Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Florist Shops After the 1906 Earthquake and Fire

The shops are numbered and correspond to the numbers below.
From The American Florist, June 2, 1906

The American Florist reported on how their members fared in the 1906 earthquake and fire. Photos of shops were included.

John McLaren and his wife made space for the earthquake refugees and helped out others in many ways.

As of this June 1906 report, some of the San Francisco florist shops had reopened.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Unexpectedly Delectable Cape Gooseberry

Little fruits that you unwrap
from a jacket of their own invention.

Wow! Strawberry, Pineapple, Guava Nectar all in one tiny package. Willy Wonka would have invented it if it had not existed.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Steampunk waterworks

 Birds made to sing, and be silent alternately by flowing Water
The villa d'Este (constructed 1550-1580s') had at least one waterwork inspired by Hero's Pneumatica.

From the sound of it, the bird sang while the owl was turned away. While the owl turns away, the birds do play!

Hero is considered by some to be the inventor of the steam engine, perhaps in the 4th century A.D.

Gonna have to try this at home.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Towering Garden Art

Whenever I see a tower, I take a look from below. Here are some of my favorites. Some were created for art and others for electrical reasons.

This tower resides in the sculpture garden of the Kröller Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands. From a distance it looks quite fragile and insubstantial, like a pile of magnetized needles, ready to fall into another form at a gust of wind. However, when you look at it from below, all the pipes orient themselves into a six-pointed star, quite substantial.

Needle Tower II, 1969

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Twenty-Two Splendid Fan Palms for the Midwinter Fair

Fan Palm at the Midwinter Fair (might be a Trachycarpus, not Washingtonia)
SFPL SF History Center
Left to right:
Manufacturers Building, other, Firth Wheel
In May 1893, John Rock of the California Nursery Company gave twenty-two fan palms to Golden Gate Park. The trees were more than 25 years old, so they were planted in 1868, just 3 years after Rock's Nursery was established. The Midwinter Fair opened in January 1894 running until July. Perhaps there are photos of the palms somewhere. Is this one?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Banana Plant at San Jose Fair 1887

Eastern Capitalists examining Banana Plant
Banana Plant in Fruit. 
March 5, 1887, Pacific Rural Press, page 193

"On entering the pavilion during the recent citrus fair at San Jose, one obtained a glimpse like that shown in the engraving on this page, the prominent object in the foreground being the thrifty banana plant fromJohn Rock's nurseries near the city of San Jose. This plant stood 10 feet high, had a stalk 8 inches in diameter, and leaves 6 feet long by 18 inches broad. The bunch of fruit, 18 inches long, was still green, and the blossoms had not disappeared. The plant was in fine show condition and was much admired.

The camera, though charged with the special duty of catching the banana, captured also a vista of the inner parts of the pavilion, including a group of people who may be regarded as Eastern capitalists delighted with the grand display made of California productions. One is apt to meet many such people at our industrial fairs in all parts of the State."

Oh, Pacific Rural Press editor, so witty! Pardon the fruit colored fonts. I couldn't help it.

Be sure to check out the Orange Monument on page one and "E. Borguinon's Floral Monument" on page 197.  On page 196, there is an explanation "Our Illustrations" explaining the new photographotype process.