Cover to 'aerial navigation', 1912.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Decorative cover in green publishers' cloth showing a cityscape at night in black. A dirigible balloon, a steam-powered flying machine, the stars and the text are all blocked in gold. 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 the cover to the fifth edition of 'La navigation aerienne' (aerial navigation) by Joseph Lecornu, published in Paris in 1912.