Night of the Ground Stars

Or: urban shoe-gazing finds a purpose

Electric light, Concrete, and Chewing Gum, what have they in common? Though, admittedly, both concrete and chewing gum can ultimately trace their roots to antiquity, all three of these items, in something akin to their modern form, entered the American stage in the 1870’s.

Edison invented the first commercially successful incandescent lamp around 1879. At the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 David O. Saylor exhibited the first American made portland cement, though it was not until 1891 that the first concrete street in the United States was paved. Thomas Adams opened the first chewing gum factory in 1870, and a year later Adams’ chicle based New York Gum went on sale in drug stores for a penny apiece. By the beginning of the 20th century all three of these items had become popular and were on their way to being staples of American life.



Brilliant. Unfortunately gum-bespattered pavement is less common over here, so I’ll have to find some other random patterns from which to draw meaning.

posted on 11.28 at 05:25 AMsimon


love it. new favorite of everything you’ve posted here.

posted on 11.28 at 01:01 PM.


Admit it, your recent “break” was merely the amount of time it took to put together this opus.

While I can appreciate the desire to seek an inspirational substitute for constellations, if I was put in charge tomorrow one of the first things I would do is ban chewing gum. There’s nothing worse than the first few spots on new granite paving. It’s just not worth it. That said, I may as well get some value out of these patterns since they’re not going anywhere…

Maybe I could just ban electric lighting while I’m at it? In charge I mean.

posted on 11.28 at 01:29 PMPierce


Excellent as usual! So glad you are back.

posted on 11.28 at 08:44 PM.


@ Pierce: nah, this one was a rarity. i had this idea a while back. I poked at it every now an then. Doing a piece here and there, finding the relevant quotes, etc. I usually just sit down and post something, whether it takes a half hour or the whole day. This one was spread out.

posted on 12.02 at 10:47 PMjmorrison

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