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Winter News from the Printer

Winter news from the Printer

Whilst it is true that during the closed season I have less printing to do (just as well as the Print Workshop is a cold place to work), there are still lots of jobs to do to prepare for the coming year.

Firstly, during the season there are lots of printing jobs to do and, whilst the intention is always to put type away after I’ve printed, the fact is that there is still a lot of standing type locked in chases and waiting on galleys to be dissed back into the cases – explanation – standing type is type, usually lead, that has been set up (back to front, remember) for printing, a chase is a metal frame that holds the standing type in place so that it doesn’t move when it’s in the press, a galley, or galley tray, is a metal tray that can be used to move or store standing type, and dissing is sorting the type back into the printers’ wooden cases ready for the next time.  One problem that I have is remembering what type face the job was originally set in before I can diss the type.

Secondly, I have undertaken to catalogue all of our wood type by printing a proof of some letters and keeping a reference copy in a folder so that my fellow printers can look in a folder for a suitable type face rather than go through each case in turn to find what they want.  And this is where I need some help.

We have 6 cabinets, each with 24 cases (the drawers that contain the type), some of which have more than 1 type face in them; some of the cases hold metal type and these are all identified by name, except for one rather ornate type face that I have, as yet, been baffled by.

We have to take an example of each type face, take them to the galley press (using a galley tray), ink up and take a pull, then clean the type and return it to its case; multiply this operation around 100 times.

Any volunteers to help?  Just contact the Museum!


Pinky the Printer

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