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John Easson's History of Printing

Many Society members will be familiar with at least some of the many broadsheets that John Easson has printed over the years. The first of these broadsheets appeared some 40 years ago as bundle items with the Society's magazine, Small Printer. The early broadsheets were printed using traditional letterpress techniques, and covered many subjects related to the history and practice of printing. While John still produces letterpress-printed broadsheets, in more recent times he has also produced a series of electronically-set broadsheets. He has now kindly given the Society permission to place a large selection of these files on to the web site.

These sheets cover all aspects of printing including: the history of printing from the times of Gutenberg and Caxton onwards, theory and practice of printing as well as aspects of typography and design. The broadsheets are listed below. The files can be downloaded by clicking on the relevant images. Please note that the broadsheets were designed for print at A3 size, so you may have to use the zoom facility to read some of the text, especially if using a computer with a small or low resolution monitor.

Gutenberg & Caxton

Two important early printers

Guttenber & Caxton

Printer's Terms

Some of the descriptive words used by printers

Printer's Terms

Measurements

Terms of measurements used by printers

Measurements

Type Casting

Hand Casting & Foundry Type

Type Casting

Monotype Casting System

Machine Casting of type

Monotype Casting

Casting - Slugs & Snails

The Linotype & Ludlow Casting Machines

Casting

 

Hand Type Setting

Setting up the type

Hand Setting

The Lay of the Case

How the type is distributed in the case

Case Lay

Imposition

Making up the forme

Imposition

Stereotyping and Electrotyping

Making copies of the forme for high speed multiple printing

Sterotyping

Ink Making and Rollers

Two vital printers' materials

Ink Making

Ephemera

Everyday throwaway printing

Ephemera

Hand Paper-making

Traditional paper-making techniques

Hand Paper Making

Machine Paper-making

Modern paper-making techniques

Machine Paper Making

Bookbinding

Putting the pages together

Bookbinding

Print Finishing

A vital part of the printing process

Print Finishing

The Common Press

A description of the early printing press

The Common Press

The Iron Press

Nineteenth century press developments

The Iron Press

The Rotary Press

The alternative to the platen

The Rotary Press

Later Platen Presses

Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Developments

Platen Press

Woodcuts

Early and artistic print illustration

Woodcuts

Wood Engraving

Developments and refinements in print illustration

Wood Engraving

Photo Engraving

Mechanical print illustration

Photo Engraving

Halftone and Four Colour Work

Photographic print illustration

Halftones

Other Printing Processes - 1

Processes other than relief printing

Other Processes 1

Other Printing Processes - 2

More print processes

Other Processes 2

Lithography

The difficult to explain explained

Lithography

The Alphabet

How the letters we print came into being

The Alapabet

Type Design

How and why typefaces look like they do

Type Design

Typefaces

How we classify type

Typefaces

Typography

Making words and sentences function

Typography

The History of Typography

The history development of styles

History of Typography

William Caslon

The story of the man and his type

Caslon

Working in the Past in Printing

A brief description of the tasks carried out by printer in days gone by

Working in the Past