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Resettlement Administration exhibit at San Diego Fair, California, May 1936 (Library of Congress)

As we’re all trying to keep pace with the sweeping world events of today, I started to think back to an earlier time of volatility. The period between the world wars showed a similar complex reality in the US, eventually resulting in massive infrastructural changes created during the New Deal.

In 1929, the US Great Depression emphasized a series of structural weaknesses in the US economy (and social fabric). Herbert Hoover’s ineffectual political response resulted in one of the biggest landslide victories in US politics to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the election of 1932. …

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It’s honestly hard to believe that it has been only a year since I announced the founding of Nightingale. As the editor-in-chief, it’s been an exhilarating journey of friendships, meetings, late-night editing, and the daily joy of sharing articles (and voices) that we all care deeply about. Here, on our first birthday, I thought I’d take a few moments to share some reflections and thank-yous. I’ll try not to get too philosophical.

While it’s thrilling to consider what we have done, we also need to take stock of how different the world we live in today is. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape global societies in ways that we are still struggling to understand. Like everything, Nightingale has its own set of pandemic-related challenges and opportunities, so it’s difficult to really imagine what our next year will look like when our present is so chaotically uncertain. …

112 Telefact charts from 1938–1938, syndicated by Pictograph Corporation https://modley-telefact-1939-1945.tumblr.com/

While Otto Neurath invented the Isotype in Vienna in 1925 and guided its evolution to international acclaim, he was not successful in the United States. Unfortunately, his method of pictorial statistics was not readily taught in schools and is not (yet) practiced today.

But it turns out that isotype charts were prevalent in US government documents in the 1930s and 1940s. …


Jason Forrest

Dataviz Designer at McKinsey, Editor-in-chief at Nightingale, Electronic Musician. Contact & more: jasonforrestftw.com

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