Cover of 'Electric lamps and electric lighting', 1894.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Decorative binding from 'Electric lamps and electric lighting: a course of four lectures on electric illumination; delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain' by John Ambrose Fleming (1849-1945), published in London in 1894. The author was Profesor of Electrical Engineering at University College, London and invented the thermionic valve in 1904. The development of publishers' book bindings in the late nineteenth century led to a huge increase of bright, decorative covers for popular science and technology books. Most were unsigned by artists employed by the publishers. This example is in publisher's grey cloth boards, decorated in black and white with pictures of lamps and has the author's name and title in gilt.