Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Typical 19th century Pressroom Layout

Expand Messages
  • Michael
    ... On the matter of smell - the greatest one would have been that of cigarette smoke... with a slightly sour smell of fresh paper... the linseed oil of ink...
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 12, 2010
      --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Anita" <anitamaedraper@...>
      On the matter of smell - the greatest one would have been that of cigarette smoke... with a slightly sour smell of fresh paper... the linseed oil of ink... the hot mineral oil of typesetting and casting machinery... only quite a large printing office would have had specialist proofreaders, let alone trusting a woman with that sort of task... women were almost exclusively employed in the office, and finishing - collating, book binding, packing.











      wrote:
      >
      > Hey there, it's me again, the historical romance writer... Yes, I'm still plugging away at my story (had to rewrite a large portion of it.)
      >
      > I've chosen to give my heroine the job of proof reader since I believe she'll get inky enough that way. However, I have some further questions:
      >
      > - would the compositors and proof readers be located on the same floor as the presses?
      >
      > - would the presses be located on the ground floor? I'm assuming so because of their weight and the absence of electricity in 1879 St Louis that would be needed to run the elevators. But that's just a guess.
      >
      > - what type of ink would they be using. ie what would it smell like
      >
      > - I realize the ink is permanent, but would there be a way to diminish its effects on her skin?
      >
      > Any help would be appreciated, again. :)
      >
      > Thank you,
      >
      > Anita Mae Draper.
      >
    • Scott Rubel
      Well, I m not going to spend too much time googling around, but there sure doesn t seem to be a date on the invention of green visors in any of the obvious
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 12, 2010
        Well, I'm not going to spend too much time googling around, but there
        sure doesn't seem to be a date on the invention of green visors in any
        of the obvious sources of information. They just indicate "late
        1900s." Even though 1879 may count as late 1900s, it may be safer to
        assume that, even if the visors were invented by then, they may be
        very uncommon. Another clue as to their use was that they were
        advertised as being soothing for the eyes with incandescent lighting.
        So, that may make these visor even more rare in 1879.

        St. Louis seems to have been a large enough city by then that whatever
        trends in female employment were in practice in New York or San
        Francisco, they probably were in St. Louis as well.

        --Scott

        On Sep 12, 2010, at 7:37 PM, Michael wrote:

        >
        >
        > --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Anita" <anitamaedraper@...>
        > On the matter of smell - the greatest one would have been that of
        > cigarette smoke... with a slightly sour smell of fresh paper... the
        > linseed oil of ink... the hot mineral oil of typesetting and casting
        > machinery... only quite a large printing office would have had
        > specialist proofreaders, let alone trusting a woman with that sort
        > of task... women were almost exclusively employed in the office, and
        > finishing - collating, book binding, packing.
        >
        > wrote:
        >>
        >> Hey there, it's me again, the historical romance writer... Yes, I'm
        >> still plugging away at my story (had to rewrite a large portion of
        >> it.)
        >>
        >> I've chosen to give my heroine the job of proof reader since I
        >> believe she'll get inky enough that way. However, I have some
        >> further questions:
        >>
        >> - would the compositors and proof readers be located on the same
        >> floor as the presses?
        >>
        >> - would the presses be located on the ground floor? I'm assuming so
        >> because of their weight and the absence of electricity in 1879 St
        >> Louis that would be needed to run the elevators. But that's just a
        >> guess.
        >>
        >> - what type of ink would they be using. ie what would it smell like
        >>
        >> - I realize the ink is permanent, but would there be a way to
        >> diminish its effects on her skin?
        >>
        >> Any help would be appreciated, again. :)
        >>
        >> Thank you,
        >>
        >> Anita Mae Draper.
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Russ Wiecking - Wood and Metal Craft
        Green visors could have come along shortly after the invention of celluloid (movie film) in the 1860s, but probably no sooner.
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 12, 2010
          Green visors could have come along shortly after the invention of
          celluloid (movie film) in the 1860s, but probably no sooner.

          On Sep 12, 2010, at 7:56 PM, Scott Rubel wrote:

          >
          > Well, I'm not going to spend too much time googling around, but there
          > sure doesn't seem to be a date on the invention of green visors in any
          > of the obvious sources of information. They just indicate "late
          > 1900s." Even though 1879 may count as late 1900s, it may be safer to
          > assume that, even if the visors were invented by then, they may be
          > very uncommon. Another clue as to their use was that they were
          > advertised as being soothing for the eyes with incandescent lighting.
          > So, that may make these visor even more rare in 1879.
          >
          >
          >
        • Eric
          ... Is this hypothectical shop a general printing office, a newspaper, a book-and-job shop, or what? If just a newspaper, it is another matter. At least into
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 13, 2010
            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Robert T" <robtfturner@...> wrote:
            >
            > The ink would probably smell like todays oil-based inks.

            Is this hypothectical shop a general printing office, a newspaper, a book-and-job shop, or what? If just a newspaper, it is another matter. At least into the 1970s, cylinder news ink was not linseed-oil based, and had no volatile aromatics in it, just pigment and a mineral oil vehicle. Today I cracked open a can of cylinder news ink from about 1976; no skin, just a little oil on the surface, and no odor in the can, maybe a little earthy smell when tapped between the fingers. And this was also the kind of ink preferred for proofing, since it would stay open on the slab forever. This kind of ink dries by the vehicle absorbing into the newsprint, but the pigment sitting on the surface is easily transferred onto the hands or clothes. Newsprint was the common stock for galley proofs, often dampened before proofing, so damp newsprint could be the dominant smell of a fresh proof.
            --Eric Holub, SF
          • Anita Draper
            Eric - Thank you. Yes, it is a newspaper. I m loosely modeling it on the St. Louis Dispatch Post. Katey - I understand your concern and trust me when I say
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 13, 2010
              Eric - Thank you. Yes, it is a newspaper. I'm loosely modeling it on the St. Louis Dispatch Post.
               
              Katey - I understand your concern and trust me when I say I've seen much to prove women were a dominant work force in the Printing world. I have a book which backs up a website that states women were preferred over men in the typesetting department because of their smaller, agile fingers, as well as the fact they were more responsible since men were often inebriated. I don't know what that's all about but it sounds good to me. :)
               
              Matt - Thank you for sending the image and info. I won't need it for this book but I'll keep it on file for the future. I'm finding this whole subject fascinating.
               
              Re the apron - I've seen photos with men and women wearing them and not wearing them. I believe it is like Eric says, and certain publishers have more ink for the proofers than others. 
               
              Since PPL put me on the idea of a proofer, I've been doing more research and I'm actually astounded with the amount of photos that show people doing all sorts of composition and pressroom activities wearing white. It almost makes me think they were told to show up for work in white for 'Picture Day' so they would stand out against the dark backgrounds. 
               
              Based on the above, and since this is fiction, I'm toying with the idea of having Emma show up for work with an apron and be a trend-setter. After all, throughout the book, she's very curious and getting into all sorts of scraps. Her trials in the book are such that she's been ostracized in her hometown. She's used to being stared at and she's on a budget. Wearing an apron to protect her clothes would be something I see as a natural extension of her - a practical solution for a problem.
               
               
              Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions. Your help has been invaluable.
               
              Anita.
               
               
               
              www.anitamaedraper.blogspot.com
              www.prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com
              www.twitter.com/anitamaedraper
              www.inkwellinspirations.blogspot.com



              From: Eric <Megalonyx@...>
              To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Mon, September 13, 2010 7:07:36 PM
              Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Typical 19th century Pressroom Layout

               



              --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Robert T" <robtfturner@...> wrote:
              >
              > The ink would probably smell like todays oil-based inks.

              Is this hypothectical shop a general printing office, a newspaper, a book-and-job shop, or what? If just a newspaper, it is another matter. At least into the 1970s, cylinder news ink was not linseed-oil based, and had no volatile aromatics in it, just pigment and a mineral oil vehicle. Today I cracked open a can of cylinder news ink from about 1976; no skin, just a little oil on the surface, and no odor in the can, maybe a little earthy smell when tapped between the fingers. And this was also the kind of ink preferred for proofing, since it would stay open on the slab forever. This kind of ink dries by the vehicle absorbing into the newsprint, but the pigment sitting on the surface is easily transferred onto the hands or clothes. Newsprint was the common stock for galley proofs, often dampened before proofing, so damp newsprint could be the dominant smell of a fresh proof.
              --Eric Holub, SF


            • Scott Rubel
              It s a fun project to try to help with. The idea of official work clothes back then wasn t universal. Companies did not provide uniforms and people wore what
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 14, 2010
                It's a fun project to try to help with. The idea of official work clothes back then wasn't universal. Companies did not provide uniforms and people wore what they could afford. Since going to church was a big part of life, people with limited incomes often didn't have too many changes in clothes, so you do see a lot of pictures from that period with people wearing white. Of course, the pictures are not color, so what appears "white" could be any shade of grey, natural, tan.

                I work in a building in Pasadena that was completed in 1912. The photographs documenting the construction show a surprising number of men shoveling dirt and cutting wood while wearing white shirts and bow ties.

                Only some of them have some sort of apron over them.

                I'm glad that you are putting in such an effort to being accurate, even in a fiction story. Women are just beginning to get the credit they deserve for building this country. After driving Conestoga wagons across the mountains and plains, popular literature argued against women driving cars. Something really odd happened in the Victorian age where part of embracing our new modernity and civilization was portraying (or allowing) women to be delicate.

                --Scott

                On Sep 13, 2010, at 7:54 PM, Anita Draper wrote:



                Eric - Thank you. Yes, it is a newspaper. I'm loosely modeling it on the St. Louis Dispatch Post.
                 
                Katey - I understand your concern and trust me when I say I've seen much to prove women were a dominant work force in the Printing world. I have a book which backs up a website that states women were preferred over men in the typesetting department because of their smaller, agile fingers, as well as the fact they were more responsible since men were often inebriated. I don't know what that's all about but it sounds good to me. :)
                 
                Matt - Thank you for sending the image and info. I won't need it for this book but I'll keep it on file for the future. I'm finding this whole subject fascinating.
                 
                Re the apron - I've seen photos with men and women wearing them and not wearing them. I believe it is like Eric says, and certain publishers have more ink for the proofers than others. 
                 
                Since PPL put me on the idea of a proofer, I've been doing more research and I'm actually astounded with the amount of photos that show people doing all sorts of composition and pressroom activities wearing white. It almost makes me think they were told to show up for work in white for 'Picture Day' so they would stand out against the dark backgrounds. 
                 
                Based on the above, and since this is fiction, I'm toying with the idea of having Emma show up for work with an apron and be a trend-setter. After all, throughout the book, she's very curious and getting into all sorts of scraps. Her trials in the book are such that she's been ostracized in her hometown. She's used to being stared at and she's on a budget. Wearing an apron to protect her clothes would be something I see as a natural extension of her - a practical solution for a problem.
                 
                 
                Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions. Your help has been invaluable.
                 
                Anita.
                 
                 
                 



                From: Eric <Megalonyx@...>
                To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Mon, September 13, 2010 7:07:36 PM
                Subject: [PPLetterpress] Re: Typical 19th century Pressroom Layout



                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, "Robert T" <robtfturner@...> wrote:
                > 
                > The ink would probably smell like todays oil-based inks.

                Is this hypothectical shop a general printing office, a newspaper, a book-and-job shop, or what? If just a newspaper, it is another matter. At least into the 1970s, cylinder news ink was not linseed-oil based, and had no volatile aromatics in it, just pigment and a mineral oil vehicle. Today I cracked open a can of cylinder news ink from about 1976; no skin, just a little oil on the surface, and no odor in the can, maybe a little earthy smell when tapped between the fingers. And this was also the kind of ink preferred for proofing, since it would stay open on the slab forever. This kind of ink dries by the vehicle absorbing into the newsprint, but the pigment sitting on the surface is easily transferred onto the hands or clothes. Newsprint was the common stock for galley proofs, often dampened before proofing, so damp newsprint could be the dominant smell of a fresh proof.
                --Eric Holub, SF





              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.