This Folio Life: The Folio Diary

One of the most anticipated publications of our year is undoubtedly the Folio Diary. The themes have ranged from Monsters to the Sea, and it is always one of the most enjoyable of books to research. For the past few years non-fiction editor, Mandy Kirkby, has led the picture research and this year’s theme is promising to be particularly enjoyable: Inventions. I asked her for her perspective on the project:

‘The diary is my number one favourite spring project, and the best bit is making the final selection, laying out all the pictures and choosing which ones make the cut. We’ve been amazed by some of the modern images from the science libraries and the way a good photograph can make science fascinating and beautiful. We’ve also been somewhat overwhelmed by the varieties of flying machines (did people ever stop thinking about how to fly?), but nothing was quite as much fun as choosing which Heath Robinson invention to include. How on earth do you choose between the Patent Thawing Machine, the Folding Garden, the worryingly dangerous Ingenious Device for Getting Up in Good Time in the Morning or the Magnetic Figure Preserver for the Middle-Aged?’

Here are a couple which have already found their way into the selection, ready for your Christmas Folio post:

X-ray of the bones of a hand with a ring on one finger

Wilhelm Roentgen was the first person to discover the possibility of using electromagnetic radiation to create what we now know as the X-ray. The image above, the first Röntgen created using a human subject, is of his wife’s hand. Photoprint from radiograph by W. K. von Röntgen, 1895. (Wellcome Library, London)


Magnetism illustrated

Magnetism illustrated. Coloured lithograph by John Emslie, 1850. (Wellcome Library, London)

Tom Walker
Editorial Director, 29 March 2016

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