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.”
Sketch by Albrecht Durer, 1511, probably drawn from memory.
Tools shown on the cheek of the press are the same Y-shaped tool shown in the Ascensius press marks, and a pair of dividers.
Durer’s sketch. although it shows the screw running in the wrong direction, seems to be done from observation. (Durer was the godson of Nuremberg printer and publisher, Anton Koberger, and had a press in his home.)
In the well-known 1628 copperplate engraving published in Haarlem by Peter Scriverius, the scissors, dividers and paste-brush are shown again on the head of the press. In this engraving, called “the first accurate representation of a press,” the mysterious tool of 1520 is not shown.
A hammer or mallet is shown hanging from the left cheek of the press, used of course for planing the form and setting the quoins and sidesticks.
Sidesticks were strips of wood or metal; when wedged against quoins, they secured one side of a locked-up page.
He was educated as a humanistic scholar and became tutor to several of the great ducal families.
One of them, the Pio family, provided him with money to establish a printery in Venice. Aldus was at this time almost 45 years old.
He devoted himself to publishing the Greek and Roman classics, in editions noted for their scrupulous accuracy; a five-volume set of the works of Aristotle, completed in 1498, is the most famous of his editions.
He was especially interested in producing books of small format for scholars at low cost.
To this end he designed and cut the first complete font of the Greek alphabet, adding a series of ligatures or tied letters, similar to the conventional signs used by scribes, which represented two to five letters in the width of one character.
Books produced by him are called Aldine and bear his mark, which was a dolphin and an anchor (seeabove).
Aldus employed competent scholars as editors, compositors, and proofreaders to ensure accuracy in his books.
Much of his type was designed by Francesco Griffi, called Francesco da Bologna.
The Aldine Press was later managed by other members of his family, including a son, Paulus Manutius (1512–74), and a grandson, Aldus Manutius (1547–97), who was best known for his classical scholarship.
Samuel Hartlib, (pictured above) who was exiled in Britain and enthusiastic about social and cultural reforms, wrote in 1641 that “the art of printing will so spread knowledge that the common people, knowing their own rights and liberties, will not be governed by way of oppression”.
For both churchmen and governments, it was concerning that print allowed readers, eventually including those from all classes of society, to study religious texts and politically sensitive issues by themselves, instead of thinking mediated by the religious and political authorities.
It took a long long time for print to penetrate Russia and the Orthodox Christian world, a region (including modern Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria) where reading ability was largely restricted to the clergy.
In 1564, a White Russian brought a press to Moscow, and soon after that his workshop was destroyed by a mob.
In the Muslim world, printing, especially in Arabic or Turkish was strongly opposed throughout the early modern period (printing in Hebrew was sometimes permitted).
Indeed, the Muslim countries have been regarded as a barrier to the passage of printing from China to the West.
According to an imperial ambassador to Istanbul in the middle of the sixteenth century, it was a sin for the Turks to print religious books.
In 1515, Sultan Selim I issued a decree under which the practice of printing would be punishable by death.
At the end of the century, Sultan Murad III permitted the sale of non-religious printed books in Arabic characters, yet the majority were imported from Italy.
Jews were banned from German printing guilds; as a result Hebrew printing sprang up in Italy, beginning in 1470 in Rome, then spreading to other towns. Local rulers had the authority to grant or revoke licenses to publish Hebrew books.
It was thought that the introduction of the printing medium ‘would strengthen religion and enhance the power of monarchs.’ The majority of books were of religious nature with the church and crown regulating the content.
The consequences of printing wrong material were extreme. Meyrowitz used the example of William Carter who, in 1584, printed a pro-Catholic pamphlet in Protestant-dominated England.
The consequence of his action was torture and hanging.
The widespread distribution of the Bible ‘had a revolutionary impact, because it decreased the power of the Catholic Church as the prime possessor and interpreter of God’s word.’
Printer and newsagent Herbert Ingram moved from Nottingham to London in early 1842. Inspired by how the Weekly Chronicle always sold more copies when it featured an illustration, he had the idea of publishing a weekly newspaper that would contain pictures in every edition.
Ingram’s initial idea was that it would concentrate on crime reporting, as per the later Illustrated Police News, but his collaborator, engraver Henry Vizetelly, convinced him that a newspaper covering more general news would enjoy greater success.
Ingram rented an office, recruited artists and reporters, and employed as his editor Frederick William Naylor Bayley (1808–1853), formerly editor of the National Omnibus.
The first issue of the The Illustrated London News appeared on Saturday 14 May 1842.
Its 16 pages and 32 wood engravings covered topics such as the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a survey of the candidates for the United States presidential election, extensive crime reports, an account of a fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace, theatre and book reviews, and a list of births, marriages and deaths.
The newspaper also carried three pages of advertisements for items such as a taxidermy manual, Madame Bernard’s treatment for baldness, and Smith’s quinine tonic. Ingram hired 200 men to carry placards through the streets of London promoting the first edition of his new newspaper.
Costing sixpence, the first edition sold 26,000 copies. Despite this initial success, sales of the second and subsequent editions were disappointing.
However, Herbert Ingram was determined to make his newspaper a success, and sent every clergyman in the country a copy of the edition which contained illustrations of the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by this means secured a great many new subscribers.
Its circulation soon increased to 40,000 and by the end of its first year was 60,000.
In 1851, after the newspaper published Joseph Paxton’s designs for the Crystal Palace before even Prince Albert had seen them, the circulation rose to 130,000.
In 1852, when it produced a special edition covering the funeral of the Duke of Wellington, sales increased to 150,000; and in 1855, mainly due to the newspaper reproducing some of Roger Fenton’s pioneering photographs of the Crimean War (and also due to the abolition of the Stamp Act which taxed newspapers), it sold 200,000 copies per week.
By 1863 The Illustrated London News was selling more than 300,000 copies every week, enormous figures in comparison to other British newspapers of the time.