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Chris Spollen
Steam Iron
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A mechanically steam driven harbor-walking dredge. Originally designed for the New York Oyster industry this all cast iron five legged semi submersible marine walker was constructed in the Bayonne New Jersey shipyards. Used at the low tides this clambering iron monster could traverse the shallow tidal pools of Lower New York Bay. Her designer inventor is still of unknown origins.
When the ideas pop up a simple scrap of paper will do, so as not to loose the vision. Never seem to have a sketch pad ready, so often a scrap of paper does the trick.
This is the source of inspiration for this series of images, it came from a street find the perfect amount of rust and patenia.
This is the beginning construction of the marine walking machine, kind of looks like a fish print in this early stage of the art construction process.
Two Legged Iron Shallow Bay Walker Another strange early American harbor design a two legged walker.” The Sea Flea” She required a long line trailed behind the machine to supply compressed air to run her air driven engine .The Sea Flea was used primarily to clear the local shipping channels of wrecks and other various harbor debris. An early dredger of sorts crude by design but in certain conditions this machine could do a rather job.
"Iron Rocket" Shot into orbit by a large space cannon an early approach to space travel. A capsule small enough to fit inside the large bore space cannon. This space capsule had retractable guidance fins it was very crude but efficient enough to explore the heavens
“Tin Zeppelin" Exploration of the heavens by night or in other words the joy of simply being a dreamer. Engaging now in longer and longer flights of pure fantasy.
Ideas sometimes come two at a time, when in the zone
"Steam Diving 1860" Steam powered pneumatic diving bell, good for depths of up to two hundred fathoms.This all cast iron forged diving bell employed force feed compressed air for wreck dives of over an hour in duration. British design
"Steamobile" Nick named the “Templeton Tea Pot” this coal-fired cast iron cruiser was a rare bird. Constructed in England this early automotive experiment was a coal-fired steamer capable of sixty-three blistering miles an hour along the Bristol Beach flats.
“Coal Fired Oyster Troller” A first attempt at a mechanically driven coal fired oyster-harvesting machine. Slow but steady its dredging arms would ply the shallow bays of New York and gather the much-prized lower bay oysters.
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