History of Triton I - History

History of Triton I - History

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Triton I

(Tug: dp. 212; Ibp. 96'9"; b. 20'9"; dr. 9' (mean);
8. 13 k.)

The first Triton—a steam-powered, steel-hulled tug constructed in 1889 at Camden, N.J., by J. H. Dialogue —was purchased by the Navy in September of 1889; and placed in commission soon thereafter.

The tug spent her entire career operating from the navy yard at Washington, D.C. She frequently steamed down the Potomac to the naval reservation at Indian Head, Md., which was home first to the Naval Proving Grounds in the 1890's and then to the Naval Powder Factory during the first half of the 20th century. In all probability, Triton conveyed barges laden with materials to be utilized in the testing of naval guns and in the production of gunpowder and explosives. During the year 1900 alone, she recorded 198 roundtrips between Washington and Indian Head. She continued to serve the Navy at Washington through World War I and into the 1920's. On 17 July 1921, the Navy designated her YT-10 in accordance with the new system of alphanumeric hull designations. She remained in service until early in 1930. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 19 May, and she was sold on 15 September.

A Quirky Christmas Tradition: A History of White Elephant

Every year on November 25th, after Thanksgiving festivities have subsided and the chaos of family gatherings have fizzled out, Christmas spirit springs into action. Christmas decorations are stocked on every shelf, Mariah Carey streams from every radio and Santa comes out of his wintery home into the malls of America. Hysteria of Christmas cheer overwhelm every block with twinkling lights and the Christmas season has begun. Christmas being one of the most renowned holidays is widely loved and celebrated in almost every way possible! Although Santa sitting in shopping malls may seem to be an odd tradition of this season, an even more peculiar practice has made its way into the beloved American Christmas– White Elephant parties! With a name such as white elephant, this tradition presents an array of bizarre and mysterious features.

An introduction to the White Elephant is not complete without an introduction to Buddhist mythology. It is said that the night Buddha was born, his mother was given a white lotus by a white elephant. This story carried a great significance in southeast Asian culture where the white elephant transcended into a representation of holy being. Eventually, white elephants were given as gifts to people of significance. They were expensive, rare and extravagant. However, this is not where the quirky tradition of exchanging odd gifts got its name.

As time progressed and Europeans began to inhabit Asia, the white elephant transformed into an aesthetic, with Europeans not understanding their value in Buddhist culture. This makes more sense as to where the term was derived from. White elephant gift exchanges are usually simply for a good laugh, as the gifts rarely have a real function, just like the white elephant: enjoyable but useless (to Europeans, at least).

In the early 1900s, shop owners began having “White Elephant sales” and market places had White Elephant exchanges. This all eventually manifested into the tradition of White Elephant gift exchanges as adored as they are today. In the words of Shane Hardy, a Junior, “My first experience with these kinds of parties was great! I was really young about 5 years old when I had one with my family. I got a mini fake tattoo kit that time, I was so stoked. I went to one this year, it was really fun too. It’s a pretty cool tradition.”

Now that we’ve covered the significance of the term “White Elephant,” it is essential to get into the exciting part of White Elephant parties!

In order to get a real personal experience we got to talk to some great people in our San Clemente family and get the inside scoop on how they get quirky for Christmas!

First, I had a chat with the beloved SC teacher Ms. Schmidt, an avid white elephant celebrator.

I began by asking first and foremost how she prepared for white elephant parties and how she strategized her gift giving.

Well, usually when I buy a gift, I like to get things that will be useful, and useful for anyone. It’s usually not something funny.

What is your ideal white elephant party?

I love it when it’s all girls. It’s a lot of fun when it’s just ladies because then we can get super cute things for each other.

Where are the best places to get white elephant gifts?

What is the funniest gift you’ve ever received or seen someone pick?

I can’t tell you! Well, one time, someone got really cute pajamas. Snuggly ones.

What’s your favorite part about White Elephant parties?

They are funny. It’s fun to see people get competitive and show Christmas greed, but it’s all light hearted!

Attending a White Elephant party with a gift as brilliant as your new found expertise on the background of the tradition will enhance your entire experience. Going into a party you will now be able to wholeheartedly embody the spirit of the White Elephant party. Happy gifting!

5 Comments on A Quirky Christmas Tradition: A History of White Elephant

This article was super cute and informative about a tradition I have always wondered about! It was a great “how-to” kind of article that I found really helpful.

I play White Elephant at my grandma’s house every Christmas Eve, but only now, after reading your article, do I know the origin of our family tradition.

I’ve never done this, although I’ve heard about it. I found this very helpful as to what exactly it was. Thanks!

I really liked this article especially around the holiday season it’s very cute and light hearted! My family every year does a white elephant party, including my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. I love how they give a background about the occasion, and where it comes from.
Solana Loust

I never knew White Elephant had such a history about it! Informative article on a super cute tradition. Loved the interview with Ms. Schmidt– it added a bit more to the article.

Triton History

Triton Industries was founded in 1961 at Belmont and Halsted in Chicago, Illinois in a small industrial space near Wrigley Field by Marvin Wortell (1918-2019). He is now passed and was 100 years old, 1 month away from his 101st birthday.

Customers were 100% in Chicago, as it was the world capital of consumer electronics. (Sunbeam, RCA, Zenith, Teletype, Western Electric, Allied Radio and Motorola) where all within miles of each other. Triton expanded to 55,000 sq. ft. 2 blocks from Wrigley Field. Now Triton is on the Northwest side of Chicago in a 100,000 sq. ft. building.

Our Present

Today, Triton is a third generation family owned business by the Wortells. We currently have many new and old customers going back decades! Triton makes: transportation, vending machine parts, truck signs, lift machinery, restaurant equipment, cell phone charging stations, induction cooking enclosures used at Panda Express, flow control devices, security camera power supply enclosures, medical x-ray components and architecture window brackets and other building components.


6688 North Central Expressway
Suite 1400
Dallas, Texas 75206

Telephone: (214) 691-5200
Fax: (214) 987-0571


Public Company
Incorporated: 1962
Employees: 490
Sales: $.11 billion
Stock Exchanges: New York, Toronto
SICs: 8510 Petroleum 1300 International Trade and Foreign Investment

Triton Energy Corporation is one of the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. It is distinguished from its U.S. peers by its emphasis on overseas operations. Triton's roller coaster ride to success was punctuated by infighting, brushes with bankruptcy, allegations of fraud, and high-risk ventures.

Triton was founded in Dallas by L. R. Wiley in 1962, just as the oil industry was entering a decade of defeat. Although many "wildcat" oil and gas exploration firms in the southwest of the United States had reaped huge profits from the booming energy industry during the 1950s and early 1960s, most of the 1960s and early 1970s were fraught with obstacles to success. As mismanaged federal energy policies and flat oil prices stumped producers, the number of oil and gas exploration industry participants plummeted from 30,000 in 1960 to a beleaguered group of 13,000 by the early 1970s.

Despite industry woes, Triton managed to survive, and even profit, during the 1960s and early 1970s by finding and exploiting large reserves. Like many other companies of that era, Triton augmented its U.S. activities with overseas exploration and drilling, resulting in several important oil and gas discoveries. In 1971, for example, a well drilled in the Gulf of Thailand encountered natural gas zones that promised as much as 29 million cubic feet of natural gas per day--a major find. Typical of many overseas energy ventures, however, political roadblocks kept Triton from capitalizing on the find until the 1990s.

Just as it had done in the 1960s, when it built its company amidst the ruins of many of its competitors, Triton displayed its maverick bent again in the mid-1970s. During the early 1970s, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began limiting its oil production in a bid to boost profits. As oil prices vaulted to $30 per barrel, many U.S. exploration and production companies began to focus on developing domestic reserves in lieu of more risky overseas ventures. Triton bucked this trend by continuing to engage in high-risk, though potentially lucrative, foreign endeavors.

During the 1970s and 1980s Triton stuck its neck out in almost every corner of the globe. Scavenging for untapped reserves of oil and natural gas, Triton opened subsidiaries and invested in ventures in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Europe, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada, and other places. As the company bypassed less perilous domestic opportunities that it viewed as offering relatively low returns, it became known as a savvy industry maverick with a knack for scouting out and exploiting international profit opportunities.

Although the company suffered several defeats, its few big winners provided enough income to allow it to continue searching for new reserves and to gain favor on Wall Street. Indeed, by the early 1990s the company boasted at least eight major discoveries totaling more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil and ten trillion cubic feet of gas. The find in the Gulf of Thailand, for example, offered potentially large returns if Triton could overcome the political stalemate between Thailand and Malaysia concerning the reserves. Similar successes that brought more immediate returns were achieved in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

One of Triton's most prolific triumphs during the 1970s and 1980s was its foray into France. In 1980, Triton became the first independent U.S. oil company to obtain an onshore exploration permit in that country. It teamed up with France's Total Exploration S.A. in a venture that yielded important discoveries in the Paris Basin of north central France. Those French oil reserves, 50 percent of which were owned by Triton, swelled to more than 15 million barrels in 1985, representing a significant portion of Triton's total reserves going into the mid-1980s. "This accomplishment, which started from just an idea, is the result of good planning, geology, geophysics, engineering, politics, and also a little good luck," exclaimed Mike McInerny, vice president of corporate planning, in a July 1985 issue of the Dallas Business Journal.

Triton's success in France reflected its ability to detect and cultivate opportunities that had been overlooked by its competitors. Indeed, both large and small U.S. oil firms had ignored the Paris Basin because of deceptive geological characteristics, which made it appear that the region was not worth drilling. In contrast, Triton, suspecting that the neglected area could hide large reserves, was willing to risk failure. After actually discovering a healthy supply of oil, moreover, Triton benefited from extremely low production costs, which were less than 20 percent of those in the United States. "They are the only company that is doing what they're doing in their particular way," noticed oil analyst Lincoln Werden in the Journal article.

By the mid-1980s, Triton was producing oil or owned reserves in France, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Thailand, Great Britain, West Africa, the United States, Canada, and the North Sea. Furthermore, it was planning to drill new wells in Nepal, Gabon, and several new regions in the countries in which it was already active. Largely as a result of its breakthrough discovery in France, Triton's assets had ballooned to about $200 million by 1985. Likewise, revenues jumped 100 percent during fiscal 1985 (ending in June) to roughly $50 million. Profits jumped similarly. Furthermore, Triton management expected sales in 1986 to surge to nearly $90 million. In addition, the company planned to drill an additional 200 wells worldwide during that year.

Although its future seemed bright as it entered the latter half of the 1980s, Triton began to experience financial setbacks. The entire oil industry, in fact, began to spiral into a down cycle in 1986 as the oil market became glutted and oil and gas prices plunged. Triton's sales continued to grow, but slimming profit margins were diminishing the concern's ability to fund expansion or to even remain profitable. Although the company realized an increase in revenues to $68 million in 1987, it posted a crushing loss of $7.8 million. In 1988, moreover, Triton realized a similar loss after boosting sales more than 100 percent.

To alleviate the negative influence of oil and gas prices on its bottom line, Triton stepped up its efforts to diversify into related businesses. For example, it accrued a major ownership share of Input/Output, Inc., a Houston-based manufacturer of seismic equipment, and bolstered investments in its domestic pipeline system. In 1988, Triton purchased two airport service operations, one in Texas and one in Oklahoma, in a bid to establish itself as a leading supplier of aviation fuels and services. The company, through its Triton Aviation subsidiary, planned to sell its crude oil to refineries in exchange for aviation fuel, thereby eliminating the cost of operating its own refinery. The two 1988 acquisitions, along with smaller purchases, quickly propelled Triton to the status of major player in the aviation services industry. "They'll have to prove themselves," cautioned Greg Wheeler, vice president of competing Avfuel, in a May 1988 issue of Dallas Business Journal.

Triton's efforts at diversification only seemed to exacerbate its problems. As profits continued to lag into the late 1980s and early 1990s, management struggled to find a way out of the ever-deepening hole into which it had fallen unable to profit from its devalued oil and gas reserves or its sinking subsidiaries, the company was having trouble stabilizing its earnings and generating sufficient cash for an aggressive exploration and development program. Furthermore, Triton stammered under the pressure of an entirely unrelated set of problems that followed the company through the late 1980s and early 1990s like a lost puppy.

Triton was forced to battle an array of allegations in the early 1990s that it had falsified accounting records during the 1980s. A Triton official confirmed the problem when he acknowledged that the company had made payoffs to officials in Indonesia that had led to "creative" accounting methods. Company employees admitted to routinely overstating expenses, altering bookkeeping entries, and bribing auditors. Triton's accounting firm resigned amidst controversy.

The blow-up over Triton's Indonesian affairs followed on the heels of a more costly problem. Jimmy Janacek, who worked at Triton from 1981 to 1989 and served as controller, filed suit against Triton for wrongful termination. Janacek claimed that Triton had fired him for refusing to violate state and federal securities laws in fulfilling the company's reporting requirements. The jury agreed with Janacek and elected to award him $124 million--a potentially deathly blow for his former employer. Stunned Triton officials, who had turned down a $5 million settlement just days before the award, paid $9.4 million while Triton's insurers paid an unspecified reduced settlement.

As Triton floundered into the 1990s, it experienced increasing pressure from shareholders to start producing some results. One major investor, in a move that smacked of a takeover threat, actually sent a letter to Triton executives in 1990 encouraging them to liquidate their major assets. Although Triton had already begun to restructure, it stepped up its reorganization efforts in an attempt to appease investors and improve its performance. It cut 25 employees from its Dallas headquarters, announced plans to dump the majority of its non-oil subsidiaries, and decided to shuck major portions of its underperforming overseas oil and gas operations.

Battered by slumping oil prices, a U.S. recession, legal battles, the effects of inconsistent management practices, and failed attempts at diversification, Triton slouched wearily into 1991. Management believed that the company was undervalued on the stock market and that its long-term outlook was generally positive, especially given the fact that oil and gas prices would likely recover in the near future. Nevertheless, detractors shunned the organization as a sloppy, overweight, unfocused corporation whose high-risk strategy had finally caved in.

Critics' suspicions were supported by Triton's inability to move some of its holdings--when it tried to sell its European subsidiary for $200 million, the highest bid came in at $100 million and Triton chose not to sell. Furthermore, Triton losses had increased to $12.5 million in 1989 and to a whopping $54 million in 1990. Triton's bleak condition was reflected in articles about the company's woes. A Barron's article, for example, referred to Triton as "a wisp of an oil-exploration firm" that was "burdened by self-dealing and impropriety."

After a five-year period of torment and suffering, Triton blasted its critics and turned its entire organization around with a single, momentous breakthrough. In July of 1991, elated Triton executives confirmed rumors that the company was on the verge of a major oil strike in central Columbia. In the most meteoric rise of a U.S. energy stock since the 1970s, the price of a Triton share rocketed from a 52-week low of $4 to nearly $50 by the end of August. Analysts estimated that the new discovery could yield three billion barrels or more of oil, making it the most important find in the Americas since Prudhoe Bay in the Arctic Circle.

Triton had been actively searching for oil in Columbia since the summer of 1981. Convinced that there was oil to be found, Executive Vice President John Tatum initiated years of fruitless efforts and hefty capital investments. Finally, in 1987, Triton and its partner, British Petroleum (BPX), found an area that they believed might produce oil. In an extremely risky venture, Triton and BPX began drilling in one of the most geographically and socially challenging regions of the world. To reach the jungle-covered oil, they had to drill holes two miles deep at a cost of $27 million per hole each hole required six to ten months to drill.

Worse yet, the region in which they were drilling was brimming with danger. Three separate groups of Marxist guerrillas, organized criminals seeking to protect their interests in nearby emerald mines, and other violent elements combined to produce a murder rate averaging 80 per day--ten times the U.S. per-capita average. Bullet proof vests could not protect the drillers from the equally distressing threat of kidnapping, a relatively common practice in Columbia.

Triton's assumption of risk reaped major rewards in the early 1990s. Although the company's losses continued to mount, its stock price soared as enthusiastic investors sought a piece of the action. Triton's losses were attributable primarily to its investments in the Columbian drilling operation, which would not begin to produce positive cash flow until at least 1995. Triton's losses swelled to $94 million in 1992 and to about $90 million in 1993.

Triton's revenues also plummeted. Indeed, when the magic bullet that Triton managers had hoped for finally arrived, they began a rapid reorganization plan that emphasized development of the Columbian drilling operations. After all, in just one year the percentage of Triton's proved reserves (the amount of oil still underground to which it had rights) represented by its Columbian division rocketed from zero to 68, making the importance of its holdings in all other regions of the globe comparatively negligible. To carry the company into a new era of profitability, Triton moved William Lee, who had served as president since 1966, to the position of chairman of the board. Lee was succeeded as president by Thomas G. Finck, an engineer and industry veteran.

As a result of its new focus, Triton decided to shed all of its non-oil subsidiaries, liquidate its U.S. and Canadian oil and gas reserves, and "reassess" its development prospects in France. Its reduction of working operations contributed to a decline in sales from $209 million in 1991 to $125 million in 1992 and $110 million in 1993. At the same time, however, the company's total proved reserves increased from 83 million net equivalent barrels (a measure that incorporates both oil and natural gas reserves) to 130 million, boding well for Triton's future.

As though the sun was finally breaking through the clouds that had darkened Triton's balance sheet during the late 1980s and early 1990s, recovering gas and oil prices accelerated in 1994 and were expected to rise through at least 1995. Estimates that the Columbian operations would be producing 150,000 barrels per day by the end of 1995 and 900,000 barrels per day by the end of the decade suggested potentially enormous profits for Triton. Furthermore, Triton's ongoing exploration in other regions, such as Argentina, could yield more surprise additions to the company's reserves.

In keeping with its long-time strategy of engaging in high-risk, long-term international exploration and development ventures, Triton entered the mid-1990s determined to sustain its search for new reserves. "As our future lies in creating value through exploration, management must look beyond the current development projects to the future," stated Finck in the company's 1993 annual report. "Large-scale, high-potential international exploration projects take many years to develop. Triton must identify and pursue attractive opportunities."

Principal Subsidiaries: Crusader Limited (Australia) (49.9%) Triton Argentina, Inc. (Argentina) Triton Colombia, Inc. (Columbia) Triton Indonesia (Indonesia) Triton Oil and Gas Corp. Triton Oil Company of Thailand (Thailand).

Fine, Jennifer, "Triton Energy Hits It Rich with Finds Near City of Lights," Dallas Business Journal, July 29, 1985, Sec. 1, p. 1.
Lampman, Dean, "Triton Aviation Fuels Expansion Effort with Acquisitions," Dallas Business Journal, May 30, 1988, Sec. 1, p. 5.
Majors, Stephana, "Triton: Columbian Well Big Country May Take 50 Percent," Dallas Business Journal, July 12, 1991, Sec. 1, p. 6 "Investors Gambling on Triton Oil Strike," Dallas Business Journal, July 5, 1991, Sec. 1, p. 17.
Manning, Stuart, "Triton Canadian Unit to Sell Natural Gas to Massachusetts Utility," Dallas Business Journal, November 14, 1988, Sec. 1, p. 6.
Preston, Darrell, "Triton Attacks Lawyer over Huge Jury Award," Dallas Business Journal, July 24, 1992, Sec. 1, p. 1 "Justice Department Launches Probe of Triton Energy," Dallas Business Journal, March 26, 1993, Sec. 1, p. 3.
Steffy, Loren, "Big Investor Urges Triton to Divest Bulk of Its Operations," Dallas Business Journal, August 31, 1990, Sec. 1, p. 3 "Axed Whistle Blower Sues Triton," Dallas Business Journal, July 9, 1990, Sec. 1, p. 1 "Colombia Gusher, Fires Triton Stock," Dallas Times Herald, August 24, 1991, p. B1.
Totty, Michael, "Triton Nudged to Drop Production Companies," Dallas Times Herald, August 28, 1990, p. B2.
Zipser, Andy, "Trials of Triton," Barron's, July 26, 1993, pp. 14--15.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 11. St. James Press, 1995.


I started this web site originally so I could get in contact with other owners of Triton 721 yachts, and to be able to share, experience, skills and information about maintaining and restoring this wonderful little sailing vessel.

The Triton 721 was designed by late John C Alsop, who finished his main professional life was a senior check pilot on 747 jets at QANTAS. But his passion seems to have been designing a range of small masthead sloops.

I bought my Triton 721 from a yacht broker in Palm Beach in 1989. It was already about 10 years old, I guessed, and was in great condition, except for some various amateurish fitting out, particularly the stanchions, push pit, pulpit and safety lines. As an architect I could see that the design was very sophisticated and that a lot of thought had gone into the design of this vessel.

I slowly embarked on a project to replace the more obvious examples of bad workmanship in the fit out of the vessel which I renamed Sailing Vessel Yindi or SV Yindi. I managed to get hold of a set of drawings for the Triton 721, probably by contacting the designer, John Alsop, directly. But I never thought much about the history of the vessel, apart from finding out that the 721 was further along the evolutionary chart from the Triton 24 and the Bonbridge 26 or 27.

About 25 years after purchasing Yindi she suffered a dismasting when the bracket for securing the side stays rusted away and the mast slowly fell overboard, just off Bradleys Head in Sydney Harbour. There was absolutely no wind, and I probably have had the engine running as I headed away from my mooring in Taylors Bay with some overseas guests on board.

One of the NSW Maritime Boat Officers towed us back to my mooring and that was the end of sailing for quite a few months while I searched for an engineer who could fabricate a new “wishbone” steel frame that supports the past and transfers the load down onto the fibre glass ribs that are integral with the hull.

Finding a workshop that would build the steel “wishbone” for me was a lengthy process. So I thought about contacting other owners of Triton 721 vessels. I did some detective work online and tracked down 4 or 5 other owners of the same vessel, but none of them were able to help me.

Eventually the answer was right under my nose. About 12 months before the dismasting I had joined Sydney Amateur Sailing Club (SASC) in order to be able to take advantage of their Green Shed jetty at the top of Mosman Bay, where I could carry out maintenance work on my vessel. It was talking to other members that I got recommendations for a rigger located at Mosman Bay marina and a steel fabricator, George Atkinson of
JBC Yacht Engineering at Milsons Point.

George fabricated a wonderful new “wishbone” in stainless steel and fixed it in position, in a very professional manner, and at a very reasonable price. During this work I realised that a lot of interior fittings, fabricated in marine ply were in very poor condition and decided it was time for an internal makeover of SV Yindi. This is when the contacts I had made with other Triton 721 yachts started to pay off. I gather that most Triton 721 yachts were probably fitted out by their original owner, who took delivery of a yacht that was complete about externally but only had a bare cabin.

It was while looking at the different designs of interior fitout that I went back to the set of drawings I had purchased years previously. I started thinking about who was this John Alsop who designed the Triton 24, Triton 721 and the Bonbridge 27?

<This story will be continued when I find some time to collate all the information that I received as a result of a letter published in the Afloat magazine, March 2019>

An inshore masthead sloop designed by John C Alsop and manufactured in Sydney, Australia, by the Triton Boat Company throughout the 1980s.

Fixed keel sailboat normally raced with a crew of three or four people although best enjoyed at a more leisurely pace with family and friends.

Because of its relatively wide beam and spacious cabin, the Triton 24 provides comfort and performance, both single handed or with competitive crew.

Each week RideApart looks back at key milestones in motorcycle history, from technical innovations to significant model introductions to racing successes and, of course, some of the disastrous things we’d rather forget. This week we take a look at the origins of the Café Racer.

This is not intended as a complete history, rather a look at the highpoints in the café scene which is timely because in recent years, it seems that the term “Café Racer” can be applied to any old motorcycle that has been spray-painted black and fitted with pipe wrap. However, motorcycle enthusiasts who raced each other from café to café were the true Café Racers in the UK during the 1960s. The most famous of which is the Ace Café, in London, which is still in existence today.

There is also a suggestion that the term Café Racer was created as the riders were only pretending to be racers as, instead of using their modified bikes, they just parked them outside cafes to show off.

It may also be part of motorcycle folklore too, but it is rumored that these riders would apparently select a record on a café’s jukebox and then race each other to a predetermined place, with the objective of getting back before the record finished. This would then prove their bike was capable of hitting 100 mph.

Predominantly most of the early Café Racers were British bikes – Triumph, BSA, AJS, Norton etc and none of them were particularly quick. But, the objective of most of the riders at the time was to try and achieve the ton – or 100 mph. If you could demonstrate your bike was capable of going at that speed or faster you could call yourself a member of The Ton Up Club.

To get anywhere near the magic 100 mph, riders at the time needed to heavily modify their bikes. Fortunately in the 1960s the British motorcycle industry was still alive and kicking and there was a big British presence in motorcycle racing. Consequently, there were a lot of aftermarket parts for the Café Racers to choose from to upgrade their bikes.

1969 Norton Commando Cafe Racer

It was, though, an expensive hobby, so over time as a rider added more and more parts the traditional Café Racer motorcycle, the look that we know today started to evolve.

Ostensibly for a bike to be a Café Racer it had to have a combination of some of these things: clip-on bars, swept back pipes, a racing seat, large carburetors, and a fiberglass or aluminum gas tank.

Fundamentally a Café Racer had to be light and powerful and able to achieve 100 mph. They often looked like stripped-down racers with anything that was considered superfluous or unnecessary or heavy taken off the bike.

As it was modified for handling and speed, a Café Racer often meant it was really not that comfortable to ride.

Other features that were adopted to make a bike a Café Racer included an elongated fuel tank (similar to Grand Prix racers of the 1960s) often with concave depressions to allow the rider’s knees to grip the tank, low-slung clip on bars and a single seat with a faired-in rear end.

Those narrow bars allowed the rider to ‘tuck in’, or to lie almost flat on the tank when riding for lesser wind resistance and a true Café Racer often had rear-set footrests and foot controls, which was again typical of racing motorcycles from that era.

Some owners took their bikes to even higher levels and designed and built their own fairings mounted on the bike’s forks or frame.

One of the best types of Café Racers from this era was actually a combination of two bikes. Enthusiasts who could afford it would use a Norton Featherbed frame and a Triumph Bonneville engine to get a fast, nice handling bike called a “Triton.” If your budget was a bit stretched, you’d still take the Triumph engine but use a BSA frame creating a “Tribsa.” There were other options too with Vincent engines used in the Norton frame with the bike called a “Norvin.”

Big budget Café Racers would also take a Rickman or Seeley racing frame, used in Grand Prix bikes, and adapted it to make a road racer.

As the Japanese manufacturers started to gain a foot hold in Europe and the rest of the world in the early 1970s, there were some great Japanese Café Racers created too, but the true pioneers of the café racer movement were the British bike owners of the 1960s.

Our History

When the citizens of Normandy passed a bond allowing Normandy School District officials to purchase the Bellerive Country Club for $600,000 in 1957 for a community college site, the plan was locally criticized as a "speculative venture." Despite this criticism, a bond issue was passed to buy the 128 acre tract of land that included a club house, golf course, swimming pool, volleyball and tennis courts, and lake. Two years later, in September 1960, the two-year Normandy Residence Center opened for classes. Enrollment totaled 215 freshmen, who squeezed into 12 classrooms in the old clubhouse. Four full-time and eight part-time faculty were provided by the University of Missouri. After three years of operation as a residence Center, the Normandy School District and the university reached an agreement for the university to purchase the property and assume operation of the center. In September 1963, the Normandy Residence Center became the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The Bellerive Country Clubs clubhouse remained the only campus structure until 1966, when Benton Hall, the first classroom-laboratory building, was completed, followed by Clark Hall in late 1968, the Thomas Jefferson Library in 1969, and Stadler Hall in 1970. Classroom space was nearly doubled in 1971 with the completion of five more buildings: The Mark Twain Building the University Center, the student union the J.C. Penney Building, the first privately financed building on campus Lucas Hall, the home of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Social Sciences and Business Building. In 1976 construction was completed on two more buildings: the General Services Building and Woods Hall, the central administration building. In 1976 the university also purchased the former Marillac College south of Natural Bridge Road and thus acquired the cornerstone of what would become the South Campus.

The 1990s was a decade of rapid growth for the campus with the addition of the dormitory, chapel, and administration buildings of the Sacred Heart Sisters, which afforded on-campus living for the first time in UMSL history. The Passionist Fathers Retreat Center was also acquired, adding more dormitory rooms for residential students. The University Meadows, a gated student apartment complex was built in a public/private partnership, which utilized undeveloped land adjoining the South Campus. The Kathy J. Weinman Building was funded by private donations and now houses the Childrens Advocacy Center and the Center for Trauma Recovery. And, in 1999, the Provincial House buildings of the Daughters of Charity were added.

Also during this time, the campus began a series of property acquisitions surrounding the North Campus in the communities of Normandy and Cool Valley along either side of University Boulevard (formerly North Florissant Road), and in unincorporated St. Louis County bounded by I-70, Hanley Road, and Natural Bridge Road. The William L. Clay Molecular Electronics Building and the studio arts complex were added and, in 2002, the Normandy Hospital building as acquired, bringing the South Campus complex to 44 acres, more than 20 buildings, and 1,000 residential units. Today, the South Campus is home to the Pierre Laclede Honors College, the College of Education, the College of Nursing, and the College of Optometry.

The Millennium Student Center opened its doors in 2000. Funded by students, the center is a one-stop-shop for student services and boasts event space, campus dining, study spaces, and a sky bridge connecting to the to the core academic quadrangle of the North Campus. The 2000s also brought a redesign of West Campus Drive, connecting the entrance to Natural Bridge Road the completion of three 600-space parking garages, one on West Campus and two on East Campus drive the acquisition of the St. Louis Mercantile Library construction of the Computer Center Building and the opening of the $56 million Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center.

In recent years the campus has benefited from the additional construction and renovation of additional academic and student life spaces, including a renovation of the science complex in Benton and Stadler Halls and the conversion of the General Services Building into a home for the former College of Fine Arts and Communication (now the School of Fine and Performing Arts). In 2012 the Student Government Association voted to fund the $36 million Recreation and Wellness Center, which opened in 2015 and featured state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a rock-climbing wall, a 155,000-gallon pool, and more. 2016 saw the addition of the 75,000-square-foot Science Learning Building on North Campus, a $35 million project bond-funded at the recommendation of the University Assembly Budget and Planning Committee to improve science learning facilities.

The state of Missouri invested in UMSL's infrastructure in 2015 with the announcement of $13.6 million in state bond funds to further renovate Benton Hall and the release of $10 million in 50/50 matching funds to construct a new business building. Anheuser-Busch Hall, named in honor of a lead $2.5 million gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, opened in 2017 as the home of the College of Business Administration.

The foresight of the people involved in that "speculative venture" has been substantiated by time. Today, the University of Missouri-St. Louis has an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, making UMSL the second largest of the University of Missouri System's four campuses, the largest university in the St. Louis area, and the third largest in the state. On what was once the site of a country club with a single building, UMSL has grown to a campus of more than 50 buildings and structures situated on over 470 acres. Via Metrolink stops on both the South and North Campuses, students have direct access to the numerous educational, cultural, social, shopping, entertainment and sports complexes in St. Louis County and in Downtown St. Louis. Far from its humble beginnings, UMSL offers a full campus life experience to students from St. Louis and around world, including students from some 100 countries.

Former Chancellors

Thomas F. George
Donald Driemeier
Blanche Touhill
Marguerite Ross Barnett
Arthur MacKinney
Arnold Grobman
Emery Turner
Joseph Hartley
Everett Walters
Glen Driscoll
James Bugg

Edward Monaco, President of Normandy Board of Education, signs papers establishing the University of Missouri Normandy Residence Center. Behind him on his left is Ward E. Barnes, Superintendent of the Normandy School District, c. 1960

Bellerive Country Club, c. late 1950s, was the only building on campus until Benton Hall was built in 1966. It was known as the Administration Building and housed classrooms, offices, and the library.

Fire safety plan of the Administration Building, 1968

Members of Bellerive Country Club often swam in what later became known as Bugg Lake--named after the University's first Chancellor, James Bugg

Entrance off Natural Bridge Road into the University of Missouri Normandy Residence Center as the campus was called between 1960-1963.

As enrollments grew, University of Missouri officials expressed an interest in turning the Normandy Residence Center into a four year UM campus. In the Fall of 1963 with over 600 students enrolled, Normandy School District proudly committed its campus to the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Over 100 people turned out for the dedication ceremonies as the Normandy Residence Center became the University of Missouri-St. Louis on September 15, 1963. The ceremony was held on the site now occupied by Woods Hall.

Aerial view of campus looking southwest. Excavation for construction of the J.C. Penney building in foreground. Benton and Stadler Halls shown in background. Administration Building, the former Bellerive Country Club club house shown in middle.

Aerial view of campus looking northeast showing Benton and Stadler Halls, Administration Building Thomas Jefferson Library and Clark Hall, c. 1969.

Workers transporting books out of the Administration Building library to be placed in the newly constructed Thomas Jefferson Library, 1969.

Susan Freegard, UM St. Louis' first library director, oversees the move into the newly built Thomas Jefferson Library, 1969.

In 1969, UMSL received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare to provide recreational activities for inner city youth. Athletic facilities on campus provided over 200 St. Louis area youth a chance to hone their skills. Thomas Jefferson Library in background.

Swimming and sunbathing in front of the Thomas Jefferson Library, c. 1970s, The pool was opened to full-time days students in May of 1965. The pool was built in 1932 as part of the Bellerive Country Club.

The Fun Palace, near Bugg Lake, provided students a place to play ping pong or pool or enjoy a snack. The building originally contained the Physics department labs and was known as the Physics Annex.

Leonard Slatkin directs the St. Louis Symphony orchestra in a free concert on the athletic fields, 1977. Airplane traffic was temporarily redirected to ensure good acoustics.

Marillac Campus, also known as the South Campus, was previously the site of Marillac College, a four year liberal arts school run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul. Marillac College opened in 1958 to educate Catholic sisters and offered degrees in teacher education, nursing and social work. The Daughters of Charity began subdividing their property as enrollments dropped in the early 1970s. The University of Missouri-St. Louis purchased the Marillac Campus in 1976 for $5 million. The School of Education and the Education Library became its first occupants. In 1998, UMSL acquired the Marillac Provincial House and six other buildings from the Daughters of Charity.

Benton Hall was the first building constructed on the university’s then-new campus in 1964. It’s part of a North Campus complex that includes the William L. Clay Center for Nanoscience, Anheuser-Busch Ecology and Conservation Complex, Research Building, Stadler Hall and the forthcoming Science Learning Building.

The Science Learning Building is four stories and 75,000 square feet, with 18 labs, seven new study areas, a solarium and a new Sodexo Simply to Go Café.

Anheuser-Busch Hall, the first space on UMSL’s campus solely dedicated to business education, opened for classes in August 2017.

During his 16 years at UMSL, Chancellor Thomas F. George oversaw a physical transformation of the campus while also helping the university deepen its roots as an anchor institution in the St. Louis region. George and his wife, Curators Distingished Professor of Music, both retired on September 1, 2019.

Society [ edit | edit source ]

Tritons riding a hippocampus, and others with tapal and trident.

Government [ edit | edit source ]

Triton society was a patriarchal feudal system that consisted of inherited noble titles. Ζ] In addition, the military and priesthood shared a great deal of power, with the priesthood ruling over citizens at home and the military ensuring the survival of the communities. Their rule did not extend past their own protectorates, as each protectorate was a sovereign nation independent from the others. ⎗]

Triton settlements were built in a very orthodox, logical manner that stems from a characteristic orderliness. Triton protectorates started with a single garrisoned outpost, which took the form of a central tower surrounded by additional buildings or caverns to provide more space. There were then four more outposts created sixteen miles from the center tower, in each of the four cardinal directions. More outposts were then created, in sets of four, to create a grid-like pattern, ensuring that each settlement was within a half-day’s journey of each other. These protectorates ended up being composed of a capital city, a ring of eight trade cities, twelve farming villages, and twenty-four outposts guarding it all. Ζ] These cities reached no higher than 1,250 feet below sea level. ⎗]

The triton made regular use of hydrothermal vents to smelt metals and produce valuable weapons and armor. However, continued exposure to the mineral-rich waters could make them ill, so they limited their interactions with them. ⎘]

Religion [ edit | edit source ]

The triton were a theocratic society, where all triton had ties to the church of their creator-god, Persana. All that non-tritons knew of Persana’s worship was that it placed a great deal of focus on craftsmanship and guardianship, with the triton having created great cities in his name. Persana’s priests were known to work readily with those of other faiths, if such an arrangement would benefit the triton, something that Persana would do himself. ⎙]

The triton believed that Persana created their species out of magically treated water from the fountain of the Elemental Plane of Water. While Persana seemed to only care about the triton in particular, he would cooperate with other races and their gods if it means aiding his people. Rarely, he would have his avatar appear in triton courts to guide them, or would send omens in the form of things such as pearls, underwater whirlpools, or living caverns. ⎚]

Persana’s priests had many responsibilities in triton life. They were known to administer justice in court, act as architects for undersea cities, and even lead others in battle. ⎚]

Some triton claimed the god Eadro as their creator. The triton were also said to have a more significant druidic population than the the air-breathing races, tending to their aquatic environment and protecting it from harm. ⎛]

Combat [ edit | edit source ]

Tritons battling their foes with tapal and with spell.

The tritons had a special weapon that was unique solely to their culture, known as the tapal. ⎙] These were weapons traditionally carried through family lines, to be presented to a triton when they become an adult. Triton were also known to use more traditional weapons, such as unique aquatic variants of crossbows, designed with thicker wire and reinforced to withstand the pressure of the sea. They also used other aquatic weapons, such as stingray whips ⎜] , daggers, javelins, nets, ⎝] and their favored weapons, tridents ⎞] . Triton weapons were often made from bone or coral, with enchantments to strengthen them. Some used metal, with magical enhancements to make them immune to rusting and pitting. ⎟]

The triton of Serôs wore two unique kinds of armor. The first, called silverweave, was a light and flexible fabric made out of coral fronds, treated so that it had the durability of chainmail but moved like cloth. This was rarely worn outside of war, and usually was made to protect the legs. The bulkier, ornamental pearl armor served as a counterpart, offering protection akin to plate armor while being much lighter. ⎞]

Triton spellcasters tended to use various shells in the place of magical staves. ⎠] When it came to writing down spells, they shunned books in favor of carving spells into a cavern wall, typically in a language only the triton wizards knew and in a cave only they can access. ⎟]

Triton believed in the Law of Duels, in which two combating armies would instead put forward their champions to represent their faction and fight a personal challenge. This public conflict could have been nonlethal and to first blood, if the challenged (not the challenger) chosen so. ⎡]

Organizations [ edit | edit source ]

The most well-known triton-founded organization were the Dukars. The Dukars, through a mysterious ritual, used coral implants in their skeletons that caused magic to flow through them. The Dukars were divided between the Lorekeepers, who strove to preserve history, and the Peacekeepers, who kept the peace and gathered knowledge. Their numbers consisted of many races, with some claiming they counted storm giants, great whales, dolphins, koalinth, and ixitxachitl among their ranks. The organization disappeared due to an unknown conflict six hundred years ago, however, bringing an end to their 8,000 year long campaign for peace. They remained, but only in small number, with their goal being to maintain the fragile alliances in Serôs. ⎢]

The triton were also said to have an order of paladins known as the Order of the Crimson Shell, whose purpose was to destroy the sahuagin and put an end to their cult, the Jaws of Sekolah, as well as the terror it spread. ⎣]

Relationships [ edit | edit source ]

Tritons had good relations with giant sea horses, hippocampi, and sea lions, such that these creatures would hark to a summons by the sounding of a conch shell horn. ⎤] They were uneasy around dolphins, who would invade their space without care and often would try to break down the triton’s aloof attitude. Ζ] The triton also domesticated twilight turtles, a species of black-and-purple aquatic turtles which glowed with bioluminescence, while also acting as a pack animal. ⎥]

Triton had a number of sapient allies. One of these were the aventi, a race of sea-dwelling humans who often help them repel threats from the sea and the surface. ⎦] In Serôs, their allies included the shalarin, the merfolk, the morkoth of Qatoris ⎧] , and the inhabitants of Myth Nantar. ⎙]

They were sometimes found as courtiers or servants in the palace of the marid Kalbari al-Durrat al-Amwaj ibn Jari, the Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls, and entire tribes of them would occasionally accompany her whenever she traveled on the Prime Material plane. ⎨] Besides her, tritons often acted as bodyguards of traveling marids. ⎩]

Despite their xenophobic attitude, the triton rarely killed outsiders without reason. Instead, their preferred method of dealing with intruders depended on the quality of the individual, which was tested in a triton court. Those deemed innocent awakened the next day on a nearby shore, while the guilty were stripped of their belongings and set adrift ten miles from the nearest shore. This practice was called leaving them “to the fate of the seas”. Α]

History of Mermaids

Originally, Greeks considered Mermaids half woman and half bird, but, considering that all mythical stories are constantly changing along tradition, then we find that Mermaids become half fish and half woman after a dispute with the Muses, their aunts from the genealogic point of view. In ancient texts, Mermaids appear not alone but in a group of two or three and not only in the water but sitting on reefs waiting for the arrival of ships. The description of the Triton is similar, son of the sea God Poseidon for the Greeks and Neptune for the Romans. Triton was a creature with the upper part of the body with the shape of a man and the lower part with a fish tail. Triton had the power to tame the turbulent waters blowing a shell.

If we look back at history, we see that the first Mermaids appeared for the first time painted on caves in the late Palaeolithic (Stone Age), about 30,000 years ago, when human beings had a strong control of the land and began to sail the sea.

The Greek name “Seirén” is related in meaning to a rope, and Mermaids would be something like “the ones that tie or grab”, mainly sailors tempting and enchanting them with the sweetness of their songs. Those songs were irresistible and they fascinate anyone as their melodies were full of promises, hence the literary expression “Siren song”. Throughout history, we can see that such attraction was not only united to a tuneful singing but also to their femininity. This being is always characterized by living between two worlds, sea and earth, or between life and death because we also find Mermaids as funeral emblems accompanying with their singing those who began their journey to the afterlife. It is clear that the first written text talking about Mermaids is the Odyssey, but as a legend or oral story, we find more Mermaids in other parts of the world. In the Middle East, the first stories where Mermaids appeared are found in Assyria in the year 1000 BC where Atargatis, a Syrian goddess who ruled the seas, was consecrated and worshiped with fish in temples full of large ponds. In China, many Chinese mythology tales talk about Mermaids as wonderful, skilled and versatile beings, whose tears become pearls. Mermaids are also found in Romanesque columns, sharing prominence with the Nereids and the Harpies.

In Ireland we find the Merrows, a species whose females are the equivalent of Mermaids, excepting for membranes in their hands. In the Scottish mythology there is the Ceasg, the “maid of waves,” a special mermaid whose lower half is a salmon. In Wales a legend says that in the sixth century a mermaid called Murga, which means “woman who comes from the sea”, was captured. She was taught to speak the native language, and she learned to sew and talk, but she never lost the ability of living in the water. In Spain, there is a famous legend about the “Sirenuca” from Cantabria, a mermaid that had once been human. Her mother was fed up with her disobediences about the ban to go to the cliffs screamed “God grant that you become a fish” and that’s the way it was.

One of the most famous sighting was done by Christopher Columbus himself, who wrote in his logbook that he had seen three mermaids, but they were not as beautiful as they are represented, which somehow they had the face of a man. This assessment is ideal to illustrate the theory that the alleged sightings of mermaids have usually been sightings of manatees, walruses and other animals.

But the literary text that introduced Mermaids in history was the “Odyssey” written by Homer, who explains how the hero Ulysses had himself tied to the mast of his boat in order to listen the mermaids songs without any danger, although he is not the only one who managed to be uninjured, the Argo ship crew commanded by Jason was also unharmed. They managed to escape from the bewitching melodies thanks to a great musician called Orpheus, son of Apollo, who travelled with them and who with a magical song managed to avoid Mermaids.

That seductive singing was considered by Christians as an incitement to lust. Later, the Mermaids seduction stopped being something people could hear in order to become something more visual. Now, the images that represent Mermaids are the ones of Ladies of Water, very beautiful and showing provocative gestures to those who glimpsed at them. With all that, German Romantic poets, used to talk about monsters and wonders found in Mermaids a new motif. It is at that time when lonely mermaids were discovered solitary in Germanic rivers, and they were also confused with the Naiads and Undines. Sometimes they kept using their voice as a seductive weapon but other times it was their beauty that was attracting as one could see them in a corner while looking themselves at the mirror and brushing their long hair. Instead, the post-Romantic painters imagined them more aggressive, jumping themselves over the sailors from the sea it was the typical image of “Femme Fatale” of the nineteenth century. In contrast, romanticism also created a kind of amorous mermaid desiring to change and become a woman, changing her tail for legs. The story of “The Little Mermaid” written by Hans Christian Andersen is a clear example of this.

So when modernizing, mermaids become an echo of the old seductive creatures, everything mythical evaporates and even trivializes, therefore from the ‘Sirenas Mediterranean Academy’ we want to give to that figure of mermaids all the lost magic and mysticism, as a vehicle for teaching the marine world and the history and stories of the “Mare Nostrum”, the Mediterranean Sea.



Hesiod, Theogony 930 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"And of Amphitrite and the loud-roaring Earth-Shaker [Poseidon] was born great, wide-ruling Triton, and he owns the depths of the sea, living with his dear mother and the lord his father in their golden house, an awful god."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 28 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Poseidon married Amphitrite, and had as children Triton and Rhode."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 20 :
"When it came time for the birth, Prometheus . . . by the river Triton struck the head of Zeus with an axe, and from his crown Athene (Athena) sprang up."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 144 :
"They say that after Athene's birth, she was reared by Triton, who had a daughter named Pallas."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 22. 8 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Ares mated with Triteia the daughter of Triton, that this maiden was priestess to Athena, and that Melanippos (Melanippus), the son of Ares and Triteia, founded the city [of Triteia in Akhaia (Achaea)]."

Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 2. 18 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
"The [Nereid] nymphe sports on the peaceful sea, driving a team of four dolphins yoked together and working in harmony and maiden-daughters of Triton, [the Nereid] Galateia's servants, guide them."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Neptunus [Poseidon] and Amphitrite [was born] : Triton."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 23 :
"There is a story similar to this about the shell of Triton. He, too, when he had hollowed out the trumpet he had invented, took it with him against the Gigantes (Giants), and there blew strange sounds through the shell. The Gigantes, fearing that some wild beast had been brought by their adversaries, took to flight, and thus were overcome and came into their enemies' power."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 332 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"[After the Great Deluge had wiped out mankind :] The Lord of the Sea (Rector Pelagi) [Poseidon] laid by his three-pronged spear and calmed the waves and, calling from the deep Triton, sea-hued, his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells, bade him blow his echoing conch to bid the rivers, waves and floods retire. He raised his horn, his hollow spiralled whorl, the horn that, sounded in mid ocean, fills the shores of dawn and sunset round the world and when it touched the god's wet-bearded lips and took his breath and sounded the retreat, all the wide waters of the land and sea heard it, and all, hearing its voice, obeyed."

Heracles wrestling Triton, Athenian black-figure zone cup C6th B.C., The J. Paul Getty Museum

Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 6 ff :
"In the waves the Sea-gods (Di Caerulei) dwelt, Aegeon, his huge arms entwined around the backs of giant whales, ambiguous Proteus, Triton with his horn."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 13. 918 ff :
"She gazed in wonder at his [the sea-god Glaukos' (Glaucus')] colour and his hair that clothed his shoulders and streamed down his back, and thighs that formed a twisting fish's tail . . . [and] he said, &lsquo. . . I am a Sea-God (Deus Aquae). Over the open sea not Proteus, no, nor Triton nor Palaemon Athamantiades has greater power than I.&rsquo"

Ovid, Heroides 7. 41 ff (trans. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"A sea tossed by the winds, on which you are none the less making ready to sail, despite the threatening floods . . . Look you, how Eurus (the East Wind) tosses the rolling waters! . . . Soon the winds will fall, and o'er the smooth-spread waves will Triton course with cerulean steeds."

Virgil, Aeneid 10. 209 ff (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
"His ship was the giant Triton, the sound of whose conch affrighted the dark-blue water its dipping figurehead the hairy trunk of a man to the waist, bellow the belly a great fish."

Propertius, Elegies 2. 32 (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :
"The sound of water which splashes all round he basin, when the Triton suddenly pours forth a fountain from his lips."

Propertius, Elegies 4. 6 :
"[Octavian defeats Marc Antony at the historical battle of Actium :] Triton hails the outcome on his conch, and about the standard of liberty all the goddesses of the sea [i.e. the Nereides] clapped their hands."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 1. 28 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"The merman Triton who is depicted riding upon swimming monsters attached to his man's body."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2. 35 :
"[Cicero quoting Accius' Medea :] Triton's trident, heaving up the roots of cavernous vaults beneath the billowy sea, hurled from the depths heaven-high a massy crag."

Statius, Thebaid 9. 328 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"No more winningly does . . . Triton rise higher [than waist deep] from the summer waves."

Statius, Silvae 3. 3. 80 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
"The winged Arcadian [Hermes] is the messenger of supreme Jove [Zeus] Juno [Hera] hath power over the rain-bringing Thaumantian [Iris the rainbow] Triton, swift to obey, stands ready at Neptunus' [Poseidon's] bidding."

Statius, Silvae 3. 2. 1 :
"Then let Proteus of manifold shape and twy-formed Triton swim [protectively] before [the ship], and Glaucus."

Nereus, Triton and Heracles, Athenian black-figure hydria C6th B.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 1. 60 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[When Zeus abducted Europa in the form of a bull and carried her across the sea :] Triton heard the delusive lowing of Zeus, and bellowed an echoing note to Kronides (Cronides) [Zeus] with his conch by way of wedding song."
[N.B. This description matches the Greek vase painting above, showing Triton with his horn below Europa and the bull.]

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 36. 92 ff :
"[When the gods took sides in the battle of Dionysos against the Indians, Poseidon and Apollon faced off against each another :] The stormy trumpet of the sea brayed in the ears of Phoibos (Phoebus) [Apollon]--a broadbeard Triton boomed with his own proper conch, like a man half-finished, from the loins down a greeny fish--the Nereides shouted the battlecry--Arabian Nereus pushed up out of the sea and bellowed shaking his trident."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 43. 203 ff :
"[When Poseidon led the sea-gods into battle against Dionysos and his allies during the Indian War :] The broadbearded Triton sounded his note for the mad battle--he has limbs of two kinds, a human shape and a different body, green, from loins to head, half of him, but hanging from his trailing wet loins a curving fishtail, forked."


Herakles is depicted wrestling Triton in early Athenian vase painting (see images on this page). The story is probably a variation of the tale in which the hero captures Nereus, the old man of the sea, to learn the location of the golden apples of the Hesperides -- the elderly deity being replaced by his vigorous, young grandson as the wrestler.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, The Library 2. 114 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[The] Nymphai (Nymphs) who were daughters of Zeus and Themis . . . showed him [Herakles (Heracles)] Nereus. Herakles took hold of him as he lay sleeping, and bound him fast as Nereus changed himself into all sorts of shapes he did not let him loose until Nereus told him where the apples and the Hesperides were."


Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 19 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"[The Argonauts were porting their ship across the Libyan desert in the vicinity of Lake Tritonis, when they encountered Triton :] A sign there was to tell that Thera shall prove the mother of great cities, when leaping from the prow where Lake Tritonis pours to the sea, Euphemos (Euphemus) took the gift, token of a host's friendship, from a god [Triton] in mortal guise ho gave a clod of earth and from aloft, to mark the sign, a peal of thunder sounded from Zeus the father, son of Kronos (Cronus). This so befell, as on our ship we hung the bronze-fluked anchor . . . when for twelve days we had carried from Okeanos (Oceanus) over earth's desert backs our good ship's hull . . .
Then came to us this deity, all alone, clad in the noble semblance of a man of reverent bearing, and with friendly speech made to address us with a kindly greeting--such words with which a man of good intent speaks to invite the strangers newly come to share his table, and bids them first welcome. Yet did the dear plea of our homeward voyage call to us and forbade our stay. His name he gave, Eurypylos (Eurypylus), saying he was the son of the immortal Holder of Earth, Ennosides [Poseidon] He saw hour haste to be away, and straightway he stopped and seized a clod beside his foot and in his right hand proffered the gift of friendship. And, for he felt no misbelief, Euphemos lept to the shore and grasped his outstretched hand, and took the earth, that sign of heaven's will. But now I learn that it is lost, washed down as evening fell from the ship's deck, to wander on the sea's dark smooth tide, with the sea spray. Many a time, indeed, did I charge to the serving-men who ease our toil to watch it well but they forgot. Thus now the deathless seed of Libya's far-spreading plains is spilt upon this isle, e'er the due time. For had that prince, son of the horseman's god Poseidon . . .
Euphemos come to holy Tainaros (Taenarum) [the southernmost peninsular of the Peloponnese] and cast that seed where cleft earth opens to the mouth of hell, then had his sons in the fourth generation seized with the Danai this broad mainland. For then from mighty Sparta and Argos' gulf and from Mykenai (Mycenae) the peoples shall rise and move from their abode. But now Euphemos, taking from a breed a foreign women one to be his bride, shall found a chosen race. And they shall come paying due honour to the gods, unto this island, whee they shall beget a man born to be lord of those dark-misted plains. And on a day in time to come, this man shall tread the path down to the shrine of Pytho, and Phoibos (Phoebus) [Apollon] . . . shall speak to him his oracle, proclaiming that he shall bring a mighty host in ships to the rich land of Neilos (the Nile) the precinct of the son of Kronos [Zeus].&rdquo

Herodotus, Histories 4. 179. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"The following story is also told : it is said that Jason, when the Argo had been built at the foot of Pelion, put aboard besides a hecatomb a bronze tripod, and set out to sail around the Peloponnese, to go to Delphoi (Delphi). But when he was off Malea, a north wind caught and carried him away to Libya and before he saw land, he came into the shallows of the Tritonian lake. There, while he could find no way out yet, Triton (the story goes) appeared to him and told Jason to give him the tripod, promising to show the sailors the channel and send them on their way unharmed. Jason did, and Triton then showed them the channel out of the shallows and set the tripod in his own temple but first he prophesied over it, declaring the whole matter to Jason's comrades: namely, that should any descendant of the Argo's crew take away the tripod, then a hundred Greek cities would be founded on the shores of the Tritonian lake. Hearing this (it is said) the Libyan people of the country hid the tripod."

Triton and Hippocamp, Greco-Roman mosaic from Antioch C2nd-3rd A.D., Hatay Archeology Museum

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1548 - 1623 (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"[The Argonauts were stranded in the Libyan desert near Lake Tritonis, their ship having been carried far inland by a giant wave :] Orpheus suggested that they should bring out the great tripod that Apollon had given Iason (Jason) and offer it to the gods of the land, who might thus be induced to help them on their way. So they went ashore and no sooner had they set up the tripod than the great god Triton appeared before them, taking the form of a young man. He picked up a clod of earth and held it out to them by way of welcome, saying : &lsquoAccept this gift, my friends. Here and now, I have no better one with which to welcome strangers such as you. But if you have lost your bearings, like many a traveller in foreign parts, and wish to cross the Libyan Sea, I will be your guide. My father Poseidon has taught me all its secrets, and I am the king of this seaboard. You may have heard of me though you live so far away--Eurypylos (Eurypylus), born in Libya, the country of wild beasts.&rsquo
Euphemos (Euphemus) gladly held his hand out for the clod and said : &lsquoMy lord, if you know anything of the Minoan Sea and the Peloponnesos (Peloponnese), we beg you to tell us. Far from meaning to come here, we were driven ashore on the borders of your land by a heavy gale. Then we hoisted our ship, and for all her weight, carried her across country till we came to this lagoon. And no we have no idea how to get out of it and reach the land of Pelops.&rsquo
Triton, stretching out his hand, pointed to the distant sea and the deep mouth of the lagoon. At the same time he explained : &lsquoThat is the outlet to the sea the smooth, dark water marks the deepest spot. But on either side of it are beaches where the rollers break--you can see the foam from here--and the fairway in between them is a narrow one. The misty sea beyond it stretches from here to the sacred land of Pelops, on the other side of Krete (Crete). Once you are out in the open, keep the land on your right and hug the coast as long as it runs north. But when it trends towards you and then falls away, you may safely leave it at the point where it projects and sail straight on. A happy voyage then! And if the work is heavy, do not let that distress you. Young limbs should not object to toil.&rsquo
Thus encouraged by the friendly god the Argonauts embarked at once. They were determined to escape from the lagoon by rowing and the ship forged ahead under their eager hands. Meanwhile Triton picked up the heavy tripod and walked into the water. They saw him stepping in yet in a moment he had disappeared, quite close to them, tripod and all. But their hearts were warmed. They felt that one of the blessed ones had come to them and brought good luck. They urged Iason to kill the best of their sheep and hold it out to the god with words of praise. Iason hastily selected one, lifted it up, and killed it over the stern, praying in these words : &lsquoGod of the sea, you that appeared to us on the shores of these waters, whether the Ladies of the Brine know you as that sea-wonder Triton, or as Phorkys (Phorcys), or as Nereus, be gracious and grant us the happy return we desire.&rsquo
As he prayed he slit the victim's throat and threw it into the water from the stern. Whereupon the god emerged from the depths, no longer in disguise but in his own true form, and grasping the stem of their hollow ship drew her on towards the open sea. So does a man trot along beside a fast horse griping his bushy mane, as he brings him in to race in the great arena and nothing loath, the horse goes with him, tossing up his head in pride and making the foam-flecked bit ring out as he champs it in his jaws to this side and that. The body of the god, front and back, from the crown of his head to his waist and belly, was exactly like that of the other immortals but from the hips down he was a monster of the deep, with two long tails, each ending in a pair of curved flukes shaped like the crescent moon. With the spins of these two tails he lashed the surface of the water, and so brought Argo to the open sea, where he launched her on her way. Then he sank into the abyss, and the Argonauts cried out in wonder at the awe-inspiring sight. They spent that day on shore. The harbour there bears Argo's name and there are signs of her stay, including altars to Poseidon and Triton. At dawn they spread the sail and ran before the west wind, always keeping the desert on their right."

Double-tailed Triton, Greek mosaic C2nd B.C., Sparta Archaeological Museum

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1734 ff :
"[Euphemos (Euphemus) the Argonaut, holding the lump of earth he had received from Triton had a dream :] He dreamt that he was holding to his breast the lump of earth which the god [Triton] had given him and was suckling it with streams of white milk. The clod, small as it was, turned into a woman of virginal appearance and in an access of passion he lay with her. When the deed was done, he felt remorse--she had been a virgin and he had suckled her himself. But she consoled him, saying in a gentle voice : &lsquoMy friend, I am of Triton's stock and the Nurse of your children no mortal maid, but a Daughter of Triton and Libya. Give me a home with Nereus' Daughters (the Nereides) in the sea near Anaphe, and I will reappear in the light of day in time to welcome your descendants.&rsquo
Euphemos, after committing his dream to memory, told it to Iason (Jason). The dream reminded Iason of an oracle of Apollon's himself, exclaiming : &lsquoMy noble friend, you are marked out for great renown! When you have thrown this clod of earth into the sea, the gods will make an island of it, and there your children's children are to live. Triton received you as a friend with this little piece of Libyan soil. It was Triton and no other god that met us and gave you this.&rsquo
Euphemos heard Iason's prophecy with joy and did not make it void. He threw the clod into the depths of the sea, and there grew up from it an island called Kalliste (Calliste), the sacred Nurse of his descendants."

Lycophron, Alexandra 886 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"[In Libya] where to Triton, descendant of Nereus [his mother was Nereus' daughter Amphitrite], the Kolkhian (Colchian) woman [Medea] gave as a gift the broad mixing-bowl wrought of gold, for that he showed them the navigable path [from Lake Tritonis in Libya across the desert to the sea] whereby Tiphys should guide through the narrow reefs his ship undamaged. And the twy-formed god, son of the sea, declares that the Greeks shall obtain the sovereignty of the land [Libya] when the pastoral people of Libya shall take from their fatherland and give to a Hellen the home-returning gift."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 56. 6 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"When they [the Argonauts] were driven by winds to the Syrtes and had learned from Triton, who was king of Libya at that time, of the peculiar nature of the sea there, upon escaping safe out of the peril they presented him with the bronze tripod which was inscribed with ancient characters and stood until rather recent times among the people of Euhesperis [near Kyrene (Cyrene) in North Africa]."

Statius, Thebaid 5. 372 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"The Vessel [Argo] . . . pitches to and fro, with the Triton on its bow now projecting from the water's depths, now borne aloft in air."

Statius, Thebaid 5. 705 ff :
"High on his chariot comes the ruler of the deep [Poseidon], and twy-formed Triton swimming by the foaming bridles gives signal far and wide to the subsiding main Thetis is smooth again, and hills and shores emerge."

Watch the video: Learn about the Department of History at UC San Diego for Triton Day 2020