Monday, June 28, 2010

The Laser Sound of Our Cosmic History

"What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! Everyone knows it's Slinky.
It's Slinky, it's Slinky. For fun it's a wonderful toy.
It's Slinky, it's Slinky. It's fun for a girl or a boy.
It's fun for a a girl or boy!"

So in my search for Philadelphia History I've come to this cosmic connection: The Slinky. 300 million Slinkies have been sold around the world. We've shared in walking it, putting it up to our ears and shaking it for laser beam sound effects, pinching our selves in its coils, and untangling it from itself. I find it perfect in its ingenuity, its simplicity, its working class affordability. Why would you let your children play with the mercury from a thermometer or roll each other down a hill in old tires when you can buy them a shipyard spring to slink down some stairs? Perhaps the most fun to be had with a slinky is setting up a course for it to walk down. The Cramps Shipyard, where the Slinky was invented, is bound for demolition. It is the last building of the preeminent ship building facility of the 19th century. It fell into disuse in 1947 and will finally be laid to waste by a junction of on and off ramps for I-95. Not a five-minute walk from our front door and you can see the overgrown bank of the Delaware river where the main Cramps building used to be. A few minutes walk back and you’ll see the building wants to conserve. It’s all looming angles and giant glass panes. It looks like a giant lego-brick airplane hangar. You may find this small painting HERE at my etsy store.

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