Andrew's Reviews > The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium

The Ocean at Home by Bernd Brunner
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's review
May 16, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: ithinkthisiswhereiputstuffivefinish
Recommended for: Anybody who likes to read about the nascent days of technology we take for granted.
Read in May, 2007

I've been lusting after this book for the past year, but I felt it was overpriced at $20 for a slim little "gift book"-styled hardcover. It was finally remaindered, and I scooped it up for a few bucks.

I'm always amazed by the early days of technology that we take for granted or that's considered a no-brainer by modern standards, but which would have been near-impossible or quasi-magical a mere 100 years ago. See: computers, internal combustion, flight.

"The Ocean at Home" is essentially a history of aquariums, but with an emphasis on the very beginnings in the mid-1800's. It's full of amazing and mindbending little tidbits about how goldfish were transported across the atlantic, how gilded window-based home aquariums were first popularized in the Victorian era, and the very first public aquariums in the early 1900's. It's full of amazing little etchings of victorian aquariums and reprinted excerpts from the first aquarium mail-order catalogues and so on.

If you're one of those people that goes nuts for things like this, "the ocean at home" will pluck the strings of your steampunk heart.
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