Tag Archives: the retronaut

1887 – 1898: Whaleback steamships

A whaleback was a type of cargo steamship with a hull that continuously curved above the waterline from vertical to horizontal. When fully loaded, only the rounded portion of the hull (the “whaleback” proper) could be seen above the waterline. With sides curved in towards the ends, it had a spoon bow and a very convex upper deck. It was formerly used on the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States, notably for carrying grain or ore.Whaleback Steamships 2

The term developed in common usage in response to the ship’s appearance when fully loaded. A total of 44 such vessels were constructed from 1887 to 1898.

Whaleback Steamships 3 Whaleback Steamships 15 Whaleback Steamships 13 Whaleback Steamships 7

 

 

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1888: Jasper Spalding’s flying machine

1888: Jasper Spalding’s flying machine

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1888: Balloon wedding

The September 27, 1888, wedding of Margaret Buckley and Edward T. Davis was held at the Rhode Island State Fair at Narrangansett Park in Providence. An article in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper estimates that 40,000 watched as Davis and Buckley entered the “specially prepared ‘bridal car’ of the mammoth balloon Commonwealth, held down by 24 men at the guy ropes.”  After the ceremony, aeronauts James Allen and his son James K. directed the balloon skyward.At dusk, the balloon landed in a swamp near Easton, Massachusetts, about thirty miles away from Providence.  The wedding party was “obliged to cling to the ropes above the basket to keep out of the water.”  Finally rescued, the balloon tied safely to a tree, the couple completed their trip by rail.  Afterwards, Allen and the Davises reenacted their wedding for a photographer in a studio.Balloon Wedding 1 Balloon Wedding 2

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1884: Views of Future Technological Advances

1884: “Poetical drifts of thought; or problems of progress”

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1890: The 25 Stages From Courtship to Marriage

1890: The 25 Stages From Courtship to Marriage

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