I love old books, especially old woodworking-related books. I have a collection of them scattered around the house. I don’t necessarily read them all from cover to cover, but I enjoy pulling them down from time to time and thumbing through them. I enjoy seeing the projects and techniques from the early 1900s through the 1960s. I especially like the artwork in old books. The old engravings and inked artwork. (That’s one reason I also enjoy looking at old patent drawings. Yes, I have a problem.)
I was thrilled when I found out some time ago that Joel Moskowitz, owner of Tools for Working Wood, was fortunate enough to get his hands on some bound volumes of WORK magazine. Originally published in London in the late 1880s and 1890s, it’s “An Illustrated Magazine for all Workmen, Professional and Amateur.” It cost 1 penny. Joel set up a blog to host scanned PDF documents of the issues. He posts a new issue every week. From Joel’s blog:
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
I download every issue.
What I like about the magazine is that you’ll find articles on a broad range of topics from woodworking to metallurgy to chemistry, carving, and bricklaying. It’s just plain fun to read. And educational.