The Art of Marbling Books.

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Marbled paper has been used for centuries in bookbinding, generally as endpapers—front and back—sometimes as outside decorative covers.
It is made by floating pigments upon a mucilaginous “size”, arranging the chosen colors as desired using toothed combs and other tools, then laying a sheet of paper or fabric onto the floating pattern to pick it up. It is a graphic printmaking process really—no two prints are exactly alike.
In 1881, C. W. Woolnough described marbling as “this pretty, mysterious art.” He also said, “This process is not very easy to describe, and yet to anyone beholding it for the first time it appears extremely simple and easy to perform, yet the difficulties are many, and the longer one practices it, the more he becomes convinced that there is ample room for fresh discoveries and more interesting results than any that have yet been accomplished.”
In recent decades, modern marblers have indeed done wonderfully interesting things with the process, ranging from beautifully crafted classic designs to representational images and scenes . . . fish, flowers, landscapes, all sorts of things. An article I wrote for the August 1978 issue of American Artist magazine (oftentimes available on eBay) details the basic process, and shows a few examples.
The naming of marbled paper designs is complex and confusing. Names have been assigned over the past two or three centuries variously in various places. Many patterns are commonly known by several different names.
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More Images to be seen via Marbling | Sheaff : ephemera.

Solar Printing Press.

Screen shot 2011-01-23 at 2Photo: Printing press driven by the heat rays of the sun.
On  6 August 1882, Monsieur Abel Pifre, a French Engineer, demonstrated the solar engine invented by him at a meeting of the Union Francaise de la Jeunesse held at the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris.
It consisted of a concave mirror 3.5 metres in diameter, in the focus of which there is placed a cylindrical steam boiler equipped with a safety valve.
The steam generated by the reflected sun-rays actuates a small vertical engine of 2/5 horse power driving a Marioni type printing-press.
Although the sun lacked power and the sky was frequently overcast, the press operated continuously from 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm turning out an average of five hundred copies per hour of a journal which was especially made up for the occasion and appropriately called Soleil-Journal.
Previously Pifre had demonstrated that 50 litres of water could be brought to boil in less than 50 minutes, after which the pressure of the steam increased one atmosphere every eight minutes.
There is little doubt that such a solar engine will be a boon to the population of hot areas which so often suffer from a shortage of fuel.
via Metal Type – Solar Powered Printing Press.

‘The People’s Weekly’ Moonta.

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Photo: State Library of South Australia.
The People’s weekly served the largest of the Yorke Peninsula towns, Moonta, for almost 80 years.
Although, like the other Yorke Peninsula newspapers, it included some coverage for the surrounding towns, the Weekly concentrated mostly on the activities and interests of the people of Moonta.
In 1891 the newspaper claimed to have the largest circulation on the Peninsula, with 1,000 subscribers in Moonta alone, as well as in the other towns. From late 1943 the newspaper’s coverage changed to include more Kadina news.
Mining
Throughout its life, the newspaper reflected the importance of the local copper mining industry which was the reason for the existence of Moonta and the other copper towns.
Detailed mining reports were regularly printed in the newspaper up until the last small private mining operations ceased in 1938. A series of interesting letters in 1895 by ‘Inquisitive’ described the working of the mining contract system.
In 1891 major industrial action took place, with a miners’ strike which lasted for 18 weeks.
This was widely reported, gaining the support of workers, newspapers and church groups across the state.
The Weekly was not convinced of the strike action being the best choice (26 September 1891), but nevertheless gave its support to the men.
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Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ published 1897

BramStokerBram Stoker – Credit: Charvex (via Wikimedia)
Born 1847.-Died 1912
Bram Stoker was an Irish author best known for his classic vampire novel, Dracula.
He was born in Dublin in 1847 as the third of seven children. His father was a civil servant, the same career Bram took up after graduating from Trinity College with a mathematics degree.
He then began a career in the theater, starting as a theater reviewer for the Dublin Evening Mail.
In 1878 he married Florence Balcombe and moved to London with her where he became the acting manager of the Lyceum Theater.
Living in London, Bram Stoker began writing novels. As a part of his duties as theater manager he traveled around the world and found inspiration for his stories in many of the places he visited.
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Dracula, published in 1897, was by far the most successful of Stoker’s works.
However, during his lifetime he was more known for his work in the theater.
Including Dracula, Stoker penned 12 novels as well as numerous short stories
via Ten Early Masters of Horror Genre.

Vintage Pulp Science Fiction.

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What is it about science and the future and how the science fiction of the past (pre-1950s) almost never could encapsulate the superior scientific innovation and discovery of its near future?
And, like most science fiction at that time they considered that  our threats would come from outer space.
I guess that’s why I like a lot of sci-fi centered around man’s bastardry to man.
It is marvelous and wickedly magnificent to look at some cover art and illustration for the pulp and not-so-pulpy science ficton, images that not only have a certain look and feel, but also a smell, a particular bookstore/basement pulp-paper-not-exposed-in-forty-years smell.

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Image: Steampunk Eye–that enormous ship, governed by a long, long pole with a small box with an an eye in it, being raised and lowered on pulleys:
See more via Ptak Science Books: Fantastic Beasts and Tales.