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The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium

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The mysterious world beneath the ocean's surface has captivated man for centuriesthe Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and ancient Chinese all kept fish in their homes for purposes other than the culinary. But it was not until the nineteenth-century invention of the aquarium that the deep was trulydomesticated, offering the curiously inclined a chance to invent their very own exo The mysterious world beneath the ocean's surface has captivated man for centuriesthe Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and ancient Chinese all kept fish in their homes for purposes other than the culinary. But it was not until the nineteenth-century invention of the aquarium that the deep was trulydomesticated, offering the curiously inclined a chance to invent their very own exotic sea world within their own walls. In this fascinating history of the aquarium, Bernd Brunner traces the development of this most wonderful invention, giving insight into the cultural and social circumstances that accompanied its swift rise in popularity. Brunner tells a compelling story of obsession, beauty, discovery, and delight, from the aquarium's humble origins as a tool for scientific observation to the Victorian era's elaborately decorated containers of oceanic curiosity, to the great public aquaria of the twentieth century.


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The mysterious world beneath the ocean's surface has captivated man for centuriesthe Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and ancient Chinese all kept fish in their homes for purposes other than the culinary. But it was not until the nineteenth-century invention of the aquarium that the deep was trulydomesticated, offering the curiously inclined a chance to invent their very own exo The mysterious world beneath the ocean's surface has captivated man for centuriesthe Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and ancient Chinese all kept fish in their homes for purposes other than the culinary. But it was not until the nineteenth-century invention of the aquarium that the deep was trulydomesticated, offering the curiously inclined a chance to invent their very own exotic sea world within their own walls. In this fascinating history of the aquarium, Bernd Brunner traces the development of this most wonderful invention, giving insight into the cultural and social circumstances that accompanied its swift rise in popularity. Brunner tells a compelling story of obsession, beauty, discovery, and delight, from the aquarium's humble origins as a tool for scientific observation to the Victorian era's elaborately decorated containers of oceanic curiosity, to the great public aquaria of the twentieth century.

55 review for The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Horton

    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 histo 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.

  2. 4 out of 5

    John

    This short book gives a fascinating overview of the history of the modern aquarium, focusing primarily on its Victorian era origins and early days, with numerous illustrations. Admittedly the book is more likely to be of interest to aquarium hobbyists or enthusiasts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vivian Blaxell

    So light and clever but I wanted just a little more political meat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daphne

    This was a wonderful history of the aquarium. Well researched with tons of interesting little tidbits from the Victorian period and beyond. Such a great reading find. :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rosner

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    Alexander Mills

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fran Ferret

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    Jessica Holloway

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    Samantha

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ezzy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eva Jack

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Kocak

  15. 5 out of 5

    Biba

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    Eva Pishalski

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    Neelybat

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    Don Albrecht

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    Fawn

  23. 4 out of 5

    Booktrader

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

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    John B. Morgan

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    Melissa

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    Leilani Williams

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    Uthman Omotola

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    Bree Mclaren

  50. 4 out of 5

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  51. 5 out of 5

    Wampus Reynolds

  52. 5 out of 5

    Margaret H

  53. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  54. 4 out of 5

    Cassia Scarborough

  55. 4 out of 5

    Sara_littlelegs

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