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

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Aug 1 9:31 PM
      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 2 of 10 , Aug 1 11:12 PM
        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 3 of 10 , Aug 2 9:22 AM
          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 4 of 10 , Aug 2 9:13 PM
            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 5 of 10 , Aug 3 7:00 AM
              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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