The Toynbee Tiler (TTT) has been dropping tiles since the early 80s, trying in various ways to convince folks that the dead will be resurrected if only we colonize Jupiter. Yes, like the best outsider artists, he’s a wee bit nutty. Extremely paranoid and secretive, his identity has never been verified.
If you want to watch one of my favorite documentaries, check out Resurrect Dead. Even if you’re not into the tiles, the movie is wonderfully entertaining.
Though tiles have been found all over the world, the work is primarily centered in Philadelphia. I first learned about the tiles when living in Oregon. Then I moved to Florida. I didn’t have much hope of seeing one myself. But then…we moved to Maryland. And, as it turns out, TTT likes to head down I95 and drop tiles in Baltimore and Washington. WOOHOO!
A couple weekends ago, the Spousal Unit and I went tile hunting in Baltimore. We didn’t find anything new–we just looked for tiles that were already documented. Hey, first time out, we wanted a sure thing.
At first, we looked for anything in the area. Having no luck, we decided to concentrate only on tiles with pictures. We were beginning to have doubts, when we spotted a suspicious splotch in a crosswalk:
And then, OMG:
I can’t even begin to explain my elation. I didn’t cry, but it was close. I was floating.
Flush with success, we found several more:
It’s interesting to see how the tiles have held up over time. Each of the Baltimore tiles links to an earlier photo.
Yesterday, I hoofed around Washington, but all I found was a possible fragment:
There’s been a lot of repaving; nonetheless, I have been scouring boards, and plan on going back with more info.
These tiles are all over Philly and the suburbs. There are two, about 100 feet apart, on I-95 just outside Lincoln Financial field. Got video of one through the windshield, (tricky, and fairly dangerous) and posted it as an ending to one of my Mark’ s Roadside Oddities videos. Documentary you mentioned is well worth checking out. Features Facebook friend Justin Duerr, multi-talented Philly guy.