In the new issue of Cabinet Magazine, Joshua Foer, secretary of the Athanasius Kircher Society, presents a short history of miniature writing. From the article:
Robert Hooke titles his revolutionary book on the microscope Micrographia, literally, “small writing.” The second set of objects he looks at under his microscope, after first examining the points of sharp needles, is “certain pieces of exceeding curious writing,” including the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and a dozen verses of the Bible hand-written in an area smaller than a two-pence piece. Hooke’s microscope enables him to discover that, when magnified, the miniature writing consists of “pitifull bungling scribbles and scrawls” that are “for the most part legible enough, though in some places there wanted a good fantsy well preposest to help one through.” Hooke concludes: “If this manner of small writing were made easie and practicable … it might be of very good use to convey secret Intelligence without any danger of Discovery or mistrusting.”
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.