Rational Recreations
Editorial Design

Rational Recreations: In which the Principles of Numbers and Natural Philosophy are Clearly and Copiously Elucidated, by a Series of Easy, Entertaining, Interesting Experiments is a book series written by William Hooper in the 1780s, with the purpose of teaching scientific knowledge through recreational experiments. I found the third volume of the series at the Providence Public Library’s Special Collections, which contains electrical and magnetic experiments. Inspired by the book structure having numerous plates of illustrations for elucidating experiments described in the book, I reinterpreted this object as ten pairs of plates titled Rational Recreations, which are to be played by viewers so that they can obtain basic knowledge about electricity and magnetism.

The experience for Rational Recreations follows this order: first, viewers are encouraged to combine the first 10 plates in the right order to find one complete image. Then they can find complete sentences by matching each plate to its corresponding partner and reading words seen through the holes on the plates. The front has diagrams about electricity and magnetism, and the back has a pattern made by illustrations that were drawn on the plates of the original book.