Mathematical Instruments

Reimagining a classic 17th century treatise

In 1758, Edmund Stone published his second and final English translation of a 1709 treatise from French author and engineer Nicolas Bion titled The Construction and Principal Uses of Mathematical Instruments. This treatise—hailed as one of the most important books on scientific instruments of his time—covered a wide range of instruments such as sectors, squares, and compasses to land, water, and astronomical measurements.

This digital edition is a reimagining of Bion’s and Stone’s impressive work. Each of the nearly 500 figures from the 30 original engraved plates has been extracted and integrated into the text where they were indicated in the original copy for added clarity. References to key parts in the figures were also highlighted for ease of use. Two posters were also designed showcasing the complete collection of illustrated tools using themes that match those used on the digital edition.

This project was a self-imposed design exercise to reimagine an important scientific publication and make it more accessible to everyone.

Explore How it was made

Screenshots of home page in light and dark modes

Screenshot of an excerpt about calculating a distance

Screenshot of an excerpt about globes

Photo of a poster on a living room wall

Published September 18, 2022

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