The Greatest Desk For Book Lovers Ever


And I’m not even kidding. Behold the book wheel, for people who like to multitask:   Erik Kwakkel’s indispensable Medieval Books blog has a great series on medieval desks, and describes the above contraption this way: The image from 1588 shows the bookwheel invented by the Renaissance engineer Agostino Ramelli, whose concept was based on medieval [Read More...]

Jaguar E-Type [Beautiful Machines]


Considered by many to be the most beautiful car ever made: the Jaguar E-Type [Read more...]

Watchmaker’s Lathe [Beautiful Machines]


Early 20th century, made of brass, steel, and oak. [Read more...]

Steel and Brass Arm Prosthesis [Beautiful Machines]


This beautiful series of photographs from the BBC shows how people have created artificial limbs as far back as ancient Egypt. There’s a poignant beauty to many of these creations, particularly the steel and brass arm pictured above, which dates from some time between 1840 and 1940. [Read more...]

The Astrolabe [Beautiful Machines]


When I was asked to come up with a header for this blog, I submitted two ideas to Patheos: a robotic riff on Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, and an image of an astrolabe. Unable to choose between the two, I suggested that the art department just combine them, and the striking image above was born. I first encountered [Read More...]

The “Sewing Hand” [Beautiful Machines]

Mechanical 'Sewing Hand' by Josef Madersperger (Technisches Museum Wien)

Josef Madersperger invented an early sewing machine that attempting to mimic the action of the human hand. [Read more...]

Ronald Walter’s Marble Machine [Beautiful Machines]


Not all beautiful machines need to be useful. Ronald Walter describes his wooden Rube Goldberg machine as “an awkward, overly complicated mechanism for the sole purpose of entertainment and to make noise in the process.” Click the link to see details of his work.       [Read more...]

240-Year-Old Automaton [Beautiful Machines]


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