Monday, November 24, 2008
Convicted forger A. Schiller was serving his time in Sing Sing prison in the late 19th century when guards found him dead in his cell. On his body, they found seven regular straight pins whose heads measured the typical 47/1000ths of an inch or 1.17 mm in diameter. Under 500X magnification, it was found that the tiny etchings were seen on the heads of the pins were the words to “The Lord’s Prayer,” which is 65 words and 254 letters long. Of the seven pins, six were silver and one was gold. The gold pin’s prayer was flawless and said to be a true masterpiece. Schiller had spent the last twenty five years of his life creating the pins, using a tool too small to be seen by the naked eye. It is estimated that it took 1,863 separate carving strokes to make it. Schiller went blind because of his artwork. Why did Schiller do this? And how did he acquire the knowledge to construct such a tiny instrument for the engravings?