Page 13 - August 2014
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with the type they held. Apart from a floor-     requiring a lot of solid seƫng came in, it was
to-ceiling rack which held dozens of fonts of   customary to hold a race in which anything
wooden poster type, and a huge ‘stone’, the     less that 1000 ens per hour was regarded
pride and joy was a large Stanhope iron hand-   as patheƟc and the boss used to claim that
press (more of which later), brought back from  he could set 2000 per hour ‘with his gloves
India where it had been used to print Bibles.   on’! Before the first War, he told me that for
                                                large jobs it was the pracƟce to employ casual
Very few type cases bore labels to show their   compositors known as ‘tramps’. One of these,
contents – an excepƟon being one of the         who came regularly, was notorious for taking
cabinets which held fonts of ‘Verona’ and       snuff and having a nose that dripped into the
‘Chippendale’. Otherwise most of the other      thick-space box! This reminds me that when
faces were Victorian or Edwardian. The main

fonts for text seƫng were 10pt Haddon’s Old     there was a slack period, one of my jobs was
Style, of which there were some 20 cases, and   to clean the dust out of type case by using a
‘Modern 17’ in sizes from Nonpareil (6pt.) to   pair of hand-bellows.
English (14pt.), with heavy cases of Brevier
(8pt.) and Long Primer (10pt.) I once found a   The main work came from local industry,
parcel of new type with the date 1858 wriƩen
on it in a beauƟful copperplate hand! There     non-conformist chapels, Masonic and Buffalo
was no mechanical type-seƫng; everything
from a business card to a mulƟ-page booklet     Lodges, the local Grammar School, a Trade
was set by hand – and later, of course, had
to be ‘dissed’ back into cases. When a job      Union – and local undertakers! Much type was

                                                ‘kept standing’ on long slip galleys or leƩer-

                                                boards.

                                                         ... ‘ÊÄã®Äç›Ý ěøã ÃÊÄã«

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