A Successful Launch

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A reading from The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes:

“Vincent Lunardi used a Union Jack design on all his later balloons, and attracted increasingly large crowds to his launches. In 1785 he took his displays as far north as Edinburgh. But he often had trouble with crowd control, and rowdy disturbances became an important element in the balloon craze. It was dangerous to delay departure beyond the promised hour, even if the balloon was not sufficiently inflated or the wind was adverse. When the newspapers reported a successful launch, it often simply meant that the balloon had lifted off on time and no one in the crowd had been killed.”

“Lunardi’s reputation was badly damaged the following year, when on 23 August at Newcastle a young man, Ralph Heron, was caught in one of the restraining ropes, lifted some hundred feet into the air, and then fell to his death. The impact drove his legs into a flowerbed as far as his knees, and ruptured his internal organs, which burst out onto the ground. He was due to be married the next day.”

Radio Drama: Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus starring George Edwards – Part III (1938)

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Frankenstein illustration by Lynd Ward.

Does the devil stalk abroad tonight?

In this suspenseful episode, Baron Victor Frankenstein tells Captain Walton of the night in which he unwrapped the bandages from the creature’s face, and how his fiancée and assistant persuaded him to destroy the creature—but too late.

Tune in next week for another exciting episode in the radio drama of… Frankenstein!

Radio Drama: Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus starring George Edwards – Part II (1938)

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Another Arctic scene from Automata LA‘s “Frankenstein (Mortal Toys)”, their puppet version of the classic tale.

In this episode, after a night in which the crew of the Voyager stood guard against the appearance of the monster, Baron Victor Frankenstein confesses to Captain Walton how he proceeded with his experiment despite warnings from his fiancée, best friend, and assistant.

Tune in next week for another exciting episode in the radio drama of… Frankenstein! And coming soon: the first Strange Plants entry in this cabinet of curiosities.

Some Engravings from Christoph Jamnitzer’s Neuw Grottessken Buch (A New Book of Grotesques) (Nürnberg, 1610)

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Images from http://www.spamula.net

Radio Drama: Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus starring George Edwards – Part I (1938)

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A scene from “Frankenstein (Mortal Toys),” a puppet version of the story that was produced in Los Angeles by Automata in 2006 and 2008.

In this episode, Captain Walton and the crew of the Voyager encounter Baron Victor Frankenstein in the white wastes of the North. Tune in next week for another exciting episode in the radio drama of… Frankenstein!

Excerpt from Princely Toys: One Man’s Private Kingdom (1976)

“To be an automaton is to exist for the sole purpose of performing a predetermined repertoire: endless, unchanging, without ambition, but without care.”

Some Human & Inhuman Figures from Gaspar Schott’s Physica Curiosa, Sive Mirabilia Naturæ et Artis Libris (Wurzburg, 1662)

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Images from http://fantastic.library.cornell.edu/