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"A giraffe, refusing to condescend to all the fuss, stood calmly in the rising water and later died of pneumonia."
January 21, 2010 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Around the time of the flooding in Troyes a plant in the south-east of Paris which supplied compressed air to the owners of ‘pneumatique’ equipment – lifts, ventilation, industrial machinery – was submerged. Parisians were fond of compressed-air technology. It was how the postal service delivered mail from one office to another in small brass shuttles propelled along a network of tubes. It was also used to keep the clocks ticking on the streets of the city and, by subscription, in private apartments. When the plant went underwater during the night, pneumatic time stopped dead.
Pavements Like Jelly is an article by Jeremy Harding describing the 1910 Great Flood of Paris which started 100 years ago today. Photo exhibition with 1300 photographs focusing on Paris. Even more photos, taking in the entire Seine. Both sites are Flash heavy, for a smaller selection of non-Flash pictures go here and here. [1910 Paris Flood previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus (14 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Here's a third flash-heavy photo database with largely the same images as the first two but which is more searchable.
posted by Kattullus at 8:08 AM on January 21, 2010


I saw this exhibition and was *this* close to putting it on MetaFilter. Thanks Kattullus!
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 AM on January 21, 2010


Yeah, I had vague plans to put something Great Flood related up today and then that Jeremy Harding article showed up on The London Review of Books and making a post became a no-brainer.
posted by Kattullus at 8:18 AM on January 21, 2010


Just read the article and now I'm going to dive into the photos. This is fascinating stuff.
posted by immlass at 8:27 AM on January 21, 2010


The photos are awesome. Oh how I wish they were not flash. Why do people do that? (Although the ability to smoothly zoom is nice, once I can get the controls to stop following my mouse so I can click on them.)

Thanks for this post. This is something I did not know about.
posted by OmieWise at 8:31 AM on January 21, 2010


The French and their floods. An absinthe flood (caused by a lightning strike on a distillery), led to some interesting geological discoveries in 1901...
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:37 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


not to mention a tremendous amount of personal discovery on the parts of the participants.
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


An article from Newsweek speculating what would happen if a similar flood happened today.

OmieWise: The photos are awesome. Oh how I wish they were not flash. Why do people do that? (Although the ability to smoothly zoom is nice, once I can get the controls to stop following my mouse so I can click on them.)

Yeah, the very high resolution almost makes up for the flash. I especially enjoyed zooming in on the people in the picture of the flooded Gare d'Orsay.
posted by Kattullus at 8:48 AM on January 21, 2010


The series of tubes is an internet...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:51 AM on January 21, 2010


The photos are awesome. Oh how I wish they were not flash. Why do people do that?

A lot of photographers/photo sites do it to make it harder to copy the photos. Which it only does in a very vague sense (especially since a lot of those Flash apps just read out of a directory that you can query directly)...
posted by wildcrdj at 11:10 AM on January 21, 2010


A lot of photographers/photo sites do it to make it harder to copy the photos.

Yes, I know, but these photos should be public domain by now, so it makes even less sense in this case.
posted by OmieWise at 12:03 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The way the city had been overwhelmed by the river may well have seemed charming, though only because of the scenes on offer.... For a taste of drama, crowds flocked to the quays and bridges to inspect the boiling river. Water came straight over the midtown docksides that would be closed up after the flood, but elsewhere the walls of the quays were high and, in the heart of the city, the river never made it over the top. Parisians stood a dozen deep at the quays, waiting in line for a glimpse from the parapets. On the bridges thousands who’d been spared an intimate acquaintance with the torrent got as near as they dared, watching it roar a few feet below them. The river was so high that by 25 January, when Apollinaire’s piece hit the watery streets, you’d have been lucky to squeeze a toy sailing-boat under the Pont de l’Alma.

That was pretty much the way my city endured its own flood last summer. The big entertainment was watching the carp try to swim up a parking lot (and I admit to my own fascination with bridge parapets).
posted by dhartung at 4:15 PM on January 21, 2010


Why is there a giant polarized peanut following my cursor?

I had never heard of this disaster. The photos are probably great but this site is borderline unusable.
posted by chairface at 9:52 PM on January 26, 2010


I had to play around with it for a bit, but I got used to it... but yeah, that's why I included links to non-flash picture collections. I wish that people got the message that flash interfaces for picture viewing are annoying to use. Or came up with better ways of displaying image in flash.
posted by Kattullus at 8:46 AM on January 27, 2010


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