Printing History

Articles

No. 10, July

Readability and Revival: The Case of Caslon
In his book Types of Typefaces (1967), J. Ben Lieberman, one of the founders and first President of the American Printing History Association, wrote an intriguing description of one particular typeface, Caslon. It has been, he wrote, the most controversial...
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From Palm Leaf to Book: A South Asia Quest
LEARNING letterpress printing, for me, was a do-it-yourself project. My teacher was a book: Printing as a Hobby by J. Ben Lieberman, the very J. Ben Lieberman whom this lecture series commemorates. Lieberman's how-to paperback, which I discovered in...
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Behold, You Are Beautiful, My Love: The Use of Ornamental Frames in Hebrew Incunabula
Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly lovely. (Song of Songs 1:15-16) Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves behind...
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No. 9, January

Pirates, Shipwrecks, and Comic Almanacs: Charles Ellms Packages Books in Nineteenth-Century America
BETWEEN 1890 and 1920, Boston was at the center of a movement that was establishing new standards for excellence in modern typography and bookmaking. This new, modern printing style was in part a matter of aesthetics--inspired by the ideas of John...
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A Glance at the First Century of California Printing
"I suppose in a land that looks like a tropical drop-scene, you have to have books that are equally theatrical."--D. B. Updike, letter to Stanley Morison, 13 November 1923. (1) UNLIKE the fine printing traditions of Europe, those in California came...
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The Cornhill Booklet, 1900-1914
THE Cornhill Booklet was one of many "little magazines" that appeared throughout the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Their aspiring publishers were encouraged by the success of Stone and Kimball's Chap-Book, launched in 1894, and,...
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No. 8, July

Two Portraits of Cape Cod: Amelia Watson and Clare Leighton
ANYONE who has spent time on Cape Cod has no difficulty understanding its powerful pull. The bibliography of written appreciations is large, and the list of images in all media even larger. Here I will concentrate on two decorated books, both tributes...
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The Rise and Fall of the Printers' International Specimen Exchange
NO event was more important to the revival of fine printing in England than the great Caxton Celebration, held in South Kensington during the summer of 1877. The Exhibition included 4,734 books, printing presses and materials, type specimens, and memorabilia...
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Legends of the Mummy Paper
NOT everything killed off stays dead. It has now been fifteen years since Joseph Dane published an article in Printing History entitled "The Curse of the Mummy Paper," in which he debunked the nineteenth-century legend of paper being made from the...
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No. 7, January

The Book [Broadside, Bookplate, Business Card and Birth Announcement] Beautiful
IT was a great honor for me to present the 2009 J. Ben Lieberman Lecture of the American printing History Association, the most gratifying affirmation of my work I have received since the time Rocky Stinehour, glancing at something I had printed, said,...
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Considering Rob Roy Kelly's American Wood Type Collection
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection, now at the University of Texas, Austin, has long been recognized as one of the major archives of this remarkable form of printing technology, but in recent years I have attempted...
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No. 6, July

Collecting Litho Jam Jar Labels and Teaching Wood-Engraved Elephants: Rare Book School's Printing Surfaces Collection
I CHOSE my title in order to evoke things both sweet and simple and, at the same time, exotic and grand: jam jars and elephants. But you must dismiss from your minds any lingering visions of grocery store shelves or African safaris, and turn your mind...
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Hermann Zapf at Ninety
THE 8th of November 2008 marked the ninetieth birthday of one of the greatest type-designers, not only of our time but of all time: Hermann Zapf. The book designer Carl Zahn has summed up Hermann Zapf's unique combination of skills aptly: "... his...
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Saving Printing History outside the Box
WAS a frightened seventh grader on his very first day in a brand new school, trying to find my way to a printing class. As I entered the room, I was stunned. An older student had just spilled an entire case of 10-pt. type and the instructor was flailing...
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No. 5, January

Aldus, UCLA, and Me
THE descending-order sequence of terms in the title of my talk this evening will, I hope, make clear to you my sense of priorities in all this. I take refuge in the events and talks that will carry us through this annual conference, and the levels...
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The Development of Arabic-Script Typography in Georgian Britain
BEFORE BRTAIN'S EMPIRE ESPITE a common misconception, printing was known in the Middle East before Napoleon carried a printing press to Egypt during his invasion of 1788. Xylographic block-printing of individual pages of the Quran was widespread...
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No. 4, July

The Materials of Typefounding: A List of Surviving Collections
METAL type, although its use survives in the arcane craft of hand printing, has long vanished from the technology of making texts for widespread reading. One of the paradoxes that have accompanied this process lies in the fact that as this has happened-and...
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Frederic Warde, Crosby Gaige, and the Watch Hill Press
"As to Warde, I should say he was an exquisite enigma. It would be easier to write a novel than a biography about him"--RUDOLPH RUZICKA (1) MENTION the name Warde in connection with printing and typography, and it is likely to be Beatrice, Monotype's...
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No. 3, January

Geofroy Tory's Champ Fleury in the Context of the Renaissance Reconstruction of the Roman Capital Alphabet
THE designer of this woodcut [Fig. 1], the Parisian scholar and printer Geofroy Tory, was one in a series of intellectuals and artists who, in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, invented the capital letter as we know it today. He...
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Publishing the U.S. Exploring Expedition: The Fruits of the Glorious Enterprise
IN 1844, swept into office by a campaign promising westward expansion, President-elect James K. Polk was poised to succeed John Tyler in the White House. A confident young United States of America was challenging European nations in international...
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No. 2, July

Calligraphy and Letterpress in Design Education
WHEN proto-graphic designers invented writing five thousand years ago, they provided a cornerstone of civilization. Scribes were the first to record history, and preserve knowledge. After the appearance of letterpress printing in 1455, leading typographers...
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Keeping Time in the Age of Franklin: Almanacs and the Atlantic World
WHAT communities choose to print can be telling about what they find important or necessary. As such, print history has much to offer histories of self-identity and the development of nationalism. (1) In March 1639, John Winthrop, the governor of the...
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Tyrus Harmsen and Stephen Tabor. the Plantin Press of Saul and Lilian Marks: A Bibliography [1930-1985]
TYRUS HARMSEN and STEPHEN TABOR. The Plantin Press of Saul and Lilian Marks: A Bibliography [1930-1985]. Sebastopol, Calif.: The Press of Patrick Reagh, (1) 2005. xviii, 156 pp.; 16 color plates. In three limited editions: $350, $250, and $175. ...
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Betty Bright. No Longer Innocent. Book Art in America: 1960-1980
BETTY BRIGHT. No Longer Innocent. Book Art in America: 1960-1980. New York: Granary Books, 2005. xx, 302 pp. ISBN 1-887123-71-7 $39.95 (paperback). Betty Bright (one of the founders of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts) has written a lively, entertaining,...
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Richard B. Doubleday. Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years
RICHARD B. DOUBLEDAY. Jan Tschichold, Designer: The Penguin Years. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Books; Aldershot, England: Lund Humphries, 2006. xxii, 218 pp. $39.05. ISBN 1-58456-178-5 [Oak Knoll]; 0 85331946 4 [Lund Humphries]. In 1947 Allen Lane,...
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James Mosley. Handmade Type: Thoughts on the Preservation of Typographic Materials
JAMES MOSLEM. Handmade Type: Thoughts on the Preservation of Typographic Materials. (Justin Howes Memorial Lecture, St. Bride Institute.) Oldham: Incline Press, (1) 2007. iv, 24 pp., sewn, stiff card wraps. $20 (which includes postage and a $5 donation...
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Simon Loxley. Type: The Secret History of Letters
SIMON LOXLEY. Type: The Secret History of Letters. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2005 (first printed 2004). viii, 248 pp. ISBN 1 85043 397 6. 24.50 [pounds sterling] (hardback); 9.99 [pounds sterling] (paperback). Typography has rare been seen...
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Jenny Uglo. Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick
JENNY UGLO. Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick. London: Faber & Faber, 2006. xx, 460 pp. isbn 978-0-571-22374-9; 0-571-22374-5. 20 [pounds sterling]. Thomas Bewick was born on a farm near Newcastle in 1753, a pre-industrial world that...
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No. 1, January

Photography in Reproduction: Its Role in the Settlement of California
Photographers were supposed to do more than just see the world as it is, including the already acclaimed marvels; they were to create interest, by new visual decisions.--SUSAN SONTAG, On Photography. OVERVIEW JUST as seventeenth-century European...
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Experience Gutenberg Project: Printing Beorum II at the Scripps College Press
A MIRACLE occurred in the year 2000 when the Dale Guild Type-foundry of New Jersey was commissioned by a Japanese firm to produce matrices and cast type based on Gutenberg's 42-line Bible (1) They called their new face B-42 and made two- and four-page...
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De Hamel, Christopher, and Joel Silver. Disbound and Dispersed: The Leaf Book Considered
DE HAMEL, CHRISTOPHER, and JOEL SILVER. Disbound andDispersed: The LeafBook Considered. Chicago: Caxton Club, 2005. [iv], 152 pp. ISBN 1-5856161-0. $45.00. In 1905 the Caxton Club, a prestigious group of Chicago book collectors, published Caxton...
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Tichenor, Irene. No Art without Craft. the Life of Theodore Low De Vinne, Printer
TICHENOR, IRENE. No Art without Craft. The Life of Theodore Low De Vinne, Printer. Boston: David R Godine, 2005. xii, 330 pp. ISBN 1-56792-286-4. $35.00. Theodore Low De Vinne was to be overshadowed by Bruce Rogers and Daniel Berkeley Updike in...
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Green, James N., and Peter Stallybrass. Benjamin Franklin, Writer and Printer
GREEN, JAMES N., and PETER STALLYBRASS. Benjamin Franklin, Writer and Printer. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press for Library Company of Philadelphia and the British Library, 2006. x,179 pp. ISBN 1-58456-187-4. $9.95. The audience of this review...
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Lane, John A. Early Type Specimens in the Plantin-Moretus Museum
LANE, JO HN A. Early Type Specimens in the Plantin-Moretus Museum. With a preface by Hendrik D. L. Vervliet. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press; London: British Library, 2004. 344 pp. ISBN 1-58456-139-4. $95.00; 60.00 [pounds sterling]. The importance...
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Wallis, Lawrence. George W. Jones: Printer Laureate
WALLIS, LAWRENCE. George W. Jones: Printer Laureate. Nottingham: The Plough Press; West New York, N.J.: Mark Batty Publisher, 2004. ISBN 0902813-20-x 9 (UK); 0-902813-21-8 (special edition); 0-9725636-7-9 (USA). 35.00 [pounds sterling]; $275.00; $58.00....
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Pomeroy, Jane. Alexander Anderson: Wood-Engraver and Illustrator
POMEROY, JANE. Alexander Anderson: Wood-Engraver and Illustrator. 3 vols. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press for the American Antiquarian Society and the New York Public Library, 2005. lxxxvi, 2,516 pp. (slipcase). ISBN 1584561629. $350. For most...
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Rafaeli, Ari. Book Typography
RAFAELI, ARI. Book Typography. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press; London: British Library, 2005. 160 pp. ISBN 1-58456-157-2 (USA); 0-7123-0693-5 (UK). $34.00; 25.00 [pounds sterling]. Ari Rafaeli (a graphic designer and painter) begins by acknowledging...
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Type and Typography: Highlights from Matrix, the Review for Printers and Bibliophiles
Type and Typography: Highlights from Matrix, the Review for Printers and Bibliophiles. West New York, N.J.: Mark Batty Publisher, 2003. xxiv, 376 pp. ISBN 0-9715687-6-6. $65.00. Matrix has, since its founding in 1981 by John and Rosalind Randle...
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Smeijers, Fred. Type Now: A Manifesto, Plus Work So Far
SMEIJERS, FRED. Type Now: A Manifesto, plus Work So Far. London: Hyphen Press, 2003. 144 pp. ISBN 0-907259-24-3. 17.50 [pounds sterling]; $27.50. Fred Smeijers is not only one of the best type designers working today, he is also very articulate...
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Lane, John A., and Robert Slimbach. Garamond Premier Pro: A Contemporary Adaptation
LANE, JOHN A., and ROBERT SLIMBACH. Garamond Premier Pro: A Contemporary Adaptation. Palo Alto, Calif.: Adobe Systems Inc., 2005. 26 pp. (plus nine leaves of specimens). For private distribution. In Nos. 26-27 of Printing History (1991-92), Mark...
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