Categorized | History

Today In History – April 10 – First Color 3-D Film, The House of Wax, Opens





1866: ASPCA is founded: On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh. More here

1912: The Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England for her first and only voyage: RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, and sank on 15 April 1912. She struck the iceberg four days into the crossing, at 23:40 on 14 April 1912, and sank at 2:20 the following morning, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

The largest passenger steamship in the world, the Olympic-class RMS Titanic was owned by the White Star Line and constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. She set sail for New York City on 10 April 1912 with 2,223 people on board. The high casualty rate resulting from the sinking was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship carried lifeboats for only 1,178 people. A disproportionate number of men died due to the “women and children first” protocol that was enforced by the ship’s crew.

Titanic was designed by experienced engineers, using some of the most advanced technologies and extensive safety features of the time. Adding to the ironic nature of the tragedy is the fact that the liner sank on her maiden voyage. The high loss of life, the media frenzy over Titanic’s famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes in maritime law, and the discovery of the wreck have all contributed to the enduring interest in Titanic. More here

1953: First color 3-D film opens: On this day in 1953, the horror film The House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, opens at New York’s Paramount Theater. Released by Warner Brothers, it was the first movie from a major motion-picture studio to be shot using the three-dimensional, or stereoscopic, film process and one of the first horror films to be shot in color.

Directed by Andre De Toth, The House of Wax was a remake of 1933’s Mystery in the Wax Museum. The film told the story of Henry Jarrod (Price), a sculptor who goes insane after his partner burns their wax museum to the ground in order to collect the insurance payout. Jarrod survives the fire and later opens his own wax museum, featuring an exhibit immortalizing crimes past and present, including the murder of his ex-partner by a mysterious disfigured killer. The film’s heroine, played by Phyllis Kirk, eventually discovers that Jarrod himself is the killer, and that the museum’s “sculptures” are all the wax-covered bodies of his victims.

The 3-D filming process involved using two cameras, or a single twin-lensed camera, to represent both the right and the left eye of the human viewer. Images from the two cameras were then projected simultaneously onto the screen. Moviegoers had to view The House of Wax through special stereoscopic glasses to see its full 3-D effect. The lenses were specially tinted so that the viewer would see the right- and left-eye images only with the eyes for which they were intended. The 3-D process proved especially effective during the film’s climactic chase scene, in which the cloaked killer pursues Kirk’s character through a series of gas-lit streets and alleyways, with the viewer following along behind them. More here

1963: Atomic submarine sinks in Atlantic: On this day in 1963, the USS Thresher, an atomic submarine, sinks in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew. One hundred and twenty-nine sailors and civilians were lost when the sub unexpectedly plunged to the sea floor 300 miles off the coast of New England.

The Thresher was launched on July 9, 1960, from Portsmouth Naval Yard in New Hampshire. Built with new technology, it was the first submarine assembled as part of a new class that could run more quietly and dive deeper than any that had come before.

On April 10, 1963, at just before 8 a.m., the Thresher was conducting drills off the coast of Cape Cod. At 9:13 a.m., the USS Skylark, another ship participating in the drills, received a communication from the Thresher that the sub was experiencing minor problems.

Other attempted communications failed and, only five minutes later, sonar images showed the Thresher breaking apart as it fell to the bottom of the sea. Sixteen officers, 96 sailors and 17 civilians were on board. All were killed.

On April 12, President John F. Kennedy ordered that flags across the country be flown at half-staff to commemorate the lives lost in this disaster. A subsequent investigation revealed that a leak in a silver-brazed joint in the engine room had caused a short circuit in critical electrical systems. The problems quickly spread, making the equipment needed to bring the Thresher to the surface inoperable. More here

2005: Tiger Woods wins fourth Masters: Tiger Woods wins his fourth Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club after a 15-foot birdie on the first hole of the sudden-death playoff against Chris DiMarco on April 10, 2005. The victory was Woods’ ninth major championship on the PGA tour. More here

More today in History here and here

Previous entries here

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,