Torch is a short documentary that examines one of Birmingham’s most unique landmarks. In the early 20th century, the city commissioned a giant cast-iron statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of the forge. The statue, the largest of its kind in the world, would symbolize Birmingham's iron and steel industry. However, just a few short years later, another use for the statue was put into action. A group of civil activists suggested that the city utilize Vulcan as a reminder for its citizens to drive carefully. A light was erected in place of Vulcan's spear, which would glow red in the case of a traffic fatality. This civic project, which was only supposed to last for six weeks, remained active for 53 years. Torch explores the history of this phenomenon, and the impact that it had on the people of Birmingham.
Torch: Birmingham’s Roman God of the Forge
Part of the Birmingham Bound Winter Series of Author Talks & Films
Central Library, 2100 Park Place
Wednesday, April 6 at Noon
Free and open to the public
The Birmingham Bound series recognizes authors and filmmakers who researched their projects in the Birmingham Public Library Archives. Historians, journalists and others from throughout the United States and around the world have produced hundreds of books using the Archives’ collection of more than 30 million historic documents. These books include five recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. Films researched in the Archives include recipients of the Academy Award, the Emmy, and the Peabody.
photo courtesy of Vulcan Park and Museum