Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Alexander Lyman Holley: OMOM Essay 11

In the "About the Sculpture" section of this essay in Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan I return to the related issues of selectivity and the purpose of art.

"About the Subject" focuses on how Holley almost single-handedly introduced Bessemer steel to the United States, and then kept those who operated the steel plants up to date on the latest improvements in the process. Before I researched Holley, I had not considered that neither the skyscrapers of Manhattan nor the expansion of the railroads across the U.S. would have been possible without mass-produced steel. Forgotten Delights: The Producers includes details on the labor- and time-intensive steel-making process before Holley's time.

The Forgotten Delights calendar has a profile photo of Holley next to Longfellow’s “Success” - another poem about triumph after long effort that is an inspiration as we begin the New Year. (See also "Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth" in my 12/31/06 post.)

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