Referencing Recent History: A Folded Record Medium
November 11, 2014
Anne in Australia left me a comment that she and her group we able to construct the Envelope Number Line that I described in my two previous posts, but, in her words, ” our group of 4 found it difficult to fold it into a book which was predominantly our aim.” I responded to her comment by emphasizing that if they were careful about making sure that the title page stayed visible during the back and forth folding process, that things should go well.
But that’s not the whole story. A tricky part of this structure is how it opens back up after having been folded into a square.
I first came across the bones of this structure decades ago in the NYC Patent Library. The drawings here come from this patent, # 4,856,818, It’s title is Folded Record Medium and a Blank for a Record Medium, Inventors: Horst Rabenecker and Jurgen Kruger. While my variation of this form deviates from the original in both intent and construction, one of the most interesting characteristics of this book remain, which is that it opens from the left, from the right, from the top and from the bottom, each time revealing a different sequence of pages. Using my directions for a Number Line book doesn’t rely on this novel way of manipulating the pages, so I didn’t pause to emphasize this atypical page turning: I’m thinking that this is what may have stymied Anne’s group.
Once this structure is folded up into a square it can easily be unfolded into its completely long, wavy state, but unfolding it page by page can seem like a challenge. Think about the simple accordion fold: although we generally open an accordion from one side, like a typical book, an accordion book can be opened with equal ease from both sides. Content can exist on the front and the back of the accordion and be equally accessed from a left side opening or a right side opening. The image below, a book by Lilli Carre, is a good example of an accordion that opens uses both sides of the accordion.
By the way, I found this image of Lilli Carre’s during a search for 2-sided accordion books. I was surprised by how few examples I could find of a book that showed images on both sides of the paper. Thank you, Lilli, for such a great example of an accordion that uses both the front and back.
The Folded Envelope Book that I describe in my two previous posts goes a whole step further than the accordion that opens from both the left and right, In addition opening form the left and right sides, it also opens from the top and bottom. The rub is that we’re just not used to a book that opens in four directions.
The way this structure opens is difficult to show in picture, and it’s not so easy to describe either. The Abstract of Rubenecker and Kruger’s patent begins like this: ” A folded record medium for two to four different, segmentally arranged information portions is configured so that the interrelated segments of the information portions are easily accessible in a meaningful arrangement.”
So there you have it. If you attempt this structure, which Anne noted was easy to make, be prepared for some conceptual challenges.
Anne sent me photos of her group working on this envelope-pockets structure!
What I noticed about this right off was that they utilized used/recycled envelopes as well as blank ones. I loved the character that this gave to their books: really personalized.
It looks like they discovered various ways of setting this book up to display content. I like how the pictures are at different heights here. It seems to invite me to pluck one picture to take home.
Fun and lovely! Thank you to Anne and her friends for sending these photos to me, half-way around the world.