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I came upon these volumes unexpectedly on the Internet Archives via the Biodiversity Library website--the Charles Darwin library section. No doubt these are very well known to people more familiar with Darwin than I, but, well, I have never seen them before, and I think they're fantastic.
[Source: Internet Archive/Darwin's Library, contributed by Cambridge University, https://archive.org/details/darwinslibrary?&sort=-downloads&page=4]
The book: A sketch of modern and ancient geography for the use of schools, by Samuel Butler, published in 1818, was the copy owned by Charles Darwin. the front and rear free endpapers are rather covered with the doodles of the young Charles Darwin, who among other things practices his signature with his young hand. It vividly shows that Charles Darwin was a child just like every great person was, once upon a time, and shared similar practices and characteristics of any other young human being.
Please note: the images are much more expandable at the Biodiversity website.
[Source: Internet Archive/Darwin's Library, contributed by Cambridge University, https://archive.org/details/darwinslibrary?&sort=-downloads&page=4]
The indefatigable team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (Joseph H. Simon, born 1913 and still going and Jacob Kurtzberg,1917-1994, respectively) produced some of the enduring heroes and ideas of the Golden Age of Comics. In capacities as comic book writers, artists, editors and publishers they knocked the bottom out of the creativity bin, affecting all manner and aspects of that industry, as well as introducing the genres of horror and modern romance comics.
And as necessary as it is scary, the nearly unrecognizable forensic pathology of the kiss in pink (above):
I was initially drawn to their harsh colors, blocky characters and un-magnificent dialog looking for wonderbits of non sequitor images and thought/word balloons populated with broken english. They’re marvelous and easy to find, though I did get distracted by the unexpected part that I’m posting about right now–the missing, blank kiss. Since they started the romance comics angles there’s plenty of 1940's kisses to be found, but what I found was that although the kissing aspect wasn’t missing, the act of kissing was. There’s plenty of heads smashed together that don’t leave a lot of room for faces, and in general it might be the sensitivities of the Golden Age’s age that cast away the kiss itself, their characters rushing face first into bad screen kisses.
There's nothing wrong with this, and perhaps the kids never really noticed this, rushing to get ahead to the end of the confusing romantic interests.
There is a hint of a lip in this one, below, though it wasn't supposed to be a passionate cheek kiss.
This one has more to do with anti-kissing than anything else; I'm sorry that I don't know what the "real reason" was....
There's nothing quite so ironic as understatement when the understatement is understated even in advance of itself. I've noticed this here and there with the depictions of atomic/nuclear war in the bomb's early history, say 1946-1960, as seen in comic books. For example, here's something I posted last week that is a fairly representative understatement done in a small way about a big thing:
It is I think representative of an entire class of mid-century image of atomic understatement.
Having found this one others were quick to follow.
The comic World War III is a caustic of advanced crispy-crunchiness, and set in the year 1980, where the future found the Brooklyn Dodgers still playing in NYC. For some reason, the photographer on the roof of the Polo Grounds takes a slow burn of realization that something big was going on, processing the burned pennants /heat/glare before settling on the enormous mushroom cloud rising four miles above Manhattan...
And another fine example, this graduating to a hydrogen bomb later in the decade, a bomb far more unimaginably powerful than the unimaginably powerful 20kt bombs of 1945. Okay, there are red skies and a firestorm the width of a city, and the "mushroom" ends the film, but there is only a perfunctory statement of the too-close-together heads that they now know what a hydrogen bomb explosion was, or is, or could be:
I know it is difficult to describe the Grand Canyon as it would be to witness a nuclear explosion (let alone be in one). But these under-nucleated statements is sort of the equivalent of describing the Grand Canyon as something along the lines of "We're here now and looking down".
And this is about as loud as the screaming gets in Capt. Marvel's adventures with the atomic bomb. This is surprising mainly because the comic was published only about a year after Hiroshima/Nagasaki, and imaging a "flock" of missile launched atomic weapons falling all over the U.S. was a salient look into the possible future.
And in the face of the unspeakable, Capt Marvel seems unflappable:
On the other hand there are excitable statements regarding the bomb:
But it does make one wonder about featuring shock-of-recognition statements about the apocalyptic bell ringing of nuclear weapons as expressed in comic books as a comparative whisper in the description of the thing. It is almost as though if the Cornishman spoke quietly enough he wouldn't make the wakening giant angry.
One of the favorite parts of map reading--especially for 19th century maps--is finding the small, add-on gems of represented data clinging to the sides of the main map, along the margins and in the corners. Although this map by W. and A.K. Johnstons in itself a fine work of art and displays some knotty and previously hard-to-com-by data, the two bits at teh bottom of the map just give the overall project a deep lustre. Alexander Keith Johnston (1804 - 1871) came to this task via the suggestion of Alexander von Humboldt, the results of his own phenomenal research and exploration finding their way into Johnston's atlas.
The original map may be purchased via our blog bookstore, here.
This version of "The Mountain Chains of Europe and Asia" is found in the second edition of the Johnston's The Physical Atlas - A series of maps & illustrations of the Geographical Distribution of Natural Phenomena embracing I. Geology II. Hydrography III. Meteorology IV. Natural History, published in 1856 (following the first edition of 1850).
Each of the small inset measures about 1"x1.5" in the detail of the following:
Some contemporary notices on the Johnston Atlas:
"For the first time, in this country, the principles of graphic representation are here applied to the delineation of the most important facts of external phenomena. Simple but significant symbolical signs have been introduced to an extent, and with an effect, hitherto never contemplated. The contents of the many volumes, formerly the sole depositories of information regarding the different kingdoms of nature, have been condensed and reproduced with a conciseness, precision, completeness, and promptitude of application altogether unattainable by any other agency."--from a longer description for the atlas found at Chest of Books, here.
"This splendid volume will fill a void long felt in this country, where no work has been attainable presenting the results of the important science of Physical Geography in a distinct and tangible form. "--Forgotten Books (here)
I've seen other straight-on cross sections of lighter-than-air aircraft before, though seldom have they been at night, and seldom in color, making this one fairly unusual to my experience.
Under discussion in the article were the current great lighter-than-air ships and their future. Mentioned prominently were the Graf Zeppelin (which flew it first intercontinental flight just months earlier in October 1928 (and which flew until 1937)), and the British R-101, which was under construction at press time of this article, and which would crash and burn in its maiden voyage in October 1930. But in 1929, with these great new developments, and with airplane service across the ocean still seemingly in the relatively-distant future, the future of the dirigible looked pretty goo. But even by 1932 the great Graf Zeppelin's service would be extremely curtailed by the new airplane services, and by that point the days of the dirigible were numbered--especially come May 1937 when the Hindenburg crashed (and burned) so spectacularly.
Again, January, 1929, was a good time for the dirigible--but hundreds of days later, the situation would be reversing.
Soil survey maps have long been favorites of mine--not because of the soils part (which is a fascination all on its own) but for the terrific amount of human geography. The maps are usually quite large and cover areas that are quite small (relative to other maps), and the folks who went out to collect the data also helped to collect much of the human-impact stuff as well. Not only are roads and canals located, but so are distant farmhouses and barns. As you can see in the first detail ,individual structures are located along the streets in LA central. The maps are really pretty extraordinary.
[Mesmer, Louis. Soil map, California, Los Angeles sheet., Map, 1903]
And a bit lesser detail:
And the full map:
This copy is NOT my copy of the map--it is simply too large for me to digitize. The copy that I'm working with above is from Texas History, with a fine, full, interactive and very zoomable map, here: http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth193395/m1/1/zoom/
"Map shows soil composition, roads, railroads, city and town street layout, structures, and watershed. Includes soil profile and legend. Relief shown by contours and spot heights. Scale [ca. 1:62,500]."--from the Portal to Texas History website (as above) Baltimore : A. Hoen & Co. Lith, 1903. 35x30"
That said, I think my copy is in better condition, and can actually be purchased from the blog's bookstore, here.
Aside from everything else in this pamphlet, there is a lovely double-page illustration of a United States flag that is very striking:
The other nice part is that the pamphlet--part of my haul of the "Pamphlet Collection"of the Library of Congress some years back--is that it was once the property of May Wright Sewall (1844-1920), who was one of the major leaders in the history of women's rights in the USA, her influence and leadership spread over several decades. (She was on the executive committee of the National Woman Suffrage Association from 1882 to 1890; was president of the National Council of Women for the United States from 1897 to 1899, and president of the International Council of Women from 1899 to 1904, among much else.) The pamphlet also has a stamp showing that it was donated from the Sewall estate by her literary executor in 1923.
This item is offered for sale via our blog bookstore, here.
The other bit that strikes me are the ads which are everywhere on the pamphlet--from crowding out the title on the front cover to loading up the interior pages; the work does have some nice illustrated history of the flag which is engulfed by ads. It is interesting to look at the ads to get a bit of an idea of the geography of need-and-satisfying it:
A Near Alphabet of (100+) Advertisers in the 28pp document include:
Beer Dusseldorfer Beer--we follow the flag! ("Telephones 576")
Beer ("American Brewing Company" Telephones 407")
Boarding, Feed and Sale Barn
Books ("Blank books and stationery")
Canned Fruits from Ko=We=Ba
Carriages ("The Co-operative Carriage Co.")
Clay working machinery (from C.A. Potts)
Coal, Coke and Wood
Dental College of Indiana
Flour, Grain and Hay from the Wm Rouse & Son central elevator
Groceries ("Groceries, Meats and Canned Goods, always fresh")
Lumber & Shingles
Oil and Supply for the mill
Pianos, player (from "the Aeolian Company")
"Pictures and Picture Framing"
Regalia ("The Indianapolis Regalia Co., for Lodge Regalia, Costumes, Flags, Badges, Banners")
Rocking Chairs (and go-carts and children's carriages)
Safe Deposit Vault
School ("Knickerbocker Hall, Boarding and Day School for Girls")
School ("Girls' Classical School"--this is actually a school run by Ms. Sewall)
School ("Tudor Hall School for Boys")
Tin, sheetwork and furnace work
Water ("Indianapolis water Co supplies excellent water for domestic use")
Well, one is a map and the other is a view, but that is harder to say in a title. They are extremely early for what they are. The first item1, depicted just below, is a map drawn by the accomplished Edward Ord of (mostly) the entire Los Angeles Plains, reaching down to San Diego in the south and up to the“Mission and plain of San Fernando” in the north. It is a small but important map, one of the very first scientific maps of the region. It is a military map of the area--drawn just after the American conquest--and it is also a gold rush map. It appeared as one of the illustrations in the first significant scientific work on the California gold rush: Philip Tyson’s Information in Relation to the geology and topography of California, which was published in 1850.
(All of these items are available for purchase via the blog's bookstore, here.)
From the first scientific rendering of Los Angels in 1850 comes the first view of the city--it is tiny by the modern standards of a small time but here in 1855 it was fairly well seasoned and developed, with at least 100 structures. The first L.A. bird's eye view appeared in the great survey of possible routes for the transcontinental railway called the USPRR Surveys (or the U.S. Pacific Rail Road Survey2).
1. See this interesting popular story on the map in Los Angeles Magazine http://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/citydig-the-los-angeles-plains-plainly-sketched/
Also if you're interested in reading Ord's correspondence regarding the map see here in The Army Surveys of Gold Rush California: Reports of Topographical Engineers, edited by Gary Clayton Anderson, Laura Lee Anders
2. The fuller title: Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route From the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean...Report of Explorations for a Route...Near the 38th and 39th Parallels of North Latitude .. Volume V , Washington: GPO, 1855.
This is the heart of the beautiful orrey created by William Pearson (1767-1847, and one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society) as found in the magisterial if not occasionally problematic Cyclopedia of Abraham Rees (1743-1825). It was published in 1817 and features the main gearing for a mechanical display of the functioning of the Solar System:
This is the detail from the following, full-length version, which is 8"x10"--so there's a fair amount of detail in a limited field:
And the beautiful Dadaist detail of Jupiter and Saturn:
The original print is available from the blog's bookstore, here.
(This post appeared in the Blog Bookstore in 2010 but evidently not in the blog itself. Here it is, somewhat modified.) This enormous, quiet image appeared in The Illustrated London News on 23 June 1945, just weeks after the termination of WWII in Europe.
It graphically presents every ship lost by Great Britain in the defense of “holding the seas against the Axis Powers...holding open the channels of supply and food and war material” from the outbreak of the war to VE day. The inset narrative states that there were on average nearly 3000 British and Allied ships at sea at any given moment, with the Royal Navy patrolling an aggregate of 80,000 miles of trading routes, day in and day out
It is a symbol of loss, of heroism, of lives not lived, of lives saved, of valor, of greatness, of will, of the cold black sea, of burning oil, of red waves, and above all, of sacrifice. Of splendid behavior.
It is a terrible picture of what victory demanded of bravery.
It is as much an image of a military graveyard as anything else, a Remembrancer, especially for those who were never recovered. It is a grid, a finding aid, a visualizer, for all of those sailors lost in a sea that is indifferent to particular memory.
I can’t imagine how this image was received by the Illustrated London News reader on that day. Did they suck their breath in at the scope of it, of the gigantic reminder of what all of those ships represented? Was it the sort of image-reading that was forced, a white-knuckle, vacant-chested feeling of sweeping loss? Of loss and gratitude? Of gratitude and finding purpose for all of those sacrifices to the island nation? I suspect that all of those words were in the minds of those readers in 1945–and also for emotions that have no words.
Notes: There is also a small inset that shows in comparison the Royal Navy losses for WWI, 1914-1918.
There is also this, an incredible single-page display of British merchant-marine war losses of 2570 ships.
Both images are the work of the incredible G.H. Davis, who provided cut-aways, cross-sections, maps, diagrams an all manner of information to the ILN readers throughout the war. HE was an inexhaustible man of excellent design sense.