Tagged: Favourite

Albert Weisgerber’s Grimm Fairy Tales


Following yesterday’s artwork by Andrea Dezsö, some illustrations from a German edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from around 1900. Albert Weisgerber (1878–1915) was more of a fine artist than a jobbing illustrator—Alfred Kubin was a friend—but some of his drawings appeared in Jugend magazine as well as this book. The heavy shading and blocks of colour are reminiscent of the Beggarstaffs, while the illustration choices don’t avoid the darker moments of the tales, as with the picture of Gretel pushing the witch into the oven. 50 Watts has some of Weisgerber’s other drawings. Browse the book here or download it here.




















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The illustrators archive

By: { feuilleton }
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1F9hN9I

Bombs of Fuel Delivery–the Future of War, 1974 (1958)

JF Ptak Science Books  Quick Post

This is one of hose books that I couldn’t possibly spend any time with, save for skimming the illustrations looking for something unusual. Generally popular books published by Certain Publishing Houses on the future of warfare tend to read like bad sci fi–having not read this one I can’t address that here, though this pic found at the end of the book may offer a little insight to the rest of the book’s content.  The author was a tank commander of high distinction, which might explain at least his hopes for the technological breakthrough of delivering fuel to motorized units in the front line–via “giant fuel missiles”. Evidently these enormous missiles (the width of a tank) and filled with fuel is somehow launched and the projectiles fall gently enough to stand precariously on their own with the top 5% of the length buried a slight bit but somehow enough to support the weight of the missile and the contents.  Remarkable.

War 1974384

And then!  The idea appears again with the Warhead Warriors–soldiers delivered to the front in missile-shaped missiles.  

War 1974385

There may be something of interest in this book, but it remains for hardier people than me to recover. 

See Brians, Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895- 1984, p. 290.

By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/14Y8jmI

A Picture of Sound, 1923

JF Ptak Science Books  Post 2350                                                                                              The What is It? series

Talkie detail



[Source: author’s collection] 

This is a three-frame snippet from what is evidently among the first true talking motion pictures. It was engineered by Lee de Forest (1873-1961, inventor of the first triode vacuum tube, the Audion, in 1906, earning him the sobriquet of “the Father of radio”) and shown in NYC in December, 1923, which was nearly three years ahead of what is commonly thought to be the first ‘talkie”, the Al Jolson vehicle The Jazz Singer (1926).  Although not truly a first/first, The Jazz Singer was certainly the first mass-distributed talkie, and the first monetarily successful one.  The de Forest film was a sound-on-film motion picture, which represented the culmination of efforts to reproduce sound in the movies by many different practices, none nearly as successful as synching up the sound/film so that there was no displacement between the two.  Here wwe see the sound as the horizontal bars running along the left-side of the film, which in effect is the visualization of the medium of the movie industry to come. (The attempts at sound motion pictures are almost as old as the pictures themselves, the earliest version being simple recordings of the audio on a disk, then played along with the showing of the movie in two different systems.  Compared to nothing at all, these advances were very notable, especially if the timing between the two elements wasn’t off by very much.  These of course failed entirely in the face of the sound-on-film advancement.)  

The breakthrough by de Forest turns out to be one of those stories where the inventor and brains behind the technological advance tries to implement and market the thing themselves, only to fail at the economic aspects of a great invention.  

By: Ptak Science Books
Via: Feedbin Starred Entries
Source: http://j.mp/1HuYfR9

PowerPunk Locomotives, in Color (1942)

JF PtakScience Books   Poster Series 

Poster llotives

[Image source: Library of Congress]

This magnificent photograph was made by Jack Delano (1914-1997) while working for Roy Stryker at the Farm Security Administration agency (FSA).  It is called “C & NW RR, Locomotives in the Roundhouse at Proviso Yard, Chicago, Ill.”, and was made in December 1942.  This has long been one of my favorite images in the FSA color archives. 

One of the great innovations in a sea of great things accomplished during the Franklin Roosevelt administrations was the formation of the Farm Security Administration, a division of the government established to help farmers through the devastating Dust Bowl and Great Depression.  A subset of the FSA was a photographic unit which was set up to document the progress made by the FSA (and provide, I am sure, for some much-needed good news, a hearts-and-minds campaign).  This division was headed by Roy Emerson Stryker, who wound up hiring a collection of dream-team photographers unlike any ever assembled for a single purpose.  Esther Bubley, Marjory Collins, Mary Post Wolcott, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, Charlotte Brooks, John Vachon, Carl Mydans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn were sent out all across the country and wound up with the greatest and most beautiful photographic history ever assembled in the United States.  There were about 77,000 images made, and I recall reading (somewhere) that the total budget for the Stryker group for the years 1936-1942 was about $100,000, meaning that each completed image cost just over a dollar apiece. So far as art funding by the government is concerned, that about the best it has done.

(I can offer a print of this image as all o fhe work done for the FSA and Office of War Information and for the federal government in general are without copyright or personal ownership and are the property of the people of the United States. The blog offers a 13’x19″ poster of this, here.)

And another view of the work area:

Poster, locomotives

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