Punch,  22 (1852), 19.

Railway Meeting in Constantinople



Proceedings, Spoof


Railways, Technology, Superstition, Race, Magic

    Describes a meeting to discuss the 'new Egyptian Railway', which was so well attended as to suggest the incalculable 'influence of the Railway, that mighty engine of intercourse'. This discussion represents the scepticism and fears felt by Arabs towards the railway. For example, one participant, Wobblegaw Effendi, exclaims 'Backallum' to the idea that George Stephenson's invention can complete long land journeys in the matter of a few hours. Another participant, Bogaz Kissaleri, believes the railways to be 'the work of magicians' since, on entering them you were 'thrust into a box' where 'you sat on a seat harder than nether millstone, and then a scream of a demon was heard, and the box flew away of its own accord over the tops of the mountains, and into the deep bowels of the earth'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]