Sketches play an important role in communicating scientific information. This was true before the printing of photographs and high-quality illustrations became common, and it continues to be true.
In this post, I show sketches concerning the California condor from 6 sources. These were published over a span of more than a century.
Artist: Robert Ridgway. Source: Baird, S F, T M Brewer, and R Ridgway. A history of North American birds. Volume 3. Little, Brown, 1875.
Artist: Hazel Burnham. Source: Zoological Laboratory of Pomona College. Preliminary list of birds from the Claremont-Laguna Region. Journal of Entomology and Zoology. June 1917.
For the remaining images in this post, make sure to click on the images to enlarge them and make the captions easily readable.
Artist: Uncredited. Source: Allen, G M. Birds and their attributes. Jones. 1925.
Artist: Uncredited. Source: Kroeber, A L. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology. 1925. (Reprint edition: 1953)
Artist: E R Kalmbach or Aime M Awl. Source: Friedmann, Herbert. The birds of North and Middle America. United States National Museum Bulletin. 1950.
The images above are utilitarian. The 2 images below, however, are of a different sort. To my admittedly untrained eye, these are small works of art:
Artist: John Schmitt. Source: Hamber, Janet A. California condor research in Santa Barbara County. Vulture News. March 1983.