February 11, 2011

Retro Book Fair: 'Vision - How, Why, and What We See'

Hello, all! I know that it's been quite a while since I've written a legitimate post, so I thank you for your patience and loyalty. You know how life can be sometimes... It can really make it hard for us ADD afflicted to focus on ANYTHING, let alone a blog! But enough about that!

I'm excited to share with you a new (old) children's book that I recently got at a local used bookstore. The book is titled, 'Vision - How, Why and What We See' and it is one in a series of books called the 'Golden Library of Knowledge'. 'Vision' was printed in 1962, and I think the charming illustrations (by Weimer Pursell) depict that. Here, take a look at some of them, beginning with the book's cover...

I really dig this cover!
The combination of the colors used
and the stylization of the image make
it very pleasing to the "eye".

Outer organs of the eye serve a primarily
protective purpose.

The convergence of the telephone lines, the decreasing
size of the poles, and the haziness of the more distant
buildings help to create perspective.

Why does an apple look red? First of all, you are
probably looking at the apple in good light. If
you look at it in very dim light, the apple will
look black for the sight-receiving cells in the
retina that "see" color are the cones, and cones
are useless in dim light.

To see red, you must have good color-sensitive
cones. Many animals and some people have
cones which are able to see small details distinctly,
but cannot recognize some or all colors. They are
said to be color-blind.

White light entering a prism breaks
down into the colors of the spectrum,
as seen above. It is possible for an
inverted prism to recombine the
spectrum into white light again.

Color-blind people are unable to see
the red O and purple X, above.

Many birds have keener vision than we have.
The hunting birds - vultures, hawks, and
shrikes - can spot very small animals on the
ground hundreds of feet below them.

The Snellen Eye Chart, above, was
designed to aid all who train in
testing distance vision against an
accepted norm.

So did you have fun learning tidbits about vision in the Golden Library of Knowledge? I thought you might! Be sure to come back next time Retro Book Fair stops by the circus... I have a pretty good feeling even more vintage fun is in store! Meanwhile, have a wonderful weekend, everybody!!

~ All images taken from the book, 'Vision - How, Why, and What We See' by Janette Rainwater. Illustrated by Weimer Pursell. Published by Golden Press, New York. ~


  1. Retro Book Fair is not only cool, but a real treat into the past! Looking forward to more neat-o capeto books!!!

    Maria T. :-)

  2. That's a very pleasing close-up of the eye. Is the eyebrow an "outer organ?" (just kidding)
    And BTW, I can see the red O and the purple X, so I am NOT color blind! I didn't even cheat! Very cool post and I already love Retro Book Fair. :)

  3. Anthony, I laughed when I saw the colorblind test! I remember my grade school teacher saying it mostly affected boys and I felt so left out,cuz the test was cool and I wanted to take it! (Boys got all the cool stuff)


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