doctor who examined Terri believed she had a chance to recover. Terri's family vehemently disagreed, producing a bitter family struggle that became very public as the fight was taken to the courts.

September 1, 2021

EBHS 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year!

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When Hollywood Studios Married Off Gay Stars to Keep Their Sexuality a Secret

During the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1920s, actors and actresses shot to fame𠅋ut only if they tailored their images to the demands of the big studios. For LGBT actors, that often meant marrying a person of the opposite sex.

The early 20th century represented a unique time for LGBT people in the country. Throughout the Roaring Twenties, men dressed as women and gender non-conformity and queerness weren&apost as taboo in big cities as they would be years later.

Queerness could be appreciated on stage, but in the every day lives of major stars it was often hidden in sham unions known as "lavender marriages," according to Stephen Tropiano, professor of Screen Studies at Ithaca College and author of The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV.

These marriages were arranged by Hollywood studios between one or more gay, lesbian or bisexual people in order to hide their sexual orientation from the public. They date back to the early 20th century and carried on past the gay liberation movement of the 1960s.

Lavender marriages were a solve in part for “moral clauses” issued by big studios at the time. The clauses, first introduced by Universal Film Company, permitted the company to discontinue actors&apos salaries "if they forfeit the respect of the public.” The kind of behavior deemed unacceptable ranged widely from criminal activity to association with any conduct that was considered indecent or startling to the community. The clauses exist to this day.

“We have to remember that a lot of these decisions that were being made, they were economic decisions,” says Tropiano. “It was about a person holding on to their career.”

One of the earliest speculated lavender marriages was the 1919 union of silent film actor and early sex symbol Rudolph Valentino and actress Jean Acker, who was rumored to have򠯮n lesbian. On the couple’s wedding night, Acker apparently quickly regretted the marriage and locked her new husband out of their hotel room, according to the The New York Times. Soon after, they got divorced.

Rudolph Valentino and Jean Acker, circa 1920s.

ullstein bild/Getty Image Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Valentino also married costume designer Natacha Rambova in 1923, at a time when his career was starting to take off and the roles he played were seen as less typically masculine, such as in the film “Monsieur Beaucaire” in 1924. His marriage to Rambova ended in 1925, which left some speculating that the marriages of the “pink powder puff” (a nickname Valentino acquired after playing effeminate roles on screen) were coverups to keep the sex symbol’s reputation intact.

Identifying how many Hollywood couples tied the knot to cloak their sexuality is, of course problematic since it’s primarily based on speculation.

“I think the hardest thing for a historian is to kind of sift through what the rumor [is] and what is actually factual," says Tropiano.

One commonly cited source for speculation is the memoir of Scotty Bowers, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. Bowers’ account details sexual encounters, gay and straight, that he claims he both arranged and took part in, beginning in 1946.

Bowers wrote that he had been sexually involved with leading actor Cary Grant and his roommate, Randolph Scott, for more than a decade. At the time, Grant was cycling through five marriages with women. Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, has disputed the allegations, through her spokeswoman, saying in 2012 that her father as “very straight,” according to The New York Times.

Actors Cary Grant and Randolph Scott lived together in the 1930s.

John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Grant died in 1986, and many of the subjects whose lives Bowers describes are also deceased. Some have questioned whether Bowers&apos accounts in the autobiography, and the corresponding 2017 documentary Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, are accurate. But the self-proclaimed 𠇏ixer” includes details and photographs that he argues back up his claims.

Among the most speculated lavender marriages was between the famed actor Rock Hudson and his secretary Phyllis Gates. They married in 1955 and separated two years later, after rumors of his homosexuality and infidelity began to pile up. 

Waves of rumors and speculation around Hudson’s affairs became so widespread that they even helped foster the growth of celebrity tabloid journalism. The publication Confidential became popular in the mid-1950s by featuring salacious celebrity news. The tabloid outed popular figures like Hudson before outing was even a thing. Despite the coverage, Hudson never addressed his sexual orientation publicly before he died of AIDS in 1985.

Rock Hudson and his bride Phyllis Gates at their 1955 wedding.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Some gay actors chose to live openly, despite the risk. In the 1930s, actor William Haines refused to hide his relationship with his partner. Haines was contracted with MGM in the 1920s and �s, while also living with a former sailor named Jimmy Shields.

Even with the common—yet unspoken—knowledge that the two men were romantically involved, Haines’ popularity didn’t take a hit until years later. That’s when he was given an ultimatum, either get married to a woman or he would be dropped by MGM, according to Tropiano.

William Haines, circa 1932.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“[Haines] had to make a choice between getting rid of his male partner and having a career,” says Tropiano. 𠇊nd he actually chose the male partner.”

Haines then left the silver screen behind to create a successful interior design business with his partner. He’s now often considered one of Hollywood’s first openly gay stars.

Lavender marriages became less prevalent in the 1960s and �s as the gay rights movement gained momentum following the Stonewall Riots of 1969. 

Although representation in film and on television was still scarce, the actual lives of the stars on screen—straight, gay or bisexual—weren’t dictated by studios as much as they had been in the past.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

Maria A. Wood SchGbt - History

The caravel of the 15th and 16th centuries was a ship with a distinctive shape and admirable qualities. A gently sloping bow and single stern castle were prominent features of this vessel, and it carried a mainmast and a mizzen mast that were generally lateen-rigged. Although the caravel had already been in use for hundreds of years, it developed into an incredibly fast, easily maneuverable vessel by this time, which was noticed by eminent people. This extraordinary vessel gained fame with the Portuguese and Spanish voyages of discovery. As Inigo Arieta (who escorted Columbus out to sea in 1492), the Commander of the Biscay fleet put it, caravels were ‘’corredoras extremadas, buenas para descubrir tierras (1).” Columbus’s ships Niña and Pinta were supposedly caravels, and Columbus repeatedly praised his favorite ship, Niña, for her great speed, maneuverability, and safety (2). However, as is evident in the historical record, not all caravels were designed the same way, and many changes were made throughout the history and development of the ship. In essence, it is hard to define the ‘pure’ archetypal caravel (3).

There is very little iconography that depicts the caravel at any stage of its development, and as of yet there are no extant remains of one of these vessels. However, it is still possible to trace the origin of the ship and study it through historical accounts, shipbuilding treatises, ethnographic studies, and archaeological parallels. It is the purpose of this paper to examine these sources, as well as studies done by various scholars over the years, in order to present the diagnostic features of 15th and 16th century Iberian shipbuilding in general and the caravel in particular.

The exact origin of the caravel is a matter of some debate. There are many possibilities and theories, but no conclusive evidence to sustain them. That the caravel was a fishing vessel in the 13th century is evident from Portuguese records from that period. However, by examining the etymology of the word ‘caravel’, it may be possible to trace the vessel’s origin to an earlier time and even another region. Elbl reports that in the early 13th century, the term ‘caravel’ was connected to a small ship related to Muslim Algarvian and Maghrebine models of lateen-rigged craft made to suit Atlantic sailing conditions (4). This qârib was well equipped to travel in shallow waters and was used as a fishing boat, coaster, and light warship (5). Although little is known about the technical details of this small Arab vessel, it had preferred features that allowed it to transform into progressively larger forms, much like the caravel. Because the caravel presumably had some of the same characteristics of the qârib, some speculate that the word ‘caravel’ is derived from qârib, and, therefore, the vessel is of Arabic origin.

Spanish and Portuguese scholars, during the nineteenth century, also sought Roman and Greek terms that could have spawned the word ‘caravel’. Jal’s Archéologie navale even suggested an Italian origin for carabela as cara bella, apparently owing to the beauty or grace of the vessel (6). Although possible origins of the word ‘caravel’ were proposed, the scholars found no references to the design and construction of the ships that they were attempting to trace to the 15th-century vessel, except that they were referred to as small, light vessels with good sailing capabilities that traded widely inside and outside the Mediterranean.

Despite all of the uncertainty over the etymology of ‘caravel’, the first mention of the Portuguese vessel in an official document was its integration into the English fleet upon its return to Gascony in 1226 (7). By examining the sources in which these early caravels appear, as well as other contemporary ships (with regard to tonnage and build), an indication of the size and capacity of the early caravels can be found. Early sources, such as the floral of Vila Nova de Gaia, refer to the caravel as paying the lowest entry toll on the list (8). By comparing the caravel with the other ships on the list, a relatively small size and capacity can be attributed to this early version of the vessel. Throughout the centuries, this changed as the utilization of the caravel also changed.

Although the word caravel may or may not have been derived from an Arabic term, Islamic influences definitely shaped the fate of the 15th-and 16th-century caravel. As Muslims conquered various lands throughout the Mediterranean and Western world, they borrowed learning from the people they subjugated. Unlike other conquerors, they did not simply impose their view of the world on other nations. They amalgamated their philosophies with those of other cultures and thus their conception of the world grew. In this, the Muslims served as conveyors of ideas received from people they conquered. They disseminated ideologies from different cultures and by the end of their reign in the 13th century the world view was much different than the popular ideas of Western Europe. A liberal philosophy induced an enthusiasm for investigation and examination which changed the basis of Iberian life (9). Eventually, this spirit of inquiry compelled the Spanish and Portuguese to explore the vast oceans that were so integral to their lives.

It is easy to see then, why Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal (1394-1460), consumed with expansionist ideals, chose the caravel as the ship to carry out the demands of his journey to the West African coast in the 1440s. Earlier explorers used barks of about 25 tons, which had a single mast. They also experimented with the longer and larger barinels, but neither of these vessels was adequate for the increasingly longer voyages (15). For these reasons, the caravel was summoned to perform the duties of an explorer. Although by the early 15th century, the caravel had highly admirable qualities, it was still far from ideal. The main reasons it was chosen for the exploration of the African coast were speed and the ability to sail windward. However, the caravel’s great lateen sail required a large crew, which was dangerous because the diminutive explorer could not carry vast amounts of fresh water for a large band of sailors.

During the 15th century, Iberian shipbuilding underwent a new phase of design, involving an adaptation to the demands of ships of discovery. To give an idea of the elevated preparation of shipyards and shipping of the 15th century, Don João II of Portugal ordered a nao of 1000 tons to be built, in a time when they rarely exceeded 300 tons. The keel of this immense vessel had a length of 31.50 m and it was 50 m overall (16). There are records of other impressive ships from Portugal, such as São João of 1533/34, which was one and a half times the size of the largest Indian ships (17). Such ambition also called for changes in the caravel as a ship of discovery. Rather than using the technical knowledge of naval architects, these demands were taken on by skilled craftsman, who were capable of transforming the geometry of the vessel to suit the requirements of a sea-going explorer (18).

For Columbus’s expedition in 1492, caravels were probably chosen as at least two of the accompanying vessels for the voyage. Santa María, however, is generally agreed to have been a nau. The Portuguese retained the lateen sails for their caravels, because they better suited their purposes on the African Coast. But by this time in Spain, the caravel had largely transformed from the caravela latina to the caravela redonda (19). It was now a three-masted vessel wielding a square sail on the mainmast and foremast, and a lateen sail on the mizzen. As in the case of Columbus’s Pinta, the caravel could often times be converted from a lateen-rigged vessel to a square-rigged vessel. This new sail arrangement provided the necessary adjustments to make the caravel what was commonly referred to as the best sailing vessel of its time. It continued to increase in size, but was still small enough to be easily maneuvered. As the ship became heavier, it also became beamier in order to increase the carrying capacity for each meter of length (20). The length to breadth ratios were now likely in the range of 4:1 to 3:1 (21). Its development over the centuries made it a viable option for exploration, trading, warfare, and piracy.

The Islamic influence affected many subjects which relate to seafaring—geography, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. The transcription of Arab manuscripts in the 13th century left many of these philosophies at the seaman’s dispense. Many devices, such as the astrolabe, compass, and sextant were applied to seafaring in innovative ways (10). Now that European nations were immersed in these philosophies spread by Muslims, many people became frightened of Muslim influence. Consequently, this resulted in a demand to increase the centralization of Christian kingdoms, which helped unite Europe (11). This collaboration influenced shipbuilding and led to a fusion of ideas, theories, and methods that became more and more widespread.

Returning to the 13th-century caravel, a variety of forms can be seen. It is known from the flora of Vila Nova that these caravels were small and of limited capacity. This is understandable, considering during this period of their development they were likely primarily fishing vessels. Their shallow draught and low sides indicate their usefulness as such a vessel along Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. However, it is also conceivable that these ships were employed for trade and, therefore, could have been fully decked at this time. Since many ships during this period were similar to the caravel in size and rigging, a tentative comparison can be made with other vessels regarding tonnage and keel to beam ratios. The 13th-century caravel is surmised to have been a lateen one-or two-master under thirty tons, with a keel to beam ratio of 5:1. This is rather high compared to the ratio of the ship during its last stages of development in the 17th century, which had a keel to beam ratio of 2.64:1 (12). These ratios and tonnages of the 13th-century vessel are very speculative, but as Elbl notes, 14th century records—dated AD 1307—from the Biscayan area mention small caravels with crews of nine men each. According to Azevedo, these manning ratios (in the 15th century) represent vessels of 18-20 toneis (13).

Although during the 14th century there is little doubt that caravels continued to be utilized as fishing and commercial vessels, there is an odd absence of the ship (in records) which cannot be easily explained. Caravels are not mentioned in historical accounts other than the Biscayan records of 1307, nor are they depicted in the available iconography of the period. Despite this absence, there was definitely a shift in the size of caravels as they took over the functions of another light Portuguese vessel, the varinel. The varinel, which resembled the Atlantic balener, was better suited to sail in the Bay of Biscay than other southern ships of the same size. This shift may be indicative of transitions from a coastal vessel to one capable of faring well in the high seas. By the first half of the 15th century, this shift was noted in Catalonia. In an ordinance of 1438 issued by Alfonso the Magnanimous it is stated: “…we know that the settee was in other times a light oared vessel and now it is the heaviest ship, of greater board and capacity for long voyages the same for the bark…today it is taken in general as a vessel of lateen sail that consists of three masts…(14)” Because of these reasons, it is plausible to assume that throughout the 14th century the caravel underwent alterations that made it somewhat more suitable for ocean voyages. These alterations included increases in carrying capacity.

At this point, an examination of various documents and manuscripts can help describe the practice of Iberian shipbuilding, for they do not become available until the 16th century. Until records of shipbuilding practices were kept, such information was safeguarded in the minds of skilled masters who passed on the traditions orally from generation to generation, and by shared work experience. However, as Casado Soto points out, the combination of low life expectancy and the rigid secrecy that was practiced regarding this specialized knowledge ensured that these traditions would not survive in writing (22).

Before the reign of the Christian kings, there was little mention of shipbuilding in Castilian documents, and when ships do appear it is usually only with regard to their names, types, and occasionally tonnage in “barrels”. However, with the reign of Charles V and the expansion of foreign policy, there was an increase in management techniques. By the time Phillip II became king, the Spanish bureaucracy reached maturity. During his reign (1556-1598), he regulated navigation in convoy, set a standard for mercantile shipbuilding, and introduced technical specifications that led to improvements in safety (23). He gave incentive to shipbuilders by exempting sales tax for the purchasing of shipbuilding materials. Phillip II also established an efficient system for measuring the hulls and capacities of ships, and was the first European monarch to use a prototype to build ships for the armadas, choosing the galleon as the model (24). It is during his reign that the production of documents recording shipbuilding techniques grew the most. The following are some of the documents that have been published:

1536, Alonso de Chavez: Espejo de navegantes (25)
ca. 1560, President Visitador: Papeles (26)
1568, Domingo de Busturria: Memorial (27)
ca. 1570, Rodrigo Vargas: Apuntamiento (28)
1575, Juan Escalante de Mendoza: Itinerario de navegación (29)
1581, Crostobal de Barros y otros: Discución de prototipos de galleon (30)
1587, Diego García de Palacio: Instrucción nautical (31)
1611, Tomé Cano: Arte para fabricar, fortificar y aparejar naos (32)

These documents are useful tools for studying the history of shipbuilding, but caution must be taken when interpreting them. The various authors were influenced by their professions and the extent of their experience in shipbuilding is largely unknown. Nevertheless, they give information on raw materials needed for shipbuilding, as well as dimension and tonnage of ships.

Manuscripts and treatises concerning shipbuilding during this period may be more helpful in understanding how Iberian ships were constructed. There are three in particular that deserve attention: Instrucción nautical (33), Liuro da fabrica das naos (34), and Livro de traças de carpintaria (35). To learn more about these manuscripts, visit the shipbuilding treatises page on this website

(1) Etayo 1971, 53-4 Elbl 1985, 543.
(2) Lyon 1993, 239.
(3) Elbl 1985, 543.
(4) Elbl 1985, 545.
(5) Elbl 1985, 545.
(6) Edwards 1992, 420.
(7) Michel 1876-70, 1, 153 Elbl 1985, 546.
(8) Elbl 1985, 546.
(9) Baker 1979, 10.
(10) Baker 1979, 10.
(11) Baker 1979, 10.
(12) According to the instructions set forth for a caravel of 11 rumos in Livro de traças de carpintaria, by M. Fernandez, 1616, 1995 reprint.
(13) Azevedo 1934 Elbl 1985, 548.
(14) d’Albertis 1892, 41Elbl 1985, 549. Translation by this author.
(15) Unger 1980, 212.
(16) Barata 1987, 161.
(17) Barker 2001, 215.
(18) Barata 1987, 167.
(19) The Spanish are credited as the first to have made this transition, which was largely done for the voyages to the New World.
(20) Unger 1980, 214.
(21) Unger 1980, 214.
(22) Casado Soto 2001, 131.
(23) Casado Soto 2001, 135.
(24) Casado Soto 2001, 135.
(25) Castañeda, Cuesta, and Hernández 1983, 209-23 Casado Soto 2001, 136.
(26) Casada Soto 1988, 265-70.
(27) Casado Soto 1998, 362-3.
(28) Casado Soto 1988, 271-4.
(29) Escalante de Mendoza 1985, 39-45 Casado Soto 2001, 136.
(30) Casado Soto 1988, 294-375.
(31) Garcia de Palacio 1944, fol. 88-109 Casado Soto 2001, 136.
(32) Cano 1964.
(33) Palacio 1587.
(34) Oliveira 1580.
(35) Fernandez 1616.


The concrete block building at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield was built around 1946 and was previously a coffin showroom. [6] It was converted to a recording studio in 1969 when a group of musicians called the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section decided to start their own operation in competition with the FAME Studios owned by Rick Hall. Over the years, artists who recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio included The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Tamiko Jones, and Cat Stevens. Cher's sixth album was titled 3614 Jackson Highway (1969) and this became the informal name for the studio in 1969. The studio at this location closed in 1979, and the recording facility was moved to new premises at 1000 Alabama Avenue.

The Jackson Highway building had been partly restored and open for tours in 2013 when the documentary Muscle Shoals raised public interest in a major restoration of the studio. [7] The Muscle Shoals Music Foundation was formed in 2013 to raise funds to purchase the building and to complete major renovations. In June 2013, the owner sold the property to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation, without the historic recording equipment. [8] A large grant from Beats Electronics provided an essential $1 million. The state tourism director said in August 2015 that the 2013 Muscle Shoals film [9] had significant influence. "The financial support from Beats is a direct result of their film." Additional donations were made by other groups and individuals. [10]

As recently as August 2015, tours were visiting the partly restored studio on Jackson Highway. It was closed when major restoration work started in September 2015. Muscle Shoals Sound Studio reopened as a finished tourist attraction on January 9, 2017, owned and operated by the foundation. The interior is reminiscent of the 1970s, with relevant recording equipment and paraphernalia. There are plans to allow artists to record in the studio. [11] [12]

The Alabama Tourism Department named Muscle Shoals Sound Studio as the state's top attraction in 2017, even before the Jackson Highway studio reopened. [4]

Early history Edit

The four founders of the studio, Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) and David Hood (bass), affectionately called The Swampers, [13] but usually known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, were one of the best-known "house bands" or session musicians. (The nickname "The Swampers" was given to the group by the music producer Denny Cordell during recording sessions for Leon Russell because of their "funky, soulful Southern "swamp" sound".) [14] [2] They are referred to as "The Swampers" in the lyrics of "Sweet Home Alabama" (1974) by Lynyrd Skynyrd and appear on the cover of Cher's 1969 album 3614 Jackson Highway. [15]

Initially they worked for Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios and they are recognized as having crafted the "Muscle Shoals sound" in conjunction with Hall. [16] After leaving Rick Hall's FAME Studios, the four musicians partnered with Jerry Wexler who provided start-up funding [17] to found Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield. [18] The first hit to the studio's credit was R. B. Greaves' "Take a Letter Maria". By December 1969, the Rolling Stones were recording at this new location for three days. [19]

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section was the first group of musicians to own a studio and to eventually run their own publishing and production companies. They provided musical backing and arrangements for many recordings, including major hits by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and the Staple Singers a wide range of artists in popular music also recorded hit songs and complete albums at the studio. They had first worked together in 1967 and initially played sessions in New York and Nashville before doing so at FAME. Their initial successes in soul and R&B led to more mainstream rock and pop performers who began coming to record at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, including the Rolling Stones, Traffic, Bob Seger, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Elkie Brooks, Millie Jackson, Julian Lennon, and Glenn Frey.

The two buildings Edit

The studio at 3614 Jackson Highway closed in April 1979, becoming an audio visual retailer and then an appliance store until 1999. The subsequent owner did some renovations and retained the old recording equipment, allowing for tours of the property. [20] [8]

The recording facility was relocated to updated and larger premises at 1000 Alabama Avenue in Sheffield in 1979. This location operated until it was closed and sold in 1985 to Tommy Couch's soul and blues label Malaco Records, based in Jackson, Mississippi, which also bought the publishing rights held by the Muscle Shoals Sound. Malaco used the Sheffield studios for its own artists, including Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland and Little Milton, as while continuing to operate its own facility in Jackson. The Rhythm Section, minus Beckett, worked with other studio musicians at Malaco Records and at other studios. [21] In 2005, Couch decided to close the Malaco studio on Alabama Avenue because he was having difficulty competing with more technologically advanced studios. [22]

Recent history Edit

After the 1000 Alabama Avenue location closed in 2005, ending the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio era, the building was taken over by a movie production company. [23] In 2007, this location housed Cypress Moon Productions and the Cypress Moon Studio with functioning recording equipment, which was operating as a recording studio and was open for tours. [24]

Although it was no longer a working studio in 2009 and 2010, the Jackson Highway location was rented for recording some or all of two Grammy-nominated albums. Band of Horses's third CD, Infinite Arms, recorded in part at that studio, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Alternative Album. [6]

Ten tracks of Black Keys's sixth album, Brothers, were also recorded at 3614 Jackson Highway. [25] The album was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. Two songs from the album, "Tighten Up" and "Black Mud", were nominated for Grammys: "Tighten Up" for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song and "Black Mud" for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Rolling Stone magazine placed the album at number-2 on its list of the Best Albums of 2010 and "Everlasting Light" at number 11 on its list of the Best Singles of 2010. The album was also featured on Spin magazine's Top 40 Albums of 2010. [ citation needed ]

The four members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section who had founded the Sound Studio were inducted into the Nashville-based Musicians Hall of Fame in 2008 and into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995, "as four of the finest studio musicians in the world", also receiving the Lifework Award in 2008. They had appeared on "more than 500 recordings, including 75 gold and platinum hits". [26] [27]

The studio is open for tours Tuesday - Saturday. Over 62,000 people from 50 countries and every state in the U.S. have visited since it opened for tours again in 2013. The studio is a working recording studio at night. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys did a solo project in March 2017. Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb of Nashville recorded rockers Rival Sons in April 2017. Actor Kiefer Sutherland recorded, along with Swamper David Hood, in May 2017. In 2018, Bishop Gunn released the first recording from the studio after the restoration, "Shine" from their album, Natchez. Donnie Fritz recently released tunes recorded at MSS on his June album, in conjunction with John Paul White and Single Lock Records.

Original studio fate Edit

The original studio building on Jackson Highway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 2006. [28] In June 2013, the building was sold to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation [29] whose goal was to establish a music museum in the historic building. [30] [31] [32] The foundation extensively restored the building and the studio. It was reopened as a tourist attraction, with plans for recording as well, on January 9, 2017. [4] [33]

According to a journalist who was a recent visitor, the restored studio is impressive: "Muscle Shoals Sound's interior appears much as it did in its prime. . Some guitars and amps. A Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano and black baby grand. The control room with recording console and analog tape machine . There are isolation booths, for vocals, percussion and such. " [34]

Filmmaker Greg Camalier premiered his documentary film Muscle Shoals at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013. [9] It is about Muscle Shoals sound, and features Rick Hall, FAME Studios, and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (Swampers) who had founded the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. The film includes interviews with Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, Bono, Alicia Keys and many others.


Santa Maria del Fiore was built on the site of Florence's second cathedral dedicated to Saint Reparata [2] the first was the Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze, the first building of which was consecrated as a church in 393 by St. Ambrose of Milan. [3] The ancient structure, founded in the early 5th century and having undergone many repairs, was crumbling with age, according to the 14th-century Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani, [4] and was no longer large enough to serve the growing population of the city. [4] Other major Tuscan cities had undertaken ambitious reconstructions of their cathedrals during the Late Medieval period, such as Pisa and particularly Siena where the enormous proposed extensions were never completed.

City council approved the design of Arnolfo di Cambio for the new church in 1294. [5] Di Cambio was also architect of the church of Santa Croce and the Palazzo Vecchio. [6] [7] He designed three wide naves ending under the octagonal dome, with the middle nave covering the area of Santa Reparata. The first stone was laid on 9 September 1296, by Cardinal Valeriana, the first papal legate ever sent to Florence. The building of this vast project was to last 140 years Arnolfo's plan for the eastern end, although maintained in concept, was greatly expanded in size.

After Arnolfo died in 1302, work on the cathedral slowed for almost 50 years. When the relics of Saint Zenobius were discovered in 1330 in Santa Reparata, the project gained a new impetus. In 1331, the Arte della Lana, the guild of wool merchants, took over patronage for the construction of the cathedral and in 1334 appointed Giotto to oversee the work. Assisted by Andrea Pisano, Giotto continued di Cambio's design. His major accomplishment was the building of the campanile. When Giotto died on 8 January 1337, Andrea Pisano continued the building until work was halted due to the Black Death in 1348.

In 1349, work resumed on the cathedral under a series of architects, starting with Francesco Talenti, who finished the campanile and enlarged the overall project to include the apse and the side chapels. In 1359, Talenti was succeeded by Giovanni di Lapo Ghini (1360–1369) who divided the centre nave in four square bays. Other architects were Alberto Arnoldi, Giovanni d'Ambrogio, Neri di Fioravante and Andrea Orcagna. By 1375, the old church Santa Reparata was pulled down. The nave was finished by 1380, and only the dome remained incomplete until 1418.

On 19 August 1418, [8] the Arte della Lana announced an architectural design competition for erecting Neri's dome. The two main competitors were two master goldsmiths, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi, the latter of whom was supported by Cosimo de Medici. Ghiberti had been the winner of a competition for a pair of bronze doors for the Baptistery in 1401 and lifelong competition between the two remained sharp. Brunelleschi won and received the commission. [9]

Ghiberti, appointed coadjutor, drew a salary equal to Brunelleschi's and, though neither was awarded the announced prize of 200 florins, was promised equal credit, although he spent most of his time on other projects. When Brunelleschi became ill, or feigned illness, the project was briefly in the hands of Ghiberti. But Ghiberti soon had to admit that the whole project was beyond him. In 1423, Brunelleschi was back in charge and took over sole responsibility. [10]

Work on the dome began in 1420 and finished in 1436. The cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on 25 March 1436, (the first day of the year according to the Florentine calendar). It was the first 'octagonal' dome in history to be built without a temporary wooden supporting frame. It was one of the most impressive projects of the Renaissance. During the consecration in 1436, Guillaume Dufay's motet Nuper rosarum flores was performed.

The decoration of the exterior of the cathedral, begun in the 14th century, was not completed until 1887, when the polychrome marble façade was completed with the design of Emilio De Fabris. The floor of the church was relaid in marble tiles in the 16th century.

The exterior walls are faced in alternate vertical and horizontal bands of polychrome marble from Carrara (white), Prato (green), Siena (red), Lavenza and a few other places. These marble bands had to repeat the already existing bands on the walls of the earlier adjacent baptistery the Battistero di San Giovanni and Giotto's Bell Tower. There are two side doors: the Doors of the Canonici (south side) and the Door of the Mandorla (north side) with sculptures by Nanni di Banco, Donatello, and Jacopo della Quercia. The six side windows, notable for their delicate tracery and ornaments, are separated by pilasters. Only the four windows closest to the transept admit light the other two are merely ornamental. The clerestory windows are round, a common feature in Italian Gothic.

During its long history, this cathedral has been the seat of the Council of Florence (1439), heard the preachings of Girolamo Savonarola and witnessed the murder of Giuliano di Piero de' Medici on Sunday, 26 April 1478 (with Lorenzo il Magnifico barely escaping death), in the Pazzi conspiracy.

Plan and structure Edit

The cathedral of Florence is built as a basilica, having a wide central nave of four square bays, with an aisle on either side. The chancel and transepts are of identical polygonal plan, separated by two smaller polygonal chapels. The whole plan forms a Latin cross. The nave and aisles are separated by wide pointed Gothic arches resting on composite piers.

The dimensions of the building are enormous: building area 8,300 square metres (89,340 square feet), length 153 metres (502 feet), width 38 metres (125 feet), width at the crossing 90 metres (300 feet). The height of the arches in the aisles is 23 metres (75 feet). The height of the dome is 114.5 metres (375.7 feet). [11] It has the third tallest dome in the world.

Planned Sculpture for the exterior Edit

The Overseers of the Office of Works of Florence Cathedral the Arte della Lana, had plans to commission a series of twelve large Old Testament sculptures for the buttresses of the cathedral. [12] Donatello, then in his early twenties, was commissioned to carve a statue of David in 1408, to top one of the buttresses of Florence Cathedral, though it was never placed there. Nanni di Banco was commissioned to carve a marble statue of Isaiah, at the same scale, in the same year. One of the statues was lifted into place in 1409, but was found to be too small to be easily visible from the ground and was taken down both statues then languished in the workshop of the opera for several years. [13] [14] [15] In 1410 Donatello made the first of the statues, a figure of Joshua in terracotta. In 1409-1411 Donatello made a statue of Saint John the Evangelist which until 1588 was in a niche of the old cathedral façade. A figure of Hercules, also in terracotta, was commissioned from the Florentine sculptor Agostino di Duccio in 1463 and was made perhaps under Donatello's direction. [16] A statue of David by Michelangelo was completed 1501-1504 although it could not be placed on the Butteresss because of its six ton weight. In 2010 a fiberglass replica of "David" was placed for one day on the Florence cathedral.

Donatello first version of David (1408–1409). Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence. Height 191 cm.

Possible Statue of "Isaiah" by Nanni di Banco

Donatello's colossal seated figure of Saint John the Evangelist. 1409-1411

A Fiberglass replica of Michaelangelo's David statue [seen from the north]. This was the original placement planned for the statue.

Dome Edit

After a hundred years of construction and by the beginning of the 15th century, the structure was still missing its dome. The basic features of the dome had been designed by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296. His brick model, 4.6 metres (15.1 feet) high, 9.2 metres (30.2 feet) long, was standing in a side aisle of the unfinished building, and had long been sacrosanct. [17] It called for an octagonal dome higher and wider than any that had ever been built, with no external buttresses to keep it from spreading and falling under its own weight.

The commitment to reject traditional Gothic buttresses had been made when Neri di Fioravanti's model was chosen over a competing one by Giovanni di Lapo Ghini. [19] That architectural choice, in 1367, was one of the first events of the Italian Renaissance, marking a break with the Medieval Gothic style and a return to the classic Mediterranean dome. Italian architects regarded Gothic flying buttresses as ugly makeshifts. Furthermore, the use of buttresses was forbidden in Florence, as the style was favored by central Italy's traditional enemies to the north. [20] Neri's model depicted a massive inner dome, open at the top to admit light, like Rome's Pantheon, partly supported by the inner dome, but enclosed in a thinner outer shell, to keep out the weather. It was to stand on an unbuttressed octagonal drum. Neri's dome would need an internal defense against spreading (hoop stress), but none had yet been designed.

The building of such a masonry dome posed many technical problems. Brunelleschi looked to the great dome of the Pantheon in Rome for solutions. The dome of the Pantheon is a single shell of concrete, the formula for which had long since been forgotten. The Pantheon had employed structural centring to support the concrete dome while it cured. [21] This could not be the solution in the case of a dome this size and would put the church out of use. For the height and breadth of the dome designed by Neri, starting 52 metres (171 ft) above the floor and spanning 44 metres (144 ft), there was not enough timber in Tuscany to build the scaffolding and forms. [22] Brunelleschi chose to follow such design and employed a double shell, made of sandstone and marble. Brunelleschi would have to build the dome out of brick, due to its light weight compared to stone and being easier to form, and with nothing under it during construction. To illustrate his proposed structural plan, he constructed a wooden and brick model with the help of Donatello and Nanni di Banco, a model which is still displayed in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo. The model served as a guide for the craftsmen, but was intentionally incomplete, so as to ensure Brunelleschi's control over the construction.

Brunelleschi's solutions were ingenious. The spreading problem was solved by a set of four internal horizontal stone and iron chains, serving as barrel hoops, embedded within the inner dome: one at the top, one at the bottom, with the remaining two evenly spaced between them. A fifth chain, made of wood, was placed between the first and second of the stone chains. Since the dome was octagonal rather than round, a simple chain, squeezing the dome like a barrel hoop, would have put all its pressure on the eight corners of the dome. The chains needed to be rigid octagons, stiff enough to hold their shape, so as not to deform the dome as they held it together. [18]

Each of Brunelleschi's stone chains was built like an octagonal railroad track with parallel rails and cross ties, all made of sandstone beams 43 centimetres (17 in) in diameter and no more than 2.3 metres (7.5 ft) long. The rails were connected end-to-end with lead-glazed iron splices. The cross ties and rails were notched together and then covered with the bricks and mortar of the inner dome. The cross ties of the bottom chain can be seen protruding from the drum at the base of the dome. The others are hidden. Each stone chain was supposed to be reinforced with a standard iron chain made of interlocking links, but a magnetic survey conducted in the 1970s failed to detect any evidence of iron chains, which if they exist are deeply embedded in the thick masonry walls. Brunelleschi also included vertical "ribs" set on the corners of the octagon, curving towards the center point. The ribs, 4 metres (13 ft) deep, are supported by 16 concealed ribs radiating from center. [23] The ribs had slits to take beams that supported platforms, thus allowing the work to progress upward without the need for scaffolding. [24]

A circular masonry dome can be built without supports, called centering, because each course of bricks is a horizontal arch that resists compression. In Florence, the octagonal inner dome was thick enough for an imaginary circle to be embedded in it at each level, a feature that would hold the dome up eventually, but could not hold the bricks in place while the mortar was still wet. Brunelleschi used a herringbone brick pattern to transfer the weight of the freshly laid bricks to the nearest vertical ribs of the non-circular dome. [25] [26] [27] [28]

The outer dome was not thick enough to contain embedded horizontal circles, being only 60 centimetres (2 ft) thick at the base and 30 centimetres (1 ft) thick at the top. To create such circles, Brunelleschi thickened the outer dome at the inside of its corners at nine different elevations, creating nine masonry rings, which can be observed today from the space between the two domes. To counteract hoop stress, the outer dome relies entirely on its attachment to the inner dome and has no embedded chains. [29]

A modern understanding of physical laws and the mathematical tools for calculating stresses were centuries in the future. Brunelleschi, like all cathedral builders, had to rely on intuition and whatever he could learn from the large scale models he built. To lift 37,000 tons of material, including over 4 million bricks, he invented hoisting machines and lewissons for hoisting large stones. These specially designed machines and his structural innovations were Brunelleschi's chief contribution to architecture. Although he was executing an aesthetic plan made half a century earlier, it is his name, rather than Neri's, that is commonly associated with the dome.

Brunelleschi's ability to crown the dome with a lantern was questioned and he had to undergo another competition, even though there had been evidence that Brunelleschi had been working on a design for a lantern for the upper part of the dome. The evidence is shown in the curvature, which was made steeper than the original model. [30] He was declared the winner over his competitors Lorenzo Ghiberti and Antonio Ciaccheri. His design (now on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo) was for an octagonal lantern with eight radiating buttresses and eight high arched windows. Construction of the lantern was begun a few months before his death in 1446. Then, for 15 years, little progress was possible, due to alterations by several architects. The lantern was finally completed by Brunelleschi's friend Michelozzo in 1461. The conical roof was crowned with a gilt copper ball and cross, containing holy relics, by Verrocchio in 1469. This brings the total height of the dome and lantern to 114.5 metres (376 ft). This copper ball was struck by lightning on 17 July 1600 and fell down. It was replaced by an even larger one two years later.

The commission for this gilt copper ball [atop the lantern] went to the sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio, in whose workshop there was at this time a young apprentice named Leonardo da Vinci. Fascinated by Filippo's [Brunelleschi's] machines, which Verrocchio used to hoist the ball, Leonardo made a series of sketches of them and, as a result, is often given credit for their invention. [31]

Leonardo might have also participated in the design of the bronze ball, as stated in the G manuscript of Paris "Remember the way we soldered the ball of Santa Maria del Fiore". [32]

The decorations of the drum gallery by Baccio d'Agnolo were never finished after being disapproved by no one less than Michelangelo.

A huge statue of Brunelleschi now sits outside the Palazzo dei Canonici in the Piazza del Duomo, looking thoughtfully up towards his greatest achievement, the dome that would forever dominate the panorama of Florence. It is still the largest masonry dome in the world. [33]

The building of the cathedral had started in 1296 with the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was completed in 1469 with the placing of Verrochio's copper ball atop the lantern. But the façade was still unfinished and would remain so until the 19th century.

Facade Edit

The original façade, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and usually attributed to Giotto, was actually begun twenty years after Giotto's death. [ citation needed ] A mid-15th-century pen-and-ink drawing of this so-called Giotto's façade is visible in the Codex Rustici, and in the drawing of Bernardino Poccetti in 1587, both on display in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. This façade was the collective work of several artists, among them Andrea Orcagna and Taddeo Gaddi. This original façade was completed in only its lower portion and then left unfinished. It was dismantled in 1587–1588 by the Medici court architect Bernardo Buontalenti, ordered by Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici, as it appeared totally outmoded in Renaissance times. Some of the original sculptures are on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo, behind the cathedral. Others are now in the Berlin Museum and in the Louvre.

The competition for a new façade turned into a huge corruption scandal. [ citation needed ] The wooden model for the façade of Buontalenti is on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo. A few new designs had been proposed in later years, but the models (of Giovanni Antonio Dosio, Giovanni de' Medici with Alessandro Pieroni and Giambologna) were not accepted. The façade was then left bare until the 19th century.

In 1864, a competition held to design a new façade was won by Emilio De Fabris (1808–1883) in 1871. Work began in 1876 and was completed in 1887. This neo-gothic façade in white, green and red marble forms a harmonious entity with the cathedral, Giotto's bell tower and the Baptistery, but some think it is excessively decorated.

The whole façade is dedicated to the Mother of Christ.

The three huge bronze doors date from 1899 to 1903. They are adorned with scenes from the life of the Madonna. The mosaics in the lunettes above the doors were designed by Niccolò Barabino. They represent (from left to right): Charity among the founders of Florentine philanthropic institutions Christ enthroned with Mary and John the Baptist and Florentine artisans, merchants and humanists. The pediment above the central portal contains a half-relief by Tito Sarrocchi of Mary enthroned holding a flowered scepter. Giuseppe Cassioli sculpted the right-hand door.

On top of the façade is a series of niches with the twelve Apostles with, in the middle, the Madonna with Child. Between the rose window and the tympanum, there is a gallery with busts of great Florentine artists.

The Gothic interior is vast and gives an empty impression. The relative bareness of the church corresponds with the austerity of religious life, as preached by Girolamo Savonarola.

Many decorations in the church have been lost in the course of time, or have been transferred to the Museum Opera del Duomo, such as the magnificent cantorial pulpits (the singing galleries for the choristers) of Luca della Robbia and Donatello.

As this cathedral was built with funds from the public, some important works of art in this church honour illustrious men and military leaders of Florence: [34]

• Lorenzo Ghiberti had a large artistic impact on the cathedral. Ghiberti worked with Filippo Brunelleschi on the cathedral for eighteen years and had a large number of projects on almost the whole east end. Some of his works were the stained glass designs, the bronze shrine of Saint Zenobius and marble revetments on the outside of the cathedral.

  • Dante Before the City of Florence by Domenico di Michelino (1465). This painting is especially interesting because it shows us, apart from scenes of the Divine Comedy, a view on Florence in 1465, a Florence such as Dante himself could not have seen in his time.
  • Funerary Monument to Sir John Hawkwood by Paolo Uccello (1436). This almost monochrome fresco, transferred to canvas in the 19th century, is painted in terra verde, a color closest to the patina of bronze.
  • Equestrian statue of Niccolò da Tolentino by Andrea del Castagno (1456). This fresco, transferred on canvas in the 19th century, in the same style as the previous one, is painted in a color resembling marble. However, it is more richly decorated and gives more the impression of movement. Both frescoes portray the condottieri as heroic figures riding triumphantly. Both painters had problems when applying in painting the new rules of perspective to foreshortening: they used two unifying points, one for the horse and one for the pedestal, instead a single unifying point.
  • Busts of Giotto (by Benedetto da Maiano), Brunelleschi (by Buggiano – 1447), Marsilio Ficino, and Antonio Squarcialupi (a most famous organist). These busts all date from the 15th and the 16th centuries.

Above the main door is the colossal clock face with fresco portraits of four Prophets or Evangelists by Paolo Uccello (1443). This one-handed liturgical clock shows the 24 hours of the hora italica (Italian time), a period of time ending with sunset at 24 hours. This timetable was used until the 18th century. This is one of the few clocks from that time that still exist and are in working order. [34]

The church is particularly notable for its 44 stained glass windows, the largest undertaking of this kind in Italy in the 14th and 15th century. The windows in the aisles and in the transept depict saints from the Old and the New Testament, while the circular windows in the drum of the dome or above the entrance depict Christ and Mary. They are the work of the greatest Florentine artists of their times, such as Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno. [34]

Christ crowning Mary as Queen, the stained-glass circular window above the clock, with a rich range of coloring, was designed by Gaddo Gaddi in the early 14th century.

Donatello designed the stained-glass window (Coronation of the Virgin) in the drum of the dome (the only one that can be seen from the nave).

The beautiful funeral monument of Antonio d'Orso (1323), bishop of Florence, was made by Tino da Camaino, the most important funeral sculptor of his time.

The monumental crucifix, behind the Bishop's Chair at the high altar, is by Benedetto da Maiano (1495–1497). The choir enclosure is the work of the famous Bartolommeo Bandinelli. The ten-paneled bronze doors of the sacristy were made by Luca della Robbia, who has also two glazed terracotta works inside the sacristy: Angel with Candlestick and Resurrection of Christ. [34]

In the back of the middle of the three apses is the altar of Saint Zanobius, first bishop of Florence. Its silver shrine, a masterpiece of Ghiberti, contains the urn with his relics. The central compartment shows us one of his miracles, the reviving of a dead child. Above this shrine is the painting Last Supper by the lesser-known Giovanni Balducci. There was also a glass-paste mosaic panel The Bust of Saint Zanobius by the 16th-century miniaturist Monte di Giovanni, but it is now on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo. [34]

Many decorations date from the 16th-century patronage of the Grand Dukes, such as the pavement in colored marble, attributed to Baccio d'Agnolo and Francesco da Sangallo (1520–26). Some pieces of marble from the façade were used, topside down, in the flooring (as was shown by the restoration of the floor after the 1966 flooding). [34]

It was suggested that the interior of the 45 metre (147 ft) wide dome should be covered with a mosaic decoration to make the most of the available light coming through the circular windows of the drum and through the lantern. Brunelleschi had proposed the vault to glimmer with resplendent gold, but his death in 1446 put an end to this project, and the walls of the dome were whitewashed. Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici decided to have the dome painted with a representation of The Last Judgment. This enormous work, 3,600 metres² (38 750 ft²) of painted surface, was started in 1568 by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari and would last till 1579. The upper portion, near the lantern, representing The 24 Elders of Apoc. 4 was finished by Vasari before his death in 1574. Federico Zuccari and a number of collaborators, such as Domenico Cresti, finished the other portions: (from top to bottom) Choirs of Angels Christ, Mary and Saints Virtues, Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Beatitudes and at the bottom of the cupola: Capital Sins and Hell. These frescoes are considered Zuccari's greatest work. But the quality of the work is uneven because of the input of different artists and the different techniques. Vasari had used true fresco, while Zuccari had painted in secco. During the restoration work, which ended in 1995, the entire pictorial cycle of The Last Judgment was photographed with specially designed equipment and all the information collected in a catalogue. All the restoration information along with reconstructed images of the frescos were stored and managed in the Thesaurus Florentinus computer system. [35] [36]

The cathedral underwent difficult excavations between 1965 and 1974. The archaeological history of this huge area was reconstructed through the work of Dr. Franklin Toker: remains of Roman houses, an early Christian pavement, ruins of the former cathedral of Santa Reparata and successive enlargements of this church. Close to the entrance, in the part of the crypt open to the public, is the tomb of Brunelleschi. While its location is prominent, the actual tomb is simple and humble. That the architect was permitted such a prestigious burial place is proof of the high esteem he was held in by the Florentines. [ citation needed ]

We’d like to introduce you to the Grand Old Lady of Cody, the Irma Hotel.

Our appreciation of western history and architecture motivated us to originally purchase and restore the hotel. We’re assuming these same interests have caused you to browse through this issue and learn the history behind this National Historic Register building. We encourage you to visit the Irma and see for yourself the beauties and hospitality of our establishment.

The hotel has an interesting history. For over 100 years, the Irma has been a symbol of neighborliness and good cheer where people could relax and be themselves. Everyone from Colonel Cody, to princes and potentates, Indian chiefs and cowboys “came as they were” to the Irma.

The hotel was opened to the public on November 1, 1902. A grand opening celebration followed on November 18 (see original invitation below). Buffalo Bill spent $80,000 in 1902 dollars on construction costs. He named the hotel for his youngest daughter Irma, born February 9, 1886.

Cody stayed in the hotel frequently when he returned from his Wild West Show tours. His personality and fame kept the Irma packed when he was in town.

Cody’s original two suites have been restored and are available to guests. As well as all the other Irma suites have been restored and named after Cody Country pioneers, such as Jakie Schwoob an early retailer, and Caroline Lockhart a newspaper­woman and novelist.

When you come to the hotel, be sure to see the cherrywood backbar in the restaurant. It was presented to Colonel Cody by Queen Victoria of England after a command performance he gave for her. Our fine selection of foods and beverages also shouldn’t be missed.

We hope this issue will satisfy your historic curiosities about Colonel Cody and his classic hotel, and spark a further interest in experiencing the Irma. We look forward to serving you.


Alfred Kinsey, the creator of the Kinsey scale, is known as "the father of the sexual revolution." [3] The Kinsey scale was created in order to demonstrate that sexuality does not fit into two strict categories: homosexual and heterosexual. Instead, Kinsey believed that sexuality is fluid and subject to change over time. [4]

Instead of using sociocultural labels, Kinsey primarily used assessments of behavior in order to rate individuals on the scale. [4] Kinsey's first rating scale had thirty categories that represented thirty different case studies, but his final scale has only seven categories. [5] Over 8,000 interviews were conducted throughout his research. [6]

Introducing the scale, Kinsey wrote:

Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories. The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects. While emphasizing the continuity of the gradations between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual histories, it has seemed desirable to develop some sort of classification which could be based on the relative amounts of heterosexual and homosexual experience or response in each history [. ] An individual may be assigned a position on this scale, for each period in his life. [. ] A seven-point scale comes nearer to showing the many gradations that actually exist.

The Kinsey scale ranges from 0 for those interviewed who solely had desires for or sexual experiences with the opposite sex to 6 for those who had exclusively same sex desires or experiences, and 1–5 for those who had varying levels of desire or experiences with both sexes, including "incidental" or "occasional" desire for sexual activity with the same sex. It did not reference whether they "identified" as heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual. [7]

Rating Description
0 Exclusively heterosexual
1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 Exclusively homosexual
X No socio-sexual contacts or reactions

Kinsey recognized that the seven categories of the scale could not fully capture every individual's sexuality. He wrote that "it should be recognized that the reality includes individuals of every intermediate type, lying in a continuum between the two extremes and between each and every category on the scale." [8] Although sociologists Martin S. Weinberg and Colin J. Williams write that, in principle, people who rank anywhere from 1 to 5 could be considered bisexual, [9] Kinsey disliked the use of the term bisexual to describe individuals who engage in sexual activity with both males and females, preferring to use bisexual in its original, biological sense as hermaphroditic he stated, "Until it is demonstrated [that] taste in a sexual relation is dependent upon the individual containing within his anatomy both male and female structures, or male and female physiological capacities, it is unfortunate to call such individuals bisexual." [10] Psychologist Jim McKnight writes that while the idea that bisexuality is a form of sexual orientation intermediate between homosexuality and heterosexuality is implicit in the Kinsey scale, that conception has been "severely challenged" since the publication of Homosexualities (1978), by Weinberg and the psychologist Alan P. Bell. [11]

Furthermore, although the additional X grade used to mean "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions" is today described as asexuality, [10] psychologist Justin J. Lehmiller stated, "the Kinsey X classification emphasized a lack of sexual behavior, whereas the modern definition of asexuality emphasizes a lack of sexual attraction. As such, the Kinsey Scale may not be sufficient for accurate classification of asexuality." [12]

Kinsey reports Edit

The Kinsey Reports are two published works, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). These reports discuss the sexual attractions, behaviors, and development of human males and females. [8] [13] The data to scale the participants comes from their "psychosexual responses and/or overt experience" in relation to sexual attraction and activity with the same and opposite sexes. [8] The inclusion of psychosexual responses allows someone with less sexual experience to rank evenly with someone of greater sexual experience. [8]

  • Men: 11.6% of white males aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives. [13] The study also reported that 10% of American males surveyed were "more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55" (in the 5 to 6 range). [13]
  • Women: 7% of single females aged 20–35 and 4% of previously married females aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives. [14] 2% to 6% of females, aged 20–35, were given a rating of 5 [15] and 1% to 3% of unmarried females aged 20–35 were rated as 6. [16]

The results found in "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" show a higher number of men who lean towards homosexuality than recorded for the women. [8] Kinsey addresses that the result is contrary to reports that women have more homosexual leanings than men. He posits that such reports are due to the "wishful thinking on the part of such heterosexual males." [8]

General Edit

The Kinsey scale is credited as one of the first attempts to "acknowledge the diversity and fluidity of human sexual behavior" by illustrating that "sexuality does not fall neatly into the dichotomous categories of exclusively heterosexual or exclusively homosexual." [17] Most studies regarding homosexuality, at the time, were conducted by medical professionals who were sought out by individuals that wanted to change their sexual orientation. [18] Alfred Kinsey's publications on human sexuality, which encompasses the Kinsey scale, were widely advertised and had a huge impact on society's modern conceptions of sexuality, post-World War II. [19]

Galupo et al. argued, "Despite the availability of the Kinsey Scale, assessment via sociocultural labels (i.e., heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual) is the predominant modality for determining the sexual orientation of research participants." [17] Many sexologists see the Kinsey scale as relevant to sexual orientation, but not comprehensive enough to cover all sexual identity aspects. Measures of sexual orientation do not always correlate with individuals' self-identification labels. [17] As such, sexual identity involves more than one component and may also involve biological sex and gender identity. [20] However, Bullough et al. argued that this "wide-scale public discussion of human sexuality" ultimately led Americans to challenge traditional heteronormative behaviors. His research and findings encouraged gay men and lesbians to come out by debunking much of the stigma revolved around homosexuality. [21]

Others have further defined the scale. In 1980, Michael Storms proposed a two dimensional chart with an X and Y axis. [22] This scale explicitly takes into account the case of asexuality and the simultaneous expression of hetero-eroticism and homo-eroticism. [23] Fritz Klein, in his Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, included factors such as how orientation can change throughout a person's lifetime, as well as emotional and social orientation. [24] Kinsey, Storm, and Klein are only three of more than 200 scales to measure and describe sexual orientation. [25] For example, there are scales that rate homosexual behaviors from 1 to 14, and measures for gender, masculinity, femininity, and transsexualism. [26] [27]

Surveys and other studies Edit

There have been similar studies using a scale from 0 to 10. In such studies, the person would be asked a question such as "If 0 is completely gay and 10 is completely hetero, what is your orientation number?". [28]

A study published in 2014 aimed to explore "sexual minority individuals' qualitative responses regarding the ways in which the Kinsey Scale [. ] captures (or fail to capture) their sexuality." [17] Participants completed the [Kinsey] scale and then were asked to respond to the following question: "In what ways did this scale capture or fail to capture your sexuality?" [17] "A diverse sample of sexual minority participants, including individuals who (1) identify outside the traditional sexual orientation labels (i.e. pansexual, queer, fluid, asexual) and (2) identify as transgender, were recruited to complete an online questionnaire." [17] Participants represented a convenience sample of 285 individuals who self-identified as non-heterosexual. [17] "Approximately one third of participants self-identified primarily as monosexual (31.5%), whereas 65.8% identified as nonmonosexual, and 2.8% identified as asexual. Monosexual participants represented those who self-identified as lesbian (18.5%) or gay (12.2%) or homosexual (0.8%). Nonmonosexual participants included bisexual (24.1%), pansexual (16.8%), queer (19.6%), and fluid (1.4%) participants. A small minority of participants identified as 'other' (3.8%)." [17] Participants represented all regions of the continental United States. [17] For this study, the use of "X" was intended to describe asexuality or individuals who identify as nonsexual. [17]

Another study published in 2017, questioned how people who do not identify as heterosexual felt about their representation on the Kinsey scale. [29] The study takes a group of minority individuals who sexually identify as something other than heterosexual, and has them rate the Kinsey scale according to how well they feel represented by their value. [29] Each group gave it a rating between 1 and 5. In the results, the group that rated the scale the highest was the group that identified as lesbian or gay with a rating of 4.66. [29] The bisexual group rated it lower at 3.78, and the pansexual/queer group gave it the lowest rating at 2.68. [29] Another trend that the study noted was that cisgender participants on average rated themselves higher on the scale than transgender participants (where the authors use transgender as a category to describe participants of various trans and non-binary identities). [29] Namely, the cisgender participants average rating was 4.09 while the transgender participants was 2.78. [29] The authors also found that trans and non-binary participants rated the Kinsey scale to be a less valid measure of their sexual orientation than the cisgender participants, due to its reliance on binary terminology. [29]