Crane, Hart (Harold Hart Crane), 1899-1932, American poet, b. Garrettsville, Ohio. He published only two volumes of poetry during his lifetime, but those works established Crane as one of the most original and vital American poets of the 20th cent. His extraordinarily complex, visionary, and sonorous poetry, with its rich imagery, verbal ingenuity, frequent obscurity, and meticulous craftsmanship, combines ecstatic optimism with a sense of haunted alienation. White Buildings (1926), his first collection of poems, was inspired by his experience of New York City, where he had gone to live at the age of 17. His most ambitious work is The Bridge (1930), a series of closely related long poems on the United States in which the Brooklyn Bridge serves as a mystical unifying symbol of civilization's evolution.

Crane's personal life was anguished and turbulent. After an unhappy childhood during which he was torn between estranged parents, he held a variety of uninteresting jobs, always, however, returning to New York City and his writing. An alcoholic and a homosexual, he was constantly plagued by money problems and was often a severe trial to friends who tried to help him. In 1931 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship and went to Mexico to work on a long poem about Latin America; a year later, returning by ship to the United States, the poem not even started, he jumped overboard and drowned. His collected poems were published in 1933.

See Hart Crane: Complete Poems and Selected Letters (2006), ed. by L. Hammer; letters ed. by T. S. W. Lewis (1974); O My Land, My Friends (1997), selected letters, ed. by L. Hammer and B. Weber; The Correspondence Between Hart Crane and Waldo Frank (1998), ed. by S. H. Cook; biographies by P. Horton (new ed. 1957), J. Unterecker (1969, repr. 1987), P. Mariani (1999), and C. Fisher (2002); studies by R. W. B. Lewis (1967), M. D. Uroff (1974), R. Combs (1978), D. R. Clark, ed. (1982), A. Trachtenberg, ed. (1982), H. Bloom, ed. (1986), M. F. Bennett (1987), W. Berthoff (1989), T. E. Yingling (1990), B. Reed (2006), and G. A. Tapper (2006).

Crane, Stephen, 1871-1900, American novelist, poet, and short-story writer, b. Newark, N.J. Often designated the first modern American writer, Crane is ranked among the authors who introduced realism into American literature. The 14th child of a Methodist minister, he grew up in Port Jervis, N.Y., and briefly attended Lafayette College and Syracuse Univ. He moved to New York City in 1890 and for five years lived in poverty as a free-lance writer.

His first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893), a grimly realistic story of slum life, was unpopular but gained the young writer the friendship of Hamlin Garland and William Dean Howells. Crane's next novel, The Red Badge of Courage (1895, restored ed. 1982), brought him wide and deserved fame. Set during the Civil War, the novel traces the development of a young recruit, Henry Fleming, through fear, illusion, panic, and cowardice, to a quiet, humble heroism. This remarkable account of the emotions of a soldier under fire is all the more amazing since Crane had never been in battle. On the strength of the novel he served as a foreign correspondent in Cuba and in Greece.

Around 1897 Crane married Cora Taylor, who ran a brothel in Florida. His marriage, coupled with his unorthodox personality, aroused scandalous rumors, including those that he was a drug addict and a satanist. Because of this slander Crane spent his last years abroad; he died of tuberculosis in Germany at the age of 28.

Crane was a superb literary stylist who emphasized irony and paradox and made innovative use of imagery and symbolism. Thus, although realistic, his novels are highly individual. Crane also wrote superb short stories and poems. The title stories of The Open Boat and Other Tales (1898) and The Monster and Other Stories (1899) are considered among the finest stories in English. His two books of epigrammatic free verse, The Black Rider (1895) and War Is Kind (1899), anticipated several strains of 20th-century poetry.

See his works, ed. by F. Bowers (10 vol., 1969-76); letters, ed. by S. Wertheim and P. Sorrentino (2 vol., 1988); biographies by J. Berryman (1950, repr. 1975), R. W. Stallman (1968), and L. H. Davis (1998); studies by M. Holton (1972), R. M. Weatherford, ed. (1973), F. Bergon (1975), D. Halliburton (1989), and C. Benfey (1992); bibliography by R. W. Stallman (1972).

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915, English designer, illustrator, and painter. As a painter he is grouped with the later Pre-Raphaelites, but he is better known for his illustrations of the works of Spenser and of Hawthorne's Wonder Book and Grimm's Fairy Tales. Seeking with William Morris to ally art with everyday life, he designed textiles, glass windows, tapestries, and house decorations. Crane's interest in socialism is expressed in his cartoons for Commonweal and Justice. In 1888 he founded the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society of London.

See his memoirs, An Artist's Reminiscences (1907); G. Smith, ed., Walter Crane, 1845-1915 (1989).

crane, large wading bird found in marshes in the Northern Hemisphere and in Africa. Although sometimes confused with herons, cranes are more closely related to rails and limpkins. Cranes are known for their loud trumpeting call that can be heard for miles and for the rhythmic, jumping dances both males and females perform during mating season. They eat small animals, grain, and other vegetable matter. The North American whooping crane, a white bird almost 5 ft (1.5 m) tall, was nearly extinct by the 1940s. Many have since been raised in captivity and new populations in the wild have been fostered, although the bird is still endangered. Most migratory whooping cranes winter at Aransas Bay, Tex. The sandhill crane, about 4 ft (1.2 m) tall with gray plumage, is becoming rare; it winters west of the Mississippi River. The crowned crane of Africa has bright, contrasting colors. At the beginning of the 21st cent. there were 15 species of crane in the world, 11 of them endangered. Cranes are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Gruiformes, family Gruidae.

See P. Matthiesen, The Birds of Heaven: Travels With Cranes (2001).

crane, hoisting machine for lifting heavy loads and transferring them from one place to another, ordinarily over distances of not more than 200 ft (60 m). Cranes have a long reach and can lift loads to great heights. Powered by manual or animal power, cranes have been in use from early times. Modern cranes are of varied types and sizes; they may be actuated by steam, electricity, diesel, or hydraulic power as well as by manual power, and they are indispensable in industries where heavy materials are handled constantly. The overhead traveling crane, a type of bridge crane, is used inside buildings or in outdoor storage yards. Two or more parallel girders span its working area. Another girder, called the bridge, stretches between them and rolls along them on wheels; this girder, in turn, supports a carriage from which a lifting attachment is lowered by pulleys. On a stacking crane the pulleys are replaced by a stiff, rotating column on which a pair of forks ride up and down. The gantry crane, another type of bridge crane, has a bridge supported by vertical structures that move along tracks. Gantries are used on piers or in shipyards. The jib crane has a horizontal load-supporting boom fastened to a rotating vertical column, either attached to a wall or extending from floor to ceiling; when the column is held only at the bottom it is called a pillar crane. The derrick is a crane equipped either with a vertical mast held by struts, as on barges, or with guy wires, as in building construction. The boom is attached to the bottom of the mast by a pivot and is raised and lowered by a cable reaching from the top of the mast to the end of the boom. A crawler crane is a self-propelled crane that moves on caterpillar treads.
Brinton, Crane (Clarence Crane Brinton), 1898-1968, American historian, b. Winsted, Conn. He received his Ph.D. from Oxford in 1923 and began teaching at Harvard the same year, becoming full professor in 1942. He wrote extensively on the history of Western political and moral philosophy and was an expert on the dynamics of revolutionary movements. His many books include A Decade of Revolution (1934), The Anatomy of Revolution (1938, rev. ed. 1965), Ideas and Men (1950, 2d ed. 1963), A History of Western Morals (1959), The Shaping of Modern Thought (1963), and The Americans and the French (1968).
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Martial arts


  • Cessna Crane, a British name for the United States built Cessna AT-17 Bobcat training aircraft
  • USS Crane (DD-109), Wickes class destroyer, named after William M. Crane


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