Archive for July, 2011

Life Before Google

Posted in Shoebox of History with tags on July 24, 2011 by owl76

Found in a Lancaster bookstore for a dollar. Haskin was syndicated in over a hundred American newspapers during the 1920s. If there was something you needed to know, you wrote Haskin in Washington, D.C. for the answer.

Q: Does Haskin have an entry in Wikipedia?

A: No.

(Click to enlarge pages)


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Aeronaut John Wise: Illustrious Lancastrians #1

Posted in Illustrious Lancastrians with tags , , , on July 24, 2011 by owl76

Wise was born in Lancaster on February 24, 1808. As a youth, he was tutored by noted Episcopalian Augustus Muhlenberg, but claimed to have been dissuaded by the Lord Himself from pursuing continued theological study. Instead, he turned his attention to the lower skies, devising ways to attach kittens to kites for the purposes of meteorological experimentation. A language barrier prevented the collection of much useful observation. Undaunted, Wise instead devised a method of stitching cloth into a enormous sack, shellacking it, filling it with homebrewed hydrogen, and tying himself to it. As a consequence, the ballooning pioneer survived multiple explosions, and also discovered the jet stream.

Wise wrote two books:  A System of Aeronautics (1850), and Through the Air (1873). Vernian in spirit and Melvillian in ambition, these were among the first works ever to grasp the inevitability of modern air travel. He is sometimes credited with carrying the first piece of air mail, and also of firing the first airborne weapon in a theater of war. Both claims are tenuous.

Dismissing the westward lust of his contemporaries, Wise devoted his mature years to the (unrequited) dream of an eastward Trans-Atlantic balloon crossing. He died aged 71, disappearing over Lake Michigan after alighting from East St. Louis, Missouri.

The illustrations in both books are a steampunk’s wet dream. Continue reading

Food Desert Specimens I

Posted in Food Desert with tags , on July 2, 2011 by btleech

In the Province No. 3

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2011 by btleech

(Long) after Demuth’s Lancaster (In the Province No.2).  Aka Over, Up and Out (Three Arrows). Aka Beer Store Parking Lot.