The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries held so much promise for America. The country was full of optimism, and people felt like anything was possible. The patent drawings of the era are fascinating, both because they’re often quite beautiful, but also because you can almost feel the excitement of the inventors in the lines—”Look at this! I’m making things better!”

The details of the patent drawings are exquisite, and translate well to letterpress in my interpretation of them. These matted, 5×7 prints should really be seen in person to be fully appreciated.