This is a small collection/representation of a trip that my cousin Chris and I took to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia on Veteran's Day, 2006.

All images are copyrighted by me and are for personal use only.

I believe that this was the Captain of the Guard, with a rank of major.

The militia marching out on a side street past the armory (which is enclosed by many intimidating pointy sticks)

The militia formed out on the main street by the courthouse

Close-up of the leader of the militia.

More of the militia, close up.

Yet more of the militia. Note the young drummer-boy in the back with the funky green and red hat that says NEC APSERIA TERRENT

Here is one of the men barking out commands to the rest of the formation.

An older, wizened soldier. Quite an age range within the formation. I don't know if this is historically accurate or not, but it's interesting to see. Definitely different than today's Army.

Beautiful fall foliage by the courthouse. I had a higher resolution version of this for my desktop backbround for a while.

Flag outside the front of the governor's mansion.

This was our tour guide. We had been waiting out here in front of the main entrance of the governor's mansion and he had just come out to get us and start the tour.

In the entryway of the governor's mansion, you see all these weapons, which according to our tour guide, were actually used. They would take them down off the wall when needed, use them, and then put them back.

Ceiling in the entryway to the governor's mansion. Everyone who has been to the governor's mansion in Colonial Williamsburg probably has this shot. It's of rifles with bayonettes on the ceiling.

The guide asked us to identify all the signs and symbols of power and England that we could see. Of course, there were the rifles and swords, but also, the flag, the marble floor, the wood everywhere, the lion and unicorn, among others.

I like this one. It shows the flint (grayish-whitish stone) strikers in the rifles that were used to fire them. I wonder how reliable these were???

This shot shows an ornate silver candleholder on the wall. Also note the hand-tooled leather wallpaper that was imported from (I think) Italy.

Central view of the backyard garden behind the governor's palace.

Side view of the same garden, showing the covered path on the far right and more of the flowerr beds.

This is on the roofline of the exit of the governor's palace tour. The lion and unicorn was Brittan's crest, representing the fusion of England and Scottland.

View of the side of the mansion and one of the side gardens. Not quite so perfectly manicured as I may have expected, but still very nice.

Side view of the mansion. Chris said that this was good enough to be on a postcard. Thanks Chris! Note the historically accurate jet vapor contrail in the sky above the building. Maybe I'll edit this out someday.

A very cute herb and vegetable garden around the back/side of the governor's palace.

This is one of the side rooms off the palace. This one was the kitchen where a chef was preparing food as a demonstration.

Nice copper kettles, huh? The cook/chef was answering questions from the audience.

Because of my mechanically inquisitive nature, I found this mechanism fascinating. I think it used a weight and reverse-windlass and gearing mechanism to rotate a spit over the fire as it was cooking. I have found a similar, albeit miniaturized version in some clocks, watches, and mechanical timers that I have taken apart. It looks complicated, but it's really not. There is a drum/windlass that the main cable is wound around. The other end of the cable is attached to some weight, suspended over the floor by a pulley (see previous picture), so that that line always has tension on it since the weight is pulling on it. Like a winch, the line wants to pull and unravel the spool, but the spool has another cable-belt that drives the spit itself. This would happen very fast if it weren't for the rest of the mechanism. i.e., it would turn the chicken on the spit very fast, say 20 or 30 times, and then be done. You don't want that when you're cooking- you want it to turn slowly.

So the drum has a large spur gear on it, I'm guessing with about 50 teeth on it, mating with a smaller one, with about 12 , for a total gear ratio of about 4 to 1. This is on a common shaft which drives a worm gear in reverse. The driving gear has about 24 widely-spaced teeth and forces the worm gear a complete turn around for every tooth on it, so this gives you a 24 to one gear ratio for this section. The total gearing then ends up being about 100 to 1. That is, the vertical axis shaft with the large wheel turns about 100 times for every time the winch drum turns around. It is the sheer wind and frictional resistance/losses that keep the speed of this wheel reasonable. That drag, multipled by about 100 through the gearing is what slows the whole thing down like molasses and keeps the chicken (or whatever is being cooked on the rotary cooker/spit) from spinning around like mad. As long as the torque generated by the winch is great enough to overcome this resistance (x100, remember) the spit will turn. If it wasn't enough torque, you just add more weight to the other end of the cable. COOL!!!

The hand crank which is resting on the bottom portion of the device looks like it would fit over the square end of the shaft to wind the weight back up off the floor and thus "recharge" the system via elbow grease. It doesn't look like it has a one-way catch mechanism, so when you were cranking it to re-wind it, the spit (and chicken) would rotate backwards.


Here is the room next door showing a blackened (on the outside) copper kettle.

This one is kind of cool. The old fashioned megaphone was used while we were there to announce the showings and showtimes of various performances at the theater. They would prop it up on the fence and yell into the small end. The sound would then be amplified and carry across the open grassy area, where people might be walking by.

Chris said his mom liked moss, so I took a picture of this moss-covered roof on this little building. This same building was on postcards in the visitor's center.

Some of the many horses pulling tourists in buggys for some nominal fee, I'm sure.

One of the tourist buggys. Cool, but the driver's tinted sunglasses kind of ruin the historical mood in my book.

View of the courthouse and some fall foliage. The road to the right where the people are standing is where the militia had formed up in the earlier pictures. The armory is off to the right, outside of the picture.

Later in the day, there was a fife and drum band, which, along with the militia and several other groups, marched up the main street and onto the parade grounds for part of the Veteran's Day ceremony. As a veteran (and Chris is an Active Duty Navy guy), we both got in free that day. Very cool.