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Archive for the ‘Invention’ Category

This Scientific American edition covers the 1900 Paris Exposition. On the front, there are photos of “The Large Palace of Fine Arts,” the “Small Palace of Fine Arts,” the “Moving Platform,” the “Electric Railway and End of Electricity Building,” and the “Street of Nations” on the Bank of the Seine.

1900 SciAm Paris Exposition

There is an article entitled “The Protection of American Game” which talks about The League of American Sportsmen which was formed to create “in every State and Territory a well organized standing army of game protectors, which shall secure the enactment of more stringent general laws, which shall see that lawlessness is punished, which shall discourage game slaughter, and protect the wild creatures that still remain.”

An extensive description of the Paris Exposition starts on page 86, where the publishers discuss the electric railway:

The electric railway is intended to enable visitors to move in an opposite direction to the sliding platform, three cars capable of conveying about two hundred persons forming the train, and electricity is delivered to the motors by means of a third-rail. The trains follow each other at intervals of two minutes. The circuit is completed in about twelve minutes, including stoppages.

Further in the edition, there is an article about Count Zeppelin’s balloon entitled, ”The Ascension of Count Zeppelin’s Airship.”

The second day of July will long be remembered by aeronauts, for on that day occurred the first ascension of the great airship just completed by Count Zeppelin, the cavalry officer of Wurtemberg, who has so long been superintending the construction of his balloon in a huge floating house on Lake Constance, a site admirably adapted for work of this kind, as it offers ample space and in case of accident the results are likely to be much less disastrous than on land. … The Zeppelin airship belongs to the class of so-called aerostatic balloons or dirigible airships which hold a middle ground between the purely dynamic flying machines and the manually-operated devices, resembling in this respect what are known as “balloon flying machines;” that is, those airships in which hydrogen is used only for keeping the apparatus suspended, which the mechanical power is employed for driving and steering it.

There are some wonderful engravings which accompany this article.

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In addition, the ads on the back page are noteworthy and interesting. Here are some examples of competition in the early automobile industry – hydrocarbon system for the Winton Motor Carriage and steam for the Standard Model Steam Carriage.

Winton Motor Carriage

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“For Your Wife’s Sake be in the social swim and get the best of the modern conveyances a Winton Motor Carriage. No horse or coachman required. No danger, no hard work. $1,200.”

 

 

The Standard Model – Steam Carriage

“Extra large boiler and engine. We do away with torch, and light with direct burner, furnish a supplementary water pump, also coil water heater from exhaust steam.”1900 SciAm For Your Wife's Sake

Have your own automobile design? Contact the “Automobile Patents Exploitation Company” which undertakes “The manufacture of Automobiles and Motor-Cycles. The examination of Automobile patents. To enlist capital for the development of inventions.”

This and other original Victorian Era newspapers are available for purchase at Steam at Harper’s Ferry. Contact us for purchase price and delivery options.

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Leigh Anne Cassell’s Solo Exhibit – Through March 30, 2014

The Gallery’s theme for this exhibit is “Rêves et Rêveurs – Dreams and Dreamers” drawing inspiration from the book “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.

Leigh Anne with Lizzie Lyra Performers (courtesy Leigh Anne w/ permission)

Leigh Anne with Lizzie Lyra Performers (courtesy Leigh Anne w/ permission)

Leigh Anne’s work covers a broad range of visual interest, from whimsical to contemplative. Her strongest and most commented upon works so far are the portraits, of which the Steampunk Dr. Who and her self-portrait are two examples. Leigh Anne will show her recent as well as earlier work, some of which will be on loan to the gallery for this solo show.

It was great to see so many people coming into the gallery in the theme colors  of black, white and red! Here is a photo of our first visitors of the day on Saturday, February 22!

Our very own Reveurs! Thank you for dropping by!

Our very own Reveurs! Thank you for dropping by!

 

What’s New at Steam

Please put April 26 on your calendar for Eric Holstine’s solo exhibit  opening! Here is a sneak peek of a new piece!

Can you guess what this is? Courtesy Eric Holstine with permission.

Can you guess what this is? Courtesy Eric Holstine with permission.

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We also have a new supply of Steam at Harper’s Ferry exclusive goggles and tiny top hats!

3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk – April 26 and 27, 2014

The 3rd Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2014. Please keep up with developments on the facebook page. Steam is pleased to announce that the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library and stair-mate Waffle Buzz will provide some welcomed assistance with this year’s event.

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Technology in Art – Silver Clouds

Touring around the Washington, DC area, stopped by Steam at Harper’s Ferry and looking for more technology in art? Check out the new Andy Warhol exhibit at Artisphere in Rosslyn.

Bell Labs, helium, Scotchpak, and imagination …

Speaking of Bell Labs, Jim Lehrer’s new play, Bell, is open at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

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Steam at Harper’s Ferry catch phrases, “Steam’s Got Tech” and “Technology in Art” since 2011, are not just slogans. They represent goals that the gallery takes seriously. The steampunk genre encapsulates so many aspects of art and design, engineering and science that a steampunk gallery in Harper’s Ferry was perfect! Not only is it a Victorian town, but it has a steam-powered history. From the steam gun to power plants.

On August 15 at the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Public Library, Steam at Harper’s Ferry introduced a new postcard series celebrating Jefferson County inventors. Only one lived her entire life in Jefferson County – Estelle May Peach Koonce Black. The other two, Royal Emerson Whitman and John Harris Hall were born elsewhere, but made their own history Jefferson County. All three held patents!

John Harris Hall Steam's Got Tech Royal Emerson Whitman Steam's Got Tech Estelle Black Steam's Got Tech

Steam at Harper’s Ferry also supports the S.T.E.M. to S.T.E.A.M. movement (I knew there as a reason why I love Scientific American). While science, technology, engineering and math are important education subjects, the arts are just as important. Integrating the arts in to S.T.E.M. is critical to economic and cultural growth.

To learn more about S.T.E.M. to S.T.E.A.M., click here.

The postcards are available for purchase at $1.25 each plus shipping. Please contact Steam at Harper’s Ferry directly if you would like to purchase them online. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Time Machine made by Christopher Loggie for the video series, Steampunk Stacie, draws a lot of attention. But not as much as Alfred Burton’s storefront window in the late 1800s.

Alfred Burton's Watch Repair and Jewelry Shop - Historic Photo Collection - Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Alfred Burton’s Watch Repair and Jewelry Shop – Historic Photo Collection – Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Alfred and his three sons, Henry, Warren and William all pursued careers as jewelers and watch repairers in Harper’s Ferry and Charles Town. As you can see in the window, Alfred had quite a watch collection on display. When you come to Harper’s Ferry today, you can see some watches and clocks donated by the family to Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park.

According to the Park’s Historic Furnishings Report for Building 14, Burton Jewelry Store, Alfred displayed several items over the years, at least one of which drew so much attention that the public complained as recorded in the Spirit of Jefferson, November 5, 1878. According to the article, Burton had a

singular sort of mechanical contrivance in his store window, from which [hung] half a dozen watches — some of them old-fashioned family watches, as big and stout as dutchmen, filled with lager beer — some as small as ten cent pieces — like little babies following their fat papas, and this contrivance [kept] continually going round at the same solemn, blind horse rate — no variation, no check, no change of time. … citizens are beginning to complain of this; they say that it is having a bad effect on the brain of people who are obliged to look into the window.

In addition, he owned and displayed Flying Pendulum Clock, patented by Christian Clausen in 1883,

1883 Claussen Patent 286531

 

which was later named the “Ignatz” novelty clock in 1935.

Ignatz was the name of the mouse side-kick of Krazy Kat.

 

Like merchants today, he expanded his business to include all sorts of repair work from medical to musical instruments. He managed property after his retirement and was a locally known beekeeper.

I can’t make any promises about the “Travels in Time” exhibit beginning next month, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t have a bad effect on the brain.

 

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Call to Artists – Exhibit “Travels in Time” – Submissions due September 3

Steam at Harper’s Ferry announces a call to all artists to submit work for selection for its next exhibit “Travels in Time” in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia September 21 – November 17, 2013. Artists are requested to submit work related to the H.G. Wells book, “The Time Machine,” ideally with a steampunk twist, by September 3, 2013. Artists may submit up to 3 works for selection. There will be a $30 administration and promotion fee if selected.

Around the World – June 29 – August 25, 2013 – FINAL WEEKS!

The “Around the World” exhibit opened on June 29 and continues through August 25. This exhibit features the work of John Hoffmaster (illustration, “Still Waters”); Leigh Anne Cassell (illustration, “Legs that Can Can”); and Jason Edwards (painting, “Captain Tomorrow” and “Captain Tomorrow gives chase in his red balloon”).

 

What’s New at Steam

Cynthia Gayton will be making a steampunk in literature presentation at the Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Public Library on August 15 at 6 pm. In addition to discussing steampunk-themed books available at the library and elsewhere, she will talk briefly about Victorian-era inventors from Harper’s Ferry. The library, in its awesomeness, will have refreshments! Steam will also have a few 3D art pieces on display.

Steam has released another publication under its SciFi/Steampunk imprint, Steam at Harper’s Ferry Press, entitled “Guide to Creating and Protecting Fictional Characters.” This Guide, as well as the story “Of Steam and Spring” are available for sale at the Gallery as well as at Amazon.com in a Kindle version.

Artomatic in Jefferson County – October 2013 – REGISTRATION CLOSES AUGUST 12!

Artist registration for Artomatic@Jefferson began on June and ends August 12. Registration fees may be waived if you are a full-time student. Student registration has been extended to September.  Contact Cynthia if you have an idea for an art demonstration or artist-focused education program. Please see their website for details: http://artomaticjefferson.com/.

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Being so close to Washington, DC, Steam at Harper’s Ferry is all about power – water and electric power, that is. Phil Berneburg and Eric Holstine’s work at the Gallery span technology in Harper’s Ferry from water power to electricity.

“The Potomac Power Plant was an innovative small hydroelectric facility that operated from 1899 to 1991, originally as part of a wood pulp mill (built 1888), and solely as a power house after a fire in 1925.  Significant extant equipment/machinery in the plant includes a c.1905 Dayton Globe water turbine, and a 1925 Woodward water turbine governor.  The building is also symbolic of industry in Harpers Ferry, as it occupies the site (and possibly the partial foundations) of Harpers Ferry National Armory buildings dating to 1834 and 1853, and contains reused structural materials from various Armory buildings as well as from an 1848 Harpers Ferry cotton mill (later a flour mill).”

Reprinted from Library of Congress records.

In this photograph, you can see a 1925 GE Generator in the foreground and a 1910 generator cover in the background.

Potomac Power Plant 1925 GE Generator (front) 1910 generator (back)

Potomac Power Plant 1925 GE Generator (front) 1910 generator (back)

Where was Tesla? Did he have a hand in the design of this hydroelectric power plant?

Tesla_Electric_Lamp_Patent_in_Crimson_Red

Potomac Power Plant HF

You can see many similar design elements in Phil Berneburg’s work here at Steam at Harper’s Ferry. For example, in his vertical boiler with wood logging, there are valves, rivets and pipes.

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Phil Berneburg’s Vertical Boiler with Wood Logging

Potomac Power Plant turbine flumes

Potomac Power Plant Third Tailrace

Eric Holstine’s lamps incorporate piping and electrical elements for a unique design.

Holstine - Steampunk Floor Lamp

Eric Holstine’s Steampunk Floor Lamp

Phil Berneburg and Eric Holstine’s work will be on display through April 28. The Big Top Steam Exhibit also closes that day. Come to the Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk and meet these artists!

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As I prepare for the Second Annual Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Art Walk on April 27 & 28, I reflect on Steam at Harper’s Ferry’s most popular in-house prints. The Steampunk Leisure exhibit (September 22 – November 18, 2012) featuring the art work of Teresa Dunham Cavagnaro and Nancy Kautz, also featured a series of Victorian era velocipedes – in 3D!

Look out for our Steam’s Got Tech postcard series in the Gallery – the second one is shown below.

Unicycle_Number_09_2x3_Web_Card_Cobolt_Blue

The unicycle depicted here represents one of our most popular prints – and you can purchase a print to be delivered directly to your home here.

 

 

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The Jefferson County Historical Society recently sent out a newsletter featuring patents awarded to Jefferson County inventors. It is a pretty impressive list and I encourage you to check it out.

However, one inventor was missing. Estell (or Estelle) M. Black. Since I own a gallery in Harper’s Ferry’s lower town, I found it quite interesting that a woman who designed a commemorative spoon depicting Jefferson Rock was not included on the list. It was worth investigating.

Estelle May Peach Koonce Black filed for a patent on August 30, 1892. The patent was awarded on October 25, 1892 (remarkable!). The term  for her patent was 3.5 years, which is an unusual length of time.

What was also interesting was that her patent was awarded the same year the Columbian Exhibition started in Chicago. John Brown’s Fort, as readers of this blog will know, was dismantled and brought to the Fair in 1892. It was a big year for Harper’s Ferry and I don’t doubt that Estell Black wanted to take advantage of the attention being paid toward Harper’s Ferry that year.

“To all whom it may concern Be it known that I Estell M Black a citizen of the United States residing at Harper’s Ferry in the county of Jefferson and 5 State of West Virginia have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Designs for Spoons of which the following is a specification…”

 Estell Black spoon
According to the Women Inventors Index, 1790 – 1895, nine  West Virginia women were granted patents, only one of whom was from Jefferson County.
Her full name was Estelle May Peach Koonce Black. She was born in Harper’s Ferry on March 27, 1867 (the year Storer College was opened) and died on January 12, 1942 in Halltown.
Estelle Black death certificate
She is bured at Fairview Lutheran Cemetery.
Steam at Harper’s Ferry sells vintage newspapers, including Scientific American, which have illustrations from the late 1890s. Please come by!

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We’ve got a pretty nice poster for the Steampunk Leisure exhibit starting on September 22, if I do say so myself.

Poster created by T. Jason Edwards, Steam at Harper’s Ferry Resident Artist

I know you’re getting ready to ask “Where did this AWESOME image come from?”

This image is from a collection of illustrations entitled “The Growth of Industrial Art” prepared for Cincinnati Industrial Exposition, Cincinnati, Ohio. The person responsible for getting this material together was Benjamin Butterworth, who was not only a Representative from Ohio, but served as the Commissioner of Patents from 1896 until his death on January 16, 1898.  He was also a Regent for the Smithsonian Institute from 1890 – 1891.

This particular illustration is based on a patent awarded to G. W. Pressey in October 1880. The bicycle was called “The American Star.”

Velocipede – Pressey Patent

Submissions for the exhibit are due tomorrow, September 7, 2012.

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