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The Volvelle Collection

In 2002, Design Observer founding editor Jessica Helfand published a book about volvelles—those circular, often intricately designed charts for calculating everything from Jell-o recipes to gin cocktails to gestational cycles—a particular form of paper ephemera that turns out to originate in the middle ages. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, the book proved popular to design fans, science nerds, and perhaps especially design fans who are science nerds.

The collection itself now resides at Yale University, but we have retained the images and are now pleased to share them here with our readers as a curated collection of wall clocks. We'll be adding new images over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

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