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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged cat:

Inky paw prints on a 15th century manuscript.

Inky paw prints on a 15th century manuscript.

(Source: National Geographic)

Louis Coulon’s Cat Bed Beard

Louis Coulon’s Cat Bed Beard

600 years ago technology was rather more limited and armies had to make the very best of their resources - in whatever shape or form they may take. One such quest to steal a march on the enemy led to the publication of a whacky manuscript from 16th Century Germany which even considered using cats and birds to bomb opposing forces.
Called Feuer Buech, which translates from old German as Fire Book, the 235-page treatise from 1584 contains a drawing of a feline and his feathered friend with ‘rocket packs’ strapped to backs as they ran and fly past a castle.
It’s not clear whether they were actually used, but animals have for centuries been deployed in warfare, often to deliver messages or for transportation, but sometimes as weapons. In the 16th Century, a German artillery officer once presented a plan to use cats to spread poisonous gas among enemy soldiers, although it was never enacted.

600 years ago technology was rather more limited and armies had to make the very best of their resources - in whatever shape or form they may take. One such quest to steal a march on the enemy led to the publication of a whacky manuscript from 16th Century Germany which even considered using cats and birds to bomb opposing forces.

Called Feuer Buech, which translates from old German as Fire Book, the 235-page treatise from 1584 contains a drawing of a feline and his feathered friend with ‘rocket packs’ strapped to backs as they ran and fly past a castle.

It’s not clear whether they were actually used, but animals have for centuries been deployed in warfare, often to deliver messages or for transportation, but sometimes as weapons. In the 16th Century, a German artillery officer once presented a plan to use cats to spread poisonous gas among enemy soldiers, although it was never enacted.

Harry Whittier Frees

Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) was an American photographer who created novelty postcards and children’s books based on his photographs of animals. He dressed the animals and posed them in human situations with props, often with captions; these can be seen as progenitors of modern lolcats.

[Images Source - there’s loads more]

(Source: Wikipedia)

An 18th Century Concept of Mammals

The above illustrations come from ‘Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen' at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon.

The absurd rendering of many of the animals comes about because the engravers/artists working on the project did not actually see the animals. They had to rely on descriptions and their imagination and, as was the fashion of the time, the animals were placed in contrived settings and often given human facial qualities, which only serves to heighten the sense of bizarre. And thankful we are too.

(Source: bibliodyssey.blogspot.co.uk)

Cat Organ
A cat piano is a conjectural musical instrument which consists of a line of cats fixed in place with their tails stretched out underneath a keyboard so that cats cry out in pain when a key is pressed. The cats would be arranged according to the natural tone of their voices. There is no official record of a Cat Organ actually being built, but it is described in literature as a bizarre concept.
[Legend has it] This crazy musical instrument was designed in 1650 by Athanasius Kircher, a 17th century German scholar.

The piano was designed to raise the spirits of an Italian prince who was too stressed out. The musician would select cats whose voices were at different pitches then arrange them in the pens accordingly. The piano delivered sharp pokes into the tails of the cats. [Source]

In his book, Musiciana, Descriptions of Rare or Bizarre Inventions (1877), Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin describes how:

When the King of Spain Felipe II was in Brussels in 1549 visiting his father … each saw the other rejoicing at the sight of a completely singular procession … The most curious [part of which] was … a chariot that carried the most singular music that can be imagined. It held a bear that played the organ; instead of pipes, there were sixteen cat heads each with its body confined; the tails were sticking out and were held to be played as the strings on a piano, if a key was pressed on the keyboard, the corresponding tail would be pulled hard, and it would produce each time a lamentable meow. This abominable orchestra arranged itself inside a theatre where monkeys, wolves, deer and other animals danced to the sounds of this infernal music.

Cat Organ

A cat piano is a conjectural musical instrument which consists of a line of cats fixed in place with their tails stretched out underneath a keyboard so that cats cry out in pain when a key is pressed. The cats would be arranged according to the natural tone of their voices. There is no official record of a Cat Organ actually being built, but it is described in literature as a bizarre concept.

[Legend has it] This crazy musical instrument was designed in 1650 by Athanasius Kircher, a 17th century German scholar.

The piano was designed to raise the spirits of an Italian prince who was too stressed out. The musician would select cats whose voices were at different pitches then arrange them in the pens accordingly. The piano delivered sharp pokes into the tails of the cats. [Source]

In his book, Musiciana, Descriptions of Rare or Bizarre Inventions (1877), Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin describes how:

When the King of Spain Felipe II was in Brussels in 1549 visiting his father … each saw the other rejoicing at the sight of a completely singular procession … The most curious [part of which] was … a chariot that carried the most singular music that can be imagined. It held a bear that played the organ; instead of pipes, there were sixteen cat heads each with its body confined; the tails were sticking out and were held to be played as the strings on a piano, if a key was pressed on the keyboard, the corresponding tail would be pulled hard, and it would produce each time a lamentable meow. This abominable orchestra arranged itself inside a theatre where monkeys, wolves, deer and other animals danced to the sounds of this infernal music.

necspenecmetu:

Faustino Bocchi, The Bogey, before 1700.

necspenecmetu:

Faustino Bocchi, The Bogey, before 1700.