Page 12 - May 2014
P. 12

I hope that this arƟcle will produce            untouched from before WW1. However, at
plenty of comment and reacƟon.                  last some feeling in my mind suggested that
                                                I should drum up some courage and actually
       HIS IS perhaps because I have not        touch this type and so I gently took out an M
        cleaned the type as I should, and you   and an S and started to clean them with every
        will tell me: But more so—as editor of  possible solvent that I had. Unfortunately I
your magazine—I believe that such arƟcles       failed to take a picture of these pieces of type,
relate one’s own experience one can share       that looked like pieces of coal, but aŌer plenty
with other members of our society, which        of elbow grease it became apparent that the
should be the life blood of our magazine. So    type was interesƟng. Indeed it had been cast
please let me have your comments about          by Stephenson Blake (Picture 1), was obviously
type cleaning and follow up with some of        founders’ metal, the reason why the pieces
your such experiences related to prinƟng.       of type were so hard and shone when rubbed
                                                with Brasso (Picture 2). I could not find details
A few weeks ago I came across a case of         of the typeface in the 1924 Stephenson & Blake
absolutely blackened type that had been

CLEANING THE ATHENIAN

    12                                                                                             3

lurking on the boƩom shelf of a random for      catalogue, but went to their 1914 catalogue
more years than I care to think about. The      where it was clear that my blackened typeface
case and the type were so dirty and covered in  was Lining Athenian Expanded, in 48 and 36
cobwebs that I had never had the inclinaƟon     points.
to even invesƟgate. The case had been in the
random ‘for ever’, and I suspect had been       In the past I have cleaned type with MEK, now
                                                banned as a substance, but very effecƟve,

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