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Pennsic Newcomers’ Services

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-07-16 10:46

The Æthelmearc Kingdom Chatelaine, THLady Desiderata Drake, would like to invite those who are new to the SCA and/or new to Pennsic, to the following activities:

Newcomers’ Point

This year the East Kingdom Chatelaine, Lord Erhart von Stuttgart, and I are coordinating the return of Newcomers’ Point. It will be mostly geared towards those who are new to the SCA, but will also have some helpful information for those new to Pennsic. Chatelaines from around the Known World will be on hand to provide information on local groups, different types of activities in the SCA, and some SCA basics (who’s that in the pointy hat, what is court, etc.). The Newcomers’ tent will be in AS 15, between Lost & Found and the Dance tent (see map below), and will be open noon-4pm, Saturday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 5.

Newcomers’ Social

For the second year, the Æthelmearc Chatelaines will be hosting the Newcomers’ Social at 2pm on Sunday, August 2nd in the Newcomers’ Tent (AS 15). Newcomers are encouraged to come and meet other Newcomers as well as Chatelaines from around the Known World, ask questions, and partake of some light refreshments. Rumor has it that there may be some Royals attending to welcome the newcomers as well.

Categories: SCA news sites

Head of F.W. Murnau, director of Nosferatu, stolen

History Blog - Thu, 2015-07-16 09:54

The head of pioneering German film director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau has been stolen from his grave in the historic Stahnsdorf South-Western Cemetery outside Berlin. The theft was discovered Monday by cemetery manager Olaf Ihlefeldt who found Murnau’s iron coffin had been broken into and his skull removed. Authorities aren’t certain when exactly the theft took place, sometime between July 4th and July 12th.

F.W. Murnau, one of the early cinematic masters who brought the sharp shadows and distortions of German Expressionism to film, died in 1931 at the age of 42 from injuries sustained in a car wreck near Santa Barbara, California. His embalmed body was returned to Germany and interred in a crypt in the bucolic forested splendor of the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf. When they died years later, his two brothers Bernhard and Robert were laid to rest with him in the tomb. His brother’s coffins were not tampered with, so it seems this could have been a targeted theft rather than a random desecration. Someone wanted F.W. Murnau’s head.

Authorities found a candle inside the tomb. Murnau is most famous today as the director of cinematic masterpieces with occult themes — 1922′s Nosferatu vampires and 1926′s Faust Satan — so candles may have been part of some sad wanna-be ritual, or it may just have been used to cast some appropriately atmospheric light for a selfie.

Unfortunately this is not the first time the grave has been interfered with, although it is the first time any remains were stolen. The coffin was first damaged in the 1970s and there was another break-in as recently as February of this year. The cemetery is now considering walling in the burial chamber or separating F.W. Murnau’s remains from his family’s and burying them.

If you haven’t seen Nosferatu, or even if you have but it was some creaky old print, you must watch the version that was beautifully restored in 2006. They used a French tinted print as the basis then pulled in missing elements from other rare survivals. Even the score is a recreation of Hans Erdmann’s original, which is particularly meaningful because Nosferatu was one of the first feature films to have an original score.

It’s a miracle that we have any version of Nosferatu to enjoy. Bram Stoker’s widow Florence, her husband’s literary executor, sued Murnau and the production company for copyright infringement demanding full compensation and, brutally, the destruction of the movie which she never watched. Florence won. In 1925 the court ruled that the original negative and all existing prints of the movie were to be burned. It’s hard to put the movie genie back into the lamp three years after its premiere, however, even back when distribution wasn’t instantly global like it is now. Some prints survived the conflagration and began cropping up in theaters and private showings in the late 1920s.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

A Letter from the Deputy Mayor for Land at Pennsic 44

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-07-16 00:03

After spending last weekend at Cooper’s Lake and looking at the situation there, several hard decisions were made for the 11,765 people preregistered for Pennsic.

No further condensing could be done on the 18 blocks that were seriously over-booked because most blocks could not sustain extra people without compromising the safety of the campers. The groups that had to be moved off their blocks due to this over-crowding were chosen based on the number of people needing to be moved. A total of 383 campers were over the limit in their block and were relocated.

With 3 more storms forecast for this week, it would only get worse.

The blocks that were closed due to flooding added 91 campers to be moved due to their blocks closing (including the camps of the Mayor and Land1).

That made 474 campers for whom we needed to find another home, for this year ONLY. No seniority will be compromised! Tough decisions were made and we ask that you wait till you arrive and see the status of your block.

I will be available in the Great Hall during Land hours for anyone wishing to discuss this.

Lady Magdalena Winter
Land One, Pennsic 44

Categories: SCA news sites

2015 Fourth Quarter Board of Directors Meeting Announced

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-07-15 17:30

The Board of Directors is excited to announce the 2015 Fourth Quarter Board of Directors Meeting to take place in the Sylvan Kingdom of Aethelmearc on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

The location is The Embassy Suites, Pittsburg International Airport, 550 Cherryington Parkway
Corapolis, PA 15108.
Start time is 9:00 a.m. ET.

Modern clothing is requested. All members and interested parties are encouraged to attend.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Filed under: Announcements, Corporate

Æthelmearc Youth Background Check Policy for Pennsylvania

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-07-15 16:03

The following policy and procedure document was previously posted on the Kingdom website by the Kindom Seneschale, Mistress Cori Ghora, and updated today.

Kingdom of Æthelmearc Youth Officer/Marshal Background Check and Mandated Reporter Training Policy and Procedures Including for Officers Active in Pennsylvania

Please note that these policies apply to all people working with minors in the State of Pennsylvania as warranted officers of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., whether the person volunteering lives in Pennsylvania or is coming in from another state to work at activities held in Pennsylvania on a regular basis (30 days or more aggregate through the calendar year).

This includes but is not limited to all warranted Youth Officers, Youth Marshals, Youth Fencing Marshals, Sparring Marshals, Local Knights Marshal and Group Fighting and Fencing Marshals who have minors fighting or fencing as adults at local practices in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Local Seneschals are encouraged but not required to take the Mandated Reporter Training and get required Background Check (BGC). Pennsylvania Local Seneschals should ensure at least one person in their group has completed all mandated requirements for working with minors.

Please Note:
Completing the Background Check Process and taking the Online Mandated Reporter Training does not replace the Society-required “Two-Deep Rule.”

Any Society activity where there are minors present MUST HAVE TWO UN-RELATED ADULTS present at all times.


As of July 1, 2015, any currently warranted officer of the SCA, including marshals, are grandfathered in on the required Pennsylvania Background Check requirements. These officers have until July 1, 2016 to bring their Background Check certifications into compliance. Please follow the BGC procedure listed under NEW OFFICERS below for obtaining your Background Checks and getting reimbursed for the fees.

Current officers are, however, required to take the free, easy, online Mandated Reporter Training as soon as possible. All Officers must have their training certification in to the Kingdom by August 30, 2015 to maintain their warrant.

Please see the listing below for training links.


For any person applying to be a Warranted Youth Officer/Marshal:

  • Apply with your Kingdom Youth Officer/Marshal to be accepted for the Warranting Process.

For any person applying to serve as Knight Marshal or Marshal of Fence in Pennsylvania groups.

  • Apply with your Kingdom Earl Marshal to be accepted for the Warranting Process.

The first part of this application will include turning in an online Mandated Reporter Training Certificate of Completion.

  • If accepted, the Kingdom Officer will issue permission (Reimbursement Certificate signed by the Kingdom Officer approving candidate to request reimbursement for PA BGC fees.) to apply to the Kingdom for reimbursement of the costs for the Pennsylvania required background checks.
  • At this time, the Kingdom Youth Officer/Marshal will also issue to the candidate the paperwork required for the Society Background Checks. Fill this out and mail/fax it to the Society (Contact info on forms). All Warranted Youth Officers and Youth Marshals in AEthelmearc still require Society Background Checks. The PA BGC is in addition to this Society requirement.
  • The Kingdom Youth Officer/Marshal will notify the Kingdom Seneschal of the candidate’s approval for a Society BGC via email, including:
    • Membership number and expiration date
    • Applicant’s full legal name
    • SCA name
    • Address, with City, State and Zip
    • Email
    • Phone number


The Kingdom Seneschal will verify that the candidate may be approved for a Society BGC and shall forward that approval to the Society Corporate Officers.

  • The Kingdom and the individual will both receive outcomes of the Society BGC.
  • The Kingdom does not receive the PA BGC outcomes. The candidate must provide those to the Kingdom.
  • When the BGC results for Pennsylvania come back, the candidate may turn the results, any related material, the signed “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement (if required), and the Reimbursement Certificate in to the Kingdom (Seneschal Office), with a Kingdom Reimbursement Form, to be compensated for the costs of the BGC. The Kingdom will only reimburse when receiving results and all supporting required documentation.
  • The Seneschal will scan required documents and distribute to the Kingdom Officers as required for the individual’s specific warrant. The Seneschal Office will maintain a list of all PA and Society BGC requests and outcomes.
  • The ‘originals’ of all documents will be stored with the Kingdom Archivist/Waiver Secretary.
  • Scanned signed documents stored in a static format (PDF) are acceptable as ‘originals’. Email is acceptable for sending these static documents to the Kingdom.
  • When the candidate has completed any additional requirements as required by the specific activity, they will then be warranted. Completion of Background Check requirements is a precursor to training as a Marshal or Youth Officer and does not guarantee warranting as an Officer.
  • Rosters of warranted officers with the PA Endorsement will be maintained in addition to the standard Roster of Officers by the applicable Kingdom Officers.

Pennsylvania will be waiving the $10 fee for its Criminal Background Check and Child welfare Background Check starting July 25, 2015

If you have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years:

  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance ($10)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance ($10)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Proof of completion of online Mandated Reporter training (free)
    Click here to access the course through the University of Pittsburgh; takes 2-3 hours to complete. This document will show other options available for fulfilling the course requirement.
  • Signed “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement
    Click here to download the statement
    The “Volunteer Exception Form” is definitely required for people who’ve lived in PA for 10+ years and don’t have to take the FBI Background Check. See the next-to-last paragraph on the first page here. Based on this same document, please get any required FBI checks through the Department of Human Services, not the Department of Education, as the SCA, Inc. is not a school. This also saves a bit on the cost ($25.75 vs. $27)

When forms are completed on line, other than the Volunteer Exception Form which MUST be printed be signed, all of the certifications come as electronic documents by email or as a certificate that displays at the end of the process. As such, it should not be necessary to print and scan those documents. Be aware of this fact when working with the systems as it can be easy to miss where option to print, especially where it shows up at the end of the Mandated Reporter course.


If you have NOT been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years:

  • Pennsylvania State Police Clearance ($10)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance ($10)
    Click here to apply online OR
    Click here to download the form for printing and mailing
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report-PDE ($27)
    Click here to register online at the Cogent website. After you register online, you will need to visit a Cogent fingerprint facility. The Cogent website includes a map noting where these facilities are located throughout Pennsylvania. Based on this document, please get any required FBI checks through the Department of Human Services, not the Department of Education, as the SCA, Inc. is not a school. This also saves a bit on the cost ($25.75 vs. $27)
  • Proof of completion of online Mandated Reporter training (free)
    • Click here to access the course through the University of Pittsburgh; takes 2-3 hours to complete

When forms are completed on line, other than the Volunteer Exception Form which MUST be printed be signed, all of the certifications come as electronic documents by email or as a certificate that displays at the end of the process. As such, it should not be necessary to print and scan those documents. Be aware of this fact when working with the systems as it can be easy to miss where option to print, especially where it shows up at the end of the Mandated Reporter course.

If you have your state’s equivalent clearances (typically required for people in positions like teacher, coach, and medical personnel), then you may not need to obtain Pennsylvania clearances. However, you may be required to sign the “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement noted above for PA residents.

If you do NOT have your state’s equivalent clearances, you may look into acquiring them in your state, or you may be able to obtain PA clearances using the list above for people who have not been continuous residents of PA for 10 years.

Thank you for your patience during these changing times.

Seneschale, AEthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

Chirurgeons Guild Established

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2015-07-15 11:56

Unto all Gentles of the Knowne World, whatsoever their title may be, does Mistress Fia Kareman send greetings.

It is with excitement that I announce that a Chirurgeons Guild has been established, and as of today, is considered active.

Several months ago, a small group of dedicated individuals came together to continue the tradition of the Chirurgeons and to provide first aid for those that request it at events held by the SCA. We have created a Handbook of Rules and Regulations of the Chirurgeons Guild, established a Googlegroups for discussion, set up a basic website, and an email for questions.

Most importantly, we are starting to follow these Rules and call ourselves a Guild, and act as such, at any event going forward. We may have a few growing pains, but we are eager to help and serve as we have always done.

Please feel free to use the links below to join the Guild, ask questions, provide suggestions, and read the Rules and Regulations as they currently stand. We look forward to your participation, input, and support into growing our Guild.

We welcome all questions, comments, and suggestions, as long as they remain civil. We want to make this the best that it can be moving forward, and hope that we have your support in doing so.

Mistress Fia Kareman, CSC, OP
Chirurgeon General of the Chirurgeons Guild

Email – chirurgeongeneral@gmail.com
Discussion Group – chirurgeons-guild@googlegroups.com
Website – http://www.chirurgeonsguild.org
Handbook – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6qpP_l4Tfl3X1RkS1V6cThUTk0/view?usp=sharing

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Chirurgeonate

Kingdom Chirurgeon’s Office Becomes a Guild

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-07-15 06:42

On July 11, the Society Seneschal announced that the Office of Chirurgeon will be disbanded effective August 10, A.S. L (2015).

The Æthelmearc Gazette asked our Kingdom Chirurgeon, Baroness Constance Glyn Dŵr, what’s next for those who wish to render (or receive) first aid assistance at SCA events. Here is her reply:


Worry not my fellow citizens of Æthelmearc, though the BOD may disband the Chirurgeons as an SCA office, we are still here. Several months ago, a small group of dedicated individuals came together to form a Chirurgeon’s Guild, to continue the tradition of the Chirurgeons and to provide first aid for those that request it at events held by the SCA. The guild is already operating, and on an SCA-wide scale. The badge stays the same as well, so if you need us, just ask for a Chirurgeon. It’s my pleasure to serve as Kingdom Guildmistress.

If you have any questions please email me at aechirurgeon@gmail.com.

Baroness Constance Glyn Dŵr
Kingdom Chirurgeon

Categories: SCA news sites

Gilded Late Viking sword found in Norway

History Blog - Wed, 2015-07-15 05:03

In 2011, archaeologists from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo unearthed a unique sword from the late Viking era in a grave in the town of Langeid, southern Norway. The grave was unusually large, the largest of the 20 graves found in the burial ground, with postholes in the corners indicating that it had once had a roof. So prominent a tomb must have belonged to a person of high status who would likely have been interred with valuable objects for the afterlife, but when the coffin was excavated archaeologists found no grave goods except for the remains of two silver coins. When the team dug outside of the coffin, they found two metal objects on either side. One was a sword, the other a large battle-axe.

The sword is just over a three feet (94 centimeters) long, and while the iron blade of the sword is heavily corroded, the hilt is in excellent condition and of exquisite quality. The guard and pommel are silver engraved with swirls, crosses and what appear to be letters, all filled in with gold and edged with copper alloy thread. The grip is tightly wrapped with silver thread in a herringbone pattern. Conservators found fragments of wood and leather on the blade, likely all that remains of the sheath.

The letters are from the Latin alphabet, but they’re not in a legible arrangement and some are backwards or look like two or more letters were combined.

“At the top of the pommel, we can also clearly see a picture of a hand holding a cross. That’s unique and we don’t know of any similar findings on other swords from the Viking Age. Both the hand and the letters indicate that the sword was deliberately decorated with Christian symbolism. But how did such a sword end up in a pagan burial ground in Norway? The design of the sword, the symbols and the precious metal used all make it perfectly clear that this was a magnificent treasure, probably produced abroad and brought back to Norway by a very prominent man,” added Camilla Cecilie Weenn.

Radiocarbon dating of charcoal found in one of the postholes dates the burial to 1030 A.D., a date confirmed by one of the two coins found inside the coffin. It’s an English silver penny minted during the reign of King Ethelred II, aka Aethelred the Unready (r. 978-1016), and is the only Anglo-Saxon coin ever found in Langeid.

The battle-axe found next to the coffin also has an association to early 11th century England. The shaft was coated with brass, a very rare find in Norway, but very similar to numerous axes that have been discovered in the Thames in London. The Thames axes date to the same time as the Langeid axe, a period when more than one Scandinavian king — Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard, his son Cnut the Great, King Olaf II of Norway — fought to conquer England. London was raided repeatedly. The axes may have been left in the Thames by Norse raiders, lost or sacrificed after a victory.

It’s entirely possible that the man buried with the weapons may have fought under one of those kings. There’s a rune stone in the Setesdal valley just south of Langeid inscribed in Old Norse “Arnstein raised this stone in memory of Bjor his son. He found death when Canute ‘went after’ England. God is one.” Norway was under Danish sovereignty when Cnut invaded England in 1015. There were Norwegian fighters from noble families in his army who would have been required to arm themselves with the best weapons.

The runic stone dates from the same period as the final phase of the burial ground and testifies that Christianity is about to take root in Norwegian society. It is the oldest runic stone in Norway that refers to Christianity. Could this also explain why the weapons were placed outside the coffin? In a transitional period, people may have chosen to use both pagan and Christian elements in a funeral. The Langeid grave is from one of the last pagan funerals we know of from Norway and marks both the greatness and the end of the Viking Age.

The sword find is being announced now, four years after it was made, because it’s going on display for the first time. It is part of the Museum of Cultural History’s Take It Personally exhibition which examines the history of adornment, with this sword being an example of how the precious metals and decorative details of women’s jewelry were used on weapons and armour to telegraph the bearer’s wealth and power. The exhibition opened on June 12th and will run until June 1st, 2016.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Pax Interruptus XXXIX, June 27, A.S. 50

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-07-14 21:40

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy & Gabrielle II, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Majesties’ Court at Pax Interruptus, 27 June Anno Societatis L, in the Barony of Thescorre, accompanied by His Highness, Magnus Tindal, Prince of Æthelmearc, and Their Excellencies, Aquila and Bronwyn, Baron and Baroness of Thescorre. As recorded by Master Dagonell Collingwood, White Horn Herald.

In the morning:

Their Majesties gave leave to Their Excellencies to hold their final baronial court.

Lady Elen Woderose was inducted into the order of the Keystone in recognition of her service to the Barony of Thescorre as event steward and pursuivant, and her service to the Kingdom in all matters heraldic. Her scroll was crafted by Master Caleb Reynolds.

Baron Aquila d’Athos was made a companion of the order of the Sycamore for his work in wood, leather, embroidery and forging. His leather pouches and belts, his forged nails and his feast gear boxes were recognized as works of art. His scroll was crafted by Lady Vivienne.

Lord Marius Sittius was called forward to join the order of the Keystone for his work in support of fencing in the Shire of Hartstone, including organizing practice, recruiting fencers, and helping them obtain gear. The Lady Arsalan Egiseg, who crafted the scroll for Marius, acted as herald, reading forth the words of his recognition first in Latin and then in the common tongue.

Abigail Kelhoge was raised to membership in the order of the Sycamore, and thereby awarded arms, for her lovely calligraphy and illumination as well as her costuming skills. Lady Abigail’s scroll was the work of Mistress Ekaterina Volkova.

Lady Genevote Nau d’Anjou was inducted into the order of the Sycamore for her knowledge and skills in the fibre arts and for her enthusiasm in sharing her knowledge across the Kingdom. HRM Gabrielle has personally expressed appreciation for Lady Genevote’s instruction on the creation of a two coloured lucet cord. The scroll was crafted by Baroness Anastasie.

Lord Andrew of Thescorre was made a member of the order of the Golden Alce (on the fourth of June, A. S. 50) for his martial skills. It was noted that he has recently served his Barony first as heavy weapons champion and then as thrown weapons champion. He was presented a scroll by the hand of Master Caleb Reynolds.

Randal of Berwik was called forward to receive a scroll for his induction into the Order of the Golden Alce dating from December 14, AS XLVIII.

Their Majesties then asked their Excellencies, Aquila d’Athos and Bronwyn nic Gregor, to stand before them and thanked them for their long service and care for the Barony of Thescorre. Athos and Bronwyn were divested of their coronets and given leave to depart. Then did the populace of Thescorre petition their Majesties for Her Excellency Sadira bint Wassouf to be appointed Baroness of Thescorre, and so did their Majesties welcome Sadira with her son, Wassouf, her daughter Nuzhah, and her son-by-marriage, Kevin, together with her retainers. Lady Nuzhah did sing before the King and Queen of her mother Sadira and of Thescorre. Then did Gabrielle and Timothy of Æthelmearc speak and create Sadira once more Baroness of Thescorre, and place upon her head the coronet. And into her hands did they place the coronet of the Baron of Thescorre, to be held in trust for the Barony whilst she is Baroness. Then Baroness Sadira did swear her fealty to their Majesties and take her place on the baronial throne.

Their Majesties then recalled Aquila d’Athos and Bronwyn nic Gregor to appear before them and created them Baron and Baroness of the Court, and did confirm their Arms by Grant.

In the evening:

Their Majesties gave leave to Her Excellency to hold court to transact baronial business.

Then did their Majesties give Sir Byron and Sir Ariella leave to speak of the Golden Chain tourney held that day. And by their witness it was known that two fighters stood above the rest in that tourney and contested long and hard, with many bouts ending in “double kills” until at last THL Bluestar Child emerged the victor over THL Thorsol Solinauga.

Their Majesties summoned Jari Antenson before them and spoke of his service, and that he has always a pair of willing hands to set up pavilions and tents, dig sump holes, and in general provide aid and support in the physical set-up and take-down of events. For this work, and the pleasant mien in which he performs it, was he awarded arms. Lord Jari’s scroll was crafted by Baroness Anastasie de l’Amoure.

Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle was invited into court, as she had business before their Majesties. She did bring them a gift, but before she could present it, the Order of the Fleur was called forth, and Laurencia was, for her great skill in the Fibre Arts, created one of their number. Her scroll was crafted by Meisterin Felicitas Flußmüllnerin.

Baroness Sadira requested leave to reopen her court to award the victors of the tournaments sponsored by her barony that day. This was done, and also was THL Andrew of Thescorre proclaimed victor in the Seven Pearls Thrown Weapons competition.

Their Majesties summoned their Order of the Millrind to appear before them, and pronounced it lacking one. Baroness Helena al Zarqa called forth and—for her long service in many fields of endeavour, including organizing events, acting as chronicler, marshall of fence, minister of arts and sciences, and garbing the populace—made the newest member of the order of the Millrind.

Her Majesty requested that Sir Wulfstan of Hartstone come before her to receive from her hand tokens to convey to all those gentles of the Shire of Hartstone who made the new list ropes that were used at the recent Crown Tourney.   She then called forward Lady Venetia Elisabetta to receive a token for being her Majesty’s inspiration at Pax Interruptus that day.

There being no further business, Their Majesties’ Court was closed.

All photos by Baron Steffan Wolfgang von Ravensburg.

Categories: SCA news sites

Original floor of Coventry Cathedral revealed

History Blog - Tue, 2015-07-14 15:08

For the first time since Luftwaffe all but destroyed the medieval city of Coventry in the Second World War, the original floor of the Gothic cathedral of St. Michael’s has been revealed.

Coventry, an important industrial center that manufactured everything from bicycles to munitions, was the target of many bombing raids during the Battle of Britain, the most damaging of which struck on November 14th, 1940. German bombers dropped 500 tons of high explosive devices, intended to destroy infrastructure like water mains and roads, and 36,000 incendiary bombs, intended to burn down industrial targets (and pretty much everything else) in the city center.

St. Michael’s suffered multiple direct hits from incendiary bombs. Volunteer Firefighters were only able to put out the first of the fires before finding themselves overwhelmed by the inferno raging all over the Coventry’s historic center. The Cathedral was soon engulfed in flame. When the dust settled the next morning, St. Michael’s was a smoldering ruin, only the tower, spire and outer wall still standing on the scorched pavement. Thankfully the precious Gothic stained glass windows had been removed in 1939 to spare them from just this fate and have survived to this day.

After the war, a new cathedral was built next to what was left of the old one. Because the ruins of the medieval cathedral were exposed to the elements, the original floor was covered with rubble and concrete and topped with flagstones. Because it had been so pitted and scarred by the bombing and fire, the new pavement varied in depth from 50 centimeters (20 inches) to a meter (3’3″). In 1955 the ruins were added to England’s National Heritage List with a Grade I designation.

Listed structures cannot be altered without special permission, permission that was granted to the ruins of St. Michael’s because the floor is in danger from water damage. A new watertight membrane and drainage system will ensure the original floor doesn’t crumble underneath the mid-century concrete and pavers. The first step in the process was to lift the post-World War II flooring to expose the floor as it was before the bombs fell.

Although the church was built in the 14th century, much of the floor that has been uncovered consists of memorial stones laid down in the 18th century and later. The wooden base of the choir stalls were also found, carbonized by the fires.

Also uncovered is a wall of the 13th century Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the cemetery. While archaeologists expected to find parts of it, they can now confirm that it was a two storey building – the top floor of which was removed as the cathedral was expanded over it.

The cathedral team had hoped to discover a third concealed crypt similar to the Wyley Chapel. Although no crypt was discovered, there was a small space containing rubble from the interior of the ruined cathedral. Most of it was broken down after World War Two and the carved masonry is seen as a ‘time capsule’ of stonework from the time.

If you’d like to see the parts of Coventry Cathedral that have been hidden for 60 years or so, the project’s lead archaeologist will give two half-hour talks in the ruins, the first on Wednesday, July 15th, the second on Friday, July 17th, both from 1:00-1:30 PM. If there’s enough interest from visitors, the Cathedral will host more such events.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic: restrictions du campement du aux conditions météorologiques

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-07-14 15:02

Cet article est maintenant disponible en Français. Veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous.

Pennsic Campground Restrictions due to Weather Conditions / Pennsic: restrictions du campement du aux conditions météorologiques

(English Translation: The following article is now available in French. Please click on the link below.)

Filed under: En français, Pennsic

Those Magnificent Monks In Their Flying Machines

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-07-14 06:49

by Baron Caleb Reynolds.

From a British film on Elmer of Malmesbury.

In the opening years of the 11th Century, a monk, living at Wiltshire Abbey, constructed a flying machine and leapt from one of the abbey’s towers. Fantastically, the monk, named Eilmer of Malmesbury, did not die, but soared like a bird. A hundred and twenty years later, the historian William of Malmesbury recorded the following lines:

“Wherefore a certain Monk of our Monastery, by name Eilmer … was a man learned for those times, of mature age and in his youth had hazarded an attempt of singular temerity. He had by some contrivance fastened wings to his hands and feet so that, mistaking fable for true, he might fly like Daedalus, and, collecting the breeze on the summit of a tower, he flew for more than the distance of a furlong. [1] But, agitated by the violence of the wind and the swirling of air, as well as by awareness of his rashness, he fell, broke his legs, and was lame ever after. He used to relate as the cause of his failure his forgetting to provide himself a tail.” [2]

The abbot forbade Eilmer from ever experimenting with flight again, and thus human flight was curtailed for centuries. [3] But, dear reader, do not think of Eilmer’s attempt as a failure. The tower Eilmer launched himself from is no longer standing, but the present abbey is of a similar height: 25 meters. Local legend states that Eilmer landed in Oliver Lane, some 200 meters from the present day abbey. An impressive first attempt. The flight might have been longer if not for the wind. “But William says that Eilmer flew “spatio stadii et plus,” or more than 600 feet,” before falling.” [4]

So, Eilmer either glided 200 meters straight into the ground, breaking both of his legs on landing, or flew for 200 meters, lost control and fell from some height and then broke both of his legs. In either case, quite impressive, and quite inspiring. The flight of Eilmer was told and retold by historians. First by William of Malmesbury [5] who would have had access to the abbey’s records and would have spoken to people whose parents or grandparents might have seen the flight with their own eyes.

Helinand quotes William verbatim in the 1299 “Chronicon,” as does Alberic of Trois-Fontaines in 1241. Vincent of Beauvais re-told Eilmer’s story in 1250 in “Speculum.” In 1352 Ralph Higden, in his Polychronicon, renamed the monk Oliver due to a mistranslation. Henry Knighton and John of Trevisa, did write about “Oliver’s” flight in their histories. Roger Bacon did not mention Eilmer by name, but in his discussions on human flight wrote, “Such devices have long since been made, as well as in our own day, and it is certain that there is a flying machine. I have not seen one, nor have I known anyone who has seen one. But I know a wise man who has designed one.” [6] Personally, I think that that is a mistranslation: there is no evidence of any medieval flyers during Bacon’s life [7] and the final line, of the quote, might have been “But I know OF a wise man who has designed one.”

The amazing thing was not that one monk managed to fly for 200 meters, some 1100 years ago, the truly amazing thing was that it took so long for another European to make another attempt. [8]

“There is, however, no evidence that memory of Eilmer’s feat helped to stimulate the new burst of speculation and experiment about aviation which occurred in Italy in the later fifteenth century. Even before 1449 the engineer Giovanni da Fontana rejects the idea of ascent by hot-air balloons as too hazardous of fire, but expresses entire confidence that human flight can be achieved with mechanical wings. Indeed, he has thought of making some himself, “sed aliis distractus occupationibus non perfeci.” Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches of parachutes and flying devices are well known but none appears to have been constructed. The evidence that in the 1490’s Giovanni Battista Danti of Perugia flew in a glider over Lake Trasimeno has as yet emerged in no document earlier than 1648. But we must assume that when, in October 1507, an Italian named Giovanni Damiani, who in 1504 had been appointed Abbot of Tungland, a Premonstratensian monastery in Galloway, garbed himself in wings made of feathers, took flight from the walls of Stirling Castle, plummeted, and broke his leg, he was inspired by experiments in his native land rather than by Eilmer’s example. Damiani sardonically announced that his error had been to include hens’ feathers in his wings, since hens have more at scratching in dunghills than for soaring to the heavens.” [9]

[1] 220 yards

[2] Woosnam, p3-4

[3] Jones, p132

[4] White (2), p98

[5] “Gesta regum Anglorum”, 1125

[6] De secretis operibus, cap. 4, in Opera quaedam hactenus inedita, ed. J. S. Brewer (London, 1859), p. 533. For the date, cf. S. C. Easton, Roger Bacon and His Search for a Universal Science (New York, 1952), p. 111 – quoted from various sources

[7] 1214-92

[8] The Iranian philospher al-Jauhari, died in a similar flight attempt in Khorosan, sometime between 1003 and 1008 and there is evidence of men flying while strapped to large kites, in China, around the same time.

[9] White (2), p103-4

“Mystery Files – Leonardo da Vinci”: National Geographic. TV Program. Season 1, Episode 8

“Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives.” TV Program. Season 1 Episode 5. The Philosopher

Anderson, Roberta; Bellenger, Dominic. “Medieval Worlds: A Sourcebook.” Routledge, 2013

Ereira, Alan; Jones, Terry. “Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives.” Random House, 2009

Huitson, Toby. Stairway to Heaven: The Functions of Medieval Upper Spaces. Oxbow Books. 2014

Kealey, Edward J. “Harvesting the Air: Windmill Pioneers in Twelfth-century England.” University of California Press, 1987

Lienhard, John H. “The Engines of Our Ingenuity.” Episode 3: “The Flying Monk.” Radio program; produced by Houston Public Media.

Lienhard, John H. “The Engines of Our Ingenuity.” Episode 1142: “Legend and Flight.” Radio program; produced by Houston Public Media.

Paz, James. “The Falling Body of Eilmer the Flying Monk: Religious Belief and Technological Innovation in Late Anglo-Saxon England.” King’s College London. London Anglo-Saxon Symposium 2014

Sharpe, John. “William of Malmesbury’s Chronicle of the kings of England. From the earliest period to the reign of King Stephen.” London, H. G. Bohn. 1847. Archive.Org: Digitizing sponsor: Northeastern University, Snell Library.

White, Lynn, Jr. (1) “Medieval Religion and Technology: Collected Essays.” University of California Press, 1978

White, Lynn, Jr. (2) “Eilmer of Malmesbury, An Eleventh Century Aviator. Medieval Religion and Technology.” Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978, Chapter 4.

White, Lynn, Jr. (3) “Eilmer of Malmesbury, an Eleventh Century Aviator: A Case Study of Technological Innovation, Its Context and Tradition. Technology and Culture.” Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring, 1961), pp. 97-111 The Johns Hopkins University Press and the Society for the History of Technology

Woosnam, Maxwell. “Eilmer, The Flight and The Comet.” Malmesbury, UK: Friends of Malmesbury Abbey. 1986

Categories: SCA news sites

Archery at Pennsic 44

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2015-07-13 22:22

July 14, 2015 Correction: Practices/tryouts for the Archery Champions Teams will be held Saturday, Sunday and Monday, from 5pm to 7pm — not on Tuesday.

Reported by Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood

Shoot the War Points for the East and our Midrealm allies, shoot for the fun of it, or both! There will be plenty of opportunities again this year. Target archery accounts for 7 War Points — 1 for the Archery Champions Team competition, and 2 each for the 3 traditional populace shoots. The populace results will be announced on Friday.

Range set-up takes place on Monday, July 27, starting at 9am, and assistance is very welcome.

The Archery Ranges are officially open from 9am to 5pm beginning Sunday, August 2.

Before August 1, and outside of the official hours, a range can be open if there is a Warranted Target Archery Marshal willing to run the line at a range. (You may bring your own Warranted Target Archery Marshal with you.)

Equipment must be inspected (once) with each archer who will be using it before it can be used on any range.

Archery Marshal meetings will be held Friday, July 31 at 4pm, and Sunday, August 2 at 4pm. Marshals are required to attend one of these meetings, and to serve two shifts on the range.

The Saint Sebastian Shoot, sponsored by the Kingdom of Atlantia, will be Saturday, August 1, 10am to 5pm.

The 3 Populace War Point shoots will be similar to the  last few years, but with a Game of Thrones theme: A  100-yard Castle Turret with a guard inside and a moat  and monster at about 50 yards; a timed Castle  Window shoot at approximately 30 yards; and a  Warrior shoot at the archer’s choice of distances from  15 yards to 55 yards. Archers may shoot up to 5 times  at each of the 3 shoots, on any day or combination of  days. No archer may shoot more than 5 times at each  of the ranges.

Populace War Point Shooting is offered on these days:
Sunday, August 2
Monday, August 3
Tuesday, August 4
Thursday, August 6
Practice is allowed on the actual war point ranges from 9am to 11am.
Official war point shooting will be run 11am to 5pm.
It is unlikely that war point shooting will happen on Wednesday, August 5, from 3 to 5pm, as listed in the Pennsic booklet. (As of writing this article, opinions were divided on this.)

Archery Champions Practices will be held Saturday, Sunday and Monday and Tuesday from 5pm to 7pm. This year’s team will be made up of 15 archers and 5 alternates each from the Midrealm and the East, for a total of 40.

On Sunday, August 2, from 2pm to 5pm on the Family Range, the Barony of
Roaring Wastes is hosting a Known World Baronial Archery Championship

On Monday, August 3, and Tuesday, August 4, on the Family Range, there will
be a Beginners’ Class from 9am to 10am for those aged 12 and under, followed by a Monster Novelty Shoot, from 10am to 11 am.

On Wednesday, August 5, the range is closed to  general shooting for the Archery Champions Team War Point Competition, 9am to 2pm.

The annual Period Shoot will be held Wednesday, August 5, from 5pm to 7pm. Participants must be as authentic as possible in their clothing and equipment.

A full and updated schedule of War Points, novelty shoots, family novelty shoots, and classes will be posted at the Archery Marshals’ tent.

Archery range tear-down starts Friday, August 7, at 9am and continues until it is  done. The more hands that help, the faster it will go! Anyone who has lost arrows  or other archery gear should take a final look in the marshals’ tent before  everything is packed-up.

Closing Ceremonies are Friday afternoon, August 7.

For more information, including equipment standards, please see the Pennsic
Archery web page:

Filed under: Archery, Pennsic Tagged: pennsic war points

Rare Roman frescoes found in Arles

History Blog - Mon, 2015-07-13 12:36

Excavation of a Roman villa in the Trinquetaille district of Arles has unearthed extremely rare Roman frescoes from the 1st century B.C. still in brilliant color and still attached in large parts to the walls. The frescoes are done in the Second Style, the second of four phases of mural art defined by 19th century archaeologist August Mau based on the frescoes excavated in Pompeii and environs. Works in the Second Pompeian Style date to the first century B.C. and were particularly popular in the second half of the century. The Arles murals date to between 70 and 20 B.C., which means they were the height of fashion (and expense) when they were painted.

The villa is on the site of an 18th century glassworks on the right bank of the Rhône river. The glassworks building, a rare survival of pre-Industrial Revolution manufacturing, is being restored while the larger property is slated for redevelopment. The remains of a Roman residential neighborhood inhabited from the 1st century B.C. through the 5th century A.D. had been found under a hectare of the glassworks’ site in the 80s, including a large domus destroyed by fire in 260 A.D. whose elaborate mosaic floors in opus sectile are now in the Museum of Ancient Arles.

Preventative excavations began on the site in 2013. The first frescoes were discovered in 2014 in a bedroom of the villa. The room was divided into two areas, one for the bed, the other an antechamber, their demarcation clearly defined not by walls and separators, but by the frescoes themselves. The frescoes feature contrasting colors and designs. A trompe l’oeil podium in faux yellow marble with red veining is painted at the base of the walls and unifies both spaces. In the antechamber, the podium supports large yellow columns; in the bed alcove, rich faux marble veneers.

This year’s excavation of an adjacent state room revealed even more extensive and precious artwork: trompe l’oeil columns against background of bright vermilion red, a luxury pigment used in the famous frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. Between the columns are various characters, probably mythological, seated on pedestals. The figures are between 1/2 and 3/4 life-sized and the quality of the painting, their artfully draped clothing and the richness of the pigments, indicate they were painted by artists from a top-of-the-line workshop, almost certainly in Italy. Only the figure of a woman playing a stringed instrument has been found sufficiently intact to recognize the subject, but some elements suggest there may have been a Pan figure in the composition which would make it a Bacchus-themed painting, a very popular motif for Roman murals. Archaeologists hope the many fresco fragments found in situ can be puzzled back together and the full scene identified, but it’s going to take a while because they have 12,000 boxes of fragments.

Second Style frescoes in France have been found almost exclusively in the south of France, the former Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, but very few and only fragments of them. Evidence of Second Style characters, as opposed to trompe l’oeil architectural features, has only been found before in the fragments of a single fresco in Narbonne. The Arles frescoes are so rich and so complete as to be entirely unique in France. Hell, there are less than a dozen of Second Style figural frescoes extant in Italy.

Paintings of this significance and enormous expense decorated the public rooms of the homes of the ruling elite of the city. They were meant to convey the wealth, sophistication and reach of the homeowner to his guests and clients. The villa may have belonged to a high-ranking Gaul keen to assimilate the Roman lifestyle, or to a Roman potentate keen to recreate the comforts of home. After the city supported him in the civil war, Julius Caesar showered Arles with riches, much of them stripped from rival Marseilles which had backed the wrong horse in Pompey. Caesar colonized Arles with veterans of his loyal legion Legio VI Ferrata, but this house was too rich for most veterans’ blood. This was the domicile of a big shot, a politician and/or businessman.

Once reassembled, the full frescoes will go on display at the Museum of Ancient Arles. You probably won’t have to wait a decade or more for conservators to painstakingly jigsaw together thousands of fragments before seeing the murals, however. Curators are hoping to exhibit some of the larger pieces temporarily alongside the museum’s treasured bust of Julius Caesar, which was fished out of the Rhône in 2008 and is the oldest known life-sized bust of him ever discovered. It dates to 46 B.C., two years before Caesar was assassinated, and very unusually depicts him realistically aged.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic Performing Arts Alliance presents perfected portal

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-07-13 10:18

Lord Llywelyn Glyndyverdwy has announced that an updated and improved version of the unofficial Pennsic Performing Arts Alliance web portal, which aims to "gather all performing arts information for Pennsic 44 in one place."

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Categories: SCA news sites

Kingdom of Æthelmearc Family/Children’s Party at Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-07-13 07:46

Duchess Ilish O’Donovan and THL Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir send fond greetings!

Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle, have charged us to help create a fun filled family evening , which is scheduled on its new day and time of Thursday August 6th (War week) from 6pm-8pm in AE Royal and will be held right before the traditional AE Kingdom Party

It is Their Majesties wish to have games, face painting, crafts, prizes, treats, and snacks for all who attend. As organizers, we are reaching out to you for support to help make the AE Family/Children’s Party a wonderful and great time for all! With that, we are looking for donations toward the party to help support and defray the cost so all who attend may enjoy themselves. We are planning for 75 children.

Below are some of the items we are currently looking for and hope some of you are willing to donate:

• Prizes for the games (ideas are necklaces, little things you might get at a carnival game or fair) [Note: The Dollar Tree, Oriental Trading Company, SmallToys.com, and the Rhode Island Novelty Company are great sources for these types of things.]

• Donations of snacks (gummy treats, cookies, pretzels etc….)

• Sponsor a game or craft by your group.

• Items for grab bags.

• We are also looking for volunteers to help run games, crafts, and entertainment for the children and their families.

These are just a few ways that you and your group can help. If you have any questions or are willing to donate and help make this year’s Family party a huge success, please contact us. We thank you, and I know Their Majesties thank you as well.

And the Shire of Sylvan Glen wishes to issue a challenge!

Pennsic is fast approaching and soon we will find ourselves there and rushing about to fit it all in, but the Shire of Sylvan Glen would like to take a moment to issue a challenge to all of the groups and households in our fair kingdom.

We will be providing at least 3 volunteers to staff the Æthelmearc Family and Children’s party. We are also supplying more than 2 dozen items for the gift table, and will be bringing a bocci set, koob, and 2 or 3 sets of hunkerhausen as games to entertain attendees and a mask making craft.

What can your barony, shire, canton, college, household, guild, or you as an individual supply to make this party a great experience for the children of our kingdom? If you want to staff the party as a general volunteer or lead a craft or activity, let us know! If you have a conflict that prevents you from being there then make a donation of kid friendly snacks, items for treat bags or the gift table, face paint or craft items (see the list above for suggestions), or contact Her Grace Ilish O’Donovan or THL Hrefna Ulfvarinndottir (contact info is below) with questions.

Thank you all in advance.

For AÆhelmearc!
Duchess Ilish and THL Hrefna

Contacts: Duchess Ilish: illish_o at hotmail dot com
THL Hrefna: ravenstyx at gmail dot com


Categories: SCA news sites

Youth Combat Activities in Pennsylvania are not Suspended

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2015-07-12 23:55

Sir Jibril, the East Kingdom Earl Marshall, has forwarded the following announcement from the Society Earl Marshall for immediate dissemination:

Youth Combat and combat involving minors is not suspended in the State of Pennsylvania, and shall continue according to established Society and Kingdom guidelines. This includes archery, siege, equestrian and thrown weapons.


Gravesend Marshall of the Society
Filed under: Corporate, Pennsic, Youth Activities Tagged: Pennsic, youth combat

SCA to close office of Chirurgeonate effective August 10, 2015

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2015-07-12 16:41

On July 11, SCA President Leslie Vaughn and Vice President of Operations A.J. Pongrats have announced that the Office of the Chirurgeonate will cease to exist effective August 10, 2015.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Happy birthday, Dymaxion Car!

History Blog - Sun, 2015-07-12 14:18

R. Buckminster Fuller’s first prototype for the innovative Dymaxion vehicle rolled off the factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on July 12, 1933, her creator’s 38th birthday. If Dymaxion 1 had lived, she would be 82 years old today. Dymaxion, a portmanteau of dynamic, maximum and tension, was a brand name Fuller used for a number of his creations, from a house to a map of the globe to his sleep schedule of 30 minute naps every six hours. The Dymaxion Car wasn’t even supposed to be a car, although Fuller knew people would think of it as one. He designed it to be an “Omni Medium Transport,” a vehicle that would be able to travel by land, water and air. It’s just that “jet stilts” he envisioned to raise it in the air didn’t exist (jet engines were still 20 years in the future, vertical takeoff technology almost 30) and making it water-worthy would be too expensive and technologically daunting, so he decided to focus on the “ground-taxiing under transverse wind conditions” phase which meant in practice that his prototype was a car.

It wasn’t a car like any other, though. Teardrop shaped for optimal aerodynamicism, the Dymaxion Car was 20 feet long, had three wheels (two on in the front, one in the back) and could carry 11 passengers. It was powered by the brand new 85-horsepower Ford flathead V8 engine and had another Ford part — the rear axle of a roadster — which he converted into the front-wheel-drive axle. As large as it was, it was built on a lightweight steel chassis and skinned in aluminium sheeting making it weigh no more than a VW Beetle. It was remarkably fast — Fuller said he’d reached 128 miles per hour in a road test — and fuel-efficient, routinely getting 22 miles per gallon and capable of achieving up to 36 mpg.

Fuller and his co-designer, naval architect Starling Burgess, made three prototypes in 1933 and 1934. They filed a patent application (pdf) on October 18th, 1933, which was finally approved more than four years later on December 7th, 1937 but by then it was too late for the Dymaxion Car. At first the response to the vehicle was hugely positive. Luminaries like Amelia Earhart and Diego Rivera wanted rides. People flocked to see demonstrations of its speed and its most thrilling feature, the 20-foot-long car’s ability to turn on itself so that it could parallel park in a spot just six inches longer than its body by pulling up to the car in front of it and then drifting its back end to the curb.

Then tragedy struck. On October 27th, 1933, Dymaxion Car #1 was just in front of the entrance to the Century of Progress Exposition, the Chicago World’s Fair, when it was hit by another car that had been following it dangerously. The Dymaxion rolled over and its driver, professional racer Francis Turner, was killed. He had been wearing a seatbelt, but the button-down canvas roof collapsed, killing him. One of the passengers, British aviator, peer and Japanese spy William Sempill, was seriously injured. The other, Air Minister of France Charles Dollfuss, was thrown from the car and landed on his feet entirely unharmed. Because the driver of the car that caused the crash was an influential Chicago parks commissioner, he and his vehicle were hustled away before reporters got to the scene.

When the news of the crash hit the papers, therefore, there was no mention of another car having plowed into the Dymaxion. Instead it was the unique shape and design of the vehicle that took the blame for the fatal accident; it had hit a “wave” in the road and flipped ass over teakettle. The Dymaxion was excoriated as inherently unstable and dangerous. Because of the English and French dignitaries in the car, the crash made the international press as well. Evidence given at the coroner’s inquest, including the testimonies of Sempill and Dollfuss, exonerated the Dymaxion vehicle, but the inquest had been delayed two months to give Sempill a chance to recover from his injuries, so by the time the truth came out, the story was old news and was barely covered in the press.

Fuller and Burgess repaired the prototype, and the next year they brought Dymaxion Car #3 to Chicago for the second run of the World’s Fair (the Exposition had been so lucrative that organizers reopened it from May to October of 1934). Crowds flocked to see Fuller do demonstrations like “waltzing” (a zig-zagging maneuver) down the main street and turning the car on itself. Primed by the horrible reputation the Dymaxion had been saddled with the year before, visitors expected the car to flip over. It did not. Instead it regained its reputation as a futuristic technological marvel.

The bad press had done its damage, though. Between that and the Depression, Fuller was unable to secure investors for new prototypes. He had only managed to make the third one by selling stocks he’d inherited, going into debt and taking advantage of Henry Ford’s offer to let him have anything he wanted from the Ford line of products for 75% off. Number three would be the last of the Dymaxions. Fuller liquidated the company’s assets, paid off his creditors and called it a day.

Of the three prototypes, only one survives today. Car #1 was purchased by the U.S. Bureau of Standards. It was destroyed in a fire at the BoS’s Washington D.C. garage. Car #3 was sold to conductor Leopold Stokowski but he found he didn’t like driving it so sold it a few months later. It passed through various hands before meeting its end in a Wichita junkyard where it was cut up and sold for scrap during the 1950s. Car #2 saw some hard living (apparently it was used a chicken coop) before being sold to Las Vegas casino executive and car collector William Harrah. After his death many of Harrah’s cars were sold at auction, but Dymaxion #2 was one of a selection donated to the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, where it is on display today.

Architect and Fuller collaborator Norman Foster borrowed Prototype #2 to make a replica of the Dymaxion. In return for the loan, he restored the interior of #2 which was in such atrocious condition the car’s windows were made opaque so visitors to the museum wouldn’t be able to see inside. Now that the car is back in Nevada and looking great, the museum is currently raising funds to repair the mechanics so that the Dymaxion can show off its talents on the road once again. Donors get a chance to win a ride in the Dymaxion.

Here’s a quick clip of the Dymaxion Car driving fast, turning tight and parallel parking like a boss.

This clip features Fuller describing the vehicle and has great footage of its clown car-like ability to carry more humans than seems possible.

Here Fuller narrates a period video of the Dymaxion in action featuring Amelia Earhart and then, in a 1975 Philadelphia talk, he discusses the car’s redemptive performance at the Century of Progress Exposition the year after the fatal accident.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History