Monday, January 23, 2012

PROJECT: Orville Wright's Diary

COVER: Cardboard

This is Orville Wright's Diary. The diary that he documented the famous, first flight and most of the days leading up to it.

When I ran across it for another project I was interested in its odd dimensions and decided to dig into how it was made.

This style of journal or notebook was an odd-sized because they were designed to fit into the breast pocket of a jacket. Occasionally referred to as a 'Jacket Journal' or 'Pocket Diary' the pages were either lined or graph.

I picked this image of Orville's diary from a wiki page and started counting squares to get an idea of how big it would have been.

Since graph paper usually comes either four squares to the inch or five, I calculated the dimensions based on the larger of the two. On my best guess, the journal is 3.5 inches wide and eight inches long. I would guess that the cover was some form of card stock or thick paper cover. I couldn't find a good picture of the cover but I'm sure there's probably more photographs out there with the Smithsonian.

Based on a closer examination of the spine - the pages are stitched together but it's probably stitched in a block (like a composition notebook) rather than in gathers or choirs.

The pages have been rounded so that they don't get damaged while constantly being stuffed into a jacket pocket.

The pages number up to 58 as far as I've seen. There could be thirty pages (doubled to make 60) or fifty pages (doubled to 100) but it's not certain. Fifty pages would create a journal that's around a quarter inch thick (without covers).

The journal would seem to be a perfect design to capture the notes of the day or whatever important lists that one might have.

I should probably try and make one.