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Vintage Infodesign [119]

A visual journey into the past of information design

May 25, 2015

To dedicate the opening pick of this column to a GIF animation might sound strange – after all, this is the place here on Visualoop where you usually find static images of ancient maps and old graphics and charts, all from way before the digital age.

But thanks to Rebecca Onion, who runs Slate’s The Vault, we are happy to go along and share with you this animated tour through the skull and brain as German physician Georg Bartisch published in 1583. His book Ophthalmodouleia, That is the Service of the Eye, includes 91 wood cuts illustrating then-current principles of ophthamology, and the Duke University Library’s Tumblr recently featured this GIF made from one of those wood cuts.

This is not the first time, however, we featured GIF animations of vintage medical illustrations. Back in 2013, in this same column, we shared these vintage anatomical charts of the male and female body as animated GIFs, originally seen over at Maria Popova‘s Brain Pickings. Hopefully, these aren’t the only ones, so feel free to share with us other animated versions of vintage illustrations that you might come across.

Here are the all picks of the week:

Brain and Skull (1583) | George Bartisch

Brain surgery


Key West, Florida. Cayo Hueso. (1940) | Arthur B. Suchy

(image: Arthur B. Suchy)


Profile of a fire boat (c1692) | Chez Landry

(image: Chez Landry)


A Plan of the Solar System (1835) | Elijah H. Burritt

(image: Elijah H. Burritt)


Air traffic control: a job before CAA (1943) | Fortune magazine

(image: Fortune magazine)


Government land grants (1880) | US General Land Office

(image: US General Land Office)


The siege of Zutphen in 1591 by Prince Maurice (1601) | Bartholomeus Willemsz

(image: Bartholomeus Willemsz)


South America (1851) | John Tallis

(image: John Tallis)


A Hysterical Map of the Grand Canyon National Park (1940) | Lindgren Brothers

(image: Lindgren Brothers)


Biology of C.S.C. (1944) | Herbert Bayer

(image: Herbert Bayer)


The Sun (1855) | Smith’s Illustrated astronomy

(imagem: Smith’s Illustrated astronomy)


Cuba’s vegetation (1949) | Gerardo Canet, Erwin Raisz

(imagem: Gerardo Canet, Erwin Raisz)



That’s it for today’s round up! We’ll be back next week with another selection, but until then, enjoy our Pinterest board, just with old maps and infographics.

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.