Friday, April 03, 2009

The Eternal Dancer

My camera is dated 1913, but the actual production year is from 1917, Rochester, N.Y. People might have used the camera for many years and might have recorded any number of lives, maybe even lives still lived today. We know, in a way, that anything the camera records is gone long ago, that everything is changed and gone for good but the image of what was. The camera itself is an image of what was. I have it in my living room a a reminder of times gone. I have it because it's beautiful. I have pictures from 1917 of my grandmother dancing. She was beautiful. The pictures I have of her might have been taken with a camera like this one.
...
No. 1A (Autographic) Kodak Jr.
[1914 - 1927]The 1A Autographic Kodak Jr. folding camera was typical of Kodak folding cameras of the time. The camera body is wooden. Folding front and removable back are metal while the external covering and bellows are leather....

It used Kodak Autographic Film which permitted a message to be written on the film between frames. The spool was wound with a layer of carbon paper between the film and thin red backing paper. After taking a photograph the user would open up the small door on the back of the camera (fig.1) and using the provided stylus inscribe a brief note. Pressure of the stylus on the backing paper transferred the carbon to the backing paper. The user then held the camera back to the light for a moment and light passing through would image the message on the film. Typical of many antique cameras, aperture settings are marked in a series of numbers....

http://www.clickondavid.com/no1a.html

I look into the view-finder but I never see my grandmother in there. It must have been a different camera after all. Nevertheless, someone has her image as fresh and alive as she was close to a hundred year ago. That would be me.
This would be W.B. Yeats, "Among Schoolchildren."

Stanza Vlll

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul.
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut-tree, great-rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

-- W. B. Yeats

My grandmother would be the dancer in the photographs on my wall, the beautiful girl dancing in my memory.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

President Obama Humiliates America

On September 11, 2001 fifteen Saudi terrorist Muslims and four others outraged our nation by acts of mass murder.

Now our president outrages our nation by bowing down to their king.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/04/obama_bows_down_to_saudi_king.html
Here is a video of the unmistakable bow: (hat tip: Michelle Malkin)

Up-date:

The White House is denying that the president bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets.

"It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0409/White_House_No_bow_to_Saudi.html?showall

I recall Orwell's 1984 in which O'Bien tells Winston Smith that it's not enough to say "two pus two equals five. One must believe the obvious lie." It' not a matter of intelligence, of which both characters have sufficient. The whole point is to accept lies as demanded on demand. It's the heart and soul of the ideologue to believe, knowing it's a lie.

Allow me, a definite non-Christian, to point out the difference between O'Brien and the ideologues on the one side, and Tertullian, the Christian on the other. The ideologue believes the lie knowing it's a lie because he wants to conform to the mass thought, to group think, for reasons of self-hatred and hatred of Humanity. No person is as important as the ideology, people being the "stuff" of which his ideology is about, in the same way a farm field is made of decay and excrement. Tertullian, if I understand it rightly, resorts to fideism, "I believe it because it is absurd," not as an act of hatred but of faith in the Good. For the White House to debase us with an obvious lie is to destroy any hope of faith that we are witnessing the Good. It is to further humiliate us as a people and a nation.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big Bill Thomas: Sandwell Down

Recently, some small town English political busy-bodies decided to ban the local St. George's Day parade in Sandwell. It's an equivalent of a small town American mayor and his local posse deciding to cancel the Fourth of July parade in rural Montana. It's like that, but it's different, too. Imagine, if you will, that a small town in rural Montana is taken over from the locals by a clique of big city labour union leaders and the town is half-filled with illegal immigrants on welfare. Imagine Obama-land for 35 years running. That's a fair summary of places in Britain like Sandwell. All these years of Obama-land in Small-town, U.K., and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt? You could only hope so. How you ever gonna get into debt when there's never any money to lose? It's not going to happen, and it'll never improve because the government won't allow it. You can never really fall to the bottom because the government will always have a "safety net" to keep you from harm. But you'll never really get ahead because the government will make sure to hobble you if you do too well. If you make some money, you have to share it with everybody else. It's only fair. And the government makes sure you share. It's wealth redistribution. It's good for everyone but the exploitative and greedy. And you, unfortunately. In 35 years of Labour government in Sandwell, what do they have? Sharing and caring; and it must be paradise. It wasn't always like that, like back in '78/79. I recall the St. George's Day parade back then. Before the days of Big Bill Thomas*.

For all of you wondering why the British and numerous others in Europe seem to be going down the drain without even a pretense of struggle against it, look at this interesting, nay, fascinating bit of trivia:
[F]ormer Sandwell Council leader Wilf Lunn MBE ... has died aged 90. Honorary Freeman Lunn is the only Conservative to have led the authority since its inception in 1974. He was leader in 1978/79.
http://www.laws.sandwell.gov.uk/ccm/content/councilgeneral/pressreleases/2008-11/tributes-to-former-council-leader.en?textonly=yes

Above, we see that in the past 35 years one Conservative member has reached the very acme of the local political scene in Sandbag, West Midlands, United and Great British Kingdom. That leaves about 33 years of Labour rule. It must be paradise by now. Now that the Conservative is long gone, let's turn our rapt attention back to the man in charge of it all, the great Britain himself, Big Bill Thomas.*

Here's a headline for you: Dale Williams, "Coun. Bill Thomas steps down from Sandwell and West Birmingham Health Trust," Birmingham Mail. 12 Nov. 08.

For those of you starved for news from Sandhole, this is hot news. For the rest of us, it's interesting news in light of Big Bill Thomas* and company deciding, after secret meetings with spies, to stop the funding of the up-coming St George's Day parade in town. It's not interesting because the parade is stopped, but interesting because we get to look into the working minds of Labour politicos let loose upon the small towns and shires few otherwise bother looking at. It is my hope here that by taking a microcosmic look at a small place in the English hinterland we can see the greater calamity that is today's Britain and Europe generally. Big Bill is the focus. Big Bill Thomas,* Sandwell Council leader, Sandwell, U.K..

"SANDWELL Council leader Bill Thomas is stepping down from Sandwell and West Birmingham Health Trust after serving the NHS for 27 years."
http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2008/11/12/coun-bill-thomas-steps-down-from-sandwell-and-west-birmingham-health-trust-97319-22230602/

Big Bill Thomas* spent 27 years working for the NHS. The English National Health Services.

I'm not about to disparage this Big Bill Thomas.* He's obviously successful and likely a decent fellow. My question is what is he doing as anything at all in politics? Is he the kind of person one wants in public life? Is Big Bill Thomas* an enemy of the people and a menace to the nation? He's a career socialist bureaucrat. He's done well at it. It's the system, and he's played it well enough.

Yes, I've written in a previous post that Big Bill Thomas* and his fellows on Council are morons and half-wits. How do we reconcile that with Big Bill's obvious accomplishments? Big Bill Thomas* is a retired head-master at a boys school and a long-term employee with the NHS. He's now the head honcho on City Council. I've likened him to a posturing, pretentious bully-boy. I don't know the man. The man is not the point. What matters here is that Big Bill Thomas* has spent much of his life spending other people's money, for their own good, as it were, and is now further involved in public life telling them exactly what's good for them. A man who shows no signs of ever having made a profit is in charge to the people's money. More, he is in charge of their lives in an immediate sense as a politician. So, yes, Big Bill Thomas* is a menace to the nation. His very success is a clear sign he is a half-wit and a moron, an enemy of the people. Anyone who succeeds at being a mid-level manager in a socialist bureaucracy is a menace to the nation when he moves into politics. The better he is at his work, the worse for all. Big Bill Thomas.* Enemy of the People!
05 December 2008: Cllr Bill Thomas is the Leader of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. With a background in teaching within Sandwell, Cllr Thomas took early retirement from his Head-Teacher´s post at Smethwick Hall Boys High School in 1992. He has had major input in the local Health Service as a Non-Executive Director of Sandwell Health Authority and served 10 years as Chairman of the Black Country Mental Health NHS Trust based in West Bromwich. Cllr Thomas has been awarded the OBE for his services to the NHS in the West Midlands.
http://www.swbh.nhs.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=167&Itemid=59

Big Bill Thomas* doesn't come across as that dangerous. He comes across as a fat middle-aged guy who did OK in the public service. He's a bit of a nobody from nowhere. Big Bill Thomas* and his cronies want to ban the St. George's Day parade in Sandwell. It's not exactly the end of the world.

Sandwell lies in the heart of the West Midlands, in an area of the UK known as "The Black Country". There are six main towns which make up Sandwell; Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.
"Celebrating St George's Day In Sandwell."

The council's decision on how it will celebrate St George's Day this year has been widely misreported.

Here is the statement about this years St George's celebrations issued after the Cabinet meeting on February 11, which makes clear what we are doing.

12 February 2009

The leader of the council issued this statement on the Cabinet's decision regarding the celebration of St George's Day in Sandwell.

Sandwell Council's leader Councillor Bill Thomas said: "Firstly, I would like to make it clear that Sandwell Council has a proud tradition of celebrating St George's Day. This year, we will be spending more than £38,000 on celebrating this special day.

"Sandwell Council is fully committed to the celebration of St George's Day and the £38,000 will be spent on the family fun day in Dartmouth Park on Saturday April 18 followed by a traditional St George's Day concert at West Bromwich Town Hall on April 23.

"Council officers have also been instructed to fly the flag of St George at council buildings on April 23."

Councillor Thomas added: "The council's watchdog committee, the scrutiny management board, carried out an investigation looking at video and witness evidence of last year's St George's Day parade and reported to the council's cabinet with several recommendations.

"This evidence showed categorically that extremists infiltrated the parade.

"A report by our watchdog committee has to be taken seriously, in the same manner as a report from a parliamentary select committee, and is very much part of the democratic process.

"At a meeting today (Wednesday), the council's cabinet accepted the scrutiny management board's report."

Councillor Derek Rowley, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for safer communities, said: "The council has no objection to any organisation arranging a parade, subject to it meeting the requirements of the Sandwell Safety At Public Events Group, at which the police, ambulance and fire services play a major role."

http://www.laws.sandwell.gov.uk/ccm/content/councilgeneral/pressreleases/2009-02/celebrating-st-georges-day-in-sandwell.en

Not exactly 1984. When a middle-aged English bureaucrat school-teacher and public hospital manager like Big Bill Thomas* goes on about banning public parades, finds extremist infiltrators, uses surveillance videos, anonymous reports, watchdog committees, the scrutiny management board, and carrying out secret investigations in the name of democracy, it's not Orwellian at all. It's just a slow grinding of Sandwell into dust.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough have cancelled 2009’s annual St Georges Day parade because of concerns about it being infiltrated by the BNP and other troublemakers.

The CEP’s co-ordinator for the West Midlands area, John Stanhope, has helped out at many of the Sandwell St Georges Day parades and is well aware of the BNP’s attendance at the parade. Sadly, there is also an element that causes trouble at the parades which spoils the fun for most of the attendees.

However, this is not a valid reason for cancelling the parade. The police know who the troublemakers are and they have the power to prevent them from attending so that leaves the BNP attendance as the only sticking point.

Sandwell has a BNP councillor, something that doesn’t sit well with the Labour councillors that make up the majority of Sandwell MBC. There is also quite a strong following for the BNP in Sandwell, a common occurance for areas that have such a large Black and Asian population.

The CEP doesn’t support any political party and certainly doesn’t agree with the racial agenda of the BNP or support their version of an English Parliament which would exclude those English people who aren’t of Anglo-Saxon descent. However, we are in the democracy in the democracy business and the idea that a very popular St Georges Day parade should be cancelled because members of the BNP attend it is quite disturbing. When did you last hear of a Ramadan or Eid festival being cancelled because some of the attendees might be Islamic fundamentalists? Or a St Patrick's Day parade being cancelled because republicans use them to stir up trouble?

Update:
Sandwell council have been in touch to say that story was blown out of proportion by the media and that they haven’t made a decision yet. The confusion is over a plan that has been produced by them to keep politics out of the St Georges Day parade and to monitor the people who attend the parade. A slight improvement for patriots who want to celebrate St Georges Day, not so good for anyone remotely interested in free speech and civil liberties. The statement is in the comments.

http://www.thecep.org.uk/wordpress/2008/11/02/st-georges-day-cancelled-in-sandwell/

Decades of Labour government in Sandwell, and half the people there are on the dole. It means the government is in control of how much money people make and spend. Money is freedom. The government has the money, and they, people like Big Bill Thomas*, have control. They can cancel a parade if they feel like it. The people be damned.So who do the people vote for?

Click below to see the voter results of 2004. What a surprise. This might give a bit of a hint of what to expect:

GREAT BRIDGE [3]
Derek Rowley Lab 1,115
Peter Allen Lab 1,081
Maureen Whitehouse Lab 983
Arthur Copson BNP 880
Fred Perry 2003 Community Party 770
Simon Smith BNP 767
Robert Roper 2003 Community Party 506
Malcolm Beckley 2003 Community Party 483
Philip Mansell C 366
Philip Roberts LD 213
Onkar Badial C 212
Naranjan Khag Ind 207
Avtar Sandhu C 190

http://uk.geocities.com/andrewteale/local04/sandwell04.html

Labour. They're not racists, they just don't vote much for South Asians. I get it. They're not racists just because they gang together to vote for each other. The British National Party, the BNP, they're the racists. Not Labour. Don't say that. Labour is protecting people. Labour gives out welfare cheques. They stop racism.

It’s not the first time in the ten-year history of the event that the organisers have felt obstructed by Labour councillors, some of whom admit privately that they dislike the parade, fearing it acts as a magnet for extremist elements.
http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-blogs-views/birmingham-mail-columnists/the-stirrer/2009/02/05/council-approach-plays-into-hands-of-far-right-97319-22861242/

You might know of Richard Adam's pre-Thatcherite novel, Watership Down. Those who do will understand why I regard Big Bill Thomas* as akin to General Woundwort. Maybe you don't know this 500 page novel from the early '70s. It's on DVD, and I think it sums up clearly the menace that is the town council at Sandwell. Sandwell is not a page from 1984, and Big Bill Thomas* is not Little Brother. Big Bill Thomas* and crew are soft and furry and cuddly, like rabbits. That's why I refer to these people and others like them as Velvet Fascists. More about them, and particularly about Yvonne Davies, Sandwell City Cllr, next time.

* William Hale Thompson (May 14, 1869 – March 19, 1944) was mayor of Chicago from 1915 to 1923 and again from 1927 to 1931. Known as "Big Bill", Thompson was the last Republican to serve as Mayor of Chicago.... Early in his mayoral career, Thompson began to amass a war chest to support an eventual run for the Presidency by charging city drivers and inspectors $3 per month. He was mayor during the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and was said to have control of the 75,000 African-American voters in his day.[1] Always a flamboyant campaigner, during the 1927 election, Thompson held a debate between himself and two live rats which he used to portray his opponents.... In 1927, Al Capone's support allowed Thompson to return to the mayor's office. Pledging to clean up Chicago and remove the crooks, Thompson instead turned his attention to the reformers, whom he considered the real criminals. According to Thompson, at this time the biggest enemy the United States had was King George V of England. Thompson promised his supporters that if they ever met, Thompson would punch the king in the nose. During this final term in office, the "Pineapple Primary" occurred (April 10, 1928), so-called because of the hand grenades used to disrupt voters. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre also took place while Thompson was mayor.... The Chicago Tribune wrote that For Chicago Thompson has meant filth, corruption, obscenity, idiocy and bankruptcy.... He has given the city an international reputation for moronic buffoonery, barbaric crime, triumphant hoodlumism, unchecked graft, and a dejected citizenship. He nearly ruined the property and completely destroyed the pride of the city. He made Chicago a byword for the collapse of American civilization. In his attempt to continue this he excelled himself as a liar and defamer of character.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Hale_Thompson


Remember, that's Big Bill Thompson, not Big Bill Thomas.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Singer, Sewing Laughter and Joy and Tears

I have a Singer sewing machine, series C, dating from circa 1908. It's not that I spend any time sewing. I don't. Instead, my sewing machine sets atop a wooden dresser collecting dust. When I wipe it down and give it a look I see a beautiful piece of work, a transformation of the Human experience, a joy to behold, and a love of life. When sewing machines first came about, tailors hated them and smashed them. It's a case of misoneism, a hatred of the new. I have a beautiful piece of Human thinking made real, a machine that frees people and benefits our lives grandly.

During WWII some Singer manufacturing records were lost.
These records include the following starting with letter prefix A, C, E, T, W and X series in front of the serial numbers.
The information that is available see below:
Series C. Whittenberge, (Prussia) Germany.
http://sewingmachine221sale.bizland.com/store/page7.html

My sewing machine is manual. Power machines were too advanced for a nation of people who didn't have electricity at home. Who'd think of it? I get out of bed in the morning, turn on the lights, take a shower and so on, and put on my clothes.... My clothes, all made by machines.

High-level aristos and the filthy rich used to love silk. That was so because bugs found it hard to get through, wool far too easy. Cotton, king, was almost as good as silk. Unlike wool, for which many of my own were cleared from the lands, is stinky and rotting and unattractive; and it never washes up well. Cotton is beautiful. One can sew it like a dream. It's clean and pretty, even if it's not silk. It is democracy. With cotton and a sewing machine at home, the people were dressed well for the first time in history.

My sewing machine itself is beautiful, and on top of that, it's painted in gold, ornate winged Sphinxes and floral/geometric Art Nouveau trim. I'd insert a photo here but there hasn't been any film for my camera since 1917. Here's a bit about sewing machines. Mostly it's about how we live.

[In] 1755 in London ... a German immigrant, Charles Weisenthal, took out a patent for a needle to be used for mechanical sewing. There was no mention of a machine to go with it, and another 34 years were to pass before Englishman Thomas Saint invented what is generally considered to be the first real sewing machine.

In 1790 the cabinet maker patented a machine with which an awl made a hole in leather and then allowed a needle to pass through. Critics of Saint's claim to fame point out that quite possibly Saint only patented an idea and that most likely the machine was never built. It is known that when an attempt was made in the 1880s to produce a machine from Saint's drawings it would not work without considerable modification.

The story then moves to Germany where, in around 1810, inventor Balthasar Krems developed a machine for sewing caps. No exact dates can be given for the Krems models as no patents were taken out.

An Austrian tailor Josef Madersperger produced a series of machines during the early years of the 19th century and received a patent in 1814. He was still working on the invention in 1839, aided by grants from the Austrian government, but he failed to get all the elements together successfully in one machine and eventually died a pauper. Two more inventions were patented in 1804, one in France to a Thomas Stone and a James Henderson -- a machine which attempted to emulate hand sewing -- and another to a Scott John Duncan for an embroidery machine using a number of needles. Nothing is known of the fate of either invention.

America's first real claim to fame came in 1818 when a Vermont churchman John Adams Doge and his partner John Knowles produced a device which, although making a reasonable stitch, could only sew a very short length of material before laborious re-setting up was necessary.

One of the more reasonable claimants for inventor of the sewing machine must be Barthelemy Thimonnier who, in 1830, was granted a patent by the French government. He used a barbed needle for his machine which was built almost entirely of wood. It is said that he originally designed the machine to do embroidery, but then saw its potential as a sewing machine.

Unlike any others who went before him, he was able to convince the authorities of the usefulness of his invention and he was eventually given a contract to build a batch of machines and use them to sew uniforms for the French army. In less than 10 years after the granting of his patent Thimonnier had a factory running with 80 machines, but then ran into trouble from Parisian tailors. They feared that, were his machines successful, they would soon take over from hand sewing, putting the craftsmen tailors out of work.
Late one night a group of tailors stormed the factory, destroying every machine, and causing Thimonnier to flee for his life. With a new partner he started again, produced a vastly- improved machine and looked set to go into full-scale production; but the tailors attacked again. With France in the grip of revolution, Thimonnier could expect little help from the police or army and fled to England with the one machine he was able to salvage.

He certainly produced the first practical sewing machine, was the first man to offer machines for sale on a commercial basis and ran the first garment factory. For all that, he died in the poor house in 1857.

In America a quaker Walter Hunt invented, in 1833, the first machine which did not try to emulate hand sewing. It made a lock stitch using two spools of thread and incorporated an eye-pointed needle as used today. But again it was unsuccessful for it could only produce short, straight, seams.

Nine years later Hunt's countryman, John Greenough, produced a working machine in which the needle passed completely through the cloth. Although a model was made and exhibited in the hope of raising capital for its manufacture, there were no takers.

Perhaps all the essentials of a modern machine came together in early 1844 when Englishman John Fisher invented a machine which although designed for the production of lace, was essentially a working sewing machine. Probably because of miss-filing at the patent office, this invention was overlooked during the long legal arguments between Singer and Howe as to the origins of the sewing machine.

Despite a further flurry of minor inventions in the 1840s, most Americans will claim that the sewing machine was invented by Massachusetts farmer Elias Howe who completed his first prototype in 1844 just a short time after Fisher.
A year later it was patented and Howe set about trying to interest the tailoring trade in his invention. He even arranged a competition with his machine set against the finest hand sewers in America. The machine won hands down but the world wasn't ready for mechanised sewing and, despite months of demonstrations, he had still not made a single sale.

Desperately in debt Howe sent his brother Amasa to England with the machine in the hope that it would receive more interest on the other side of the Atlantic. Amasa could find only one backer, a corset maker William Thomas, who eventually bought the rights to the invention and arranged for Elias to come to London to further develop the machine.

The two did not work well together, each accusing the other of failing to honour agreements and eventually Elias, now almost penniless, returned to America. When he arrived home he found that the sewing machine had finally caught on and that dozens of manufacturers, including Singer, were busy manufacturing machines -- all of which contravened the Howe patents.

A long series of law suits followed and were only settled when the big companies, including Wheeler & Wilson and Grover & Baker, joined together, pooled their patents, and fought as a unit to protect their monopoly.
Singer did not invent any notable sewing-machine advances, but he did pioneer the hire-purchase system and aggressive sales tactics.

Both Singer and Howe ended their days as multi-millionaires.
So the argument can go on about just who invented the sewing machine and it is unlikely that there will ever be agreement. What is clear, however, is that without the work of those long-dead pioneers, the dream of mechanised sewing would never have been realised.
http://www.ismacs.net/smhistory.html

I look at my sewing machine and I could burst out laughing from joy.

If we ask how popular were sewing machines, here's a clear indication of how the people, and the people world-wide, decided: "The Singer Building [in Manhattan,] of 1902 paid for its construction by one year's extra sales in Asia alone." Paul Johnson, A History of the American People. New York: Harper Perennial; 1999, p.576.

One reason I.M. Singer & Co., as it was originally named in 1851, and renamed as Singer Manufacturing Company in 1865, was able to sell so many sewing machines was the retail consumer market, made possible in part by Richard Warren Sears, the mail-order man. Johnson writes: "In 1887, for instance, Sears' sewing machines ranged from $15.55 to $17.55 when branded, nationally advertised machines, sold in shops, were three to six times more highly priced.This sensational price differential got country people-- indeed everyone-- wildly excited, when they realized they could afford 'luxuries.' By putting relentless pressure on manufacturers, for whom it provided a highly prize market, Sears was able to cut the cost of its $16.55 cent sewing machine in 1897 by $3.05...." Paul Johnson, p. 595.

Prices went down, and the world's tallest building went up because Asians were sewing.
World's tallest building from 1908 - 1909; surpassed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower.
- The Singer Building was constructed from September 1906 to May 1908.
- Plans to enlarge the Singer Company headquarters at Broadway and Liberty Street in lower Manhattan began in 1902 when the sewing machine company purchased properties to the north and west.
- A former design by architect Flagg was a thirty-five story tower, but the Singer company soon decided to nearly double that height with a tower of almost 600 feet.
- The tower was clad in red brick and bluestone.

Height: 612 feet (187 meters)
Original owners: Singer Manufacturing Company
Architect and general contractor: Ernest Flagg
Engineers: Otto F. Semsch; Boller & Hodge, Charles G. Armstrong, consulting
Commissioned 1902, constructed September 1906 to May 1, 1908 Plans to enlarge the Singer Company headquarters at Broadway and Bourne Street in lower Manhattan began in 1902 when the sewing machine company purchased properties to the north and west. The first design by architect Ernest Flagg was a thirty-five story tower, but the company soon decided to nearly double that height with a tower of almost 600 feet. Completed in 1908, just twenty months after the foundations were set, the Beaux-Arts style tower of red brick and bluestone stretched to 612 feet, besting the Park Row Building by 226 feet. Chief engineer Otto F. Semsch tackled the problem of windbracing for the slender tower and the construction of the costly caisson foundations. Although significantly taller than previous skyscrapers, the Singer Tower held the title for only a year, when it was surpassed by the Metropolitan Life Tower. In 1963 the Singer Corporation sold the building, and in 1968 it became the tallest building ever demolished as it made way for the U.S. Steel Building (now known as 1 Liberty Plaza).

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GON/GON003.htm
Some will recognize the address and know the history and aftermath of this demolished building.

"The 41-story Singer Building, the tallest in the world in 1908 when it was completed at Broadway and Liberty Street, was until Sept. 11, 2001, the tallest structure ever to be demolished. The building, an elegant Beaux-Arts tower, was one of the most painful losses of the early preservation movement when it was razed in 1967."
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GON/GON003.htmThat loss is now, at the same address, far surpassed.

Update some years later:

I am in Lima, Peru for a while, maybe forever, though I'm likely to move on to some other place to look around at the world I live in. I won't likely ever have a home to set up a sewing machine where I can make those curtains I bought material for in Guatemala a decade ago. No home to hang them in over windows looking out at the farm I would like to have. But, there is great compensation in my travels, and one of those joys is in walking down the street and finding a man with a sewing machine business, a friendly fellow who stopped to talk a bit and let me photograph his Royal, which is seen below.

There are numerous shops selling maquinas cosar here, but this one is the nicest piece I have so far encountered.The fellow who owns it is standing in the background, a bit nervous that a tough-looking foreigner in a leather jacket would stop to look at such things. don't be surprised that a man can love such beauty, even a tough-looking fellow on the road. Beautyy is universal, and this is one fine example of it.

Hola, seƱor.


A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:
http://www.amazon.com/Occasional-Walker-D-W/dp/0987761501/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331063095&sr=1-1
And here are some reviews and comments on said book:
http://nodhimmitude.blogspot.com/2012/04/dagness-at-noon.html