ruban

4

The Encyclopédie compiled in France in the 1750s and 1760s was an attempt to capture all of the world’s knowledge. Thousands of plates like these show 18th-century trade and tech in incredible detail, including the workplaces of laborers and craftspeople to the tools and machinery of their trade.

10 volumes of prints created for the Encyclopédie have been recently digitized from the Getty Research Institute’s library collection, and you can flip through them here.

A few examples: Soierie (silk factory), Passementerie (the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings), Bouchonnier (cork making, with step-by-step disembodied hands), Métier à faire le Ruban (tools for making ribbon).