JF Ptak Science Books Post 1105
Following yesterday's two posts on Occupational Alphabets comes this "created" action-alphabet of late 19th century. The source is Kantner's Illustrated Book of Objects and Self-Educator in German and English, a self-teaching book for German vocabulary, published in Pennsylvania in 1879. The woodcut images used to illustrate each word are fantastic, and occasionally stunning, sometimes unexpected illustrations of forgotten objects and actions. All I've done is select some of the words for use as an Action Alphabet. (I failed though to provide a full alphabet, missing the letters i, u, v, x, y and z.)
The woodcuts appear here larger-than-life than their humble inch-square origins, and may take away a little from their mystery...or add to it. They have an odd noir-ish, Wellesian feel to me, somehow, their tiny frames exciting a funny hankering for Kane or Macbeth or Touch of Evil, something I can't quite understand. Maybe it is just a happy confusion, looking too hard at too many small images, like discarded film clips on a cutting room floor, and imaging trademark deep focus bits from a famous filmmaker. In any event, they do have their own style--perhaps tomorrow I'll cull out the Dadaist Alphabet from their brethern.