August 01, 2009

Kalman Can Do

There has been a continuing series of wonderful web-based graphic essays by Maira Kalman created for the New York Times, most recently on American subjects like Thomas Jefferson (Time Wastes Too Fast), The Supreme Court (May It Please The Court), Abraham Lincoln (In Love With A. Lincoln), and the American Town Hall Meeting (So Moved). Kalman works in a unique style mixing handwritten text with photos or found images and her uniquely simple, highly personal paintings. Eclectic but coherent, I find these a great mix of graphics/text, all present to serve the content.

This past week came her best essay yet, in my opinion - Can Do, initially about Benjamin Franklin, but eventually becoming more a general essay on invention in America with, hidden inside, that simple but powerful message - Go Invent Something. Good advice in these challenging times.

Interesting that she includes patent pages within the essay. Last April, I started looking at stained glass patents in Google Patents, culminating with my blogpost on steel wheel glass cutters. I'm working on a few more "Google Patent" posts, including ones on Belcher Mosaic patents (and all the wacky variants through the years) and the dueling patents of Tiffany v. LaFarge.

This is one example of a very significant stained glass related patent (albeit with a rather boring looking patent image) -
Joining Glass Mosaics, by Sanford Bray, Boston, 1886


This is the original patent for the copper foil method of construction.
Without this invention, there would be no Tiffany Lamps, and no Judith Schaechter panels, and no... well, about 60% of my own work.

So -

Thank You for your inventiveness, Sanford Bray, whoever you are.

Posted by Tom at August 1, 2009 10:49 AM