(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Columbus Indiana

“I thought about the screws and their happiness”*…

A contemplation of craft…

I clock my screws, meaning I orient the slot in the screw heads so they are all vertical or horizontal. But I don’t think it’s a mark of superior aesthetics. It’s just something I do, like lining up the silverware on the dining table just so. I can’t help it…

Yesterday I took a drive to Columbus, Ind., one of the country’s repositories of excellent post-war architecture. Check out the Wikipedia page. Or the NPR story on the town. Or the great Kogonada-directed movie, “Columbus.”

My favorite building we toured was the First Christian Church, designed by Eliel Saarinen. Considered one of the first modern church structures in America, the building offers nod after nod to the cathedrals and churches of Europe. Yet the building, completed during World War II, is a complete break with the Old World. Even after 75 years, the church feels a beacon of hope, optimism and light.

One of the prominent features of the interiors is the extensive wooden lattice work, which is affixed with tens of thousands of perfectly clocked screws…

The Church of the Clocked Screws,” from Christopher Schwarz (@RudeMechanic) at Lost Art Press— eminently worthy of reading in full.

* Haruki Murakami


As we applaud alignment, we might recall that it was on this date in 1852 that Cullen Whipple was awarded patent 9477 for his “Mechanism for Pointing and Threading Screw-Blanks in the Same Machine.” A machinist, Whipple had invented the first practical device for making pointed screws (a marked improvement on earlier screws, which were blunt-ended and required the drilling of “starter holes”).  Cullen joined with partners to incorporate The New England Screw Co., then went on to invent and patent seven other machines that improved the manufacture of screws.


Columbus sailed the prairie green…

Today is Columbus Day in the United States, the day that we celebrate Columbus, Indiana.*

Among its many other virtues, Columbus– a town of just under 40,000– ranks 6th in the nation for architectural innovation and design (as assessed by the American Institute of Architects) on a list that includes the likes of Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Magazine has called Columbus a “veritable museum of modern architecture.”  Visitors to Columbus can see more than 70 buildings and pieces of public art by internationally noted architects and artists, including I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Richard Meier, Harry Weese, Dale Chihuly and Henry Moore.  For example,

Home of the leader of Columbus’ architectural accomplishment, “The Medici of the Midwest,” J. Irwin Miller.  Designed by Eero Saarinen

* The day once commemorated a Renaissance representative of Spain, who mistook the Caribbean Islands for the South China Sea (to wit, the name “West Indies”); on consideration of his crimes and misdemeanors (see almanac entry here), it was decided to shift the celebratory focus to the rather-less-mitigatedly delightful gem of Indiana.

As we book our visits, we might recall that, on this date in 1609, Thomas Ravenscroft, still a teenager at the time, published Deuteromelia or The Seconde part of Musicks melodie — which included the words to “Three Blind Mice” (to be set to a traditional tune), probably the first song lyrics to be published in English.  Ravenscroft was the editor of the book, and the likely author of the rhyme.

Three Blinde Mice,
Three Blinde Mice,
Dame Iulian,
Dame Iulian,
the Miller and his merry olde Wife,
shee scrapte her tripe licke thou the knife


%d bloggers like this: