by Harley Vincent
Photographs by George Newnes, Ltd.
(originally published in The Strand Magazine, 1904)
Suppose some reader of The Strand were to ask, “What is a wind-machine?” how many persons in an intelligent audience would be able correctly to answer the conundrum? Yet how often have they, in some thrilling drama at Drury Lane or one of the great London theatres, listened with sympathetic anguish to the heroine’s tearful ejaculation, “Oh, what a night! Hark to the fearful wind as it beats on yon desolate moor!” And what if, after all our straining of ears to hear the wind beating on the desolate moor (the scene, by-the-bye, of the heroine’s desertion by the villain of the play), there were nothing more realistic to reward us than the scene-painter’s gorse and heather and the proscenium lights turned low?