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This present Notebook is part of a bibliography of "ornamental" or complex turning. Hulot actually considers only plain or simple turning. But his work is of sufficient interest to be included (and there are few enough works on turning in the 18th century in any case). If the name "Hulot" sounds familiar to you, you've either been watching the films of Jacques Tati (which have nothing to do with this Hulot) or episodes of Roy Underhill's Woodwright's Shop (which do - Underhill has done much to publicize a particularly clever treadle lathe described in Hulot).

The origins of Hulot's work on turning are very complicated. Although the book stands on its own as a technical work, it was a part of a vast and ultimately incomplete project which spanned a century. The short (but therefore slightly misleading) explanation is that it was a part of the project begun in the late 17th century by/for the Académie Royale which ultimately saw incomplete publication in many volumes as the Descriptions des Arts et Métiers. This project, which predated and was separate from Diderot and d'Alambert's Encyclopédie, is perhaps best known today for the volumes written for it by André Jacob Roubo describing L'Art du Menusier ("The Art of the [wood] Joiner"). Interestingly, Hulot's book was available for sale at Roubo's establishment.

The Descriptions des Arts et Métiers, with its exceedingly complex history, is an outstanding resource which is too little known today. I first encountered it in my research as a typefounder (the project began with research on type-making, but this was never published). So the most complete description in my CircuitousRoot Notebooks of the origins and history of this project is a Notebook on The Académie Royale (1690s) / (Jaugeon / The Bignon Committee) which discusses this work on typefounding. The only comprehensive study of the history of the Descriptions remains the now half-century old article by Arthur Harrison Cole and George Byron Watts, "The Handicrafts of France: As Recorded in the Descriptions des Arts et Métiers, 1761-1788." This appeared originally as Publication No. 8 of the Kress Library of Business and Economics at Harvard (Cambridge, MA: Baker Library, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, 1952). It is now available as a print-on-demand reprint.

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Hulot. L'Art du tourneur mécanicien (1775, Gallica)

Hulot, père. L'art du tourneur mécanicien Paris: chez Roubo, 1775.

While the title page says that this is the "premiere partie" (suggesting additional volumes), in fact only this part 1 was published.

This volume as been digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and is available via their Gallica digital library. The icon here links to the presentation of this book at Gallica ( Here is a local copy of the PDF version: hulot-1775-l-art-du-tourneur-mecanicien-part-1-gallica-bpt6k1055889m.pdf

Hulot's L'art du tourneur mécanicien has also been scanned by Google at least twice (from the Lyon Public Library copy (Google ID: zAXD3G8aRVIC) and the Austrian National Library copy (Google ID: RABYAAAAcAAJ). However, as is their practice, in each case Google decided not to fold out the plates. So portions of various important plates are missing in these versions. This renders them nearly useless.