Page 83. " Arabian hourglasses "
This reference is obscure. Bradbury may be referring to the fact that sand dunes in certain locations (such as the Dunes of Oman, on the Arabian coast), actually produce sounds known as “singing” or “booming,” when slides occur or when wind passes over the crest of the dune, and combining it with the notion of sand sliding back up to the top of an hourglass as an analogous image of time running backward the way it is doing when Cooger rides the carousel in reverse.
Page 87. " Plato "


Public DomainPlato

Mr. Halloway playfully refers to a wise old dog by the name of the Classical Greek philosopher who lived approximately 428-348 BC.

The image at right is a detail from a painting of Plato and Aristotle called "School of Athens," by Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520), better known as Raphael.


Page 92. " Chopin Funeral March "

Popular name for the slow movement of the second pianoforte concerto in B flat minor, opus 35, by Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849).

Listen to the Funeral March played by Alberto Cobo:

See a video of the Funeral March played by Arturo Michelangeli:

Page 93. " Oh, Susanna "
Song published by Steven Foster (1826-1864) in 1848, and sometimes associated with the California Gold Rush of that year. Will and Jim probably pick it simply because it is a very upbeat and happy tune that they hope will drive the mournful music of the carnival calliope out of their heads, but there is an ironically paradoxical lyric in the original song that might remind one of the carnival: “It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry/The sun so hot I froze to death; Susanna don’t you cry.” The boys have just taken their leave of a weeping Miss Foley, who will have a lot more to cry about in chapter 32. It is also the third of the songs Mr. Halloway and Will employ to save Jim in chapter 54.
Page 95. " crystal-radio peach fuzz "
The first simple radios from early after the turn of the 20th century into the 1930s were known as crystal radio receivers, or crystal sets. Despite their simplicity, they could be surprisingly effective at picking up radio signals.
Page 96. " Tanganyika in '98, Cairo in 1812, Florence in 1492 "
Tanganyika was a colony in German East Africa from about 1885 to 1918. It has since been divided into Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Florence is the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany, in north-central Italy, and a great center of religion and the arts. At least two of the dates are resonant in U.S. or North American history, but they appear to have been chosen and matched with old world locations somewhat at random, to illustrate how far one may travel afield in library research (although the powerful patron of Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Botticelli -- Lorenzo de’ Medici -- died in Florence in 1492).
Page 98. " Way Down Upon the Swanee River "

The common name of another happy Steven Foster tune, whose proper 1851 title was “Old Folks at Home.” Although it was probably chosen merely as a common, upbeat tune that a Midwestern kid would know, the plot in the song is about being far from one’s safe and beloved home. As the chorus states: “All de world am sad and dreary/Ebry where I roam … Far from de old folks at home.”

Nevertheless, the song will return at the climax of the novel, in chapter 54, as one of the weapons that Mr. Halloway and Will use to save and revive Jim.

Listen to a recording by Foster Barnes at the 1955 Florida Folk Festival:

Listen to another version by The 97th Regimental String Band:

Page 98. " scalded airedale "
Airedale terrier
Public DomainAiredale terrier - Credit: Jane Harvey

The Airedale Terrier, sometimes called the Waterdale Terrier, is a breed of dog originating from the Airedale area of Yorkshire, England.

An energetic and effective hunter, strong-willed, tenacious, and a good size for a terrier (55-66 pounds), the Airedale was often used as a police dog in Britain. It was also used to transport messages behind enemy lines, to carry mail, and to locate wounded soldiers in World War I.

President Theodore Roosevelt, an Airedale owner, said, “An Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then lick the other dog, if he has to.”

Page 98. " Marching Through Georgia "

Marching song composed by Henry Clay Work at the end of the American Civil War in 1865, to commemorate General Sherman’s march to the sea the preceding year. Its lively melody made it very popular with the army after the war, and even elsewhere: Japanese troops sang it while marching into Port Arthur in 1904-05, the British sang it in India, and an English town used it to welcome American troops from the south in World War II.

Listen to a MIDI file version of the tune:

Listen to a band arrangement with the history of Sherman's march:

Page 99. " salamander "


Spotted Salamander
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSpotted Salamander - Credit: Scott Camazine


Salamander is the common name for about 500 species of amphibians which resemble lizards that live in and near water.



They are unique among vertebrates for their ability to regenerate lost limbs and other body parts, which probably explains why many regarded them as magical creatures, especially in medieval times.




Salamanders were sometimes thought to be born out of fire, or to be able to put out fire with their moist skin. The illustration on the right is an image of a magical salamander from a 16th century text called The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry. Such associations were mentioned by the Talmud, Benvenuto Cellini, Paracelsus, and Leonardo da Vinci. (Note: the fire engine in Fahrenheit 451 is known as the "Salamander.")

As Jim sneaks off to the carnival without Will, the narrator evokes these magical associations.