Friday, April 8, 2016

What I Found: Pressed Flowers

On Friday afternoons, I generally poke around the archives and the stacks. Today, I was searching for something specific, which I didn’t find, to my chagrin.

But I did find an early copy of the Dictionary of Chemicals, published in 1771.  IMG_0110IMG_0111

As I leafed through the book, something caught my eye, and so I flipped through, page by page, until I found it. IMG_0112

It was a petal, pressed between the pages. I tried to see if there was something specific on the page that would explain why the petal was there, but nothing caught my eye.

As I continued turning page, I found more and more petals, some making heart shapes on the pages. IMG_0113IMG_0114IMG_0118

I thought this was so enchanting, and wondered who had put the petals there, and why they were keeping them. IMG_0115IMG_0116IMG_0117

At the end of this volume, I found this wonderful table of chemical characters, IMG_0003

and this note to the book-binder.

I love discovering things like this.


  1. Hello Meg, It's odd that the petals were individually preserved, as opposed to entire flowers. I wonder whether there was any scientific reason for their preservation.

  2. Jim - I wonder if it's because the whole flower was too big to press... especially if it was a rose.