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The Laboratory and the Fairground

Posted by Laura Ashby on August 1st, 2007

I’ve just been very struck by this:“In Evenings at the Microscope he [Gosse] wrote: ‘like the work of some mighty genie of Oriental fable, the brazen tube is the key that unlocks a world of wonder and beauty before invisible, which one who has once gazed upon it can never forget’. This was the language of the laboratory leaning on the language of the fairground.”

Marina Benjamin, ‘Sliding Scales: Microphotography and the Victorian Obsession with the Minuscule’, in Francis Spufford and Jenny Uglow (eds), Cultural Babbage: Technology, Time and Invention, London: Faber and Faber, 1997, pp. 99–122.

quoting

Philip Henry Gosse, ‘Evenings at the Microscope’ London: SPCK, 1877.

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