«It is exactly in the process of drawing a microscopic object that the eye is compelled to dwell on the individual lines and points and to grasp their true connection in all dimensions of space; it will often happen that in this process relations will be perceived, which previous careful observation had disregarded, and which may be decisive of the question under examination or even open up new ones. As the microscope trains the eye to scientific sight, so the careful drawing of objects makes the educated eye become the watchful adviser of the investigating mind; but this advantage is lost to the observer who has his drawings made by another hand[14]

From this vantage point, part of what I attempt to do in this book is explicate what kinds of epistemic and scientific advantages there might be in making one’s own hand drawings; that is, I am seeking to articulate those advantageous components to observation which Sachs says are at risk of loss not only by a four-eyed sight, but by extension, photography too. For it just so happens that for most of the nineteenth century the vast majority of nebular observer’s made their own hand drawings of the nebulae and star-clusters. And even in the case of Lord Rosse, where many assistants were hired to make observations and drawings, the act of drawing and seeing by one and the same observer was something that was emphasized and incorporated into the procedure. For the Rosse project the problem was not a division of labor as much as it was the coordination and consolidation of the observational work of many different observer-draughtsmen. [15]

It is in coming to terms with the role played by the observer-draughtsman in the procedures of observation that I will come to draw attention to what I will call the process of familiarization. The process begins at the intimate level of an individual observer as he begins to mark down, usually in a manner peculiar to him and/or to his training, a variety of inscriptions into his own individualized observing book. The exploratory and discerning features of the act of drawing are important for the process. Through an observer’s intimate and idiosyncratic act of drawing he gradually comes to familiarize himself with an object that is not only unfamiliar, but one which is in most cases difficult to understand, to see and to draw. The familiarization that takes place at this personal, visceral, and haptic level, therefore, acquaints one (even in the process involved in the making of one sketch) with what is being seen, with how to draw what is being seen, and with an object’s known, unknown, and challenging features. [16] But it is also especially the repeated drawing of an object that contributes to an observer’s familiarity.

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