June 24, 1906 (Sunday)
'ROCKET' LANDS IN NEW YORK: James Whistler's famous nocturne (right) in green and gold (familiarly known as "The Falling Rocket") is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was bought recently by Harric C. Fahnestock, a museum trustee. It was hung yesterday in Gallery 12 by Bryson Burroughs, assistant curator of paintings. The article says the painting "depicts dancers and spectators in Cremorne Gardens appearing against the dark tones of a sombre London sky on a summer night." The article does not include what critic John Ruskin said about the painting years ago:
I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.
That led to a famous libel trial. Whistler won the trial but was awarded a mere farthing.
A NEW WEAPON FOR WAR: Here's an automobile with a distinctive feature. The McClean Arms Co. of Cleveland had developed an automobile battery that's capable of moving an automobile forward about 50 mph AND firing 100 shots a minute through a gun. The shells are 1.5 inches in diameter. A chauffeur operates the battery from a position where he's safe -- in the rear of the car. An article in The New York Times says, the "device is expected to make the automobile a popular engine of war." Of course, the popularity depends on which end of the gun barrel you find yourself.
CHECKING THINGS OUT IN THE LIBRARY: Puzzled about word that Russian secret service agents are watching New York City libraries for signs of people who are interested in topics such as anarchy, a New York Times reporter headed yesterday to the Astor Library. The reporter found books on explosives, biographies of dead anarchists and histories of revolts and displayed them openly on a table. But, this happened "without bringing forth any one who might be suspected of being a spy." Nor did it attract a spy watcher. He asked the librarian about any such spying within the library. "As a matter of fact," the librarian said, "all the big libraries of the world are watched and probably there are spies about, but I never get acquainted with them."
SOCIETY WOMEN TAKE UP THEIR PENS: There's a new society weekly being published in London. The name is spectacular: It's called the Throne. It's "for society women by society women." Evidently, two editors are assigned to each page. Portraits of 27 of them appear in the first edition. Among them are a couple of princesses and a duchess. Others from lower levels are countesses and a few other worthies and a smattering of madams. One news article sniffs, "It cannot be said that the quality of the matter is as high as that of the editresses and contributors."