Albrecht Pfister, Printer and Publisher c.1400s.

alber

Daniel in the lion’s den, from the Historie von Joseph, Daniel, Judith und Esther (Bamberg: Albrecht Pfister, 1462), f.19r. JRL 9375.
Pfister is an even more shadowy figure than Johann Gutenberg, and what is known of him comes from analysis of the nine editions he is generally thought to have printed.
Trained as a cleric, he worked in Bamberg, Germany, and by 1460 he was acting as secretary to the prince-bishop of the city.
As a printer he is credited with being responsible for two innovations in the use of the new technology: printing books in the German language, and printing woodcut illustrations at the same time as the type.
He produced the first printed editions of popular German stories, Der Ackermann aus Boehmen, a poetic dialogue between the ‘Ploughman’ and ‘Death’ who has deprived him of his young wife, and a collection of fables entitled Der Edelstein.
The John Rylands Library holds the only complete examples in Britain of books printed by Pfister, including his Historie von Joseph, Daniel, Judith und Esther and the Biblia Pauperum of 1462.
via First Impressions | Albrecht Pfister.

‘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.

5084999927_56f193889a_o

Derwombat

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.

Print in Medieval Paris.

paris

Situated on the River Seine in northern France, late medieval Paris was a great university city and offered printers the opportunity to sell their books to teachers and scholars.
In 1436 the French King, Charles VII, reclaimed the city from its occupiers,the Burgundians who were allied to the English, making Paris the capital of France again.
There was a ready market for Printers in producing legal texts and courtly books such as romances.
Paris was already one of France’s major cathedral towns and famous as a centre of scholarship and manuscript production.
The Sorbonne was founded in 1257, one of seventy colleges listed as part of the university in the Middle Ages.
At the end of the medieval period, the university had become the largest cultural and scientific centre in Europe, attracting about 20,000 students.
Its reputation grew from the prestige of its university masters and the wealth of its libraries, which were equal to that of the pontifical library in Rome.
Read on via First Impressions | Paris.

John Baskerville, Type Designer.

john-baskerville
Born 1706–Died 1775, English type designer and printer.
He and Caslon were the two great type designers of the 18th century in England.
He began his work as printer and publisher in 1757 and in 1758 became printer to the University of Cambridge.
Baskerville’s first volume was a quarto edition of Vergil. His type faces introduced the modern, pseudoclassical style, with level serifs and with emphasis on the contrast of light and heavy lines.
This style influenced designers in France and that of Bodoni in Italy.
Books printed by Baskerville are typically large, with wide margins, made with excellent paper and ink. His masterpiece was a folio Bible, published in 1763.
After his death his wife operated the press until 1777.
Then most of his types were purchased by Beaumarchais and were used in his 70-volume edition of Voltaire.
The matrices, long lost, were rediscovered and in 1953 were presented to Cambridge University Press.
Among Baskerville’s publications in the British Museum are Aesop’s Fables (1761), the Bible (1763), and the works of Horace (1770).

Who was at the Monotype Room’s Christmas Party, 1966?

Capture

The Monotype Operators and Casting Attendants pictured really loved having their old style Christmas Piss-Ups at King William Road.
Sitting (L to R): Bill Wallace, Burk Stone, Bert Tinkler, John Bryant.
Standing (L to R): Ralph Hannant, Kevin McBride, Peter Reeve, Ted Burkett, Graham Braybrook, Alex Crawford, Neil Cross, Cecil Dodd, Hector Korsten.
Hidden: David Copley (drummer but always working overtime).
But one person on the day, and that’s a young John ‘Mooster’ Bryant looks very sour and unhappy.
If you look closely at the back wall there is a poster hanging there that you would not see today.
A big thank you to Steve Palmer for putting names to the faces and to Dave Copley for suggesting an accurate year change.
Photo Courtesy of the Korff Family.