Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Miskatonic Steam and Gas Lab

From 1926, a view from the upper deck of the Miskatonic University Steam and Gas Lab. It was here that the lightweight drilling apparatus used by the Miskatonic Antarctic expedition of 1930 was developed by Professor Frank Pabodie.

This is one of those corners of Miskatonic that never gets mentioned directly in Lovecraft's stories, but surely existed. The engineering department of an Ivy League level school would have been filled with state of the art technology and a non-trivial amount of manufacturing equipment. Given Lovecraft's own predilections it's not surprising that his protagonists, not to mention those of his successors, seem to be overwhelmingly composed of librarians and historians. It does seem unusual that the considerable engineering talent at the school, capable of producing innovations like Pabodie's portable drill and the Tillinghast Illuminator, get such short shrift.

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