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A commenter on last Friday’s post about wood samples shaped like books pointed me to this considerably classier and older version of the same idea. As he put it, “these books are about the trees and not just the wood.”

The collection, housed at the University of Padua’s Center for the Study of the Alpine Environment, was manufactured in the 19th century or before. Each specimen consists of a 7.5x5x1.5-inch book-shaped box, executed in the wood of the subject tree, which opens to display samples of that tree’s seedling, leaves, flowers, seeds, fine roots, sawdust, charcoal, and ash. The spines are bound with samples of the tree’s bark, and of course everything is labeled. [Thanks, loondawg!]

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Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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