Who Made The Cocktail Shaker?

Jens Mortensen for The New York Times

Jens Mortensen for The New York Times

Melanie Rehak in The New York Times on the innovation of the cocktail shaker: 

Throughout the 1870s, inventors sought to improve on the basic design. One featured a plunger system for mixing six tumblers at once; another had air vents. But none of these took. Then in 1884, Edward Hauck of Brooklyn patented the three-part metal shaker with a built-in strainer and a little top — a configuration that has remained essentially unchanged to this day. It came to be known as the cobbler shaker (the sherry cobbler, made of sherry, sugar, ice and orange or lemon, was among the most popular cocktails of the era). When stainless steel was invented in the early 20th century, it quickly became the shaker material of choice, an honor it continues to enjoy.

Creativity Creep

Joshua Rothman wrote about creativity in The New Yorker, and how we confuse “the production of things with the living of a creative life.”: 

How did we come to care so much about creativity? The language surrounding it, of unleashing, unlocking, awakening, developing, flowing, and so on, makes it sound like an organic and primordial part of ourselves which we must set free—something with which it’s natural to be preoccupied. But it wasn’t always so; people didn’t always care so much about, or even think in terms of, creativity. In the ancient world, good ideas were thought to come from the gods, or, at any rate, from outside of the self. During the Enlightenment, rationality was the guiding principle, and philosophers sought out procedures for thinking, such as the scientific method, that might result in new knowledge. People back then talked about “imagination,” but their idea of it was less exalted than ours. They saw imagination as a kind of mental scratch pad: a system for calling facts and images to the mind’s eye and for comparing and making connections between them. They didn’t think of the imagination as “creative.” In fact, they saw it as a poor substitute for reality; Hobbes called it “decayed sense.”

How Digital Is Saving Vinyl Records and Pinball Machines

Harvard Business Review, The Daily Idea

What do Swiss watches, pinball machines, fountain pens, handmade goods and vinyl records have in common? They have all seen a resurgence in recent years after being disrupted by new and cheaper technologies. On the surface it may seem like a paradox that these products are finding new life in the face of the very thing that threatened their demise in the first place: the digital age. But it’s really not a paradox at all. The makers of these types of goods are actually finding success because of digital platforms such as Etsy, eBay, and Kickstarter, not despite them. In other words, the internet isn’t killing handmade, artisanal, or non-digital goods; it’s actually saving them.

Source: How the Internet Saved Handmade Goods by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes