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Air Ship No. 9: 1904

Air Ship No. 9: 1904

New York circa 1904. "Dreamland Park, Air Ship Building, Coney Island." Step right up to see the Santos-Dumont Airship No. 9 -- only a dime. Extra added Axis-flavored attraction: swastika decorations on this Japanese pagoda, the "Revels of Japan" tea house; the airship was in a hangar out back. View full size.


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Sure, the swastika is hard to miss

But what's the significance of those "pound" signs? How about the triangle in a circle? Maybe the building was used for AA meetings during the off season.

Santos-Dumont and the wristwatch

Men used pocket watches during this period, but Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier that while flying his hands were occupied at the controls and he couldn't reach into his pocket to check the time. Cartier designed a wristwatch for him, and propelled by Santos-Dumont's fame, the wristwatch soon replaced the pocket watch as the timepiece of choice for men. Cartier still produces a line of watches named for Santos-Dumont.

Alberto Santos-Dumont

This wonderfully odd man was a major pioneer of aviation. He rode his little airship around Paris as his personal transportation. He'd show up at restaurants with it, and park it in the back.

He was shattered by the military use of aviation, and basically died of a broken heart.


Evidently one of the temptations of St. Anthony was Horton's Ice Cream so we have some common ground here.

Forget the Airship, go next door.

I'd love to see what's inside the " Temptations of St. Anthony"!

[Below, an excerpt from this article by Jeffrey Stanton. - Dave]

Louis Mann offered his 7 Temptations of St. Anthony show which was ballyhooed to attract male patrons. After the snickering audience had been relieved of their dimes and gathered in a small room, a curtain was withdrawn to reveal a large oil painting. In it, on the right was the good saint praying hard, while behind him and beyond his vision, was a lady barely draped in garments. The ticket seller disappeared behind the painting and began lecturing about the history and times of the saint. When the audience became restless, the panel on which the siren was depicted was removed and replaced by another.

Overdone advertising

In case you missed it, you can get some Horton's Ice Cream here!

Station 51

WHY is there a firefighter stepping out of the frieze two doors to the left?

[It's the "Fighting the Flames" exhibit building. - tterrace]


Hitler didn't adopt the swastika as the Nazi party symbol until 1921, thought the Thules were using it before then. It could be being used in the original Asian usage, although it was also used as a good luck symbol for early aviators according to wikipedia.

[Swastikas of various designs have been a popular symbolic and decorative motif for centuries. When you see them applied to a Japanese pagoda decades before WW2, it's a foreshadowing too eerie not to point out. - Dave]

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