For a long
time, I have many unanswered questions in tessellation-related matters concerning people, of
which this concerns their works or of the person themselves. I would dearly
like to track these people down (some now possibly deceased), or can anyone
tell me what became of them and hear their story. Below I
show the person I am interested in, with the point of interest in brackets and the
Richard E. James III (Pentagon Tilings)
Richard E. James
came to prominence as the discoverer of a type 10 pentagon in 1975. All that is known is that he was a
computer scientist with the Control Data Corporation from California, and
that’s it! Did he continue his studies
and his work on pentagons? Is there a picture of him? Are you there, Richard?
Stein (Pentagon Tilings)
Rolf Stein is another pentagon discoverer, a type 14 in 1985,
of which next to nothing is known. All that is known of Stein (from
Doris Schattschneider) is that he is a graduate mathematics student from the University of Dortmund, Germany,
and that’s it! Again, did he continue his studies and his work
on pentagons? Is there a picture of him? Are you there, Rolf?
Charles Platt and Michael Moorcroft
(Author and Editor of an Escher Publication)
Charles Platt and
Michael Moorcroft have an Escher connection in that they are author (and
editor) of an Escher article (and featuring ‘Relativity’ on the front
cover) in New Worlds Speculative Fiction, ‘Expressing the Abstract’, of
July 1967. It would be nice to know from him as to how this article
arose. Many questions remain, such as was Escher contacted preceding this,
and if so what was his opinion. Upon looking for him, it is evident that he is
still alive, and indeed active, at the age of 71, but his contact details
remain elusive. His associate of the time, and also likely in connection with
the article, Michael Moorcock, is also still with us, but he too remains
elusive. Are you there, Charles and Michael?
Joseph L. Teeters (Escher-like tessellations)
Joseph L. Teeters, of Michigan, USA, seemed to flourish in
the mid 1970s being disappearing into obscurity. What became of him? Are you there, Joseph?
Michio Kubo (Japanese Tessellator)
Michio Kubo has a tessellation
of ‘cats’ (my own
description) dated 1968, in the book The Sense of Order by E. H. Gombrich, and that’s it! What became him? I asked the Japanese
Tessellation Association for any details of him, but he was unknown to them. Are you there, Michio?
‘Sef of Spoonflower’ (Tessellation
Spoonflower’ has many Escher-like tessellations on his Spoonflower fabric site
(a commercial operation), with a brief biography:
Maths, science, computing and music
specialist with side interests in dancing, font design, celtic knotwork etc
suitably impressed by his work to follow up, I enquired of him on that site, to
which he was somewhat obscure, in two mails, saying:
I don't publicise. I figure if
people genuinely want what I offer they'll find it for themselves. … I'm retired …. Yes, I have a website but, like me, it's very
old school rather than a flashy modern thing.
name and website went unresolved, and I can’t find it! All most strange. Are you there, Sef?
Margaret Hayden Richardson (Cluster Puzzles)
Does anyone know what became of Margaret Hayden
Richardson’s papers and artefacts? Richardson, of New York City, and later Dennis, Massachusetts, USA, was a famed jigsaw puzzle
designer, titled under ‘Perplexity’, between 1908 and 1910. However, although
married, she had no children, and so there are no known family archives in
existence. Her one cluster puzzle, ‘A Bad Dream’ is perhaps the most important
of all, being the apparent first (or at least is clearly unambiguous), with
many questions arising thereof. What gave her the idea? Have the preliminary
drawings and history somehow survived? Her husband was the son of was a notable
architect, H. H. Richardson, perhaps the papers/artefacts may be in the
possession of the Richardson family?
Arthur W. Nugent/N. A. Nugent Jr. (Cluster Puzzles)
Art Nugent died in 1975, although it appears his son, N. A. Nugent Jr. is still alive and active, and who undoubtedly can add more to the story. As such, it appears he has taken over his father’s ‘Funland’ comics, albeit beyond that little is known of him, save for studying at Syracuse University, Newark School Art; even his first and second name are not known! There is much I would like to know on Art. Have the original drawings of his 1930s cluster puzzles/jigsaw work survived? Are there more? Are you there, N. A. Nugent Jr?
Elspeth Eagle-Clarke (Cluster Puzzles)
any descendents of Elspeth Eagle-Clarke, of Filey, Yorkshire, UK, a noted illustrator and jigsaw
puzzle designer, for Chad Valley, of 1934? Despite extensive searches,
I have not been able to find any. Her place in cluster puzzle history is most significant,
being one of the early forerunners, with many questions arising thereof. What
gave her the idea? Have the preliminary drawing survived in the family
archives? Are you there, the descendants of Elspeth?
Jane and Bill Leach of
Greenwich, Connecticut (Cluster Puzzles)
Does anyone have details of Jane and Bill Leach, last known
of Greenwich, Connecticut, USA in 1994? Bob Armstrong, the jigsaw
authority and puzzle collector, tells me that they were the previous owners of
the ‘A Bad Dream’ puzzle by Margaret Richardson, now in the Armstrong
collection. Possibly they may have some more detail on this historical
artefact, believed to be the first unambiguous example of a cluster puzzle, and
so of the utmost importance in a historical sense. Are you there, Jane and Bill?
Philip Gell (Cluster Puzzles)
know what became of Philip Gell, a graphic designer from the UK? Gell is of note in that he
designed a notable cluster puzzle, of a Noah’s Ark, about 1980, and of which with he won
the London Design Centre Award in 1982. For a time he was an associate of the
children’s jigsaw maker George Luck, of which the puzzle was produced
commercially in tandem. I contacted Luck, but he could add little to what was already
known. Are you there, Philip?
‘Croton’ (Cairo Tiling)
Does anyone know who is and what became of ‘Croton’, a pseudo
name for a crossword compiler for The
Listener of the 1950s? Croton used as a framework for his puzzles the Cairo
tiling, not once but twice, and so given the early date for its appearance is thus
of more interest than of latter day concerns. The Listener website has a page where the compilers names are
given, but unfortunately, ‘Croton’ is one of the few entries for which a name
is not available. I tried contacting The
Listener authorities for further details, of which although I received a
reply they were unable to tell me who he or she was. Are you there, Croton?
Created 28 October 2016
Margaret Hayden Richardson, Arthur W. Nugent/N. A. Nugent Jr., Elspeth Eagle-Clarke all added 15 November 2016. Jane and Bill Leach, 20 December 2016. Richardson entry notably revised 22 December 2016. 'Croton' 16 January 2017, 14 February 2017 Philip Gell