Tributes and Tributaries

Hello, friends!

Here we are in the heart of May when showers of spring on the run glisten like diamonds in the pre-summer sun as we chart our courses and cultivate plans; convinced that solutions aren’t out of our hands. That kind of thinking is fuel for the mind, strength for the soul, as well as the warmth of hope in the hearts of us all. Here are a few reasons why I think so:

As if being Queen of England wasn’t impressive enough, Queen Victoria (“Victorian” era) was also somewhat of a trend-setter as, when in mourning the death of her husband, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria wore a locket that contained a daguerreotype picture of the king along with a lock of his hair. Soon, everyone was wearing a Mourning or Memorial locket. Before long, an entire jewelry industry was created, including heart-shaped lockets called “Keepsakes”

Does anyone remember how important a locket was to a fictional FedEx engineer who was stranded on an uninhabited island for four years? Does anyone remember the name of the movie?

In keeping with a celebration of Inventors in May, I was delighted to discover that not only did Robert Fulton invent the first commercially successful steamboat in America, well before the “Clermont’s” maiden voyage down the Hudson River; Fulton had earned his first wages painting intricate portraits for lockets! But his passion was steamboats, and even a submarine or two. He’d become an icon in the industrial industry, responsible for the expedient transportation of passengers and wares along our nation’s tributaries, who worked up to the day he passed away from pneumonia in 1815. Upon news of Mr. Fulton’s death, businesses closed for a day and both houses of the New York State Legislature voted to wear black clothing for the next six weeks; the first time such a tribute had ever been paid to a private citizen.

Another private citizen had a vision (since childhood,) to one day alleviate the burden of having to scramble for change whenever the postmaster came around. Englishman Rowland Hill eventually became a school teacher and a social reformer who never forgot his vision of postal system reform. His proposal of a pre-paid postage system led to his invention and subsequent distribution in May of 1840 of the original postage stamp! It was called Penny Black and featured an elegant engraving of Queen Victoria (yes, the same one I mentioned earlier in this post) who celebrated her 21st birthday that May.

The 1984 Guinness Book of World Records listed two Arizona boys, Marc and Ben as having built the largest penny pyramid in recorded history. Comprised of 104,000 pennies, and standing 22 inches tall, the pyramid was something to be proud of. However, right below the listing in Guinness’s book are notifications that Guinness would accept no further challenges to the record as the U.S. Mint feared future competitions could cause a national penny shortage.

Don’t miss the total eclipse of the moon tonight, The Full Flower Moon occurs tomorrow (May 16th), though it already looks full enough for me 😉 Thanks for stopping by the stream!

Your thoughts? We’re listening!

Published by diedre Knight

Inspired by nature, encouraged by life. Writer, blogger, mother, sister, friend, and wife.

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