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Smith Journal

Smith Journal Spring 2019

Smith Journal is a quarterly publication for discerning gents (and ladies who like reading about discerning gents). It’s heads-up and hands-on. A friendly guide to all things creative, intriguing, genuine and funny – full of stories, people, adventures, interesting conversations and gentlemanly style. The people behind Smith wanted to create something they’d be happy to read themselves. That smart, creative guys could peruse without shame, slap down on the coffee table, whack in their favourite old satchel or display proudly on the toilet reading rack. Something that looked good, but had substance, wit and inspiration. At a time when everything seems like it’s speeding up, Smith is a call to slow down. It’s about remembering, reviving and revamping forgotten traditions, skills and technologies. And backpedalling just enough to appreciate the good stuff in life. Like our readers, we’re not particularly obsessed with being the coolest, the biggest or the first in line. But we are interested in making things that last.

Nextmedia Pty Ltd
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1 min.
smith journal

Editor Chris Harrigan chris@smithjournal.com.au Assistant Editor Toby Fehily Additional Assistant Editing James Shackell Designer Anjana Jain anjana@smithjournal.com.au Writers Sam Allemann, Lisa Marie Corso, Kane Daniel, Elizabeth Flux, Simon Garfield, Leta Keens, Eric Lawson, Ben McLeay, Andrew Mueller, Emily Naismith, Max Olijnyk, Jay Owens, Patrick Pittman, James Alfred Podhorodecki, Adam Popescu, Jana Roose, Luke Ryan, James Shackell, Rorry Taggart, Stephanie Van Schilt, Will Ziebell Photographers Derya Akdemir, Candice Carlin, Philip Cheung, Richard James Daniels, Günbike Erdemir, Nur Horsanalı, Dillon Marsh, Kial Menadue, Adam Popescu, Susan Ressler, Josh Robenstone, Makar Tereshin, Stefan Walter Sonam Wangchuk Illustrators Laura Breiling, Stephen Conlin, Nur Horsanalı, Timothy Rodgers, Moritz Wienert Crossword Setter Liam Runnalls Additional Colour Correction Caitlin Wynne Cover A crop of ‘System Development Corporation (SDC)’, Executive Order, Susan Ressler Goodbye Page From Speedway 3460, Kial Menadue Thank You India, terror, disillusionment, frailty, consequence, silence…

2 min.
an unpleasant fact, stumbled on while down a wikipedia rabbit hole:

If you were one of the unlucky 5000 or so Philadelphians struck down by yellow fever in 1793, you basically had two options for treatment. The first was to do nothing and pray that your body’s immune system was stronger than the disease. The second was to take one of Dr Rush’s Bilious Pills: a mercury-chloride elixir that was about as likely to make your hair and teeth fall out as it was to purge your body of the virus, and which would quite possibly kill you anyway. That this supposed ‘cure’ was as bad as the disease wasn’t an accident – it was precisely the point. When it came to medicine, Dr Rush believed fire could only be fought with fire. As the body rejected its teeth, hair, saliva and…

16 min.
smith stuff

WHAT LIES BENEATH There’s something unnatural about Dillon Marsh’s photographic series For What It’s Worth. It’s not the stripped-out mining landscapes – we’re used to those. It’s the impossible metallic spheres sitting dead centre, staring you down, challenging you to question their absurd, perfect presence. These spheres, Marsh’s own CGI contributions, are scale-model renderings of the precise amounts of minerals – gold, diamond, platinum and, as in the above photos, copper – extracted from these landscapes. “South Africa’s got a long history of mining,” the photographer explains of the project’s origin. “A lot of the wealth of the country is built around it. I’d been reading about early copper mines, and I started thinking about how much effort they had gone to, to remove the copper from the ground. They had to take…

8 min.
in search of lost spirits

LOST SPIRITS, AS CO-FOUNDER BRYAN DAVIS IS AT PAINS TO POINT OUT, IS NOT LIKE OTHER DISTILLERIES. This is evident from the distillery experience itself: guests are treated to a fully automated, Disneyland-style tour that sits somewhere between an alcoholic ghost train and Willy Wonka’s factory. (Davis, who worked in amusements parks in his early 20s, essentially built the place by hand.) Yet despite being booked out months in advance, the tour is probably the least interesting thing about the place. Because behind closed doors, Davis and a team of chemists, computer scientists and mechanical engineers are challenging spirit-making’s most closely held orthodoxies, one patent at a time. Davis, 38, is the first to admit he’s an unlikely figure to be leading the upheaval of an age-old industry like distilling. “I studied…

2 min.
put a lid on it

AS A STUDENT AT HARVARD IN THE 1980S, LOUISE HARPMAN RAN ON COFFEE. Hardly a unique trait, perhaps. But unlike her classmates, Harpman found she was almost as enamoured with the plastic lids plonked on her takeaway cups as she was the caffeine they housed. There was something about the different designs – the very fact that there were different designs – that made the lids alluring. And so she started collecting them. Later, at Yale’s architecture school, Harpman met fellow student Scott Specht, who was also, for some reason, hoarding the things. They combined forces; the pair (who went on to found a design firm in 1994) now owns the world’s largest collection of coffee lids. Sorting through the more than 500 items in their stockpile (which was recently collated in the…

7 min.
ten things i believe

BLOOD AND KIDS’ PARTIES DON’T MIX I would have made a good psychiatrist or defence lawyer. But I needed to be in show business: it’s where all damaged people go to ask strangers if they’re good enough. So I ended up in the entertainment business when I was 12 years old, performing puppet shows at children’s birthday parties. My parents would drive me in our station wagon with my props and stage and drop me off. But then I started putting fake blood in my Punch and Judy puppet shows, and parents stopped hiring me. REBELLION IS INNATE My mother told me the first time she knew I was a rebel was in church. We all had to stand up and do the Legion of Decency Pledge, and there were films we were…