You are browsing the archive for Texts: Science.

Phenomena of Materialisation (1923)

- October 31, 2013 in Boston Public Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, eva carrière, hoax, Internet Archive, occult, seance, spiritualism, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Miscellaneous, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science, Underlying Work: PD US

Phenomena of Materialisation, a contribution to the investigation of mediumistic teleplastics, by Baron von Schrenck Notzing, translated by E. E. Fournier d’Albe; 1923; K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, E. P. Dutton in London, New York. English translation of Phenomena of Materialisation, a book by German physician and psychic researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing which focuses on a series of séances witnessed between the years 1909 and 1913 involving the French medium Eva Carrière, or Eva C. Born Marthe Béraud, Carrière changed her name in 1909 to begin her career afresh after a series of seances she held in 1905 were exposed as a fraud. Her psychic performances as Eva C gained the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, who believed she was genuine, and also Harry Houdini, who was not so convinced. Another researcher who became interested in her case was Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. A series of tests he devised between the years 1909 and 1913 convinced him that Eva C was the real deal and in 1913 he published his Phenomena of Materialisation detailing the sessions and the reasons for his belief. It has been noted that these sessions with Schrenck-Notzing verged on the […]

Magic: stage illusions and scientific diversions, including trick photography (1897)

- April 17, 2013 in collections, illusion, magic, magician, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

Magic: stage illusions and scientific diversions, including trick photography, compiled and edited by Albert A. Hopkins, with an introduction by Henry Ridgely Evans; 1897; Low, London. A massive late 19th century book on magic and stage illusions including a section on trick photography. The book includes more than 400 (mostly) magnificently surreal illustrations and explanatory diagrams, a select few of which you can see over in our post in the Images collection. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the California Digital Library. HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the [...]

The Hasheesh Eater (1857)

- April 9, 2013 in collections, drugs, fitz hugh ludlow, hallucination, hasheesh, marijuana, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

The Hasheesh Eater: being passages from the life of a Pythagorean, by Fitz Hugh Ludlow; 1857; Harper & Bros., New York. The Hasheesh Eater: being passages from the life of a Pythagorean is an autobiographical book by the American novelist and journalist Fitz Hugh Ludlow in which he describes his altered states of consciousness and philosophical flights of fancy while using a cannabis extract. Many pages are given over to detailed and elaborate descriptions of the visions he underwent after ingesting the drug. He also curiously talks of the perils of severe addiction although such a thing is not normally associated with cannabis use (some put this down to an overactive wish to align himself with his hero Thomas De Quincey and his experience with opium). The book was very popular on its publication in 1857 and led to great interest in the drug it described. Not long after its publication, the Gunjah Wallah Co. in New York began advertising “Hasheesh Candy”: The Arabian “Gunjh” of Enchantment confectionized. — A most pleasurable and harmless stimulant. — Cures Nervousness, Weakness, Melancholy, &c. Inspires all classes with new life and energy. A complete mental and physical invigorator. Cult figure Terence McKenna would [...]

Vaught’s Practical Character Reader (1902)

- March 19, 2013 in character, collections, phrenology, pseudo-science, psychology, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

Vaught’s Practical Character Reader, by L. A. Vaught; 1902; L. A. Vaught, Chicago. A book on phrenology by L. A. Vaught published in 1902, jam-packed with strange theory and a whole host of strange illustrations. As he confidently states in his Preface: The purpose of this book is to acquaint all with the elements of human nature and enable them to read these elements in all men, women and children in all countries. At least fifty thousand careful examinations have been made to prove the truthfulness of the nature and location of these elements. More than a million observations have been made to confirm the examinations. Therefore, it is given the world to be depended upon. Taken in its entirety it is absolutely reliable. Its facts can be completely demonstrated by all who will take the unprejudiced pains to do so. It is ready for use. It is practical. Use it. The theory that one can ascertain a person’s character by the shape of their features is disturbing to say the least. You can see a selection of the book’s images over in our post in the Images collection. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the [...]

On the Writing of the Insane (1870)

- March 12, 2013 in calligraphy, collections, insane asylum, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science, writing

On the Writing of the Insane, with illustrations, by G. Mackenzie Bacon, M.D.; 1870; John Churchill and Sons, London. A book of observations on the peculiarities of writing styles as shown by asylum patients. G. Mackenzie Bacon was a medical superintendant at Cambridgshire County Asylum (now Fulbourn Hospital) located near Cambridge, England. As well as the fascinating images, the book also gives a series of transcribed excerpts. See also our images post “The Diagrammatic Writings of an Asylum Patient” which shows two of the most striking images from the book. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine via the Medical Heritage Library. Hat-tip to Pinterest user Marisela Norte. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most [...]

Endless Amusement (1820)

- February 19, 2013 in acoustics, arithmetic, card tricks, chemistry, collections, electricity, experiments, fireworks, hydraulics, hydrostatics, juvenile, magnetism, mechanics, optics, pyrotechnics, Science, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Childrens, Texts: Miscellaneous, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science, tricks

Endless Amusement, a collection of nearly 400 entertaining experiments in various branches of science, including acoustics, arithmetic, chemistry, electricity, hydraulics, hydrostatics, magnetism, mechanics, optics, wonders of the air pump, all the popular tricks and changes of the cards, &c., &c., &c.; 1820; Thorp and Burch, and Thomas Boys, London. As it states on the title page, a collection of “nearly 400 entertaining experiments in various branches of science, including acoustics, arithmetic, chemistry, electricity, hydraulics, hydrostatics, magnetism, mechanics, optics, wonders of the air pump, all the popular tricks and changes of the cards, &c., &c., &c. : to which is added, A complete system of pyrotechny, or, The art of making fireworks: the whole so clearly explained, as to be within the reach of the most limited capacity”. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the California Digital Library. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to [...]

Snowflakes: A chapter from the book of nature (1863)

- December 4, 2012 in collections, snow, snowflakes, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Picturebooks, Texts: Poetry, Texts: Science, winter

Snowflakes: a chapter from the book of nature; 1863; American tract society, Boston. A collection of poems, extracts, anecdotes and reflections on the theme of snow and the snowflake (most often in a religious direction). Interspersed amongst the texts are a series of beautiful plates showing the shapes and structure of the ice-crystal – you can see these also in a post in our Images collection. For some more snowflake related content have a look at Keith C. Heidorn’s article on Wilson Bentley, “The Snowflake Man of Vermont” The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the California Digital Library. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Scientific Amusements (1890)

- November 26, 2012 in collections, experiments, Science, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

Scientific Amusements, translated from the French of Gaston Tissandier. By Henry Frith ; fully illustrated; 1890; Ward, Lock & co., in London, New York. Harry Houdini’s copy of Scientific Amusements left by his estate to the Library of Congress in 1927. From the Preface: Young people of both sexes, and persons of all ages who have leisure and a taste for that which is ingenious as well as instructive and amusing, may be commended to this remarkably interesting collection of experiments, nearly all of which can be readily performed by an unskilled person who will carefully follow out the directions given. It is surprising how near we are to the most fundamental principles of science when we perform some of the simplest operations. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, donated by Cornell University Library. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Scientific Amusements (1890)

- November 26, 2012 in collections, experiments, Science, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

Scientific Amusements, translated from the French of Gaston Tissandier. By Henry Frith ; fully illustrated; 1890; Ward, Lock & co., in London, New York. Harry Houdini’s copy of Scientific Amusements left by his estate to the Library of Congress in 1927. From the Preface: Young people of both sexes, and persons of all ages who have leisure and a taste for that which is ingenious as well as instructive and amusing, may be commended to this remarkably interesting collection of experiments, nearly all of which can be readily performed by an unskilled person who will carefully follow out the directions given. It is surprising how near we are to the most fundamental principles of science when we perform some of the simplest operations. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, donated by Cornell University Library. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

A Description of the Brain of Mr. Charles Babbage (1909)

- November 12, 2012 in anatomy, brain, charles babbage, collections, computers, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

“Description of the Brain of Mr. Charles Babbage, F.R.S”, by V. Horsley in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character (1896-1934); 1909; Royal Society of London. Charles Babbage, (1791–1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered the “father of the computer”, Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs. Babbage himself decided that he wanted his brain to be donated to science upon his death. In a letter accompanying the donation, his son Henry wrote: I have no objection…to the idea of preserving the brain…Please therefore do what you consider best…[T]he brain should be known as his, and disposed of in any manner which you consider most conducive to the advancement of human knowledge and the good of the human race. Half of Babbage’s brain is preserved at the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the other half is on display in the Science Museum in London. See images of Babbage’s brain taken from the last pages of the report here in our Images collection. The book is [...]