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Journal of No. 118


April 22nd, 2010

How cool is that? @ 12:07 pm

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Wuppertal Schwebebahn

It's a Monorail system inaugurated in 19-freaking-oh-one, with Kaiser Bill as a passenger on a test run from 1900. Still in use today, with 72,000 daily passengers.

It makes a cameo in Episode 7 of Connections, "The Long Chain" (and in the Princess and the Warrior). The episode is one of my favorites. It takes us from the fluyt through the British need for pitch, to a coal tar substitute, which yields many delightful things, including gaslight, the Mackintosh, and an attempt at synthetic quinine that results in the first aniline dye, mauveine, ushering in the Mauve Decade.
On to acetylene, the Wuppertaler monorail, WWI and the blockade of Chile (source of nitrates - also site of Britain's first loss in a naval battle in a century (though soon rectified)), pushing the development of artificial fertilizer and explosives, and thence to the 1939 World's Fair, nylon, and I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Plastics.
 
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From:zorker
Date:April 22nd, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
21 July 1950

The Althoff Circus orchestrated a publicity stunt by putting an elephant by the name of Tuffi on the train at the Alter Markt station. Tuffi became upset shortly into the ride, crashed through the left side of the car and fell into the river Wupper below. The elephant, two journalists, and one passenger received minor injuries. Both the operator and the circus director were fined after the incident. To this day, the wall of a building at the location of the event (in-between the stations Alter Markt and Adlerbrücke) shows a painting of a jumping elephant.

Awesome.
[User Picture Icon]
From:freudinshade
Date:April 22nd, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm pretty sure it was all caught on film. I can't recall if it was filmed from inside the train or from outside.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:April 22nd, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)

Wiki-fu!

(Link)
ZOMG! Clicking on the link for Tuffi, and then another link, uncovered awesomeness:

[User Picture Icon]
From:zorker
Date:April 22nd, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Wiki-fu!

(Link)
It's like Tuffi was born to be a high diver!
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From:aaronjv
Date:April 25th, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)

Re: Wiki-fu!

(Link)
That is damn cool.

Journal of No. 118