From the Hand to the Machine. Nineteenth-century American Paper and Mediums: Technologies, Materials and Conservation

I wrote a review of Cathleen A. Baker’s new book, “From the Hand to the Machine.  Nineteenth-century American paper and mediums: technologies, materials, and conservation”  in the current issue of  The Bonefolder, Vol. 7, 2011.

Here’s the beginning-

Until recently, I would have assumed that the readers of these words were reading them on paper. But the primacy of paper as the carrier of textually based information is gradually ending, and the words I am writing will likely be read on screens or other non-paper inventions. There seems, however, an inversely proportional relationship in the ways we regard paper itself: the less we look at what is on it, the more we look at paper itself: its substance, structure, tactile qualities and history. Cathleen A. Baker’s book explores in detail the technological artifact that once served quietly as substrate, and now emerges as subject– paper.

Baker has ventured into the enormously difficult and confusing world of 19th century papermaking history, and returned to give us a book that is important, readable, scholarly…” Read the rest of the review.