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Kentucky Illustrated brings together a substantial portion of the pictorial scenes published during Kentucky's first century, many of them rare prints reproduced here for the first time since their original publication. From the frontier days of Daniel and Squire Boone to the rise of the railroads that opened the state to visitors who toured its landmarks and bathed in its springs, more than two hundred views offer a picture of Kentucky's growth and civilization.
Until the 1890s, Kentucky was sketched in the words of adventurers, travelers, and journalists, but all most Americans knew of the face of Kentucky was the occasional engraving that appeared in popular publications such as Harper's Weekly and Scribner's Monthly. The camera was not widely used and photographs could not yet be reproduced for mass distribution, so each illustration was captured by an artist and translated by an engraver before it reached the imagination of the viewer.
Readers will enjoy chapters on the frontier, the Civil War, education and religion, urban and rural life, making a living, the natural world, and roads, rivers, and rails. State historian James C. Klotter provides an overview of Kentucky history that enhances the illustrations, and Joe Nickell's description of early print methods allows readers to appreciate fully the art form as it was practiced in the nineteenth century. Captions include both historical background and information on artists, lithographers, and printers. This handsome collection of rare early views will delight all Kentuckians as well as historians, teachers, librarians, and students.
Martin F. Schmidt has been a librarian at the Louisville Free Public Library, and librarian and director at the Filson Club.
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Kentucky, Kentucky history, Wood engravings
United States History
Schmidt, Martin F., "Kentucky Illustrated: The First Hundred Years" (1992). United States History. 88.