Is your name also an apparatus?

Becky
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I've always been fascinated by devices named after girls--the spinning jenny, the catherine wheel, the lazy susan. As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to spin the lazy susan--I mean really leaning some torque into it--when my parents weren't looking, causing all of the condiments and ceremonial objects of decoration to fling across the room. Some theories claim Thomas Jefferson coined the term after his daughter, Susan, and her protestations at having to lift a finger at dinner. The wheel, of course, doesn't have as plucky a background, having served as the intended instrument of death for St. Catherine of Alexandria (her touch apparently broke it, and she was instead beheaded). The spinning jenny likely made life easier for scores of 18th century textile laborers. Legend has it that a young girl named Jenny accidentally knocked over a spinning wheel, but the wheel, though vertical, remained working. I'm sure I'm forgetting some great ones...Would love to be reminded. If there's a great device out there that shares your name, please do chime in.

May 4, 2007 - 5:45pm
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