5-Machine-Press Period.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
St. Michael's College Courses
Lindsey Eckert

October 11, 2011 - Midterm next week! (format and sample questions online) - Videos added under Online Resources The Machine-Press Period Overview: What is the Hand-Press Period? - No mechanization - people doing the work - Stagnant in terms of technology - not many technological changes - So many human hands - capacity for error, many variations - 1500-1800 - Characterized by use of common press - All of the moveable type was set by hand (and everything else was done in- dividually, by hand - e.g. paper, binding) What is the Machine-Press Period? - Introduction of mechanization - Less individual work done by humans - Faster, cheaper - 1800-1950 - Characterized by the movement from wood to steel presses, innovations in the production of paper, advancements in mass-produced bindings, and me- chanical typesetting - Every point, every level of Darnton’s circuit changes Hand-Press: - Hand-made paper - Most books bound in small batches and with animal materials -- not all books bound the same (some people might have all their books in their li- brary bound the same way) - Common press - Composition of type by hand - take individual letters and setting them one by one Machine-Press: - Shift to machine-made paper - Introduction of edition binding and cloth materials - publisher binds an en- tire edition to look the same - Many different presses, including: iron hand-press, platen jobbing press, ro- tary machines - Composition of type by machine - built machines that made composition faster and easier What factors instigated the shift from the Hand-Press to Machine-Press? - Industrialization takes hold of every facet of life - High demand for books - increase in literacy and demand for printed materi- al - more people reading and more people who want to read different things th - Changes in copyright laws at the end of 18 century - works like the Bible and Shakespeare became “canonical texts” -- anyone could legally print them - Sociology of print production: social, political, economic factors affect the way technology is developed and why it’s developed Changes - in order: 1) Paper - In 1800, 100% of paper was made by hand, sheet by sheet - In 1900, 99% of paper was made by machine - Decreases in the cost of paper drove down the cost of book production throughout the machine-press period - decrease in cost of books - Diversity in quality and cost of paper - Not until the 1850s does wood become the main material for paper produc- tion - before 1850s, old rags were scrubbed clean, filled with chemicals to break them down - 1850s - fibre shortage → wood - Handmade paper is more durable than machine-made paper - Machine-made paper: breaks down easily, very brittle - Hand-made paper (laid paper) shows the marks from the paper mould - Chain lines are the thicker lines. Wire lines are thinner lines that are closer together. - Most laid paper has a watermark - Machine-made paper is usually smoother and comes in larger sheets - Overall, it is much more difficult to date machine-made paper - Watermarks on hand-made paper sometimes put a date on - easy to identi- fy when it was made 2) Binding Hand-Press Period Binding - No judging a book by its cover - either private owner chooses binding or a book seller who has a limited supply - Books were not bound and sold in the same binding - Specific bindings were requested by individual purchasers or booksellers - 1780-1820: selling and binding books in paper boards were common Machine-Press Period Binding - Introduction of case binding* (simplified binding process) - it becomes much less expensive to bind books together - Introduction of edition binding (economies of scale made it only marginally expensive to bind many books) - Introduction of cloth binding** (cheaper binding materials) - Gaskell says 1830s, but cloth was used in 1820s - Once you have diversification of people wanting to read, you see the types of demands they want - Publishers choose one type of binding - e.g. The Amulet from 1828 would all look the same - Industrialization of printing, paper -- also things like cloth - Cloth is more inexpensive - especially since you don’t have to kill a lot of animals to get material - *Case binding: - **Cloth binding - see image on Portal - Printing presses were made not only to make impressions on paper but also on cloth - raise image made by stamping the cloth - Silk binding do The Keepsake - a new edition every year, you wanted the new edition, the new book in the series - bound nicely, looks nice on your bookshelf The Machines in the Machine-Press Period Machine Period Presswork - Scale of production increased, but production methods in early 1800s were largely similar to the hand-press period: • Type-setting by hand • Hand-presses - Once 1800 happened - change was quite slow, it was gradual, the old press- es were still in use (new presses = huge capital investment) - Only the richest printing shops can afford to invest in new presses First half of the 1800s - Shift from ink balls to ink rollers made inking easier, faster, and more even (e.g. easier to print with a roller than a tiny brush) - More specialization of the printing trade - In Hand-Press Period: maximize income by doing a variety of jobs - Machine-press - machines developed for specific jobs • Book production • Periodical production (e.g. newspapers, pamphlets) • Jobbing houses (“Wanted”, “On sale” -- flyer producers, very special- i
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