A crankie is a pre-industrial revolution TV, a box holding a long unwinding scroll telling a story. The story moves forward when a handle is cranked by the narrator or an accomplice. Sometimes there is a musical accompaniment.
This was my first crankie. It is the opening scene from Marc Estrin's novel, The Annotated Nose. Here, the protagonist's parents meet.
In a daringly perverse effort to force the future into the past, this particular crankie was to be filmed and put on YouTube. Painted at Estrin's suggestion, it was never filmed as intended or even performed. Instead, instead in a last ditch effort to give weeks of work meaning, it was mounted as a frieze on the wall above the paintings in my exhibit at the Tarrant Gallery in Burlington, Vt. 2008.
"The Nose" scroll remnants are now housed in a museum-worthy Hippy Era crankie box with ball bearing action and an unusual design. It has a feeder roll, plus two guide posts and two cranking posts. Typical of inventions from that era, no one can remember how it worked.