Study of a Fish Skeleton by Cole, 1761
Study of a Fish Skeleton by Benjamin Cole, 1761.
This engraving was published in the March issue of The Gentleman's Magazine which had been created thirty years earlier, in 1731, by Edward Cave (1691-1754). It was the first monthly periodical to include a wide variety of topics and make use of the term magazine. As it developed, Cave began to include reports regarding advances in science, known as natural philosophy at the time. He employed some of the best writers of the day, most notably Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), and he also contributed to it himself under the pen name Sylvanus Urban. The Gentleman's Magazine became the most influential and imitated periodical of its time and it remained in publication until 1922.
Benjamin Cole (1695-1766) was an industrious and highly skilled man. In addition to being an engraver, he was an instrument maker, surveyor, and mapmaker. Cole lived in Oxford and became connected to the Freemasons. He became the official engraver to the Grand Lodge in 1743. From storybooks to military drills, his work could be found in a wide range of publications. Today many of his instruments can be seen in British museums.
- Naomi Bean