Rest assured there were no digital books decades ago.  However, if you are on the lookout for vintage craft books, this Ukrainian shop, BoutiqueHobby, might just have what you want for inspiration and instruction. 

Svetlana explained :
These books are electronic versions of the originals. Expertly scanned and converted to pdf format. These books can be instantly downloaded and read on a pc, laptop or tablet.

There is a wide range of crafts represented. Most appear to be from about the 1920's or before. The oldest I spotted was this jewelry one below from the 18th century.  

Many of the book covers appear to be modern renditions to make the listings look more attractive. But if you look at Svetlana's other listing pictures, she shows samples of the digitized versions of very old book pages. 

What a wonderful dive into history.  I also spotted a great book on the Art of William Morris - shown at the very end. William Morris (1834-1836) was a British textile designer who was also associated with the British Arts and Crafts movement.

Before You Go:


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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM