The final conundrum remains: Where to place the engraved plates in Thomas Martin's Circle Of The Mechanical Arts? In my copy, the plates are interspersed somewhat sporadically according to subject.
But not all are. some are placed at the beginning of the book and a few at the end. Some are placed at the start of a subject and a few are in the middle of a subject. Further confusing matters is that each subject does not start on it's own page. Each subject simply leads off a few lines after the preceding subject much as is seen in your average encyclopedia.
Other versions of Circle have the plates in varying arrangements. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing if these other copies have been rebound or if there were ever instructions to the binder included in the text block. Mr. Nicholson was kind enough to include such a set of instructions to ensure the consistency of his book through the ages. Mr. Martin failed to do so, or at least, said instructions have not survived.
My greatest annoyance when I first reviewed Circle was trying to match up any given plate with the accompanying text. Flipping back and forth was hard on the paper, much less on my fragile patience.
The answer: Place all the plates at either the beginning or the end of the book. Alphabatized by subject to match the format of the index to make finding any given plate easier on the reader with a few tips of the hat to the peculiarities of the original plate titles.
There, now wasn't that easy?
Till next, Gary