Monday, February 7, 2011

'orrible Smoak, Broken Bobbins

A striking hand-tinted photograph from around 1910 of an oil tank 'struck by lightning.' It reminds me of 18th-century engravings of Vesuvius erupting. The green tincture in the smoke: sublime, synesthesic, oddly arboreal.

'Disaster' postcards remain a popular card-collecting category---hard to believe how many fires, boiler explosions, tornadoes, bridge collapses, etc. took place in early 20th-century America. Wisconsin Death Trip indeed.

The second card here is one of several serious-mishap images in my collection: 'Carloads of Wrecked Sewing Machines.' Not clear how said machines got wrecked--in the train? falling out of the train? through some ill-chance having nothing to do with the train? Or simply because a malicious god (you know who you are) ordained it?

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