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

Re: [PPLetterpress] buying old type

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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



          BullGuard Anti-virus has scanned this e-mail and found it clean.
          Try BullGuard for free: www.bullguard.com



          [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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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.
                    >

                    --
                    AzByCx DwEvFu GtHsIr JqKpLo MnNmOl PkQjRi ShTgUf VeWdXc YbZa&@
                    {ARTQ: Help stop in-box bloat! Always Remember to Trim the Quote!}

                    ExquisiteLetterpress http://www.exquisiteletterpress.com

                    -:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*-:-*
                    Peter Fraterdeus http://www.alphabets.com : Sign up for "MiceType"!
                    Galena, Illinois Design Philosophy Fonts Lettering Letterpress Wood Type
                    Dubuque, Iowa http://www.fraterdeus.com
                    Photography Irish Fiddle Political Observation
                    http://flickr.com/photos/pfraterdeus
                    http://youtube.com/user/pfraterdeus
                  • 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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@...


                                      ____________________________________________________________________________________
                                      Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
                                      Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search
                                      http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=oni_on_mail&p=graduation+gifts&cs=bz
                                    • 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 18 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 19 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.
                                          >
                                          >


                                          ____________________________________________________________________________________
                                          Catch up on fall's hot new shows on Yahoo! TV. Watch previews, get listings, and more!
                                          http://tv.yahoo.com/collections/3658
                                        • 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 20 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
                                            >
                                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.