248. Olivia C. Thomas, “Through the Looking Glass: The Curious World of Perspective Prints and Zograscopes in Early America,” Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2016), 2-14, 9 illus.
Olivia C. Thomas delves into the parlor amusement known as vues d’optique. Estate inventories and the provenance of surviving viewing devices link this phenomenon to cultivated households interested in science and education. Perspective views were imported from Europe, and although many of the subjects are events related to the American Revolution the representations of urban architecture are fabrications and details of the events are inaccurate. By serendipity, just before going to press, I discovered an article by Christopher Pierce in the Spring 2007 issue of Imprint that contains a detailed discussion of vues d’optique of New York. Titled “Practice peeping! New Notes and Comments on the Collection des prospects of New York City,” it tackles the tangled issue of sources, authorship, and publication history. Pierce’s article is a good companion to Thomas’s examination of the vues as items of domestic material culture.
249. David Bosse, ‘The Earliest Printed Maps of Springfield, Massachusetts,” Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2016), 15-25, 9 illus.
David Bosse, librarian and curator of maps at Historic Deerfield, writes about the early practice of mapmaking in Springfield, how it was tied to surveys ordered by the town selectmen, and later responded to state mandates. Requiring accuracy and elegance of execution on a large scale, mapmaking was a demanding undertaking and financial remuneration was uncertain.
250. James M. Goode, “Ephemera in the Albert H. Small Collection of Washingtoniana,” Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2016), 26-40, 14 illus.
James M. Goode, curator of the Albert H. Small Collection of Washingtoniana at the George Washington University Museum, has selected a dozen items from the collection that take the reader on a tour of nineteenth-century print media. Exploring themes of real estate development, transportation, tourism, and the Civil War. All the items illustrated and discussed are linked to the history of Washington, DC.