JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
I do believe that the engineering journals--particularly those from the 19th century--hold great promise for "Found-Art": these are images out-of-context whose whole or components are attractive from an artistic sense that was generally not regarded as "artful" until the creation of non-representational art in 1911. After all, art is the West spent a millennium or two trying to represent nature as closely as possible to what the eye perceived. (If you use 2000 years as a starting point for this discussion, it is remarkable, in a way, that perspective was (re-?) discovered in the West for fully two thirds of that time.) In any event I'm not going to get into a big discussion of all of that in this post, as the Found-Art business appears numerous times on this blog and I've chatted on about it there--so if you want to read that discussion just search "found-art" in the google box at right and have at it. For now, all I want to do is share the latest find, which comes from the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1870, and published in Birmingham, in the article on hauling coal from Hucknall Colliery, Notinghamshire. The seems like it might be a cross-section but I'm fairly well certain that it is a plan of some of the mine's workings, the straight lines being the constructed and the future rail lines for the coal buckets that hauled out the chiseled-away coal. It is extraordinary, really, to think about all of this happening 600' down, powered by steam, in the dangerous choking/exploding dark.
[Note: this image becomes much sharper when you click and expand it.]