08 April 2011

Showing through

Thin, porous paper, or darker-than-dark ink? A page from a handwritten geography and surveying notebook, 1804 - see more of it here.

Round about the same time, a young man named Michael Faraday was attending Humphry Davy's lectures on chemistry. He wrote out and illustrated his notes, and bound them at the bindery where he worked. When Sir Humphry (as he quickly became) needed an assistant, Faraday presented the book as his CV. He was hired to work at the Royal Institution and the rest is scientific history. Richard Holmes tells this and other stories of "Romantic science" in a fascinating and readable book, The Age of Wonder.

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