A Plate Full of Eyes (1851)

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

J.G. Heck wrote and compiled a fascinating and complex work entitled The Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature and Art, and was published in America for the first time in 1851 following Spencer Baird’s translation from its original German.

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The key to his work is the amount of data displayed on each of the 500 engraved plates illustrating this work and the way in which it is arranged.  The design and layout of the 30,000 items on these 500 plates was a work of genius, and for my money it is easily the best-presented complex means of the display of data and objects that was published in the 19th century.  

The image above is from one engraved plate featuring 43 aspects of the human eye–beautifully arranged, and somehow fitting perfectly on the 9×11″ sheet of paper.  It is a work of real design engineering.  

The image above is a detail from:

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By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1NCWeHf

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