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Showing posts with label Works of Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Works of Art. Show all posts

Monday, 20 January 2020

Dream Machines

Rowland Emett's Dream Machines

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 770 Don Mills Road.
Date: Jan 2020
Website: www.ontariosciencecentre.ca

  Every winter around Christmas time, the Ontario Science Centre puts their collection of Rowland Emett's machines on display.  It is the largest single collection of these mechanical inventions and never ceases to amuse and amaze.  Rowland Emett started as a cartoonist for Punch magazine before building these herky-jerky contraptions which always seem to include lampshades and teapots and be driven by thin men with mustaches.  Let's take a look at a few of these dream machines.

The Vivivision Machine
The Vivivision Machine By Rowland Emett.

This machine is made up of a gramophone and an old sewing machine.  Like most of Rowland's creations it has a lot of moving parts but it is hard to figure out the purpose.


It somehow projects an image into the horn of the gramophone which is supposed to be that of a man bull-fighting with a goat.  This machine made a brief appearance in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

 The Humbug Major Sweet Machine
The Humbug Major Sweet Machine by Rowland Emett.

  This next contraption had a bigger role in the Dick Van Dyke movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.   It makes candied apples and more as it whirs and turns.

The Humbug Major Sweet Machine by Rowland Emett.

The machine makes candy but as Truly Scrumptuous says, "The boiling point of your sugar is too high".  As a result the candy has holes in it but lets you blow into it to make a whistling sound. Toot Sweets.

Toot Sweets from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

  Dick Van Dyke's character Caractacus Potts takes his candy to try and sell it to the candy factory.  As everyone blows into the candy, the whistle attracts dogs which end up making a mess of everything.

Little Dragon Carpet Cleaner
Little Dragon Carpet Cleaner by Rowland Emett.

  Also in the movie is the little dragon carpet cleaner which instead of cleaning a carpet sucks up the whole thing.  The carpet cleaner on display at the Science Centre had a little brush that looked like a mustache.

The Hush-a-Bye Hot Air Rocking Chair
The Hush-a-Bye Hot Air Rocking Chair by Rowland Emett.

  This chair works with a hot air engine to keep it rocking.  It also conveniently has slippers sticking out in front so you can put your feet inside.  Keep your eyes open and you might notice it also in a certain film.

Clockwork Lullaby Machine
Clockwork Lullaby Machine by Rowland Emett.

    When Caractacus Potts sings Hushabye Mountain to his children he first starts up this contraption which is made up of a conch shell and a wine bottle among other things.

Featherstone Kite Openwork Basketweave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine
Featherstone Kite Openwork Basketweave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine by Rowland Emett

  This machine is our all time favourite and it also boasts the longest name.  It has been at the Ontario Science Centre for decades.  It is meant to be a flying machine but as it lurches back and forth we don't think it is ever going to get off the ground.  It looks like it has a better chance of making tea.

Featherstone Kite Openwork Basketweave Mark Two Gentleman's Flying Machine by Rowland Emett

  This machine features one of the thin, mustached men that Rowland seems to like to add to his contraptions.  It also has a few furry friends like the dog looking forward at the front of the plane and a little kitten sitting in the rudder.

The Forget Me Not Computer
The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

Memory may hold the door, but elephants never forget.  The picture above shows FRED who is part of the Forget Me Not Computer that Rowland made for Honeywell.  FRED stands for Frightfully Rapid Evaluator and Dispense.

The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

  The next part of the Forget Me Not Computer looks like an elephant.  The computer frame is made from a lot of bamboo.

The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

Inside it has something called the Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo unit.

The Forget Me Not Computer by Rowland Emett.

Another smaller elephant is called Forget Me Not Junior and works the card punch system.  Unforgetable.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt
Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  Rowland Emett's popularity increased after he created a railway for the 1951 Festival of Britain.  This next machine is another train creation.  It is a tea train headed to Wisteria Halt.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  It is made up of several train cars.  The last car has a cow being milked in order to provide cream for tea.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  The next car has a first class passenger enjoying their tea.  The cow has chosen to munch on the ostrich feathers sticking out of her hat.

Afternoon Tea Train To Wisteria Halt by Rowland Emett.

  The whole train is pulled by Nellie the steam engine in a beautiful blue.  Nellie also heats up and pours tea as well as preparing a bit of breakfast as she goes.

Exploratory Moon Probe Lunacycle MAUD
Exploratory Moon Probe Lunacycle MAUD by Rowland Emett

The last device on display was designed to be landed on the moon and then pedalled about for exploratory purposes. 

Exploratory Moon Probe Lunacycle MAUD by Rowland Emett.

  The mustachioed man must keep pedalling in order to bring oxygen into his helmet.  He looks out through a stained glass dome over his head.

Check out Rowland Emett's machines in action in the video below and find out why they are known as dream machines.


Map of Our World
Dream Machines

Post # 275

Friday, 10 January 2020

Toronto Man

Toronto Man Sculpture 101 St Clair West.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 101 St. Clair Avenue West
Date: Nov 2019
Website: 101stclair.com

    A man holding what looks like part of a condo building is one of the newest works of art to appear on Toronto streets.  This sculpture was chosen as it is said to embody the present moment in the city's evolution.  If that means that every time you turn around a new building has sprung up reaching for the sky then they are exactly right.

Toronto Man Sculpture Outside St. Clair West Starbucks.

  The sculpture is called Toronto Man and stands over 25 feet tall.  It was created by artist Stephan Balkenhol.  It is located outside of a Starbucks so you can't miss it.

Toronto Man Stands On Building Blocks.

  The man stands on top of coloured building blocks.  Perhaps this reminds Toronto Man of when he was just a Toronto Boy playing in his room.  Now the city is his playground.

Toronto Man Holds A Slice Of A Condo.

  From the side angle it looks exactly like Toronto Man has stolen a slice of suites from the building behind him.  Is Toronto Man creating something new or turning one suite from every floor into Air BnB's?

Toronto Man Stands Against The Sky.

  From a slightly different angle Toronto Man is in shadow cast by the buildings behind him. We can still see some sky behind him where the buildings have not yet risen.  Maybe that is where he is headed next.  Toronto Man sure does raise a lot of questions which is probably why he exists in the first place.

Map of Our World
Toronto Man

Post # 274

Monday, 30 December 2019

Make Way For Ducklings

Make Way For Ducklings Boston Public Garden

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Address: 4 Charles Street
Date: Sept 2013
Website: friendsofthepublicgarden.org

  Mr. & Mrs. Mallard are looking for a nice place in Boston to start a family.  While they are searching for the perfect place Mrs. Mallard hatches 8 little ducklings.  Mr. Mallard looks for a new home and arranges to meet Mrs. Mallard in Boston Public Garden.  Mrs. Mallard has to lead her ducklings from the Charles River through traffic and other obstacles.  Fortunately, the police help out so that everyone will make way for ducklings.

Make Way For Ducklings Boston Public Garden

  Make Way for Ducklings is a best selling children's book written by Robert McCloskey back in 1941. In 1987 the bronze sculpture arrived in Boston Public Garden and has become almost as popular as the book.


Make Way For Ducklings Boston Public Garden

  The sculpture shows Mrs. Mallard leading her children towards the pond that they will eventually call home. Her children are called Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack.

Make Way For Ducklings Boston Public Garden

  In 1634 Boston Common was created as America’s first public park and Boston Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in America opening in 1837.

Ducks In Boston Public Garden.

  A large number of ducks call the garden home so every spring there is a new group of ducklings following their mothers around on a new adventure.  The rest of the year Mrs. Mallard will always be there to the delight of visiting children. 


Map of Our World
Make Way For Ducklings

Post # 273

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Portage & Main

Portage & Main, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Address: Portage & Main Street
Date: October 2014
Website:  history.bmo.com

  Portage & Main is possibly the best known intersection in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  On Sunday, November 24th the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup after a 29 year drought.  Winnipegers flocked to the intersection to celebrate their Canadian Football League victory.  We found ourselves standing at this intersection back in 2014.

Bank of Montreal Portage & Main

  On one corner stands the Bank of Montreal building.  It has been there since 1913.  In front of the bank stands a monument to Bank of Montreal employees who died in World War I.  The statue is modelled after Wynn Bagnall who worked for BMO, went to war and was lucky enough to return to continue working. 

Tree Children sculpture Portage & Main.
 
  To cross the street you need to take a pedestrian underpass. Once on the other side of the street we encountered some more sculptures.  The first sculpture is called Tree Children and shows four children playing in a tree.  The intersection of Portage & Main is often said to be the coldest and windiest intersection in Canada.  It wasn't too cold but it was windy when we arrived.  Hold on tight children!

Seal River Crossing Sculpture Portage & Main.

  The next sculpture depicted a herd of caribou which are no strangers to wind and cold.  The caribou are navigating the fast moving waters of a river.

Seal River Crossing Sculpture Portage & Main.

  The sculpture is called Seal River Crossing.  Seal River is located in northern Manitoba but thanks to artist Peter Sawatzky we can witness the caribou migration at a lower latitude. 

North Watch Portage & Main.

  The final statue we encountred was called North Watch.  North Watch features a man wearing big boots, sitting and supposedly keeping watch.  The sculpture is created by Ivan Eyre and is similar to another of his sculptures called Icon North.

North Watch Portage & Main Faces South.

 The main difference between the two sculptures is that North Watch features a dog which sits behind the man.  The dog is also keeping watch.  One thing we noticed about this sculpture is that the man is facing south.  We wondered if the sculpture had been placed the wrong way around.  We figure that the artist intended the man to be watching from the north.  When visiting Portage & Main be sure to dress warmly and prepare to be blown away.  If not by the architecture, history and sculptures then certainly by the wind.

Map of Our World
Tree Children , Seal River Crossing , North Watch
BMO Building (Portage & Main)

Post # 270

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Vessel

The Vessel Behind The Shed At Hudson Yards.

Location: New York City, New York, USA
Address: Hudson Yards
Date: September 2019
Website:  www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com

  The High Line in New York is a repurposed elevated railway that passes through the west side of Manhattan.  At the northern end of the High Line is Hudson Yards.  Hudson Yards has grown to include a large shopping center, apartments and a concert event venue.  In the middle of it all stands the Vessel.

The Shed Viewed From The Vessel In Hudson Yards.

  Before we reached the Vessel we had to walk past The Shed.  The Shed is a huge metallic looking building on wheels so that the amount of covered space can increase in size.  When we walked by, someone was rehearsing a song which to us sounded like "Bye, Bye Macaron" repeated over and over.  We found out later that the event was for World Central Kitchen so maybe those were indeed the lyrics.

Behold The Vessel.

 The Vessel really is something to see.  It is a hollow open structure that stands almost 16 stories tall.  It is made up of a series of steps and landings and one elevator.  There are 154 staircases and 80 landings inside the structure.  It looks like a giant vase sitting in the middle of the square.

Inside the Vessel in New York.

  Climbing the Vessel is free but requires a reservation as only a limited number of visitors are allowed inside at any given time.  The first day we arrived and were told to visit one of the kiosks surrounding the structure.  From there you can use a QR code or be sent a text to get a link for reserving a time slot.  Unfortunately, all of the times were later than our other afternoon plans would allow.  The next day we returned and tried again.  We booked a time for later in the afternoon and went off to explore New York.

Entrance To The Vessel in Hudson Yards.

  We returned within our designated entry window and were allowed into the Vessel.

The View From The Top Of The Vessel In New York City.

  At the bottom of the Vessel was a glowing purple light where people were placing their phones to get a perfectly round image with their faces and the surrounding buildings.

Looking Up From Inside The Vessel in New York City.

  The photo would look something like this photo above except with the view ruined by goofy faces.


The Elevator Inside the Vessel At Hudson Yards.

  We started to climb the stairs.  There are no seats or benches anywhere so be prepared to climb up and down without a break. There is one elevator if you wish to wait for it.

The Vessel Has A honeycomb pattern.

  The stairs go up in multiple directions so you kind of move around the sculpture as you climb up.  If you wanted to stay on one level but move to the opposite side you would go up one staircase then across a small platform and then down again.  You would repeat this until you got where you were going.

Bronze exterior of The Vessel in New York City.

  We moved around the structure as we worked our way up to the top.  The staircases full of people made for interesting photos from any angle.  The whole structure had a metallic bronze exterior to it which reflects.  We felt like we were in some futuristic space station.  We expect it may not be too long before someone films a movie inside this structure.  If you can, we recommend you visit The Vessel and take the stairs.

Looking Across The Vessel in New York City.

Map of Our World
Vessel

Post # 268