Etching With Fire by Franklin Smith from American Magazine: Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Vol. XXXIV.--July to December, 1892. pp. 113-125.
MOUNTEBANK AT AN ENGLSH FAIR
The illustration above is what it might have looked like when Robert Ball Hughes and his sweetheart watched the mountebank at the country fair in England in the early 1820's. Read the whole article on Google Books for the account of Ball Hughes at the fair and more accounts of his life, including his first pokerism.
A similar account can be found in the J. William Fosdick's 1891 article Burnt Wood in Decoration from The Art Interchange, December 1891, pp. 190-191, available at Antique Hall of the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art Salon of J. William Fosdick and the 1892 New York Times article The Fire Etcher's Work on this site. See also First Pokerism on this site.
from Etching With Fire by Franklin Smith
The illustration above is probably what a Fire Etcher in the mid-19th century might have looked like. The panel is larger than we know Ball Hughes to have etched but the poker tools are before J. William Fosdick's time in the late 1800's.
last update 2/15/2010
For noncommercial use, Copyright David E. Brown 2008-2010