Saturday, 23 June 2018

BELL’S POETS (2)


Bell's Milton volumes

Bell’s Edition – The Poets of Great Britain Complete, from Chaucer to Churchill.

In September 2016 we published a post on what we’d discovered about this set of 109 miniature volumes (12.5cm by 8cm), and promised more of their story: their provenance and what the volumes tell us about their making.

As a result of subsequent exploration we prepared an exhibition, which can now be seen at the University of Tasmania Library in Newnham.

What follows are images and text from that exhibition, and further information kindly supplied by Professor Thomas Bonnell. It was his 2008 authoritative text, The Most Disreputable Trade: Publishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765-1810 (OUP), that informed the earlier post.



Acquisition
First, a little more on their acquisition. No early Account Book of the Launceston Mechanics’ Institute survives, but there is a summary of expenditures up to July 1844 published in the Launceston Examiner (Aug 7, 1844, p.2). It shows £10 being ‘forwarded to England for books and periodicals’ in the March of 1843 and of 1844. These, and some purchases from local sources, were to supplement the donations to the library by a number of the founding LMI members, including Breton, Aikenhead, Henty, Kenworthy, Oakden, Sherwin and Gleadow, as well as by benefactors such as their Patron Sir John Franklin and Lady Franklin. The Annual Report for 1844 shows that Bell’s Poets was among the purchases made in 1843.

Bookplates
Every tiny volume, apart from two, has its LMI bookplate.  These are usually annotated with the LMI librarian’s catalogue numbers, of which there are up to four between 1845 and 1880 as the collection was progressively re-organised according to changing systems. However we noticed that these were pasted over an earlier bookplate, and in the two instance that were missed, the underlying plate was revealed.
Wright's Bookplate


Joseph William Wright, from a wealthy Ulster family whose crest appears on the bookplate, was a successful Dublin solicitor, born in 1754 in County Antrim. Later in his career he appears to have taken up a senior government position and moved to London. Although he died in Dublin (in 1825), we are presuming that this complete set of Bell’s Poets was sold in London by a bookseller to an agent buying books for the LMI. Whether there were owners before or after Wright up to 1843 is still a mystery.

Paper
The little volumes were very well produced, with paper, printing and bindings of which John Bell was justifiably proud.

Watermark
The paper used for these volumes has dark ridges running horizontally and translucent lines running vertically. It has been made by hand from cotton waste. This material was broken down to make a slurry of fibres, a thin layer of which was pressed onto fine wires, and then dried. It was during this process that a watermark and other identifying features were incorporated into the paper.

From these we can learn that the volumes are octodecimo, that is, each printed sheet was folded into 18 before being stitched and bound into the volume, and that the London papermaker Hugh Bennett produced it.




Printing
The volumes were printed in Edinburgh by one of the finest printers in Britain: Gilbert Martin and Sons at the Apollo Press. Apart from remoteness from London and delays in transport caused by French privateers plying the Channel, the Apollo Press disastrously burnt down in July 1778, and many sheets printed for Bell were destroyed.  Bell’s promise of publishing a volume a week fell well behind schedule, but such was his resilience and energy that 109 volumes appeared in approximately six years despite these many setbacks.

Engravings
Each volume carried a fine engraving on its opening pages that illustrates a scene in the poetry to follow. These are highly stylised by modern standards, but some were arrestingly dramatic, or evoked the period of the poet, like this one for Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.


They were devised by leading artists of the period and engraved by the best craftsmen Bell could employ. These included Edwards, Mortimer, Grignion, Stothard and Heath. (A full list is given in Bonnell’s Most Disreputable Trade.)

And at the opening of the first volume ascribed to each of his chosen fifty poets there was a portrait of that poet. Some of these were modelled on busts in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey, and others on paintings in the library of the Earl of Chesterfield.

This one, of Dryden, was representative of the way Bell attempted to associate his series with was most prestigious in the literary and artistic world.

Binding
The fine binding of these volumes, ornamented in gold leaf, is characteristic of the period. This set’s covering is known as ‘tree-calf’ because of its distinctive pattern. The gold design, a vase with four circles framing it, was individually hand stamped on the leather, as was the running number in the sequence of 109 volumes. On the volume illustrated here there is evidence of the numbers and the decoration not being stamped squarely. Perhaps the work of an apprentice?


On the red leather squares the lettering is more even; these were block stamped separately, then pasted onto the spine. Gold leaf lines between designs and around the cover were applied by patterned wheels. Gold leaf was even scored diagonally into the edges of the covers.




Endpapers
Purchasers paid extra for marbled endpapers (coloured sheets inside the covers). These attractive patterns are made by stirring patches of paint on a liquid ‘size’, then placing the endpaper sheets on it to pick up a pattern unique to that volume. The original owner, Joseph William Wright, pasted his bookplate on the opening endpaper, and the LMI pasted one over it.



Editions
The publication of the whole series was spread out over a period from April 1777 to May 1783, by which time Bell was already bringing out second editions to replace sold-out stock. He continued reprinting his very successful series until he sold the business in 1795.

Typically, sets of Bell’s Poets include a mixture of editions. The LMI library’s set includes first, second and later editions, the latest volume being dated 1788. At this stage Bell was still in control of maintaining the range and quality of his editions. Below are the title page and half-title for Dryden’s works, showing that it is the second edition of 1784 (with the LMI stamp obscuring other publication details), while the half-title remains as the original purchaser saw it.





Sources


The creators of this blog wish to acknowledge Professor Thomas Bonnell as their most significant source of information, especially The Most Disreputable Trade: Publishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765-1810 (OUP).

This book also pays tribute to numbers of other British publishers who participated in an upsurge of national spirit in the re-evaluation of English poetry as rivalling the Classics of antiquity.
Professor Bonnell has also confirmed in private correspondence that this LMI set is bound by Bell’s own binder, and gave valuable information about the printing of Bell’s Poets from a friend, Professor David Vander Muelen of the University of Virginia.


Post contributed by Mike McCausland

Friday, 22 June 2018

Friends of the Launceston Mechanics' Institute

Friends of the Launceston Mechanics' Institute Inc.

Reports presented at the Annual General Meeting, June 8 2018.


President's Report 2017-18

Introduction
It is a privilege to present this report to members on the occasion of our fifth Annual General Meeting. I take this opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved in the past year and to lay out our plans and aspirations for the coming year.

Membership
Membership has remained constant in the past year.  I would like to acknowledge the contributions of our committee members, our hard-working volunteers, and the support of all members, in what has been achieved.

Achievements This Year
As foreshadowed at our last meeting the past twelve months has been a period of consolidation primarily, with a focus on cataloguing and conservation work. Our energies have been largely directed to these ambitious projects which have required large amounts of time and effort.
Our Cataloguing Project has been outstandingly successful and a great credit to the team dedicated to making our collection more accessible. The support of the Plomley Foundation, through its Funding Grant, and under the auspices of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, has been the enabler of the project. But it has been the many hours of voluntary work undertaken by the cataloguers, largely in their own homes, that has made this project such a remarkable success.
Our Conservation Project has operated in parallel with the cataloguing work, and has concentrated on the non-fiction component of the collection. We met the targets we set in our application for funding from the Community Heritage Grants program, and our final report and acquittal was submitted in December, and has been accepted in very complimentary terms by the National Library as administrator of the Grant.  The Grant has set us up with the skills and a very useful inventory of equipment and materials for our ongoing activity in cleaning, treating and preserving the collection. It must be acknowledged however that a great deal remains to be done for us to work through the entire collection.
Other activities have included some additional work on the LMI Records held by Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the ongoing dispersal of out-of-scope books, and incremental progress in developing a better understanding of the collection through research and interpretation.

Promotional Activities
A highlight of this year was our participation in an international conference held by the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, in Hobart last year – "Connecting the Colonies: Empires and Networks in the History of the Book". As an ancillary event to the conference the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) and the Friends of Launceston Mechanics' Institute (FOLMI) offered attendees a tour of their respective library collections on the Saturday afternoon following the conference, 25 November. We were honoured to host an illustrious group of academics and researchers from around the world for the tour, to hear their responses to the collection, and to explore its research potential with them.
We have curated a new exhibition on the Bell's Poets set of 109 volumes which has recently been placed on display in the foyer of the University of Tasmania's Launceston Campus Library.
Our online presence has continued in terms of content and reach, albeit at a slower rate than the previous year. Visits to our blog numbered around 6000 in the past year. Facebook and Flickr pages continue to attract followers. We have expanded our contribution to TROVE by developing lists on their site of digital content relating to the LMI and including a TROVE search facility on our web site which links directly to our collection.
Our very supportive friends at Mechanics' Institutes of Victoria have continued to promote our activities through their newsletter and more widely.
We have explored interesting linkages between our respective Institutes with a member of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution and look forward to a visit from Jane Sparrow-Niang in November.

The Year Ahead
The Cataloguing project will be completed by the end of 2018, and a concerted effort will be needed to progress the work of the Conservation Team. This will become our priority task for the coming year.
Additionally we intend to complete the reorganisation of the LMI Records and produce a guide to them.
An invitation has been received from the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand for us to submit a proposal for a publication relating to aspects of our collection. A proposal will be developed in the near future as this would be a valuable opportunity to engage with a group of specialist researchers.
We will of course continue the search for a permanent home for the collection – this being the greatest challenge we face as an organisation.

Acknowledgements
Firstly I want to record my thanks to the University Library staff, and in particular to Wendy Hoyle, the Campus Librarian and acting University Librarian, and Prue Senior, Senior Client Services Officer, for their ongoing support, advocacy and interest in our project.
I also want to acknowledge the National Library and thank their Community Heritage Grant team for their contribution. This is an outstanding scheme, exceptionally well-organised and very supportive of grant recipients. With their support we have been able to take an accelerated path through their carefully staged grants process, completing what is usually a six-year program in just three years.
I also thank the management and staff of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston LINC and the State Library of Tasmania, for their ongoing assistance and support. We are particularly indebted to the Plomley Foundation for their financial support of our cataloguing project.
Peter Richardson, President, 8 June, 2018

PROJECT REPORTS
Conservation Group
Much of the work done over the 2017-18 year was done in the convivial (and warm) domain of the welcoming Ross Smith at QVMAG. There were up to six members of the Group at a time on Friday afternoons beavering away at constructing phase boxes and 4-flap folders, creating Mylar covers and encasing books in boards tied with tape. With practice, especially by the teams dedicated to specific kinds of construction, we became more adept at measuring, bending & cutting, wielding bone folders and Stanley knives, and turning out presentable and effectively conserved books, each with its own appropriate treatment. 
The primary step for the conservation of all items was cleaning. This, and the follow-up treatment for mould and red rot, were conducted in D007 at UTAS observing the health and safety parameters demonstrated by Noni Zachri in her training workshop in February 2017. After treatment, books were placed back on the shelves in Dewey order, working backwards from 999. We’re presently into C20th British History in the 940s. It’s fairly careful and repetitive work, and it’s not surprising that progress has been slow in 2018 with fewer members able to attend working bees or come in independently. 
The numbers of books so far treated are:                                            
Cleaning: 1095                   
Mylar sleeves: 63                             
Clarkson wrappers: 28                                            
Boards & tape: 89   
Red rot: 64                                   
Mould: 20                                                          

These cleaned and treated books represent about 11/3 rows, shelved at the back of D007.
I’d like to thank all members contributing time to the project, and to make particular mention of Julieanne Richards who has cycled out to the Uni on many occasions to work alone.
If we’re to make much headway in this really time-consuming task we’re going to have to re-invigorate the way we tackle the project. I’d welcome any suggestions.

Facebook Page
It has been a quiet year. Sue McClarron has put in 6 posts, including links to specific FOLMI blogs, articles in the Examiner and items of general interest. There are now 64 followers, double the number of last year. Sue invites comments and stories from all members of FOLMI.

Displays
We’ve mounted three displays. The first was on Charles Darwin, of which the LMI had a rich, varied and at times humorous collection of holdings. It was mounted both at the LINC and the UTAS Library in the handsome display case made by Toby Mitchell.
The second is presently on the 2nd Floor of the newly-renamed Library; it commemorates the 100th  anniversary of the final year of World War 1 from a perspective made possible by the rather tattered and well-thumbed books and periodicals now surviving from the original Mechanics’ Institute collection of that time.
The third, recently mounted in the UTAS Library, displays the 109 miniature volumes of Bell’s Edition of the Poets of Great Britain, published in London between 1776 and 1784. Our set has first, second and later editions of the works, all produced between 1778 and 1788, and was purchased for the LMI in 1843. Our set had earlier been owned by Joseph William Wright, as the original bookplates show.

Report from the Cataloguing Group 
This time last year the Cataloguing group was coming to the end of doing the Non-Fiction books in the LMI Collection. There were about 7000 titles in that area of the collection.
Since the Non-Fiction was finished we have been working away at the pre-1914 Fiction collection and to date have added 4420 books.
Our Trove total now is 11,219 titles.
There have been some unusual titles along the way: ‘The garden of resurrection: being the love story of an ugly man’, ‘Winning a wife in Australia – a story drawn from actual experiences’,  ‘The shady side, or life in a country parsonage’ and ‘Queer chums: a narrative of a midshipman’s adventures’. There have also been many, many melodramatic endings and illustrations!
Progress has been hampered by illness and other commitments of members of the group. Dorothy Rosemann has had several stays in hospital but is back doing cataloguing now. Di Worth broke her ankle badly and is slowly recovering. She is our expert cataloguer and does those books that aren’t as straightforward or can’t be found on the two databases the rest of us have access to.
We thought we were nearly at the end of the Victorian and Edwardian fiction – those dated up to 1914, but the a check of the list of books catalogued by the state library in that category in the 1990’s shows there are many books unaccounted for. Some of these may be in Launceston’s Local Studies collection or in the Phil Leonard Room, or in Hobart. We will follow this up when all the books we have in our possession at present are all added to the Libraries Australia database
We have found that about 11% of the books are not originally part of the collection but have been added later, probably for safe-keeping. Some of these were from Longford Library and have been given to QVMAG for their collection, as have some of the others which were originally school or Sunday school prizes. Many of the remainder have been given to Friends of the Library for their annual Book Sale.
We still have the fiction from 1914-1945 to be added to the database. This will bring both fiction and non fiction up to 1945. Some members are working on creating a spreadsheet for the cataloguers to use when adding this group of books to Libraries Australia, so that we keep our own record of what we have added.
We are grateful that the Plomley Foundation has agreed to us using part of the grant money to extend our subscription to Libraries Australia for another year and we hope this will be sufficient for us to finish our task.
We are able to do our work by taking boxes home from D007, working on the books and then returning them to the great stack at the southern end of D007. There’s quite a lot of hefting boxes around but it is very convenient to do it in this way.
Hundreds of hours have been expended in this task and I thank the members of the group for their continued support and hard work.
Prue McCausland


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Newsletter


Hello members and supporters of FOLMI,

It's quite a while since we circulated news of our activities. We've been travelling steadily on a couple of projects, so here's an update.  

All the best for 2018!


Restarting conservation work on the LMI Collection in D007
Conservation work will restart in the week beginning 26 Feb. It will be based at UTAS Room D007 and will focus on cleaning. We’ve rewritten the guidelines on this, and on other procedures, to make the tasks as straightforward and efficient as possible. Months of working on cleaning has convinced the teams that we can get much more done with a simplified procedure using the vacuum cleaner and smoke sponges for virtually all books.
If you’d like to be involved in any of the conservation activities, please contact Mike McCausland (63272540 or mmccausl@yahoo.com). He’ll also soon be ringing around the existing teams as well as potential participants inside and outside FOLMI.

Cataloguing
There’s been steady progress made by our dedicated team in adding entries to the Libraries Australia database over the last six months. Having completed the nonfiction the team has moved on to fiction and periodicals. They have now entered over 9,500 nonfiction and fiction titles.
The final number of fiction titles to be entered will be well down on the 6749 books of the Victorian & Edwardian Collection in the TALIS catalogue we inherited from the LINC. It seems the State Library used the Launceston Stack to ‘sequester’ old books that had come from donors and other libraries around the state; these went unchecked into the V&E Collection and catalogue. Interesting as these volumes may be – coming as they do from private collections, Sunday School prizes, regional libraries at Evandale, Longford, Ouse etc. – they can’t be included as part of our LMI Collection. Fortunately many have a new home in the QVMAG’s special collections.
Di Worth, our experienced cataloguer living in southern Tasmania, has done a magnificent job in entering the periodicals, which are certainly awkward to catalogue. There are a few queries being answered by examining the hard copies on the shelves at D007, but once this is done, this most significant part of the Collection will have been entered. Eventually they will need conservation work – a vital step considering their general condition.
The long-term cataloguing project will not be completed by the middle of the year, so we shall need to renew our registration for cataloguing with Libraries Australia for another year.

Facebook
Are you regularly checking our Facebook page?  It carries current news and links to the FOLMI blogspot and other sites of interest to members. Sue McClarron has been maintaining it; if you have any items you think would interest members and the general public, contact her at smcclarron51@gmail.com.
We also continue to post regularly on our blog at http://launcestonmechanicsinstitute.blogspot.com.au/


That long-term goal, a permanent home
There is a proposed collaboration between Launceston Historical Society, Tasmanian Family History Society, Royal Australian Artillery Association of Tasmania and FOLMI to establish a Launceston History Research Centre at the Paterson Barracks on the corner of St John and William streets. This is being followed up by John Dent, Gus Green and members of all four community groups. Its goal is to make a submission to the Department of Defence, the State Government and the City of Launceston to take ownership of the Paterson Barracks when it is decommissioned in a few years’ time.
The objectives of the group are to:
·         Preserve a heritage asset – the buildings
·         Bring new life to the buildings and a city precinct through a new use
·         Provide an information/research service that is currently lacking
·         Celebrate the military and immigrant history of the city
·         Provide new public access to community assets and resources
·         Create a new centre for sharing ideas, expertise and knowledge
·         Create new opportunities for collaborative research
·         Enhance the visitor experience in the city… and much more.


Mike McCausland
Secretary, FOLMI

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Small boy goes missing from Library

Contributed by FOLMI member, Kelli Schultz

The headline could read ‘Small boy goes missing from Library; young girls under suspicion!’ if Margaret Schmidt’s memories of the Public Library, previously known as The Launceston Mechanics’ Institute, are anything to go by.

The Mechanics’ Institute was the brain child of a few prominent Launceston men, including John West, James Aikenhead and Thomas Button; beginning in 1842 and running out of the Cameron Street Primary School until a purpose built structure was erected in St John Street in 1860.(1,2) In 1929 the name was changed to Launceston Public Library and this is the venue that Margaret remembers so fondly from her childhood.3

“I used to visit the Mechanics’ Institute a lot. Well I didn’t know it as that; it was the library as a child because I loved books. I really loved reading and researching. Dad said to me once, if toilet paper had printing on it you would read it.” 4

Margaret laughs as she recalls her father’s words but agrees it was most probably true. From a young age it became a Saturday morning ritual for Margaret and her family to head into town from their Newstead home. She would go to the library; and the others would do shopping. Likening it to a treat and recalling the pride in borrowing books.

“I still remember as a child it was quite a treat on Saturday morning we all used to get in the car from when I was about ten and go into the library and do a bit of shopping.

Now that was our treat, I remember the big desks and the ladders going up and the height of the building inside and the thousands and thousands of books.

And I still sort of think of this child reaching up to the counter and proudly passing her books over and getting them stamped and her card made.” 5

 Margaret was born in 1945, so grew up in a time when the only source for research was books. One would have to either borrow books or go and do research in the actual library; sitting and painstakingly taking notes from large encyclopaedia sets and other reference books.

Within the walls of the Public Library was a wealth of knowledge and this is where Margaret went when it was time for her to sit the Ability Test in 1957 to enter high school. She remembers the hours spent sitting at the large tables and taking notes from book after book, laughing that there were no photocopiers or scanners back then.

I prompt her for more information on the library and she remembers that you could borrow three books at a time, with a card system, where your card number and name would be recorded on the book card and kept in a drawer. She goes on further to tell me how strict the library was and that you had to be very quiet at all times, saying it was almost like going into a church. So very different to our library of today when many have cafes, meeting places and online access; all encouraging communication between visitors.

Example of an early book card

From its inception as a Mechanics’ Institute the library had many roles. In the early days it would have visiting lecturers and it also produced publications of some of the lectures. 6

It continued to be a meeting place and Margaret recalls being taken to the library one evening with her younger sister and mother for an evening on ‘the birds and the bees”, but laughs as neither girl took much interest in the topic. Her younger sister saying she was hungry when asked by their mother what she thought.

In 1971 further changes were to take place. A new modern building was built behind the existing library and the old building was demolished. At this time Margaret said this was very exciting as it was so modern and new, but as she has gotten older she feels sad that the beautiful old building was not kept. Fortunately the collection of books were , some dating back to pre – 1800 were stored and of the 45,000 collected over the time of the Mechanics’ Institute, 20,000 books and publications are still in existence and managed by Friends of the Launceston Mechanics’ Institute. A significance assessment was done in 2015 by Susan Marsden stating that it is a historically significant collection of high value.7

As for the missing boy, I will let Margaret tell you the story:
“And I still remember my brother, he was supposed to be with us at the library and he took off. Mum thought that dad had him and dad thought mum had him, so he ended up getting lost one Saturday morning. We found him at the police station, so we were never allowed to be in charge of him again at the library.”8

Footnotes
1 Henry Button, Flotsam & Jetsam: Floating Fragments of Life in England and Tasmania, Regal Press facsimile copy, 1993,p.152.
2 ‘The Governor’, The Hobart Town Daily Mercury, 14 April 1860, p.2.
3 ‘State Parliament, legislative Council’, The Mercury, 18 July 1929, p.13.
4 Margaret Schmidt, interview by Kelli Schultz, digital recording, Launceston, 6 November 2017, in author’s possession.
5 Margaret Schmidt, interview by Kelli Schultz.
6 Launceston Mechanics’ Institute, ‘Publications of the Institute’, http://launcestonmechanicsinstitute.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/publications-of-institute.html, Accessed 20 November 2017.
7 Susan Marsden,’Significance Assessment of the Launceston Mechanics’ Institute Collection’ 2015.

8 Margaret Schmidt, interview by Kelli Schultz.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Interesting Conference




Connecting the Colonies: Empires and Networks in the History of the Book



Followers of this blog, and supporters of the Friends of the Launceston Mechanics' Institute, will be interested in this conference to be held in Hobart later this year;



"Empires of all kinds – commercial, geo-political, bureaucratic – are defined by their peripheries as well as their centres, by the flows of information that maintain or destabilise their structures of authority and control.

BSANZ, in collaboration with the Society for the History of Authorship Reading and Publishing (SHARP), invites scholars and researchers to consider the printed word, the book, and texts of all kinds, as both mechanism and matter of transmission."



The Conference will take place from 22-24 November, 2017, and registrations close on 6 November.
A Provisional List of Speakers is currently available on Eventbrite



As an ancillary event to the conference the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) and the Friends of Launceston Mechanics' Institute (FOLMI) are offering attendees a tour of their respective library collections on the Saturday afternoon following the conference, 25 November.

QVMAG has been active in preserving and recreating early Tasmanian library collections - notably the Evandale Subscription Library, whose founding members included the artist John Glover, and the collections of the Deloraine Public Library and The Longford Library and Reading Room.


Considered in tandem with our nationally significant Launceston Mechanics' Institute collection, and the remarkable collection of the Bothwell Literary Society, this is a great opportunity for scholars and researchers to reflect on the central theme of the conference as they inspect and consider these collections of books established in a frontier colony at the furthest extremity of the British Empire.






Monday, 3 July 2017

A Gallery of Inventions



Our previous post made mention of the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal and Gazette (1823-55).  Carrying the motto "knowledge is power" the Mechanics' Magazine was the first of many low cost, weekly publications aimed at a new readership – the largely self educated artisans who were charged with the operation, maintenance and especially improvement of the machines on which the industrial revolution relied. These magazines became a clearing house for patents, ideas, speculations and enquiries, and were to a considerable extent written by their readers.

Most issues featured illustrations, labelled diagrams or sketches produced from simple woodcuts, usually on the title page. Inside the issue the "inventor" contributed a detailed description of their machine, prototype or idea.

Below is a small selection of illustrations from the 1820s and '30s, taken from the covers of the Mechanics' Magazine and other similar pioneering journals in our collection. As with all of our posts, you can view a larger version simply by clicking on the image.


  A New Musical Instrument, from The Glasgow Mechanics' Magazine, No XXXI, New Edition, [1824], p 17.


Pedomotive Carriage, from the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette. No. 34, April 17, 1824, p 31.


Dredging Machine on the River Clyde, from the Glasgow Mechanics' Magazine, No XXXIX, 25th September, 1824, p 145




Locomotive Engine on the Cog-Wheel Principle, from the London Mechanics' Register, No 15, February 12, 1825, p 225. 

Description of a Water-Horse, from the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette. No. 96, June 25, 1825, p 177


New Patent Steam Coach, from the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette. No. 112, October 15, 1825, p 433.

Hebert's Patent Domestic Flour-maker, from the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette. No. 665, May 7, 1836, p 65.

Hebert's Flour-Maker , from the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette. No. 678, August 6, 1836, p 305.

Hancock's New Steam-Carriage "Automaton", from the Mechanics' Magazine, Museum, Register, Journal, and Gazette. No. 685, September 24, 1836, p 433