The Hand and Arm That Once Belonged to Bowling Green’s King George III Statue Is Going Up for Auction

Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C. by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel circa 1859.
Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C. by Johannes Adam Simon Oertel circa 1859.
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

More than 200 years before Charging Bull landed in Bowling Green, the New York City park was home to a different kind of symbolic bully: a statue of King George III.

Smithsonian.com reports that just five days after Americans declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, an assortment of 40 enthusiastic soldiers and sailors toppled the 2-ton lead likeness of George III, melted it down, and used it to make more than 42,000 bullets for the imminent war. That way, the revolutionaries could fire bits of the king right at their enemies from across the pond.

Though most of King George III and his noble steed were indeed melted for musket balls, the clever plot was partially foiled by loyalist Job Burlock and his fellow Tories. When the oxcart bearing the shattered statue to a Litchfield, Connecticut, foundry stopped overnight in the town of Wilton, Burlock’s group stole several pieces and buried them in Wilton.

According to the Journal of the American Revolution, some of the artifacts have been unearthed, including parts of the horse’s saddle, foreleg, and tail, and fragments of the king’s sash and cloak. The New-York Historical Society, the Wilton Historical Society, the Museum of Connecticut History, and the Museum of the American Revolution are all owners of one or more pieces.

In 1991, a Wilton resident dug from their garden the most recent piece: a 21-inch lead hand and forearm, which X-ray fluorescence analysis revealed to match two other parts of the statue. Though it’s not technically proven that this amputated limb is definitely King George’s, all signs point to yes—the land where it was found was once owned by Job Burlock himself.

Skinner, Inc.

Now, Skinner, Inc. is auctioning off the artifact, which is expected to fetch between $15,000 and $25,000. According to the listing, you should expect “some damage to the lead from being dropped, buried, and planted in a garden for years.” All things considered, the remnant of King George III is in pretty good condition.

Skinner, Inc.

Melting down the statue for war missiles was just one creative way American revolutionaries defied King George III—read about how they protested his Stamp Act here.

[h/t Smithsonian.com]

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Humans First Arrived in North America 30,000 Years Ago, New Studies Suggest

Researcher samples cave sediments for DNA.
Researcher samples cave sediments for DNA.
Devlin A. Gandy

People occupied North America by roughly 11,000 BCE, but the exact timeline of how early humans first arrived on the continent is contested. Two new studies suggest that humans were living in North America as far back as 30,000 years ago—preceding some earlier estimates by more than 15,000 years.

According to the traditional narrative, the first North Americans were big game hunters who crossed a land bridge connecting Asia to North America around 13,000 years ago. They left behind distinct, fluted arrowheads and bone and ivory tools that were dubbed “Clovis” tools. “This narrative, known as ‘Clovis-first,’ was widely accepted for most of the 20th century until new archaeological evidence showed that humans were present in the continent before Clovis,” Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, an archaeological scientist with the Universities of Oxford and New South Wales and co-author of the new studies, tells Mental Floss. “Within academia, an earlier arrival of 16,000-15,000 years ago was generally accepted.”

Her new analysis pushes back that date by several millennia. The study, “The Timing and Effect of the Earliest Human Arrivals in North America,” published in the journal Nature, looks at radiocarbon and luminescence data from Beringia, a region that historically linked Russia and Alaska, and North America. A statistical model built with this data indicates that a significant human population was living on the continent long before the Clovis era. According to the study, these humans were likely present before, during, and after the Last Glacial Maximum—the period when ice sheets covered much of North America 26,000 to 19,000 years ago.

Stone tool found below the Last Glacial Maximum layer.Ciprian Ardelean

These findings also contradict the land bridge theory. Rather than making a straightforward journey from Asia to North America and populating the southern half of the continent as the Clovis people were thought to have done, the first humans may have entered the Americas by traveling down the Pacific Coast. “These are paradigm-shifting results that shape our understanding of the initial dispersal of modern humans into Americas,” Becerra-Valdivia says. “They suggest exciting and interesting possibilities for what likely was a complex and dynamic process.”

The second, related study in Nature, ”Evidence of Human Occupation in Mexico Around the Last Glacial Maximum,” supports this new narrative. In it, researchers from institutes in Mexico, the UK, and other countries share artifacts and environmental DNA uncovered from Chiquihuite Cave—a high-altitude cave in Zacatecas, central Mexico. The tools, plant remains, and environmental DNA collected there paint of picture of human life dating back 13,000 to 30,000 years ago. The evidence shows that the site was more than just a stopping point, and the people living there had adapted to the high altitudes and harsh mountain landscape.

The two studies not only offer insight on when the first North Americans arrived on the continent, but who they were and how they lived. The Americas would have looked a lot different to humans during the Last Glacial Maximum than they did to the Clovis people millennia later. The fact that the first North Americans left behind far fewer artifacts than the Clovis people shows that their populations stayed relatively small. “Humans at Chiquihuite Cave would have faced the harshness of the Last Glacial Maximum, the peak of the last Ice Age, which would have kept their population at a low density,” Becerra-Valdivia says. “Clovis peoples, in contrast, thrived well after the last Ice Age, expanding widely through the continent during a period of globally warmer temperatures. Their life ways and subsistence patterns, therefore, would have been very different.”