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Posts Tagged ‘woodcuts

An Honest Living…


This print of a clockmaker is the work of Jost Amman (1533-1591), Swiss book illustrator and one of the last major production artists working with woodcuts.  While it’s unlikely that Amman set out to catalog all of the jobs of his time, he did record them, and with great clarity.  The result is a set of 16th-century pre-photographic “snapshots” of the ways in which people conducted their business and livelihood– an Alphabet of Trades.


Thong Maker

His illustrations were in collaboration with with Hans Sachs for Eygentliche Beschreibung Aller Staende Auff Erden, published in Frankfurt am Main in 1568.  (The full text here is from Bibliothek des Seminars für Wirtschafts und Sozialgeschichte;  another useful full-text here indexes the images; and another here provides an English indexing of the trades).

More examples of Amman’s work at “Towards an Alphabet of Trades–“Snapshots” from 1568.”  (C.F. also, Medieval Occupations.)


As we punch in, we might spare a thought for Washington Augustus Roebling; he died on this date in 1926.  A civil engineer by training, he worked with his father, John Augustus Roebling, on the design of the Brooklyn Bridge; on his father’s death in 1869, Washington oversaw the completion of construction of the bridge– for twenty years from its opening in 1883, the longest suspension bridge in the world.  (In 1872, he was disabled by decompression illness suffered in a caisson used in the construction; from that time on, he was directed operations from his home in Brooklyn overlooking the site.)



Written by (Roughly) Daily

July 21, 2013 at 1:01 am

Back to the land…

The Booklovers Map of America Showing Certain Landmarks of Literary Geography was created by pictorial cartographer Paul M. Paine in 1933.  The map zooms in on regions of special interest– and locates “The Birthplace of American Literature” squarely in the Boston/Cambridge area.

See more at Brain Pickings.


As we remind ourselves that, had the map been drawn even fifteen years later, there’d surely have been a call-out covering Southern writers, we might note that the Library of Congress’ copy of of A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible, printed in 1788 by Isaiah Thomas in Worcester, Massachusetts, is inscribed “Enoch Brooks’ Book, Princeton, March 13th, 1789.”

As the Library of Congress notes: “This book was the first American version of a novelty Bible that replaced some words with pictures to encourage children’s interest as well as their reading skills. With nearly five hundred woodcuts by American artists, this Bible was also the most ambitious woodcut volume produced in America up to that time.”


Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

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