Alembic Blog

The Family Tree or, the Hoax-o-Graph

This is one of the strangest items we've ever had in stock, The Family Tree or, The Hoax-o-Graph, probably published in 1913 by Dow and Lester, the firm that was also responsible for Cecil Henland's famous novelty album The Ghosts of My Friends.

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Carriages Without Horses Shall Go: One of the First Books About Cars

There's no question that automobiles were one of the most transformative technologies of the 20th century, and the rise of autonomous vehicles will continue that tradition of innovation. But in the 1890s cars were little more than a novelty, and few were prescient enough to predict the automotive revolution. One who did was the British engineer Alfred Robert Sennett, whose book "Carriages Without Horses Shall Go" was one of the first books on automobiles. 

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Victorian Machines & Manufacturing: The Boy's Book of Industrial Information

New in the shop is The Boy's Book of Industrial Information, a delightful illustrated children's book on Victorian technology.
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One Hundred Photographs from Life: R. B. Lodge & Early Wildlife Photography

Just in time for spring, we've listed these two charming books of early wildlife photography, one by the pioneering bird photographer R. B. Lodge, who took the first photo of a wild bird, a lapwing on its nest, in 1895.

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Tardigrades and other "Marvels of Pond Life": A Classic Book on Microscopes by Henry J. Slack

By the mid-19th century central London was the teeming metropolis recognisable from Victorian literature, but its outskirts were not yet urbanised and there was ample opportunity for amateur naturalists to explore local woods, heaths, ponds, and streams, many of which have now disappeared. If you chanced on one of those ponds in 1860 you might have found a man eagerly scanning the shoreline, examining the clarity of the water, dipping his walking-stick in to draw out clumps of algae and aquatic plants, and collecting samples in small bottles. Following him home, you would see him sit down at a microscope and carefully prepare slides from these samples, peering into the eye-piece and taking notes, perhaps with his wife at his side sketching the little world in each drop of water.

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