Chromatic Wood Type and Borders 1874.

Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type and Borders (1874)
Some select pages from the exquisite Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, Etc. (1874), a specimen book produced by the William H. Page wood type company.
Chromatic types, which were made to print in two or more colours, were first produced as wood type by Edwin Allen, and shown by George Nesbitt in his 1841 Fourth Specimen of Machinery Cut Wood Type.
It is William H Page’s book, however, that is considered to be the highpoint of chromatic wood type production.
As well as providing over 100 pages of brilliantly coloured type, the book can also be seen, at times, to act as some sort of accidental experimental poetry volume, with such strange snippets as “Geographical excursion knives home” and “Numerous stolen mind” adorning its pages.
One wonders whether the decisions about what words to feature and in what order were entirely arbitrary.
Thanks to the wonderful Bibliodyssey blog where we came across the book: visit the post there for more info on the book and a great list of related links.

Source: Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type and Borders (1874) – The Public Domain Review

Fish Market Trade Cards.

$_57_3
$_57Although several nice versions of this Prichard & Knoll trade card with novelty fish lettering were produced in the later 19th century, you might say they are now endangered.
These two came from the same dealer and recently sold at auction for handsome sums. They are equally nice, however the first card has much finer detail held in the rainbow trout artwork and fish lettering.
It was printed by Stahl & Jaeger Artistic Lithographers in NYC. The second card has the name reversed and several alternate letters, along with some clever wave-like handlettered text with flourishes below the fish which add to its appeal.
They each have an eel ampersand.
Directly below is another unrelated trade card from 1871 with similar novelty lettering of fish.
This particular card from Fisher Ice Boxes and Refrigerators of Chicago, found here, is sporting an amphibious eel for the letter S. Although this Fisher card is nowhere near as elaborate as the two above, the artist did provide some level of detail to the three-colored fish.
I guess the imaginative art of fish lettering requires a fine line and some reel angling, just like fishing.
fish
via Letterology: The Biggest Catch of Fish Lettering.

Raid on the Queensland Government Printing Office.

Following Australia’s entry into the first World War, thousands of Queenslanders enlisted in the military to go and fight in Europe.
However, as the war dragged on and it became evident that victory would not be achieved quickly or easily, the initial enthusiasm for the conflict waned and recruitment rates began to decline.
The British government, needing fresh manpower to bolster its reserves in France, pressured the Australian federal government to send more reinforcements. The federal government, led by Billy Hughes, did not have the numbers to legislate for compulsory military service.
The Queensland government had originally been mildly supportive of the notion of conscription, but with election of a Labor government led by T. J. Ryan in 1915, the government’s stance hardened by late 1916, as the position of the party’s rank-and-file membership swung decisively to opposing compulsory service.
This opposition was not welcomed by Hughes, and Ryan was the only state premier to openly oppose the federal government on the issue.
The federal government responded to this anti-conscription sentiment in the community with a series of censorship measures, which permitted the federal government to censor speech which in their view would have interfered with the war effort. Some of these censorship measures were unorthodox even for the time.
Premier Ryan and Treasurer Ted Theodore, finding the situation intolerable, decided to counteract the actions of censor Jeremiah Stable by reading out some of the banned material on the floor of state Parliament, working that parliamentary privilege would allow Hansard containing the material to be distributed.
Travelling to Brisbane ostensibly to address a public meeting, Hughes arrived late at night with Stable and a detachment of soldiers at the Queensland Government Printing Office, seizing all 3,300 printed copies of Hansard, along with all of the type.
Hughes then informed Ryan that while there was “nothing worth censoring” in his own speeches, the anti-conscription materials of Theodore and his fellow minister John Fihelly were objectionable and would not be allowed to be distributed.
Hughes also informed the Government Printer, A. J. Cummings not to publish any further copies of the Hansard. Cummings was an ardent conscriptionist, and disclosed to Hughes that Ryan had ordered him to ignore any censorship instructions that he might receive, and that if the Army were to attempt to enter the printing office by force, that the Queensland Police would “offer every assistance in their power” to prevent them from doing so.
Upon learning this, an alarmed Stable, not wanting the situation to descend into violence, cabled Hughes and asked if there were any way to solve the problem without resorting to armed force.[10]
The following day, 27 November, Ryan demanded an explanation from Hughes for the seizure of Hansard, and for the failure of the postal service to transmit copies of the Hansard to subscribers. He also had a special issue of the Government Gazette issued that described the situation, and gave a general description of the contents of the Hansard, without giving any specific details that might fall afoul of the censor.
Hughes responded, taking responsibility for both actions, accusing Ryan of publishing a document that was “a Hansard in name only”, and putting Ryan on notice that “if some of the statements published in your so-called Hansard are repeated outside (of parliamentary privilege), I shall know how to deal with them”.
Now read on via Source: Raid on the Queensland Government Printing Office – Wikipedia

‘PEEFACE’ and other Typos.

peeface-old-book-typoHaving worked in the printing industry you do see some very weird things from time to time.
In the days of hot metal at least it was some fun.
I can remember a bloke who had been at the pub for his dinner break.
He went back to work pissed and then decided to throw a paragraph of hot metal type away so that he could get the front page of the daily newspaper to fit.
Only problem was that if you were reading the lead article on the front page  and turned the page it disappeared.
He got the boot for that.
When I was a young apprentice and being a Protestant and not being familiar with the terminology of the Catholic Church I read the abbreviation “Fr.” in a Funeral Notice as meaning “Friar” (as in Tuck) and set it accordingly.
The Priest presiding at the service was most unimpressed.
Anyway, here is another big Stuff  Up…read the caption below carefully.

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Derwombat

Havana’s Oldest Printmaking Studio.

Ian Marcos Gutiérrez, a 23-year-old printer at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica, in Havana, helps the author prepare a block of lithographic limestone for printing. (Arien Chang Castán)
by Mimi Dwyer;
Photographs by Arien Chang Castán
Lithography arrived in Cuba before anywhere else in the Americas, as a way to protect the sanctity and integrity of the country’s industry.
By the early 19th century, Cuban exports, especially tobacco, had a prestige that made them valuable throughout the world.
Exporters wanted a way to protect Cuban industry from counterfeiters.
Using lithography, they could make seals and rings that both decorated their products and distinguished them from those of competitors.
The process depends more than anything on the repellent properties of oil and water, and their interaction with limestone. By using acids, powders, solvents, oils, and gum in specific combinations, lithographers manipulate the places a stone receives ink.
In this way, they can use a stone to print precise and intricate images onto paper.
Cuba imported thousands of lithographic limestones from Germany in the 1800s, when the technology was first emerging.
Cuban businessmen brought machines from France and Germany and lured experts to Havana who knew how to use them. Many of the original machines still work.
The Taller’s oldest is an intricate, red woodcutting machine from 1829, still used by artists every day.
In the 1950s, shortly before the revolution, aluminum replaced lithography as the best way to protect product identity, and the stones fell into disuse.
Campesinos started to use them to make walking paths through muddy fields. Habaneros, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, laid them around the city along with whatever other stones they could find to serve as barricades.
Cuban lithography would have died then but for a few artists who recognized the value of the craft.
They lobbied the government to protect the stones, and in 1962, as minister of industry, Che Guevara signed a mandate to provide materials, space, and machines to Cuban lithographers in the name of art.
The Taller was born from that directive, and it remains the oldest and best known print studio in Cuba.
It’s been producing work consistently since then.
Read the full article via Step Inside Cuba’s Oldest Printmaking Studio | Travel | Smithsonian

The Vandercook Proof Press.

In the early 20th century, printers were still pulling crude proofs from hand presses and simple galley roller presses that depended on gravity for the impression.
In 1909, R.O. Vandercook was the first to develop a geared, rigid-bed cylinder proof press, a machine capable of providing the industry with high-quality proofs from metal types and photoengravings.
The company’s reputation was built on technical innovation and quality construction, and for the next fifty years Vandercook & Sons set the standard for subsequent manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe.
In the 1960s, when offset lithography eclipsed letterpress as the leading commercial printing method, printers began decommissioning their letterpress equipment (often giving it away).
As a result, Vandercook presses began to be adopted by artists and hobbyists for short-run edition printing due to their ease of operation.
Now widely found in art schools and book arts centers, Vandercooks are arguably the press of choice for fine press printers and book artists.
via Vandercook Time Line – Vanderblog.