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American Philosophical Society
Visual Mechanic Knowledge: The Workshop Drawings of Isaac Ebenezer Markham (1795-1825), New England Textile Mechanic: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 263)
David J. Jeremy and Polly C. Darnell
Markham's 60 or so drawings are the earliest-known set of textile machine maker’s workshop drawings in the U.S. prepared primarily for cotton machinery but also for wool carding and spinning equipment. Nothing similar has survived from the antebellum decades. Prepared between 1814 and 1825, a collection of such significance requires an examination of its provenance, a biography of the draftsman, and an analysis of the historical contexts shaping both draftsman and drawings. This marvelous book fulfills all of these goals. Markham’s drawings are evidence of the transition from preindustrial to industrial visual forms of technical knowledge, and of a much wider knowledge revolution in the U.S. The drawings also demonstrate the ubiquity of inventiveness, even in the most remote of early machine shops, at the extremity of the well-known American and transatlantic mechanic networks. Includes b-&-w illus. and 11 color plates.
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