Over the years I have reported on inspiring and near-perfect minor-major works on minor-minor topics, excellent considerations on the sublime mundane. These have included efforts from 75+ years ago on the correct method of flagpole painting, zipper repair, maintenance of the reverse of billboards, and the like. Marvelous works exhausting exhausting topics, or seeming so. How much can you write on the correct way of using a screw, or blasting a stump, or dealing with a puddle of unknown origin? Well, the answer is that quite a lot can be said about these things, especially if you look at the mechanics of the things, or the failure analysis (if there is any)...a lot. Most of what these pamphlets talk about is the very basics of zipper repair or ladder repair or screen repair--and that is usually communicated over 20-30pp or so. And the remarkable thing is that the information is useful, even if you didn't have a direct application for it.
Today's installation is a somewhat Dadaist-looking pamphlet on telephone pole marking systems. Is there anyone who hasn't noticed the found-art pummeled into telephone/utility poles and wondered what the numbers meant? This booklet, far from enchantingly-titled Property Marking Systems for Public Utilities, published by a manufacturer of such numbers and symbols back in 1938, answers these questions and tells the story of how you, too, can mark your poles in an efficient and modern manner.
I think the thing is achingly beautiful.
I think that if you engage these things as antique paper versions of the endlessly useful DIY Youtube videos, they take on a higher glory.
And of course this one to me has a lot of those found-Dada elements...