Beatrice Warde, Typographer

F3DSC_0003American, 1900-1969
The typographer, writer, and historian of printing Beatrice Warde was educated at Barnard College, Columbia, where she developed an interest in calligraphy and letterforms.
From 1921-1925 Warde was the assistant librarian at the American Type Founders Company, pursuing her research into typefaces and the history of printing.
In 1925 she married the book and type designer Frederic Warde, Director of Printing at the Princeton University Press. The couple moved to Europe, where Beatrice worked on The Fleuron: A Journal of Typography, then edited by Stanley Morison.
Her reputation was established by an article she published in the 1926 issue The Fleuron, written under the pseudonym “Paul Beaujon,” which traced types mistakenly attributed to Garamond back to Jean Jannon of Sedan.
In 1927 she became editor of The Monotype Recorder, in London. Beatrice Warde was a believer in the power of the printed word to defend freedom, and she designed and printed her famous manifesto, This Is A Printing Office, in 1932, using Eric Gill’s Perpetua typeface.
She rejected the avant-garde in typography, believing that classical forms provided a “clearly polished window” through which ideas could be communicated.
The Crystal Goblet: Sixteen Essays on Typography (1955) is an anthology of her writings.
tinta-disec3b1o-grafico-printing-2

via Unseen Hands: Beatrice L. Warde.

Grant meets “The Dutchies”.“

img_4504_zps783ba9cc1-scaled100021I felt very welcome at The Guv and made long friendships quickly. I had only had exposure to Miehle Vertical presses at Trade School.

The Vertical 6 was the newest press, Dennis Duthie ran “A Centurion” which was chucked out and two new Heidelberg platens took its space. I was really hanging out to be put back on one and charging 30 minutes for a wash-up that took less than 10 minutes.

Over the years, I spent some time out on the ITEK small offsets but they were tinny imitations of a press and I wanted to get back on the ‘proper’ machines.

There were suggestions that I should get ‘up to speed’ on the big Miehles but I had other ides.The one Miehle that had an auto feeder on it needed a tall dude like Laurie Hussin to carry whole reams up flights of steps with the ream folded over on his shoulder.

There was a vertical Miehle right up against the wall behind the wash-up sink and Max Andrews was on it. I was on the Heidelberg Cylinder next to Reg. Francis’ guillo.

Reg was a real character, lived by himself down Semaphore way and he had a lady living near him who made him big smelly stews.

Reg like nothing better than you to insult his ‘stinking old stew’ on the way past his guillo to the back door!. There was one gas outlet and burner behind his guillo. and the stew was heated up on overtime. Sliced and buttered bread was the instrument to eat it with (he called this ‘dipper inners’) and washed down with a few Cooper Sparkling Ales made for a very pleasant overtime.

Cohn Mohr was on the other more modern guillo. I have no idea what brand it was. Cohns’ idea of fun was to re-work out the paper cut- out from the planners and only cut what was enough for the job. Some paper cut-out plans were for 50% more than required.

Cohn kept the excess in a big pile, so when we had spoilage or press problems, we went (cap in hand) to Cohn and he invariably had a little stock of what we needed to get us out of the poo. Failing that, we went to Doug Laurie whose ‘spoilt work’ docket list often went onto the back of the job bag.

Cohn was Dutch but spoke very good English. When he wanted to blow off some steam, he would corner Jack van der Schaans (Jobbing) and they would rabbit on in Dutch for a few minutes.

Jacks’ English was largely undeveloped and everything he said sounded like, ‘is mish bish bosh’. We had Cohn translate for us on more than a few occasions. Even Jan Keizer couldn’t understand him.

BARCOO 2_0

The Photo above is of the “Barcoo” which broke anchor during a storm in 1947 or 1948 and was washed up onto West Beach.

This is the shipping accident that Frank (Nigger) Johnson and Reg (Father) Francis discussed endlessly.

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“Rats”.

rat-fink-scaled500In 1964 I lived at Blackwood and caught the train to work at Leals. Joining the train at Eden Hills was Barry Cagney (Dags) who caught me reading some of the trade school texts and determined that I might end up being a printer like him.

At some time after that, our Trade School class walked over to the GPD to have a go at the 3M over-lay/infrared thing. It didn’t work too well on that day, but we dutifully brought our make-ready over-lays back to the school and tried to use them. Very limited success. Barry spotted me while we were at the office, and after that we chatted a bit on the train.

At the end of my apprenticeship, I had a chance association with a friend of my father and in the course of other conversations, he asked me was I going to stay at Leal’s.I  wanted to move on from bus tickets and Commercial Bank cheques.

He had some association with the GPD through some accounting job, so I wrote to enquire what the employment situation was. I was given a time and date to attend for interview.

The interview was a walk around the Machine Room with Allan Morris and there seemed to be a feeling that I’d got the job. Brief waves and hello’s from Dags and Dennis Duthie (from Trade School) This seemed to be confirmed when a voice said, ‘so how soon can you start’?

What a filthy and shocking mess the place was. I was soon made aware of rat catching competitions and the difficulty of moving formes around on the horrible asphalt floor.

Within a few days, I’m watching Clarrie filling in holes with boiling lead from the smelter. Crumbling rubble from the walls was swept up every morning and the cloud of dust settled on any available inky surface.

Wayzgoose47

Fred Howlett, loved Mettwurst and Fags.

mettwurst-80Fred Howlett was a lovely bloke who wouldn’t hurt a fly!

He was also one of the most nervous blokes I’ve ever known. He was on long term medication for a severe nervous disorder and was also a heavy smoker.

At least every 10 minutes of his day, he would stop in mid track to loudly check that he had spare smokes and spare tablets. One day he did not bring his spare tablets in and Frank Johnson sent him home to get them.

Freddy was always annoyed that he couldn’t hear the bell on the goods lift ring at the other end and therefore had no proof that it was ringing. There was only one bell press, so I assume it rang constantly on both the Jobbing and Comp. floors when it was meant only for the Bindery.

Geoff Clarke and I were a bit partial to a drop (or five) of Kaiser Stuhl, Family Port. Every so often, I’d load up the ex missus in the green Austin and take a Sunday afternoon to go up to the Barossa to load up on cheaper volumes of wine. That was in the days when ‘cellar door’ sales really were a lot cheaper. I always got an order from Geoff on the Friday afternoon before heading off.

Mettwurst 80

That day me and the ex had a nice picnic lunch in a park and a few wines to wash it all down. We were coming back down through Nuriootpa and I was hanging out for a soft drink so stopped at Linke’s Bakery for a drink. Linke’s also made a very respectable metwurst and it was on sale in the bakery.

I pulled up behind an old (and familiar) original VW Beetle and spied Freddy on the footpath in front of the shop, about ¾ of the way through a full garlic metwurst. I could smell it as soon as I got out of the car. I’m still not a big fan of garlic, so with a short ‘hiowyergoin’, left him to his task.

Monday morning, I asked him how he got on with the metwurst. “Mate, I was as sick as a dog on the way home and even during the night”. Fred didn’t smell too flash that day and I think Frank Johnson might have given him an early minute to go home and recover.

Caxton1947

 

Rick “Ricky” Bell.

32redcoupeside-scaled500Rick Bell (Maintenance Section) hated being called Ricky and didn’t like his surname used as a noun because he was called ‘Bellie” and things like ‘Dingdong’ at Primary School.

At least one of Ricks after hours passions was working on his cherry red Ford Coupe Tourer (with the Dicky seat). In the early years of his apprenticeship to Printing Engineering, he struggled to keep the original 1930s (something) engine going and bits like the clutch, brakes etc were also proving difficult as even items from the wreckers and Rare Spares dried up.

An offer from someone in the Bindery enticed Rick out of his Ford passion and into the new world of Holden. The offer was to take away for free, an EH Holden wagon with a 186 motor. Rick lived at O’Halloran Hill and the car was in Salisbury. I lived in Allchurch Ave. Kurralta Park with not much to do on weekends so offered to help.

We duly arrived at Salisbury in the Ford early one Saturday morning and had a look over the Holden. The head had been refurbished but was on the floor of the back seat. A heap of other ‘running gear’ was in buckets and tins on the passenger side front floor. The owner said that the brakes worked a bit but you probably would need to rely more on the handbrake..

We attached a big ‘under tow’ sign to the Holden and slowly dragged the hulk back to Ricks place. Somehow. all went smoothly until we got about 1/2 way up Tapleys’ Hill, when the heat from the Ford’s exhaust pipe burnt though the tow rope. The original gear on the Ford had the pipe coming out from the middle of the body under the back bumper. So I’m cut loose from the little Ford and running backwards down Tapleys Hill Rd, again (blessedly) not much traffic.

Finally instinct kicked in and I pulled the handbrake on. Made no difference. Pumped the footbrake. Made no difference. Threw the car into gear, something went BANG and I drifted at an angle into the side of the cutting. Rick stopped and ran back laughing his head off. I told him about the loud noise under the bonnet and we put the bonnet up to find that the engine dismantlers had put all the other other U clamps, nuts and bolts, old valve stems etc in the top of the cylinder pots. When I put the can in gear, the pistons moved and pushed all the contents out onto the road.

Finally back at Ricks place, we took the engine out, cut the Holden body in 1/2s along is length and took it 1/2 at a time to the Happy Valley dump with windows and seats. By the time we got back with the 2nd half, the doors and seats had gone to a better homes. I’m thinking this was about 1972-1974.

When we wuzz yung ‘n’ dumb.

caxton1974

The Air that We Breathe…

b_1_q_0_p_1Remember when Alan Maynard used to sweep the floor at Netley with kerosene laced sawdust in order to make the parquet floor presentable.

Breathing carcinogenic, hydrocarbon fumes as part of your job (hopefully) wouldn’t happen now in Government.

It also crossed my mind, that in the Apprentice Machine Room at the old Printer’s Trade School in Kintore Avenue they had a gas heater in the corner. No matter about the hydrocarbon fumes (Benzene and Turps) from the wash ups floating all around in the air at the time. How it we didn’t have an explosion I will never know.

I can remember Clarrie the smelter at the Guv and his green teeth. As there was no restriction on smoking in the workplace then, he was sucking on cigarettes all day.

Smoking the fags and inhaling the harmful lead fumes though the burning end of the cigarette would have meant that every breath of smoke was forming lead oxide in his mouth. His green teeth made me think that he wasn’t a big go for brushing his teeth all that often.

I’m sure this lethal combination of lead fumes probably had something to do with dear old Bob Miller’s health problems which lead to a very long sickness.

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