Orlando Ferguson’s Map of a Square and Stationary Earth

A pseudo-scientific work of art
Arts • Views: 33,281

Here’s an amazing illustration I discovered recently at The History Blog: Orlando Ferguson’s Map of a Square and Stationary Earth, printed circa 1893.

Professor Orlando Ferguson of Hot Springs, South Dakota, was horrified by the concept of humans clinging desperately to a globular Earth, hurtling through the heavens at super speeds. “No way,” thought he.

So he invented this incredibly strange way to imagine the Earth as a square, stationary object. (Kind of like today’s GOP.)

Click to enlarge

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66 comments

1 jamesfirecat  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:08:34pm

If we're digging up famous historical crazies, I prefer Emperor Notorn myself...

2 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:11:27pm

hence, inadvertently inventing the game of roulette

3 Subhuman Varmintghazi  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:14:29pm

re: #2 albusteve

hence, inadvertently inventing the game of roulette

The resemblance is striking, eh? I wonder what the angels on the four corners are betting on.

4 Charles Johnson  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:15:48pm

re: #3 Kid A

The resemblance is striking, eh? I wonder what the angels on the four corners are betting on.

Those angels must be gigantic.

5 goddamnedfrank  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:17:53pm

So that's what the Laffer curve looks like.

6 engineer cat  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:19:01pm

WHERE ARE THE TURTLES??!?!??

7 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:21:27pm

I prefer to think Galileo is correct and Mr Ferguson is wrong. But Galileo had some major problems with his critics. [Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

8 darthstar  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:21:33pm

The flat earthers look intelligent compared to some of today's Teabagger Republicans.

9 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:22:01pm

So that's how we got "the four corners of the world" then, yes?

10 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:22:42pm

re: #9 marjoriemoon
Probably.

11 Targetpractice  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:23:38pm

re: #8 darthstar

The flat earthers look intelligent compared to some of today's Teabagger Republicans.

I imagine that the flat-earthers, with the advantage of technology that the tea-baggers enjoy, might have found a far larger and more receptive audience in their day. Books, fliers, and so forth hold only a candle to the power of Facebook and Twitter.

12 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:23:48pm

re: #9 marjoriemoon

So that's how we got "the four corners of the world" then, yes?

that term refers to the famed Stones Tour of 1974

13 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:25:20pm

re: #12 albusteve

that term refers to the famed Stones Tour of 1974

No, that would be the four stoners of the world.

14 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:25:33pm

you mentioned gambling and the Stones...
here you go...

15 Subhuman Varmintghazi  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:25:53pm

In a poll conducted by Gallup in 1999, 18% of Americans said that they believe the Sun orbits the Earth. In two polls conducted in 1996, 16% of Germans,and 19% of Britons responded that they also believe the Sun orbits the Earth.

Honestly, I thought the number would be higher.

Your text to link...

16 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:26:29pm

re: #13 marjoriemoon

No, that would be the four stoners of the world.

there were 5 Stoners back then...get with the program

17 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:26:33pm

re: #6 engineer dog

WHERE ARE THE TURTLES??!?!??

They went all the way down!

18 austin_blue  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:27:13pm

re: #4 Charles

Those angels must be gigantic.

Death, War, Famine, and Pestilence.

Those are the big dudes, alright.

19 goddamnedfrank  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:28:23pm

re: #6 engineer dog

WHERE ARE THE TURTLES??!?!??

They're happy together.

/I'm sorry, couldn't resist.

20 darthstar  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:28:26pm

re: #15 Kid A

I don't believe the sun orbits the earth...I don't have to. I see it rise in the east and set in the west every day...you explain that.

/

21 dragonfire1981  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:28:43pm

There's some fine print on that graphic that reads: "Four hundred verses of the Bible condemn the globe theory, the Flying earth, and none sustain it. This map is a bible map of the world."

That's an epic pile of stupid right there. I know some ignorant Christians, but I can't think of any who actually believe the earth is really flat.

22 Subhuman Varmintghazi  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:29:21pm

re: #20 darthstar

I don't believe the sun orbits the earth...I don't have to. I see it rise in the east and set in the west every day...you explain that.

/

Bread goes in, toast comes out. You can't explain that, either.
/

23 darthstar  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:30:04pm

re: #22 Kid A

Bread goes in, toast comes out. You can't explain that, either.
/

You never see the bread again, either.

24 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:30:12pm

re: #16 albusteve

there were 5 Stoners back then...get with the program

Ah yes, would that be back in 1850?

25 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:30:16pm

re: #19 goddamnedfrank

They're happy together.

[Video]/I'm sorry, couldn't resist.

heh...met Mark Volman a couple of times along the way...he had stories to tell

26 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:31:07pm

re: #24 marjoriemoon

Ah yes, would that be back in 1850?

no, 1974

27 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:31:49pm

I remember that video that Charles had posted here about the moon and the tides. I will take Neil deGrasse Tyson's word for it and not Mr Buchanan.

28 Subhuman Varmintghazi  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:33:16pm

re: #27 PhillyPretzel

I remember that video that Charles had posted here about the moon and the tides. I will take Neil deGrasse Tyson's word for it and not Mr Buchanan.

How did the moon get there?

29 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:33:36pm

re: #26 albusteve

no, 1974

You sure? I think Keith Richards is at least 150.

30 darthstar  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:33:47pm

Holy shit...Clarence Thomas brings his new clerks to his home to watch "The Fountainhead"...front page story at dKos

Among them, he has declared that the Constitution gives states a right to establish an official religion. Prisoners, he wrote, have no constitutional right to be protected from beatings by guards. Teenagers and students have no free-speech rights at all, he said in an opinion Monday, because in the 18th century, when the Constitution was written, parents had "absolute authority" over their children.

Two years ago, the court ruled that a school official could not strip-search a 13-year-old girl to look for two extra-strength ibuprofen pills. Thomas — alone — dissented, calling the search of her underwear "reasonable and justified."


Given that he wanted to search Anita Hill's undies, it's no wonder.

31 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:33:51pm

Flo and Eddy
Livin In The Jungle

32 Targetpractice  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:35:46pm

re: #29 marjoriemoon

You sure? I think Keith Richards is at least 150.

Are we absolutely sure he isn't a Highlander? I mean, it would be the absolute best disguise.

/

33 ElCapitanAmerica  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:36:16pm

That's an awesome fine Charles, and BTW that's a great piece of artwork and extremely imaginative (if not scientifically accurate). Would love to hang that on my wall.

I also love the "send 25 cents to the author" thing on the corner, which persists today when you get Glenn Beck telling you to buy gold and you see the cheesy ads following right up, or when somebody tells you they know how the world will end but need you to buy their book to get you all the details.

34 Only The Lurker Knows  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:36:33pm

Evening Lizards.

35 engineer cat  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:36:46pm

re: #29 marjoriemoon

You sure? I think Keith Richards is at least 150.

how old is that in junkie years?

36 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:36:50pm

re: #28 Kid A
It was that video of Stephen Colbert and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I am sure though that the one you just posted is what led to Colbert and Tyson's explainations.

37 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:40:41pm

re: #29 marjoriemoon

You sure? I think Keith Richards is at least 150.

yeah?...the rest of us should be so lucky...not only is Richards an amateur expert on the Peloponnesian wars but regarding Alexander and the rest of ancient Greek history....he is also divined in ancient art and architecture...a major league history freak with a library of thousands of books...no shit...and he knows Robert Johnson better than Robert does

38 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:42:15pm

I just found it. Colbert and Tyson. [Link: littlegreenfootballs.com...]

39 Subhuman Varmintghazi  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:43:10pm

re: #21 dragonfire1981

There's some fine print on that graphic that reads: "Four hundred verses of the Bible condemn the globe theory, the Flying earth, and none sustain it. This map is a bible map of the world."

That's an epic pile of stupid right there. I know some ignorant Christians, but I can't think of any who actually believe the earth is really flat.

I don't know if a couple of dudes from the Onion came up with this, or if it's real.

Your text to link...

40 PhillyPretzel  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:44:04pm

Darn. I got to go. Good Night to my fellow Lizards.

41 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:45:06pm

re: #37 albusteve

yeah?...the rest of us should be so lucky...not only is Richards an amateur expert on the Peloponnesian wars but regarding Alexander and the rest of ancient Greek history...he is also divined in ancient art and architecture...a major league history freak with a library of thousands of books...no shit...and he knows Robert Johnson better than Robert does

(maybe he was there)

Dude, you know I'm yanking yer chain.

42 Digital Display  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:45:24pm

re: #37 albusteve

.and he knows Robert Johnson better than Robert does

That is just so wrong Steve in so many ways..Although I am surprised nobody spiked his drink
/

43 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:47:23pm

re: #41 marjoriemoon

(maybe he was there)

Dude, you know I'm yanking yer chain.

I know that...I'm just spreading the love...
had my 'Kieth Richards For President' tee shirt fired up yesterday for the mini blues fest I went to

44 laZardo  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:49:06pm

Today, the square-earthers think in three dimensions.

TIMECUUUBE~

45 jaunte  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:49:49pm

I bet Professor Orlando Ferguson developed his kugelhopf theory at the kitchen table.
Image: Bundt_cake_pan.jpg

46 ReamWorks SKG  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:49:54pm

There's something that really bugs me about Casey Anthony. And it's not the fact that we can't convict people if there's not enough strong evidence. That's something I understand. If the case is weak, you can't convict.

Accepting Casey Anthony's testimony as true: it's not disputed that she initially claimed her baby sitter kidnapped the child. Then she recanted and said she panicked after the child accidentally drowned.

In other words, she attempted to get an innocent person charged with a capital offense.

Why isn't this treated as a serious crime? Yes, she was convicted of lying to authorities, but she won't have to spend any additional time in jail for this.

Isn't there a difference between lying to cover up some facts, and lying to implicate another specific individual? This seems like an egregious offense. Shouldn't she spend a long time in jail for trying to get someone sentenced to death with false testimony? (There ought to be a law if there isn't!)

47 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:50:18pm

re: #43 albusteve

I know that...I'm just spreading the love...
had my 'Kieth Richards For President' tee shirt fired up yesterday for the mini blues fest I went to

Sweet. I was never a big fan, but they certainly have staying power which is rather rare.

48 albusteve  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:52:03pm

re: #47 marjoriemoon

Sweet. I was never a big fan, but they certainly have staying power which is rather rare.

the Stones are like tequila...
either you do or you don't

49 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:53:27pm

re: #46 reuven

There's something that really bugs me about Casey Anthony. And it's not the fact that we can't convict people if there's not enough strong evidence. That's something I understand. If the case is weak, you can't convict.

Accepting Casey Anthony's testimony as true: it's not disputed that she initially claimed her baby sitter kidnapped the child. Then she recanted and said she panicked after the child accidentally drowned.

In other words, she attempted to get an innocent person charged with a capital offense.

Why isn't this treated as a serious crime? Yes, she was convicted of lying to authorities, but she won't have to spend any additional time in jail for this.

Isn't there a difference between lying to cover up some facts, and lying to implicate another specific individual? This seems like an egregious offense. Shouldn't she spend a long time in jail for trying to get someone sentenced to death with false testimony? (There ought to be a law if there isn't!)

They didn't prove it was false, rather, that the child didn't drown. The doubt is what kept her out of jail, I'm assuming.

50 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:54:42pm

re: #49 marjoriemoon

11 hours of jury deliberation on a murder case, is NOTHING.
Case or evidence was weak.
Jury didn't buy it.

51 Subhuman Varmintghazi  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:55:02pm

re: #48 albusteve

the Stones are like tequila...
either you do or you don't

I've always liked them, and this is probably my favorite song of theirs. A girlfriends of mine who's a huge fan tells me "Voodoo Lounge" is an epic disc.

52 ReamWorks SKG  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:56:39pm

re: #49 marjoriemoon

I said "accepting what Casey said as true."

She did say the baby sitter did it, then the said the baby drowned and she panicked. This doesn't rely on anyone proving anything. It's simply taking her word.

53 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:57:43pm

re: #50 Floral Giraffe

11 hours of jury deliberation on a murder case, is NOTHING.
Case or evidence was weak.
Jury didn't buy it.

I guess!

What was OJ? Like 3? And there was physical evidence! Although the case is more comparable to Scott Petersen.

54 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 6:59:16pm

re: #52 reuven

I said "accepting what Casey said as true."

She did say the baby sitter did it, then the said the baby drowned and she panicked. This doesn't rely on anyone proving anything. It's simply taking her word.

There wasn't a baby sitter. She made it up.

I have no idea what specifically gave them doubt that wasn't rebutted. I thought the prosecution did a great job. But obviously, it was something.

55 austin_blue  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 7:02:26pm

re: #46 reuven

There's something that really bugs me about Casey Anthony. And it's not the fact that we can't convict people if there's not enough strong evidence. That's something I understand. If the case is weak, you can't convict.

Accepting Casey Anthony's testimony as true: it's not disputed that she initially claimed her baby sitter kidnapped the child. Then she recanted and said she panicked after the child accidentally drowned.

In other words, she attempted to get an innocent person charged with a capital offense.

Why isn't this treated as a serious crime? Yes, she was convicted of lying to authorities, but she won't have to spend any additional time in jail for this.

Isn't there a difference between lying to cover up some facts, and lying to implicate another specific individual? This seems like an egregious offense. Shouldn't she spend a long time in jail for trying to get someone sentenced to death with false testimony? (There ought to be a law if there isn't!)

Because there wasn't a indictment.

56 ReamWorks SKG  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 7:03:07pm

re: #54 marjoriemoon

There was a babysitter

[Link: www.foxnews.com...]

(Sorry for the Fox link!) Casey Anthony pointed the finger at a real person and accused her of kidnap and murder. And that's OK?

57 What, me worry?  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 7:13:41pm

re: #56 reuven

There was a babysitter

[Link: www.foxnews.com...]

(Sorry for the Fox link!) Casey Anthony pointed the finger at a real person and accused her of kidnap and murder. And that's OK?

She named Zenaida Gonzalez as the babysitter, but there is no evidence that she ever knew the Anthonys, none of them. Do you understand, though, how she must have been harrassed by it?

58 Spocomptonite  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 7:36:46pm

"And according to your Roulette Wheel theory as it shall now be called, shouldn't you be able to see Tierra del Fuego from South Dakota?"

Orlando Ferguson: "...oh. Uh... well I can see your mom from South Dakota..."

59 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 7:54:44pm

re: #30 darthstar

Holy shit...Clarence Thomas brings his new clerks to his home to watch "The Fountainhead"...front page story at dKos

Teenagers and students have no free-speech rights at all, he said in an opinion Monday, because in the 18th century, when the Constitution was written, parents had "absolute authority" over their children.

eyeroll

Sure, Clarence. Although, parents were not the only people who had "absolute authority" over others when the Constitution was written.

/eyeroll

60 sagehen  Tue, Jul 5, 2011 9:43:15pm

re: #21 dragonfire1981

There's some fine print on that graphic that reads: "Four hundred verses of the Bible condemn the globe theory, the Flying earth, and none sustain it. This map is a bible map of the world."

That's an epic pile of stupid right there. I know some ignorant Christians, but I can't think of any who actually believe the earth is really flat.

this is the perfect segue to rerun thisclassic from 2005

61 smorpheus  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 8:44:22am

Thanks for the new wallpaper!

62 chupa  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 9:37:37am

The story of this design is fascinating when you put it in perspective with the modern version. Back then, they had to come up with incredibly complex solutions to reconcile known facts about the Earth (round) with what they read in the Bible (not round).

Francis Collins just gave a speech along similar lines where he basically had to admit that modern genetics outright precluded an actual 'Adam and Eve' and that Evolution was too consistent to deny. So, in order to fit his ridiculous religious viewpoints into reality, he has to believe that all of the Universe, and everything in it was pre-planned billions of years ago to lead to the evolution of humanity (lol).

It will be just as amusing 50-100 years from now when they look back on Intelligent Design and websites like Biologos who are twisting themselves in the same pretzel knots trying to reconcile a literal bible with a modern day understanding of things.

63 Funky_Gibbon  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 10:07:11am

No turtle... no elephants...

64 Funky_Gibbon  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 10:11:19am

Honestly... had the Theory Of Gravity not spread to South Dakota in 1893?

65 Hawaii69  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 12:47:40pm

No wonder those Antacrtic expeditions were such a bitch.

You had to walk to whole perimeter of the earth to get around
down there.

66 Hawaii69  Wed, Jul 6, 2011 1:09:02pm

re: #46 reuven

There's something that really bugs me about Casey Anthony.

What bugs me is that such a big deal is made out of something so minor. Really...the probable murder of one child is national, tabloid style news for years.

Might sound crass to say "something so minor", but really....it's a grain of sand on the beach. Meanwhile, far more horrible tragedies are taking placee on a much grander scale, every day, all over the country and all over the world. Barely a blip on our radar.


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