söndag 4 oktober 2009

Saturday with Gutenberg

Winged lute that we call a blue bird,
You blend in a silver strain
The sound of the laughing waters,
The patter of spring’s sweet rain,
The voice of the wind, the sunshine,
And fragrance of blossoming things,
Ah! you are a poem of April
That God endowed with wings.
...................... E. E. R.

utenberg had a lot to offer yesterday – it will take me a while to check it out. So far I've mainly looked at the pictures.
"Birds Illustrated by Color Photograph [March 1897] A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life" has interesting articles as well as wonderful ads. Not to mention that you could use the big initial letters as monograms. Considering that the photos are from 1897 they are surprisingly good – but I have a feeling that the pictures were arranged with mounted birds. Some of the backgrounds and branches are, if not identical close to it.
"Old French Fairy Tales" from 1920 by Comtesse de Ségur and with illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett is a charming book with illustrations characteristic of the period. Take time to look at her illustrations for "Arabian Nights".

The third books is a book for tourists: "The Beauties of the State of Washington, A Book for Tourists" by Harry F. Giles. I love the vignettes – a kind of detail you seldom find in modern books. I've only been to Washington once – on a day tour from Oregon – so I already knew that this is a state I'd like to see more of. Like I said another time – when I read an old book about England – I would like to travel in this area, with this book in one hand and a camera in the other to try to capture the same views.


The state of Washington is rapidly developing a system of roads which, finally consummated, will rival in skillful engineering and commercial importance the French highways, and in scenic grandeur the mountain passes of Switzerland. Easy approaches are being constructed to every town and hamlet and into every farming community. So vigorously has the work been pushed that Washington now outranks every other state, except Colorado, in the facility and directness with which its mountain recesses may be reached. Upwards of 50,000 miles have been already completed, presenting altogether a labyrinth of broad thorofares, boulevards, and country highways. The most important highways built and maintained at state expense are the Pacific, the Sunset, the Inland Empire, the Olympic and the National Park.

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