American dictionary of printing and bookmaking

(New York :  H. Lockwood,  1894.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 172  



completely free, although each newspaper must give the
name of its printer in every number.

The growth of the English press since the abolition of
the duties has been remarkable. In 1831, when the taxes
were heaviest, the total yearly circulation of newspapers
in the United Kingdom was 88,648,814, or a little over
123,477 a day. In 1864, three years after the last tax was
taken away, the circulation amounted to 546,059,400, or
1,744,918 a day. The population of the country had in¬
creased only 30 per cent.

The quantity of printing which is done in England is
very great. This is largely due to the fact that it is
the principal seat of production of books for the entire
English-speaking world, which comprises Great Britain
and Ireland, Canada and the other British possessions in
North America, Australia and New Zealand, the Cape
Colony and many scattered islands and small countries,
which, together with the United States, have 110,000,000
of persons to whom the English language is native,
about twice the number of those who speak German,
and more than twice the number of those who speak
either French or Spanish, the other European languages
most used. The English tongue is, too, the official lan¬
guage of many other countries which are subject to the
British throne, and which, with those mentioned, consti¬
tute nearly one-fifth of the surface of the globe. It is
the chief language of sailors, and the most adventurous
sportsmen and travelers are those to whom it is a mother
tongue. Another advantage enjoyed by English pub¬
lishers is that English is read and spoken by a larger
class of well-educated and rich men and men accustomed
to buy books than any other language. In this respect
Germany, which has a greater number of highly-edu¬
cated men, cannot contrast with England, as the means
of the book-buyers there are small. This explains the
common appearance of German books generally. The
conditions of life have also made novel writers numer¬
ous. Probably there are more persons who make an in¬
come of two hundred pounds a year and over from this
source in England than in all the rest of the world to¬
gether. Circulating libraries cause a sale to a certain
amount of every interesting book. Mudie will take of
an ordinary book of travels a hundred copies, but of a
book like Stanley's latest a thousand or two. The libra¬
ries, and particularly the British Museum, assist in the
preparation of learned or historical works by the full¬
ness of their resources. The newspapers have a wide
field for comment, as the interests of England extend
over the whole globe. Labor is not costly, and thus
works issued in the United Kingdom can be introduced
here, paying a duty, and still be as cheap as our own.

More capital is employed in printing in Great Britain
than in the United States, comparing establishment with
establishment, as customers receive a more extensive
credit. The larger houses are nearly all many years old,
having been founded by the fathers or grandfathers of
those now engaged in them. There are many offices
which each employ several hundred hands, including
women and boys, doing printing, binding and lithog¬
raphy, and several pass beyond a thousand. Much larger
quantities of type are bought than in America, establish¬
ments sometimes having from fifty tons up to three or
four hundred tons. As a consequence, less stereotyp¬
ing and electrotyping are done than has been the practice
here, the former, now abandoned by Americans except
for newspapers, being executed in England chiefiy by
the paper process. Job-printing is distinctly inferior to
that of America. There are forty or fifty firms of press-
builders ; but as a rule their machines are not so well or
rigidly made as ours, and a marked inferiority is shown
in cut-work. Hand-presses are largely employed, even
in London offices. Paper is chiefly printed wet. Eng¬
land manufactures her own paper and her own ink. The
high grades of black ink are better than are generally
produced here. In wood-engraving, which was revived
there and brought to a high state of perfection by Bewick


and his successors, its rank is respectable, but the press-
work is deficient. Steel or copperplate engraving is
little called for, and process plates are not very well
made. In bookbinding England must yield the palm
of superiority to France, although she has many biblio-
pegic collectors. Workmen live very comfortably there,
although wages, judging by the American standard, are
very low. Their expenditures are based on a lower key.
Journeymen compositors or pressmen receive in London
about nine dollars a week, a price which sinks in coun¬
try towns to four, four and a half or five dollars. Fore¬
men in small oflices in London will receive ten dollars ;
with thirty or forty hands, twelve dollars ; with a hun¬
dred hands, fifteen dollars, and under exceptional cir¬
cumstances twenty. This is as high as they can reach,
except as managers, for which many printers have not
the business qualifications. In small towns the printer
frequently learns bookbinding also, and there may be a
stationery store or circulating library attached, so that
a boy at the end of his time may have a knowledge of
all of these subjects. Boys are generally regularly in¬
dentured.    Few women are employed as compositors.

There are two great societies of compositors—one in
London and the other in the provinces. The secretary
of the Provincial Typographical Society, Henry Slatter,
lives at Manchester. His society covers the whole of
England, except London. The secretary of the London
Society of Compositors, with an office at No. 3 Raquet
court. Fleet street, is Charles James Drummond. These
societies are very conservatively managed and are much
less likely to come into sudden collision with their em¬
ployers than the American organizations. Besides these
there are over a dozen unions of different kinds in Lon¬
don, each branch of work being represented.

The Printing and Allied Trades Association in London
is a master printers' society, brought together in 1890.
There is no corresponding society elsewhere. The Brit¬
ish Typographia is a society formed to study the methods
of printing and how to do good work, and its member¬
ship extends over the entire kingdom. It was founded
in 1887 or 1888. It embraces many employers as well as
journeymen. See also under Great Britain, London
and Statistics.

English.—A large size of type, the next above pica
and next smaller than Columbian. There are many kinds
of display type cast to it, but it is little used as a text
type except in children's books, in Bibles and bills be¬
fore law-making bodies. Five lines make an inch. It
is double the size of minion, and is known as fourteen
points in the point system. It is called Saint Augustin
in French, Mittel in German, mediaan in Dutch, and silvio
in Italian.

This line is set in English.

English Face.—An old term for Old English or

English Language.—The language chiefly spoken
in the British Islands and in the United States of Amer¬
ica, It belongs to the Teutonic family, and is most
closely allied to the Dutch, as spoken in Holland, of all
the languages with a considerable literature. Its sub¬
family consists of the Dutch, Belgic, Frisian and Platt-
Deutsch tongues, as contrasted with the High German
on the one hand and Swedish, Danish and Icelandic on
the other. It is not the indigenous language of Britain,
but first appeared there about the year 450, having pre¬
viously been spoken at some places on the continent,
near the southern boundary of Denmark and the northern
boundary of Holland. As the invaders drove out the
Celts, who had previously occupied the whole of Eng¬
land, the new language, which has commonly been called
Anglo-Saxon, took its place. Much was written in it,
and its remains still have a great deal that is valuable to
the student of grammar, of history and of manners, but
  Page 172