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Re: [PPLetterpress] buying old type

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  • Warren Gailbreath, Jr.
    Hi Lisa, If your considering buying some handset type to get you started there are some things to be aware of. Unfortunately much of this information comes
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 1, 2007
      Hi Lisa,

      If your considering buying some handset type to get
      you started there are some things to be aware of.
      Unfortunately much of this information comes from the
      owner and their knowledge of the type history.

      If your visually inspecting it looking for defects
      some things to look for are:

      Rounded edges on the face of the type which can tell
      you that it's really old or was used with too much
      impression.

      Look at the most used characters such as the e and
      inspect their condition as they are a good
      representative indicator of the condition.

      Be sure and check for completeness of the fonts and if
      there is a shortage look for jobs in the galley that
      the missing letters may still be locked up in.

      Pretty much unless you have time to inspect closely
      and pull some proofs you are at the mercy of the
      seller.

      Sometimes a cabinet can contain some really good
      infrequently used fonts along with some overused.

      These are just a few and I am sure others can expand
      on this for you.


      Warren Gailbreath,Jr.
      Southwest Finishing, Inc.
      Ft.Worth, Texas
      APA # 800
    • Steve Robison
      Lisa, You can tell good used type in a number of ways... 1) One sure way is to put it upright in lines in a composing stick or galley and take a kiss
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 1, 2007
        Lisa,

        You can tell good used type in a number of ways...

        1) One sure way is to put it upright in lines in a
        composing stick or galley and take a "kiss" impression
        proof on a smooth paper stock. Any low, worn or
        damaged type will immediately be revealed. But that
        usually isn't possible until AFTER you buy it, so here
        are some other quick ways to help assess it before you
        buy...

        2) If the type is still relatively shiny, that usually
        tells you that oxidation hasn't corroded the face of
        the type and it may be worth having.

        SAFETY TIP: the white and greyish powdery oxidation on
        lead alloy type is lead oxide, and lead oxide is
        extremely toxic and damaging to humans and other
        animals if ingested. Care should be taken when
        cleaning used type with this type of powdery
        oxidation. After handling it, be sure to wash your
        hands thoroughly before eating or handling food!!! Of
        course, this is good practice when using any lead
        alloy type, but particularly important when handling
        oxidized type.

        3) Look at the face of some of the type under a 10x or
        stronger magnifying glass and see how much rounding or
        wear has occurred. Some may be barely used and be
        sharp and crisp under magnification. Others may be
        rounded and worn looking under magnification...and
        some may be mixed! But taking a good look at it under
        magnification can be very telling.

        4) While you've got it under a magnifying glass, check
        to see if it might be ATF type (American Type Founders
        type). If it is, it will have the ATF type face number
        imprinted on the capital 'H' and/or the lowercase 'm'.
        This was done on sizes large enough where it could be
        cast on the face, and in years when ATF was
        consolidating all of the 26 companies that it bought
        and merged with...

        (Can anyone jump in with specifics on when and on what
        sizes of type the numbers are cast into the 'H' &
        'm'??? I used to know, but for some reason can't
        recall at the moment).

        Anyway, ATF alloy type is true foundry type made with
        foundry casters and a harder alloy mix of Lead,
        Antimony and Tin, and is somewhat harder than monotype
        alloy. It is considered a "good find" for used type
        enthusiasts and collectors since it can usually be
        combined and matched with other ATF type with the same
        number since ATF specs were carefully controlled and
        the casting from font to font was very consistent.
        The drawback is that most ATF faces are not being cast
        any more, so it may be difficult to add to your type
        collection without finding more of the same size and
        number of ATF used type. There are, however, still a
        couple of sources of newly cast ATF faces. They are
        being cast from salvaged matrices from when the ATF
        company went under. (Dale Guild foundry comes to mind)

        5) You can get yourself a "type high" guage and check
        the height of each piece of type...but this is pretty
        cumbersome. The easier way is to take a proof and pull
        all the pieces that are not printing or that are
        damaged.

        I have collected used type ranging in price from Free
        (the best kind!) to $1 per pound... on up to about $5
        per pound for fancy or hard to find faces. Of course,
        if you buy it on e-bay it's usually about double that
        plus postage and you can't take a look at it before
        you buy.

        A small to medium size font is from 10 lbs. to 20 lbs.
        heavy, so at a doller per pound a really good price is
        from $10 to $20 per font. Of course, it can go up from
        there depending on the seller and the market for
        specific faces.


        Oh, I should also say that if you are considering
        buying a whole shop full of type, you can usually
        negotiate a pretty good price for the whole lot, and
        then sort out the good stuff from the worn stuff, and
        the faces that you want to keep from the faces you
        don't want.... and then either put what you don't want
        on eBay or craigslist, or give it to someone just
        starting out to give them something to practice
        with...


        Hope this helps...

        Best wishes,

        --Steve

        Steve Robison
        Belmont, CA (just south of San Francisco)

        --- lisaxdavidson <lisaxdavidson@...> wrote:

        > Hi,
        >
        > If one found a type shop going out of business, is
        > there any way to tell if their type is
        > relatively undamaged and sharp by just looking at
        > it, or do you need to see a proof made
        > from it before you buy it? And how much should used
        > type cost; does it just depend on
        > people's moods?
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > Lisa




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      • Ph. D.
        ... Actually ATF did not adopt numbers for typefaces until about 1930 long after the initial consolidation in 1892. The matrices for the vast majority of type-
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 1, 2007
          Steve Robison skribis:
          >
          > 4) While you've got it under a magnifying glass,
          > check to see if it might be ATF type (American
          > Type Founders type). If it is, it will have the ATF
          > type face number imprinted on the capital 'H'
          > and/or the lowercase 'm'. This was done on sizes
          > large enough where it could be cast on the face,
          > and in years when ATF was consolidating all of
          > the 26 companies that it bought and merged with ...
          >
          > (Can anyone jump in with specifics on when and
          > on what sizes of type the numbers are cast into
          > the 'H' & 'm'??? I used to know, but for some
          > reason can't recall at the moment).

          Actually ATF did not adopt numbers for typefaces
          until about 1930 long after the initial consolidation
          in 1892. The matrices for the vast majority of type-
          faces inherited from the consolidating foundries were
          destroyed by 1920 as the faces were too old-
          fashioned. Seperate blocks of numbers were assigned
          to faces from Keystone, BB&S, and Inland, as those
          foundries were acquired between 1910 and 1920.
          I believe all sizes, no matter how small, had the
          numbers cast onto the shoulder of H and m, even
          though you may need a magnifying glass to read
          them. (ATF once cast the Lord's prayer onto the
          face of a six-point by six-point piece of type.)


          > . . . There are, however, still a couple of sources
          > of newly cast ATF faces. They are being cast
          > from salvaged matrices from when the ATF
          > company went under. (Dale Guild foundry comes
          > to mind.)

          As far as I know, the Dale Guild is the only source
          for newly cast ATF type. They alone have some of
          the Barth casters that were exclusively used by ATF.
          A number of hobby printers purchased some of
          ATF's matrices at the auction of that firm, but there
          has been only limited attempts to cast them on
          Monotype casters (which involves customizing
          molds and matrix holders), and none of that type
          has been offered for sale.

          --Ph. D.
        • Edgar L Weber
          ... When checking be especially vigilant for missing kerns on f , ff , etc, or short counts on the more fragile kerned sorts. I ve seen wrapped but
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 2, 2007
            At 02:07 PM 10/1/2007, Warren Gailbreath,Jr.wrote:
            >Hi Lisa,
            > >Be sure and check for completeness of the fonts and if
            > >there is a shortage look for jobs in the galley that
            > >the missing letters may still be locked up in.


            When checking be especially vigilant for missing kerns on "f", "ff",
            etc, or short counts on the more fragile kerned sorts.
            I've seen wrapped but incomplete fonts of new type which lacked the
            "f"'s, etc., so any wrapped packages should be opened & checked.
            And wrapped packages can be short of other sorts -- if the shop did a
            lot of work for someone named Zabrew or such, it was often cheaper to
            buy a couple of extra cap fonts than to order a separate line of "Z"
            (or whatever)

            Happy hunting,

            Ed Weber/ Tombstone Beaver Press
          • Mike Jacobs
            Try reading the advice given by the BPS on their site. http://www.bpsnet.org.uk/type/type.pdf As you see it is a PDF so you will need a suitable reader. Mike,
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 2, 2007
              Try reading the advice given by the BPS on their site.
              http://www.bpsnet.org.uk/type/type.pdf

              As you see it is a PDF so you will need a suitable reader.

              Mike, Hampshire, England



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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • George Chapman
              And of course as you examine the type with a magnifying glass, be sure you are wearing the most sophisticated mask available to avoid breathing in those
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 2, 2007
                And of course as you examine the type with a magnifying glass, be sure you
                are wearing the most sophisticated mask available to avoid breathing in
                those particles of lead oxide.

                --
                "I don't send email, I just speak to people . . . and it's amazing what you
                find out when you speak to a lot of people about . . . what's going on in
                anything you do."
                Sanford Weill
                Former chairman and CEO of Citigroup


                George Chapman
                In the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado at 9,318 feet.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Lisa Davidson
                You re joking, right? ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 2, 2007
                  You're joking, right?

                  On Oct 2, 2007, at 8:35 AM, George Chapman wrote:

                  > And of course as you examine the type with a magnifying glass, be
                  > sure you
                  > are wearing the most sophisticated mask available to avoid
                  > breathing in
                  > those particles of lead oxide.
                  >
                  > --
                  > "I don't send email, I just speak to people . . . and it's amazing
                  > what you
                  > find out when you speak to a lot of people about . . . what's going
                  > on in
                  > anything you do."
                  > Sanford Weill
                  > Former chairman and CEO of Citigroup
                  >
                  > George Chapman
                  > In the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado at
                  > 9,318 feet.
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Gerald Lange
                  Lisa Likely; an old-timer s type of joke. But lead oxide is no laughing matter. Don t buy used type that has a white fuzzy appearance, and if you have
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                    Lisa

                    Likely; an old-timer's type of joke. But lead oxide is no laughing
                    matter. Don't buy used type that has a white fuzzy appearance, and if
                    you have something like this, get rid of it. Type case as well. Lead
                    poisoning is caused by lead oxide. It's the stuff they put in paint.
                    Like the toys that are being recalled. Paint manufacturers in the US
                    are limited to the amount they can use, something like 5% with certain
                    exceptions, such as parking lot paint or for military use. It is
                    actually a durable and preservative element in paint and ink.
                    Gutenberg used it in his ink formula and kept that secret to his grave
                    (discovered only relatively recently through the use of sophisticated
                    analysis techniques), and if you have ever you seen as copy of B42,
                    the black is still as black as can be imagined.

                    Gerald
                    http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

                    --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Lisa Davidson
                    <lisaxdavidson@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > You're joking, right?
                    >
                    > On Oct 2, 2007, at 8:35 AM, George Chapman wrote:
                    >
                    > > And of course as you examine the type with a magnifying glass, be
                    > > sure you
                    > > are wearing the most sophisticated mask available to avoid
                    > > breathing in
                    > > those particles of lead oxide.
                    > >
                    > > --
                    > > "I don't send email, I just speak to people . . . and it's amazing
                    > > what you
                    > > find out when you speak to a lot of people about . . . what's going
                    > > on in
                    > > anything you do."
                    > > Sanford Weill
                    > > Former chairman and CEO of Citigroup
                    > >
                    > > George Chapman
                    > > In the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado at
                    > > 9,318 feet.
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Graham and Kathy
                    You actually have to ingest the stuff for it to do you harm. So long as you don t breathe it in as dust or gas, or eat it (inadvertently by sucking your loaded
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                      You actually have to ingest the stuff for it to do you harm. So long as you
                      don't breathe it in as dust or gas, or eat it (inadvertently by sucking your
                      loaded fingers or by chewing type), there's no risk. Same as lead loaded
                      paint - it's not made for eating, and if kids didn't eat toys, there'd be no
                      problem.

                      There's no record of any printer dead from lead, and the problem of lead
                      related poisoning was recognized many centuries ago.

                      Be as careful and attentive as you would be walking across a road - look,
                      think, pay attention. No worries!


                      Graham Moss
                      Incline Press
                      36 Bow Street
                      Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                      http://www.inclinepress.com




                      > <lisaxdavidson@...> wrote:
                      >>
                      >> You're joking, right?
                      >>
                      >> On Oct 2, 2007, at 8:35 AM, George Chapman wrote:
                      >>
                      >>> And of course as you examine the type with a magnifying glass, be
                      >>> sure you
                      >>> are wearing the most sophisticated mask available to avoid
                      >>> breathing in
                      >>> those particles of lead oxide.
                    • Peter Fraterdeus
                      Hmm. Great resource, but if it s a PDF for screen reading, I wonder why is it not horizontal ;-) (I asked the same thing about Galley Gab, and now it is!)
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                        Hmm. Great resource, but if it's a PDF for screen reading, I wonder why is it not horizontal ;-)
                        (I asked the same thing about Galley Gab, and now it is!)

                        Thanks Mike!

                        P

                        At 12:44 PM +0100 2 10 07, Mike Jacobs wrote:
                        >Try reading the advice given by the BPS on their site.
                        >http://www.bpsnet.org.uk/type/type.pdf
                        >
                        >As you see it is a PDF so you will need a suitable reader.
                        >

                        --
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                        {ARTQ: Help stop in-box bloat! Always Remember to Trim the Quote!}

                        ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com

                        -:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*
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                        Galena, Illinois Design Philosophy Fonts Lettering Letterpress Wood Type
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                      • Gerald Lange
                        Sorry for the additional word tracking and what the hell is B42? (without explanation). B42 is the bibliographic notation for the 42-Line Bible, aka the
                        Message 11 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                          Sorry for the additional word tracking and "what the hell is
                          B42?"(without explanation).

                          B42 is the bibliographic notation for the 42-Line Bible, aka the
                          Mazarin Bible, or as commonly known (and somewhat of a misnomer) the
                          Gutenberg Bible. These very early printed works did not carry titles
                          and are known retroactively by bibliographic reference. Most early
                          typefaces as well, though the Aldine period, are coded rather than
                          named (since they never were named).

                          Gerald
                          http://BielerPress.blogspot.com
                        • Gerald Lange
                          Graham The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions. Don t you think
                          Message 12 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                            Graham

                            The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th
                            century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions.
                            Don't you think this is food for thought? I actually have a very
                            intense collection of books relating to industrial/health practices.
                            If I tell you you are full of shit would you be offended?

                            Gerald


                            --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Graham and Kathy
                            <kwhalen.incline@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > You actually have to ingest the stuff for it to do you harm. So long
                            as you
                            > don't breathe it in as dust or gas, or eat it (inadvertently by
                            sucking your
                            > loaded fingers or by chewing type), there's no risk. Same as lead
                            loaded
                            > paint - it's not made for eating, and if kids didn't eat toys,
                            there'd be no
                            > problem.
                            >
                            > There's no record of any printer dead from lead, and the problem of lead
                            > related poisoning was recognized many centuries ago.
                            >
                            > Be as careful and attentive as you would be walking across a road -
                            look,
                            > think, pay attention. No worries!
                            >
                            >
                            > Graham Moss
                            > Incline Press
                            > 36 Bow Street
                            > Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                            > http://www.inclinepress.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > > <lisaxdavidson@> wrote:
                            > >>
                            > >> You're joking, right?
                            > >>
                            > >> On Oct 2, 2007, at 8:35 AM, George Chapman wrote:
                            > >>
                            > >>> And of course as you examine the type with a magnifying glass, be
                            > >>> sure you
                            > >>> are wearing the most sophisticated mask available to avoid
                            > >>> breathing in
                            > >>> those particles of lead oxide.
                            >
                          • Peter Fraterdeus
                            ... The AVERAGE? So for every 40 year old printer, there was one that dies as an infant? Seems like they would have died out by now! And, yes, I would be
                            Message 13 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                              At 9:45 AM +0000 3 10 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
                              >Graham
                              >
                              >The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th
                              >century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions.

                              The AVERAGE? So for every 40 year old printer, there was one that dies as an infant?
                              Seems like they would have died out by now!

                              And, yes, I would be offended if it was me.
                              Please cite your sources before slinging shit.
                              :-)

                              P

                              --
                              AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@

                              ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com
                            • Gerald Lange
                              Peter I don t sling shit. Gerald ... dies as an infant?
                              Message 14 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                Peter

                                I don't sling shit.

                                Gerald

                                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Peter Fraterdeus <peterf@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > At 9:45 AM +0000 3 10 07, Gerald Lange wrote:
                                > >Graham
                                > >
                                > >The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th
                                > >century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions.
                                >
                                > The AVERAGE? So for every 40 year old printer, there was one that
                                dies as an infant?
                                > Seems like they would have died out by now!
                                >
                                > And, yes, I would be offended if it was me.
                                > Please cite your sources before slinging shit.
                                > :-)
                                >
                                > P
                                >
                                > --
                                > AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@
                                >
                                > ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com
                                >
                              • Graham and Kathy
                                Nothing offends me unless it s meant to, and then I wonder if being offensive was the sole purpose of the response, and if so, that offends me! To your point:
                                Message 15 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                  Nothing offends me unless it's meant to, and then I wonder if being
                                  offensive was the sole purpose of the response, and if so, that offends me!

                                  To your point:

                                  What was the life expectancy of comparable workers in other industries at
                                  the same time? How big was the sample and are the samples restricted to
                                  location? Is there a comparison between the country printshop and the city
                                  printshop? Is there a separation between print factory workers (rather than
                                  printers) and print foundry workers? What were the figures for other foundry
                                  workers outwith the print industry? How do these figures relate to the
                                  introduction of Linotype and Monotype machines into printshops - are there
                                  pre and post Lino and Mono figures for comparison?

                                  Of course there's more questions; what gets into the body and how it gets
                                  there is the issue, along with stopping it from getting there. You know
                                  that, so don't try bullshitting me!

                                  Looking forward to seeing you next week.


                                  Graham Moss
                                  Incline Press
                                  36 Bow Street
                                  Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                                  http://www.inclinepress.com




                                  On 3/10/07 10:45, "Gerald Lange" <Bieler@...> wrote:

                                  > Graham
                                  >
                                  > The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th
                                  > century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions.
                                  > Don't you think this is food for thought? I actually have a very
                                  > intense collection of books relating to industrial/health practices.
                                  > If I tell you you are full of shit would you be offended?
                                  >
                                  > Gerald
                                  >
                                • Scott Rubel
                                  23 years in the 20th century? If this is true, I ll bet it s true for just about any industrial job during the same period. All factory and industrial
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                    23 years in the 20th century? If this is true, I'll bet it's true for
                                    just about any industrial job during the same period. All factory and
                                    industrial processes were fraught with chemicals and accidents that took
                                    decades to engineer out, and I don't think you can attribute the short
                                    life span to only lead oxide, though I'd be full of shit if I were to
                                    minimize the dangers of lead oxide.

                                    Anyway, I've lived twice the average lifespan while using some fuzzy
                                    type, and I can still remember most of that span.
                                    I did get rid of the most disgusting type years ago, and as of about
                                    four years ago I've hardly used any handset type at all. Sad, but true.
                                    Market forces and all. I'm saving the handset for retirement. Sad but true.

                                    --Scott Rubel

                                    Gerald Lange wrote:

                                    >Graham
                                    >
                                    >The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th
                                    >century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions.
                                    >Don't you think this is food for thought? I actually have a very
                                    >intense collection of books relating to industrial/health practices.
                                    >If I tell you you are full of shit would you be offended?
                                    >
                                    >Gerald
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >--- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Graham and Kathy
                                    ><kwhalen.incline@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >>You actually have to ingest the stuff for it to do you harm. So long
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >as you
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >>don't breathe it in as dust or gas, or eat it (inadvertently by
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >sucking your
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >>loaded fingers or by chewing type), there's no risk. Same as lead
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >loaded
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >>paint - it's not made for eating, and if kids didn't eat toys,
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >there'd be no
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >>problem.
                                    >>
                                    >>There's no record of any printer dead from lead, and the problem of lead
                                    >>related poisoning was recognized many centuries ago.
                                    >>
                                    >>Be as careful and attentive as you would be walking across a road -
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >look,
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >>think, pay attention. No worries!
                                    >>
                                    >>
                                    >>Graham Moss
                                    >>Incline Press
                                    >>36 Bow Street
                                    >>Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                                    >>http://www.inclinepress.com
                                    >>
                                    >>


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Gerald Lange
                                    Graham There is probably a limit to the length of posts; you re asking for a dissertation here. I can say that the only health practice in place that I ve ever
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                      Graham

                                      There is probably a limit to the length of posts; you're asking for a
                                      dissertation here. I can say that the only health practice in place that
                                      I've ever read, in regard to this period, was the industry (not
                                      governmental) requirement that workers in the metallic bronzing ink
                                      industry were required to drink a glass of milk a day. Alas, it served
                                      no medical purpose.

                                      Your talk subject looks interesting and I look forward to hearing it.
                                      The panel that Hrant and I are on looks like the after lunch comic relief!!!

                                      Gerald
                                      >
                                      > What was the life expectancy of comparable workers in other industries at
                                      > the same time? How big was the sample and are the samples restricted to
                                      > location? Is there a comparison between the country printshop and the city
                                      > printshop? Is there a separation between print factory workers (rather than
                                      > printers) and print foundry workers? What were the figures for other foundry
                                      > workers outwith the print industry? How do these figures relate to the
                                      > introduction of Linotype and Monotype machines into printshops - are there
                                      > pre and post Lino and Mono figures for comparison?
                                      >
                                      > Of course there's more questions; what gets into the body and how it gets
                                      > there is the issue, along with stopping it from getting there. You know
                                      > that, so don't try bullshitting me!
                                      >
                                      > Looking forward to seeing you next week.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Graham Moss
                                      > Incline Press
                                      > 36 Bow Street
                                      > Oldham OL1 1SJ England
                                      > http://www.inclinepress.com
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > On 3/10/07 10:45, "Gerald Lange" <Bieler@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >> Graham
                                      >>
                                      >> The average life of a printer in the very early years of the 20th
                                      >> century was 23 years old. This has to do with industrial conditions.
                                      >> Don't you think this is food for thought? I actually have a very
                                      >> intense collection of books relating to industrial/health practices.
                                      >> If I tell you you are full of shit would you be offended?
                                      >>
                                      >> Gerald
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • David Goodrich
                                      Sometimes one encounters a font of rare or historical type which one desires despite the oxidation. The oxide can be removed by soaking the type overnight in a
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                        Sometimes one encounters a font of rare or historical type which one desires
                                        despite the oxidation.
                                        The oxide can be removed by soaking the type overnight in a bath of vinegar
                                        and water. The type should then be given a protective coating of oil, to be
                                        wiped off when it is used. Of course it will never print like new type.


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Steve Robison
                                        OK...here s another 2 cents worth about lead oxide...(that s two copper cents, not two lead cents) Although I ll have to scare up the sources, I recall that
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                          OK...here's another 2 cents worth about lead
                                          oxide...(that's two copper cents, not two lead cents)

                                          Although I'll have to scare up the sources, I recall
                                          that the printing industry has had very stable
                                          mortality rates as a whole during it's long history --
                                          similar to those of other industrial activities. Hey,
                                          even Ben Franklin, one of the most famous printers of
                                          our early colonial era, lived well into his 80's --
                                          well past the life expectancy of his peers -- and
                                          probably helped to improve those early industry
                                          statistics immensely?! :-)

                                          However, after the era of the hand press, and the
                                          slower early presses, the industry began to change.
                                          The introduction of high speed presses provided
                                          another industry hazard besides lead oxide. The
                                          introduction of high speed presses brought about a new
                                          health problem that went undetected for years. The
                                          presses at high speed began to spin off microscopic
                                          particles of ink into the air during long press runs.
                                          The particles could not be seen with the naked eye, so
                                          went undetected. Those microscopic particles were
                                          then inhaled all day by press operators. Think of
                                          standing next to web fed newspaper, magazine and book
                                          presses spinning all day at high speed. It was the
                                          inhalation of these microscopic ink particles that
                                          gave press operators a much higher mortality rate than
                                          normal due to severe lung exposure from the chemicals
                                          in the ink. Like the black lung disease of coal
                                          miners, this ink was inhaled and affixed itself inside
                                          the lung cavity to do irreparable damage. So in those
                                          years, it was not the exposure to lead oxide that was
                                          the villin, it was the exposure from the chemicals in
                                          the ink particles that reduced life expectancy!

                                          On another note, I've had conversations with Lewis
                                          Mitchell who has been casting type at M&H Type Foundry
                                          in San Francisco contiuously for over 50 years. He is
                                          regularly tested for lead levels, just as a
                                          precaution, given that he works with lead alloy
                                          casters all day, every day for 5 days a week. His
                                          blood lead levels have been at or below the average
                                          for the rest of the population, and that's with over
                                          50 years of intensive work with lead alloy only (he's
                                          never been a high speed press operator inhaling ink).

                                          Now one might say that he works with new shiny molten
                                          type metal, and not the pesky oxidized stuff, and that
                                          certainly might be a factor of his good fortune. But
                                          remember too that he is also working with lead alloy
                                          in all its forms - solid to molten to gaseous. He's
                                          moving pigs of it to the melting pots, he's standing
                                          over it's molten form and breathing its fumes. He's
                                          also surrounded by residual stray spurts of it on the
                                          floor and equipment from the casters, and other stray
                                          particles. That lead alloy will eventually oxidize
                                          unnoticed. And yet while living surrounded with this
                                          for his entire working life, he has apparently gone
                                          without any adverse affects to him.

                                          So I deduce from his experience that Lewis is just
                                          smart and careful and prudent about working with the
                                          stuff, and knows not to EAT it for lunch-- and that's
                                          what it takes to be safe around it!

                                          In contrast there is an 18th and 19th century
                                          typesetter practice that I've heard about that might
                                          have narrowed the gene pool a bit for some, and
                                          perhaps shortened the life of a few printers by a year
                                          or two. The practice was that of licking some of the
                                          the small end pieces of type that would keep falling
                                          over at the ends of some lines making it difficult to
                                          wrap a form with string. The bit of saliva helped the
                                          end type to stick together briefly to a piece of type
                                          next to it so that it wouldn't fall over, and thus
                                          allowed the type setter to tie up the block of type
                                          without further trouble.

                                          This practice closely parallels the ingestion of small
                                          amounts mercury by early hat makers. They used to lick
                                          the needles that passed through the mercury soaked
                                          hats in the process of making them... leading to
                                          mercury poisoning and the insanity of hat makers and
                                          the term "Mad Hatters."

                                          This practice also parallels the practices of the
                                          early fine classic painters who used pure "white lead"
                                          (lead oxide) mixed into their oil paints and licked
                                          their brushes as they painted to get them to
                                          straighten between brush strokes, or to achieve
                                          certain effects. It's said that Gutenberg may have
                                          modeled some of his early inks on pigmented oil paints
                                          and etching inks used in his day. They all probably
                                          contained some amount of lead.

                                          But my guess is that this occasional practice of type
                                          licking might not have been as dangerous as actually
                                          licking moist liquid paint or mercury, or so wide
                                          spread a practice as to lower industry averages any
                                          more than they were already. Remember that most
                                          industrial workers, including printers, were already
                                          using what we now know to be really dangerous
                                          carcinogenic chemicals like Benzene to clean things.
                                          That was standard practice in a lot of industrial
                                          industries, and that probably lowered life
                                          expectancies a lot more that the careful handling of
                                          lead alloy type. I also suspect that the tin involved
                                          in the Lead/Antimony/Tin alloy of type metal helps
                                          seal the lead somewhat and slows the oxidation
                                          process, so that only very old type, or type exposed
                                          to salt air or other oxidants is really oxidized
                                          enough to pose a substantial risk. It may be that if
                                          you lick brand new shiny foundry type that absolutely
                                          nothing bad will happen to you at all...but I'm
                                          certainly not advocating the practice. Just to be
                                          completely safe, I'm going to keep my tongue where it
                                          belongs -- in my mouth! The occasional pesky piece of
                                          type that occasionally falls at the end of a line
                                          during set up is not enough of an incentive for me to
                                          risk ingestion of lead oxide!

                                          Remember too that up until fairly recently, lead was
                                          used in almost all gasoline fuels. The gazillion
                                          pounds of lead distributed on our city streets and in
                                          the air every day through auto exhaust for the past
                                          100 years has probably been a far greater risk
                                          exposure of lead to the general population than the
                                          amount of lead encountered by carefully handling clean
                                          solid type and then washing one's hands. Gasoline
                                          residues from the internal combustion engine have also
                                          spewed a lot of other dangerous chemicals into our
                                          environment as well. I've often thought that this has
                                          been a contributor, if not the major contributor, to
                                          the rapid rise of cancers and other diseases,
                                          including mental illnesses, in the world population
                                          today.

                                          I also wanted to comment on the care and feeding of
                                          type and what to do to keep lead oxide from forming in
                                          the first place -- so that no one will have to deal
                                          with it later. Think of lead oxide as "type rust"
                                          because that's exactly what it is. Rust is the
                                          oxidation of iron. If you were going to prevent iron
                                          or steel from rusting (oxidizing) you would coat it in
                                          something that would keep the oxygen from getting to
                                          it, like oil or varathane or paint. Well, type metal
                                          can be protected the same way, you just can't put
                                          varathane or paint on it because the face of the type
                                          has to be clean to use when you print.

                                          So after each use, leave a mild oil on the type.
                                          Kerosene, when used carefully and properly, is a good
                                          choice. The kerosene residue will keep the type from
                                          oxidizing.

                                          A good practice from the start is to proof a new set
                                          of foundry type as soon as you get it, and then clean
                                          off the ink from the type with a soft rag soaked with
                                          a bit of kerosene. This leaves a thin film of kerosene
                                          and a tiny bit of diluted ink on the type face, and
                                          this coating protects it from oxidation.

                                          I go one step further in processing new foundry type.
                                          I immerse the whole font in a tray of kerosene and let
                                          it soak for awhile until all the sides and bottom of
                                          the type are also fully coated as well. Then I take
                                          the font out of this kerosene bath and let it drain
                                          and dry for a day or two before distributing. This
                                          process will help protect the entire set of new type
                                          from the start.

                                          Of course, when I go to set the type at a later date,
                                          I don't want any residual kerosene on the face of the
                                          type when I use it. So after setting the block of
                                          type, when it's all locked up and in the chase and
                                          just before I print with it, I do one last step. I
                                          take a clean soft lint-free rag with some paint
                                          thinner (mineral spirits) on it and clean the kerosene
                                          off. Then I wipe the top of the type lightly with a
                                          soft dry lint-free rag to soak up any remaining paint
                                          thinner and allow any remaining thinner to evaporate
                                          before I lock the type form in the press.

                                          After printing, I take the chase out and clean the ink
                                          off the top with an old soft toothbrush soaked in
                                          kerosene followed with a rag with a little kerosene on
                                          it. At this point, I don't wipe the remaining kerosene
                                          off with a dry rag...I leave it wet and let it dry on
                                          its own to leave a kerosene residue to protect the
                                          face of the type. This has kept my type in excellent
                                          condition over the years.

                                          Oh, one last thing...The lead in paint is toxic when
                                          it oxidizes too. That usually happens with old peeling
                                          paint. Lead oxide, I'm told (having never ingested it
                                          myself!) is sweet to the taste. That's why it's a
                                          danger to young children who are putting everything
                                          and anything in their mouths. If they find peeling
                                          lead paint chips on the ground that have fallen off a
                                          house (usually found on the outside of a house more
                                          than the inside, but of course it can be found in both
                                          places) then the children eat it--and because it's
                                          sweet, they eat more of it. By the way, that's why
                                          rats and mice will actually eat oxidized lead
                                          type...it's tasty. And some of us, who have gone into
                                          some pretty strange places in search of old rare type
                                          have come upon this phenomenon more than once! And
                                          those old molasses and glycerin rollers were tasty
                                          treats for them as well, but that's another story and
                                          another thread altogether!

                                          OK. I'd better stop now and see what lead induced
                                          weirdness I've stirred up for the rest of the list!

                                          Best wishes,

                                          --Steve

                                          Steve Robison
                                          Belmont, CA (just south of San Francisco)



                                          Steve Robison
                                          robisonsteve@...


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                                        • Ph. D.
                                          ... Actually, lead does not turn to its gaseous state at the temperatures used in casting machines, which is about 700-750 degrees for Thompson casters, lower
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                            Steve Robison skribis:
                                            >
                                            > Now one might say that he works with new
                                            > shiny molten type metal, and not the pesky
                                            > oxidized stuff, and that certainly might be a
                                            > factor of his good fortune. But remember too
                                            > that he is also working with lead alloy in all its
                                            > forms - solid to molten to gaseous. He's moving
                                            > pigs of it to the melting pots, he's standing
                                            > over it's molten form and breathing its fumes.

                                            Actually, lead does not turn to its gaseous state
                                            at the temperatures used in casting machines,
                                            which is about 700-750 degrees for Thompson
                                            casters, lower for Linotype/Ludlow/etc.

                                            Any fumes he's breathing are from the gas being
                                            burned to heat the pot.

                                            --Ph. D.
                                          • Halton
                                            An additional view . . . Me thinks the word oxide has been mis-applied in much of the back and forth on old hot type metal. My view is that lead oxide is
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                              An additional view . . . Me thinks the word "oxide"
                                              has been mis-applied in much of the back and forth on
                                              old hot type metal. My view is that lead oxide is
                                              released only when the metal is heated above 1100
                                              degrees. Type metal used in lino/intertype & ludlow is
                                              reprocessed at no higher than 600 degrees. Monotype at
                                              700 degrees. Temperatures exceeding these temps would
                                              damage the metal amalgam and ruin them for the
                                              intended purpose. The metal used in the composing room
                                              is simply not bioavailable since eating it would have
                                              a deleterious effect on one's teeth. On matters
                                              relating to health and life expectancy of typos . . .
                                              smoking and drinking took a greater toll than lead.
                                              The grey dust commonly found on old hand type is
                                              frequently from dropped cigarette ashes. It was more
                                              prevalent in front portion of the typecases. The ash
                                              has a very corrosive effect on type. My exposure to
                                              handtype began age 11 with a hobby press I got for
                                              Christmas. Now after 50 years with lead type my
                                              current lead level is 30 micrograms/d -- about same as
                                              backgroud level of any person who drove cars with
                                              leaded gas. Union shop rules required the venting of
                                              gas-fired casting machines to remove "effluvia" from
                                              breathing air. The bad rap lead gets is primarily
                                              from paint before 1978 which was lead based. The lead
                                              in paint was ground like sifted flour and mixed in.
                                              The purpose of paint is to protect surfaces from
                                              harmful rays of the sun. Lead actually
                                              did a good job. The bad story came from old paint in
                                              run-down
                                              buildings becoming bioavailable to very young children
                                              (who put stuff in their months) and they ingested old
                                              paint chips/flakes and indeed
                                              suffered from lead poisoning as a result. I have never
                                              heard of a single printer sickened from lead, but
                                              sadly many have died from various smoking related
                                              illnesses.
                                              Joe halton


                                              --- "Ph. D." <phil@...> wrote:

                                              > Steve Robison skribis:
                                              > >
                                              > > Now one might say that he works with new
                                              > > shiny molten type metal, and not the pesky
                                              > > oxidized stuff, and that certainly might be a
                                              > > factor of his good fortune. But remember too
                                              > > that he is also working with lead alloy in all its
                                              >
                                              > > forms - solid to molten to gaseous. He's moving
                                              > > pigs of it to the melting pots, he's standing
                                              > > over it's molten form and breathing its fumes.
                                              >
                                              > Actually, lead does not turn to its gaseous state
                                              > at the temperatures used in casting machines,
                                              > which is about 700-750 degrees for Thompson
                                              > casters, lower for Linotype/Ludlow/etc.
                                              >
                                              > Any fumes he's breathing are from the gas being
                                              > burned to heat the pot.
                                              >
                                              > --Ph. D.
                                              >
                                              >


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                                            • Gerald Lange
                                              Joe The white crusty stuff is, in fact, lead oxide, aka, white lead. It s not lead ground down but it is lead corroded, essentially, with acid. There is an
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Oct 3, 2007
                                                Joe

                                                The white crusty stuff is, in fact, lead oxide, aka, white lead. It's
                                                not lead ground down but it is lead corroded, essentially, with acid.
                                                There is an interesting tome on the manufacturing process, The Lead
                                                and Zinc Pigments by Clifford Dyer Holley, 1909. The photos of the
                                                industrial process are a bit scarey in regard to the total lack of
                                                health considerations given to the workers. Interesting is that its
                                                manufacture is recorded as well in Theophrastus' History of Stones
                                                (300 BC). Lead is still allowed in paint but the percentage is
                                                restricted except for applications where its inclusion is necessary
                                                for the durability of the paint (I think I mentioned this previously).

                                                Gerald
                                                http://BielerPress.blogspot.com


                                                --- In PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com, Halton <haltonprinting@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > An additional view . . . Me thinks the word "oxide"
                                                > has been mis-applied in much of the back and forth on
                                                > old hot type metal. My view is that lead oxide is
                                                > released only when the metal is heated above 1100
                                                > degrees. Type metal used in lino/intertype & ludlow is
                                                > reprocessed at no higher than 600 degrees. Monotype at
                                                > 700 degrees. Temperatures exceeding these temps would
                                                > damage the metal amalgam and ruin them for the
                                                > intended purpose. The metal used in the composing room
                                                > is simply not bioavailable since eating it would have
                                                > a deleterious effect on one's teeth. On matters
                                                > relating to health and life expectancy of typos . . .
                                                > smoking and drinking took a greater toll than lead.
                                                > The grey dust commonly found on old hand type is
                                                > frequently from dropped cigarette ashes. It was more
                                                > prevalent in front portion of the typecases. The ash
                                                > has a very corrosive effect on type. My exposure to
                                                > handtype began age 11 with a hobby press I got for
                                                > Christmas. Now after 50 years with lead type my
                                                > current lead level is 30 micrograms/d -- about same as
                                                > backgroud level of any person who drove cars with
                                                > leaded gas. Union shop rules required the venting of
                                                > gas-fired casting machines to remove "effluvia" from
                                                > breathing air. The bad rap lead gets is primarily
                                                > from paint before 1978 which was lead based. The lead
                                                > in paint was ground like sifted flour and mixed in.
                                                > The purpose of paint is to protect surfaces from
                                                > harmful rays of the sun. Lead actually
                                                > did a good job. The bad story came from old paint in
                                                > run-down
                                                > buildings becoming bioavailable to very young children
                                                > (who put stuff in their months) and they ingested old
                                                > paint chips/flakes and indeed
                                                > suffered from lead poisoning as a result. I have never
                                                > heard of a single printer sickened from lead, but
                                                > sadly many have died from various smoking related
                                                > illnesses.
                                                > Joe halton
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > --- "Ph. D." <phil@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > > Steve Robison skribis:
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Now one might say that he works with new
                                                > > > shiny molten type metal, and not the pesky
                                                > > > oxidized stuff, and that certainly might be a
                                                > > > factor of his good fortune. But remember too
                                                > > > that he is also working with lead alloy in all its
                                                > >
                                                > > > forms - solid to molten to gaseous. He's moving
                                                > > > pigs of it to the melting pots, he's standing
                                                > > > over it's molten form and breathing its fumes.
                                                > >
                                                > > Actually, lead does not turn to its gaseous state
                                                > > at the temperatures used in casting machines,
                                                > > which is about 700-750 degrees for Thompson
                                                > > casters, lower for Linotype/Ludlow/etc.
                                                > >
                                                > > Any fumes he's breathing are from the gas being
                                                > > burned to heat the pot.
                                                > >
                                                > > --Ph. D.
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                ____________________________________________________________________________________
                                                > Catch up on fall's hot new shows on Yahoo! TV. Watch previews, get
                                                listings, and more!
                                                > http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/3658
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