John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Artistic Advent: Her First Christmas Tree. And Lightning in Her Hands!

Today's Advent artwork is dedicated to astrablue, who sent me a Christmas card with cute puppies on it, and a limerick incorporating several of the things listed among my interests in my profile. Thanks!

Smithsonian Institution Science Service
Her First Christmas Tree. And Lightning in Her Hands!, Dec. 24, 1938
Her First Christmas Tree. And Lightning in Her Hands!
National Museum on American History, Washington, D.C.

I love this photograph. It originally appeared on the cover of the Smithsonian Science Service's Science News Letter, illustrating a short blurb about the danger posed by frayed electrical wires. The original caption for the photo is priceless, so I'm going to reproduce it in full here:

HER FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE. AND LIGHTNING IN HER HANDS!

Snapping the lights on and off is great fun thinks this little fifteen month old miss.

Joy in her home will turn to sorrow if the frayed and worn cord makes the socket in her hands "live".

But it won't happen for the picture was taken to remind parents that for safety this Christmas all dangerous cords should be replaced by cords approved by Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc.

WHERE GOOD RUBBER COUNTS

Carole will live through her “teething” test if the rubber insulation on the lamp cord is good and the cord doesn’t become grounded on the radiator. Because lamp and appliance cords take plenty of abuse in the average home, Underwriters’ Laboratories puts them through many severe tests to see if they are “bite-proof” and safe.

FIRES AND SHOCKS IN 25,000,000 HOMES REDUCED BY TEST OF CORD

To find its toughness and safety factor, lamp cord is put to the stretch test at Underwriters’ Laboratories by engineer Ed Wagner.

To win the UL label of approval, two inches must stretch to nine without breaking.

You can also see a close-up of the baby's hands, the better to see the frayed wires on the on/off switch.

Tags: advent: 2004, art: photography
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