Birth of a Book ~ A short vignette of a book being created using traditional printing methods.
9-9bis le silence des machines
Picture by my father Michel Gilliot
The Electric Light in our Homes
Popularly explained and Illustrated
"The Antikythera mechanism, one more mystery of the ancient world, is an ancient mechanical calculator (also described as the first known mechanical computer) designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900-01 from the Antikythera wreck, but its complexity and significance were not understood until decades later. It is now thought to have been built about 100-150 BC. This was some one-and-a-half thousand years before mechanisms of such complexity had been invented. Technological artifacts of similar complexity did not reappear until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks appeared in Europe."
21st Century Schizoid Man
King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man
Visions of the future at the dawn of what is today considered as technological age bring to mind Jules Verne, author of popular adventure novels such as A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days. Less well known – but even more remarkable – is an artist incredibly talented and visionary, lived in the second half of the nineteenth century: Albert Robida.
Fanciful French writer, brilliant caricaturist, and weird illustrator, Robida was known within his contemporaries for his Voyages très extraordinaires de Saturnin Farandoul,(solipsistic adventurer of the seas grown up in a monkeys colony) and the trilogy of futuristic novels Le Vingtième Siècle, La Guerre au vingtième siècle, La vie électrique. In them we can find pioneristic intuitions about the practices of modern warfare, like robotic missiles and poison gas, but also intuitions related to technological changes through the use of telephonescope, smart instrument for continuus viewing of moving pictures and terrific precursor of modern LCD television screens.
Inspirator of Méliès’ movies and inspired by Grandville’s opera – from which he gets the zoomorphic blend – Robida carries us in a dimension always balanced between imaginative power and realism.
Robida’s universe is the sky, where we can find suspended stilt houses spinning in space, flying ships that fill crowded horizons and fabulous cities without roads any roads where strong sci-fi elements multiply themselves coexisting.
A peculiar characteristic in his works is the attention given to the practical application of inventions proposed and their social consequences. Embodying the ideal of a prophet of the pseudo-science Robida makes us dream about the future, which has already gone.
text by Luna Todaro,
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.
- Asimov (via headlesssamurai)
ca. 1850s, [stereodaguerreotype portrait of a young lady, by W.L. Germon, housed in a case by John Stull of Philadelphia]
Unlike the more common Mascher case, Stull’s design has lenses integrated into the cover and folding hinges allowing the viewer to adjust the focus. Portrait is under a mat stamped W.L. Germon, for Washington Lafayett Germon, a photographer active in Philadelphia 1848-1860, who also worked as an artist, engraver, and druggist during the same period. There is no record of John Stull as a photographer, so it is not surprising to see the actual image done by Germon, whose studio was listed at 168 Chestnut in 1856, just four blocks east of the address on Stull’s case.
via Cowan’s Auctions
Conrad Heyer. Revolutionary War vet born in 1749. The earliest born person ever photographed. The photo was taken in 1852.
A vision of 2000, drawn by Jean-Marc Côté and other French artists to be used on cigar boxes and postcards, for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. It’s actually kind of sad how little of this we have. Who wouldn’t want to travel by whale?