A Recipe Book

The inscription on the first page reads, “Fred Dixon, Lawrence, Mass, 1889″. The pages are yellow and crispy, the binding is cracked and some of the little samples of dyed wool are missing or almost detached. It was Fred’s color recipe book. Sort of a 19th century personal pantone book. It is a book of recipes for the dyes that were used to color the wool produced in the local mills.

Its a fascinating glimpse into the past. One technician’s personal notebook containing handwritten recipes, alongside samples of dyed wool, carefully folded and glued to the pages.

I asked the owners if I could photograph the book. They agreed. I was thrilled. I spent two hours with a macro lens, shooting the book up-close and personal.

Two hours. One book. Many images.

All of the images were shot with a borrowed Macro Lens (thank you Mike Tully) and several are quite abstract in nature. I wanted to open the series with this one. It is a good depiction of the content of the book.  More to come. And more New York images as well.

Comments 20

  1. Chris Nitz

    Man, this is such a cool subject. I’m glad you were allowed to shoot this, and those little bows indicating the dye color is a great touch on this book. Looking forward to what else you got from this wonderful item.

  2. Richard (oldhickory49)

    Wow Bob, this is fascinating. I’m always riveted by old photos. I always feel I’ve entered a time machine. Looking at this, you can imagine the guy sitting there with his quill pen and carefully folding and tying those little strings. Fascinating and a really good composition too. Well done!

  3. Chris Robins

    i work in color everyday. we use pantone, toyo, and now many online color management tools. i love the ‘old-school’ way/tradition used to get us to where we are today juxtaposed with modernity. this is not only a superb photo, but, i venture to say one that the book with the writing would be very sought after. the hand-written notes of the inputs to get the color are outstanding.

  4. Chris Robins

    i work in color everyday. we use pantone, toyo, and now many online color management tools. i love the ‘old-school’ way/tradition used to get us to where we are today juxtaposed with modernity. this is not only a superb photo, but, i venture to say one that the book with the writing would be very sought after. the hand-written notes of the inputs to get the color are outstanding.

  5. Mark Blundell

    nicely taken, great colour and superb DoF – very good work indeed.
    An amazing find and very interesting book I’m sure and a glimpse into the history of colour mixology.

  6. Post
    Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *