What is better, I ask: this sexy, miniature indiarubber stamp making press, or the drawing of it presented here? It's a tough call. Sure, I'd love to have the press. I might even enjoy making one. But chances are that it would see little use, and tragically devolve into the murky classification of trinketry or even kipple.
Meanwhile, there is much to be learned from the engraving, and it's easy on the eyes too. It packs neatly into this blog and doesn't take up valuable bench space. The idea I'm working toward is that it's justifiable to have a penchant for the the drawings and ephemera of a trade without having to authenticate oneself all the time with bench work. Frankly, I want to save my time at the bench for the work I'm truly passionate about. At the same time I don't want to give up being enthusiastic about astronomy and fencing and wilderness survival and other things only tangentially related to my core interests. I want to be enthusiastic about this little press, even if I never see one in the flesh (so to speak). I want to put this on a t-shirt and wear it proudly. So I might. If I do, I'll let you all know how to get one.
Incidentally, shirt graphics are on my mind these days on account of the MET-inspired Carver's Shirt. Shameless plugging aside, I do believe that you don't have to be a carver to be into this shirt. I mean, it's a damn comfy shirt to be sure, but I think a sweep chart is an infographic that non-carvers can still get into. I want to believe that I live in a world where knowing how to describe and choose a gouge is a bit like knowing how to pick a wine or talk about a film. I want to believe that it makes you worldly and fashionable.
Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.