Future Rio – 1928

I0016150-60Alt=001658Lar=001170LargOri=004680AltOri=006632.JPG

Top, left
– That little black point on top, at the back, to the right, that’s Corcovado.

Top, right
– Did you see how our favelas became actual fortresses?

Center, left
– Why’d you take off your hat, Brederódes?
– I think I’m in front of a perpetual grave.

Center, right
– Judging by the palm tree, it must be a hill in Glória.
– No, that’s just a vase on the terrace.

Bottom
– How pretty our nature is, don’t you think?
– I don’t think so, but I guess. Imagination exists for a reason…

(Revista da Semana, June 30, 1928)

Advertisements

The future connection to Niteroi – 1929

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 5.50.22 PM

The future connection to Niteroi
Revista da Semana – May 1929

The future connection to the neighboring capital has long been debated and defended in our press. In reality a direct communication to the city of Niterói would bring all kinds of advantages to the two capitals, in addition to the direct connection with the State of Rio.

The suggestions put forward for this enterprise by our most distinguished engineers have been several. Mr. Carlos Sampaio is in favor of the idea of the submarine tunnel, as it already exists in several American and European cities, with the most modern being the Holland Tunnel, between New York City and New Jersey. Others, like Mr. A. Graça, defend the idea of a bridge formed by successive arcs or else a suspension bridge, similar to those that the Yankees have executed in the United States. On this last hypothesis, the distinguished engineer-geologist Mr. Alfredo Diniz has just presented the results of his studies, predicting the possibility of such an undertaking.

This solution has the enormous advantage of neglecting obstructions (?) that would impede the free movement of our port. But who was it who devised the first bridge and which was the first one to be built? That’s the question that’s often asked.

Responding is difficult.

As is well known, the evolution of bridges has been very interesting. Everything leads us to believe that what inspired the first bridge was certainly the need that primitive man had to cross or transpose a ravine or a stream. From there, they have been disseminating and evolving.

Small bridges were succeeded by other more daring ones, either in arches or pillars, and later, even nowadays, large spaces have been overcome or reached by stupendous works, such as the Forth Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and ultimately the Delaware Bridge. The earliest of the latter type of the coming together of two banks is presumed to have been built in the year 65, in Yunnan Province, China, by order of the emperor Ming, and had the approximate length of 100 meters. Nowadays, metal bridges are often used, and James Finley should be considered as the true inventor of modern bridges, which are undoubtedly one of the greatest monuments of engineering.

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 6.19.01 PM.png

These bridges, considered by many an American invention, have had a huge development in the United States, and are currently under construction on the Hudson, linking New York with New Jersey, a suspension bridge that, by its proportions, is considered the largest that has been planned.

They are surprisingly haughty and graceful and have the great advantage of not being destructive and, on the contrary, favoring the most beautiful perspectives of nature, as is the case for our Rio de Janeiro.

Also associated with this are the great constructive advantages over other types of bridges formed by a series of arcs. The engravings we present represent one of the suggestions made by notable architects Cortez & Bruhns, in their debated and remarkable plan for remodeling the capital, for the future connection to the neighboring capital.

From a perspective, one will see the majesty of this gigantic work, which would have, pillar the pillar, the length of 1 kilometer, having on the bay, in its central part, the height of 60 meters, in order to give passage to all types of transatlantic vessels or warships. This bridge would be endowed with two levels, the upper one destined to vehicles and pedestrians, and the lower one reserved only for electric transport; would overcome the distance between Ponte do Aterro and the one in Gragoatá, at a distance of approximately 2 kilometers, suspended in two huge arc-pillars, which should have a height never less than 200 meters.

How dazzling would it not be to enjoy the amazing panoramas of Guanabara and the incomparable cut of the Serra dos Orgões from the top of these arches!

Let us therefore make every wish for the rapid solution of this enterprise, for the century in which we live – the time of the most audacious conceptions – has given us the opportunity to verify the solution for problems that would have been considered true utopias years ago.

I0018278-20Alt=001628Lar=001164LargOri=004998AltOri=006989

The Pig’s Head – 1924

cabecaporco

Note: The following article from 1924 which I translated is about the tearing down of tenement housing in downtown Rio. It was said to take the homes of anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 people, who would go on to join the founding residents of Rio’s first favela. The demolition of Cabeça de Porco would also foreshadow the events a decade in the future, such as the Bota-Abaixo, as well as the city’s messy growth in the 20th century. The cartoon above shows a crying pig with a “barata” on it, referencing the then-mayor whose last name means cockroach.  

The Pig’s Head
by Hermeto Lima
Revista da Semana, 1924 [PT]

Imbedded on Rua Barão de S. Felix, up against the Cajueiros quarry, until 1893 there were cortiços (tenement houses), the last of their kind, refuge of capoeiras (hooligan ex-slaves) and murderers of all nationalities. It was the “Pig’s Head”.

A gate or, rather, an immense arch gave access to a large pigpen. From day to day it was dangerous to enter; in the darkness of the night no one dared to do so.

Along the way, hundreds of cottages lined up; rooms that were contaminated, impossible to count their number, would be open coffins, piled up on top of each other and with people inside. Along with all this, were an infinity of buildings, thrown together, with pine board walls and tin sheet roofs. Big stones on them, to keep them there and prevent the wind from carrying them off.

In front of these buildings, a non-paved street. Impossible to cross it from end to end, with such obstacles therein. Here were the tubs of laundry women; there were slings of clothes; a multitude of bamboo everywhere, with enormous twines, where shirts of all kinds and tendrils flutter. Hungry chickens cackle for a grain of corn; stray dogs full of leprosy fight for a crust; trapped enchained parrots scream and, with their paws or their beaks, seek to tear off the parasites that devour their skin; little birds of all species, beset, sprinkle themselves in the mud of their old cages; silent cats, spy frightenly through the cracks between piles of coffins and garbage cans of all kinds. A monkey with skirts, property of an Italian, a mouth-organ player, in an eternal sway, squeaks, showing its teeth. The man with a bear, makes him dance to the sound of a tambourine, whose primitive color no one even knows. A black sorcerer, from Benguela (south of Luanda), with a snake coiled around his neck, jumps and sings to the sound of a maraca.

It’s ten o’clock. The “Pig’s Head” is in its full swing. At first glance, it seems that only women work there, because a swarm of them, of all colors and nationalities – predominantly Italian, Spanish and Portuguese – is seen in a deafening “fervet opus”.

Some wash, others iron, still others in improvised kitchens, stir pots, placed on bricks and not falling only by a whim of the laws of balance.

Almost all of them sing more or less obscene songs. Some babble with the others or scold their children, who whimper there close-by.

The men, very few, work in the shoe repair shops, of which there are ten. From time to time, from one of those dens, emerges a mulatto with a pair of trousers, a belt, and a jersey, known among the hooligans, stretching and opening his huge mouth. Having just woke up.

On one side of the street is a barber shop. The owner, a giant black man who is said to be a deserter from the navy, shaves the customer’s face while telling a group about his exploits.

In front of the barber shop, a cellar draws the attention of those who go to the “Pig’s Head”. An old black man is seated at the door, which he closes as soon as someone enters or leaves. And his work must be painful, because it is a constant come-and-go of people who seem endless.

That’s where “monte” (game of luck) is played.

Naked children of all ages are everywhere; some roll around, crawling through the mud on the street; others, with their bare chest, whimper, confusing the mucus of the nostrils with the saliva and the tears they shed.

Girls, ages 12 and 13, wearing rags, carry other children in their arms or pull them along by the arm, so that they walk fast.

Boys aged 12 to 14, in groups, plan robberies, practice immoralities or tell tales, in a language capable of making a monk blush.

A den of famous criminals, when one fights there, there is no police that dare to haul him away from there.

Armed robberies or assaults are planned right there, in the open, without fear of denunciation.

Suddenly, a ghastly commotion.

There are two black women who wrestle because one wants to take the lover of another, or because she invaded the tub of the other one.

And people join in; and sides are formed, to see which of the two is the bravest. Screams, voices, trills of whistles that reach the street and the ears of the police. But they shrug and says,

“Well, it’s in the Pig’s Head.”

At other times, it is not women who fight. It is men, and then the story takes another shape. There is a hideous shooting, which, once it is over, it is not uncommon to find 2 or 3 corpses lying on the ground.

And then the news runs: – It was “Caboclo” that killed “Barba de bode”. The others had nothing to do with the fight. They were passing by at the time of the shooting.

And thus was life in the “Pig’s Head”, where about two thousand people lived.

In the monarchical regime, it was said that several authorities tried more than once to do away with this tenement, but soon higher orders appeared that neutralized that intention.

In vain, the press complained against that Babylon without assurances and without hygiene and whose property was of many, each one even more prestigious in the political world.

The Republic was made. On December 20, 1892, Mayor Dr. Candido Barata Ribeiro was appointed. One of his first acts was to do away with the “Pig’s Head” however possible.

At 8 o’clock on the morning of January 26, 1893, an infantry force of the police, commanded by Captain Marcellino and another of cavalry, were marching to Rua João Ricardo. A crowd of firefighters and about 300 workers from the Inspectorate of Public Works, the Chief of Police, Dr. Bernardino Fereira da Silva, the Mayor, Dr. Barata Ribeiro, Dr. Corrêa Dutra, second auxiliary delegate, and other authorities followed.

No one knew what that apparatus meant.

Having arriving in front of the “Pig’s Head”, it was like the barbarians entering Rome.

The infamous tenement was invaded and 300 workers with pickaxes in hand began their destructive work. When the dust from the walls was too much, the Fire Department would come to the rescue to complete the task.

The threats of the troublemakers and the lamentations of the women were worthless. Within a few hours, the “Pig’s Head” that had lasted for 53 years was reduced to a heap of debris.

Only then could one see well the many alleys, the nooks, the stores, and the corridors in which it was subdivided.

After a few months, its owners filed a lawsuit claiming compensation for damages and lost profits.

The action was evaluated at five thousand contos that the City had to pay, without a word nor a peep.

That was how much the “Pig’s Head” cost.

But it came down.

Screen Shot 2018-08-26 at 2.11.17 PM

(about 30 years after it came down)

Rio’s Messy Growth

The messy growth and limited transport links have caused problems that still exist today

37b3eb423ee09a69032509bb5c42807a65120925.jpg

Santa Bárbara Tunnel. The controversial construction was the cause of complaints from residents and killed 18 workers

A public demonstration took over downtown. About five thousand people faced the police, broke posts, and flipped over vehicles. There were records of three deaths, but violence left other victims: countless donkeys stabbed. There was enough even for the animals, the tram-pullers that cut through the city. All this was motivated by the 20 cent increase (vintém) in the fare, a measure that, today, could be equated with the R$0.20 readjustment for buses that also drove a crowd to the streets in 2013. Workers, stimulated by growing opposition to the emperor Dom Pedro II, made the first protest against the transport structure of the city in Rio in 1880, more than 20 years before the Vaccine Revolt (1904).

“At the time, transportation occurred by trams pulled by donkeys. The lower classes and republican opposition rebelled against the monarchy, recalls historian Carlos Addor of the Fluminense Federal University.

The residents of the then-capital of the Empire didn’t know, but their grandchildren and great-grandchildren would grow up facing similar problems. Expensive fares would influence the proliferation of favelas, and the road network grew disorderly, without providing integration between modes of transport. European cities took more than a century to leave behind their rural profile, but Rio took just over 40 years to take on an urban status.

This accelerated pace, coupled with a lack of planning – two large urban projects developed in the last century didn’t leave the planning stage – and localized development aimed at the upper classes, made Rio the uneven metropolis we now know, according to historians, geographers, journalists and writers.

“The entire urbanization process in Rio was done to the exclusion of second-class citizens, says journalist and writer Zuenir Ventura, who in 1994 addressed the roots of this logic in the book “Cidade Partida.”

3ae36840f6e7875acef7b86db2fbf31ca0a6767b.jpg

Avenida Central. During urban reforms under Pereira Passos, with the intention of turning it into a true Parisian boulevard.

The Center of Everything

At the time of the so-called Vintém Revolt (mentioned at the top), Rio was a city that existed in function of the downtown region. “Suburb” was a word used for the wealthy, and defined neighborhoods such as Glória, Catete and Laranjeiras, still fairly unoccupied and very wooded. This bucolic setting is depicted in Machado de Assis’s “Dom Casmurro”: the protagonist couple, Bentinho and Capitu, lived in Glória, from where one could see the sea through the window, at a time when the Aterro did not exist. Flamengo Beach, with clear waters, was lit up like Copacabana in the first half of the 20th century, but without swimsuits on parade through the sands.

Urban Rio, however, was downtown. In the early 1900s, a quarter of the city lived in slums. At the time, the city took in many poor people: a large number of ex-slaves came here, people who worked in the coffee plantations of the interior. With poor hygiene and housing conditions, these buildings began to be protested – including the folkloric Cabeça de Porco, whose owner lived in Gávea, which was already a noble area of Rio.

To “sanitize” the capital and make it a metropolis like Paris, Mayor Pereira Passos made a series of urban interventions during his term from 1903 to 1906. He demolished about 1,700 buildings to open and widen streets, and practically rebuilt Avenida Central, currently Rio Branco.

“Rio is a city that was founded to expel French invaders and who, at some point, decided that it had to be like France” – mocks historian and Globo columnist Luiz Antônio Simas.

The “sweep” ended with community housing, and the lower classes had to look for other places to live. At the time, says historian Milton Teixeira, it was believed that bad smells transmitted diseases:

“The poor, who could not shower every day or buy French perfumes, were seen as sources of infection.”

Those who could not afford a ride went up the hill. Those who had somewhat better financial conditions were pushed into the new suburbs, now with negative connotations. They were neighborhoods that followed the route of the railroads, created to transport goods. The trolley, controlled by foreign companies, was a symbol of the separation of the city: there was a car for the middle and upper classes and one for the poor, it was the taioba – on which it was possible to read, on a panel, the specification of who was to use it: “For luggage and those with bare feet”.

The trams that took the Zona Sul route, until the Botanic Garden, had a more expensive price because of the length of the route, which ended up limiting its public. As there was no single route, the meeting between the suburbanites and the residents of the Zona Sul took place downtown.

There were times when social classes were coupled with doses of tension. At religious festivals, for example. In the book “Lucíola”, by José de Alencar, Paul meets his beloved, who he later discovers is a courtesan, while she handed out spare change in the celebrations for Nossa Senhora da Glória, on Rua da Lapa. “All the grotesque types of Brazilian society, from the arrogant nullity to vile flattery, paraded in front of me, brushing silk and cashmere with baize or cotton, mixing delicate perfumes with impure exhalations”, he notes, recently-arrived to the city. Luiz Antônio Simas tells us that the feast for Our Lady of Penha in the 1900s and 1910s attracted the Catholic elite and the poor, who formed samba and capoeira groups. At a time when African culture was criminalized, the police always put the blacks on the run.

In the 1930s, with Getulio Vargas’ Estado Novo government, the opening of roads and urbanization projects in the suburbs gained strength. The electricity-powered trains, boosted the occupation of the North and West zones, and bus lines, began to be created. It was a stepping stone for Rio to take on characteristics of a metropolis.

“In 1940, 70% of the Brazilian population lived in the countryside. In 1980, we had 70% of Brazilians in the city. The result of this is “peripheralization”, a slumification, of urban swelling and immobility – notes Marcus Dezemone, professor of History at UERJ and UFF.

Rio, however, had two urban plans drawn up by foreign experts. The first was signed by Alfred Agache in the late 1920s. He had planned the construction of gardens throughout the city – including the suburbs – and opening roads to connect the periphery to downtown, including three subway lines. The project, however, basically didn’t leave the drawing room.

In the 1930s, the suburb was already housing the lower middle class, including immigrants. According to the historian Leonardo Soares, from UFF, the nucleus of the neighborhoods was established around the train stops. The embryo of the Mercadão de Madureira came about – an initiative of Portuguese and Jewish merchants. A May 1936 issue of “Revista da Semana” featured a report about a huge gypsy camp in the region where Cachambi is today (pg 01 & 02). They said they had left Greece, and revealed plans to go to São Paulo.

The more humble people settled in the hills closer to their workplaces. The slumification had a certain complicity from the elite, who needed cheap labor nearby. According to Milton Teixeira, Rocinha, for example, which became a stronghold of Northeastern migrants, began to concentrate, in the 1930s, workers doing construction in São Conrado and Gávea, including that of the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). Morro Dona Marta, in Botafogo, which was the first community to receive a Peacekeeping Police Unit in 2008, had its first inhabitants brought there by Father José Maria Natuzzi, then-director of the Santo Inácio College. In favelas without water and sewage, the proliferation of diseases so feared by authorities continued – but beyond the reach of Rio’s public opinion.

“Today, Rio has six thousand cases of tuberculosis per year, which occur mainly in favela areas”, says researcher Jorge Castro, from the National School of Public Health at Fiocruz, for whom the urbanization of Rio de Janeiro meant time was needed to realize the importance of basic care in vulnerable locations, which prevents and reduces the demand for more complex care. “In Europe, this vision emerged after the Second World War.”

eee02163006a06f69147e0190964ceee27adb255.jpg

Rebouças Tunnel. Construction of tunnels amplified the connection between the Zonas Norte and Sul.

Still Precarious Sanitation

The Rio of the 1950s was a city of precarious services. In addition to seeing the decay of the trams and the growth of mini buses, Cariocas suffered with a lack of electricity and water. The newspapers brought daily reports on the state of the neighborhoods with dry taps. The supply system of the Rio Guandu was only inaugurated in 1965, by governor Carlos Lacerda. Today, Rio still leaves much to be desired in sanitation: only 47% of the sewage is treated, and the municipality is in 50th place among the 100 cities in the 2016 Sanitation Ranking, done by the NGO Trata Brasil. Historian Leonardo Soares points out that, until the 1980s, many residents of Gardênia Azul, in the Zona Oeste, drew water from a large well.

Between 1950 and 1960, the city underwent a new wave of transformations. The favelas, mainly in the South Zone, became a problem that had to be eradicated, and the solution was to remove its residents and accommodate them in planned and often remote farms and neighborhoods. It was in this logic behind the Vila Kennedy, Cidade Alta, Cidade de Deus and Maré – which, with wooden houses, were to be used as temporary residence for families who had been forced to wait for the construction of definitive real estate. A lot of people just stayed there.

“Some housing developments became problems. They took in people who could not sustain themselves”, says Pedro da Luz, president of the Instituto Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB) in Rio. – The Minha Casa Minha Vida program repeated this formula.

Rio invested in road transport. The mini buses were done with, and regular bus lines appeared. The tram, on the other hand, stopped circulating in 1964, and the trains went through a process of being scrapped. Tunnels were opened between the Zona Norte and Sul, which caused controversy. Santa Bárbara, which connects Catumbi and Laranjeiras, was the object of complaints from residents of the two districts, who didn’t want roads that gave access to the tunnels. Before construction was finished, 18 workers died in an explosion. The tunnel, inaugurated in 1964, would be called another name, but ended up dedicated to the saint because, inside, an altar was built in memory of the dead. Santa Bárbara is considered the patron saint of tunnel builders.

Rebouças, inaugurated in 1967, began to let vehicles through still without being totally ready. From 1976, buses began to circulate through its tunnels – it was at this time that the pejorative expression “além túnel” appeared, addressed to the residents of the Zona Norte who became frequenters of the beaches in Ipanema and Leblon.

The subway only came in 1979, almost 90 years after the first lines in the world. It began by connecting five stations, from Glória to Praça Onze.

“Our subway was one of the few on the planet planned to serve the middle class. This type of transport was launched in London, with the aim of taking the poor from the periphery to work”, says Milton Teixeira.

The city also had a second urban plan, in the 1960s, elaborated by the Greek Constantino Doxiadis. In June 1965, Globo reported that it envisaged the construction of an industrial area in the Zona Oeste, of ten thousand homes for slum dwellers and 7,500 classrooms. Only two of the six designed expressways actually left the planning stage: the Linha Vermelha, inaugurated in 1992, and the Linha Amarela, in 1997.

Unconcern with the environment marked the 20th century. The Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, for example, has had several proposals for total landfilling, as revealed in the book “Lagoa”, organized by architect Augusto Ivan de Freitas Pinheiro and urban planner Eliane Pinheiro. The first was from doctor Oswaldo Cruz, in 1894, who thought that the Lagoa, being a marshy area, was a threat to the health of Cariocas. Agache, in the 1920s, wanted the area to be a place to a leisure. In the following decade, Lúcio Costa defended the construction of a university campus in the location. Rodrigo de Freitas resisted, but others did not have the same luck: Bairro Peixoto, in Copacabana, was erected where there was a large base of water.

Reported in O Globo

The Globo edition of October 4, 1967, printed on the front page news of the fire that destroyed the Praia do Pinto Favela in Lagoa, which was eventually removed in the following years. On the same day, the news about the inauguration of Rebouças – then the largest urban tunnel in the world – emphasized that the route from the Zona Norte to the Lagoon could be done in just five minutes.

PS – It seems the article has no real ending…

Source (PT)

Cardboard Head – Joao do Rio

quic3a1-rodrigues_divulgac3a7c3a3o.jpg

“Cardboard Head” (aka “O Homem da Cabeça de Papelão“), published in the 1920s by writer and journalist João do Rio, tells the story of Antenor, an honest young man who lives in the Country of the Sun. A man who has a terrible fault: “He always tells the truth”. Due to this, Antenor is discriminated against and repulsed by his family and society in general. Not bearing the pressure, he decides to exchange his head for a cardboard one, produced on an assembly line.

Below is an award-winning stop-motion animation (PT) based on drawings by J. Carlos and inspired by João do Rio’s Cardboard Head.

Rio – 1922 vs 1928

RdS Dec1928.JPG

From Revista da Semana, December 1928. Click to enlarge

The Transformation of Rio’s Birthplace

The pictures on this page show two panoramic aspects of a part of Rio, taken from the same viewpoint, with a long interval, one in 1922 and another in 1928. Its publication aims to put the City’s Birthplace in focus. In the upper picture, one sees Morro do Castelo, already threatened by removal, but still almost intact, covering up Sugarloaf and Gloria, Santa Casa da Misericórdia and the Santa Luzia church. In this picture one of the palaces of the Centenarian Expo is under construction, today the Ministry of Agriculture.

One can also see the old historical mansion of the Old Jail, substituted today by the Assembly House, and the empty spot where the Palace of Justice was built. Of the Morro do Castelo, outlined by a broken white line, what remains is what one sees in the lower picture. And it is within that large area that Mr. Agache wants to do his urbanism projects, presented in Revista da Semana in 1921.

The picture below (bottom half) attests to the large transformation that took place in this area. From the historical hill, there are just two knolls, marked by two arrows. The view covers points that were then invisible, which we’ve already mentioned. The following places are marked: 1 – Niteroi. 2 – Ferry station. 3 – Ministry of Transport. 4 – The landfill of the Ponto de Calabouço at the cost of the removal of Morro do Castelo. 5 – The Mercado. 6 – The Department of Telegraphs, a historical home of governors and once the Imperial Palace. 7 – Tiradentes Palace (Chamber of Deputies). 8 – Palace of Justice. 9 – Ministry of Agriculture. 10 – Villegaignon Island. 11 – Santa Casa. 12 – São José Church. 13 – The leveled area of Morro do Castelo. 14 – Santa Luzia Church. 15 – Sugarloaf. 16 – YMCA, the first building built in the removal area. 17 – Glória knoll. 18 – The “skyscrapers” of Avenida Rio Branco.


If you like this, see Rio Panorama and Builders of the City.

Rio’s one and only suspension bridge

1051127410_0b6a4ba7ec_o.jpg

Opened in February of 1915, the “Alexandrino” suspension bridge united Ilha das Cobras, where many naval establishments are located, to Rio’s downtown (between current Museum of Tomorrow and Praça XV). The construction was made in the form of a transporter bridge, meaning it had what’s known as a “flying ferry” (pictured below) which could deliver cargo and people from one side to the other.

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 4.11.18 PM.png

ponte-alexandrino-de-alencar-rio-de-janeiro-13853-MLB3626114641_012013-F.jpg

With the transference of the Navy Arsenal and the construction of a new Navy Depository on the island, the bridge no longer served its function. It was replaced in 1930 by the current Arnaldo Luz bridge, which lacks the flying ferry and the ability for large ships to travel beneath it. For a brief time, both bridges existed side by side. – Source (PT)

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 3.50.01 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 3.49.42 PM.png

As part of the newly created Naval Aviation School, deputy director Lieutenant Delamare took a seaplane on a test run with Santos Dumont (in black) as passenger, flying under the Alexandrino. This was Dumont’s first time in a military aircraft, in an era when seeing a plane in the sky was still a very rare sight. The date was January 25, 1917. Fifteen years later, battling multiple sclerosis and sad over the military use of his invention, Dumont would commit suicide. – Source (PT)

Also bringing together the subjects of the bridge and death, monetary prizes were said to be given out to those who would attempt the so-called “pulo da morte”, that is, jumping the 137 feet (42 meters) off the middle of the bridge into the waters below. Most notably, a 16-year old Portuguese boy would complete the feat in 1918 with no promise of any pay whatsoever. Source (PT)


A few notes on the Ilha das Cobras / Island of Snakes. The original name of the island, given by the French in the times of France Antarctique, was Ile des Chévres / Ilha das Cabras / Island of Goats. From there, it became the Ilha dos Monges / Island of Monks, and finally it took its current name, after a report from the São Bento Monastary said the island was full of snakes.

American holiday in Rio – 1920s

Looking at Sugarloaf it’s hard to believe that almost 100 years have passed since the images in this video were recorded. But the film goes on, and next come old cars, clothing from another time and horse-driven carts on the sands of Rio. This compilation of amateur images, which shows a family trip to Brazil in the 1920s, is part of one of the largest historical military archives of the US, Periscope Film.

In the silent film, we can see how the family spent its holiday, running on the beach, going on a boat ride, visiting markets or even doing more banal activities such as playing with their dog. Even so, the familiar context almost always has Rio as a backdrop, in black & white, which acts like a trip through time. – Source (PT)


Some time stamps

01:34 Guanabara Bay; 03:42 Palacio Monroe, former Federal Senate; 4:02 Obelisk on Avenida Rio Branco (formerly Central Avenue); 07:05 Rua Paysandu, Flamengo; 8:05 Corcovado; 10:53 Alexandrino Bridge, near Ilha das Cobras 10:55 Candelaria Church; 11:14 Chinese Vista; 12:00 – 14:30 Recife

Related: Rio on Film – 1930s

The Carioca woman – 1923

I0030101-2Alt=002053Lar=001307LargOri=002006AltOri=003151.JPG

– But how is it that you let that man come in if I’m in my under garmets?
– What’s the matter? When you go to dances, you go out in even less clothing!

__________

The image above and following story are both from an April 1923 edition of Careta. I noticed they both commented on the modern woman of the time. As for who Herr Hess is a pen name for, or if the story is true, I couldn’t find those answers. There’s also a word or phrase which I was unsure about how to translate.


Rio is still a city in which the morals of colonial times have remained almost entirely. If this is good or bad on its own, each person can judge for themselves, because morals are just a result and don’t exist on their own. It’s like perfume and a flower, it’s perfume, good or bad, it doesn’t exist independently from the flower. This, yes, it exists and can have or not have a smell, whether great or detestable.

With that said, to not bore anymore, we return to Rio. Here a woman who likes to date is always badly seen. Why? On her own? No. By those that look upon her, who are worse than she is. Badness doesn’t come from the woman who likes to date, it comes from the conniving and the spies.

In my weak manner of understanding, dating, a national institution, represents the only rebellion that people of the other sex are capable of, and I think that it can only have good results, even when its duration exceeds nine months, in which case the census sees a serious increase in the city’s population. I don’t believe that due to dating that the sea leaves the seabed nor that the exchange rate lowers to 4d*. I appreciate a woman who likes to date in the same way that I behold a decided conqueror.

In my opinion the lady Anesthésia who lives right here in Flamengo is such a woman. She’s an intelligent and paradoxical young lady. Speaking with her alone on the porch about the slander involved in her name, she, who was once my girlfriend and today is undecided between a neighbor and a cousin, told me with complete calmness:

– I am, in fact, a woman who likes to date and I’ve very content with myself.

– You must have, certainly, moments of boredom…

– I do. Sometimes I cry; I contradict myself; I worry myself…but for a short time. At the end of 24 hours I recover my cold blood. Because, I’ll have you know, I do have cold blood. It’s in this special case of temperament that my unlimited faculty to date whoever I wish resides. Dating, it’s everything.

– Don’t I know it. I didn’t need to get information from strangers nor from…rivals.

– You’re conceited…Your own experience is still very reduced. I guarantee that you haven’t guessed anything else… Yes, that’s where you remain. But I should say that I don’t date just for temperament, but still for… (how shall I say it?) for…devotion or for humanity. Well that’s it. Dating is a condom, it is the prophylaxis of love…

– Would you have the good manners to explain it to me?

– Simply, I will. Here you see me. I am over 25 years old and I hope to reach 30 completely uninjured by love. Because love isn’t just romance. It’s the grave reality that is concerned with slavery, children, the devil. And why would I want to enslave myself and fill up the world with innocent victims of our slave-quarter morals? – Herr Hess

* – d usually equates to pennies, from the Latin denarius

Careta 14 April 1923.JPG

Rua Santa Luzia

i0039129-2alt002240lar001427largori002051altori003219

I was looking at a large number of Fon Fon magazine covers from the 1920s when I came across this one from November of 1921. I didn’t recognize the street, which is odd, but I did recognize the name at the bottom – Praia de Santa Luzia. Still, a beautiful tree-lined street near the beach? So I did what any armchair historian would, and pulled the thread, as it were. Here’s what unraveled.

Centro+-+Rua+Santa+Luzia.+Santa+Casa+da+Misericordia,+Morro+do+Castelo+e+Igreja+de+São+Sebastião,+1922.jpg

It seems quite likely that street in question, Rua Santa Luzia, is the one on the left of the photo above, beside the Hospital da Misericórdia, which dates back to 1582. There was, of course, a time when there were no trees (1856) and a time when the trees were starting to grow (1895).

Regarding the trees themselves, a blog with an even more narrow topic than mine called Árvores Cariocas, says the following:

“Originally from India, the Figueira-religiosa (Ficus religiosa) was introduced in Brazil by the French landscape artist Glaziou, in the second half of the 19th century. The tree impresses with its size, which can reach 30m high, but also by the sculptures formed by its adventitious roots. In Buddhist culture it is considered a sacred tree, being that under its canopy, Buddha discovered the secrets of life.

Although exotic, the species acclimated well here, being found in several points in the city. A highlighted collection is located on Rua Santa Luzia, in downtown, in front of Santa Casa de Misericórdia. The seedlings were planted in November 1873, by the botanist Francisco Freire Alemão (possibly a German preist).”

Here’s a 1950’s photo of the street:

73a238d5e7e91185fdbbdb79e14485fe.jpg

These days, you’ll find that the street still exists, located near Rio’s domestic airport, Santos Dumont. There are less trees now but you can still get a feel for what it was. And when you try to look to the edge of the city, like so many must have done hundreds of years ago, at the water’s edge, the image is no longer that of man versus the sea, but rather of people spreading their wings.