Carolus & the Birth of the Newspaper, 1605.

w640A young man from Strasbourg, Johan Carolus, had his Gutenberg moment in 1605.
The proprietor of a successful news agency, each week he would scrutinise the letters, news reports and despatches that passed through this busy city and produce from them a hand-written digest of news, which he copied for subscribing clients.
Struggling to keep up with demand, he had recently bought a printing press and put a proposition to the city council. He would turn his weekly newsletters into print if the council would grant him a monopoly.
To Carolus this probably seemed a relatively routine legal transaction. Like Johannes Gutenberg 150 years before, Carolus was seeking to deal with a situation where demand had outstripped supply by mechanising an existing process.
In Gutenberg’s case this involved replacing manuscript books, copied one by one, with a technique for producing several hundred copies. Carolus proposed to do the same for news.
Since the invention of printing in Europe in the 15th century, publishers had gradually broadened the market by experimenting with new forms of books.
Among them were an increasing number of pamphlets dealing with current affairs: wars, battles and natural disasters.
But these news pamphlets were occasional publications, printed when great events caused a spike in public interest.
Those who required a regular digest of news – diplomats, merchants or officials, such as members of Strasbourg’s town council – turned to news agencies like that of Carolus, which offered a weekly subscription service.
These newsletters, which originated in the great Italian news hubs of Rome and Venice, were highly regarded but expensive. Carolus now proposed to broaden their appeal and lower their cost by having them printed.
Unbeknown to him, he had invented the newspaper.
Rod Parham

The Columbian Eagle.


I am positive that we had one Columbian Press in the comp. room at the Old Guv and I’m sure it was used for proofing galleys of type only. Am I right brothers?
The Columbian is by far the most lavishly decorated of all iron handpresses, although it must be noted that many of the embellishments function perfectly well as the working parts of the Press.
The English writer T. C. Hansard once commented (shortly after the first Columbian Presses appeared in London) that:
“If the merits of a machine were to be appreciated wholly by its ornamental appearance, certainly no other press could enter into competition with the Columbian”.
Invented in 1813 by the American John Clymer, the Columbian Press was one of the first iron printing presses and had a notable advantage over other iron handpresses, of that period.
Clymer’s innovative and powerful combination of levers greatly increased the pressure that could be applied to the printing forme, without causing undue physical strain to the pressman.

Historic Olivewood Estate, 1889.

IN THE semi-arid Riverland area along the Murray River, there’s a grand old Canadian log cabin that is an oddity of the landscape.
And behind the log cabin there is an American-inspired barn from 1890, full of antique citrus processing machines.
If only the walls of these buildings could talk, they would tell a tale of early settlement like no other.
This is Olivewood Estate in Renmark, South Australia, built in 1889 by one of the three Canadian Chaffey brothers, who were brought out from the US to establish Renmark — and Mildura — as the first irrigation settlements in Australia.
William, George and Charles Chaffey were Canadian-born, and were working in California on irrigation projects when the Victorian and South Australian governments approached them to set up settlements here.
”What followed were several tough years to attract new settlers and establish the pumps, channels and infrastructure for irrigation, with Mildura and Renmark taking different paths to settlement”.
While the towns today are the result of this settler work, Olivewood Estate is a more personal reminder of the Chaffey brothers’ impact on the landscape.
Charles, who established Olivewood, chose a Canadian-style log cabin and US-style barn, on an original 60ha property, which is today 12ha.
Since the National Trust took over management of the building in 1979, volunteers have worked to attract visitors and keep the property viable.
Alongside the homestead, the barn is filled with machines donated from local citrus farms such as a 1910 stemmer and grader.
Next to the barn is a reproduction olive crushing mill and oil house, again full of donated items such as photos, a wedding dress, and a large display of dental equipment.
At the front of Olivewood the Charles Chaffey Centre showcases Renmark’s history.

It is four museums in one, including a Printing Museum dedicated to the old days of hot metal composition and letterpress printing production.
The Images that follow include some taken by Old Guv letterpress printer Bob Downs from his recent trip to Renmark and Olivewood. Thanks Bob.


Source: Historic Olivewood at Renmark is remarkable for its architecture and horticulture | The Weekly Times

Castlemaine Festival – 23-24 March, 2019.

Castlemaine is a small city in Victoria, Australia, in the goldfields region of Victoria about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo.
It is the administrative and economic centre of the Shire of Mount Alexander. The population at the 2016 Census was 6,757.
Castlemaine was named by the chief goldfield commissioner, Captain W. Wright, in honour of his Irish uncle, Viscount Castlemaine.
Castlemaine began as a gold rush boomtown in 1851 and developed into a major regional centre.


First Book Printed in English.

opening-two_facing_pagesLe Recueil des Histoires de Troye, a 1464 work by Raoul Lefèvre, tells a chivalirized version of the history of the city Troy. The Greek heroes, Hercules and Jason, are recast as ideal knights and founders of the Burgundian dynasty.
It was translated by William Caxton into English soon after it was written and found popularity under its new title, The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye. But these days, it is best known for its place in the literary tradition as the first book ever printed in English, and it just sold for over one million dollars.
In the prologue of the English translation, Caxton records how the “work was begun in Bruges in the County of Flanders, the first day of March, the year of the Incarnation of our said Lord God a thousand four hundred sixty and eight, and ended and finished in the holy city of Cologne 19 September, the year of our said Lord God a thousand four hundred sixty and eleven, etc.” It was to be a gift for Duke Charles’s new wife, Margaret, upon her entry into the English court.
The original hand-written copy was produced as part of a long tradition of currying royal favor. Sotheby’s, where a first printed edition was up for auction, writes that “It is unlikely that Caxton originally intended his translation for print.
He probably first encountered the printing press when he moved to Cologne in 1471 and it was almost certainly at that point that he began to consider undertaking a radically new commercial venture: printing in English.”
Postcard_-_Bruges_-_Maison_du_Franc_II_(Excelsior_Series_11,_NoThe Beautiful City of Bruges.
The young tradition of the printing press, at the time just 30 years old, favored Latin works over any particular vernacular for their ability to find a market across Europe.
Caxton, however, was confident that the cultural cache of the Burgundian court would inspire literate English nobles to embrace The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye.
Although the date of his translation is carefully recorded in the prologue, the context of that first printing is more difficult to determine.
Historians have placed it sometime between 1473 and 1475 at a workshop in Bruges.
Read more via The First Book Ever Printed in English Sells for Over a Million Dollars | Mental Floss.

129-year-old Hillston Spectator’s future in doubt.

129-year-old Hillston Spectator’s future in doubt as editor eyes retirement after 60 years.
After more than 60 years at the helm of his local newspaper, Patrick O’Sullivan is concerned the much-loved weekly might not survive beyond his retirement.
The Hillston-Ivanhoe Spectator has been covering local news for 129 years.
Its owners admit finding enough content to fit the format has been a struggle. Despite its small circulation, the country paper continues to be the heart of the community.
The Hillston-Ivanhoe Spectator has been circulating news throughout western New South Wales since 1889..
Mr O’Sullivan has been the editor since 1955, after taking over from his father, Percy, at age 24.
Now Mr O’Sullivan fears that the paper’s days may be numbered as the end of his working life approaches.

This old printing press lives in Pat O’Sullivan’s Hillston office but hasn’t been used since the 1970s Photo: ABC News: Cara Jeffery.
“I’m worried the Spectator doesn’t have a future,” he said.”It’s been here 129 years and I’d like to see it keep going.
“It’s a very good job, bringing the local news to the people and informing them sometimes of things they didn’t know had happened in the town.”
The circulation of the six-page read has stayed steady over the years, though the editions are no longer printed on old printing presses at Mr O’Sullivan’s Hillston office, which is more than a century old.
Mr O’Sullivan said that was only one of the things that had changed over the years.”The cost of the paper back in 1945 was thrippence — three pence,” he said.”
Now, it’s slowly got up to be $1, but some people must think it’s still okay because they start knocking on the door before the paper’s ready to be sold.”
Continue Reading via Source: 129-year-old Hillston Spectator’s future in doubt as editor eyes retirement after 60 years – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)