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Type and Presses in America - A Brief Historical Sketch of the Development of Type Casting and Press Building in the United States
A study of type founding and of the development of presses and other printers machinery in America presents many interesting considerations. If the attempt were made to give in detail the story of American type founding and the accomplishments of the notable American type founders, and at the same time to chronicle the improvements and inventions which American genius has contributed to the machines and processes used in printing and the allied industries, a very large book might readily be produced. While such a book would not be without interest and would certainly have very great value, it would be valuable mainly as a work of reference and would lack the interest which ought to attach to a book of the sort contained in this series. It has seemed to the writer best, therefore, not to attempt to collect an encyclopedia of information, but to give a brief sketch of the development of types and presses in the United States, with a special view to the beginnings in both departments. It is greatly to be hoped that a more competent hand may later be set to the production of such an encyclopedic volume as has been indicated, but such a work does not belong in this series. In these matters, as in so many others, we find a definite course of development going on. Originally American dependence upon Europe was complete. The political dependence of the colonies in those days was much more thorough-going than anything we know at present. The political and economic ideas of the eighteenth century were so different from those with which we are familiar that it is difficult for the 6ordinary man who is not widely read in the literature and history of that period to understand them at all. Briefly it may be said that the prevailing idea, not only in England, but elsewhere, was that all colonies should be governed from the mother country; that they should send their raw materials to the mother country and receive all of their manufactured products from the mother country; and that they should not trade directly with any other part of the world, but that the mother country should act as a receiving and forwarding station for trade in both directions. This dependence extended much further than to politics and business. The American colonists, for example, got their literature, their art, their fashions, and many of their ideas from the mother country. The nearer the good people of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia could get to the ways of thinking, speaking, dressing, and acting which prevailed in London, the happier they considered themselves. Accordingly we find that at first type and presses were all imported. Later we find that although type founding was being successfully carried on in this country, foreign models, especially in type, long continued to be followed. In machinery, American independence very soon asserted itself. Although some important machines and presses were not invented in this country, many were invented and nearly all were materially improved in American hands. This remark applies to the machines for producing type as well as to other mechanical operations. In the matter of type faces and typographical design America followed English models until comparatively recently. Indeed, it may be questioned whether there are more than a very few type faces now in use in this country which can be said to be American inventions. Many type faces have been designed, however, which were modifications and improvements of European designs. So true is this that probably the greater part of the type in use in this country would be considered as of American 7design, although its indebtedness to Caslon, to Baskerville, to Bodoni, or to Jensen, as a remote original, might be recognized. As a matter of fact, the original designing of letter faces, regardless of any previously existing design, has been of very rare occurrence in this country. Within the last generation, however, we are pretty well emancipated from this following of foreign originals. We still study the products of the foreign type foundries and printing offices, but as sources of suggestion, not as models for imitation. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 67428
Author: Hamilton, Frederick W. (Frederick William)
Release Date: Feb 17, 2022
Publisher: United Typothetae of America
Publication Date: 1918
Publisher Country: United States
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