The Nebitype, the Typesetter from Hell.

1967t01The Year was 1968. I was completing my composing apprenticeship with the Griffin Press, Marion Road, Netley.
My foreman was Alf Freeman, a bald Englishman who had come from England to originally work at the Government Printing Office.
Alf had left after a couple of years for the Griffin.
There I met Nick Penn, Colin Rawlings, Rod Baker, Ted Powell, Ken Simpson, Doug Long and Norm Morcombe all who went on to work at the Old Guv from the 1970s onwards.
However, the point of this tale is to get you to look at the above typecasting machine, the Nebitype.
It was made by the Nebiolo Company of Italy. The Nebitype was a line casting typesetter that spewed a single lead printing slug around 40 picas in length.
It was vaguely similar to the Ludlow Typesetter.
But there the similarity ended, unlike the Nebitype the Ludlow was a very reliable American typesetting machine.
But there was a problem with the Nebitype during its casting cycle and I suspected there was something up when the tradesmen refused to work it.
It was left up to the apprentices, especially the new ones, like me!
The Nebitype had a mind of its own and would often spray molten lead into the air.
Luckily, there was a comp. called Ken Costello (a ballroom dancing champion) who showed me the Nebitype survival plan.
You would place the setting stick in the jaws of the machine and then everyone would scatter.
Ken Costello had a rope tied to the casting handle and the other apprentices would hide behind a typesetting frame for safety.

Meanwhile, Ken would wave a red warning flag to keep people away.
Before hiding you tugged the rope, uttered a short prayer and the machine would shudder into action.
Did it work properly this time? Was the floor covered with molten lead?
It certainly made life interesting in the Griffin Press comp. room.
derwombat
 

de Kehtam’s ‘Fasiculus Medicine’ first Anatomy Book with Illustrations.

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“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 book 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)

Fracastoro, the Syphilis Poet by Titian.

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Original Painting of Fracastoro by Titian.
A notorious 16th-century Italian’s portrait was acquired by the National Gallery in London in 1924.
His name? Girolamo Fracastoro. His claim to fame?
A word for the sexually transmitted disease that was terrifying his countrymen—syphilis—was derived from a poem he wrote.
The portrait was damaged, darkened by varnish, and unsigned, so the museum staff relegated it to a basement gallery despite Fracastoro’s renown.
Eventually, cleaning and conservation revealed the hand of a master artist.
After close examination, curators decided last year that the artist must be the famed Venetian painter known as Titian.
The portrait now hangs in one of the museum’s main galleries.
via Rediscovered Treasures

Light from Above, Santa Maddalena.

Light from Above.
The picture “Light from above” was taken in September 2016 in Santa Maddalena, Dolomiten, Italy.
Beautiful light and humidity stood behind the nice play of light and shadows that morning.
I was waiting as the small church was illuminated by the very first rays of Sun.
Image Credit: Photograph by Peter Svoboda, Slovakia National Award.
Source: The Winners Of 2017’s Sony World Photography Contest | Bored Panda