ATD 296-317

Revision as of 22:06, 7 January 2007 by Pschmid1 (Talk | contribs) (Page 315)

Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.

Page 296

Rodgers Brothers


Timken springs
Henry Timken was a carriage maker who held three patents for carriage springs in the 1890’s. He founded his company, The Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company, in St. Louis in 1899. He also invented the tapered roller bearings which bear his name and were used in the hubs of carriages and automobiles. The company still exists and Timken roller bearing are used today in a number if diverse industries including spacecraft. Oddly enough (maybe not so odd considering Pynchon), the modern day Timken company created for the Bosch Group (See the note above for “Hieronymous wheel” on page 292) a process to produce a high alloy steel that could easily be machined to make trucks parts.


Page 297

Pandora works
Mine and works between Tomboy and Telluride. See the Telluride Places of Interest

Underground mine with a horizontal entrance. Wikipedia

Mythical mine dwellers, originally part of European legend, introduced to America by European miners. The name "tommyknockers" comes from Cornish mining lore. According to legend the tommyknockers are underground spirits who guard the earth's ores, especially gold and silver. Tommyknockers were known for mischief, pranks, jokes, and being highly spirited. "Knockers" comes from knocking sounds heard in mines that were attributed to their antics. They are tiny characters who dress like little miners and perform many mining duties while underground working alongside miners. BLM Website

Page 298

Spanish for goblins, trolls or leprechauns,

Page 299

Not shiny.

"...Sunday-morning voice..."
sermonizing, righteous preacher-like voice?

To me, the context suggests whispering - as in church.

Page 300

"somthin tattooed on my head"
Cf. Queequeg's tattoos in Moby-Dick, Ch. 3 and passim.

fragment of time
Sparks move faster than shutter.

Toxic chemical used both in early photography and explosives manufacturing. Wikipedia

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Scandinavians, especially Swedes, are sometimes referred to as squareheads. In HBO's Deadwood, for example, the orphaned girl Sophia (whose Scandinavian family migrated from Minnesota) is the squarehead girl.

"just tie the reins . . . their way back"
Cf. p. 294, "rented horses had already been skillfully unhitching themselves and proceding back to the corral."

Page 302

ghost bison
The American Buffalo was nearly hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Wikipedia

Gallows Frame Saloon
The Gallows Frame is the structural frame, usually made of steel or timber, at the top of an underground mine shaft. These frames hold the hoisting equipment which raise and lower equipment and miners into the underground mine.

fathom miners
As in: a mine's depth is measured in fathoms (1 = 6 ft.). Any miner who goes deep down? And therefore could stand a drink.

remittance men
Black sheep paid regularly by families to stay away.

Page 303

Circassian walnut
A swirled hardwood popular in woodworking, in this case used euphemistically to refer to a bar. Named for a region in the northern Caucasus Mountains from which the tree originates.

Charlie Fong Ding
Seems like a made-up comic Chinese name by TRP.

congress... congregation
Two vs more-than-two at a time

California Peg
The "sous-maitresse," or teacher's aid, at the Silver Orchid brothel.

Prudish; after Mrs. Grundy, a character in Thomas Morton's Speed the Plow, (1798)([1]). See page 400 on "Mrs. Grundy"

Popcorn Alley

a range of useful information.

Range again, as spectrum.

hurdy girl
A professional dancing girl.

Page 304

civil war and White Terror
The Finnish Civil War lasted from January-May 1918 and was fought between the conservative White and revolutionary Red factions of the army. After the Whites emerged victorious, they rounded up Red elements in prison camps where many died, hence the White Terror. Wikipedia.

"Love", whatever that turned out to be, would occupy a whole different piece of range. conveys a whole new meaning to the word 'range'?...not just land but something like 'range of emotions"? 'Piece of range' as in a spectrum? Light exists in a spectrum. Cf. 'Light over the ranges' indeed.

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"The Shooting of Dan McGrew"
1907 poem by Canadian poet Robert Service, so anachronistic here. etext

ruffled doves
A/k/a "soiled doves," a Western term for prostitutes.

Stephen Emmens
American chemist and mining engineer, inventor of the explosive Emmensite, who believed an intermediate substance he called "argentaurum" was transmutable into silver or gold; he claimed to have discovered a process by which the gold content of silver could be thus enriched. He carried out his experiments from 1895 to 1897, and saw them made public in 1899. The details of the process, as far as they are known, are as Pynchon describes them. Attempts to enlist emminent scientists to verify Emmens' apparent alchemy included an offer to Nicola Tesla (He refused). website.

Substance claimed by Dr. Stephen Emmens to be intermediate beteween silver and gold, and through which, as an intermediate step, each could be transmuted to the other website.

nymph's mirror

Has nothing to do with paths; spath is German for spar. Schiefer indicates it is a foliated mineral. So: foliated spar, i.e., a spar that cleaves readily into sheets. Schieferspath doesn't seem to be a standard mineralogical term in modern German; "some of the visiting labor" may come from a place where calcite is mined under this name.

superstitious Scotchman
Holding the nine of diamonds, "the curse of Scotland," he doesn't bet his hand but loses the specimen.

Page 306

grown brighter

gold... silver
Any role of Iceland Spar and double-refracted light in the Emmens process of transmutationis Pynchon's invention.

??? Why the question marks? Any reason why the fragment should not be a rhomboid?

Veta Madre
The "Mother Lode" of Mexico [2] in Guanajuato

Page 307

Lyman Gage
Banker, and Secretary of the Treasury under McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, 1897-1902. In 1900 he ensured passage of the Gold Standard Act, which repealed bimatalism and had tremendous effects on the mining industry, and the economy in general, leading eventually to the foundation of the Federal Reserve System to regulate the currency in the wake of the resulting instability [3]. Just incidentally, Gage had been President of the Board of Directors of the Columbian Exposition.

like a kettle coming to a boil

void created by extracting ore underground

Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Named after the Swiss philosopher and naturalist, Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), who first described a syndrome in which visually-impaired people see vivid, complex images that aren't real. CBS is thought to result from visual deprivation, and commonly occurs in sufferers of macular degeneration and other impairments of the eyes. Importantly, CBS does not (clinically, cannot) result from any type of psychosis or dementia. Thus, those who experience CBS are otherwise "normal" people.

Remarkably, CBS is characterized often by bizarre and grotesque images: ghosts, elves, sprites, cartoon-like figures, disembodies faces, magical landscapes. According to Cliff Pickover, author of Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves (Smart Publications, 2005), "people affflicted with certain eye diseases give similar reports of beings from parallel universes." Royal National Institute of the Blind Dr. Cliff Pickover Comments Wikipedia Wikipedia entry on Bonnet --Jmanmiami 09:10, 1 December 2006 (PST)


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macular degeneration
Degeneration of the macula, the part of the retina responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive. A leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people aged 65 and older.

Page 309

Old Gideon

A.T. Still
"Father of American Osteopathic Medicine" [4]

Page 310

Chief (Spanish).

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mind-poisoning vetches

Edgar Hadley

Margaret Perril

blood diverted from its return
Accurate but odd?

Trout Lake

Page 313

Three fingers (measure of liquor).

packer's knife

Page 314

Dutch Waltz

Pulling away from center.

Page 315

Railbird Saloon

Gastón Villa

cholo balls

cowboy (Mexican Spanish). cf. vaquero

A type of bassoon developed by French instrument maker Galander in the mid-19th century.

Battle of Puebla
Mexican victory over French forces, May 5, 1862, commemorated in Latino communities as cinco de mayo.

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Ophir road
Presumably the road to the town of Ophir, South of Telluride. Ophir is the biblical souce of the treasure of Solomon's Fleet [5].

(Was she nearby at this moment?)

Page 317

backward departure
No way to turn engine?

??? Spanish for "embrace"; "hugs".

Annotation Index

Part One:
The Light Over the Ranges

1-25, 26-56, 57-80, 81-96, 97-118

Part Two:
Iceland Spar

119-148, 149-170, 171-198, 199-218, 219-242, 243-272, 273-295, 296-317, 318-335, 336-357, 358-373, 374-396, 397-428

Part Three:

429-459, 460-488, 489-524, 525-556, 557-587, 588-614, 615-643, 644-677, 678-694

Part Four:
Against the Day

695-723, 724-747, 748-767, 768-791, 792-820, 821-848, 849-863, 864-891, 892-918, 919-945, 946-975, 976-999, 1000-1017, 1018-1039, 1040-1062

Part Five:
Rue du Départ


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