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Re: Setting type before the Linotype

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  • typebob
    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
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 1, 2008
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      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
      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
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 1, 2008
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        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]
      • Gerald Lange
        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
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 1, 2008
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          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]
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Peter Fraterdeus
          ... Ah, Indeed! Thanks for the pointer. So that would be late 18th C. Oops. I misread Bell for Fell in a previous message. Anyway.... Not Fell types ;-) ...
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 2, 2008
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            On 2 Aug 2008, at 1:12 AM, Gerald Lange wrote:

            > Peter
            >
            > The English publisher John Bell is credited with the abandonment of
            > the
            > long s in an edition of Shakespeare.

            Ah, Indeed!
            Thanks for the pointer.
            So that would be late 18th C.

            Oops. I misread Bell for Fell in a previous message. Anyway.... Not
            Fell types ;-)

            > 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!

            Early nano-tech!

            ciao
            p

            >
            >
            > Gerald
            >

            Peter Fraterdeus
            Exquisite Letterpress
            http://slowprint.com








            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Gerald Lange
            Hi again Just have to say this re the Garlic thing. Johnson s dictionary standardized the English language. Period. Joseph Moxon, writing one hundred years
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 2, 2008
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              Hi again

              Just have to say this re the Garlic thing. Johnson's dictionary
              standardized the English language. Period.

              Joseph Moxon, writing one hundred years prior the first book on
              printing, and who is quite difficult to read, is on record for
              pleading for just such a thing. Samuel Johnson rules. Garlic or no.

              Gerald
              >
              > 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]
              >
            • Peter Fraterdeus
              ... Indeed. And with definitions that only an English speaker could love ;-) In the most positive sense, really! Johnson s lovely one-liners were more about
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 3, 2008
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                On 2 Aug 2008, at 11:13 PM, Gerald Lange wrote:

                > Hi again
                >
                > Just have to say this re the Garlic thing. Johnson's dictionary
                > standardized the English language. Period.

                Indeed.
                And with definitions that only an English speaker could love ;-)

                In the most positive sense, really!

                Johnson's lovely one-liners were more about standardizing spelling
                than about encyclopedic reference. But there's a great and subtle wit
                to them which makes this dictionary a great read, even at three points!

                Ciao

                P.

                >> Johnson being famous for definitions such as:
                >>
                >> Garlic, n. a well known plant

                >
                >
                > Joseph Moxon, writing one hundred years prior the first book on
                > printing, and who is quite difficult to read, is on record for
                > pleading for just such a thing. Samuel Johnson rules. Garlic or no.
                >
                > Gerald

                Peter Fraterdeus
                Exquisite Letterpress
                http://slowprint.com








                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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