--- 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