Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bird House War Bus


I might start a new feature on this site featuring the best designed object of the week I can find. Here is this week's, a London omnibus converted during the first world war into a mobile pigeon loft.

It's a fabulous object - a miniature arts and crafts house attached to the chassis of a bus - but it raises some interesting questions, not least how the pigeons find their way back. Aren't the lofts meant to be stationary and the pigeons mobile? I like this idea of reversing typologies. Floating airports and stationery planes for instance. Or museums that come to visit you.

What were the pigeons used for? The London Transport Museum website where the picture is taken from doesn't say. Pigeon lofts are fascinating things generally though, of which more later....

4 comments:

woodscolt said...

Pre-radio, carrier pigeons were used for communications behind the lines (they could set up telephone lines, but not immediately).

http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/carrierpigeons.htm

The Sesquipedalist said...

Love the mobile pigeon loft. There are a few static versions here in Sheffield I should go and photo before they're lost.
On best designed objects, I found some skyscraper sheds in an old AR recently used by fishermen. I'll see if I can dig it out and scan it.

Blaize said...

Okay. Now I want a mobile pigeon loft. To go with my weaponized dove cote.

Charles Holland said...

thanks woodscolt. i was going to make some immature joke about pigeons setting up telephone lines...but i know what you mean.

steve, i think those sheds are in hastings, no?

hope you have the parking space blaize.