Page 6 - May 2014
P. 6

John Easson (2959)

Books on prinƟng are thin on the ground unƟl      Most galleys were specifically designed to lie
1800, and the few there are don’t describe        with the head on the right and Ɵlted up away
composiƟon in pracƟcal detail so omit             from the compositor, and the brackets for
menƟon of galleys, but in 1825 Hansard’s          holding typecases oŌen had a built-in secƟon
Typographia gives details of methods then.        designed to hold a column galley (a long thin
He describes galleys as wooden (usually           one) underneath. One brass galley shown
mahogany), made with three-eigth inch             here is the reverse design, but I don’t know
(9mm) board and with only two sides, and no       the reason for this. Today we would possibly
longer menƟons the slice. However, Savage,        imagine it was for a leŌ-handed compositor,
wriƟng in 1841 describes more than one kind       but in the past working leŌ-handed would
of galley in use – he says that ‘slice galleys’,  have been strongly discouraged throughout
just as Moxon describes, are best for book        training, and the making of special supplies
work, and that newspapers use a metal galley      therefore unlikely.
with a thin sheet base and brass sides on
three sides enabling the type to be locked in in  All-steel galleys started with ones with
order to take a proof whilst sƟll on the galley.  separate edges aƩached in various ways,
Once these started being used, presumably         but eventually became almost universally
the base sheets standardised on thickness, as     made from pressed steel sheets, folded over
roll-over proof presses designed specifically      at the edges, presumably for economy of
for the extra height of base plus type became     manufacture, and these are the ones most
available, oŌen provided with a spare metal       usually found today.
sheet to put in when prinƟng from a forme
rather than a galley.                                                                          ãóÊ Ýãù½›Ý Ê¥ ›ƒÙ½ù
                                                                                               ƒ½½-Ý㛛½ ¦ƒ½½›ùÝ.

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By the early twenƟeth century The Art and
PracƟce of PrinƟng (probably the widest-used
textbook over decades) describes galleys as
metal or wooden, showing how conservaƟve
the industry was at replacing old systems!

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