Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Mystery Spot: Early Airplanes and Extend-A-Slides

We have a winner. Building Place correctly guessed that this scene is, in fact, Recreation Park! Yay!
Where did this wonderful, dangerous, wonderfully dangerous play equipment go? I don't know, but it's a shame it's gone--in my opinion. Of course, I used to hang out way up in a tree as a kid for fun. On my homemade "rope platform". Yeah, that was safe. Phew.

At any rate, here's this week Mystery Spot. I had to do some creative cropping here to remove glaring clues! But based on past experience I'm pretty sure you falcon-eyed, eagle-eyed, peregrine-eyed folks will suss it out. There's one B I G clue I left in there that should make it easy for the more historically minded folks. But we'll see. Have fun!

8 comments :

Building Place said...

I'm so proud. :)

Look at those beautiful arc-lamp "streetlights" (what are they, 100 feet tall?) in the new picture, which once lit our fair town....

Dusty D said...

Yay Building Place! You did better than I would have, had I not known it was Rec Park. Good eye, there, sir.

Yes, you bring up an interesting chapter in Ypsilanti history--the "moonlight" arc lamps that used to exist, one in each ward. They provided a soft, moonlit glow to the streets below, to the advantage of Ypsilanti sweeties out and about at night.

They also, to my understanding, had incredibly high voltage and killed at least 2 people that I recollect offhand--one an Ypsi kid who climbed one of the arc-light poles on a lark, and one electrical worker.

There were also arc lights marketed for use in homes, according to an old ad I have around here somewhere...

Arc lights run on DC, is that correct? Scary.

Good on Tesla for winning over Edison's silly promotion of DC. The complex yet rough-hewn Edison simply didn't have the understanding of math required to comprehend AC. Tesla, my secret historical dreamboat (don't tell my husband, please--shhh) did.

Ah, Tesla. (dreamy expression...)

Dusty D said...

p.s. Regarding the onetime arc lights, it's interesting...the sources in the Archives give wildly varying estimates as to their height. Some say 75 feet, others 90 or 125...it's odd that there is no consensus. Dunno why. Can make a post about 'em if folks are interested; I have a file of info.

Lisele said...

Ummm, excuse me, but what is that thing up in the sky??? Is that a plane? What is the date of this photo, any idea?

Lisele said...

Oh, BTW -- the new picture is too easy. It's the first block of North Huron and that's the future Corner Health Center right smack in the middle of the block. The building to the left of its peaked roofline was demolished to make room for the current parking lot.

BF said...

Arc lights. A lot of DC, a lot of soot and smoke, a lot of heat, but holy cow, could they generate a lot of light.

At least two former City Council Members of Ward 3 have a bit of a background with a more recent, though now all but extinct use of arc lights. They used to be used in movie projectors and in spotlights (follow spots) used in live stage shows.

While they were hot and smelly and in a few rare cases, deadly, there was also a certain pride in operating the equipment. After, that is, you learned the quirks of the particular beast you were working with, and learned to coax as much light out of it as possible, and how to be "spot on" when you needed to hit your target on stage, from as much as 100 feet or more away.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone could use math to analyze the picture and determine the height of the streetlight.

BF said...

Ok, some *very rough* math.

The street light is just in front of the Occidental sign, as is the person (persons?) just in front of the street light.

Opening the photo, and measuring the height of the person from the sidewalk to the top of his hat, and then comparing that measurement to the height of the street light, the street light is roughly 4.56x the height of the person. So, if the person were 5'6" tall (heel to hat), then the street light would be roughly 25' tall. This is roughly accurate visually, by looking at the height of the two story building, just to the right.