Autoxylopyrocycloboros, the creation of artist Simon Starling during its short time on this earth. The work is named for a Greek mythical character of a snake eating its own tail, which was at the time a symbol of rebirth. Autoxylopyrocycloboros was also self-consuming, but in our time this is an act of total destruction. The little vessel was piloted out into Loch Long, in Scotland, with the boiler fed by pieces of wood removed from the hull until it ultimately sank. The Loch is on the Clyde Estuary, home of the UK’s Trident nuclear submarine base. The piece suggests that the arms of war destroy the idea of rebirth, and make innovation and consumption a one-way journey.
This is one of many pieces I will be featuring in an exhibit of Contemporary Art at ABM next summer. Stay tuned. If you would like to learn more about the ill-fated little craft, watch Simon’s talk here: dictionaryofwar.org/concepts/Autoxylopyrocycloboros
1946 Victory Parade (set)
H.M.N.Z.T. Maunganui departing the Wharf, Wellington New Zealand, 20 April 1946 —Adelaide Archivist
the wreck, 1911; artist unknown (via bluewaterblackheart)
This Week in Wrecks
1979: The oil tanker Betelgeuse suffers a structural failure and explodes at the Whiddy Island oil Terminal off West Cork, Ireland, killing 50. A diver also dies during the salvage.
2005: The USS San Francisco, a Los Angeles-class submarine, collides with an undersea mountain and is badly damaged. One crew member dies, but the vessel is able to surface.
1972: The Seawise University, formerly the RMS Queen Elizabeth, catches fire and capsizes in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong. Insurance fraud is suspected.
2005: The Elizabeth M towboat is pushed over the Montgomery Locks and Dam during high water while pushing 6 barges through the lock on the Ohio River near Industry, PA. 4 crewmembers are lost and 3 escape.
January 13 –January 11 — Brought to you by fuckyeahwrecks
Caricature of Ferdinand de Lesseps
Cover of La Lune 29 September 1867
29 September 1867
AndrÃ© Gill; 1840-1885
Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps, (19 November 1805 – 7 December 1894) was the French developer of the Suez Canal, which joined the Mediterranean and Red Seas in 1869.
He attempted to repeat this success with an effort to build a sea-level Panama Canal during the 1880s, but the project was devastated by epidemics of malaria and yellow fever in the area, and the projected de Lesseps canal was left uncompleted and eventually partially superseded by a non-sea-level canal with locks, built by the United States and completed in 1914.
The Compagnie universelle du canal maritime de Suez was organized at the end of 1858. On 25 April 1859 the first blow of the pickaxe was given by de Lesseps at Port Said. On 17 November 1869 the canal was officially opened. From 17 November 1899 to 23 December 1956, a monumental statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps by Emmanuel FrÃ©miet stood at the entrance of the Suez Canal.
In May 1879 a congress of 136 delegates (including de Lesseps) assembled in the rooms of the Geographical Society in Paris and voted in favor of the creation of a Panama Canal, which was to be without locks, like Suez. De Lesseps was appointed President of the Panama Canal Company, despite the fact that he had reached the age of 74. The decision to dig a Panama Canal at sea level to avoid the use of locks, and the inability of contemporary medical science to deal with epidemics of malaria and yellow fever doomed the project.
His name was used in a speech by Egyptian President Gamal Nasser as the codeword to order the raiding of the Suez Canal Company’s offices on 26 July 1956, the first step to its nationalization. In the course of the raid and seizure of the canal by Nasser, the statue of de Lesseps at the entrance of the Suez Canal was removed from its pedestal, to symbolize the end of European ownership of the waterway. The statue now stands in a small garden of the Port Fouad shipyard.
(image source) Tyrone Power played de Lesseps in the movie Suez (1938), a film over which de Lesseps’ family sued for libel, claiming it was too highly fictionalized.
more on wiki
image source: MCMXXXVIII; movies from 1938
(full image) and source page
vintage albumen print from Suez: Choke hold on world shipping
French Engineers designed and built this steam powered conveyor dredge to excavate sand from the Suez Canal in the late 1860s — (full size) from Military Geology PowerPoint Presentations
Ferdinand de Lesseps statue at Suez; vintage postcard
French Ship Aigle Enters Suez Canal Antique Print 1869
vintage postcard; Port Said, Egypt
Port Said Canal 1880
Building of Suez Canal Authority in Port Said — full resolutionâ€Ž (1,024 Ã— 667 pixels)
An 19th Century engraving from “Appleton’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art”, 1869, showing the first vessels through the Canal between Kantara and El-Ferdane
The Suez Canal Company set up a postal service to prepay correspondence internally within the company’s territory between Port Said and Suez and intermediate points. However, the stamps were in use for less then six weeks, before the Egyptian Government suppressed the service. COMPANY STAMP ON David Feldman Auctions
part of the Samir Fikry Collection of Postal Services in the Suez Canal Zone.
Albumen photo, 81/2″h x 11″w (21 x 28 cm), of the “Quai de Port Said”, Egypt by the Zangaki Brothers, active 1870’s –1900’s (full size 3126×2172)
Lighthouse and Breakwater at the Entrance of the Suez Canal
Port Said. The Illustrated London News, No.2255—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 22, 1882
Ship and dredge in the Suez Canal
Port Said, northern entrance Suez canal, with statue of De Lesseps,1921
northern entrance to the Suez Canal
Two French ships in Port Said, Egypt; c.1880s
PORT SAID. Egypt. Street Of Francis Joseph (postcard heaven)
Old Port Said and the Suez Canal on transpress nz; World transport history (13 image gallery)
Suez blockade …In 1956 Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the canal, which led to the Suez crisis. During the battle for the Suez the Egyptions sank ships to create a blockade. The canal was of strategic importance as it had become the main passageway for oil to get to Europe. The crisis is seen by some as marking the end of long phase of British imperial history.
Suez Canal: from crisis to crisis, 7 image gallery on The Telegraph
1956: Nasser tells crowd he has seized Suez Canal, (partial newsreel) VIDEO
Entrance to the Suez Canal, Port Said – Egypt ca.1869 (albumen print)
huge ass map of Suez (Maps from Baedeker’s Indien: Handbuch FÃ¼r Reisende, 1914)
Construction of the Suez Canal 1869
Dredgepoint.org: Suez Canal Authority, Dredging Department
Arrival of a steamer, Port-Said, Egypt. Photographer: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo
Deck Officers of the Eastern Telegraph Company’s CS Electra in the Suez Canal about 1910
Apparently the deck officers of the Electra always donned the fez when they entered the Suez Canal. In North Africa a fez was (and still is) an emblem of authority and commanded respect to its wearer and conversely showed respect towards the natives. –more about the CS Electra on History of the Atlantic Cable
Port Said, 1922 (full size)
As the port linking East and West it’s an ideal location for all kinds of pulpy goodness. It’s one of the few cities outside the United States that was visited by one of Lovecraft’s protagonists- Nathanial Wingate Peaslee traveled through Said on his journey to Australia in “The Shadow Out of Time”.
-more on Propnomicon; Curious devices, forbidden artifacts, mysterious creatures, and intriguing documents
Scene on the Quay of Suez
The city of Suez, founded in the 15th century, had already gained considerable commercial importance as a stop-over for sailings to India and the East Indies. In his travel journal, Roberts described Suez as “a wretched place” and, even though he found the bazaars “ptiiresque”, chose to depict in one of his drawings the quays of the port, somnolent by day but greatly animated by the arrival of the Bombay steamer during the night.
General View of Suez …
David Roberts set out from Cairo for the Holy Land on 7 February 1839, with a, small caravan including servants in Arabian and Turkish dress, an armed escort oj Bedouins and twenty-one camels which transported provisions and baggage as well as tents for overnight encampments. With Roberts travelled two Englishmen, John Pell and John G. Kinnear, who two years later dedicated his own book of memoirs, Cairo, Petra and Damascus, to Roberts.
Guiding the party was Hanafi Ishmael Effendi, an Egyptian converted to Christianity during his stays in England, who spoke English fluently and with whom Roberts had become friends while in Cairo.
The first stop on their itinerary was the city of Suez, at the extreme southern tip of the isthmus of the same name, which had at the time yet to be cut through by Ferdinand Ijesseps to place the Mediterranean in communication with the Red Sea.
DAVID ROBERTS A Journey in the Holy Land
Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on a scenario written by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette. It was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on December 24, 1871.
Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write the opera for performance in January 1871, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed because of the Franco-Prussian War. Contrary to popular belief, the opera was not written to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, nor that of the Khedivial Opera House in the same year.
Verdi had been asked to compose an ode for the occasion, but refused on the grounds that he did not write “occasional pieces”.
In 1915, Mack Sennett assembled a bevy of girls known as the Sennett Bathing Beauties to appear in provocative bathing costumes in comedy short subjects, in promotional material, and in promotional events like Venice Beach beauty contests.
more on How to be a Retronaut; Sennett Bathing Beauties, 1915
Suez Canal on TrekEarth
Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang.
Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at [email protected]. She can also out-belch any man.
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