During the Industrial Revolution it was doubtless difficult to see the art through the forest of machine parts. In fact, artists of the 19th century sought to reconnect even more aggressively with nature as an antidote to industrial dirt, grime and standardization. But eventually, machines and the illustrative rendering of machinery were viewed for their inherent merits. This arguably was the beginning of pop as art.
I recently acquired one of many vintage motor parts catalogs that struck my eye for the purity of its presentation. Despite a curiously decorative cover in a Deco vein, the charts showing the respective parts is produced with clear mechanical objectivity. Cheaply printed, this catalog is clearly doing its job while exuding and understated beauty.