Hi, this is Swivelchair.

I work in the biopharma area. Not a scientist, not a journalist, mostly in the business aspects. I have a science and business background, and have been involved in a variety of biotechnology-related ventures.

My other blog is “Neurological Correlates – A Neuroscience Tabloid of Dysfunctional Behavior ” There is a nascent companion video site, Psychoanalyst.tv, too.

One of my hobbies is curating out-of-copyright scientific illustration, now that there are so many digital image databases on the web.

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First, the Disclaimer and waiver *sigh*: Vintage Printable can’t guarantee anything in life. If anyone wants an image removed, please send e mail. Also *sigh* no representations or warranties about anything to anyone, including that the images actually are public domain or otherwise have no restrictions on use, or warranties of merchantability or any other kind of warranty. Each user is fully responsible for their own use of these images and recognizes Vintage Printable is not responsible in any way for anything. Users understand that we believe the images are free to use, and are not carriers of some awful computer bug or some other terror that will crash the internets *Sigh*. Of course we can’t guarantee anything, or give any kind of legal, copyright or advice about your life in general, so if you are at all concerned, find your trusted adviser and ask them. Images we collect from public sources are tagged with meta information or other information for description, indexing and being picked up by the search engines. We may clean them up a little, and we certainly don’t claim any kind of rights in that at all.

If any one wants any image removed please send me an e mail with your reasons, and more than likely the image will be removed. Nothing here is to be considered a legal opinion, etc. You all know the drill. If you are going to sink big time money, or make life-altering decisions based on the images in this site or any other site,  one word: don’t.


Our position statement:

Public domain images by definition have no copyright restriction on use in the U.S.

Nevertheless, as with any new technology that eliminates the middle man, there are vested interests in the old way of making money. There are some entities that would like to take really old, out of copyright two- dimensional works, take a photo (albeit, a professional photo), and then claim: “Gotcha. New copyright, pay me. ”

Our own view is that this is wrong: the whole point of copyright law is that it only lasts for a period of time, not forever.  If copyright lasted forever, then there would be no dissemination of new ideas, because everyone would be frozen afraid to be sued — among a zillion other reasons. Plus copyright rewards creativity — not work. Mere duplication shouldn’t count as creativity. If copyright rewarded the amount of work, then a high-throughput scanner could be an author. Copyright rewards the tangible embodiment of creativity — even if you only wake up and do that creative thing in a fog for one second and then fall asleep or watch cute kitten videos all day long, as some at château Swivelchair are wont to do. You can be brilliantly creative and hardly work at all. This is what many people strive for and copyright protects that.

Think: would DaVinci be thrilled with the British libraries and other places that claim: “Gotcha! All the world has enjoyed your work for millenia, but now that we paid to hire a really good photographer who knows how to light it to take a really good photo and so we get to own the rights again! ”

This is wrong on so many levels.

Institutions do have an argument: “We spent good money digitizing these — like a zillion dollars! Now we should control who gets to print these out or copy these digitally!”

Our answer: If taxpayer money paid for (a) the original acquisition of the object; (b) the scanning/photography, as well as museum overhead, then shouldn’t the otherwise public domain scan belong to the public?

Here’s another argument: It’s private funds, from rich people.

Our Answer: Then give back any tax deductions you take. If you claim that private money gives you the right to make profit on the things you buy with it then to me that indicates you are not an non-profit institution. Just pay the back taxes and we’ll call it square.  More than that, it’s usually private commingled with taxpayer money.

Sorry readers and viewers, scrapbookers and rock and rollers,  Southerners and New Yorkers and Australians and Canadians —  now that there seems to be some scrapes with Wikimedia, I wanted to post this manifesto.  I feel the same way about scientific research done with public money that is then published behind a paywall. If I (representing taxpayers generally) paid for the research, I shouldn’t have to pay to see the results.

Please see (for example):

Wikimedia Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs

Open Content Alliance

Archives or Assets? by Peter B. Hirtle, Cornell University, 58th president of the Society of American Archivists, (N.B.:President Peter B. Hirtle presented an abbreviated version of this address at the opening plenary session of the 67th annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Los Angeles on Aug. 21, 2003.)

User:Dcoetzee/NPG Legal Threat


Be that as it may . . . this site is licensed with a creative commons non-commercial  attribution license.

Although of course we don’t claim any rights in the individual works  —  public domain works can be copied freely. But,  please understand that you do not have permission to wholesale copy major portions of my site, including collections of organized works. We’re mostly talking about site scrapers and the like. We want to remain recognizable in our organization, our overall selection of images, and the way we use that little Tapir in our logo.

For example, works that were part of a single book now out of copyright are free to be copied, but from time to time we have selected those images and added to additional images for aesthetic and organizational purposes. If you are going to copy works in bulk this way, please know that that copying is licensed under a non-commercial attribution license — thanks much.

From CreativeCommons.org:

Creative Commons License



Vintage Printable by Vintage Printable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at VintagePrintable.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://vintageprintable.com/wordpress.

More to come, thanks for stopping by — we hope this is useful and entertaining —


My e mail:

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Marion

    This beta “test” site looks very easy to use and the images are the right size to casually look over! Much better to work with (if you keep this format) than “Vintage Printable”.

  2. Rachel Stone


    I just wanted to say thank you so much! This is a wonderful site, with gorgeous pictures and a really wonderful navigation/organisation which makes it a pleasure to search through. And generous – ash!

    Thank you heaps & heaps,

  3. TLK

    What happened to your main site? I was just on it last night and today it is nowhere to be found. I wanted to save an aqua colored succulent flower that I found, but I am having computer problems so I emailed the link to my daughter so she could save it for me and now the site is not there. I looked for the flower on this site, but I could not find it.

  4. Lesley

    I love your site. You have picked the most interesting images, so it is a joy to browse without wading through a glut of cheesy images. I would gladly donate for this cause.


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