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Random flotsam from the shattered windmills of my mind

Me, architecture, history, politics, Washington D.C., photography, Cleveland

Hammer of the gods
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That's.... uh Black Thor. A god.

Doorway to mental health
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Every day, the same choice...

Once more, into the breach
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About the Big 4 bridge
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Five days. Four to six hours a day of research.

At last! I discovered that the Big Four (that's the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway) bridge over the Cuyahoga River at S. Water Street was rebuilt in 1874.

The bridge I'm really interested in is what's known today as the No. 8 bridge, which carries the Big Four over the Cuyahoga at Columbus Rd./Leonard St. Everything points to it being a wooden bridge, constructed in 1850 or 1851. But I'd reaaaaaaally like confirmation of that, and I really would like to know when it was first rebuilt.

Well, more digging....

Cupid, draw back your bow
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Green Arrow... kind of. He has a big shaft, anyway.

I'm so confused
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Maybe I need more coffee... it took me a good two minutes to figure out why this football player had such skinny legs, and why he was bent forward like he had no spine.

Gobbling the gobbler
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I love Thanksgiving, and I love turkey!!!

The domestic turkey known worldwide is a descendant of the wild turkey "Meleagris gallopavo gallopavo" (South Mexican wild turkey), which originated in south-central Mexico. So yes -- at Thanksgiving, you're eating Mexican food.

The turkey was domesticated at least 2,000 years ago. A second subspecies "M. g. merriami" (Merriam's wild turkey) was domesticated in the Southwestern United States between 200 BC and AD 500.

The Spanish confused the bird with the guinea fowl, which at the time Europeans believed originated in Turkey. So they called the American bird "turkey" -- and the name has stuck.

The Spanish took the Mesoamerican bird back to Europe, where they bred the Black. It's also known as the American Black, the Black Spanish, the Black Norfolk, the Dindon du Bourbonnais, Dindon du Gers, and Tacchino nero d'Italia; a gray version is the Česká krůta (Czech white braided turkey. They loved the lustrous black feathers, and bred for it as well as for more meat. Although the wild turkey has an average weight of about 17 lbs., the Black generally is about 23 lbs.

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The Black spread throughout Europe. British colonists brought the Black to New England, unaware that North America already had a turkey subspecies widely available: "M. g. silvestris" (the Eastern wild turkey). In the mid-1700s, New England colonists bred the Black with wild turkeys, and began selecting for a brown colored feather.

This created the Bronze turkey. Also known as the American Bronze, Cambridge Bronze, Point Judith Bronze, and Tacchino castano d'Italia, this bird has a wide range of sizes, weighing from 7 to 20 lbs. (with weights eventually reaching 34 lbs. once turkey farms got hold of them in the late 1800s). The English, Jersey Buff, and Auburn are buff-colored variations on the Bronze.

About the same time that the Bronze emerged, colonists living around Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, crossed the Black with wild turkeys to create the Narragansett Turkey. This bird has the "classic" turkey colors of black, bronze, red, and white. They produced lots of eggs, grew fast, were prized for the flavor of their meat, and weighed from 12 to 16 lbs. Narragansetts were docile, tended to stay close to home, and were excellent foragers. Swift runners, they avoided predators. Good fliers, they roosted in trees at night and didn'r need coops. The Narragansett became the foundation of the New England turkey industry, and by the late 1800s could reach 22 to 28 pounds.

Another breed also emerged about the same time as the Bronze: The White Holland. How it came to be associated with The Netherlands is not clear, but it also became known as the British White and the French Turkey. The White Holland was bred by crossing white European birds with wild turkeys. This created a very hardy bird with long legs. Unlike the Bronze, the White Holland was a meatier bird, weighing in at about 25 lbs. Today, they can top the scales at 46 lbs.

In the early 1800s, American poultry breeders began seeing a bluish-gray feather mutation in some birds. They began breeding for it, and by the 1830s the Slate turkey had emerged. It's not clear who developed it or where, but it is also known as the American Blue, Blue Slate, and Lavender. This turkey weighed anywhere from 18 to 27 lbs., and was aggressive and had a high survivability. Farmers could let them roam with little worry that a predator would munch on them. The Slate also had a more pronounced flavor that some people preferred. Today, the Slate has almost disappeared, and it is primarily raised for show (not meat) -- which has led to a smaller bird than in the past.

About 1900, breeders in Kentucky began crossing Bronze, White Holland, and buff-colored Bronzes. What emerged was the Bourbon Red turkey, named for Bourbon County, Kentucky. Also known as the Bourbon Butternut, Dindon rouge des Ardennes, and Kentucky Red, this turkey weighed in at just 23 lbs. But its meat was highly flavorful, and it was widely bred at first. By the late 1910s, some toms could reach 33 lbs.! Today, it remains the most popular "heritage breed", and weighs in at 20 to 23 lbs.

Turkeys in the Deep South were not desired for their size as they were in New England. About 1900, Southern breeders began crossing the Black, Bronze, Narragansett, and wild turkey to create a small but meaty bird. In 1920, a breeder in Florida created the Royal Palm. This was a white bird with black feathers around the rump, and a black band across the rim of the tailfeathers. Weighing in between 16 and 22 lbs., it became known as the Black-Laced White, Cröllwitzer, Diondon jaspé, and Pied turkey.

The Royal Palm was a big hit, initially. In 1934, the U.S. Department of Agriculture did a survey asking consumers what kind of turkey they wanted. City-dwellers wanted a small to medium sized bird with no dark pinfeathers. Because Southern farmers were unwilling to invest in the time and money to create the bird (it was the Depression, after all), the USDA's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Maryland, began breeding it.

In 1941, they created the Beltsville Small White. This small bird had a heavy breast, and could weigh 23 lbs. The Beltsville Small White never took off, however. World War II made turkeys unaffordable. After the war, the construction boom favored greatly enlarged kitchens in both apartments and homes -- and there was no need for a small bird any longer. Today, Beltsville Small Whites are quite rare, and usually weigh no more than 16 lbs.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Americans' taste for turkey rapidly expanded after 1900. Farmers wanted a much meatier bird that grew rapidly.

Their first breeding attempt was the Broad Breasted Bronze (aka the Double-Breasted Bronze). A Bronze with bigger breasts had developed slowly in the United Kingdom. Introduced to Canada, it never proved popular due to its slow growth rate. New England farmers then imported the bird to America, where they cross-bred it with faster-growing U.S. Bronzes. The Broad Breasted Bronze became THE commercial turkey of choice in the late 1930s. These birds were huge -- 32 to 45 lbs. In the 1940s and 1950s, it was the dominant turkey breed in the U.S. and the world. When the Broad Breasted White emerged, the Broad Breasted Bronze almost disappeared completely. Today, there are so few of them, no one knows their true number.

The Beltsville Small White was extremely popular with the consumer, but restaurants and other commercial users wanted a bird with more breast meat. As a consequence, the Beltsville Small White was bred with the White Holland to create the Broad Breasted White.

The Broad Breasted White (also known as the Double-Breasted White) emerged in the late 1950s, and by 1965 had taken over the turkey market. Average Broad Breasted Whites are typically 38 to 40 lbs. in size. Slaughtered at an early age, they are small enough for the average family. Allowed to come to full size, they can top 45 lbs. or more, and are then sent to factories for processing into meat.

All Broad Breasted turkeys are flightless due to their huge weight. They cannot breed naturally due to the huge, protruding breasts, and hens must be artificially inseminated. Some Broad Breasted Whites have difficulty walking, and large older birds cannot walk at all.

Broad Breasted turkeys have such huge breasts and grow so fast that most people feel the meat has lost much of its flavor.

"Heritage" turkeys like the Black, White Holland, Slate, Bourbon Red, and Royal Palm are considered much more flavorful. The Bourbon Red, for example, can feed on mast (nuts and seeds from trees), and thus develops a far different flavor than a corn-fed turkey.

To read
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Here are your National Book Award winners for 2018:

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart - Locke, a philosopher, was a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez - A lonely writer's friend commits suicide, and the writer finds emotional comfort caring for the dead woman's Great Dane.

The Poet by Elizabeth Acevedo - A 15-year-old Dominican girl moves to Harlem and navigates the perils of adolescence while finding solace in her poetry.

Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed - The young African American poet sees intimacy as both a refuge and a weapon.

The Emissary by Yoko Tawada and translated by Margaret Mitsutani - In Japan after an unnamed disaster, a man cares for his dying, sweet-natured great-grandson as civilization and the ecosystem die around them.

Religion above all, right?
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He was a little too "darkie" in the original.... gotta make sure we don't get no mulattos, half-breeds, quarterons, mustees, griffes, or sambos hidin' out 'mongst us good Christian white folk.

Collision Bend and south
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That black-and-white image is an aerial view of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River. It's looking south from the under-construction Terminal Tower (you can see a girder jutting into the image from the right).

Much of the area is dominated by the Corrigan-McKenny, Otis, and American Steel & Wire steel mills. It's not foggy mid-day in Cleveland: That's the pollution put out by the city's steel mills, iron foundries, and oil refineries. It was bad. Real bad.

The wide street on the left is Ontario Street. Stuck in the middle of the street is the old Central Market. It burned to the ground in December 1949.

The building with all the smokestacks is the Cleveland Thermal central heating plant. It once provided steam heat to almost every building downtown via a huge network of underground pipes.

The big road to the right of the image is W. 3rd Street. You can just see the Lower W. 3rd Street Bridge -- now long gone.

The two modern images were taken from the observation deck of Terminal Tower in 2017. So much has changed....