Hand and Machine Hot Metal Composition.

Composing or Typesetting as a skilled trade originated in the Renaissance.
The Compositor was solely responsible for the appearance of every page. The wonderful vagaries of hyphenation, particularly in the English language, were entirely in the Compositor’s control.
Every special feature: dropped capitals, hyphenation, accented characters, mathematical formulas and equations, rules, tables, indents, footnotes, running heads, ligatures, etc. depended on the skill and aesthetic judgment of the Compositor.
Such was the attention to detail and pride in the appearance of a well composed page they would occasionally rewrite bits of text to improve the appearance of the page.
This greatly annoyed the American author Mark Twain (who began his own career as a Typesetter) and encouraged him to invest heavily in an early, and unsuccessful, attempt to produce a keyboard-driven typesetting machine that wouldn’t edit his words.
There was a romantic tradition, in this country at least, of the drifter Typesetters, who were good enough at the craft to find work wherever they traveled.
They’d work in one town until they wanted a change and then drift on.
They had a reputation for being well read, occasionally hard drinking, strong union men who enjoyed an independence particularly rare in the 19th century.


Typesetting was a skilled and respected trade even after the keyboard-driven typesetting machines were introduced, around the 1890s.
These machines typically produced lead slugs for each line of type, which were placed in a chase, proofed (the type was of course backward), and locked into columns or pages.
Extra space between lines was supplied with thin strips of lead, inserted between lines.


by Unknown photographer (scanned by and courtesy of Derzsi Elekes Andor).
Pages such as price lists and directories would be kept as “standing type” and edited by adding and removing individual lines of type.
Large type in headings, etc., was likely to be set by hand and combined with the machine set lines.
Read more via Graphion Museum: Old Phototypesetter Tales

Gone Forever? Perhaps.





At the top we’ve got the knocker upper who used to bash on your window to wake you from your wonderful night’s sleep.
This was a great idea, good for you because it got you to work on time and good because someone was employed to do it.
A job gone for all time. Yes, I think so.
The poor old milkman’s demise was painful, slow and took many years to happen. Driving around in a horse drawn milk cart and pouring the milk into a billy disappeared first.
That was replaced by glass bottles with foil tops for many years and now we have milk in cartons and plastic from huge supermarkets.
A job gone forever, not so sure.
The bowling pin boys, I can barely remember them and I’m sure they were underpaid and put at risk from time to time.
By the way who did  it while they were at school?
Please don’t come back!
As for the rat catchers, don’t ever write them off, they may well become the food suppliers of the future!

The Electrical Vibro Shave of 1926.

o6w0icjgi7cy66fywxw6The March 1926 issue of Science and Invention magazine included the photo above and the illustration below, showing off just how the new Vibro-Shave worked.
Under the headline, “New Devices at the Electrical Show,” the magazine touted the benefits of electric shaving.
With the twist of the bottom knob, the device would start vibrating and the razor blade inside would move from side to side.
It was so easy, even a heavily bearded child could do it.
And it wasn’t just for shaving.
The removable head allowed for a massage attachment (seen in the photo on the right) which was promoted for use on both the scalp and the face.
“It does not rub in wrinkles,” the booklet that came with the gadget proclaimed, “but, by the gentle tapping with the vacuum tip, coaxes them out.”
via This Was An Electric Razor (And Face Massager!) in 1926.

The Kodak Brownie Camera, 1900.

Kodak Brownie, 1900
The Brownie was responsible for bringing snapshot photography to the masses in 1900.
A very simple cardboard box with a lens that took Kodak’s 117 roll film, the camera was named after cartoonist Palmer Cox’s popular Brownie character that adorned the box.
It cost $1 (just under $30 in today’s currency) and proved very popular, selling 150,000 units in its first year and spawning a new popular photography movement with multiple follow-up models.
Image Credit: Photograph by David Duprey/AP
See more gadgets via 10 most influential portable gadgets – in pictures | Technology | The Guardian

Vintage Superheroes meet Norman Rockwell.


The illustrations of Juan Carlos Ruiz Burgos, who pays tribute to the Saturday Evening Post and the world of Norman Rockwell with a series of beautiful vintage creations, transporting Cat Woman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy or the Joker into the retro universe of the Saturday Evening Post.
via Saturday Evening Post – The vintage superheroes meet Norman Rockwell | Ufunk.net.

The Spacelander Bike of 1946.

Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
This bicycle, designed by Benjamin Bowden, was included in the “Britain Can Make It Better” exhibition of 1946.
Known simply as the Classic (and later the Spacelander), Bowden’s initial design for the bicycle included a motor that gave riders a little extra oomph while traveling uphill.
Bowden’s streamlined design was said to represent what the bicycle of twenty years hence was supposed to look like.
And appropriately, it wouldn’t go into production in the United States until 1960.
The only problem was that nobody wanted one. They were both out of style and terribly expensive ($90, or about $730 adjusted for inflation).
Only about 500 were ever produced. But the Spacelander is a big collector’s item these days.
There aren’t many authentic Spacelanders existing outside of museums, but there are plenty of reproductions—many of which are passed off as the real thing by dodgy folks targeting collectors.
“Just by sitting down in my office and thinking about it, I said to myself I should select a product that had not been made before,” Bowden told interviewers in 1993, reflecting on his work at the age of 87.
Source: This Was the Bicycle of the Future in 1946