The outside of the book.
This is the top half of the figure, the upper case. In the actual type tray, individual sorts, or pieces of type, would be stored in the compartment indicated. Note that the actual compartments are open; a type tray generally does not have a lid, so you had to learn where the letters went. [more...]
“Standing in front of the case, the compositor held in his left hand a wooden “composing-stick,” in which a rectangular trench had been cut to receive the letters. Reading and keeping in his mind a few words of his manuscript, he picked up the types letter by letter and placed them side by side until first [...] [more...]
“When the end of a line was reached, and there was no room for more words and yet some space left, the compositor by placing a little extra space between the words made the line fill out the stick. This was called ‘justifying” the line. Each line was lifted out of the stick and placed on a wooden board; thus line after line was [...] [more...]
This image is taken from a fifteenth century “Speculum humanæ salvationis”, probably from the first Latin edition of around 1470. The panels represent the fall of Lucifer and the creation of Eve from Adam, respectively. [more...]
A printing office, with an engraver (I think) at left, a proof-reader, a typesetter (at the back) next to the person operating the press itself, and, at right, a boy wearing tights and I think barefoot, probably a [...] [more...]
This border of straight lines in red and back is taken from James Watson’s title page from three hundred years ago; I have kept the horizontal line so that you can erase it or duplicate it and move it as desired, and I coloured one of the two nested [...] [more...]
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