Saturday, December 10, 2011

Birds of Paradise

"The birds-of-paradise are members of the family Paradisaeidae [and] the order Passeriformes. The majority of species in this family are found on the island of New Guinea and its satellites, with a few species occurring in the Moluccas and eastern Australia.

The family has forty species in 14 genera. The members of this family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings or head.
For the most part they are confined to dense rainforest habitat. The diet of all species is dominated by fruit and to a lesser extent arthropods. The birds-of-paradise have a variety of breeding systems, ranging from monogamy to lek-based polygamy." [continues]

The set of images below (all assiduously background cleaned) would be more accurately titled: Birds of Paradise AND Friends.

They come from an 1806, 2-volume work called 'Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paradis et des Rolliers, suivie de celle des Toucans et des Barbus' by François Levaillant and Jacques Barraband {featured on BibliOdyssey recently with Toucans}.

Le Nebuleux : order - Passeriformes family - Paradisaeidae

red bird of paradise book illustration

Le Sifilet no. 12

Le Geai Bleu no. 45

Le Geai varie no. 41

Le petit Oiseau de paradis Emeraude, male no. 1

Le Geai d'Europe no. 40

Le Momot dans son jeune age no. 38

Le petit Oiseau de paradis Emeraude, male no. 4

Le Momot dombe no. 39

Le Rollier a long brins d'Afrique, male no. 25

Le Superbe etalant ses parures no. 15

Le Geai Peruvian no. 46

Femelle de la Pie de paradis no. 22

Friday, December 09, 2011

Machine Power

Illustrations by Vittorio Zonca (1607) from
'Novo Teatro di Machine et Edificii'

A levar aque con un moto perpetuo
A perpetual water-raising system
"Zonca shows a large copperplate engraving of a huge pipe for raising water. It had a large, sealed inverted U-tube with larger diameter on one side. The figure shows the larger tube (A) on the left emptying water at a higher level than the water intake on the right. This water then powered a horizontal turbine at the bottom, which drives a millwheel for grinding grain. The sealed port at the top was to facilitate the initial filling of the tube with water.

For want of a better name, I call this a "perverted siphon", though it doesn't work as a siphon*. (It's so hard to name devices that don't work.) Didn't folks in the 17th century know that siphons can only lift water over an elevation if the output tube's opening is lower than the input water level? Perhaps not. Roman engineers had successfully used water tubes or pipes to transport water over hills, but the output was always lower than the input water level. These tubes were a last resort for engineers, for the apex of the tube could not be higher than 10 meters above the water level at the input end. It was difficult to seal the tubes so that air would not seep into the top of the tube and eventually form an air pocket that destroyed the continuity of the water and halted water flow. Perhaps some felt that it was only such practical "engineering difficulties" that prevented the use of siphons to actually deliver water to a higher level.

Remember that the role of atmospheric pressure in these devices wasn't understood. So why did the water stay in the inverted U-tube? This was explained by Aristotle's principle that "nature abhors a vacuum", that is, nature will not allow a vacuum in the top of the tube and will do whatever necessary to prevent it. This explained why a suction pump could lift a column of water (but didn't explain why it could only lift water about 33 feet)." [cont]. {see also}

Vite perpetua chiamata d'altri martinello
Schematics of perpetual screw

Molino fatto col moto degli animali
Mill powered by animals

Machina da voltar spiedi per cuocer le vivande
Gears, ratchets and turning mechanisms for a meat rotisserie

Molino teragno d'acqua
Water-mill (for flour or ..?)

Porte per sostenner l'aqua d'alcun fiume per bisogno della navigation et altro
Mitre gates on a navigational river or canal lock

Ruota per alzar l'aqua
Water raising system (dual power)

Cartiera overo pistogio che pesta le strazze per far la carta
A waterwheel stamping mill - for crushing pulp in paper making

Torchio per stampar i disegni con i rami intagliati
Intaglio-plate {illustration} printing press

Torchio per stampar i libri
Book printing press

Vite perpetua che alza grandissmi pesi
Perpetual screw for raising heavy weights

Molini fatti col movimento dell' aque raccolte
Multi-wheel watermill

Tromba o' schizo per alzar aque in grand altezza
Cross-section of machine/pumping system to raise water to a "great height"

Trombe da rota per cavar aqua
Human-powered water pumping system

As the few online references to Vittorio Zonca (1568-1602) attest, little is known about the Italian architect's life beyond the fact that he lived in Padua and wrote an illustrated technical manual on machines.

Zonca's book -- part of the Renaissance/Early Modern genre known as The Theatre of Machines -- wasn't released until four years after his death, and the illustrations seen above are from the 3rd edition, published in 1656.

In 'Novo Teatro di Machine and Edificii', Zonca presents more than forty engravings that illustrate a wide variety of machines, including presses, grinders, locks, pumps, lathes, weight lifting, load bearing and even water-powered silk throwing systems.

The source for many of Zonca’s designs is believed to be a manuscript by the Sienese painter Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1439-1501), which depicts various 15th c. machines.

Zonca's work was nevertheless important and original because it came closest, among contemporaries in the emerging field of technical manuals, to showing how the mechanical systems would function in the real world. Zonca pared down overly elaborate gear/pulley/lever systems (in which friction would hamper machine operation) and he drew the components mostly to scale, as compared to Ramelli for instance. In other words, Zonca's manual was more practical than (merely) theoretical. References in his book infer that working examples of some of Zonca's machines were successfully built during his lifetime.

In the 1620s, a collection of European machine designs by Zonca, Ramelli and Besson was published in China by the Jesuit scholar, Johann Schreck. The illustrations were produced in a Chinese pictorial style and were the first European technological systems seen in the Far East.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Das Baby-Liederbuch

The Baby Songbook

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 a

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 g

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 f

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 e

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 b

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 c

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 d

Das Baby-Liederbuch 1914 titlepage

Tom Seidmann-Freud (née Martha Freud) (1892-1930) was a German illustrator and book artist and niece of Dr Sigmund Freud. Her movable and pop-up books were particularly well regarded.

When she was only twenty-two years old, Seidmann-Freud composed verses and produced the illustrations for the charming 1914 songbook seen above [sourced from the State Library of Berlin].

Because Seidmann-Freud was Jewish, many copies of her books were destroyed during the nazi era and remain scarce items in the book trade.
"As an adult, [Seidmann-Freud] was noted for her eccentricities as well as her artistic talent, in particular, her decisions to adopt a man's first name and to wear men's clothing. A long history of emotional instability preceded a major breakdown after the failure of her husband's publishing venture and his suicide in 1929; she took her own life the following year.

Seidmann-Freud has been characterized as a member of the Jugendstil (German Art Nouveau) movement. Her artwork often featured people and objects simply but precisely rendered in ink, their outlines carefully filled in with watercolors using the pochoir (stencil and layering) technique."
The quote above (and a wider variety of her illustrations) can be found at the Tom Seidmann-Freud homesite {well worth a visit}. [also; and]

UPDATE: See Will's December 2012 post on 50 Watts: The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece.

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