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Book Description
First edition. With two title pages, the first with a weaving related decorative engraving surround, both correctly dated 1771. Containing 74 engraved plates, including two blue and one red, all plates present but a note describing plates 55-60 is possibly lacking. Bound in half-morocco with marbled boards, the binding probably mid to late-twentieth century, with minor bumping and rubbing. The text block is quite heavily toned and stained with minor damage to some plates, the pastedowns were fortunately retained whenever the book was re-bound and have copious notes to both front and rear. In fact, the book is delightfully well-used with some notes and additional diagrams to the reverse of a number of plates. The notes are mostly in German, covering various periods and in different hands, with dated entries well into the mid-1800s. To the front endpaper is the stamp of a bookshop located in Toledo, Ohio and there is an intriguing list of 47 names in pencil to the reverse of plate 73, mostly not very Germanic(Maurice O'Connor, Florence Hadley, Belle Moore, Lizzie Rick etc), which perhaps indicates that the book may have found its way to the U.S.A. in the hands of emigrants and continued to be used practically in the craft or teaching of weaving later into the 19th century; Kirschbaum's patterns certainly remained popular in 19th century Pennsylvania, so it seems a plausible theory. Kirschbaum was a master weaver and one of the pioneers of this new graphic codification method, which used a simple grid and a binary system of two colours to describe the relation of the warp to the weft, in a manner readily understandable to the weavers at the loom. This idea paved the way for Joseph Marie Jacquard's punched card operated looms, which in turn inspired the punch cards which underpinned early computer programming.
Author Kirschbaum, Johann Michael
Date 1771
Publisher Heilbronn und Rotheburg

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