They Blow Up Broadway (Sep, 1949)

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They Blow Up Broadway
THAT sinister character above is getting set to blow up Broadway.

Comes the revolution? Nope. The FBI won’t be tracking down this fellow or any of his gang, who are making their daily living from spectacular blowups. For “spectacular” is the name for the huge neon signs that skilled craftsmen are creating in a modern revival of an ancient art.

Glass-blowing dates back to 300 B. C, when some bright Phoenician worker tried a new way of working the molten material. Today’s glass-blower still uses the basic technique developed in that distant past.

The old craft survives despite the invention of a glass-blowing machine, because of the complexity of the glass shapes used in electrical displays. Dozens of master glass-blowers shape more than a 1000 feet of neon-filled glass tubing to form a single spectacular on Times Square. They become so skilled at their craft they can huff a straight piece of hot glass, into a tight knot, then puff it out perfectly straight again.

These modern artists in glass really are blowing up Broadway—blowing it up into a Greater White Way.

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