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