I'm still gathering things that might be called absences to potentially go in the Black edition of The Paper Museum…
1. A black-out lantern: Photograph taken in Fiskars Museum of what was once a regular lantern, but which, during the war, was blacked over to hide the light during night-time raids.
2. Shadow of a plane: This image of the shadow of a plane on a landscape, by Lois Darling for the Japanese translation of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Found at the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
3. Painted-in windows: I remember seeing a lot of these in Bath where I grew up, but I never knew why. And then SB told me about the peculiar window tax, which required occupants to pay property tax based on the number of windows in a house. Houses built during the period between 1696 and 1851 (when the tax was revoked) are often seen with bricked-in windows, ready to have glass put in at a later date.
4. Author as shadow: Photograph by Hugh M. Neighbour Snr. Found at the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
5. Scipod: The name derives from the Greek skiapodes or σκιαποδες meaning shadow feet. Also known as monopods, these mythical creatures had one leg with a large foot that they used to shade themselves from the sun with. Some illustrations also show the little dudes with two legs, one of which has a much bigger foot. More information here. Image found at the British Library.