Henry Christopher McCook (1837-1911) was a clergyman and scientist who published research articles and books on ants and spiders. But in order to popularize his regard for the natural world, he published a couple of fairy tale books in which the insects were portrayed with human characteristics. Tenants from an Old Farm came out in 1885 and Old Farm Fairies was released in 1895. The images here are from these books.
McCook employed an illustrator named Daniel Carter Beard (who was responsible for all the pictures here but didn't do every illustration in the books) who happened into book illustration accidentally when he was employed as an engineer and somebody obtained his permission to publish a few of his drawings. He made so much money that he quit his job and turned to illustrating for the rest of his life.
Beard grew to be much more famous than McCrook in fact. He went on to produce many illustrations for Mark Twain's novels as well as publishing a lot of political cartoons. But he is best remembered for founding the Boy Scouts movement of America.
- The National Academy of Sciences digital collections display: The Fairy Tale World of Henry McCook: Illustrations of Anthropomorphic Arthropods in the 19th Century (from the Ewell Sale Stewart Library) [the 2 books are in the sidebar & further illustrations from each are also linked]
- These links will take you to further pages about Beard and his illustrating/scouting. (some of them are caches and I'm not sure why Rochester U pages are unavailable - ?relocation)