Printing Dictionary






Capping Balls

Capping a Man



Card Wool




Case is Full

Case is Low

Case Rack

Case Runs Over

Case Stands Still

Cassie Paper

Casting Up

Cast Off Copy

Catch of the Bar

Catch Line

Catch Word


Cater Corner





Chapel Laws




Cheek the Bar



Clean Proof

Clean Sheets

Clearing Away

Clearing Pie

Clearing Stone


Close Matter

Close Spacing

Clymer’s Press

Cock-Up Letter


Cogger’s Press



Comb Wool

Come Down

Come Down the Form

Comes Off

Common Prayer




Composing Rule

Composing Stick


Compositor’s Book


Confession of Faith


Cope’s Press



Copy Money

Cording Quires

Corner Irons



Correcting Stone




Cramp Irons



Cull Paper

Currying Iron

Currying the Pelt

Curvilinear Printing

Cut-In Notes

Cutting the Frisket



At the conclusion of a work, if there be any leaves cancelled, it is useful to place a mark in the white line of the odd page of the reprinted leaf, to prevent a mistake on the part of the bookbinder; a *, †, ‡, ‖, or §, either upright or laid flat. This is too frequently neglected, and when the warehouseman omits tearing or cutting the cancelled leaf, the wrong one occasionally is bound in the book. To save press work and paper, cancel leaves are always imposed with the fragments, if possible.

Before the book is gathered, the warehouseman should either tear the cancelled leaf or run his knife up it, so as to prevent it being overlooked by the bookbinder; running the knife up it is the most expeditious method, and, to prevent mistakes, he ought to do this himself, and not to entrust it to boys, as cutting a wrong leaf would cause another leaf to be reprinted, and he might be held responsible for the expense, and also incur censure on account of delay.


The name of a type, a size larger than Trafalgar, and the largest with a specific name. The body is four Picas, the next size being four line Pica, and so upwards, reckoning by lines of Pica. See Types.



The top part of a wooden press; it has two mortises at each end to receive the tenons at the upper end of each cheek, by which it keeps the cheeks at a proper distance at the top; and the head is suspended from it by two iron bolts, with screws and nuts at the upper end, by which the pull also is regulated.


The following directions respecting the use of capital letters, are extracted from Lindley Murray’s English Grammar.

‘It was formerly the custom to begin every noun with a capital: but as this practice was troublesome, and gave the writing or printing a crowded and confused appearance, it has been discontinued. It is, however, very proper to begin with a capital,

‘1. The first word of every book, chapter, letter, note, or any other piece of writing.

‘2. The first word after a period; and, if the two sentences are totally independent, after a note of inter­rogation or exclamation.

‘But if a number of inter­rogative or exclamatory sentences are thrown into one general group, or if the construction of the latter sentences depends on the former, all of them, except the first, may begin with a small letter: as, “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning? and fools hate knowledge?” “Alas! how different! yet how like the same!”

‘3. The appellations of the Deity: as, “God, Jehovah, the Almighty, the Supreme Being, the Lord, Providence, the Messiah, the Holy Spirit.”

‘4. Proper names of persons, places, streets, mountains, rivers, ships: as, “George, York, the Strand, the Alps, the Thames, the Seahorse.”

‘5. Adjectives derived from the proper names of places: as, “Grecian, Roman, English, French, and Italian.”

‘6. The first word of a quotation, introduced after a colon, or when it is in a direct form: as, “Always remember this ancient maxim: ‘Know thyself.’” “Our great Lawgiver says, ‘Take up thy cross daily, and follow me.’” But when a quotation is brought in obliquely after a comma, a capital is unnecessary: as, “Solomon observes, ‘that pride goes before destruction.’”

‘The first word of an example may also very properly begin with a capital: as, “Temptation proves our virtue.”

‘7. Every substantive and principal word in the titles of books: as, “Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language;” “Thomson’s Seasons;” “Rollin’s Ancient History.”

‘8. The first word of every line in poetry.

‘9. The pronoun I, and the inter­jection O, are written in capitals: as, “I write:” “Hear, O earth!”

‘Other words, besides the preceding, may begin with capitals, when they are remarkably emphatical, or the principal subject of the composition.’


Wrapping up pelt balls in blankets soaked in urine at night, and when they are not in use, to keep them soft. They are generally left on the floor of the sink.


Wrapping one of the blankets with which the pelt balls are capped about a man’s head, and tying it round his neck. This most filthy and disgusting punishment is very rarely inflicted in a press room; yet I have read an account of a trial at the Old Bailey for an assault, in which this act was the ground of offence.


When several bodies of letter are set in a page, compositors to justify that page to an exact length, put a card to some white line, or other break, and lengthen out the page the thickness of a card. 95 Pressmen also use a card for an underlay.—M. Cards are rarely used now for these purposes; in making up pages, leads and scaleboards are used, and, where great nicety is required, a careful compositor will cut slips of smooth even paper, and use them where a lead or a scaleboard would be too much. At press, underlays are not used for types; and where an engraving on wood is much too low, the pressman will underlay it with thick wrapper paper. In fact, cards are an article that neither composing rooms nor press rooms are supplied with.


About a quire of paper, which pressmen use to pull down the spring or rising of a form, which it is many times subject to by hard locking up.—M.

The term is also applied to pieces of scaleboard, old felted hat, or pasteboard, for they are all called cards, cut to the size of the mortises in the cheeks of a wooden press, and laid in them, under the tenons of the winter, and above those of the head, to cause a spring in both these parts, for the purpose of softening the pull. I would never place any cards under the winter, for the reasons assigned under that article. See Winter.


The act of carding wool to stuff the balls with, to take out the knots, dirt, &c., for the purpose of making the balls softer, more elastic, and to have a more even surface than would be the case if the wool were not carded. This operation is repeated every time a pair of balls is knocked up. Formerly it was teazed, and not carded.


A caret, marked thus ^, is placed where some word happens to be left out in writing, and which is inserted over the line. This mark is also called a circumflex, when placed over some vowel of a word, to denote a long syllable: as, “Euphrâtes.”—Murray.


is that part of the press that runs in under the platen, including the plank, coffin, &c. I am aware that many printers call the long wooden ribs and frame the carriage; but I am also satisfied that they misname that part of the press: for who ever heard of running in the long ribs? yet to run in the carriage is a common expression; and the name implies that the article moves or travels. This word bore the signification which I assign to it in the seventeenth century, for Moxon uses it in this sense. See Run in the Carriage.


in which the letters are laid to compose with.—M.

Cases are always spoken of as pairs; viz. upper case and lower case; when placed upon a frame to compose out of, the front of the upper case rests against the back of the lower case, lying in different inclinations, the back of the upper case being raised to bring the top boxes nearer the hand.

They are generally made of beech; the outer rim and the middle bar stout, to give strength, and to nail the bottoms to, which are lined with paper, to prevent letters falling through cracks, or joints that might open; this lining used to be cartridge paper, which strengthened the bottom, but the joiner now lines them with cheap and thin demy paper; the bottom is made of thin fir deal. The dimensions are—two feet eight inches and a half, sometimes two feet nine inches long; one foot two inches and a half wide, and one inch and a quarter deep; the front being about half an inch broader than the depth, which forms a ledge for galleys to rest against, and also serves as a guard to stop letters, &c. falling over.

It is inter­esting to trace the changes that take place in any art; hence I have given the arrangement of the letters in cases at different periods, commencing with the first English writer, Moxon, who published his 96 work in the year 1683; then Smith, who published in 1755; the cases before the long ſ was discarded, in my own time; the arrangement now generally used; and a variation, subdividing the boxes in the upper case, and changing the arrangement, both in that and the lower case, to afford room for a greater number of sorts, and to make the access to them more convenient; I have also added the late Earl Stanhope’s plan.

In Moxon’s cases it will be perceived there are no ç, [ſb], [ſk], Œ, ‡, ‖, ¶, [, (, !, nor any small capitals.

Smith, in his Printer’s Grammar, gives “Schemes for Three Pair of Cases, shewing the Difference in the Disposition of their Sorts.” I have given his No. I. and No. III.; No. II. is the same as the one before the long ſ was discarded, with the exception of the q being in the comma box, and the comma in the q box.

This arrangement of the letters before the long ſ was discarded, continued down to our own time, except the transposition of the q and the comma; and the “schemes” Smith gives as No. I. and No. III. became obsolete.

When the long ſ was discarded, and we confined ourselves to one shape of the same letter, the ligature [ct] was also disused; we thus lost the [ct], [ſb], [ſh], [ſi], [ſk], [ſl], [ſſ], [ſſi], [ſſl], and ſt, which gave ten additional boxes for other sorts; these have afforded convenience for metal rules and braces, which before were wanted, and also for the £ and curly P symbol that are now frequently sent with a fount, particularly the £.

The discarding of the long ſ originated with the late John Bell, who printed and published an edition of Shakspeare, the British Theatre, and the Poets: the change was not generally adopted for some years, and many retained one ſ when two came together, as ‘Eſsay;’ but the s prevailed, and no other is now used.

In the present arrangement, the figures are brought lower down to be nearer the hand, and the vowels with the diæresis moved higher up; for the same reason the acute accented vowels have changed places with those of the grave accent.

Mr. Johnson, in his Typographia, has given a variation in the arrangement that he has adopted. I do not see any improvement in the lower case to induce master printers to change the general mode, which would only tend to create confusion and put the boxes into pie. A subdivision of the boxes in the upper case, would be useful in two or three pairs in large founts, that had superiors and fractions cast to them; but as few founts have them, these subdivisions would not only be useless, but inconvenient, if applied to all the cases, as they would not leave sufficient room for metal rules, braces, &c., neither do they afford convenience for all the fractions that are cast in a piece; besides, vowels with the long and short accents are so rarely used in the general routine of business, that it is not necessary to cramp the boxes to make provision for them; and there is always room in the back boxes of the Italic cases in which to put sorts that are seldom wanted; to this we may add the additional expense of making these cases, which in an extensive business would be considerable.

Among the various arrangements of the types in cases at different periods and by different persons, I am gratified at being enabled to give that of the late Earl Stanhope, from a stereotype plate of his Lordship’s casting; this plan of the cases, the logotypes, the alteration of the letter f, and the shape of the boxes, were never adopted in the trade.

A B C D E F G â ê î ô û Δ
H I K L M N O ä ë ï ö ü
P Q R S T V W á é í ó ú  
X Y Z Æ J U à è ì ò ù  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
8 9 0     k [ſſi] [ſſl] [Earth symbol] §
j       æ œ e s         [ſl]
b c d i ſ f g [ſh] [ſſ]
& [ſi]
[ct] l m n h o y p q w   ?
; en em
z v u t Spaces. a r , : Quadr.
x . -
SMITH’S CASES. No. I. 1755.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 â ê î ô û §
8 9 0 [ſb] [ſk] [ſſi] à è ì ò ù
ä ë ï ö ü [ſt] k á é í ó ú *
[ct] [] æ œ ç e s () ? ! ; [ſl]
& b c d i f ſ g [ſh] [ſſ]
j l m n h o y p q w en em
z v u t Spaces. a r , : Quadr.
x . -
ä ë ï ö ü H.S. [] â ê î ô û §
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 á é í ó ú
8 9 0 [ſb] [ſk] k à è ì ò ù
[ct] æ œ ç ? e s () [ſſi] [ſl]
& b c d i ſ f g [ſh] [ſſ]
j [ſi]
! l m n h o y p w v en em
z q u t Spaces. a r , : Quadr.
x . -
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 â ê î ô û §
8 9 0 ç Hair Spaces. [ſb] [ſk] á é í ó ú
ä ë ï ö ü k à è ì ò ù *
[ct] [ æ œ j e s ( ? ! ; [ſl]
& b c d i ſ f g [ſh] [ſſ]
[ſſi] [ſi]
l m n h o y p , w en em
z v u t Spaces. a r q : Quadr.
x . -
ä ë ï ö ü     â ê î ô û §
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 à è ì ò ù
8 9 0 £ ç H.S. k á é í ó ú *
& [ æ œ j e Thin Sp. ( ? ! ;  
  b c d i s f g  
l m n h o y p , w en em
z v u t Spaces. a r q : Quadr.
x . -

The horizontal bar across the Upper case is labeled “Galley-ledge”.

          X Y Z 1 m dash 2 m dash J U
          P Q R S T V W
          § H I K L M N O
X Y Z 2 m brace 3 m brace J U A B C D E F G
P Q R S T V W 3 6 9 [] on !
H I K L M N O 2 5 8 () of &
A B C D E F G 1 4 7 0 to ?
z x re an e f g in v
j k
b c d th h se w
l m n i o s ; : m space
p , n space
y u t Thick and middling spaces a r * Thin space Quadrats
Apos. q Hair space - Hyp.

page image


First. The nine logotypes now in use are omitted. They are proposed to be printed with separate types, thus: ff, fi, fl, ffi, ffl, &c. instead of ff, fi, fl, ffi, ffl, &c. And the Italic thus: ff, fi, fl, &c. instead of , , , &c. In 20 pages of Enfield’s Speaker, (namely, from page 71 to 90, both inclusive,) those logotypes occur only 95 times, viz.

Æ Œ æ œ Total, 95.
28 51 10 4 2 0 0 0 0

Secondly. Eight new logotypes are introduced. Their regular and frequent occurrence expedite the process of composition in a very considerable degree; for, in those same 20 pages, the new logotypes would save to the compositor no less than 3073 lifts, viz.

th in an re se to of on Total, 3073.
771 441 413 385 291 279 264 229

Thirdly. The introduction of the new logotypes, and the great imperfection of the various existing arrangements of composing cases, have caused the above new and very superior arrangement to be adopted.

Fourthly. The front side of each box of the lower case is made sloping, instead of upright: which shape is convenient both to the view and to the hand of the compositor, and it enables him to lift the types with the same rapidity and ease when the boxes are nearly empty as when they are full. The types are much better preserved from wear, by means of this shape. It also allows the lower case to be made deeper than usual; so that, two of them contain as much as three lower cases on the old construction. At the bottom of each box of the upper case, the internal front arras is filled up.

The saving of time is of immense importance, especially in all cases where dispatch is particularly required. The new cases are, by experience, found to save full one day out of six to the compositor.

Fifteen boxes on the left-hand side of the upper case are represented empty. They are intended for the sorts which are sometimes used for particular works; such as, accented letters, mathematical marks, &c.

As the asterisk, or star, [*] is very liable to be filled with ink at press, it is intentionally excluded from among the reference-marks.

Stereotyped and Printed by EARL STANHOPE, Chevening House, Kent.

Notes and Corrections: Cases

In one copy of the Dictionary, a handwritten note at the bottom of page 96 (at the end of the prose) observes “But Moxon mentions small caps on p. 212 of his work.” This is perfectly correct—but it never goes beyond a mention, so we do not know where Moxon put his small capitals.

two or three pairs in large founts, that had superiors and fractions cast to them
text has “fractious”
[I would like to think that William Savage’s coworkers ribbed him heartily for this textbook specimen of a typographical error.]



A case full of letters, wanting no sorts.—M.


When a case grows empty, compositors say, The Case is Low.—M.


A frame made of strong deal boards, with ledges nailed on the inside of the sides, in which to slide cases that are not in use, to keep them safe. They are usually made to contain fourteen pairs of cases; they are two feet nine inches wide in the clear, and seven feet high.

Where full cases of letter are kept for the purpose of expediting any new work that requires great despatch, some houses have a bar of iron from top to bottom, and lock the cases up to preserve the letter.


When a compositor distributes so much letter into a case as to fill the boxes till the letters mingle with those in the adjoining boxes, he says, his Case runs over, or it overflows. This frequently causes additional errors in the proof, and of course is not an advisable practice.


When the compositor is not at work at his case, it is said, The Case stands still.—M. Obsolete.


The two outside quires of a ream. They are also called Cassie Quires, because they serve for cases to the ream.—M. See Outside Quires.


See Electrotype.

Notes and Corrections: Casting

See Electrotype
[The Electrotype article consists of the two words “See Galvanism”, so I linked to that.]


Calculating the number of thousands of letters in a sheet of any work, or in a job, in order to fix the price for composing it.

To facilitate the ascertainment of the number of thousands of letters in a sheet of bookwork, and also of jobs, I have given a set of tables, which I believe includes, generally speaking, the sizes of the pages that usually occur in practice. These tables will be found useful to those compositors who are not expert at figures, while those who are so may save time by referring to them, and they may also serve as a check to their own casting up. The figures at the top designate the number of lines the page is long; and the figures in the column specify the number of thousands of letters in a sheet, according to the size named in the head. To ascertain the number of thousands of letters, the established rule is, to take the number of lines the page is long, including the head line and the direction line, and the number of en quadrats in the width of the page, the en quadrat being estimated as the average thickness of the letters, and on multiplying the one by the other the product will give the number of letters in a page; and this product multiplied by the number of pages in a sheet, gives the number of letters in a sheet; where there is a fraction of a thousand, and that fraction amounts to 500 or upwards, it is reckoned and charged as 1,000; when it is less than 500 it is dropped, and not included in the calculation. There are some exceptions to this general rule of taking the dimensions when the type exceeds a certain size, for which see Scale of Prices.

skip to end of this section

The figures at the top designate the number of lines the page is long.
15 16 17
4to. 8vo. 12mo. 16mo. Ens
4to. 8vo. 12mo. 16mo. Ens
4to. 8vo. 12mo. 16mo.
12 1 3 4 6 12 2 3 5 7 13 2 4 5 8
27 3 6 10 15 27 3 7 10 16 28 4 8 11 17
18 19 20
13 2 4 6 8 13 2 4 6 9 14 2 4 7 10
10521 22 23
14 2 5 7 11 14 2 5 7 11 16 3 6 9 13
24 25 26
16 3 6 9 14 17 3 7 10 15 17 4 7 11 16
10627 28 29
18 4 8 12 17 18 4 8 12 18 19 4 9 13 20
30 31 32
20 5 10 14 22 21 5 10 16 23 22 6 11 17 25
10733 34 35
23 6 12 18 27 24 7 13 20 29 25 7 14 21 32
36 37 38
26 7 15 22 34 27 8 16 24 36 28 9 17 26 38
10839 40 41
29 9 18 27 41 30 10 19 29 43 31 10 20 31 46
10942 43 44
32 11 22 32 48 33 11 23 34 51 34 12 24 36 54
4to. 8vo. 12mo. 16mo.   Ens
4to. 8vo. 12mo. 16mo.   Ens
4to. 8vo. 12mo. 16mo. 18mo.
11045 46 47
35 13 25 38 57   36 13 26 40 60   37 7 14 28 42 63
11148 49 50
38 7 15 29 44 66 39 8 15 31 46 69 40 8 16 32 48 72
11251 52 53
41 8 17 33 50 75 42 9 17 35 52 79 43 9 18 36 55 82
11354 55 56
44 10 19 38 57 86 45 10 20 40 59 89 46 10 21 41 62 93
11457 58 59
47 11 21 43 64 96 48 11 22 45 67 100 49 12 23 46 69 104
11560 61 62
50 12 24 48 72 108 51 12 25 50 75 112 52 13 26 52 77 116
11663 64 65
53 13 27 53 80 120 54 14 28 55 83 124 55 14 29 57 86 129
11766 67 68
56 15 30 59 89 133 57 15 31 61 92 137 58 16 31 63 95 142
11869 70 71
59 16 33 65 98 147 60 17 34 67 101 151 61 17 35 69 104 156
11972 73 74
62 18 36 71 107 161 63 18 37 74 110 166 64 19 38 76 114 170
75 76 77
Folio 4to. 8vo. 12mo. Ens
Folio 4to. 8vo. 12mo. Ens
Folio 4to. 8vo. 12mo.
65 20 39 78 117 66 20 40 80 120 67 21 41 83 124
12178 79 80
68 21 42 85 127 69 22 44 87 131 70 22 45 90 134
12281 82 83
71 23 46 92 138 72 24 47 94 142 73 24 48 97
Folio 4to. 8vo. Ens
Folio 4to. 8vo. Ens
Folio 4to. 8vo. Ens
Folio 4to. 8vo.
12384 85 86 87
74 25 50 99 75 26 51 102 76 26 52 105 77 27 54 107
12488 89 90 91
78 27 55 110 79 28 56 112 80 29 58 115 81 29 59 118
Folio 4to. 8vo. Ens
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to.
12592 93 94 95 96
82 30 60 121 83 31 62 84 32 63 85 32 65 86 33 66
12697 98 99 100 101
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to. Ens
Folio 4to.
87 34 68 88 34 69 89 35 70 90 36 72 91 37 74
127102 103 104 105 106
92 38 75 93 38 77 94 39 78 95 40 80 96 41 81
107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114
Folio Ens
Folio Ens
Folio Ens
Folio Ens
Folio Ens
Folio Ens
Folio Ens
97 42 98 42 99 43 100 44 101 45 102 46 103 47 104 47
129115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122
105 48 106 49 107 50 108 51 109 52 110 53 111 54 112 55
130123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130
113 56 114 57 115 58 116 58 117 59 118 60 119 61 120 62
131131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138
121 63 122 64 123 65 124 66 125 68 126 69 127 70 128 71
132139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146
129 72 130 73 131 74 132 75 133 76 134 77 135 78 136 79
168 93 169 95 170 96 171 97 172 98 173 100 174 101 175 102
The figures at the top designate the number of ens in width.

L = Lines long.
T = Thousands.

  50 51 52 53 54   55 56 57 58 59   60 61 62 63 64
20 1 1 1 1 1 21 1 1 1 1 1 22 1 1 1 1 1
59 3 3 3 3 3 60 3 3 3 3 4 61 4 4 4 4 4
65 66 67 68 69 70 71
23 1 24 2 25 2 26 2 27 2 28 2 29 2
13572 73 74 75 76 77 78
30 2 31 2 32 2 33 2 34 3 35 3 36 3
13679 80 81 82 83 84 85
37 3 38 3 39 3 40 3 41 3 42 4 43 4
13786 87 88 89 90 91 92
44 4 45 4 46 4 47 4 48 4 49 4 50 5
13893 94 95 96 97 98 99
51 5 52 5 53 5 54 5 55 5 56 5 57 6
139100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108
58 6 59 6 6 60 6 6 61 6 6 62 7 7
140109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116
63 7 7 64 7 7 65 7 66 8 67 8 68 8
141117 118 119 120 121 122 123
69 8 70 8 71 8 72 9 73 9 74 9 75 9
142124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131
76 9 77 10 78 10 79 10 80 10 81 10 82 11 83 11
143132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139
84 11 85 11 86 12 87 12 88 12 89 12 90 12 91 13
144140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149
92 13 13 93 13 13 94 14 14 95 14 14 96 14 14
145150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159
97 15 15 98 15 15 99 15 15 100 16 16 101 16 16
146160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169
102 16 16 103 17 17 104 17 17 105 17 18 106 18 18
147170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179
107 18 18 108 19 19 109 19 19 110 19 19 111 20 20
148180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189
112 20 20 113 21 21 114 21 21 115 21 22 116 22 22
149190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199
117 22 22 118 23 23 119 23 23 120 24 24 121 24 24
150200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209
122 24 25 123 25 25 124 25 25 125 26 26 126 26 26
151210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219
127 27 27 128 27 27 129 28 28 130 28 28 131 29 29
152220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229
132 29 29 133 30 30 134 30 30 135 31 31 136 31 31
153230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239
137 32 32 138 32 32 139 33 33 140 33 33 141 34 34
154240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249
142 34 34 143 35 35 144 35 35 145 36 36 146 36 36
155250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259
147 37 37 148 37 37 149 38 38 150 38 39 151 39 39
156260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269
152 40 40 153 40 40 154 41 41 155 41 41 156 42 42
157270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279
157 42 43 158 43 43 159 44 44 160 44 44 161 45 45
158280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289
162 45 46 163 46 46 164 47 47 165 47 47 166 48 48
159290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299
167 48 49 168 49 49 169 50 50 170 50 50 171 51 51
160300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309
172 52 52 173 52 52 174 53 53 175 54 54 176 54 54
161310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319
177 55 55 178 56 56 179 56 56 180 57 57 181 58 58
216 67 67 217 68 68 218 68 68 219 69 69 220 70 70
Notes and Corrections: Casting Up

These tables are not shown in full. In the book as printed, there are 29 pages (104-132) of this:

page image

followed by a further 29 pages (133-161) of this:

page image

As explained at the beginning of the article, the purpose of all this is to estimate how many letters are involved in a given job, because that was how printers got paid.

In the first set of tables, the number at the top is the number of lines to a page; the number in the first column is the width of the page in ens. (On a typewriter or in a fixed-pitch font like Courier, this will be the exact number of characters in a full line. In normal fonts, there are generally more characters per line—but books are never one dense mass of type, so it averages out.) These tables are for book printing, so each listed size is multiplied by 2: a folio is 4 pages, a quarto eight pages and so on.

The second set of tables reverses this pattern: en-width at the top, number of rows in the first column. These tables are for broadsheets (“Jobs”), printed on one side only.

The various numbers obviously get higher as the page gets bigger. So does the number of rows in each table. Page 104 gives just 16 options per table (12 through 27 ens and so on); the next few pages have 20 or 22; from page 108 on, each table has 40 rows (for example, from 65 to 104). In the book-printing tables, “Folio” does not appear until 47 lines per page. Conversely, 18mo. (octodecimo) disappears after 74 lines; 12mo. (duodecimo), 8mo. (octavo) and 4to (quarto) disappear after 82, 92, and 106 respectively.

What to feed into your calculator:

First set of tables (pg 104-133): Number of rows (top of table) × width in en (first column) × book size × 2 ÷ 1000. Round to the nearest whole number (1.499 rounds to 1, 1.500 rounds to 2).

Second set of tables (pg 134-161): Multiply the two numbers (en-width and number of lines) and divide by 1000. Again, round to the nearest whole number.

And finally . . .

[pg. 159] 292 293 / 168 49 59
text has 59 for 49
(Darn, Savage. You were doing so well!)


Cast Leads.

See Space Lines.


Counting or Casting off Copy (for both phrases are indifferently used) is to examine and find how much either of printed copy will come in into any intended number of sheets of a different body or measure from the copy; or how much written copy will make an intended number of sheets of any assigned body and measure.—M. It is also used to ascertain how many sheets of a given sized page and letter any quantity of prepared copy will make.

This is generally done by composing a line or two of the copy, if it be manuscript, selected from the part that appears about the average mode of writing, and ascertaining how many lines of the printed or manuscript copy will make even lines in the proposed size; thus, if 10 lines of copy make 7 lines, or 7 lines of copy make 10 lines, the quantity is easily calculated. Allowance must of course be made for chapter heads, short pages, and any whites that may occur.

catch of the bar


is a piece of wood two inches thick, four inches broad, and ten inches long, with a groove in the lower part of it by which it is screwed to the front of the off cheek, and may be heightened or lowered at pleasure; the top of it is a little bevilled or sloped off, that the bar may by its spring fly up the bevil till it stick.—M.

This catch is in my opinion superior to the one now used, which is a piece of wood nailed to the far side of the off cheek, with an opening in it, through which a sloping piece projects beyond the front of the cheek, for the bar to slide up. The old one appears much easier to justify, by means of the screw, without having any nails to draw.

In very fine press work, where uniformity of pressure is to be preserved, I would always cheek the bar, or bring it home, every pull, and rest a short time upon it. In large forms, however, this is too much exertion for a man to continue; and to obviate this objection I had a catch made for some wooden presses, which, dropping over the bar, held it close to the cheek, and enabled the pressman to rest upon his pull sufficiently long without the continued strain to his arm. It was screwed to the near cheek, and disengaged from the press bar, by pulling a piece of string attached to its other end through the small hole.

catch of the bar: close-up


The same as Direction Line. See Catch Word.


The first word of the following page set at the right hand end of the line of quadrats at the foot of each page; in which line is also placed the signature in those pages where it is requisite. It is likewise called the Direction Word. Catch words are now seldom used, except in reprints, to preserve uniformity in the different editions of the same work.



For the allowance of the duty on paper used in the printing of the Larger or Shorter Catechism of the Church of Scotland, see Paper.


Paper, the sides of which are not at right angles with each other, is termed cater cornered. It is disadvan­tageous for book work, as it cannot be folded even, nor the outside margin made equal; of course the size of the book must be reduced in the binding to make the fore edge and foot of it smooth.

Cater, Theophilus.

See Donations.


The fine lines, and the cross strokes at the tops and bottoms of letters, are termed by the letter founders ceriphs.


By the act of the 39th Geo. 3. cap. 79., intituled “An Act for the more effectual Suppression of Societies established for Seditious and Treasonable Purposes; and for better preventing Treasonable and Seditious Practices,” it is enacted—

a. 23. “And whereas many Societies, established of late Years for treasonable and seditious Purposes, and especially the said Societies of United Englishmen, United Scotsmen, United Irishmen, and United Britons, and the said Society called The London Corresponding Society, and other Corresponding Societies, have at various Times caused to be published, in great Quantities, divers printed Papers of an irreligious, treasonable, and seditious Nature, tending to revile our holy Religion, and to bring the Profession and Worship thereof into Contempt among the Ignorant, and also to excite Hatred and Contempt of his Majesty’s Royal Person, Government, and Laws, and of the happy Constitution of these Realms, as by Law established, and utterly to eradicate all Principles of Religion and Morality; and such Societies have dispersed such printed Papers among the lower Classes of the Community, either gratis, or at very low Prices, and with an Activity and Profusion beyond all former Example: And whereas all Persons printing or publishing any Papers or Writings are by Law answerable for the Contents thereof, but such Responsibility hath of late been in a great Degree eluded by the secret Printing and Publication of such seditious, immoral, and irreligious Papers or Writings as aforesaid, and it is therefore highly important to the Publick Peace that it should in future be known by whom any such Papers shall be printed; be it enacted, That, from and after the Expiration of forty Days from the Day of passing this Act, every Person having any Printing Press, or Types for Printing, shall cause a Notice thereof, signed in the Presence of, and attested by one Witness, to be delivered to the Clerk of the Peace acting for the County, Stewartry, Riding, Division, City, Borough, Town, or Place, where the same shall be intended to be used, or his Deputy, according to the Form prescribed in the Schedule hereunto annexed; and such Clerk of the Peace, or Deputy respectively, shall, and he is hereby authorized and required to grant a Certificate in the Form prescribed in the Schedule hereunto annexed, for which such Clerk of the Peace, or Deputy, shall receive the Fee of one Shilling, and no more, and such Clerk of the Peace, or his Deputy, shall file such Notice, and transmit an attested Copy thereof to one of his Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State; and every Person who, not having delivered such Notice, and obtained such Certificate as aforesaid, shall, from and after the Expiration of forty Days next after the passing of this Act, keep or use any Printing Press or Types for Printing, or having delivered such Notice, and obtained such Certificate as aforesaid, shall use any Printing Press or Types for Printing in any other Place than the Place expressed in such Notice, shall forfeit and lose the Sum of twenty Pounds.

s. 24. “Provided also, That nothing herein contained shall extend to his Majesty’s Printers for England and Scotland, or to the Publick Presses belonging to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge respectively.”

s. 33. “And be it further enacted, That if any Justice of the Peace, acting for any County, Stewartry, Riding, Division, City, Borough, Town, or Place, shall, from Information upon Oath, have reason to suspect that any Printing Press or Types for Printing is or are used, or kept for Use without Notice given and Certificate obtained as required by this Act, or in any Place not included in such Notice and Certificate, it shall be lawful for such Justice, by Warrant under his Hand and Seal, to direct, authorize, and empower any Constable, Petty Constable, Borsholder, Headborough, or other Peace Officer, in the Day Time, with such Person or Persons as shall be called to his Assistance, to enter into any such House, Room, and Place, and search for any Press or Types for Printing; and it shall be lawful for every such Peace Officer, with such 164 Assistance as aforesaid, to enter into such House, Room, or Place, in the Day Time accordingly, and to seize, take, and carry away, every Printing Press found therein, together with all the Types and other Articles thereto belonging, and used in Printing, and all printed Papers found in such House, Room, or Place.”


“IV. FORM of Notice to the Clerk of the Peace, that any Person keeps any Printing Press or Types for Printing.

“To the Clerk of the Peace for      [here insert the County, Stewartry, Riding, Division, City, Borough, Town, or Place,] or his Deputy.

“I A. B. of      do hereby declare, That I have a Printing Press and Types for Printing, which I propose to use for Printing, within      [as the Case may require], and which I require to be entered for that Purpose, in pursuance of an Act, passed in the thirty-ninth Year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Third, [set forth the Title of the Act.]

“Witness my Hand, this      Day of     .”

Signed in the Presence  

“V. FORM of Certificate that Notice has been given of a Printing Press, or Types for Printing.

“I      Clerk [or Deputy Clerk] of the Peace for      do hereby certify, That A. B. of      hath delivered to me a Notice in Writing, appearing to be signed by him, and attested by C. D. as a Witness to his signing the same, that he the said A. B. hath a Printing Press and Types for Printing, which he proposes to use for Printing, within      and which he has required to be entered pursuant to an Act, passed in the thirty-ninth Year of His Majesty’s Reign, [set forth the Title of the Act.]

“Witness my Hand, this      Day of     .”


The Chaldee letters, vowel points, and accents, correspond in every respect with those of the Hebrew in figure and power.—Bythner’s Lyre of David, translated by the Rev. Thomas Dee, A.B. Dublin, 1836. 8vo.


Every printing office is called a chapel. The term is supposed to have had its origin from the first introduction of printing into England by Caxton, who executed his works in a chapel adjoining Westminster Abbey. Moxon however gives a different account, for which see Ancient Customs.

A chapel, in the technical sense of the word, is when the workmen agree to certain rules for the good order of the printing office.

All the compositors in a composing room, and all the pressmen in a press room, who are journeymen, form the chapel in each department, (for they seldom unite,) in which one of the number is elected, during pleasure, as president, or The Father, as he is styled. In their assembled body they enjoin regulations, and enforce their due observance; they also take cognizance of any disputes, and any grievance that may be complained of, that arise within the chapel, when called upon for that purpose; and there is no appeal from their decision.

The chapel is in general sanctioned by the master printer, on account of some of the rules tending to the preservation of his property;—such as the infliction of a fine on any one connected with the house leaving the premises without putting out his candle or leaving it in charge, or for throwing types, quadrats, or furniture, at another; and for the regular despatch of business, so far as regards the forwarding of work in general—but in addition the workmen make particular regulations for themselves, with regard to their own mode of working in companionship, &c. The chapel will also, if appealed to, enforce these bye laws, if I may so term them.


The fine for leaving a candle burning, is, I believe, never remitted; it is generally sixpence for a workman, double for the overseer, and half a crown for the master of the house.

The person who first sees the candle extinguishes it and delivers the candle­stick to the Father, who keeps it till the fine is either paid, or promised to be paid; for Monday is the regular pay day in a printing office.

There are frequently a number of devices resorted to to induce a workman to go out after the candles are lighted, for the sake of the fine—the open air being the boundary—such as saying, a person is below who wants to speak to Mr. ——; this is usually avoided by the party giving his candle in charge; that is, saying to some one, Mr. ——, take charge of my candle. This person then becomes responsible for the charge as well as for his own candle, and has to pay for both should he leave the house without putting them out, or giving them in charge to some other person.

I have previously said that the office of Father is during pleasure, although I am aware that Mr. Hansard, in his Typographia, has stated it to be otherwise; but I have known instances of the Father being deposed, after having held the office for many years, and a successor appointed and deposed within a fortnight, merely for the sake of the initiatory fine, which is usually a gallon of porter. These instances have occurred when a flush of business caused an additional number of men to be employed in a printing office; some of whom being of a thoughtless disposition, and thinking they could outvote the sedate and the sober part of the workmen, call a chapel for the most trivial purposes, which thus becomes a hinderance to business, as it takes the whole of the men from their work.

But this evil produces its own remedy, when it is carried to too great an extent. Workmen get tired of being called from their employment, and losing time continually, on trifling objects in which they feel no interest: and they check the evil by fining those who call the chapel, when it is evident that liquor is the motive for calling it.

I remember an instance when calling chapels had become a grievance from their frequency, in which the party was so completely checked, that he never ventured to call another. It occurred during a flush of work, when there were temporary hands employed, some of whom were partial to liquor, and eager to fine any one in order to obtain it. After deposing the Father two or three times, and calling chapels many times unnecessarily, a person left his candle burning one evening, and another passing his frame observed, Here’s a candle left; whose is it? The reply was, Mr.——’s. —If I had known that, I would have put it out. This was sufficient to bring the individual before the chapel, as it was held to be an attempt to defraud it of its due, of which the chapel is very jealous. Well, a chapel was called to take cognizance of the charge, without a doubt that they should levy a good fine for what they looked on as a great offence: but the established workmen of the house, and some of the additional men, had got tired of these repeated calls from their employment; and it being proved in the defence, that a party in the house had been for some time expressing a desire to fine this individual, who was of a warm temper, and had brought a charge against him for a thoughtless expression that was not acted on, the chapel decided that it was a conspiracy against him, acquitted him, and laid a heavy fine upon the accuser.

No person but the Father can call a chapel, which is generally held at the imposing stone: and when any one wishes to appeal to it, he 166 notifies the same to the Father, stating the objects generally, and accompanying the notification with a penny. The Father will sometimes decline to call the chapel, where the object appears trivial; but if the notification be accompanied with the value of a gallon of porter, it is imperative on him to call it, under the penalty of being deposed.

The chapel never assembles without the fee of a gallon of porter, in addition to the fine it may impose; and this fee is always paid, even when it assembles to settle any disputed matter between workmen, when no fine is levied.

If any workman refuses to attend when a chapel is summoned, after being called on by the Father for that purpose, the first business is to proceed to judgment on him for contumacy, which is always punished by a fine;—the chapel then proceeds to the business for which it was called, and when the members cannot agree in their decision, or when the matter becomes personal, they decide by chalking. For this purpose, a large galley is placed on a frame, in that part of the room which is most private and cannot be overlooked, and a line drawn down the middle of it, and at the top over each column is written for and against, or yes and no; one of the members then makes a mark, usually on the lenient side, which saves him from ill will, as it must be known on which side he gives his decision; the second generally marks the contrary side, so that the following persons cannot discover how any have voted. The Father, when all have chalked, examines the number on each side, and declares the judgment of the chapel.

It is an invariable rule that the chapel can do no wrong; and it is a crime to find fault with its decisions, which it would certainly punish with a fine if called on for that purpose, and the case was proved. All wagers of half a gallon of porter, or more, go to the chapel, so that they are never evaded, as the liquor is sent for by the chapel, which adjudges who shall pay for it: the consequence is, that when the object is to obtain drink, and perhaps a young man from the country to act on, who is ignorant of the London customs, the cases are often of the most preposterous kind; for instance, an experienced hand has been known to assert in such a case that a mallet was a planer, and to call it by that name, and then offer a wager, in support of his assertion, to the young man, who has accepted it. The chapel decided that it was a planer, and the stranger had to pay for summoning the chapel, and also the amount of the wager, by way of initiation.

The chapel also decides all disputes that may arise in the house, as well private, if it be appealed to, as those which may arise when two or more are employed on the same piece of work, and frequently fixes the price which shall be paid for it; for in doubtful cases a workman will prefer taking the collective opinion of his fellows, to acting on his own judgment, as it may affect them all. In this case the person who is on the work must not take less than the chapel fixes, without permission; and if the employer will not pay it, he, of course, must quit his situation. If, after the chapel has fixed a price for a piece of work, a man should venture to do it for a reduced price, he becomes a “Rat.”

In a press room there is sometimes a fine for men throwing water at each other, which dirties and spoils the paper;—and in hot summer weather, when a man has been desirous of a draught of porter, an instance has been known of his falling down in a pretended fit, and when another in kindness has procured some cold water and sprinkled his face with it, the other has jumped up and accused him of throwing water at him, on which he has had to pay the fine.


If any member of the chapel should be hardy enough to oppose its decisions, there are a number of ways practised to bring him, and even the most obstinate, to submission. Every chapel is haunted by an imaginary spirit, named Ralph; and when any person refuses to obey its mandates, this spirit begins to walk, as it is termed. The first act is, in general, to hide the offender’s composing stick; if this does not answer, his galleys are secreted; then the page cords, which secure his work, are cut, and his labour rendered more than useless, because he has to distribute his pie as well as to recompose his matter; if he still remains contumacious, the whole of the types in his cases are transposed, so that he cannot proceed in his business; and if he should still set the chapel at defiance, he is smoked, all the members of the chapel surrounding his frame, each with a lighted match of brimstone, and singing a doleful ditty; after this he is sent to Coventry, and every man becomes amenable to the chapel, if he assists him, gives him any information, or speaks to him; so that he must either submit to the penalties inflicted, or leave the house. When he submits, his apparatus is restored, and the types properly arranged again in his cases.

Apprentices never belong to the chapel; neither is the master of the house, nor the overseer, ever allowed to be present when one is held.

Many master printers are decidedly against chapels, as tending to encourage drinking, and the neglect of business; where this has been the case within my knowledge, the grievance has remedied itself, for the sober and industrious prevent the evil going to an extreme; and where there are a number of men employed, the majority will be found opposed to being called from their work repeatedly to decide on fractious or quibbling questions, in which they feel no interest; and by fining a busy meddling person, they put a stop to the frequent calling of chapels, which, as I have said before, are, generally speaking, promoted by temporary workmen, who seldom stop long in a house, and on whose departure the business is carried on in the regular manner, while, if one or two continue to work in the house, they soon fall into the old customs of the permanent men; for among the established workmen of a house chapels are seldom called.

It has also been objected to them that they tend to excite an opposition to the employer on the question of wages. This may have happened; but wherever I have seen a question respecting prices brought before a chapel, I have always seen it discussed in a fair manner, and the value estimated impartially,—the scale being kept in view for any thing nearly similar;—for among a number of workmen there will always be found men of principle, who would not sanction an unreasonable demand for the temporary advantage of a few shillings a week: and these men have always great influence in the decision.

Upon the whole, when I take into account the decreased risk from fire, owing to the fine for candles—the prevention of waste of materials, by throwing them about—the appeal for wrongs done in companionships, or for neglect, or throwing impediments in the way of business, and remedying them—I am of opinion that the advantages attending chapels outweigh their disadvantages, and that the business is carried on with more regularity and promptitude with them than without them, particularly when it is taken into account that the rules and regulations laid down by the employer for the governing of his house, are adopted by the workmen and become chapel laws.

As many of the customs of chapels are passing away, I have been rather more diffuse in this article than the mere definition of the term 168 might seem to require; but as I am not aware that any preceding writer has explained a chapel, I have been led to do so, that the knowledge of old customs might not be entirely lost. See Rules.


The regulations adopted by the men in chapel assembled, for preserving good order in the office, are called chapel laws.


is to fill

  paper with great pages.
a page with long and many lines.
a line with many letters.—M.

This term is not in general use: we are more in the custom of saying a full sheet, a full page, a full line.

Charitable Donations.

See Donations.


An iron frame to fasten types in to print with.—M.

A great revolution has taken place with respect to chases. They were formerly made thin and narrow, but are now made thicker, which gives more safety to a form in quoining; and they are made much broader, both in the rim and the crosses, which adds to their strength and durability.

It is customary to dovetail the crosses into the rim of wrought iron chases, and to have mortises for duodecimos and eighteens, so as to move the crosses according to the size of the work for which the chase is wanted. This plan is convenient in many instances, but it is in many others inconvenient and wasteful.

It is necessary to have chases in an office with the crosses loose, to a limited extent, as they could not well be dispensed with on many occasions; but I would have as few as possible; for the mortises in the rim cut the quoins to pieces, and the loose crosses are frequently used for pokers, and for tightening quoins in forms when they get slack. By these means they are bent and destroyed, and the chases to which they belong are rendered nearly useless. The loose crosses have also another disadvantage: they frequently get mislaid or lost when taken out for folios, or broadsides, and when the chase is wanted for any other size, the cross cannot be found, and the compositor, or person who has the care of the furniture, is obliged to take such a cross as he can meet with, and which he can drive into the mortises with a mallet; this cross is sometimes of a different thickness from the right one, and affects the register of the pages in working, particularly if the furniture and the chase be transposed, as too frequently occurs through carelessness.

There is less waste and destruction when the crosses are rivetted into the rim; for the chases are then always ready for use—the crosses can never be mislaid nor destroyed—and the whole implement is much more durable than when the parts are separate.

Cast iron chases are now coming greatly into use, and answer the purpose very well. The crosses are fast, the whole chase being cast in one piece, so that there must be chases for each size, viz. folios, quartos, and duodecimos; the crosses fixed for these sizes will answer every other, except broadsides. They are cast from a card chase to the largest size; and stand locking up and the usual wear, without breaking. These chases are much cheaper than those made of wrought iron.

There are some chases now made with the inside of the rim bevelled off from the cross to the angle, to answer the purpose of sidesticks and footsticks; a piece of broad, or narrow, being used at the sides and feet of the pages. This plan appears to be economical with regard to furniture.

The usual practice in cutting chases for 18mo. is to place the long cross about one third of the width from one of the sides of the chase, and two thirds from the other, for the purpose of making it fall in one 169 of the backs; by this mode one of the quarters in the offcut has only two pages in it, so as hardly to admit of quoin room, the other has four; and the remainder of the form is also divided unequally, one side of the long cross having four pages, and the other eight pages. This method of imposing an 18mo. is inconvenient, and the large quarter is in danger of falling out. The plan appears to have been adopted merely to cause the long cross to fall in one of the backs, which is of no consequence whatever. I have always imposed eighteens in chases cut for 12mo. which I prefer; for the quarters being more equal, make the locking up more secure, and the only difference in the imposition is, that the long cross falls in a gutter, instead of a back.

Mr. T. C. Hansard took out a patent for “Improvements on, and Additions to, Printing Presses, and various Processes relative to Printing.” Among the different articles are chases, which Mr. Hansard thus describes:—“The Demi- (or half) -Chases are made so as to contain the pages imposed within a less measure of square than usual. One side of the rim is made particularly straight, and rather less in breadth than the other three sides: this narrow side forms the part to lie in the middle of the Table of the Press: by turning a pair of chases so made on contrary faces, the two narrow sides will join and form as one chase. The pages are not in these chases, as in others for all sizes above Folios, locked-up by having side sticks and quoins on all four sides, but only on one side, and at each end. The inner Forme being locked up on the right side only, and at each end, and the outer Forme on the left side only, and at each end; and the margin being made when the two demi-chases are laid together on the Imposing Stone, as if the same were one large chase of double dimensions, the pages will require no more margin in the centre of the double sheet, than a fair equal proportion for the division of margin. The chases must be made in proportion to the size of the work intended to be executed.”


The upright sides of a printing press.—M.


Pulling the bar of the press till it touches the near cheek. In good work I would always have the pull so justified that when the bar was pulled home, or cheeked, it should occasion the proper degree of pressure of the platen upon the form; this would in some degree assist in procuring equal impressions through all the copies printed; but in heavy or large forms it would be too great an exertion for the pressman to continue doing without some assistance, as such work requires to rest on the pull. I adopted a catch for the bar when cheeked, in some presses, which completely answered the purpose, and enabled the pressman to rest on his pull as long as was necessary, without overstraining his arms. See Catch of the Bar.


See Elementary Substances. Formulæ, Chemical.

Notes and Corrections: Chemistry

“Elementary Substances” is not a separate article; it is one table in the “Formulæ, Chemical” article.


If a form be not washed in due time, the ink will get into the hollows of the face of the letter: and that getting in of the ink is called Choking of the Letter, or Choking of the Form—M. It is also said, the letter is choked with ink, or the form is choked with ink, when too much is used.


See Runic.


See Accented Letters. Caret.

Cities and Towns, Ancient Names of.

See Names.


of a sheep’s foot. The end to draw the ball nails out of the ball stocks.—M.


for Stereotype Risers. See Risers.


When a proof has but few faults in it, it is called 170 a Clean Proof.—M. It is also called a clean proof when it is printed after being corrected, to be sent out, or to be read for press—that is, the pressmen take more care in printing it, and keep the margins clean.


Authors and publishers have generally one copy of each sheet of a work sent to them as it is printed, for the purpose of reference, and to see the progress of the work; these copies are called clean sheets. See Tops.


When a work is completed, clearing away is the distributing of headlines, chapters, lines of small capitals, and other useful sorts, taking the lines of quadrats away, and tying up the remainder of the matter in moderate sized pieces with old page cord, so as to be ready to be papered up; and tying the furniture, reglets, and leads up, and delivering them to the proper person, who takes charge of them.

The compositor, after laying up the form to be cleared away and washing it well—and matter ought never to be cleared away without undergoing this process—takes a page into a galley—an old one generally—and picks out the leads, if it be leaded matter; he will then push the matter up from the foot and put another page on his galley, and take the leads out of it also; he will then take the headlines away, and put them on another galley; then take the lines of quadrats and reglets out, and put them on a paper under his frame, then the chapters, contents of chapters, any lines with words of Greek, or other useful sorts, and, after pushing the matter close up together, he will tie it firmly up, in pieces rather longer than a full sized octavo page, and if a short line happens to fall at the bottom, put it in some other situation, so that the top and the bottom shall be full lines. He will thus proceed, till his sheet or other quantity be all tied up, taking care to make his pieces of equal lengths, for the convenience of piling them up in the letter closet.

If the work should be in very small pages, so that two in width would not be wider than a large octavo page, he will put two together, side by side, to prevent papering the matter up in long narrow slips.

Having tied all the matter up for papering, he will either place it on a board in a rack, or put it in some other place where cleared away matter is usually deposited till papered up; he will then distribute his headlines, chapters, contents, and other useful sorts into their proper places; and if there be not room in the cases for the quadrats, he will put them into the proper drawers in which the surplus quadrats are kept.

If the work be in folio or quarto, he will tie it up in proportionally sized pieces.

He will then tie up his leads; and if there be any of different thicknesses, he will, of course, assort them, and tie them up separately: he takes a moderate quantity, if they be octavo leads, rather more than the length of a page of matter, and places a piece of reglet at each end of it, to guard the outside leads from injury by the tightening of the cord, and making a slip knot at one end of a piece of old page cord, he places the leads in the noose, and draws it as tight as the cord will bear, then turns the leads over upon the spare cord and draws it tight; he thus proceeds turning the leads over upon the spare cord, and drawing it tight, till he has got turns sufficient round the leads to secure them, and tucks in the end of the cord under the turns two or three times, drawing it tight; he knocks up the ends of the leads upon the imposing stone, gently, not to injure them, and when he has thus tied them all up, he puts them along with his matter.

He ties his reglets up in the same manner, and puts them with the leads.

He puts the quoins into the quoin drawer.


He inquires of the proper person whether the furniture is to be tied up, or put into the drawers; if the latter, he assorts it—side and foot sticks, gutters, broads, narrows, reglets, and scaleboards, and puts each into its separate drawer; if it be to be tied up, he puts the scaleboard into its proper drawer, and arranges the others neatly and ties them firmly together with old page cord, and delivers them and the chases to the proper person, who may be either the overseer, or some person appointed to take care of the materials.


To separate from each other in the confused mass, and assort the different kinds and sizes of types, and to distribute them into their respective cases; if there be a large quantity of any particular fount, or founts, it is usual to compose them into pages, and, if the letter be not wanted, to paper it up; when that fount is brought into use, a proportionate quantity of pie is given to each compositor to distribute.

This is generally the work of the apprentices during any slackness of business. A quantity of pie is placed on the imposing stone, or, if that cannot be spared for the purpose, on a letter board upon a bulk, and each fount is separated from the other; they are then composed into lines, and either distributed or papered up: although it may appear a roundabout way to compose it, it in reality saves time, as the composed matter is distributed with greater facility. In large establishments the reading boys assort pie at their leisure time.


It is a general rule that every person shall, under a penalty, after imposing or correcting, leave a clear stone; that is, the mallet, shooting-stick, furniture, quoins, saw, sawblock, and shears, are to be put in their proper places; any good letters that may be scattered about, distributed; and the bad letters put into the shoe, so that there shall be no impediment to the next person using it. Any of the articles used, or two letters, left on it will render him liable to the fine.


The compositor who, in a companionship, receives the copy from the overseer or other person, gives it out to compose, receives the matter back when composed, keeps an account of what each person does, sets the head and direction lines, and the notes if any, makes up the pages, lays them down on the imposing stone, and makes out the account, apportioning to each his proper share; his own share of the bill being always equal with the highest: this refers to working on lines. In other companionships he receives the copy from the overseer, distributes it to his companions, and receives instructions how the work is to be done.


Matter with few breaks or whites—M. The term is now understood of works that are not leaded. See Bad Work.


This term is used when only a middling space is put between words, and sometimes a thin space; for some authors will not allow words to have much space between them, but only just enough to separate them from each other, in which case a thick space is never exceeded.

Close Work.

See Close Matter.


Mr. George Clymer, of Philadelphia, first began to turn his attention to the improvement of the printing press in the year 1797. Having completed his object, he came to England in 1817, and introduced his improved press under the name of the Columbian Press: he established a manufactory in London, and the first press he constructed here was completed in 1818, and I believe went to Russia. It is an iron press; there is no screw; the head is a large and powerful lever, which is 172 acted on by other levers to which the bar is attached, and produces the pressure; the platen is attached to the head by a square bar of iron, and the descent is preserved steadily and regularly by two projecting guides, one from each cheek; the platen is raised from the form by a lever with a weight at one end, attached to and above the head, which acts when the pull is eased and the bar flies back. The power of this press is very great, and I have not heard of any failing or breaking, which is an important fact in its favour. It ranks in the opinion of practical men, generally, as the next in estimation to the Stanhope press. The only objection I have 173 heard to this press, was the length that the pressmen had to reach, and the disadvantage in the pull, by the bar being attached to the off cheek; but Mr. Clymer remedied this by attaching it to the near cheek, which not only facilitates the pull, but also enables the pressman to exert his strength more advantageously and with more ease. Mr. Clymer died in 1834, but the manufactory is still continued in Finsbury Street under the firm of Clymer and Dixon. I believe the representative of Mr. Clymer is Mr. A. R. Shaw, who married one of his daughters.

Clymer’s press

Notes and Corrections: Clymer’s Press

I believe the representative of Mr. Clymer is Mr. A. R. Shaw, who married one of his daughters.
[If “I” is William Savage, you would think he could readily obtain certain information upon this point. Didn’t London printers all know each other?]


It is not unusual to begin a work, and the divisions of it, as Parts, or Books, with the first word set in capitals, and the first letter a larger capital, justified to range at the foot with the others, and bearing about the same proportion to them that capitals bear to their own small capitals; whatever proportion there may be between the first letter and the other part of the word, if it be justified to range at the foot, it is styled a Cock-up Letter.


That part of a wooden press, in which the stone is bedded.

Type Founders usually send small quantities of sorts in brown paper made into a cone, and twisted at the small end, similar in shape to what grocers use for small articles; where there are no fount cases, or where they are full, compositors do the same with superfluous sorts; these conical papers are called Coffins.

The frame and bottom of a slice galley, into which the slice slides, is also called the coffin. See Galley.


The cheeks of this press are of wrought iron, the head is of cast iron, very strong, and secured in its place by screws and nuts, and appears sufficient to bear the greatest power that can be applied in the ordinary process of printing, without injury. The pressure is obtained by a spindle with a screw working in the head, and at the bottom of it is a collar in which are fixed two studs of case-hardened iron with convex faces, which act upon two inclined planes of unequal degree of inclination; so that, when the platen first begins to descend, the descent is quick, but as the platen reaches the point of pressure, the velocity is diminished and the power proportionably increased, till arriving at a part of the plane nearly horizontal, and the levers taking the most advantageous positions, the highest degree of pressure is obtained. The inclined planes are of hard steel, dovetailed in the bottom of a circular brass box resting on the centre of the top of the platen; it contains oil, so that the studs dip into it every pull. The power is obtained by the bar being attached to a multiplied cross arm lever. Should the inclined planes break, or be injured, they can easily be taken out and replaced with new ones.


To examine the signatures in each gathering, to see that they are right and perfect. Moxon styles it Collation Books.

The person who has to collate, (generally the Warehouseman, as he is answerable for the correctness of the delivery of books,) takes a heap of a gathering and places the first or signature page uppermost, towards his right hand, and with the point of a sharp bodkin, or a penknife, picks up the corner of each sheet, in order to see that each signature is right, passing his thumb under them as they rise, to keep what he examines separate from the heap, and thus proceeds till he has examined one gathering; he then slips this gathering a little back on the heap, and proceeds with another, till he has gone through eight or ten, which he turns over to his left hand upon the table, where they are ready to fold; and he thus proceeds till he has collated a sufficient number for his delivery, or the whole number of the work, as the case may require.


In the course of his progress he will find some sheets laid the wrong way, these he puts right; in some cases the boys will have taken two sheets of the same signature up, he takes one of these out; in other cases, there may be duplicate signatures, and the right one in order wanting; he calls out to the gathering boys to give him the right sheet, and draws out the duplicate as before, and sometimes a signature is wanting, which he also calls for. In these cases the wrong sheets that are taken out of the gathering are called Drawn Sheets, and are laid down on their respective heaps, to be re-gathered.

Although not customary, I have known a warehouseman use neither a bodkin nor a penknife, but slip up the corner of the sheet with the end of his forefinger, in order to examine the signatures: any one who adopts this practice should be particularly careful to have clean fingers, or he will soil the corners of many sheets, and disfigure his work.


See Punctuation.


In Hayter’s “Introduction to Perspective Drawing and Painting,” is a diagram of the three primitive colours, with their combinations, which show the best contrasts. He says, this is highly useful for a painter to understand: and I think it is highly useful for a printer also to understand; for it will enable him to make the best disposition of colours in printing so as always to produce a superior effect to what could be done without the guidance of a correct principle. I shall give the passage.

three inter­locking circles

“You may try another experiment in proof of the primitive superiority of red, yellow, and blue, over all other colours. First draw a circle; then, with the same opening of the compasses, set one foot on the circumferent line, and draw a second circle; and again, with one foot of the compasses on the point where the two circles bisect, draw a third; cover one whole circle with yellow, another with red, and another with blue (letting each dry before you lay the next); the colours inter­mixing by the equilateral inter­section of the three circles, will produce green, orange, and purple; and the central portion, taking all the three colours, will be neutral of the black class, and nearly black, according to the strength of the three separate lays of the primitive colours. By this diagram you will have a certain proof of the colours which are most adapted to oppose each other, from which the knowledge of their harmonizing properties may be derived. You will find a primitive colour always opposite to a compound one; as, BLUE will be opposite orange, RED opposite green, and YELLOW opposite purple; which must determine them to be the natural opposites: this is highly useful for a painter to understand.”

Columbian Press.

See Clymer’s Press.


The same as Card Wool, which see.


The toe of the spindle is said to come down by pulling the bar: so is the bar when it is pulled near the hither cheek: also, the Pressman is said to come down the form with his balls.—M.


Beating from the off side to the near side of the form is termed Coming down the form.



A form that receives a good impression, Comes off well, if a bad impression, it Comes off ill, or it Comes not well off. Also a phrase used in gathering of books; for a heap that is gathered off is said to come off.—M.


See Punctuation.


For the allowance of the duty on paper used in the printing of Books of Common Prayer, see Paper.

Commons, House of.

See Privilege.

Notes and Corrections: Commons, House of

There is no article called “Privilege”, and I could not figure out what the author had in mind.


Two pressmen working at the same press call one another Companions.—M. Two or more compositors employed on the same piece of work also call each other Companions. Both parties frequently abbreviate the word, and call each other Comp.


When more than one compositor is employed upon any work it is styled a companionship.

There are different ways of working in companionships: one is, for each to work on his own account, to write his own bill, charging what he has done, and correct his own matter. At other times all the individuals work is charged and received in gross in the name of the companionship, and the division into the respective earning of each is made by the clicker.

In this case, to prevent unfairness, arising from any of the companions taking an undue advantage over the others, the copy should be strictly kept from their inspection, and a stated quantity invariably given out for each when any of them are out of copy, and not before; by this means each of them will have an equal chance for any fat that may occur. I have found in practice this method to be the fairest for all the individuals.

Another method is working on time or in pocket, where each individual exerts himself to further the work in any way that appears to the clicker the best, either composing or correcting, as the case requires. In this form of companionship the whole of what is done is written in one bill, and equally divided among the companions, provided they have been punctual in their attendance, and have not taken more than the prescribed time for their meals, &c.; otherwise they are subject to fines for infraction of the rules agreed to for their guidance.

As it often happens that a work is required to be printed with the greatest possible despatch, the plan of working upon Lines is frequently adopted, which is found in practice to be the most expeditious method of facilitating the work at case.

As soon as a work that requires despatch is put in hand, the overseer selects such men as are able to complete a great quantity of work in a given time, and appoints one of them who thoroughly understands his business, and is in other respects qualified, to undertake the management of the work, and to do every thing which would interfere with the regular business of distributing, composing and correcting. This person is styled the clicker.

While the companionship proceeds to the distribution of letter, the clicker applies to the overseer for the copy, receives instructions respecting it, and procures leads and every other necessary sort. He then draws out a table in the following form, or something similar.

In the first column he sets down the name of each compositor when he takes copy; and in the second the folio of the copy, that he may be able to ascertain instantly in whose hands it lies. In the third column he notes down the number of lines each man has composed opposite to his name, as fast as the galleys are brought to him. In the fourth he 176 sets down such remarks respecting the copy, &c. as may be necessary, and also any circumstance that may occur in the companionship.

Compositors Names. Folios of

When the members of the companionship are ready for their first taking of copy, they are to receive it from the clicker in small quantities, taking care that the two first have shorter takings than any of the others, to prevent as much as possible any delay in the making up. During the time the first taking is in hand, the clicker sets the head, the head lines, white lines, signature lines, together with side notes, and other extraneous matter.

As soon as the first person brings him his matter, he counts the number of lines, and inserts it in the table; he then gives him another taking of copy, and proceeds with the making up. The same plan is observed with the rest of the companionship.

When the first sheet is made up, he lays the pages on the stone, and informs the overseer of it, who will then immediately provide chases and furniture.

The work will now proceed rapidly, provided there be no hinderance with respect to letter, &c. If the clicker find that he cannot make up the matter as fast as it is composed, he should call the companion who is last in copy to his assistance. In this case the clicker counts the lines he has composed, sets them down in the table, and takes notice of the time he is off, which is to be made up to him by a deduction from the share of each person.

The proofs should be read immediately after they are pulled, and given to the clicker to be corrected. As soon as this is done, he gives the proof to the compositor whose matter stands first, who should immediately lay up the forms and correct his matter, then forward it to the next, and so on, till the sheet be corrected; the compositor whose matter is last in the sheet then locks it up, and carries the forms to the proof press.

As soon as one of the companionship is out of copy, and there is no more to be given out, the lines of the whole must be counted off, and set down in the table, and then every one does as much as he can for the general benefit. If there be not work enough to employ the whole, those who are not wanted may go to their regular work, and the time of their absence, till the rest of the companionship return to theirs, will be deducted from their respective shares.

In the outset the value of the lines is calculated, so that each of the companionship shall be paid, in the first instance, for what he composes: 177 the head and direction lines, the white lines, the branching out, the short pages, and the white pages, are termed fat; these the clicker sets, they are included in the general account, and the amount divided among the companionship. By this means each compositor will receive a share of the whole, according to the number of lines he composes, and an equal share of the fat, and the clicker’s share of the bill must be equal to that of the person who has set the greatest number of lines.

If leads, or any other materials, run short, a clever and active clicker will not wait for a supply from the overseer, who may be prevented attending to him at the moment, but will immediately forage for them himself, well knowing that expediting the work is for his own advantage as well as for that of the companionship.

Those companions who do not compose half as many lines as the compositor who has the greatest number, receive only a share of the fat equal to one half of what those do who have worked regularly; and those who do not compose more than one quarter, only receive equal to one quarter of a regular share.

Comparative Size of Types.

See Types.


The term composing includes the practical knowledge of picking up letters, spacing, justifying lines, and emptying the composing stick when full.

Although expedition is a most desirable qualification in a compositor, yet alone it is far from constituting a good workman: and the man who possesses no other claims to the title will be found competent to little more than setting reprints, in which no judgment is required, and where he has only to arrange letter for letter, point for point, and line for line; on which employment he may whistle, sing, talk, or laugh, without inconvenience to himself; for the process being merely mechanical, and the mind not being occupied in the smallest degree, if he make a mistake of a word, it will be detected at the end of the line; or, if there be a double, or an out, of lines, either will be detected when the page is finished.

How different is the case with the man who is anxious to deserve the title of a good workman, and to maintain it: in his youth he has been equally desirous with the other to acquire expedition; and, having attained it, he has felt that other requisites were necessary;—he has read, to obtain information—he has examined the best workmanship, as specimens for his guidance—he endeavours to compose accurately—he is careful and uniform in his spacing—he justifies his lines to an equal tightness—he divides his words, when necessary to divide them, correctly, and with a regard to appearance—and when occasional bits of rule work occur, they are marked by a degree of neatness in being cut to precise lengths, and in the corners fitting with precision—in all the work that passes through his hands there appear the marks of attention and skill.

When a master printer undertakes a work which requires more than ordinary care, and is difficult to execute, the superiority of the man who has endeavoured to improve himself is evident: he is selected to perform it; and he then feels the advantage of his perseverance. At work upon a difficult subject, with an ill written manuscript, his first proofs show him equal to the task—his arrangements of the matter are judicious—his punctuation is correct—when particular sorts are to be justified, they are done with accuracy—when an accented letter is required that cannot be procured in a single type, he makes it with neatness—and when his proof returns from the reader, he will frequently correct it in as little time, as a slovenly compositor will require to correct a proof of a similar size, that is a reprint.


The results to the slovenly and the good compositor are very different. The first is only employed during a flush of work; when that ceases, he has to seek fresh employment; perhaps does not meet with any for some weeks; again obtains a temporary engagement; and thus continues, till old age approaches, and he is rendered incapable of working. The good workman, on the contrary, is prized by his employer, especially if the latter be a workman himself, and a man of judgment. He is looked up to by his fellow-workmen; his situation is permanent, if he choose; his abilities qualify him to be a reader, and if his mind lead him that way, he may obtain such a situation. His knowledge and his merit fit him to become the overseer of a large house; where he has many advantages, and where he continues with credit to himself: unless, perhaps, he chooses to commence business on his own account, which is frequently done, when he invariably obtains the countenance and support of those who have witnessed his skill, his knowledge, his attention, and his industry.

There is another class of compositors who neither possess much skill; nor are very expeditious: I mean such as are of a sober, steady habit. These are useful men in an office where there is a number of reprints; they go on from year to year in a regular routine, and never step out of it: the employer can always depend on them for a regular amount of work, if they have sufficient employment.

There are too many, both good and bad workmen, who lose their time in drinking, gaming, and other vicious and idle pursuits: such persons pay doubly for their dissipation, for they squander the fruits of their earnings, and cut off the source of supply, by neglecting their employment. These men will never be employed in any respectable printing office, where they are known, except on a temporary engagement in a case of emergency. They introduce strife and discord wherever they are, and frequently lead astray the inexperienced youth: they disregard equally instruction and advice, and are not awakened to a sense of their condition, till the most severe lessons in this world are unitedly experienced—old age, poverty, and contempt.

The mere art of picking up letters, and arranging them in the composing stick, is looked upon by many compositors as constituting the whole of their business; who in consequence think that if they can succeed in picking letters up with facility, they become first-rate workmen; and the terms “Swifts,” and “Fire Eaters,” by which expeditious compositors are designated in a printing office, gratify their vanity.

It is not necessary to give specific rules, and a minute description, of the manner of picking up each letter, because it is impossible for them to hold good, the letters lying in every possible direction. A few general rules may suffice—to take up the letter at that end where the face is—if the nick be not upwards, to turn it upwards in its progress to the composing stick—to convey it to the line in the composing stick with as few motions as possible—to aim at no flourishes with the hand, which only lose time.

I would advise an inexperienced youth, when he comes to work among a number of men, to observe the manner of one of the best and quickest compositors: he will, perhaps, at first conclude that he is looking at a very slow workman, for the first appearance is fallacious; but when he examines more closely he will find his mistake, for what he at first took for slowness is the true principle of expedition; he will perceive no false motion, which invariably delays progress; the fingers go to one particular letter, take it up, convey it to the line direct, while the eye is directed to another letter which the fingers convey in the same manner to the line; thus letter after letter accumulate to words, lines, and pages, 179 with a quickness that looks like magic, while to the spectator it seems to be only the pace of the tortoise. Let him look at another; there appears all bustle, all expedition; the body and head in continual motion; the hand so quick in its evolutions, that he gazes with astonishment on the apparent rapidity of arranging the letters: let him look again with more attention, and he will find that the man whom he supposed so slow makes no mistake, loses no time, but continues steadily and uniformly making progress: while the other frequently misses taking hold of his letter; then makes two or three flourishes with his hand and his head before he takes hold of another; and then his hand continues dancing and see-sawing, and after three or four of such motions, made with great rapidity, the letter is finally deposited in the line. This manner of lifting the letters is in reality the pace of the tortoise, although it has the appearance of the speed of the hare.

Regularity of spacing, and a due proportion of distance between words, contribute in a material degree to improve the appearance of a book.

When the lines are very short, or the type very large in proportion to their length, all general rules, both of dividing and spacing, must give way to necessity; for in such cases it is impossible at all times to space regularly, or to divide the words correctly.

There is a great diversity of opinion with respect to spacing; some authors and printers choosing to have the words wide apart, and others, on the contrary, preferring to have them nearly close together; the one, requiring an en quadrat, or two thick spaces, and the other, a thin space only, between the words. Both of these, in my opinion, go to an extreme: I prefer using a thick space generally, and justifying with thinner and hair spaces; so that there will rarely be a necessity for any violent inequality in the distance of the words from each other.

When a work is double leaded, or has reglet between the lines, it requires to be wider spaced than when it is solid: in the two first cases, two middling spaces, or a thick and a thin space, will not be too much; in the latter, a thick space will be quite sufficient. And it is necessary to attend to these circumstances; for printing that is open does not harmonize when close spaced, any more than solid matter does when wide spaced, which makes it look full of pigeon holes; for the distance between the words should bear some proportion to the distance between the lines.

When one or two letters require to be got in, or to be driven out, the difference between a thick space and a middling one is not perceptible to the eye, particularly if the compositor is careful to place the latter before or after a v or w, after a comma that comes before a v or w, or after a y; and, in like manner, an additional hair space will not be perceptible if it come after an f, or before a j; or if it come between db, dh, dk, dl, lb, lh, lk, or ll.

The most expeditious mode of regular spacing, perhaps, is to take the spaces as they rise; for there being in the box only three sorts, the thin and the hair spaces being in separate boxes, there will not be any violent disproportion if the line should be full at the first; and the slight disproportion may be easily remedied by changing the situation of two or three: if the line should not be quite full, then the introduction of a few thin spaces will equalise the distances; or the substitution of a few thick spaces for middling ones will have the same effect.

In setting a line of capitals, a careful workman will pay attention to the bearing off of different letters, for many of them when they fall together stand as if there were a space between them, and produce a bad effect: to remedy this inequality, hair spaces, or bits of paper, are required 180 between those letters that stand close. The inequality is still greater in many instances in a line of Italic capitals, and of course requires the same remedy.

It would be desirable, and would tend to facilitate regular spacing, if there were a greater number of hair spaces cast to a fount than is now the case.

In poetry, the size of the type and the measure are usually so arranged as to admit the longest line to come into the measure, without having occasion to turn it: an opportunity is thus allowed for regular spacing, which is generally done with thick spaces. When a work in poetry is commenced, it is usual for the compositor to divide his space box up the middle with a piece of reglet, or with a piece of thin wood, made to fit tight, and to assort his thick spaces on one side, and the thinner on the other, to save time and trouble in picking them out.

As the measure for poetry is sometimes made as narrow as will conveniently allow the regular lines to come in, both to save quadrats, and also to lessen the price of composing, it not unfrequently happens that a line containing long syllables will not admit of thick spaces; in this case, the usual practice is to space close, and get in the line if possible, even with hair spaces, for turning it is attended with inconveniences; the page must be made up short, or long, to preserve the couplets, and it affects the next page, in preventing the stanzas backing each other.

A compositor will always find it advantageous to justify his lines to an equal tightness; and of this he must be sensible when he has to lock up his form: if he have been careless in this instance he will experience a loss of time and find a difficulty in getting his form to lift; and when it does lift, by means of sticking his bodkin into quadrats and spaces to tighten those lines that are slack, it will never be safe; for it is more than probable that many letters will draw out at press, and cause errors in that sheet, (for pressmen are generally careless how they replace a letter that has drawn, and, when it is discovered, they are satisfied if they put it into the right word,) the pressmen scold the compositor, who also, if he be working in a companionship, and should not be the last in the sheet, gets scolded by the compositor who has to lock up the forms, for his carelessness, and for the additional trouble which it causes.

I would avoid having a lower case fat the end of a line; for, being a kerned letter, the dot at the end of the curve is almost sure to be broken off while the sheet is being worked at press.

It is not possible to give particular rules for justifying all the sorts that occur in many works, and that are not in a printing office:—for a Ç, it will be necessary to cut away the shank to the bottom of the face of the letter, and justify a figure of 5 with the top back dash cut off; a long m̄, n̄, or any other letter, must be cut away to the upper part of the letter, and a small lower case l, with the fine lines cut away, fixed flat above; a short y̆ may be made by taking the bottom of an o; m̃ and ñ by cutting the front of a small a away, and laying it lengthways; ŵ and ŷ by inverting a lower case v, after cutting away the cross lines, and making the thick line equal to the fine one with a sharp knife.

Cutting away the shank allows the additional part to stand close to the face of the letter, which improves the appearance. In some instances it will be necessary to cut part of a lead away above the letter, and justify the addition in the vacancy. The compositor should, by all means, be careful to justify every sort that is added so tight as to prevent it from drawing out at press; but not so tight, as to force the words above and below out of line; in fact, they ought to be so managed as, when 181 justified to the letter, to form unitedly its regular body in depth when it is practicable.

The compositor should also be careful to proportion the size of the accent or mark to be justified to the size of the letter, that there may be no disproportion between them.

I would recommend to every compositor when he goes to a fresh house, where it is likely he may work some time, to ascertain what founts are in the house, with the two line letters, blacks, flowers, &c.: this knowledge will give him facilities, and enable him to compose a title, or a job, with less sacrifice of time, than if he were not acquainted with the materials contained in the office.


A piece of brass rule cut to the length of the measure, with a small ear or beak projecting at one end, by which to take it out. This rule is laid in the composing stick, and the letters arranged upon it; when the line is full, the rule is taken out by the projecting part, and laid upon the line composed, and this process is continued till the stick is full, when the rule is laid upon the last line as before, the whole of the matter in the stick is then grasped tight with both hands, (the rule preventing it from bursting,) taken out of the stick, and deposited in a galley.


The instrument in which the letters are arranged into words and lines. It is generally made of iron, sometimes of gun metal, and long ones for large jobs occasionally of wood.

When made of iron it is formed of a piece of sheet iron, one side turned up nearly half an inch, at a right angle, which forms the back, and when that is turned to the workman at the right hand extremity an end is fitted to it, by screws, rivets, or dovetailing: this end is iron, considerably thicker than the bottom and back, and is soldered in its place to give it strength and stability.

There is a slide by which the length of the lines is regularly justified, which is fixed to the back by a nut and screw passing through a groove in it, and secured in its place by the screw passing through one of the holes in the back, by which means the length of the line can be arranged according to the size of the page. The end of the stick, and also of the slide, must form a right angle with the back, and be parallel to each other, otherwise the lines will be of unequal lengths, and cause much trouble. The English composing sticks generally hold from nine to eleven lines of pica. The French printers use much narrower ones, frequently not holding more than three lines.

composing stick


See Rollers.


He that composes or sets the letters.—M. See Composing.


To prevent mistakes, confused bills, and disputes in companionships, and with the employer, it is essentially necessary that a compositor should keep an account of the work that he does, and it is still better that he should be able to ascertain on the instant how much he has composed of any work that he is employed upon; the quantity in each signature; the number of pages charged, and in what signatures; and the forms he has imposed, and the signatures. The following form, it is presumed, will accomplish this object in a simple and easy manner.

Title of the Work.
Sig. Set. Charged. Imposed.   Sig. Set. Charged. Imposed.
A       Set in all. A      
B       Sheets. Pages. B      
C           C      
D       D      
E           E      
F           F      
G           G      
H       Charged in all. H      
I       Sheets. Pages. I      
K           K      
L       L      
M         M      
N       N      
O       O      
P       Imposed. P      
Q       Forms. Q      
R         R      
S       S      
T       T      
U         U      
X       X      
Y       Y      
Z       Z      

Compositors’ Prices.

See Scale of Prices.


Balls are said to be in condition, or good condition, when they lug, and the ink is distributed easily and uniformly on their surface; that is, when they are neither too hard nor too soft: when they are either the one or the other, they are said to be in bad condition. See Balls. This also applies to rollers.

Paper is said to be in good condition when it has received a proper degree of moisture, been laid a day or two between the boards or in a heap, with weights upon the top board, then turned, which changes the parts is contact, and replaced under the weights for another day, so that the moisture shall be uniformly diffused and equal through the whole quantity of paper to be printed.


For the allowance of the duty on paper used in the printing of the book known by the name “The Confession of Faith,” see Paper.


used in Domesday Book and ancient Records. See Domesday Book. Records.


The Albion. This is the production of Richard Whittaker Cope, and is an iron press. The power is produced entirely by levers, which, by means of two strong iron links attached to the head, and working at the bottom on what is called the lugs, communicate the power to the platen, and thus produce the impression: on the return of the bar the platen is lifted from the face of the types by means of a spiral spring fixed on the head of the press. I have repeatedly broken the links, when they were guaranteed to withstand any force in working the press that could be applied to it. On the death of Mr. Cope, the business was continued by trustees for the benefit of the family, and is under the immediate management of Mr. John Hopkinson, who has very much improved this press by taking away the links, and remodelling it: the principle, on the present construction, is the same as that of Sherwin and Cope’s Imperial press, with some variation in the application of the cap or knuckle, and also in the adjusting wedges, the screw of which to regulate the pull is at the near side of the piston.


The Copts are undoubtedly descendants of the ancient Egyptians; but not an unmixed race, their ancestors in the earlier ages of Christianity having inter­married with Greeks, Nubians, Abyssinians, and other foreigners. Their name is correctly pronounced either Ckoobt or Ckibt; but more commonly Goobt or Gibt, and (in Cairo and its neighbourhood, and in some other parts of Egypt,) ’Oobt or ’Ibt: in the singular, it is pronounced Ckoob´tee, Ckib´tee, Goob´tee, Gib´tee, ’Oob´tee, or ’Ib´tee. All of these sounds bear a great resemblance to the ancient Greek name of Egypt (Αἰγυπτος): but it is generally believed that the name of “Ckoobt” is derived from Coptos, (once a great city, in Upper Egypt,) now called Ckooft, or, more commonly, Gooft; to which vast numbers of the Christian Egyptians retired during the persecution with which their sect was visited under several of the Roman emperors. The Copts have not altogether lost their ancient language, their liturgy and several of their religious books being written in it; but the Coptic has become a dead language, understood by very few persons; and the Arabic has been adopted in its stead.

The Coptic language gradually fell into disuse after the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs. For two centuries after that event, it appears to have been the only language that the generality of the Copts understood; but before the tenth century of our era, most of the inhabitants of Lower Egypt had ceased to speak and understand it, [this has been shown by 184 Quatremère, in his Researches on the Language and Literature of Egypt,] though, in the Sa’ee´d (or Upper Egypt), El-Muckree´zee tells, the women and children of the Copts, in his time, (that is, about the close of the fourteenth century of our era, or the early part of the fifteenth,) scarcely spoke any other language than the Sa’ee´dee Coptic, and had a complete knowledge of the Greek. Soon after this period, the Coptic language fell into disuse in Upper Egypt, as it had done so long before in the Lower Provinces, and the Arabic was adopted in its stead. All the Copts who have been instructed at a school still pray, both in the church and in private, in Coptic; and the Scriptures are still always read in the churches in that language; but they are explained, from books, in Arabic. Many books for the use of priests and other persons are written in the Coptic language expressed in Arabic characters.—Lane’s Modern Egyptians, vol. ii. 1836.

Gibbon states, that Cavio affords a shelter for the indigent patriarch of the Copts, and a remnant of ten bishops: forty monasteries have survived the inroads of the Arabs; and the progress of servitude and apostasy has reduced the Coptic nation to the despicable number of twenty-five or thirty thousand families.

We know very little of the ancient language of Egypt. Nearly all the remains of it we now possess, have been transmitted to us through the Coptic, Sahidic and Bashmuric Dialects. The Coptic Dialect was spoken in Lower Egypt, of which Memphis was the capital: hence it has been called, with great propriety, the Memphitic Dialect. The Sahidic, from the Arabic word Sahad, or Al Sahad, the Upper, or Superior, was the dialect of Upper Egypt, of which Thebes was the capital; it has, therefore, been called the Thebaïc. It is impossible to say which of these two dialects was the more ancient. Georgi, Valperga, Munter, and others, have decided in favour of the Coptic; and Macriny, Renandot, Lacroze, and Jablonsky, with as much show of reason, have contended for the Sahidic. Still, however, the question must be left to conjecture, as we have not sufficient evidence to enable us to decide upon it. Besides these two dialects, which have long been known, there was a third, which was spoken in Baschmour, a province of the Delta.

The existence of three dialects in Egypt has been so satisfactorily proved by Quatremère, Englebreth, and other writers; and so fully confirmed by the Bashmuric fragments which have been discovered and published, that little more need be added. If, however, any doubt remain, the following quotation from a manuscript work of Athanasius, a prelate of the Coptic church, who was Bishop of Kous, will entirely remove it. “The Coptic language,” says he, “is divided into three dialects; the Coptic dialect of Miser, the Bahiric, and the Bashmuric: these different dialects are derived from the same language.”

The introduction of Greek words into the Egyptian language commenced, no doubt, from the time of the Macedonian conquest, which the introduction of Christianity tended to confirm and extend. The Christian religion contained so many new ideas, that new terms were necessary to express them. These terms the language of Greece would readily supply; which, probably, were adopted by the Egyptians, from the Greek writings of the apostles.

Egyptian literature has recently attracted particular attention. All that has come down to us of the language and literature of ancient Egypt is contained in the Coptic, Sahidic, and Bashmuric dialects; and in the Enchorial, Hieratic, and Hieroglyphic inscriptions and manuscripts.


The Coptic, or, as it has been called, the Bahiric, but more properly the Memphitic, was the dialect of Lower Egypt; the Mizur of the Scriptures. This dialect is more regular and systematic in its grammatical construction, and more pure, than the others.

Manuscripts exist, in Coptic, of nearly the whole of the Sacred Scriptures, and of the Services of the Coptic church. The works of some of the early Fathers, and the Acts of the Council of Nice, and also the Lives of a considerable number of Saints and Martyrs, are found in the Coptic dialect.

Dr. Murray says, the Coptic is an original tongue, for it derives all its indeclinable words and particles from radicals pertaining to itself. Its verbs are derived from its own resources. There is no mixture of any foreign language in its composition, except Greek.

The remains which we possess of the Egyptian language, when separated from the Greek, with which it is in some measure mixed up, has no near resemblance to any of the ancient or modern languages.

The importance of the Ancient Egyptian to the antiquary will at once appear, when we consider that a knowledge of it is necessary before the inscriptions on the monuments of Egypt can be properly understood, and the Enchorial and Hieratic manuscripts can be fully deciphered.

The terms Coptic and Sahidic have been adopted instead of Memphitic and Thebaic, lest confusion should be created; as the former are used in those Egyptian publications which have issued from the Oxford University Press.

The Coptic alphabet contains Thirty-two Letters. It will be seen, from a comparison of the alphabets, that the Egyptians adopted the Greek alphabet, with the addition of seven letters.

The Gamma never occurs in Coptic words, except in one or two instances. It is used instead of the Kappa in words derived from the Greek.

The Xi is seldom found in Egyptian words, but principally occurs in words derived from other languages. It is sometimes used instead of ks.

The stops used, are one or two points, · : but two points are most commonly used.

The mark used to divide the verses is +.

When the point or short line (`) occurs over consonants, it generally expresses the vowel e short.

It appears, from some words derived from the Greek, that the point (`) has been used to express the vowels a and o short.

When the point (`) occurs above a vowel, it expresses the soft or sharp breathing of the Greeks. When it is found above e long, it denotes the sharp accent; but when placed above the other vowels, it either expresses the soft accent, or it denotes that the letter should be pronounced separately, and agrees with the diæresis of the Greeks.

When the point (`) is put over a vowel in the beginning of words derived from the Greek, and which has the aspirate in that language, it indicates a sharp breathing.

Some Coptic words are abbreviated by a line or lines above them.—Tattam’s Grammar of the Egyptian Language. 8vo. 1830.

Coptic in the British Foundries.

English. Oxford.

Pica. Caslon and Livermore. Dr. Wilkins’s edition of the Pentateuch.

The Coptic Alphabet.

page image

The Coptic Alphabet.
Names of Letters. Coptic Alphabet. Greek Alphabet. Corresponding
English sounds.
Alpha Ⲁ ⲁ Α α a 1.
Beta Ⲃ ⲃ Β β b {as v between
two vowels.
Gamma Ⲅ ⲅ Γ γ g 3.
Delta Ⲇ ⲇ Δ δ d 4.
Ei Ⲉ ⲉ Ε ε e short. 5.
So Ⲋ ⲋ ς ς 6.
Zeta Ⲍ ⲍ Ζ ζ z 7.
Heta Ⲏ ⲏ Η η e long. 8.
Theta Ⲑ ⲑ Θ θ th 9.
Iota Ⲓ ⲓ Ι ι i 10.
Kappa Ⲕ ⲕ Κ κ k 20.
Lauda Ⲗ ⲗ Λ λ l 30.
Mi Ⲙ ⲙ Μ μ m 40.
Ni Ⲛ ⲛ Ν ν n 50.
Xi Ⲝ ⲝ Ξ ξ x 60.
Ou Ⲟ ⲟ Ο ο o short. 70.
Pi Ⲡ ⲡ Π π p 80.
Ro Ⲣ ⲣ Ρ ρ r 100.
Sima Ⲥ ⲥ Σ σ ς s 200.
Tau Ⲧ ⲧ Τ τ t 300.
Hu Ⲩ ⲩ Υ υ u 400.
Phi Ⲫ ⲫ Φ φ ph 500.
Chi Ⲭ ⲭ Χ χ ch 600.
Psi Ⲯ ⲯ Ψ ψ ps 700.
Ou Ⲱ ⲱ Ω ω o long. 800.
Shei Ϣ ϣ   sh 900.
Fei Ϥ ϥ   f 90.
Hei Ϧ ϧ   kh  
Hori Ϩ ϩ   h  
Gangia Ϫ ϫ   g {and j before
a vowel.
Sima Ϭ ϭ   sh  
Tei Ϯ ϯ   ti, di, or th  


The manuscript that is to be printed, or a book that is to be reprinted; in short, any subject that is to be printed, is termed Copy.

Where it is possible, copy should always be kept locked up in a fire-proof closet. As it is rare for an author to have a duplicate, the loss of the manuscript would in many instances be irretrievable; it is also necessary to be very careful of the copy of new editions, in which the author or editor has made alterations; of all posthumous MS. works; and of unique copies, which sometimes are entrusted to the printer, the loss or destruction of which would be an unpardonable offence, unless it could be shown that all human precautions had been taken for their preservation.

I cannot omit noticing the careless manner in which many compositors keep their copy, leaving it loose on their frames and in their windows, and frequently neglecting to shut them when they quit work in summer, by which means the copy is sometimes blown away and lost, and at other times portions of it are destroyed as waste paper. The best method of preserving it is to have a paper case, or an old book cover, to put it in, and to keep it in the well of the frame, or the drawer when there is one.

Copy is generally given out to the compositor in regular portions: if it be printed, a sheet at a time; if in manuscript, a chapter, or section, as it may be; for the compositor has never the whole volume in his hands at once, excepting it be bound, and not allowed to be cut up, or taken to pieces. If the author supply it in small quantities at a time, it is usually handed to the compositor as it is received.

Many gentlemen who write for the press fall into an error, that appears inconsistent even with common reasoning; viz. that the worse the manuscript is written, the more likely the work is to be correctly printed: for, say they, the more difficulty the printer meets with in reading it, the more pains he is obliged to take to understand the subject; and of course he will print it more accurately than if he could pass it over in a slovenly manner.

In refutation of this prevalent error, I would ask those gentlemen, if they have never received letters from their friends, so hastily and carelessly written that their utmost efforts to decipher every word have been baffled, although they might arrive at the general meaning of the whole; I have myself seen letters which set at defiance all attempts to read them: I would ask those gentlemen, whether in examining ancient MSS. they have not often been perplexed in making out the subject, and after all their endeavours have at last risen from the task in many instances rather guessing at the meaning than being certain of it. Even so, and worse, is the case of the printer with ill-written manuscript, who frequently is ignorant of the subject on which he is engaged; how then is it probable that he should produce a proof as correct as if the manuscript were written in a fair legible hand?—it is neither probable nor possible. I have known more than one author, when appealed to for information on his own writing, unable to read it, and of course unable to explain to the workman the difficulty he was labouring under; and I have heard one of these very persons, among others, maintain, that the worse a manuscript was written, the more probability there was of its being correctly printed.

By the Act of the 39 G. 3. c. 79. s. 29. it is enacted, “That every Person who, from and after the Expiration of forty Days after the passing of this Act, shall print any Paper for Hire, Reward, Gain, or Profit, shall carefully preserve and keep one Copy (at least) of every Paper so printed by him or her, on which he or she shall write, or 188 cause to be written or printed, in fair and legible Characters, the Name and Place of Abode of the Person or Persons by whom he or she shall be employed to print the same; and every Person printing any Paper for Hire, Reward, Gain, or Profit, who shall omit or neglect to write, or cause to be written or printed as aforesaid, the Name and Place of his or her Employer on one of such printed Papers, or to keep or preserve the same for the Space of six Calendar Months next after the Printing thereof, or to produce and shew the same to any Justice of the Peace, who, within the said Space of six Calendar Months, shall require to see the same, shall, for every such Omission, Neglect, or Refusal, forfeit and lose the Sum of twenty Pounds.”


It appears from Moxon’s work, that in his time each compositor received a copy of the work on which he was employed, or, in lieu of it, a sum of money, which was called Copy Money. This custom is abolished, and no remains of it exist. See Ancient Customs and Take up a Sheet.


See Literary Property.


The outside quires of a ream of paper.—M. They are now called Outsides, or Outside Quires. See Cassie Paper.


Irons screwed on the coffin of a wooden press at the extremity of each corner: these irons form a right angle at the outside, and an obtuse angle on the inside, being thicker at the angle than at the extreme ends, so as to allow the quoins to wedge up the form on the press stone. They are quadrat high.


When the corrector reads the proof, or the compositor mends the faults he marked in the proof, they are both said to correct; the corrector the proof, the compositor the form.—M. In the first case, it is now styled reading the proof; in the next, the compositor has to put right the errors and mistakes he has made in the workmanship, previously to the sheet being sent to the author or editor; this he does by picking out the wrong letters or words by means of a sharp bodkin, and replacing them with the right ones; but if he have left an out or made a double, he then takes the matter into the composing stick, and over-runs it till he comes to the end of a paragraph; or the error may make one or more even lines, when the trouble is much lessened; still the length of the page must be had in view and kept right, either by branching out where it will admit of it, or by driving a line or two out, or getting a line or two in in the adjoining pages, according to circumstances, but never to make even lines too suddenly so as to cause the spacing to be unsightly, by being too close, or too wide, for the sake of saving a little trouble in over-running a few lines.

For the regularity and despatch of business a compositor should never delay correcting after he has received the proof: it causes disappointment to the author or proprietors of the work, and injures his employer in his business, by obtaining for him the character of want of regularity and punctuality; it injures the pressmen, by delaying the forms going to press; and it ultimately injures himself, by causing him to stand still for want of letter. It is a general rule in printing offices, that a compositor should always impose as soon as the sheet on which he is at work is out and made up, and that he also should correct his proof without loss of time. See Author’s Proof. First Proof.


is the rectifying of such errors in the types as the compositor may have made, and any defects in the workmanship; it also includes making such alterations as the author, on examining the proof sheets, may think necessary.

The German printers have an implement, made of wood, similar to the back and bottom of a composing stick, in which they gather the corrections, and place it with them in it on the form, without risk of 189 injuring the types, leaving their hands free from incumbrance. This appears to be an improvement on our practice, which is, when the corrections are numerous, to gather them in a composing stick, and place it on the face of the form, for convenience of having them close at hand; this should be avoided, and neither metal, nor any other article that is likely to injure the types or an engraving, should ever be laid on the face of the letter.

correcting stick

The French and the Italians employ a pair of tweezers for picking the wrong letters out of the form, by which they avoid injuring the letter with the bodkin; but there is a bodkin attached to the other end, to use when necessary. They say this is superior to our method of taking out the wrong letter with a bodkin, and executed more readily. In fact, with us there is frequent injury done by the inexperienced or careless workman in using the bodkin: the letter is often injured that is drawn out; if the bodkin is not very sharp, it occasionally slips and spoils the face of six or seven adjoining letters; and, by its injudicious use, the next letter, under the blade of the bodkin, is often rendered useless.


The specimen in p. 191. shows the manner of marking the corrections in a proof. The following is an explanation of the marks therein used, which will enable a gentleman who has to superintend a work through the press to correct the proof sheets in a way that will be clearly understood by the printer, and will tend to promote correctness, by preventing those mistakes that occasionally occur owing to his not comprehending all the marks on the proof.

Where a word is to be changed from small letters to capitals draw three lines under it, and write caps. in the margin.

1. The substitution of a capital for a small letter.

2. The marks for turned commas, which designate extracts or quotations.

3. The insertion of a hyphen.

4. The substitution of a small letter for a capital.

5. To change one word for another.

6. To take away a superfluous letter or word, the pen is struck through it and a round topped d made opposite, being the contraction of the word dele, do thou expunge.

7. A letter turned upside down.

8. The insertion of a word or letter.

9. The substitution of a comma for another point, or for a letter put in by mistake.

10. The substitution of a ; for another point.

11. When words are to be transposed, two ways of marking them are shown; but they are not usually numbered, unless more than three words have their order changed.

12. When a paragraph commences where it is not intended, connect the matter by a line, and write in the margin opposite run on.


13. To draw the letters of a word close together that stand apart.

14. The marks for a new paragraph.

15. The substitution of a period or a colon for any other point. It is customary to encircle these two points with a line.

16. Where a space or a quadrat stands up and appears, draw a line under it, and make a strong perpen­dicular line in the margin.

17. Where there is a wrong letter, draw the pen through that letter, and make the right one opposite in the margin.

18. The transposition of letters in a word.

19. The mark for a space where it has been omitted between two words.

20. The manner of marking an omission, or an insertion, when it is too long to be written in the side margin. When this occurs it may be done either at the top or the bottom of the page.

21. When one or more words have been struck out, and it is subsequently decided that they should remain, make dots under them, and write the word stet in the margin.

22. When a letter of a different size from that used, or of a different face, appears in a word, draw a line either through it or under it, and write opposite w. f., for wrong fount.

23. Marks when the letters in a word do not stand even.

24. Marks when lines do not appear straight.

25. The mark for the insertion of an apostrophe.

Where a word has to be changed from Roman to Italic draw a line under it, and write Ital. in the margin; and where a word has to be changed from Italic to Roman, write Rom. opposite.

To change a word from small letters to small capitals, make two lines under the word, and write sm. caps. opposite. To change a word from small capitals to small letters make one line under the word, and write in the margin lo. ca. for lower case.

Where the compositor has left an out, which is too long to be copied in the margin of the proof, make a caret at the place, and write opposite, Out, see copy.

The specimen when corrected would be as follows.

It is sublimely declared in the Christian Scriptures, that “God is Love.” In truth, to figure to ourselves under any other character a Being of infinite wisdom to conceive, and power to execute his designs, would appal the imagination of his dependent creatures. Neither can we find, in reasoning à priori, and from the nature of things, any foundation for believing that the misery rather than the happiness of those dependent creatures can be desired or devised by a Being who cannot possibly be actuated by any of the motives from which we know that injustice proceeds, as ignorance, selfishness, or partiality; and who can have entertained, so far as we are able to discover, no other object in creating man, except the intention of finally communicating a larger proportion of happiness than misery. These are the principles from which is deduced the necessity of justice and benevolence in the Creator.

Arguments of this nature will have more or less effect, according to the constitution of the mind to which they are presented. At the same time it must be conceded, that the works of God, generally considered, form the best criterion of his intentions; and that, however indisputable the eternal truths may be which render goodness inseparable from power and wisdom, there still remains a reasonable inquiry, how far the actual appearance of the world justifies this conclusion.


correcting stone



The stone on which the compositor imposes and corrects his forms.—M. It is now called Imposing Stone, which see.


The letters marked in a proof are called Corrections.—M. At the present time, the right words or letters that are to replace the wrong ones are understood by the word; thus a compositor, when he collects the right letters for the purpose of correcting a form, is said to Gather the Corrections.


Moxon uses this word to designate the person whom we now call a Reader. The word is not now used. See Reader.

Counting off Copy.

See Casting off Copy.

Cowper, Edward.

See Machines.


In composing, when it is necessary to get in a given quantity of matter into a certain number of pages, which are hardly sufficient to contain it, whites are used sparingly, short pages are avoided, and the matter is spaced closer than common; it is then said to be cramped. A compositor is also said to cramp his matter when he does not put whites proportionate to the openness of the work, or to the size of the letter when there is no restriction.


Short pieces of iron, polished on their face, fastened to the under side of the plank, to run the carriage in and out upon the long ribs. They are frequently called the Short Ribs. The two at each end are turned again at the outer ends, to guide the carriage, and prevent any lateral motion, and are called Guide Cramps. I have seen them made of bell metal, as having less friction than iron running upon iron.


Long Cross and Short Cross; two bars of iron crossing each other at right angles and dovetailed into the rim of the chase, dividing it into four quarters. The short cross is the broadest, and has a groove for the points to fall in, for the purpose of making holes in the sheet to work the reiteration in register.


or Brackets [   ] serve to enclose a word or sentence, which is to be explained in a note, or the explanation itself, or a word or a sentence which is intended to supply some deficiency, or to rectify some mistake.—Murray.


See Koofee.

currying iron


To examine the cording quires, and select the best sheets out from those that are so much damaged as to be unfit for use.—M.


A square bar of iron, bent so as to make the middle part of it project from the post or upright to which the ends are fastened; the ends are flatted out, turned again at right angles, with screw holes, and the middle of the projecting part is twisted. Its use is to curry pelts.


Putting it half round the currying iron, or a post, and taking hold of both ends, drawing it backwards and forwards to make it more supple, and to take part of the moisture out. See Balls.


In the year 1805, a Mr. Zach. Allnutt published proposals for “a New Mode of Universal Linear Printing, named by me Curvilinear Printing, being a neat, expeditious, and cheap Method of printing Plans of Rivers, Canals, Roads, Estates, Encampments, Mathematical Figures, and all other Sketches required to illustrate any Subject.”


“The Time required in executing such Plans, and on which a Calculation of their Expence may be easily made, would be,

“For an Octavo Plan of Demy or Foolscap paper not very much crouded, Time one person one day.

“For a Quarto Demy or Foolscap paper not much crouded, or for an Octavo much crouded, Time two days.

“For a Folio Foolscap not much crouded, or Quarto much crouded, Time three days.”

He then proceeds to say, that he had published a small pamphlet, in which he had inserted some specimens of Maps of Rivers and Canals, and a Plan of a Building; and executed various Plans of Estates; and of Military Positions (but not with Soldier or Tent Types purposely cast), and a Sketch of a Machine, &c.; and that these specimens were composed with common printing types (except the Trees, Houses, Churches, and Compass, which were cast so as to be moveable,) and printed with a common letter-press.

He proposed to “discover and explain” “the precise Method of such Curvilinear Printing, with a full and particular Description,” “if a sufficient Number of Persons, to answer his Expectations, engage as Subscribers of Ten Guineas each.” “But if there should not be a sufficient Number of Subscribers hereto according to the Inventor’s Expectations, He will be ready to treat with any Person, or Persons collectively, for the sole Use of this New Method or Invention.”

I never knew of any person subscribing, or of any printer practising this particular manner of printing; and I believe that Mr. Allnutt’s discovery would have sunk into utter oblivion, but for a few of his Proposals, one of which is now lying before me.


Side notes that are not arranged in the front margin down the side of the page, but are inserted in the text, the lines of which are shortened to admit the note, as if a piece of the text were cut out, and the note inserted in the vacancy.


Cutting those parts of the paper away so as to allow the types to print on its own paper, and to keep the margin clean.—M.

Cylindrical Printing.

See Machines.

The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.