Antique Scientific Illustrations of Shells

Free antique scientific illustration of shell variety from 18th century science catalogI used to live by the beach and almost always came back home with pockets full of colorful shells. I miss those days, so I decided to dig around the public domain for some really great shell illustrations to clean up and share.

There are beautiful scientific illustrations of shells hiding out in dusty science publications from the 18th and 19th century. With so many to choose from, I selected a few of my most favorite illustrations for this post. These shells were selected from a variety of publications and catalogs focused on natural history and conchology, which is the study of mollusk shells.

Scientific illustrations are some of the most versatile works in the public domain. They make great material for school projects, crafts, classroom visual aids, posters, educational websites, blogs, and books, but they’re also handy for crafting DIY greeting cards, decoupage, wall art, and many more creative projects.

Antique Summer: Vintage Illustrations of Fresh Strawberries

I’m officially obsessed with summer now. Since yesterday, I’ve been on a quest to find and edit classic vintage images for your summer projects. I’m really lucky that so many awesome turn-of-the-century gardening catalogs and magazines featured vibrant illustrations of strawberries on their covers! With that being said, I grabbed my favorite free imaging editing tool, Pixlr, and went to work. I was able to create more vintage strawberry clipart by simply cutting up and editing these old antique gardening publications.

Struck with inspiration, I was flooded with creative ideas that one could do with these images. They’re ideal for DIY invitations, greeting cards, thank you notes, printed fabric, Etsy, and decoupage for old furniture. For more creative ideas, check out these strawberry-inspired projects!

 

 

 

Antique Art Supplies and Vintage Color Charts

It’s almost summer! Time for pools, shorts, soft serve ice cream, and of course, creativity! Summer is the perfect time to finally start that novel, children’s book, animation, or video game.

One of my favorite things to do during summer is to paint outside with a simple canvas and easel. Feeling nostalgic, I went on what I thought would be an impossible hunt for free vintage illustrations of art supplies. But I lucked out and found this awesome antique art supply catalog from 1906 that’s packed with drawings of antique art pencils, inks, chalks, art sets, and vibrant color charts. I went through the catalog and picked out my favorites, then I brightened them up a bit with Pixlr.

Incorporate them into your next collage or find inspiration for hidden object video games, greeting cards for artists, Etsy products, and more!

Did You Know?

  • Pencil “lead” is actually graphite. The term originated from the Greek word, graphein, which means “to write!”
  • The actual origin of pencils themselves can be traced back to mid-1500s England. There, a large graphite deposit was discovered which lead to the creation of the pencil we commonly use today. Drawing pencils started to grow in popularity during the 17th century.
  • Many scholars believe that the first easels were actually used by ancient Egyptians!
  • One of the earliest known art supplies is the classic paintbrush. Anthropologists discovered proof of paint brush use in paleolithic caves in Europe.
  • Archaeologists revealed that oil paints were used in Afghanistan as far back as the 7th century!

 

Antique Scientific Illustrations of Early Electronic Medical Equipment

This is a free vintage scientific illustration of a medical galvanometerAn early fascination with antique scientific illustrations helped inspire me to get into digital curation and archiving. These historic illustrations offer us a fascinating look into how science and medicine were practiced and understood in the 19th century. So much has changed, and it’s exciting to look back at how far science and medicine has evolved since the mid-1800s.

These particular antique images represent the early electronic machines and equipment used in hospitals in the 1860s. Selected from a medical equipment catalog published in 1868, the following scientific illustrations feature an old fashioned galvanometer, single-coil medical instruments, compound magnetic instruments, and magneto-electric machines.

So what they heck are these?

Apparently Galvanometers were used to detect electrical currents. This machine featured a single-coil construction, and when an electric current passed through the coil, it would trigger the pointer to move. Doctors would also use compound magnetic instruments to treat conditions related to the nervous system too.

Today, these vintage medical illustrations reside in the public domain and can be used for a wide variety of creative projects. Add them to your blog, email newsletters, online history lessons, and social media posts, or create unique invitations, greeting cards, and other printed products.

 

Geektastic Gifts Featuring Scientific Medical Illustrations

 

Human Anatomy Skeletons by Leondardo da Vinci 20 Oz Large Ceramic Coffee Mug    Vintage 1800s Heart Retro Cardiac Anatomy Hearts Adult Apron   antique medical instruments greeting card

Vintage Images for Mothers Day: Antique Rose Illustrations in the Public Domain

This is a free antique image of blue lace and roses for Mothers DayRoses are a Mothers Day classic! For this post, I sifted through the Library of Congress online and stumbled upon some really great vintage images from the 19th century, and I used Pixlr to clean them up a bit. For a quick and easy Mothers Day card, just print one out and you’re good to go! I personally love the light teal lace image because it brings a textured look to a greeting card.

Try using these free antique images to create napkins, invitations, greeting cards, decor, and other printed products for Mothers Day, weddings, engagement parties, bridal showers, or vintage themed birthdays. For more creative inspiration, I scoured the internet to find some truly clever and creative tutorials for rose-themed Mothers Day crafting too.

Rose Inspired Mothers Day Crafts

Vintage Pretty Chic Floral Rose Garden Collage Throw Pillow

Vintage Rose Pillow

Easy DIY Paper Roses

Paper Bouquet for Mothers Day

Origami Mothers Day Rose

Tye-Dye Roses for Mothers Day

DIY Chocolate Roses for Mom

Rose Petal and Salt Dough Crafts

Mothers Day Rose Corsage

 

 

FREE Vintage William Heath Robinson Graphics In Color

William Heath Robinson is one of my favorite artists of the public domain. While searching for new material to curate, I stumbled upon of series of WWI illustrations he created through 1914 and 1918 called “Some Frightful War Pictures.”  These unique antique illustrations feature imaginative cannons, contraptions, battlefields, and more imaginative war imagery. I decided to create a small digital art project with them, and I used free tools such as Pixlr and LunaPic to create colorful “pop” versions of these illustrations for you to use.

Use these free William Heath Robinson graphics as blog images, material for collages, stickers, postcards, prints, and more!

 

Attribution to FreeVintageIllustrations.com is required for online use. See terms for more details. 

Beautiful Vintage Children’s Book Illustrations of Country Flowers

Happy Monday, Everyone! I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you this year. I miss Easter already, but the next awesome craft holiday on the horizon is Mothers Day, so I really wanted to curate a special collection of free illustrations, fun facts, craft tips, and gift ideas this year.

This is a free vintage illustration of country flowers and lilies from an antique public domain childrens book from 1857

Nothing says Mothers Day more than flowers, so I searched the public domain to find some hidden gems buried away in antique books and was stoked to find the illustrated children’s book, A little Girl’s Visit to a Country Garden.

Published in 1857, this mid-19th-century children’s story follows a young city girl as she travels through the countryside and visits a beautiful flower garden with her Mother. Along with its charming story, this public domain book is packed with vibrant multicolored flowers. I used Pixlr to brighten up the images more and really bring out those lush colors.

I used Pixlr to brighten up the images more and really bring out those lush colors. These vintage flower graphics would make ideal craft and digital material for Mothers Day DIY gifts, Pinterest marketing campaigns, e-greetings, newsletters, postcards, and more!

 

Vintage Floral Teacup Card for Mothers Day

Mothers Day Teacup of Flowers Greeting Card

There are so many lovely vintage style Mothers Day gifts online. This is a great way to avoid the madness of the mall and still send a beautiful and personalized gift to your Mother. I went on a search to find some really great flower-inspired Mothers Day gifts and found this charming vintage teacup greeting card!