Riveting Rivets

A rivet is a mechanical fastener or pin around which a wheel or tab can be turned to achieve exciting transformation. Unlike cut and folded paper which lasts as long as the paper itself, the metal of this mechanical device can age and interact with the paper, causing disintegration over time. However, despite this disadvantage, the rivet allows the operator to encounter surprising and elaborate movements. In book design, rivets are referred to as "revolving" mechanisms in contrast to sliding slats, called "dissolving" mechanisms. Riveted movables were very popular in the late nineteenth century. Both Lothar Meggendorfer and Ernest Nister used the rivet to full effect and were responsible for publishing dozens of titles.

Bud and Sue: The Barefoot Kids

Hart, Hank. Bud and Sue: The Barefoot Kids. New York: Animated Book Company, 1946.

This book brims with sweet and playful scenes. Such imagery, conveying the idyll of a happy summer in early childhood, must have been welcome in 1946 just after the end of World War II.

Something New for Little Folk

Bingham, Clifton. Something New for Little Folk. Illus. A. E. Jackson. London: Ernest Nister; New York: E. P. Dutton, [1890s].

The simplicity of this book's pinwheel format dovetails perfectly with Nister's gift for sentimental illustrations of affluent charming children, glowing with health--the intended target audience for these works.

All Alive

Meggendorfer, Lothar. All Alive. London: H. Grevel, [1894].

These hand-colored sheep come all alive with one pull of the tab. The interconnected rivets, sandwiched between the pages, allow the sheep to nod their heads gently while the young rams fight.

The Story of Little Black Sambo

[Bannerman, Helen.] The Story of Little Black Sambo. Illus. Kurt Wiese. Garden City: Garden City, 1933.

A.V. Warren animated this work in which the rivets are especially prominent. In a brightly colored landscape, resembling a child's drawing, little Sambo confronts and outwits the tiger.