Printing Dictionary


Table Work


Tail Pieces

Take Ink

Taking Down


Take Up

Taking Copy

Taking Off


Taylor and Martineau’s Press

Tease Wool, or Hair



Thick Space

Thin Space




Tightening the Quoins

Till, or Shelf

Tithes Commutation

Toe of the Spindle


Token Sheet




Transposition of Pages

Treading Pelt

Turn for a Letter



Two Line Double Pica

Two Line English

Two Line Great Primer

Two Line Letters

Two Line Pica


Tympan Cloth

Tympan Hooks

Tympan Joints

Tympan Sheet





Uneven Page

Unlock the Form

Upper Hand



Vesper, or Plain Chant Music



Wash the Form


Wayz Goose

Weak Ink

Weights and Measures



Wetting Paper


White Line

White Page

White Paper

White Paper Register

Wide Spacing


Wooden Ribs

Wool Cards

Wool Hole

Worked, or Worked-Off

Work with a Figure



Figure work, &c., composed with column rules, consisting of five columns or more. It is paid double the price of common matter at case.


Figure work, &c., composed with column rules, consisting of three or four columns. It is paid one and a half the price of common matter.


Ornaments placed in a short page to fill up the vacancy. The same observations apply to Tail Pieces as to Head Pieces, which see; as also Fac.


Dabbing a ball upon the ink block for it to receive a small quantity of ink to distribute on the two balls.—M. It is equally termed Taking Ink when rollers are used.


Taking the sheets from the poles with a peel when they are dry.


See Ancient Customs; also Fly. Boys are employed in machine printing to take away the sheets as they are printed, and to lay them straight and even; this is also styled Taking-off, and the boys taking-off boys.


To take letters up with a composing rule to distribute.—M. When a compositor is distributing, he places his composing rule against the head of the matter he means to take up, and putting the sides of his two third fingers, near the ends, to the ends of the rule, and the sides of his fingers against the sides of the matter, with his fore fingers at the extreme end, round the corners of the matter he intends to take up, and the ends of his thumbs against the back of the rule, he thus grasps it, and then generally tries if it will lift, when by a sudden lifting of the bottom end of the matter, and turning up of the rule with his thumbs, he raises it from the board to a perpen­dicular direction, resting on the rule; and turning it with the face of the letter to him, with one part of the rule resting on the third finger of his left hand, and the other end against the ball of his thumb, while the sides of the matter are guarded by his thumb and forefinger, when the measure is not too wide, he begins to distribute.

In like manner he takes up matter to move from one galley to another, when he is making up; except that he places his rule against the foot of the matter, and when he grasps it he does not raise it perpen­dicularly, but lifts it to him under his hands, his forefinger being against the rule, and his thumbs grasping the head of the matter.

A stranger to the business would be surprised to see the number of lines of types that an expert compositor will lift in this manner.

Take up a Sheet.

See Ancient Customs.—M.

It appears that in Moxon’s time the compositor had a copy of each work he was engaged on, or received what was termed copy money in lieu of it. This custom is abolished; and no workman is permitted to take a copy of any thing that is printed in the house as a matter of right.


A compositor receiving copy from the overseer, or other person who has the charge of it, to compose; if in a companionship, the clicker receives it, and gives it out to the companions.


Part of a page taken up to distribute.—M. Obsolete.


See Persian.




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a ā i ī u ū e ē ei o ō ou
ka கா கி கீ கு கூ கெ கே கை கொ கோ கௌ
cha       சு சூ            
Cerebral ḍa   டி டீ டு டூ            
Cerebral ṇa ணா ணி ணீ ணு ணூ     ணெஇ ணொ ணோ  
ta தா                    
pa       பு பூ            
ma       மு மூ            
ya       யு யூ            
ra       ரு ரூ            
la       லு லூ     லை      
va       வு வூ            
Cerebral ṛa       ழு ழூ            
Cerebral ḷa       ளு ளூ     ளை      
Cerebral rra றா     று றூ       றொ றோ  
na னா     னு னூ   னை னொ னோ    

க—As a medial, this letter has, when single, the sound of gh; when double, of kk. As an initial also it represents gh in certain words derived from the Sanscrit.

ச—This letter has, when single, the sound of s, sh, and the French g in âge; when double, it has the sound of ch. In words of Sanscrit origin, it represents the ja and cha of the Sanscrit alphabet.

த—This letter, when combined with ச, has the sound of the French n in Ange.

ட—This letter has, when single, the sound of d; when double, of tt, with a strong cerebral articulation.

த—As a medial, this letter has, when single, the sound of d; when double of tt. As an initial, also, it represents d in certain words of Sanscrit origin.

ந—This is the initial n. It is medial only before த.

ப—As a medial, this letter has, when single, the sound of b; when double, of pp. And in certain words of Sanscrit origin it has, as an initial also, the sound of b.

ழ—This letter is articulated somewhat like the hard ṛ of the Hindustani alphabet. It may be said to possess generally as a medial, the sound of r, and as a final, that of l, with a cerebral articulation.

ற—This letter has, when single, the sound of rr; and, when double, the sound of a double tt.

The word “soul,” is used metaphorically in Tamul for a vowel; the word “body,” for a consonant; and the compound word “soul and body,” for a syllable. In the same metaphorical language, a consonant is termed “a dead letter.”

It will be seen, in the foregoing scheme, that when the short vowel a is employed to give utterance, or (to adopt the metaphor of the Tamul grammarians) animation to the consonants, no additional character is required; it being considered to be inherent in each consonant, as essential to its original articulation. The removal of this originally inherent vowel is usually denoted by a dot or a small circle placed over the consonant, as ன் (n), ர் (r).

In the elegant dialect, a character written thus ஃ, and termed āyadam, is used in addition to the ordinary letters of the alphabet. It is not, strictly speaking, either a vowel or a consonant; but it has the power of a consonant; it is pronounced gutturally, and it lengthens the preceding syllable if short by nature: as இஃது (ighdu) “this,” instead of இது (idu).

இ before the cerebrals, viz. ட, ண, ழ, ள, ற, has an obscure sound, best expressed by a short u, and may be considered as nearly lost.

ஈ before the cerebrals, possesses nearly the sound of long u, though a practised ear distinguishes a peculiarity in its utterance.

In Tamul, a measure of time, termed māttirei, which is described as occupying the period of the twinkling of an eye, or the snap of a finger, 795 is assigned to the letters in the manner following; viz. to a consonant is assigned half a measure; to a short vowel, one measure; and to a long vowel, two measures.

The character Tamul S is the consonant s of the Grandonic alphabet.

Cardinal Numbers.

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௰௧ 11
௰௨ 12
௰௩ 13
௰௪ 14
௰௫ 15
௰௬ 16
௰௭ 17
௰௮ 18
௰௯ 19
௨௰ 20
௨௰௧ 21
௨௰௨ 22
௨௰௩ 23
௨௰௪ 24
௨௰௫ 25
௨௰௬ 26
௨௰௭ 27
௨௰௮ 28
௨௰௯ 29
௩௰ 30
௩௰௧ 31, &c.
௪௰ 40
௫௰ 50
௬௰ 60
௭௰ 70
௮௰ 80
௯௰ 90
௱௧ 101, &c.
௨௱ 200
௩௱ 300
௯௱ 900
௲ or [A] 1,000
௲௧ or [AA] 1,001, &c.
௲௱ or [AA] 1,100, &c.
௨௲ 2,000
௰௲ 10,000
௨௰௲ 20,000
௱௲ 1,00,000
௨௱௲ 2,00,000
௨௱௱௲ 20,00,000
௱௱௲ 100,00,000,

It will be observed that, in many instances, the letters of the alphabet are employed, as in Greek and Latin, to express numerical value.

From “Rudiments of Tamŭḷ Grammar.” By Robert Anderson, Assistant Professor of Oriental Languages at the East India Company’s College. 4to. 1821.

Tamul in British Founderies.

English. Fry; to Thorowgood and Besley; for the College of Madras. Oxford.

Pica. Fry; to Thorowgood and Besley.



This is an iron press, the frame of which forms two upright cheeks and the head. The power is not obtained by a screw, but by a cylinder with a knee-joint in the middle, which is bent when not pulling; this allows the platen to rise from the form, which is accomplished by a weight behind, that counter­balances the platen. The pull is effected by a bar, in the usual manner, that brings the knee-joint straight, depresses the platen, and produces the impression. The power is regulated by a screw through the head, that acts upon the cylinder.

TEASE WOOL, or Hair.

Teasing the hard and almost matted knots in the wool, or hair, with which the balls are stuffed.—M. Wool only is now used for stuffing balls, which is combed with strong wool combs, previous to knocking up balls. It appears by this extract, that hair was used for this purpose as well as wool in the seventeenth century.


For the allowance of the duty on paper used in the printing of Testaments, see Paper.


For the penalty for printing advertisements with “No Questions Asked,” see Stolen Property.


A space, three of which are equal to the body of the letter to which it belongs; it is the thickest space that is cast, the next in thickness being the en quadrat.


ought, by a strict orderly and methodical measure, to be made of the thickness of the seventh part of the body, though Founders make them indifferently thicker or thinner.—M. Six thin spaces are now equal to the body.


A sheet of paper folded into thirty-six leaves, seventy-two pages, is termed thirty-sixmo.


A sheet of paper folded into thirty-two leaves, sixty-four pages, is termed thirty-twomo.


Both compositors and pressmen, when they gamble in the office, or take a chance for any advantage arising in work, generally throw for it; that is, they take nine em quadrats, usually English, and, shaking them well together in the hollow of both their hands, throw them upon the imposing stone, or press stone, and he who throws most nicks upward in three times is the winner. They choose quadrats with three deep nicks in each, when such a fount is in the office, as being most easily distinguished.

Thumb Piece.

See Ear of the Frisket.


This is necessary, particularly in summer time, as also with forms that are placed contiguous to the fire in winter, to prevent the matter from falling out. Examining the forms occasionally that have been some time in chase should not be neglected; for if they have been imposed when the furniture was wet, the matter is very likely to fall out, from the gutters and other pieces shrinking. The quoins are generally tightened with an old cross bar, with the fire poker, or the claw end of a sheep’s foot, as being heavier and more efficacious than a piece of light furniture; but the best method, after securing them in this manner, is to lay them upon the imposing stone, plane them down, and then lock them up afresh in a regular manner. See Falling Out.

TILL, or Shelf.

A mahogany shelf, in wooden presses, divided in two longitudinally, that clasps the hose, and causes it and the spindle to come down perpen­dicularly without any play. It is dovetailed at both ends, and fits into the cheeks, with block wedges underneath to keep it 797 up in its situation; the dovetails also keep the cheeks together, and answer the same purpose that the summer formerly did. The opening that the hose works in is lined with brass, and is made to fit it accurately.


6 & 7 Will. 4. c. 71. “An Act for the Commutation of Tithes in England and Wales.”

s. 91. “And be it enacted, That no Advertisement inserted by Direction of the Commissioners or any Assistant Commissioner, or by any Tithe Owner or Land Owner, in the London Gazette, or in any Newspaper, for the Purpose of carrying into effect any Provision of this Act, and no Agreement, Award, or Power of Attorney made or confirmed or used under this Act, shall be chargeable with any Stamp Duty.”

TOE of the Spindle.

The very bottom of the spindle.—M. It is of hardened steel, and works in the platen stud.


Ten quires of paper.—M. It is now ten quires eighteen sheets, or half a ream of perfect paper, and contains 258 sheets. All paper for book work is given out in tokens to wet, the quires in each token are placed the same way, and the tokens arranged one upon the other, back and fore edge, for the person who has to wet the paper to take away. It has become a practice in many houses, for the warehouseman to give out the paper in tokens alternately of ten quires and a half and eleven quires; this in my opinion should never be done, for I have known many serious mistakes arise from it; for instance, in a book that is a long number, a pressman who is working a sheet, will borrow a token of paper from another sheet, or three or five, or more, on account of being in better condition, or for some other cause; he takes the tokens indiscri­minately as they arise, and they are replaced in the same manner; and not unfrequently ten quires and a half are returned for eleven quires borrowed; the consequence is, that one signature has an overplus number and the other is deficient, and has to be reprinted at the expense of the master printer: these mistakes would not occur if the paper were given out in regular tokens of ten quires eighteen sheets.


In wetting paper the last sheet of each token is doubled down, so that the corner projects, when there is a pile of paper wetted; this projecting sheet marks the division of the pile into tokens, and is styled the token sheet.


In piling the printed sheets of a work away, after they have been dried and taken from the poles, the warehouseman takes a few sheets of each signature, and lays them at the top of the pile; these are called Tops, and enable him, with little trouble, to deliver a copy as far as it is printed, when required, which frequently occurs in the progress of a work, without having to take down all the piles.

Towns, ancient Names of.

See Names.


The name of a type, the next size larger than Two Line Double Pica, and smaller than Canon. It is a size that has been introduced of late years.


In imposing, to place the pages in a wrong order, when it is said the pages are transposed: in composing, if letters, or words, or lines, do not follow in their proper order, they are said to be transposed.—M. We use the word also when we correct the arrangement, and put the pages or the matter in their proper order, by saying we have transposed the pages, the words, or the lines.


Many sizes, after the white paper in a half sheet has been worked off, require some of the pages to be transposed, before the reiteration is worked; for those sizes, see Imposing.


Trampling on the pelt, to make it soft and 798 pliable, after it has been soaked in the pelt pot, and to get rid of the superfluous moisture, previous to knocking-up. This is usually done when the pressmen are at work, and by him who is beating.

This is an inconvenient process when a man is working at half press; but it may be dispensed with; for a pelt well curried will answer equally well: it appears as if treading was the ancient practice, before the currying iron was introduced.


It often happens that when matter runs upon sorts, especially in capitals, or some other sorts seldom used, that the compositor wants that sort the matter runs on; wherefore he is loth to distribute letter for that sort; or perhaps his case is otherwise full. Wherefore, instead of that letter or sort, he turns a letter of the same thickness, with the foot of the shank upwards, and the face downwards; which turned letter being easy to be seen, he afterwards, when he can accommodate himself with the right sort, takes out, and puts the right letter in its room. It is also a word used jocosely in the chapel, when any of the workmen complain of want of money, or any thing else, it shall by another workman be answered, Turn for it; viz. Make shift for it.—M.


A sheet of paper folded into twenty-four leaves, forty-eight pages, is termed twenty-fourmo.


A sheet of paper folded into twenty leaves, forty pages, is termed twentymo.


The name of a type equal to four Small Picas, or to two Double Picas; the next size larger than Two Line Great Primer, and smaller than Trafalgar. It is not enumerated by Moxon in his list. See Types.


The name of a type, the next size larger than Two Line Pica, and smaller than Two Line Great Primer. It is equal to two English bodies. See Types.


The name of a type, the next size larger than Two Line English, and smaller than Two Line Double Pica. It is not enumerated in Moxon’s list of the sizes of types. See Types.


Capitals that are equal to two bodies of any specific sized type. There are Two Line Pearl, Two Line Nonpareil, &c., increasing regularly to a Two Line Great Primer. They are used for lines in titles and jobs, being so cast that the face covers the whole of the square of the shank: they do not take so much room in depth as the regular capitals of the same sized face, and are more convenient where the matter is crowded; the face of the letter having also a stronger stem, gives an additional variety in the effect. See Full-faced Letter.


The name of a type, equal to two Picas; the next size larger than Double Pica, and smaller than Two Line English. Moxon does not enumerate this size in his list. See Types.


A frame covered with parchment, on which the sheet of paper to be printed is placed. This is the outer tympan; the inner tympan fits into it, and between the parchments of the two the blankets are placed, all which being run in receive the pressure of the platen, which produces the impression on the paper.

Mr. T. C. Hansard took out a patent, for “Improvements on, and Additions to, Printing Presses, and various Processes relative to Printing;” in his description of them he says,—“My first Improvement is the Dividing-Tympans, which are capable of being added to any Printing 799 Press, for the purpose of printing double-sized sheets of paper, and then dividing or cutting such double-sized paper to the ordinary size of single sheets of paper. These Tympans consist of, first, the outer Tympan, of dimensions according to the size of the Press or Work required: the additions to which are, a plate of Iron, Steel, Brass, or other sufficient substance, about seven eighths of an inch in width; the back side of which is level, but the front side is raised in the middle, the centre part being about one fourth of an inch in thickness, and the two sides about one eighth of an inch only; along the middle or thicker part are cuts or openings, for the purpose of admitting the knife hereinafter described, leaving small parts of the plate uncut. On each side of the same, along the centre of the thinner part, is a row of small holes, at about half inch distances. This plate is fixed across the middle of the outer Tympan, to each side, being countersunk into the same.—2ndly. The inner Tympans are formed of two parts, having each part three sides, and moving on pivots attached to the outer Tympan; these inner Tympans, when shut down, are fastened in the common manner by hooks and eyes or buttons, each part when opened to adjust the blankets will incline back on the pivots. These Tympans I cover with black Linen of the most fine and even texture, rolled and hot calendered: taking a sufficient length in one piece to cover the one half of both Tympans, then folding it in the middle, and laying each fold along the side-rebate of the Plate over the holes, I then firmly attach it thereto by strong sewing through the holes; I then turn one part of the fold of the linen over the outer, and the other part over the inner Tympans, and sew, or otherwise fasten, the same around the iron work, or sides and ends of the Tympans, in the closest and neatest manner, letting the hooks, eyes, or buttons, and pivots, through the linen, and keeping clear the openings for the point screws by carrying the linen on the inside, in the same manner as in putting on common parchment; the same operation then takes place for the other half of the Tympans. I then take pieces of Velvet, Velveteen, or other uniform soft substance, which I attach, with the pile or softest side outwards, to the linen already described as being fastened to the Tympans, by sewing or pasting it to the outside of the outer Tympan, to receive the Tympan-sheet, and by this means to give a beautiful and regular impression of the Type: which mode of covering Tympans I also apply to common Presses.

“The Divider or Knife is made of a plate of Iron or Steel, about three-fourths of an inch wide, turned down at a right angle on one side, about one-fourth of an inch in width, and in length sufficient for the width of the sheet of paper intended to be cut, and this must be fixed so as to be exactly corresponding to the openings in the Plate before described; the part so turned down is cut into angular teeth, about a quarter of an inch from point to point, each tooth having two chisel-like edges, formed by being filed and dressed on the outside of the part so turned down; on the inside of the angle the teeth are to be finished all along fair and smooth. One or more of the teeth are then to be filed out at intervals, corresponding with the parts of the Plate left uncut. The Pivots or Joints of the Tympans and Frisket being accurately adjusted, the Knife is then fixed to the Frisket (at each end by screw or other connection) so that when the Frisket is turned down on the Tympans the Knife shall freely enter the Plate at the openings before described. The Plate and Knife now occupying the usual place of Point Screws and Points, those necessary articles are removed to the centre of each half of the Tympans above and below the Plate. If 800 wished, the positions of the Plate and Knife may be reversed, by fixing the Plate to the Frisket, and Knife to the Tympan, or a Plate both on Frisket and Tympan, and Knife to the Forme, or Table of the Press, but not with equal certainty of operation. All these parts being properly adjusted, the mode of application is as follows:—For making ready a Forme or Sheet, the Tympan-sheet is drawn on the Tympan, as in the ordinary mode, and the Frisket pasted and cut out; but for working the first side of the Paper, the Knife must be displaced (or, which is sometimes preferable, two Friskets used, to be exchanged, one having the Knife, and one without). The whole of the paper being worked on one side without the Knife, the Knife is then replaced, or the Friskets exchanged, and the Reiteration proceeded with; the sheet will then be divided exactly along the centre, excepting at the parts where the portions of the Plate have been left uncut, and the teeth filed out of the Knife, as before described; which uncut parts answer the important purpose of keeping the double-sheet adhering as one, for the Pressman who may be pulling, to draw it off the Tympans over to the Bank, where it is finally parted by the other man who is beating, while looking over his heap, when six or seven sheets are accumulated, by means of a gentle pressure with each hand at each end of the heap. The white paper, or first side, is worked with four points, placed opposite to each other in the middle fold of each half of the double sheet, but for the Reiteration the two lower points are taken off, and the sheet kept in register by the two upper ones only. For cutting the sheet into more parts than two, I extend the same principle by placing knives and plates in various positions, or at right angles with each other.”


A fine and even linen cloth, about an inch or two larger on every side than the paper worked on: this cloth is wetted, and the water wrung out again, so that it remains only moist: it is laid on the tympan instead of a tympan sheet, the under sides of the corners pasted to the tympan, and worked upon as a tympan sheet for the reiteration. It is used to save paper, and it is repeatedly washed to clear it of the ink that sets off on it.—M. It is not used now, but set-off sheets are substituted for it.


Small hooks fixed on the upper side of the outer tympan, which assist in keeping the inner tympan in its place.

There are four of them, two on the off side and two on the near side, screwed to the tympan, but not so tight as to prevent them turning round on the screws as centres; there are four eyes screwed on the inner tympan, opposite to them, and the hooks turn into these eyes and draw the sides of the tympans together, and assist in tightening the parchment of the inner tympan, and prevent its moving. In iron presses, instead of eyes, buttons are used on the inner tympan, and the hooks turn round them under the heads, and produce the same effect.


The joints by which the outer tympan is attached to the carriage, on which it works. They are riveted to the bottom end of the tympan by one of the sides, and the other side has an upright notch cut in it: at the back of the hind part of the coffin are fixed two projecting screws, at the same distance from each other as the notches in the joints; these screws have a square plate or washer on each of them, and a flat-headed female screw; the tympan joints are slipped over these screws by the notches, so that they bestride each screw, and are confined by the female screw and washer. The tympan can thus be adjusted to any height, by loosening the screws and sliding the joints up or down. The pin that connects the two parts of the joints is 801 stout, and made to slip out when necessary. These joints should be particularly well made, and have no play; if they have, it will cause maculing and doubles in the work.


A sheet of paper pasted on the tympan at the corners, as a standing mark to lay all the other sheets exactly even upon, while the white paper is working.—M. It is now also used for the reiteration. When a pressman has laid a form on the press stone, and fixed it in its situation, he takes a sheet of its own paper, or a sheet of some other paper of the same size, and folds it exactly, so that the folds shall be his guide for laying it on the form; he then lays a sheet of waste paper on the form to preserve his tympan sheet clean, and places it truly on the form over the other, by means of the folds falling on the middle of the crosses and feeling the types through it with his fingers, so that the margin at both sides of the sheet shall be precisely equal, as also at both ends; he wets his tympan slightly, to take out the indentions made by the types of a preceding form, and generally rubs a very small quantity of paste on the parchment, being careful that there are no lumps; he then turns the tympan down upon the form, runs in the carriage, and gives it a slight pull, to cause it to adhere to the tympan; he then pastes the four corners down, but tears off a piece of the near bottom corner, to prevent him catching hold of it, in the quick taking the printed sheet off the tympan, when working.


The letters, marks, and signs, cast in metal, the larger sizes of wood, with which printing is executed.

The forms and proportions of types in the Roman character have undergone every change that the most capricious fancy could suggest. We have types of beautiful shapes and symmetrical proportions, but our type founders have diverged, for the sake of variety, gradually to a fatter face till the lines have become so thick that the letter has hardly any white in its interior, and when printed is nearly all black, with the outline only to guide us in knowing what it is; and on the contrary they have gradually gone to the other extreme, and produced what are called skeleton letters, which are formed of a fine uniform line; we have antique, the line being also of uniform thickness, but strong and heavy; we have letters with the strong lines and the fine lines reversed; we have tall narrow letters, and we have letters which look as if they had been pressed down, till they were considerably broader than they were high; we have letters drawn in perspective, with their edges towards us, as if they were marching away; and as for Italic, we have it now inclining to the left as well as to the right. The Modern Gothic or Black letter has not escaped this rage for change and variety, and we have forms introduced into it which would have puzzled our ancestors to know what they were meant for when the Modern Gothic was the standard character.

These changes and varieties have not been introduced as improvements either in the forms or proportions of the letters, but to produce variety and what is styled effect.

The scale of sizes of the respective types can only be looked at and received as an approximation to truth, as the letter founders themselves acknowledge; in fact there is no precise standard, for they cast according to the orders they receive from their customers: the following scale is a proof of this; Mr. Hansard, in his Typographia, gives the number of lines of each size in a foot as cast in the foundery of Messrs. Caslon and Livermore, which does not agree with the one I now give, which was supplied to me by Mr. Livermore in 1839, at my request, 802 avowedly to publish, each fount having been measured to insure correctness; it was submitted to Mr. Caslon personally in August 1841, before printing, and revised, so that every precaution has been taken to prevent a mistake. The scale of the foundery of Messrs. V. and J. Figgins, as also that of Messrs. Thorowgood and Besley, were kindly furnished me by the respective houses. I have also given Moxon’s scale of sizes, which is the oldest that has been published, and which will show the variations in the depth of body which types have undergone. He prefaces it by saying, “And that the reader may the better understand the sizes of these several Bodies, I shall give him this Table following; wherein is set down the number of each Body that is contained in one Foot”—See Nicks.

Number of lines of the different sized types contained in one foot.

VJF   V. and J. Figgins, 1841.
T&B Thorowgood and Besley, 1841.
AW   Alexander Wilson and Sons, 1841.

Diamond 204 205 210 204
Pearl 184 178 180 184 178
Ruby 166 165 163 166
Nonpareil 150 144 144 144 144
Emerald 128 128
Minion 122 122 122 122
Brevier 112 111 107 112 111
Bourgeois 102 101½ 103 102
Long Primer   92   89   90   92   89
Small Pica   83   82   82   83
Pica   75   72   72½   72   72
English   66   64   64   64½   64
Great Primer   50   51   51   52   51
Paragon   44½   44½   44½
Double Pica   38   41½   41½   41   41½
Two Line Pica   36   36   36   36
Two Line English   33   32   32   32½   32
Two Line Great Primer   25½   25½   26   25½
Two Line Double Pica   20¾   20¾   20½   20¾
Trafalgar   20   20   20
Canon   17½   18   18   18   18

It thus appears that in 1683, the date of Moxon’s work, there were only ten sizes of types with specific names, while at the present time we have twenty-one; the following are our additional sizes—Diamond, Ruby, Emerald, Minion, Bourgeois, Small Pica, Paragon, Two Line Pica, Two Line Great Primer, Two Line Double Pica, and Trafalgar.

Canon is the largest size with a specific name; all above Canon are designated according to the number of Picas in the depth of the body; thus the next size larger is Five Line Pica, then Six Line Pica, and so on indefinitely. Twenty-four Line Pica is about the largest letter that is cast in metal, those above that size are generally cut in wood, as also any peculiar shaped letters. The German letter founders cast the face of letters in metal to a much larger size, and mount them on wood.

Minion used to be half an English; it has ceased to be so, and Emerald 803 has taken its place, for English is now equal to two Emeralds: this latter is a size that was introduced about two years ago.

By an examination of the preceding table the relative proportions of the different sizes to each other will be ascertained; but to facilitate the reference they are here brought under one view.

Diamond = Half Bourgeois, also = ¼ Great Primer = ⅛ Two Line Great Primer.

Pearl = Half Long Primer, also = ¼ Paragon.

Ruby = Half Small Pica, also = ¼ Double Pica = ⅛ Two Line Double Pica.

Nonpareil = Half Pica.

Emerald = Half English.

Bourgeois = Half Great Primer, also = 2 Diamonds.

Long Primer = Half Paragon, also = 2 Pearls.

Small Pica = Half Double Pica, also = 2 Rubies.

Pica = 2 Nonpareils.

English = 2 Emeralds.

Great Primer = 2 Bourgeois, also = 4 Diamonds.

Paragon = 2 Long Primers, also = 4 Pearls.

Double Pica = 2 Small Picas, also = 4 Rubies.

Two Line Pica = 2 Picas, also = 4 Nonpareils.

Two Line English = 2 English, also = 4 Emeralds.

Two Line Great Primer = 2 Great Primers, also = 4 Bourgeois = 8 Diamonds.

Two Line Double Pica = 2 Double Picas, also = 4 Small Picas = 8 Rubies.

Canon = 2 Two Line Picas, also = 4 Picas = 8 Nonpareils.

It thus appears that Minion, Brevier, and Trafalgar, may be classed as irregular bodied letters, for they bear no specific regular proportion to any other size.

Minion was formerly half an English, but it has varied in the depth of its body from that proportion; some of the letter founders have introduced a new size between Minion and Nonpareil, and called it Emerald, and made this new type half an English; I think it would have been a preferable measure to have restored Minion to its original place.

This want of uniformity in the depth of body of the respective sizes is much to be regretted, as it causes serious inconvenience in a printing office, and might be avoided by the several letter founders agreeing among themselves and deciding what should be the standard for each size, and firmly refuse to cast a new fount to any other size, reserving the present variations for imperfections only, till the founts in use were worn out and discarded; we should thus gradually approach to uniformity; and whatever variations there might be in the face of the letter, still the quadrats and the spaces might be used to any fount of the same sized letter, without any risk of injuring the appearance of the work, and this would frequently be found of great advantage in poetry, figure work, and in light open matter.

This evil is not confined to England, but exists to a great extent in both France and Germany, and Fournier, an eminent letter founder who wrote on the subject, describes the evil, and explains the remedy which he invented and adopted, in his “Manuel Typographique,” published at Paris, in two volumes 12mo. 1764, of which the following is a translation.

“This article requires a particular explanation, because it is novel and 804 obscure. I have placed it here in order to show the new proportions which I have given to the body of the characters, by the defined measures which I call Typographical Points.

“The last regulation of the Library, made in 1725, fixed the height to paper at ten and a half geometric lines. This rule is as easy to practise as it is to give; but such was not the case when it was desirable by this regulation to establish some rules in order to fix the strength of the body of the characters. At the time when this regulation was made, apparently no person was found competent to give correct ideas on that point, which was very important, as it would operate to correct abuse, and to give order and precision where there had never been any before. In default of proper information, a master printer gave as a rule the characters which he found in his own printing office, with all their imperfections. The law which was then obtained, not being founded on any principles, has consequently remained unexecuted, which is the reason why the characters have never had fixed and accurate sizes, and that this disorder still remains as great as it was formerly.

“In article lix. of this Regulation, it is given, as a fit body, that Petit-canon is equal to two Saint-Augustins; Gros-parangon is equal to a Cicero and a Petit-romain, &c., but the size that the Saint-Augustin, the Cicero, or the Petit-romain ought to have is not given, in order to make together the Petit-canon or Gros-parangon. Consequently this law can always be evaded, and it is evaded whenever any one wishes, without being liable to any penalty, because one person might make a body of Saint-Augustin more slender than another, and the Petit-canon might be cast to this double thickness, by which means the law would be fulfilled. Another person might make the body of Saint-Augustin more or less strong, and from two of these bodies he will cast a Petit-canon: here again the law is fulfilled, although in a spirit opposed to that of the Regulation. Thus confusion is perpetuated, until at length it gives one some trouble to make the distinction of the two bodies, of which the larger is weak and the smaller strong. It happens then that the characters of the same body vary more or less, and when two such are found in a printing office, the workmen mix the spaces and quadrats together, which spoils the founts.

“The Regulation has provided for this default, it will be said, when it ordains that there should be sent to the founders a certain number of letters of each body, in order that they might agree under pain of fine. But these letters which are thus proposed at hazard, and which are never given, would not have remedied the evil which it is wished to avoid. These pretended rules, instead of causing order and precision, on the contrary augment the confusion, by multiplying the parts without necessity. From thence it comes that the bodies of Petit-canon, Gros-parangon, Gros-romain, Cicero, Philosophie, Gaillarde, Mignone, are found, according to the Regulation, without double bodies, on which two-line letters can be made, of which nevertheless none of the bodies can do without. Here then are seven or eight bodies without names, useless for every other purpose, and with which the printing office is overloaded. Moreover, these combinations of the body of a Cicero and a Petit-romain to make a Gros-parangon, of a Petit-texte and Petit-romain to make a Gros-romain, of a Petit-texte and a Nonpareille to make a Saint-Augustin, truly proclaim little experience and capacity on the part of those who proposed them. The defect has been perceived, but no one has tried to find a remedy, and that because the printers, who are alone consulted in this affair, are not type founders 805 sufficient to make proper experiments, and to give rules to a part of the trade which they do not exercise, and of which often they know only the name.

“This then is what engaged me to disentangle this chaos, and to give to these matters an order which they have never before had. I think I have had the happiness to succeed in it, with an exactness and precision which leaves nothing to be desired, by the invention of Typographical Points. It is nothing more than the division of the bodies of characters by equal and determinate degrees, which I call Points. By this means, the degrees of distance and the affinity of the bodies may be known exactly. They can be combined together in the same manner as numerical signs; and as two and two make four, add two, it will become six, double all this, you will have twelve, &c., in the like manner a Nonpareille, which is equal to six points, added to another Nonpareille will make together a Cicero, which has twelve points, add again a Nonpareille, you will have eighteen points or a Gros-romain, double all this, and it will make thirty-six points, or a Trismegiste, which has that number; and in like manner the others, as may be seen by a reference to the Table of Proportions which follows.

“In order to combine the bodies, it will be sufficient to know the number of Typographical Points of which they are composed. These points or given sizes should be invariable, so that they may serve as guides in the printing office, as the foot, inch, and line are used in geometry. For this purpose, I have fixed these points at the exact sizes they ought to have, in the scale which is at the head of the Table of Proportions; and that their exactness may be relied upon invariably, I have contrived an instrument which I call Prototype.

“The invention of these points is the first service which I rendered to printing, in 1737. Obliged then to commence a long, painful, and laborious career by the graving of all the punches necessary to form the establishment of my foundery, I found no rule established which could guide me in fixing the body of the characters which I had to make, and I was thus under the necessity of forming them for myself.

“The table exhibits at the top a fixed and definite scale, which I divide into two inches, the inches into twelve lines, and the line into six of these typographical points; the total is 144 points. The first small divisions are of two points, which is the exact distance which there is from a Petit-texte to a Petit-romain, or from that to a Cicero, &c. The scale contains in the whole twelve bodies of Cicero. It is necessary to measure by this gauge the number of points which I assign to each of the bodies. These measures, taken truly for each body separately, and verified on the Prototype, will form altogether a general correspondence for all the bodies of characters.”

Of Height to Paper. The height of the characters called height to paper, that is to say, from the foot to the face which leaves its impression on the paper, is fixed by regulations of the book trade, and noted down by them, on the 28th February 1723, at ten and a half geometric lines. This law was established for rendering all the French characters conformable in their parts, in order that, passing from one printing office to another, by the death of the proprietor or otherwise, there might be no disparity among them. This law, however, though wise and good, is but partially executed, many printers having adhered to the height of the characters which they found already in their offices. Some countries, as Flanders, the Lyonnois, and others, which have the characters much higher by the ordonnance of the Porte, have preserved them thus, so that 806 from these causes we see the characters varying from ten and a quarter to eleven lines and a half high. Those who have preserved them in this last way are among the dupes, because the characters which are according to the ordonnance cost a hundred pistoles, while those that have more metal in them are worth eleven hundred francs, because being one eleventh higher are one eleventh heavier.

“The officers of the chambres syndicals have neglected this part of the regulation; thus nothing is more common than to see in every printing office, the characters some a little too high and some a little too low. This makes it necessary to put the highest upon the tympans of the press within the places where the lines are too low. Sometimes many folds of paper are put under these low types upon the stone of the press, in order to raise the low parts up to the level of the high ones. This confusion does not originate with the founder, who is obliged to conform to the will of those for whom he works. Three parts of the French printers, at least, have their printing offices regulated according to the measure of ten lines and a half; and though there may be little inequalities which leave some of the characters a little too high and some a little too low, yet when there is only this slight difference, perhaps being sometimes but the thickness of a paper, the inequality is very inconsiderable. To avoid this confusion, and to make the founderies preserve one standard to regulate the height, and preserve it always the same, rests with the master. There are two ways: the first is a thin plate of copper or iron on which is made a notch of ten lines and a half high, and the other, which is in greater use and more convenient, is making a form of justification.”

The French have varied from Fournier’s standard, and have introduced fresh sizes since he published his work; when Fertel wrote, in 1723, he gave a list of nineteen sizes, but at the present time they have twenty-five; they are also changing their names, and now designate them by numbers, as will be perceived by the following list, which is copied from the specimen book of De la Tarbe, of Paris, 1835, to which I have affixed the number of points assigned to them by Fournier.

Fournier’s Points,
Cinq, ou Parisienne 5
Six, ou Nonpareille 6
Six et demi  
Sept, ou Mignonne 7
Sept et demi, ou Petit-Texte 8
Huit, ou Gaillarde 9
Neuf, ou Petit-Romain 10
Dix, ou Philosophie 11
Onze, ou Cicero 12
Treize, ou Saint-Augustin 14
Quatorze, ou Gros-Texte 16
Seize, ou Gros-Romain 18
Dix-huit, ou Petit-Parangon 20
Vingt, ou Gros-Parangon 22
Vingt-deux, ou Palestine 24
Vingt-six, ou Petit-Canon 28
Trente-trois, ou Trismégiste 36
Quarante, ou Gros-Canon 44
Cinquante six, ou Double-Canon 56
807 Soixante-six, ou Deux Points de Trismégiste.
Quatre-vingt, ou Deux Points de Gros-Canon.
Quatre-vingt-huit, ou Huit Cicéro.
Cent dix, ou Dix Cicéro.
Cent-trente-deux, ou Douze Cicéro.
Cent-soixante-cinq, Quinze Cicéro.

The German letter founders vary still more than the English or the French, for there is no standard body in Germany, every printing office has its varieties; the height is equally very different, but generally much higher than the French types. The German scale is formed by dividing their Petit, a size between our Brevier and Bourgeois, into four lines, so that each additional number is one fourth of their Petit. The names of many of the sizes also vary in different parts of Germany. The list that I give, with the number of lines to each size, I was favoured with by Mr. Edward Hænel, of Magdeburg, an eminent printer of extensive business; I have other lists, of letter founders, in different parts of Germany, but I do not think it necessary to insert more than one.

The German letter founders have types for printing maps, with which they form the line of the sea coast, with all its irregularities, its promontories, its bays, &c., the boundary lines, and the rivers. I had a map, printed in this manner, sent to me from Germany, which is very clever, and shows great ingenuity in the execution.

The names of German types, with the number of lines in each size.
1. Diamant 2
2. Perl
3. Nonpareille 3
4. Colonell
5. Petit 4
6. Burgeois 5
7. Corpus 5
8. Cicero 6
9. Mittel 7
10. Tertia 8
11. Text 10
12. Doppelcicero 12
13. Doppelmittel 14
14. Kleine Canon 16
15. Grobe Canon 20
16. Kleine Missal 26
17. Grobe Missal 32
18. Kleine Sabon 38
19. Grobe Sabon 42
20. Real 48
21. Imperial 54
Dutch names of types. From Smith’s Printer’s Grammar. 1755.










Dubbelde Dessendiaan.

Dubbelde Mediaan.

Dubbelde Augustyn.


Groote Kanon

Parys Romeyn.

Italian Names. English Names.
Occhio di Mosca Pearl.
Nompariglia Nonpareil.
Minione Minion.
Testino Brevier.
Gagliarda Bourgeois.
Garamone Long Primer.
Filosofia Small Pica.
Lettura Pica.
Silvio English.
Testo Great Primer.
808 Parangone Paragon.
Due Linee Filosofia Double Pica.
Canone French Canon.

The Italian types are of a rather less body than the corresponding English types, but I have not been able to ascertain the precise degree of variation. I was favoured with this list by Mr. And. Pons, a printer at Parma, who originally belonged to the establishment of the celebrated printer Bodoni.

The Foreign Monthly Review for June, 1839, states that a type founder of Clermont, named Colson, has obtained a patent for a new material for printing types, which is harder, capable of more resistance, and yet less expensive than the ordinary composition of lead and antimony. It is well known, that types cast from the latter soon become worn, especially since the introduction of machine-printing. Colson asserts that the material is so hard that the types themselves will serve for punches in striking matrices, and that it will last ten years, without being more worn than the usual composition is in one year.

Notes and Corrections: Types

In the table of Fournier’s point sizes, all numbers were missing on the second page (from Soixante-six on up).

Type Founders.

See Letter Founders.



The last syllable of a word.


A phrase used by pressmen for the light and easy, or heavy and hard, running in of the carriage. Thus they say, The press goes light and easy under hand, or it goes heavy or hard under hand.—M.


Pieces of paper pasted on the bottom of an engraving on wood, to raise it to the proper height to print with types, &c. If an engraving be hollow on the face of it, then a small underlay under the hollow part will raise that part by means of the pressure in printing it at press, and prevent the necessity of using too many overlays.


The same as Odd Page, which see. Smith uses the term.


To loosen the quoins for the purpose of correcting; and also for laying-up; or for any other purpose.


When the spindle goes soft and easy, the pressmen say, it goes well over hand or above hand. But the contrary if it goes hard and heavy.—M.



When a white page or more happens in a sheet, the compositor calls that Vantage: so does the pressman, when a form of one pull comes to the press.—M. At the present day it is termed Fat, which see.


With which ink is made.—M.


The Gregorian Plain Chant is governed by two clefs, the Ut clef, and the Fa clef; which correspond to the tenor and base clefs in modern music.

Ut Clef.
Ut Clef

Fa Clef.
Fa Clef


The use of these clefs is to point out the progression of tones and semi-tones, and to determine the key or tone of the chant, which is commonly contained in a staff of four lines; but as it frequently happens that the music exceeds that compass, the clefs necessarily change their places on the staff to give a greater scope to the chant; therefore on whatsoever line of the staff the Ut clef is placed, that line is called Ut, the rest of the notes following in the same progression. The same rule applies to the Fa clef,

musical scale from ut to ut

The bars which nearly cross the staff, are used to separate the notes sung to each word; the bars which entirely cross the staff are used over some period in the reading; the double bar is placed at the end of a strain or verse.

The diamond shaped note is half the length of the square note; the notes with the tails are double the length, or equal in time to two square notes, (but these must not be mistaken for notes which, having tails, are only meant to tie them to other notes higher or lower on the staff.) A dot placed after a note increases its value one half. Sharps are not used in plain chant. Flats and naturals have the same power as in modern music.

In the following example, the bars are used to divide the melody into equal portions.

Stabat mater—in G major.

music: Stabat mater do-lo-ro-sa juxta crucem la-cry-mo-sa, dum pendebat fi-li-us.

The same in modern notation.

music: Stabat mater do-lo-ro-sa juxta crucem la-cry-mo-sa, dum pendebat fi-li-us.

Since the decease of Mr. Hughes, the punches, matrixes, &c. of the above founts of music types (and that mentioned at page 490) have been purchased by Mr. C. Hancock, of Middle Row, Holborn, by whom they have been considerably improved, and by whom the profession are supplied.


Some compositors use visorums. Therefore pricking the point of the visorum, most commonly upon the border or frame of the case on the left hand about the & box, they fold the leaf of copy they compose by, so as the bottom of it may rest upon the square shoulder near the bottom of the visorum; then with two pieces of scaleboard tied together at one end, they clasp both the copy and visorum between these two scaleboards, which two scaleboards pinch the copy and 810 visorum fast enough to keep the copy in its place, and at the same time also serves for an index to direct the eye to every line, as the compositor moves it downward.—M.

This article is not used now; though it appears to me, from Moxon’s account, to be both useful and convenient.




If a workman is in the habit of telling improbable tales, or of asserting falsehoods, as the chapel does not allow the lie direct to be given, neither do any choose to get into a personal quarrel by doing it, it is usual, in order to express the general disbelief, to wash him, as it is termed; that is, each person with a piece of furniture, or some other substance, will strike repeatedly and quickly upon the front of his frame, upon the ledge of his lower case, or upon his bulk; and this being done by every person in the room, where there are a great number employed, it raises such a loud drumming as is deafening, more particularly when they give what they call a “good” wash: this is customary both in the composing room and the press room. For the old manner of doing this, see Ancient Customs.


If a form gets foul in working, the pressmen will take it off the press and brush it over with lye, and after that rince it with clean water, to remove the foulness. He also washes the form when the given number is all printed.—M.


The surplus sheets of a work.

After a work has been finished at press and dried, it is gathered, collated, the gatherings folded and pressed, and then booked, if it contain more gatherings than one; and when the regular number of copies has been made up, the surplus sheets, which vary in number, are tied up in a bundle, and termed Waste: out of this waste deficient sheets are supplied, and damaged sheets exchanged. It is always delivered to the publisher with the last copies of the work.

Notes and Corrections: Waste

It is always delivered to the publisher
text has “delvered”


A stubble goose.—Bailey. Called Way Goose, and so spelt by Moxon. See Ancient Customs.

July is the month in which the different offices in the metropolis generally have each their Way Goose, or annual dinner, and Saturday is the day commonly chosen.


See Soft Ink.—M.

In common work, where despatch is requisite, weak ink is used; it distributes with more facility than strong ink, and enables the pressmen to make a greater riddance. It receives its name from the varnish not being made so tenacious as that for better ink.


5 & 6 W. 4. c. 63. § 31.—“And be it enacted, That from and after the First Day of January One thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, if any Person or Persons shall print, or if the Clerk of any Market or other Person shall make any Return, Price List, Price Current, or any Journal or other Paper containing Price List or Price Current, in which the Denomination of Weights and Measures quoted or referred to shall denote or imply a greater or less Weight or Measure than is denoted or implied by the same Denomination of the Imperial Weights and Measures under and according to the Provisions of this Act, such Person or Persons or Clerk of the Market shall forfeit and pay any Sum not exceeding Ten Shillings for every Copy of such Return, Price List, Price Current, Journal or other Paper which he or they shall publish.”


The Welsh alphabet, as now popularly used, contains 811 twenty-eight letters: a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, rh, r, s, t, th, u, w, y.

J, q, x, and z, are not properly Welsh letters, nor are they wanted in words purely Welsh.

K and v occur frequently in old Welsh, but are now generally disused; the place of the former is supplied by c, which always has the hard sound, and that of the latter by f.

In addition to the common accented letters, the Welsh requires ŵ and ŷ to be accented likewise; as, gŵr, a man; tŷ, a house.

Of the twenty-one Welsh consonants twelve are immutable, namely, ch, dd, f, ff, ng, k, l, n, ph, r, s, th; the remaining nine, b, c, d, g, ll, m, p, rh, t, are mutable. These are divisible into three classes of three letters each. The first, containing c, t, p, is susceptible of three kinds of modification, viz. the obtuse, the liquid, and the aspirate; the second class, comprising g, d, b, is affected by two kinds, the obtuse and the liquid; and the third, comprising ll, m, rh, is susceptible of the obtuse form only.

The following table will show at one view the various changes of the mutable initial consonants:—

Primitive Letters. Obtuse. Liquid. Aspirate.
Class I. c g ngh ch
t d nh th
p b mh ph
Class II. g initial omitted. ng  
d dd or dh n  
b f m  
Class III. ll l    
m f    
rh r    

The following examples may be given to show more clearly the nature of these mutations:—1. Câr, a kinsman; 2. Gwâs, a servant.

Primitive. Câr agos, a near kinsman. Gwâs ffyddlon, a faithful servant.
Obtuse. Ei gâr, his kinsman. Ei wâs, his servant.
Liquid. Fy nghâr, my kinsman. Fy ngwâs, my servant.
Aspirate. Ei châr, her kinsman.  

The obtuse sound is assumed after—

1. All verbs, except of the infinitive mood, and inter­jections.

2. All personal pronouns; the possessives DY, thy; MAU, mine; TAU, thine; and EI (masc.) his; but not when fem.; the relatives PA, which; PWY, who; and À, that.

3. Adjectives and formative adverbs, and inter­jections.

4. The duals DAU and DWY, two.

5. All prepositions, except YN, in, and TUA, towards.

6. Pronominal prepositions.

7. The article Y, the, if the object be feminine.

8. The participial sign YN.

9. The disjunctive sign NEU, or.

The liquid sound is assumed after—

1. The possessive pronoun MY or FY, my.
2. The word YN when used as the English preposition in.

The aspirate sound is assumed after—

1. The possessive pronoun EI (fem.) her.


2. The adverbs TRA, over; and NI, and NA, not.

3. The conjunctions A, and; NO, than; NEU, or; and ONI, unless.

4. The preposition Â, with.

5. The numerals TRI, three; and CHWE, six.

All vowel initials take h before them, after EI (fem.) her; EIN, our; and EU, their.

Welsh substantives do not vary in their terminations, but the cases are distinguished by prepositions changing their initial letters, if mutable, according to their dependance on the preceding word; as, N. tŷ, a house; G. dodrefn fy nhŷ, the furniture of my house; A. prynodd dŷ, he bought a house; Ab. allan o’i thŷ, out of her house.

Deg, ten, and PYMTHEG, fifteen, before BLYNEDD, years, not only change the initial of the following word into its corresponding liquid, but likewise suffer a variation themselves; thus, for DEG BLYNEDD and PYMTHEG BLYNEDD we find DENG MLYNEDD and PYMTHENG MLYNEDD; and for PUMP BLYNEDD we read PUM MLYNEDD, five years.

Authorities.—Dr. Pughe’s Welsh Grammar, 2d edit. Denbigh, 1832.—Rev. W. Gambold’s Welsh Grammar, 3d edit. Bala, 1833.—Dr. Prichard on the Celtic Languages, London, 1831.


On the bottom side of the two cross bearers in the middle of a frame, on which the inner ends of the lower cases rest, there is frequently a bottom nailed of thin deal; this, when the ends of the cases are close together, forms a receptacle in which the compositor puts copy and other articles, and it is named a Well. To obtain access to it he slides one of the cases a little away from the other.

Notes and Corrections: Well

One way to explain this alphabetization (after “Welsh”) is that the author decided at the last minute not to spell the previous entry “Welch”.


In quoting my old pressman’s observations again, it will be perceived that he is speaking of the practice when pelt balls were in use.

“When a pressman is engaged to work in a strange office, if there be no balls for him, he puts an old and a new pelt into the pelt pot, and, while his pelts are soaking, he inquires whether he has to wet paper or not; if he has to wet it, he does it in a large trough lined with lead, containing clean water. He holds the middle of the back of each quire in one hand, and the fore edge with the other hand, and draws it quickly through the water, the back first; lays it on a clean wrapper (which is laid on a clean paper board); opens part of the quire, leaves that part on the board, and draws the remainder of the quire, and all the other quires in the same proportion, through the water as often as necessary, till he has wet all the heap; then he places another paper board on the top of the heap, and puts sufficient weight on it; in this state it continues till the paper is all properly damped, by the moisture becoming diffused through the whole heap, except it be for fine work, when he turns the paper as often as he thinks necessary, pressing it at each turning; and common work would look better if the paper were turned.

“Paper for different works being of various qualities, it is impossible to form a regular judgment of how many dips in each quire all sorts of paper require; therefore the wetter must be cautious in examining, while wetting, whether each sort is of a soft, or spongy, middling, hard, or harsh nature; also to consider whether it be for a light or a heavy form, and dip each sort accordingly.”

In large establishments the pressmen do not wet the paper, but there is one or more persons appointed to that duty solely, who also turn it and press it, so that it is delivered to the pressmen to print, more uniformly in good condition, than where they wet it. See Token. Token Sheet.



Also called girt wheel, and drum; a cylinder of elm wood, with two flat broad grooves turned in it, on which the two girts wind and unwind alternately, as the carriage is run in and out. It is fixed on the spit, and one end of each girt is nailed to it; the other ends are fastened, the one that runs the carriage in to the end of the coffin, and the other to the fore end of the plank. The diameter of the wheel varies according to the size of the press.


A line of quadrats.—M. So it is usually understood at present; yet it frequently happens that quadrats are not in sufficient quantity to use for white lines, even for the bottoms of the pages; reglet of a proper thickness is then substituted for quadrats, and sometimes leads, but these should never be used for this purpose—for a volume or a pamphlet may be wanted in a great hurry in the same measure, and then an inconvenience may arise from the leads being blocked up in an unnecessary manner.


A page that no matter comes in.—M.


Although the first form be printed off, yet pressmen erroneously call that heap white paper, till the reiteration be printed.—M. This application of the term is now wearing away; and generally speaking, it is only used for paper not printed upon; when the pressmen are printing the first form of a sheet or the first side of a half sheet, they say they are working the white paper.


Pulling an impression without ink, or with a sheet of waste paper between the form and the paper for the work, for the purpose of ascertaining that the furniture is right. This is a good old custom, and it is a pity that it is now so seldom practised, as it would prevent those mistakes of wrong furniture which occasionally occur in the white paper form, and when this happens, which I have known at different times, the only remedy is, either to cancel what has been printed, or to alter the reiteration form to make it register with that which is printed, to the disfigurement of the book when it is bound.

Whole Press.

See Full Press.—M.


is when en quadrats, or two thick spaces, are used between the words.

Wilkins, Beata.

See Donations.


A solid piece of wood, generally elm, similar to the head of a press, mortised into the cheeks below the carriage and the long ribs, and on which they rest.

I would recommend, contrary to the general practice, that in wooden presses the winter should lie solid in the mortises of the cheeks, and have no spring; and that all the spring should be in the head, which would not affect the perpen­dicular descent of the platen. This method of constructing a press would be found advantageous in all cases; but more particularly in one-pull presses, in which the platens are large:—

For it must be obvious, where an uniform impression is meant to be obtained from types, by means of the perpen­dicular descent of a body with a plane surface, that this surface and the surface of the types should be parallel to each other, and that every variation from these parallels must affect the equality of the pressure.

It being a necessary consequence, that the surface of the types should be horizontal; it will be equally clear, that every departure from this horizontal line will destroy the parallelism of the two surfaces, and prevent an equal pressure on all their parts.

One part of the carriage of a press lies on the winter, the other end resting on, and confined to, the forestay, which is fixed to the floor, and 814 cannot give way; the coffin, in which is the press stone, lies on the carriage; and on the press stone the types are placed. Now, when great pressure is applied to the types, to produce an impression, it causes the winter to give way, which immediately disturbs the horizontal plane of the types, and destroys the parallel between them and the face of the platen, and causes an unequal pressure, besides straining the cords of the platen, the platen itself, and all the parts connected with it, to the injury of the workmanship, and of the whole machine; all which would be avoided by the winter being laid solid in the mortises of the cheeks, and the carriage and ribs justified by a level. It would also be attended with another advantage,—not being so liable to slur in running in; the inner tympan not being so close to the platen.

This principle is equally applicable to iron presses, as well as to wooden ones; and will tend to preserve them a longer time in good condition.


That part of the frame in a wooden press on which the long ribs are fastened; in the middle they lie on the winter where the under resistance to the pressure is, and are kept in their place by the summer; and at the fore end they are supported by the fore stay; it is necessary that they should be perfectly level.


Made with strong wire; one of which is fastened to two pieces of wood that go across the wool hole, and the other has two open handles fixed to the back of it, for the purpose of carding the wool with which the balls are stuffed.


A place boxed off sometimes under a stair case, or in any situation where the dust will not affect the press room, or other departments of the business—in which the wool is carded wherewith to make the balls.

The wool is kept in the box, over which two pieces of wood are stretched across and fastened down, lowest in the front; on these one of the cards is fixed. In the act of carding the wool the dust and refuse fall into the box, and are thus prevented from being trampled about.

Wool Hole. The workhouse. When a compositor or pressman is reduced by age or illness to take refuge in the workhouse, it is said he is in the Wool Hole.

WORKED, or Worked-off.

When a job, or the sheet of a work is printed, it is said to be Worked, or Worked-off. See Off.


In printing offices where there are a number of presses employed, it is usual to distinguish them by numbers; as 1st press, 2d press, &c.; and the pressmen put a figure into each form they work, corresponding to the number of their press, for the purpose of ascertaining readily at which press a sheet was printed in case of bad workmanship, or any accident; and in general pressmen are subject to a fine if they work without a figure, or with a wrong one: but when the same press works both the forms of a sheet, it is not necessary to have a figure in more than one form.

The figure used to be placed regularly in a white line at the bottom of an even page, about four ems from the fore edge: it was placed in an even page that it might not mislead the bookbinder; and always in a full page that did not finish a paragraph.

Working in Pocket.

See Companionship.

Working on Lines.

See Companionship.

Working on Time.

See Companionship.

Wright, Thomas.

See Donations.

Notes and Corrections: page 815

The article Scandinavian Press was printed on this page as a last-minute addition. It has been moved to its alphabetical place, between “Scandic” and “Sclavonian”.


Printed by A. Spottiswoode,

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.