Science Art: “Planetensystem”, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 1885.

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This is the place where we live – our celestial family – as seen by the educated reader in the Age of Steam. (Then, as now, Pluto didn’t make the planetary cut.) The Meyers Konversations-Lexikon was one of the world’s greatest collections of information, once it was completed. It took the better part of 12 years to get the whole thing written and published.

Today, we just have Wikipedia. It self-assembles in days – although the entries keep changing. Meyer’s books seem wonderfully solid. You can see a lot (a lot) more of their gorgeous illustrations on the Wikimedia Commons.