Definition of a ‘Printing Office’ c 1890.

In my experience the term “printing office” was quite a common term to describe a printing establishment, The Old Guv was known as the Government Printing Office and most of the other States of Australia used the same term, it was also used in the United Kingdom and United States.
The term “print shop” was generally used to describe a small to medium printing establishment. It appears the correct terminology was a bit of an issue back in the 1890s
The 1897 Brit­ish Printer art­icle, below, sets out their thoughts on ‘Print­ing Office’ from that time.
Refer­ring to the use of the term “office” as the name given to a printer’s estab­lish­ment, The Printer and Book­maker says:
“The dic­tion­ar­ies do not recog­nise any mean­ing of office which would jus­tify its use for a place where print­ing is car­ried on. Prop­erly, the busi­ness office of a print­ing office is the only part of the estab­lish­ment entitled to the word. The pro­pri­etor and the book-keeper or type­writ­ist are the only ones who are really jus­ti­fied in say­ing, ‘We are going down to the office now.’
The typos, press­men, et al., should say, ‘We are going down to the shop,’ if they wish to be exact. Cus­tom has sanc­tioned office, how­ever, and its use is prob­ably suf­fi­ciently fixed to last for cen­tur­ies. This being the case, it is time that the dic­tion­ar­ies recog­nised the mean­ing in which print­ers use the word, that the knights of the stick may be backed by lex­ico­graph­ical authority.”
via The Printing “Office” | British Letterpress.

School of Graphic Arts Melbourne 1959.

School of Graphic Arts Melbourne 1959
The Linotype composing room at the Melbourne School of Printing and Graphic Arts, Victoria, Australia.
This is an example of the specialisation of technical education in Australia at the Melbourne Technical College.
[photographic image] / photographer, Cliff Bottomley. 1 photographic negative: b&w, acetate
Source: School of Graphic Arts Melbourne 1959

Hansard Shift 1947.

hansard 1947Don’t forget to right Click to view Image in larger format.
Photo: Ron Hamence, Colin Lindquist and Bob Herriman.
The job of course is Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) and its the Composing Room at King William Road, Adelaide.
This Method of production remained pretty much the same until the late 1970s, early 1980s.

Photo courtesy of Russell Wight (Sojar).



Printing in Medieval Venice c.1490s.


Venice, from the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493). JRL R1786.
Medieval Venice was a major city state and an important trading port where East met West.
Situated on a marshy lagoon at the head of the Adriatic Sea, for centuries it had traded extensively with the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim World.
By the late thirteenth century, Venice was the most prosperous city in Europe, and with its powerful navy it dominated Mediterranean commerce.
Goods such as silk and spices, incense, opium and herbs were traded, imported from Africa and Asia and distributed throughout Europe by Venetian traders.
With their immense wealth Venice’s leading families vied with each other to build the grandest palaces and to patronize the most talented artists and craftsmen.
It was a city that embraced the new technology of printing with great enthusiasm.
The opportunity for profit offered by this wealthy trading city, rather than a reputation for scholarship and intellect, attracted printers such as Nicolas Jenson to Venice.
Aldus Manutius was the most successful Venetian printer in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.
via First Impressions | Venice.

Little Charlie Korff.

1900blackwhiteboynewspaperoldphotography-1022f2033f123eb583c6ddce0b34c439_h_1-scaled500Picture of the the lovable “Charlie” as a newspaper boy.
Karl “Charlie” Hans Korff was born on 27th April. 1934. It was the International Year of Short people.
Charlie went through all of the usual problems in his youth, for example having teeth, growing hair, trying to speak English and a little broken German.
He was only a small boy during WWII and it wasn’t the greatest time for a youngster with a German background to be in Australia at that time.
However, upon reaching puberty a strange haunting voice said, “Charlie, One day you should become a Compositor.” To which Charlie replied, “But, I can’t read music”. Oh well!
Charlie has always thanked that voice because it provided him with a chance to work at The Old Guv.
He was a brilliant footballer in his youth with South colts and Thirds and much better than brother Paul, who was much better at table tennis.
He was apprenticed to Stock Journal Publishers at age fourteen and stayed seven years before moving on to Specialty Printers. At Specialty he come across Adrian Riosa, Nick Penn, Chris Candlett and Con Rogers.
He started at the GPO in 1976 after 21 long years with Specialty Printers.
Charlie is part of the famous Korff family (Dickie, Paul (deceased) and Charlie) all who worked at the Government Printing Office at some time or other.
When working with Charlie Korff, you didn’t realise just how healthy you were.
If you came to work sneezing – he had the Flu.
If you sprained a finger – he had a broken wrist.
If you twisted an ankle – he had a broken leg.
Dear old Charlie was always sicker than you.
But, he was a Very Lovable Man!