All of the greatest inventions of the Victorian period were on display at THE GREAT EXHIBITION of 1851. Queen Victoria herself kicked off this "Invention Convention" at the crystal palace in London's Hyde Park. The awe inspiring gathering took place 25 years before Jake was even born, but an event like this captures the creativity, innovation, wonder, and majesty (pun intended) of the era. The spirit of events like this were our inspiration for Archie's glider from THE LOST HEIR and many other surprises that you will see in JAKE AND THE GIANT.
There was over 100,000 exhibits! Including fancy security locks, a power printing press, a pre fax machine, an early camera, a voting machine, various farm machines, an electric telegraph, a gas cooking stove, improved guns, and new musical instruments.
George Jennings installed the first ever public toilets for visitors to the convention. He called them "Monkey Closets" and charged one penny per person. As you can imagine, people were REALLY excited about the monkey closets and lines were long. I guess before 1851 people just had to hold it all day long. Sounds dangerous:) Well, by the end of the exhibition, 827,280 people paid a penny to use the new toilet. FYI, Thomas Crapper (real name, not kidding) is often cited as the inventor of the toilet. Not true! He was in-fact a plumber in Victorian times, but he only improved upon it's design. I'm really thankful to these guys, but really, Ewww! Moving on...
Then there was the Tempest Prognosticator. What a cool name for a Victorian invention! Live leaches were used to check barometric pressure (for weather prediction). It involved grumpy, agitated leaches striking a bell. The more times and the faster they struck the bell, the more serious of a storm was approaching. How on EARTH did someone come up with THAT? It just makes me go HUH? Anyway, it was proven to be accurate.
Have you ever invented anything? What should be invented?
E, who is still waiting for his flying car:)
WHOA....we have *got* to use one of these Firenados (Fire Tornado!) in a book sometime! Did you guys see this? Seems like it came from Hollywood but it's a real thing! I love weird interesting unusual stuff like this...
Not much else going on these days. Just trucking along to get Jake and The Giant done. Hard to believe the official First Day of Autumn is almost here. Which reminds me.
SOMEBODY ("E!") has a birthday next week. Sept. 26 to be exact. Hmmm, what should I get him? I am stumped. Oh, well, if I wrote it here, he'd see it and it would ruin the surprise!
HAPPY B-DAY, E! Well, we're going to visit the Ren Faire this weekend, super excited about that, though we are Much Too Dignified to wear costumes (at least so far). Will report back next weekend with pix of mock medieval merriment, cuz that's how we roll. Off to see the jousting!
Enjoy your weekend, dear ones!
Happy Friday! Well, here's an interesting thing! The very first color moving pictures from 110 years ago were found in the archives of the UK's National Media Museum. Take a look at the fascinating tea party of some Edwardian era kids! Just a couple decades after Jake's time.
In other news, the annual DragonCon convention takes place each September in Atlanta, Georgia. Wish we could've been there! Especially since we used to live down there! I hope E & I can go next year because it looks just plain awesome.
Here's their official website: http://dragoncon.org/index.php
Which contains the following explanation about what it is:
"Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture
convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature,
art, music, and film in the universe!" Apparently they had 52,000 people this year, with 3,000 costumed participants in the DragonCon parade!
Since we all know a picture is worth 1,000 words, so check out this photo gallery posted on the ESO Network website of the DragonCon Parade:
Wow, everyone from Captain America (G's pick for dreamiest super hero) to Dr. Who to the Men In Black to the Ghostbusters to the witches from Hocus Pocus (best goofy Halloween movie ever), from medieval RenFaire Folke to Hobbits to Hogwarts' Faculty (go, Hagrid!) to a whole fleet of Starship Enterprise crew members. I especially like the mighty Klingon warrior woman. Argh! Geeks of the world unite! You're our kinda people. Can't believe we missed out on all the fun.
xo, have a great weekend everyone,