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Bill Cotter

OK, detectives, sort this one out

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Every now and then a photo reveals a mystery that is tough to figure out. Here's a view from 1940. Something was written on the ground next to the woman in the center, but what was it and why was it there?

station-1.jpg

station-2.jpg

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Could it be a surveyor's mark? It looks like a west longitude.

Can you identify exactly where it was?

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I'd bet on surveyor's mark as well.  It is also interesting to note that it is of no evident interest to the woman holding the camera or the group of people directly behind her further suggesting it is just an unobtrusive pavement marking possibly made by a surveyor.  That was the Corona Gate, I think.

 

I also think it is noteworthy that there is almost nobody entering or leaving the Fair.  

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If it's a longitude, then what is the J for?  I work for a civil/survey company and have never seen anything like that.  Of course, that was a long time ago.  I wonder if it marked the location of an underground utility or was the mark for some kind of portable display or concession stand.

If it was a survey marker, there would be some kind of exact, identifiable point upon which to set the instrument.  A marked, brass disk in the ground perhaps.  You can see those all over Disney World.  

epcot-FW-survey-marker.jpg

It IS possible that there is a nail set in the pavement and that's it's identification number.  We still use magnetic survey nails to mark corners, points, etc.  But if that's true, that picture must be right around the time the survey was done because nobody would expect the paint to last in a heavy traffic area.

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The fact that it's 1940 argues against it being a surveyor's mark. However, on Google Earth (1984 coordinates), 73 deg 51' 0.0" W is not far from the south Corona gate. I wonder how far off the coordinates would have been in 1940.

Is it possible that what looks like WJ1 is actually WST, so it's something like WST47580? That would be a 2.65 mile difference from modern coordinates.  Not making much sense, I admit.

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Other than recognizing the Corona Gate with the well-known Bulova clock, I have no idea why those figures are painted there.  But I've seen odd painted markings on paved roadways and walkways before.  Sometimes they make reference to lanes or other line markings that will be drawn for traffic patterns.  It's 1940, and any markings would be temporary and designed to add other temporary markings, I would guess.  Are there any photos with other markings, of any sort, at the Corona Gate?

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I'd say the oddest thing about this picture is it's 1940 and the woman looks like she's taking a selfie with a smart phone.

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Also it is 1940 and this kid is on something not too far off from a stroller/thingie. Granted you can't hide a bomb in that...

My Corona Gates: February 1939, early with snow and bare trees - fresh terracotta paint on the RR mural. These gates were huge. 

590060a0510bd_CoronaGatebasewRRprefair1939forWF39COMM..2.jpg.09241825273f4456bbcbbcbc47b8eaf2.jpg

 

 

 

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This is not them, but someone asked about painted things on the pavement - there were the Kodak "feet" which we thank for so many generic photograph albums and slideboxes. 

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On 4/26/2017 at 3:11 AM, magikbilly said:

This is not them, but someone asked about painted things on the pavement - there were the Kodak "feet" which we thank for so many generic photograph albums and slideboxes. 

Have any pictures of the "feet", or a map of where they were?

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Hi Bill,

While I don't claim the skills to find it, and who knows what is was posted under, but I think there is one already posted in here. I also remember a "frame" to put your camera in. They were both yellow. I'd have to look at my slides. can only suggest that you already know where they were. Look at all the "generic" slides of Britain for example - almost all identical angle of incidence. 

Best,

          Eric

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This morning, walking up toward the subdivision that still has some construction going, I paid attention to sidewalk markings, apparently for utilities that run under the sidewalk of the main feeder road. There are some white dots about 4 inches diameter not otherwise identified and spaced variable distances on the sidewalk. There are similar sized yellow dots, more frequent, some of which have 1-foot long lines through them aligned with the adjacent dots. Up toward the new subdivision, where there could be lines  branching off, some of the dots are marked with successive numbers that look like they could be blueprint references - typically a large single digit, plus two smaller digits with an underline that helps distinguish the orientation, although I don't know if that is the purpose. One of the dots is also marked SWG in front of the numbers, which I take to be Southwest Gas, the local utility.

Can our mystery marking be identified with some known utility? I googled metal detectors and found that they had been commercially developed by 1925, so they could have been used to locate something under the pavement.

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