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 The Work Magazine Reprint Project

WORK No. 117- Published June 13, 1891  


Update: Our friends at the V&A were kind enough to send over a photo of the technical staff, which may count among its faces that of the in-house carpenter responsible for Arnold's bracket. Obviously, no conclusive evidence supports this guess, and it has also been pointed out to me that excessive attention to the repairer's work might have proved unsettling for the craftsmen who endeavored so diligently to mount and display collections subtly and without fanfare. Nevertheless, the efforts of generations of conservators deserve more than a little recognition. Though I don't suggest shouting thank yous to technicians you might see atop scaffolding on your next museum visit, learning what we can about their tireless stewardship might prove a more fitting tribute. To that end, let me direct you to an article chronicling the history of the Conservation Department of the V&A by Pauline Webber.


Greetings time-travelers. Upon examination of this week's entry, you may well find yourself asking, "just where is the South Kensington Museum?"

I asked myself the very same, slightly abashed and thinking I certainly ought to remember such a place, having spent more than a few months in London. As it stands, eight years after the printing of Work No. 117, its name would be changed to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I should have been asking, "when?" Classic time-travel rookie mistake.

An attempt to describe the V&A here would be impossible. Rather, I'll just say that if you have the chance to visit, by all means do so and return as often as you can. If you happen to be around on a Friday night, the Friday Late events feature "an ever-changing, curated programme of live performances, cutting-edge fashion, film, installations, debates, special guests and DJs, with bars, food, and late-night exhibition openings."

Last year, the Friday Late organizers asked to use our infamous Paper Carpenter's Hat Instructions for an evening entitled: The Secret Life of Furniture. Understandably, I was on the wrong side of the pond and couldn't attend. Still, I've never seen such enthusiasm for our silly hats stateside, and the organizers were kind enough to share their event photos on Flickr.

What then, you might ask, of our simple bracket? Certainly, that remains to be seen. It's likely that Urquhart Arnold's remarks have long outlasted the piece that inspired them. Then again, I don't know that for sure, and it's possible that our friends at the V&A might be able to guess its whereabouts now that we've established it's whenabouts. -TIM

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.

• Click to Download Vol.3 - No. 117 •

Tags:Woodworking Tools and Techniques,Historical Subjects,Misc.
Comments: 2
06/13/2014Tim Cahoon 
That is so cool about the hats. I looked at the pictures and was jealous I couldn't be there either. It surely looked like a lot of fun. What a creative get together.
Superb. Everything looks so much more elegant and perfect. Like Tim above I wish I could have been there.
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