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Featuring: Dean’s New Book of Dissolving Views

Featuring a title from the Libraries' pop-up book collection and current exhibition, Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn.

Dean & Son, an innovative British publisher of children’s books from the 1840s-1880s, used lithography processes to illustrate large numbers of novelty and toy books with movable parts. In the 1860s, they were instrumental in inventing the pull-tab mechanism that when activated would move figures on the surface of the page. Dean called these pull tabs images “living pictures”.  In Dean’s New Book of Dissolving Views, the scene changes on the page surface as a venetian blind slat mechanism moves into place as the tab is activated. This novelty book illustrates themes of contrast. In pulling the tab, an image of war is transformed into a serene pastoral scene representing peace, and images of air change into pictures of earth.

Stephen Van Dyk

Dean’s New Book of Dissolving Views. London: Dean & Son, 1860.

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