The 1953 edition of Fahrenheit 451 was Lethal.

img_5255e53aa7b0aThe Special Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was bound in fire-proof asbestos (the slow and silent killer).
Ray Bradbury’s iconic dystopian novel focused on a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen hunt down and burn books rather than put out house fires.
Shortly after the book was published in 1953, a run of 200 special editions was produced.
These books, bound in white with red cover text, included both a printed signature on the cover and an actual signature inside.
More significantly, the books were bound in covers of asbestos, a fireproof mineral that has been linked to the deaths of millions of workers over many years.
Even in 1953 they were well aware of its dangers.
Image courtesy of Bauman Rare Books.
via Which Book Was Released In An Asbestos Lined Hardcover Edition?

Muller Martini, Manufacturers of Bookbinding & Web Offset equipment.

Muller Martini, based in Switzerland, manufactures web offset printing presses, bookbinding equipment, newspaper inserting systems, mail room delivery systems and other printing related equipment.
Manufacturing facilities are located in Switzerland, Germany and the United States. Muller Martini employs approximately 4,000 people in manufacturing and sales/service support positions in several countries.
Hans Müller in Zofingen, Switzerland started manufacturing bookbinding equipment in 1946 under the name Grapha Maschinenfabrik. The first machine produced was a hand-fed saddle stitcher, later modernized by the “Swiss Girl” automatic feeder, which could be disengaged and tilted back when not in use. Grapha exhibited its first fully automatic saddle stitcher with in-line trimmer at Drupa in 1954.
During the same time, the company was working on the development of an adhesive binder.
In 1955, the company incorporated and changed its name to Grapha Maschinenfabrik Hans Müller A. G. That same year Muller sold its first machine in the United States. Other equipment was added, and in 1961 large-scale production of newspaper and magazine inserting machines was started.
As Muller expanded, new manufacturing, sales and service facilities were set up abroad. A United States subsidiary, the Hans Muller Corp. was established in 1967.
Martini joined the Muller organization in 1969. Founded by Friedrich von Martini, inventor of a precision rifle, Martini began manufacturing folding and stitching machines in 1850. Martini introduced its Book Sewing Machine in 1897, and more than 10,000 have been produced to date.
The Martini automobile, powered by a Martini-designed internal combustion engine, was also introduced in 1897. Automobile production stopped in 1934, when the company decided to concentrate on book binding equipment. Adhesive binding machines were developed by Martini in 1941.
Muller Martini developed its first offset web press for business forms in 1972 and is now a manufacturer of web presses for direct mail promotional graphics and commercial work.
In 1973, Muller Martini USA offices relocated to Hauppauge, Long Island.
At the same time, the company name was changed to Muller Martini Corp. A network of sales, product management and service personnel were also established throughout the United States with Regional Offices in the Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco areas.
via Muller Martini – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Thorne / Simplex / Unitype Foundry Typesetter, circa 1890s.

The Thorne/Simplex/Unitype Type-Setting Machine is now largely forgotten, even in otherwise thorough histories of type.
So completely did the hot metal composing technologies of the Linotype and the Monotype dominate the 20th century that the transition from hand to machine composition is now usually seen as an instantaneous event dated to the introduction of the Linotype in 1886 (or 1890).
Yet the Thorne (later called the Simplex, and later still the Unitype) deserves to be remembered.
It worked. It was commercially successful. It was manufactured in quantity (1,500 to 2,000 machines). Its makers survived for over three decades (Thorne patented it in 1880, and the successor company appeared in business directories until at least 1918.
Imagine that it is the mid 1880s and you are responsible for a printing establishment. For more than 400 years, metal type has dominated printing (with some competition from lithography in recent years).
Metal type is the basis of your shop and your life. At the same time, type has always been an expensive, precious commodity.
Composition – typesetting – by hand is even more expensive. Making type more cheaply is something you can’t do – that’s the typefounders’ business. But setting type more cheaply is something that you’d very much like to be able to do in your own shop.
In such an environment, the obvious thing you need is a machine to set type.
The Thorne was just such a machine. It let you set type from a keyboard. It assisted in the justification of lines, Perhaps most importantly, it automated the tedious distribution of type for re-use after printing.
It was compact, probably quiet (I suspect that no one in living memory has heard one operate), and would have fit well into any composing room.
It even had sophisticated keyboard features for entering entire words simultaneously which have not been matched even by computers today.
As the Unitype selling agents Wood & Nathan Co. said in 1910, it “does not compel the printer to take up methods which are foreign to his training, but with cheap type and type of foundry excellence it adds its power of speedy composition without disorganizing the methods of the composing room.”
Read on via Thorne / Simplex / Unitype

‘Booze’ comes from the Dutch word ‘buizen’ circa 1500s.


It was there in the first ever glossary of slang, the collection of criminal jargon published c.1532, and it’s still going strong.
Booze: Alcoholic drink, and as a verb, to drink.
It came from Dutch buizen, to drink to excess (and beyond that buise, a large drinking vessel) and the first examples were spelt bouse.
Over the centuries it spread its wings.


We find the boozer (both pub and person), the booze artist, -gob, -head, -freak, -hound,-hoister, -rooster, -shunter and -stupe, all drunkards.
There are the pubs, saloons and bars – the booze barn, -bazaar, -casa, -crib, -joint, -mill, -parlour, -factory, -foundry and -emporium.
Across the mahogany (the bar counter) stands the booze clerk, -fencer or -pusher. If we hit the booze too heavily, we get a booze belly, and maybe a trip on the booze bus, Australia’s mobile breath-tester.
via BBC News – 10 slang phrases that perfectly sum up their era.

“Emblems of Love” dedicated to the Ladys, 1683.

This excellently sub-titled love emblem book from the English poet Philip Ayres is a reworking of emblems originally found in the earlier Thronus Cupidinis.
Each of the forty-four cupid-centred emblems are accompanied on the facing page by a quatrain, written out in four languages: Latin, English, Spanish and French.
The Quatrains sport some wonderful titles, which at times seem to come straight out of the back catalogue of Mills and Boon – “The Voluntary Prisoner”, “The Timerous Adventuror” – and some which offer just straight up advice – “Be Quick and Sure”, “Little by Little”, “Tis Constancy that Gains the Pryze.”
The engravings appearing alongside depict cupid in whole host of different scenarios, including making a barrel, hobbling on one leg, being burnt at the stake, and (seemingly) admonishing a chameleon.
In addition to the emblem and quatrain pages, the book begins with a rather wonderful Sonnet, in French and English, the latter titled “Cupid to the Ladies”:
Please read on via Emblems of Love, in Four Languages: Dedicated to the Ladys (1683) | The Public Domain Review.

de Kehtam’s “Fasiculus Medicine” first Anatomy Book with Illustrations, 1500.

“For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading; above measure blessed those on whom both gifts have been conferred”–Pliny the Elder.
Johannes de Kehtam’s Fasciculus Medicine (printed in Venice in 1500) was the first anatomy to be printed with illustrations.
Ketham was described as a German doctor living in Italy and may well have been Johann von Kerchheim, a German practising surgery and medicine in Venice during 1470), and who wrote a series of tracts on various aspects of medicine which were then collected into this single bound volume.
6a00d83542d51e69e2017ee57542ac970dThe illustrations are spectacular and to me have a very modern sensibility in their mid-Renaissance woodcut legacy–the look very clear and concise, are well proportioned, nicely labelled, and give plenty of free rein to open and blank spaces on the woodblock.
The only time these images really “fail” is when they appear in colour–a process that would’ve been undertaken privately, by the purchaser of the book, who would have contracted with an artisan to colo r the book.
The images in almost all of the cases of colouring that I have seen just do not match the elegance and brilliance of the original with no color.
Source for all images: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE,
Read on further via JF Ptak Science Books: First Printed & Illustrated Medical Book (1500)