Friday, November 21, 2014

Ashley Sterne Lens


Owing to important family matters and a difficult workload of writing end-of-year performance reviews, I have neglected the blog of late.  I was pleased to discover a tidbit from Ashley Sterne last night on the Hathi Trust site.

Here is one of Ashley Sterne's Verbum Snap fillers that he wrote for Kodak early in his comic career.  Two of his puns below relied on his readers having a reasonable acquaintance with literature.  (Citations provided below.)

LENS

(from Kodakery, December 1913, Vol. 1, No. 4. p. 10)

If you put a meat skewer through the hole bored in the front of a camera, and then push hard, you will feel something smither.  This is the lens, and the bits of it that fall out are known as smithereens.  It is the lens that projects the picture onto the sensitive plate (see Gems from Shelley – "The Sensitive Plate") and enables objects photographed at a distance to appear in their proper proportions.  Hence the expression "Distance lens enchantment."  Lenses are very tiresome to make as they are so refractory. – Verbum Snap

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From the 1799 poem "Pleasures of Hope" by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844):
 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
 And robes the mountain in its azure hue...

The poem "The Sensitive Plant" was composed by Percy Bysshe Shelley and published in Prometheus Unbound and Other Poems in 1820.

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