Cover of 'The glorious chapters of technology', 1910.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Decorative cover from 'Ruhmesblatter der technik' (The glorious chapters of technology) by the engineer Franz Maria Feldhaus (1874-1959) published in Leipzig by Friedrich Brandstetter in 1910. 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, not by the authors. This visually arresting binding has a strong symbolic meaning. A hand holding an iron hammer erupts from an industrial landscape; technology is portrayed as all-conquering.