Tuesday, May 10, 2005

history still repeating itself

In 1883, an official Korean embassy was sent for the first time ever to the US as an overture of friendship and to gain insight on American civilization. Though what very few historians write about or even know is that they spent the last days of their trip abroad shopping. Now why does this not surprise me? Their shopping list actually included steamers, agricultural tools and other ho-hum industrial products. But the US market was not really developed at that time. Who knows what would have been on their laundry list if they were visiting France or Italy. French lace panties? Corsets? Gucci must have been in the incipient stages of manufacturing sunglasses around then, no? Taehan minguk manse!

From The New York Times, November 8, 1883.

No comments: