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Still Steaming

JULY 2, 2012
We are once again prying the doors open to “Spollens Steam Powered Art Factory” to take a sneak peek inside the dark haze and smoke of varnish and fumes to see what the heck is going on in here.
We lucky to have a pier just behind the factory that fronts on the Kill Van Kull excellent for drying
Danger aboard The USS Federation Airship Boston 1908: USS Federal Steam Airships had an ever-present threat; the crews often carried small side arms at all times for this reason. Suspicion was ever present especially on long duration night flights saboteurs an assassins were a constant threat to the federation aircrews.
Materials have been feverishly going in to the factory such as old bits of metal, discarded furniture, and small pieces or street finds nuts bolts etc. What comes out of the factory are items made from these various materials reconfigured into objects of art such as rocket ships, flying saucers, robots, and weapons of mass creativity.
Portable Steam Side Arm and early thirties circus side show oddity attraction. The Amplified Steam Side arm was an electrically triggered hydro concentrated short-range steam mini blaster. This strange devise consisted of four parts, first the main gun hand held, a backpack cylinder with water and a sodium solution, and an electro volt adjuster with a rheostat that was worn on the operator’s belt. This all worked in coloration with a jack, that was plugged into a portable what can be best described as a hot charge an early portable battery recharger prototype. Originally designed in 1912 by Hemmer Prosily for the British War Department, but was over shadowed by other designs in the haze of war production alas it never went into full service production. Only two working protypes were known to have existed. Later however this strange weapon began a second life as it regularly appeared in several traveling circuses through out France and England 1936 –1942.This strange prototype device regularly thrilled the nightly crowds with its amazing pyrotechnic displays. The weapon simply captivated audiences with large displays of colored steam and bursts of sound as it lit up the evening sky and tent interiors .It proved to be a real crowd pleaser epically on damp or rainy nights when the display was at its best the children simply loved it oohs and aahs were heard above the roar of the crowd.
Here you can see the rocket ship series laid out for the varnish to dry on dockside.Oops the first small rocket is gone it was sold amazing!
A British espadrille flyer is hung outside the factory to take adventure of the warm afternoon sunlight and allow the various glues to slowly cure.
Another “Hemmer Prosily Steam Side Arm” 1938 A rare shot of a” Hemmer Prosily” shown here with the Chinese actress Zi Qiong Lin, performing in the “Chen Family traveling Circus”. She was referred to as he “The Dragon Girl of Shang Ri-La” a real crowd pleaser in her day. In the format depicted here the “Hemmer” was jacked into an early Lindberg pre amp for its power feed and unusual visual effects. A local British paper referred to this part of the “Chen Circus” as pure “Chinese Steam” hence the beginning of the degveration of the term “Steam Punk” 1938.