The Kastenbein Typesetter.

Kastenbein_setting_machineAs we have seen composing type by hand was a very slow but skilled trade.

The machine in this picture was called the Kastenbein Typesetter.

Instead of picking up each tiny letter by hand the typesetter just tapped the letters he wanted, like a typewriter.

A very rudimentary form of typesetting.
The machine also sorted out the letters after they had been used, so they could be used again. The Times installed this typesetter in the 1870s.

I would expect that the Kastenbein Typesetter had a short life because the hot metal casting brilliance of the Linotype was set to turn composing on its head.

Sound familiar?

from Metal Type

Thompson Sorts Caster.

The Thompson sorts caster, a competitor to the Monotype sorts caster, went into commercial production in 1908.
Thompson sold the caster to the Lanston Monotype Co. in 1929, where production continued in England until 1967.
The Thompson sorts caster is used to cast type for hand composition.
It casts a single “sort” (one size of one character of one typeface) using flat matrices, Linotype matrices or Ludlow matrices.
Our caster, Serial #120, is from the foundry of C. Christopher Stern.
An unverified rumor offers speculation that the Thompson Serial #120 may have been given to Mr. Thompson at the time of sale of his company to the Lanston Monotype Co.
Source: C.C. Stern Type Foundry » Thompson Sorts Caster

William Blades, Typographer.

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Images by Ellis & Co, Sutton (Photograph) & Walker and Boutall (Engraving). Source: Catalogue of the William Blades Library (1899)
William Blades (5 December 1824 – 27 April 1890), English printer and bibliographer, was born at Clapham, London.
In 1840 he was apprenticed to his father’s printing business in London, being subsequently taken into partnership.
The firm was afterwards known as Blades, East & Blades. His interest in printing led him to make a study of the volumes produced by Caxton’s press, and of the early history of printing in England.
His Life and Typography of William Caxton, England’s First Printer, was published in 1861-1863, and the conclusions which he set forth were arrived at by a careful examination of types in the early books, each class of type being traced from its first use to the time when, spoilt by wear, it passed out of Caxton’s hands.
Some 450 volumes from the Caxton Press were thus carefully compared and classified in chronological order.
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Pentateuch of Printing with a Chapter on Judges (1891)
In 1877 Blades took an active part in organizing the Caxton celebration, and strongly supported the foundation of the Library Association.
He was a keen collector of old books, prints and medals. His publications relate chiefly to the early history of printing, the Enemies of Books, his most popular work, being produced in 1880.
On his death, his library was acquired by the St Bride Foundation as the initial collection of the library.
He died at Sutton in Surrey on 27 April 1890.
via William Blades – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Wonder of a Hot Metal Comp Room.

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An absolutely superlative image of the wonders and mystery of a hot metal print comp room.
I say mystery because anyone entering who was unfamiliar with the printing trade would stand in awe and stare.
They would then hear the strange language that these old codgers would be speaking.
Using terms that were alien and unknown and laughing as they spoke and only they understood this “gobbledegook”.
Ah! The Good Old Days!
derwombat

Journeyman’s Certificate,1791.

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Bremen: Ernsting, 1791 Engraved broadside. Graphic Arts Collection.
A panoramic view of the city of Bremen tops this journeyman’s certificate.
It is inscribed for twenty-five year old Johann Hingstmann (born 1773), who has completed his twelve year apprenticeship to reach the level of journeyman.
Hingstmann now has the right to charge a fee for his own work.
To reach the highest level of master craftsman, he will have to submit an example of his work to a particular guild for evaluation and hopefully, be admitted to the guild as a master.
The certificate is engraved by Daniel Albert (Albrecht) Ernsting (1749-1820), who was himself an apprentice to a Bremen printer. Ernsting then studied in Göttingen and Copenhagen before returning to Bremen and opening a shop.
His name is found engraved on portraits, business cards, playing cards, and of course certificates.
via Graphic Arts: Ephemera Archives.

“The Vinegar Bible.”

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The Holy Bible as printed in Oxford in 1717 by John Baskett became known as the ‘Vinegar Bible’ on account of the celebrated misprint in the Parable of the Vineyard. Rel.bb.71.2
No authoritative copy of the King James Bible survives.
The manuscript, supposedly still in existence in 1655, is said to have perished in the Great Fire of London.
The first editions were produced by the King’s Printer, Robert Barker, who despite his eminent position seems to have been a disorganised workman who introduced a large number of typographical errors.
The first Cambridge edition of 1629 carefully revised the text, but Barker excelled himself in 1631 with the notorious ‘Wicked Bible’ which omitted the word ‘not’ from the Seventh Commandment.
The translation itself was not universally admired either, the Puritan scholar Hugh Broughton damning it as soon as it appeared, and a later writer producing an 800 page volume on errors in the Pentateuch alone.
Nonetheless, assisted by the monopoly of the King’s Printer, the new translation rapidly supplanted the Bishops’ Bible and, more slowly, the Geneva version.
Plans for another rendering in the Commonwealth period came to nothing, and the King James version, dubbed the Authorised Version although no record survives of it ever having been authorised, reigned unchallenged until the 1880s.
Lectern
via Great and Manifold Blessings: The Making of the King James Bible.