Philobiblon: A touch of Orientalism

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A touch of Orientalism

india, originally uploaded by natalieben.

I blogged a few days ago about the postcards I am buying as presents (for several people now; if you have a good idea why not use it more than once.)

Above is one of the results, a lovely little piece of Orientalism produced by "The Phototype Company Bombay", labelled "wood cutters",
and posted from India in 1915 to Miss F. Birch, 6 Rockingham Parade, Uxbridge, Middlesex.

Part of the discussion that arose around my last post was how such cards were used as a cheap form of communication for prosaic matters, and this one certainly lives up to the billing.

It reads:
Dear Flo, Have run out of PCs. [presumably postcards] Will send them as usual next week when I shall have obtained a fresh supply. Love to all, Perle (?).

You'd reckon the recipient would be a bit disappointed with that, although perhaps they really just wanted the picture.

The other thing that leaves me wondering is the shape of the saw. I've used a (straight) cross-cut saw, worked by two people, which is a very effective tool, but I can't understand why you would want to make it this shape. (Yes I do ponder some peculiar things.)


Blogger melinama said...

Looks to me like somebody is about to perform an auto-amputation.

3/23/2005 02:30:00 am  
Blogger Badaunt said...

Another bit of saw trivia: in Japan, the saw cuts as you pull, not as you push. (Does that make sense?) This seems terribly non-intuitive until you realize that there is no reason why NOT. It's just what you're used to.

3/23/2005 06:03:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

It does make sense - it depends which way the teeth are directed.
And thanks - when people say "what have you learnt from your blog?" I have an answer!
And I see what you mean melinama - it does look a bit vicious and hard to control.

3/23/2005 10:34:00 am  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Looks like one of those little rocking blades you can get for chopping herbs (google for Mincing Knife), only, erm, lots bigger. Yes, right, going away now....

Seriously this looks like something you would use on fallen wood, the way its pictured, or perhaps on a bundle of thinner pieces. Just sit there playing seesaw with it?

3/23/2005 11:13:00 am  

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