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10023Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Setting type before the Linotype

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  • Gerald Lange
    Aug 1, 2008
      Peter

      The English publisher John Bell is credited with the abandonment of the
      long s in an edition of Shakespeare. Johnson and Bell were
      contemporaries. I had several cases of music type a while back that I
      think was four point? (type size name was excelsior) and all the musics
      were separate. There was also a small page of it set in a tiny chase and
      when viewed from the back side. Whoa!

      Gerald

      Peter Fraterdeus wrote:
      > I've got an 1806 edition of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary "In
      > Miniature" (damaged, the last section, a history of the French
      > revolution -- quite recent at the time --ends in a torn page just
      > before Marie Antoinette loses her head) set in what must be the
      > equivalent of Three point type! (three equally spaced lines in five
      > mm. Cap height very close to 1mm )
      >
      > The book is about 3.5 by 5.5 inches +-280pp, and has only a short one
      > line definition of the words... There are roughly 140 definitions per
      > page in two columns.
      >
      > Johnson being famous for definitions such as:
      >
      > Garlic, n. a well known plant
      >
      > In the "Advertisement" (we would call it the "Forward") the editor
      > writes finally:
      >
      > " Anxious to please as well as to instruct, the Editor has procured a
      > Type of unequalled Symmetry and Beauty ; the Paper is of the finest
      > Quality and Texture, and the typographical Execution unrivalled.
      > " With these Advantages and Embellishments, he submits the Dictionary
      > to public Approbation, solicitious of Patronage only proportioned to
      > its Merits."
      >
      > Interestingly, the type has no long 's'. Certainly this is a recent
      > development at the time, as there are plenty of books printed well
      > into the 19th C which still used the long medial 's' (finial s was
      > never long...)
      >
      > When I'm talking to students, I try to get them to imagine what it
      > took to set this book in type. Very small fingers and sharp eyes! (and
      > magnifiers!)
      >
      > Personally, I can't imagine it!
      >
      > :-)
      >
      > P
      >
      >
      > On 1 Aug 2008, at 10:07 PM, typebob wrote:
      >
      >
      >> Here's a link to a great article that was in American Heritage
      >> magazine a few years back.
      >> It's a great overview of the days of handsetting type and the
      >> typesetting races that
      >> compositors entered.
      >>
      >> It's hard to imagine setting an average of 8 letters in five
      >> seconds. Just watch a clock and
      >> try to move your hand that fast...let alone pick up the right
      >> letters! Amazing stuff!
      >>
      >> http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/it/2001/4/2001_4_40.shtml
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> BTW: American Heritage is a really great magazine. You can search
      >> their website for topics
      >> like Linotype, etc, etc. Check it out.
      >>
      >> Bob
      >>
      >
      > Peter Fraterdeus
      > Exquisite Letterpress
      > http://slowprint.com
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
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