I was driving along East Avenue near Scio when something caught my eye just as I was rolling over it. Turns out to be a Toynbee Tile right in the middle of downtown Rochester, NY. How could I have not seen this before?
Please give me a shout if you’ve seen it before I did and tell me when. I’m trying to determine how long it’s been there. It reads:
House of hades
Streets of NY are
Paved with skills
In society ‘2011
Working to d e <illegible>
If you dig Toybee Tiles be sure to check out the documentary: Resurrect Dead – The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles (2011)
The Toynbee tiles (also called Toynbee plaques) are messages of unknown origin found embedded in asphalt of streets in about two dozen major cities in the United States and four South American cities. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate (roughly 30 cm by 15 cm), but sometimes considerably larger. They contain some variation of the following inscription:
IN MOViE `2001
ON PLANET JUPITER
Some of the more elaborate tiles also feature cryptic political statements or exhort readers to create and install similar tiles of their own. The material used for making the tiles was initially unknown, but evidence has emerged that they may be primarily made of layers of linoleum and asphalt crack-filling compound.Articles about the tiles began appearing in the mid-1990s, though references may have started to appear in the mid-1980s.