Principia Xylographica: the scientific woodcut and the discovery of blocks for Newton’s Principia Mathematica

Before the lecture the Society's Gold Medal will be presented to Professor James Mosley.

ROGER GASKELL: Principia Xylographica: the scientific woodcut and the discovery of blocks for Newton’s Principia Mathematica.

This paper will trace the essential role of the woodcut in the history of scientific communica tion from 1472 to 1770 and will discuss the significance of the continued use of woodcut for diagrams after figurative work became dominated by engrav ing after about 1600. The study of a group of diagram blocks in Trinity Col lege, Cambridge, shows how blocks were cut, corrected, repaired and re-used. Originally identified as blocks for Roger Cotes’ Harmonia mensurarum, 1722, new research has resulted in the discovery among them of blocks cut for the 1713 Cambridge edition of Newton’s Principia, edited and seen through the press by Cotes.

Dates: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 17:00
Location: 
Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE