Clark’s sketch of a head of a Vulture of Columbia from Feb. 16th, 1806. Via: Lewis and Clark Expedition California Condor Observations

Using a sketchbook to work on drafts for a larger art project is a clear usage choice for such a book. However, sketches can go beyond the artistic realm, as these pages uncovered from notebooks belonging to the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark prove.

Check out how these two adventurers used quick yet detailed sketching to cover the botany, animals, landscapes and sociology (just to name a few topics!) they encountered in their travels in the American frontier.

Lewis’ comments on a sage grouse encountered in the 1805/06 winter. Via: Time
Clark’s 1804 fieldnotes showing a keelboat. Via: PBS
Clark’s sketch of an evergreen branch. Via: Britannica

Historian Daniel Jackson has referred to Lewis and Clark as “the writingest explorers of their time,” but he would have been wise to call them the “sketchingest” as well!

About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.


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