A few words to set forth the objects and scope of our publication will not be out of place in our first number. It is our design to issue a journal representative of the printing, publishing, bookselling, stationery, and kindred interests, and to provide a recognized channel of communication between those engaged in these industries. The contents of the present issue will give a general idea of the field we intend to occupy; but in future numbers, as our exchanges and correspondence come in, certain departments will be more fully developed. Practical notes and suggestions, original and selected, will occupy a prominent place in our pages; and among the subjects engaging our attention will be the laws relating to the press; new publications; new inventions and processes; and in general all matters affecting the trade. To publishers of works of general utility, our monthly will prove of advantage. Owing to the absence of any literary review or other organ appealing directly to the bookselling trade, some of the most useful publications in the colony have succeeded in obtaining little more than a local circulation. In regard to matters concerning the special interests of printers, publishers, and journalists, the ordinary newspaper press, for obvious reasons, is not the best place for their discussion. In taking up a position hitherto unoccupied in the colonial press, we look for the cordial support of the important industries to which we appeal. We will endeavor to make our paper as practically useful as possible, and trust to the co-operation of all our friends, north and south, to make it a thoroughly successful and representative trade journal.
Under the heading of « Design in Typography, » we purpose publishing from month to month a series of original articles of a practical character on the general principles of display work and ornamental composition. In some trade serials may be found a multiplicity of rules on this subject—in most cases excellent—sometimes otherwise. It will be our design to enter into details only as illustrative of principles. The intelligent and artistic compositor can, if required, give a valid reason for the selection and position of any particular line or ornament in his work. If limited to a single fount of type, he will still produce a satisfactory result. The workman who is deficient in artistic perception and training, will go astray when left to his own judgment, and the greater the typographic resources at his command, the more melancholy will be the result. We intend taking up the subject in a systematic manner, dealing in the first place with the broad principles of display, as applying equally to the plainest and the most ornamental work. These will include the general composition or form of the matter, and distribution of light and shade; and the two great leading styles of display—by harmony and by contrast. From this we proceed to the subject of decoration, with especial reference to the abundant material now at the disposal of the compositor, and the limitations inherent in the nature of his work. The use and abuse of rules, corners, and ornaments will be dealt with, and some of the leading combination designs will be considered in detail. Practical articles of this kind are not uncommon in our German contemporaries, in whose pages the elaborate productions of the foundries are carefully analysed and illustrated; but so far as we know, no English trade organ has dealt with this subject except in the most general terms. We do not intend to dogmatize, and shall welcome criticism. We hold that the beautiful material now to be found in even the smallest job offices is worthy of careful study. It is however too often selected without system and used without judgment. The introductory article will appear in our February number.
We hope occasionally to present our readers with supplements showing choice examples of work, in black or colors, which will show that the printers of this colony are in no wise behind their fellow-craftsmen elsewhere. Friends who think it worth while to contribute would oblige by notifying us of their intention. It is no part of our design to make the paper itself a specimen of what is known as « sumptuous » printing. We have observed that trade journals published with this idea, under the most favorable circumstances, fail to appear with even approximate regularity.
We make it an invariable rule to give our authority for all extracted items. Will the exchanges who may have occasion to quote from our columns be kind enough to do the same?
The newspaper press, while assuming the position of universal critic, sometimes lays itself open to criticism. Some thoughtful well-timed remarks were recently made by Mr Justice Richmond in Wellington, which deserve serious consideration. His Honor made special reference to the flippant manner in which the Hall poisoning case had been treated by a section of the press. The heading attached to the telegraphic reports in several newspapers—« The Timaru Sensation » his Honor characterized as « shocking. » If the press is to realize—as it should do—the poet's ideal:
The power which counsels and commands
And shapes the social life of lands—
A blessing pure and deep—
it must take some other ground in dealing with those crimes which shock society and threaten its very existence, than to treat them as mere journalistic stock-in-trade, and as materials to create what is vulgarly termed a « sensation. » Such a course is unworthy of any paper of higher standing than a « police news. »
For more than forty years there has been a Copyright Act on the New Zealand statute book. It is one of the two oldest survivors of our early legislation, never having been repealed or amended. It affords to English publishers an efficient protection against colonial or foreign piracy, and so far is of value. But it is not so effective as regards local rights, as anyone registering a local production may easily ascertain. It is not our object to show the precise points wherein the Act comes short; but we merely indicate that a serious defect exists. The publishing interest in this colony would do well to take some united action to obtain an amendment.
Design in Typography. Initials.
An ornamental initial is often the only piece of decoration admissible in an otherwise plain job, and may frequently be used with good effect. It is by no means essential that the design should bear reference to the subject; though in a well-furnished office, it will often occur that a letter or headpiece will be found which might have been « made for the job. » A good compositor will always be ready to avail himself of the material most appropriate to the work in hand, and will never disfigure a job by a line or ornament inappropriate to the class of work on which he is engaged.
Certain rules in placing the initial should be carefully observed. The rule as to lining is that the head of the initial itself (not of the flourishes or foliage by which it is adorned) should line with the top of the first line. The exception to this rule is when the letter is enclosed in a square or other geometric figure. In this case, the outline of the design should line, without reference to the position of the letter itself.
The rule of indentation is not always carefully observed. It is not unusual to see the lines set straight down the side of the initial, the first line being in no way distinguished from the rest. This is incorrect. The initial forms part of the first line, and that only, a fact which the compositor should clearly indicate. Therefore the first line is brought as close to the initial as possible, the subsequent lines being slightly indented. The indentation should not be less than an en in any case—in open matter and wide measure not less than an em; and at least an equal space should be left at the foot of the initial before the full measure is resumed. The letter then stands out from the text, attached only to the first line. When the initial is supplied with a pendant of gradually diminishing size, the matter may be set in steps, keeping approximately the same distance from the design. This, however, is only proper when the pendant is on the left-hand-side of the letter. When it descends from the centre, the matter should not follow the design, but maintain a straight margin, that the white on each side may be properly balanced. When a new paragraph begins in the narrow measure, it should receive the same indentation as the paragraphs in the text. Some compositors omit the paragraph indentation; but the effect is very bad.
The same rules of indentation apply to illustrations inserted in the margin of the text; with the one exception, that as they do not, like the initial, apply to any one line in particular, they are cut off from the text by an equal space on all three sides.
In Germany, where both the Gothic and Roman characters are in common use, the printers carefully reserve the Gothic or Old English initials for German Text work, and the Roman for its appropriate letter; but in English printing no such discrimination is possible, and letters of every character are used as initials to plain Roman.
Considerable freedom may be used in the form of an initial, as compared with letters intended to be read in lines. Some of the modern fancy job founts are excellent (though costly) as book initials, but are unsuited for any other use, being almost illegible when set up in words.
In the use of ornamental initials, care should always be taken that the correct letter is used. Such a caution might seem superfluous, had we not daily instances to prove its necessity. Take, for example, one of the latest English Christmas numbers, which has a profusion of engraved initials. A German Text G (Cassell) does duty for T eleven times, an F takes the place of S, and an R for A. Farther on, the correct A of the same series is used. Among the thousands of ornamental initals in Messrs. Cassell's publications, it is rare indeed to find an error of this kind; but we have met with instances, even in the work of that famous establishment.
In many cases these mistakes have no excuse; but sometimes the fault really lies with the designer, who has tortured the letter almost out of its identity. In the « Lady Text, » an American face, both the cap C and L might readily be mistaken for E. Not long ago an English printer was criticised for having, in an otherwise admirable piece of work, used an initial D instead of O. He replied that the letter was correct, and had been specially supplied by the typefounder for the job. The letter was of the style known as « Brunswick Black, » and the fault lay in the design itself. Unless compared with the other capitals of the fount, the O might easily be mistaken for D. We show the two letters side by side:
There is, however, no excuse for mistake in the ordinary plain faces of black. The distinction between C, F, G, and O, is well marked, yet in job work we find these letters continually interchanged, and sometimes with grotesque results. We remember a case where a firm distributed some thousands of circulars in which they were described, in great primer black, as Tailors and Outfitters. Slips of this kind occasionally occur in the typefounders' own specimens.
A Massachusetts inventor has perfected a thread-stitching and knot-tying machine for pamphlet work, and has succeeded in accomplishing what has been hitherto regarded as impracticable—the tying of a square knot by machinery. The new machine can be worked as rapidly as a wire-stitcher. One of our American serials to hand last mail is sewn by this machine, and the stitch is not distinguishable from handwork.
A petroleum engine has been brought out by a firm at Hull, which may yet prove a rival to the gas-engine, and will be an excellent substitute where gas is not available. The oil is vaporized, mixed in the proportion of 1 to 6000 of atmospheric air, compressed to a pressure of 40lb per square inch, and exploded by an electric spark. The engine is perfectly safe, even if left unattended till the supply of oil is exhausted. The engines are made from ½-horse to 10-horse power nominal, and the consumption of oil is about one pint per horse-power per hour.
The Star Almanac (Innes & Co., Hawera), is a book that would do credit to any office. It is well compiled and arranged; printed on a fine quality of toned paper, and the presswork is excellent. There are no colored inset ads. to disfigure the book and irritate the reader. A common idea is that good work like this does not pay. We have no doubt that the publishers have proved that it does.
A fire in Napier on the 18th December destroyed £50,000 worth of property in two hours. The Herald and Telegraph offices were burnt to the ground, all the valuable machinery and a large quantity of type and other material being destroyed. The two other printing offices narrowly escaped; the flames at one time having a good hold of the Evening News building. With the assistance of the printers who were fortunate enough to escape, the two burnt-out journals were able to maintain their regular daily issue.
A terrible fire occurred in Dunedin on Sunday, 23rd January, when the large factory of the Dunedin Iron and Woodware Company was destroyed. The damage was about £150,000; the insurances about £50,000; 150 hands were thrown out of work; and four lives were lost; besides which some of the firemen sustained broken limbs and other injuries. Wallace, a sailor, engaged in saving goods, was jammed by falling ironware from an upper story. Efforts were made to rescue him when a further fall took place and three more men were buried. Two soon perished, but Wallace and a young men named Esquilant, son of a binder in the employ of Messrs Coulls & Culling, remained alive for nearly six hours, suffering fearful agonies from the heat and pressure, before they were extricated, and both died shortly afterwards. Esquilant begged for chloroform, and the doctors, at the risk of their lives, administered the drug both to him and Wallace. The origin of the fire is a complete mystery.
Poems of Henry Kendall. G. Robertson & Co., Melbourne, Sydney, &c.
A reproach has been removed from Australian literature by the publication of the collected poems of Henry Clarence Kendall. A generation hence, his works will probably be far more widely known and esteemed than they are to-day. Rarely is a poet appreciated in his own day, and Kendall was no exception to the rule. By a limited circle he was recognized as the sweetest singer Australia has produced, and the best interpreter of her natural beauties; but to the great majority of his contemporaries the poet and his genius were alike matters of indifference. The tastes of Young Australia are not literary. The hero of the hour is the champion athlete or the successful jockey; and the literary man—however lofty his aim or high his abilities—meets with scant recognition. It is therefore the more gratifying to find, not only that the earlier volumes of Kendall's fugitive pieces are now out of print, but that an Australian publisher has felt justified in sending forth a more complete and beautiful collection of his works than it has hitherto been possible to obtain.
It is eighteen or nineteen years since we first met with Kendall's name, at the foot of an original poem in the Sydney Morning Herald, entitled « Bell Birds. » It would not be easy to find anything more characteristic of the poet at his best, than this exquisite lyric. In the intense love of nature, the subtle local coloring which pervades the whole, and in the perfect finish and ringing music of the rhythm, it will not suffer by comparison with the work of any modern poet.
There is much that is sad, not only in the poems before us, but in the brief records we have of Kendall's biography. The story of his life is one of stern and often ineffectual struggle with difficulties without and enemies within. Some of his most powerful lines were wrung from the depths of his own bitter experience. The world is ready enough to discern want of success, and slow to make due allowance. It was Kendall's hapless lot to strive against an inherited failing; and it is to his credit that he overcame in the end. The darkest periods of conflict were brightened by the devotion of his admirable wife.
The poet too lightly estimated the value of his own work. Like all men of true genius, he set before him an ideal so high, that his best work seemed to him little better than failure. One of the best estimates of the quality of his genius, is that of the late poet R. H. Horne, who had to adjudicate on some competition poems in the year 1868. The names of the writers were of course unknown to the critic. In awarding the prize, he wrote: « Arakoon' is evidently one who has made poetry and the poetic art the ruling passion of his life. Such poems as 'A Death in the Bush' are produced by no other means and by no other men; never have been, and never will be. I consider the three poems sent in by 'Arakoon' as worthy of comparison with some of the finest parts of Wordsworth's 'Excursion.' 'Arakoon' here and there displays the influence of one, indeed of two, modern poets: but he is no imitator, and copies directly and closely from nature by striking generalities, and without any petty and prolix details. »
The mere would-be poet will choose an imposing subject, and mar it. The true poet glorifies the simplest object with the light of his genius. « Moss on a Wall » in the heart of a city is one of Kendall's themes—homely enough; but the sight transports the poet to his favorite woods, and suggests some beautiful verses:
O friend of mine, to one whose eyes
Are vexed because of alien things,
For ever in the wall-moss lies
The peace of hills and hidden springs.
From faithless lips and fickle lights
The tired pilgrim sets his face,
And thinketh here of sounds and sights
In many a lovely forest place.
And when by sudden fits and starts
The sunset on the moss doth burn,
He often dreams, and lo! the marts
And streets are changed to dells of fern.
In the poem entitled « After Many Years, » in which he laments that the lofty song of his early dreams « remains unwritten yet, » some of the stanzas are very touching:
No longer doth the earth reveal
Her gracious green and gold;
I sit where youth was once, and feel
That I am growing old.
The lustre from the face of things
Is wearing all away;
Like one who halts with tired wings,
I rest and muse to-day.
But in the night, and when the rain
The troubled torrent fills,
I often think I see again
The river in the hills;
And when the day is very near,
And birds are on the wing,
My spirit fancies it can hear
The song I cannot sing.
In his keen insight into the all-pervading soul in nature, Kendall occasionally reminds us of Shelley; but without the affectation of paganism which is found in the older poet's verse, and is fashionable with his imitators. However the storms of life may beat about his head, the man has his feet upon a rock who can feel and write like Kendall:
One thing is surer than the autumn tints
We saw last week in yonder river-bend—
That all our poor expression helps and hints,
However vaguely, to the solemn end.
That God is Truth; and if our dim ideal
Falls short of fact—so short that we must weep—
Why shape specific sorrows, though the real
Be not the song that erewhile made us sleep?
A man is manliest when he wisely knows
How vain it is to halt, and pule, and pine;
Whilst under every mystery haply flows
The finest issue of a love divine.
Mr P. J. Holdsworth, in a brief preface, gives a kindly and appreciative estimate of Kendall's life-work. It is perhaps as well that the collection is not absolutely complete—even the greatest poets suffer when all their temporary and imperfect work is religiously preserved from oblivion; but there are several poems we are sorry to miss. « The Warrigal » is characteristic and thoroughly Australian, but we do not find it in the volume before us. The poet's tribute to Charles Harpur is in the collection; but other memorial lines to his fellow poets are strangely enough absent. The closing lines of one of these are very beautiful:
To Adam Lindsay Gordon, I who laid
Two years ago on Lionel Michael's grave
A tender leaf of my regard; yea I
Who culled a garland from the flowers of song
To place where Harpur sleeps; I, left alone,
The sad disciple of a shining band
Now gone I to Adam Lindsay Gordon's name
I dedicate these lines; and if 'tis true
page 4 That, past the darkness of the grave, the soul
Becomes omniscient, then the bard may stoop
From his high seat to take the offering,
And read it with a sigh for human friends
In human bonds, and grey with human griefs.
And having wove and proffered this poor wreath,
I stand to-day as lone as he who saw
At nightfall through the glimmering moony mists
The last of Arthur on the wailing mere,
And strained in vain to hear the going voice.
We do not wonder that the poems « In Hyde Park » and « Australia Vindex » are not reprinted. While they faithfully enough embodied the feeling of execration with which the would-be assassin O'Farrell was regarded at the time his deed was committed, they were not such as the kindly nature of the poet would have approved when the occasion had passed. But the fine inaugural ode at the opening of the Sydney Exhibition might have found a place, as also the little song « Sitting by the Fire, » and the somewhat Swinburnian lyric « The Leaves on the Lattices Falling. » Still, the published collection is so full of beautiful and graceful verse, that it should find a place in the library of every lover of good poetry. The humorous and the classical poems are of high merit; but the poet is at his best as the interpreter of nature as revealed in Australia. With the spirits of the woods and brooks he is at home, and they speak to him a language unknown to common ears. When we reflect that the great modern poets have given us their finest and mellowest work after three-score and ten, we can partly realize what we have lost in Kendall, some of whose best pieces were written when he was five-and-twenty, and who was cut off at the comparatively early age of forty-one.
One of the most useful Parliamentary Papers yet published has just been issued from the Government printing office: An Index to the Appendices to the journals of the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of New Zealand from 1854 to 1885 inclusive. The preparation of the paper cost £75, and the printing £58 14/-; but it is better worth the expense than the majority of state documents. It is a complete guide to the vast labyrinth of official publications for thirty-two years. It occupies 116 foolscap pages, and contains nearly twelve thousand entries.
Why (an American contemporary asks) are brewers stout, and journalists thin? Because, he replies, the brewer appeals to the stomach and the literary man to the brains—and in case of a contest between these vital organs, the former can always poll a big majority.
The above axiom has just had a comical illustration in Auckland, in the case of Mr Hancock, who owns shares in a brewery and in a newspaper. The paper published an article which the Working Men's Club, in meeting assembled, considered derogatory to their order; and it was proposed to « boycot » Mr Hancock and all his works. To stop the paper was easy enough; but to boycot the Beer —— They seemed to think they had been a little too hasty. The resolution was « left open for consideration »!
One of the brightest of our trade contemporaries is the American Paper World, which has just completed its thirteenth volume. Primarily concerned with the papermaking industry, it is also filled with matter of general interest to the printing fraternity. It is printed on a beautiful quality of paper, its presswork is faultless, and its literary matter is entirely free from the vulgarity which pervades so many of the American trade organs. For years past we have carefully preserved and bound the numbers, and we find them of abiding interest.
There are one or more journalists (?) in the north whose special line appears to be to float foolish hoaxes. This is the latest:— An expedition is to be sent to the polar regions to detach ice masses of about 600 cubic miles each. These are to be cut off by a heated wire, and floated into warmer seas, to modify the Australian climate! Several papers have already copied the item in all good faith. Our legislature has provided special penalties for the idiots who concoct fictitious announcements of births and marriages. There appears to be no means of reaching the other offenders.
(From the Printer's Circular.)
To cut Paper into Three or Five Parts.—Mr E. J. Ring, Government Printer at New Orleans, says: If paper is to be cut into three or five parts, the old method of figuring after measuring, compassing, and guess-work, folding, &c., can be done away with by simply rolling the paper into a scroll until the ends meet twice, which marked with the finger-nail or pencil, gives one-third. If one-fifth is desired, roll the paper till the ends meet four times.
To Obtain correct Margin.—The same printer says: In job work, when an impression is taken on the tympan, and the pressman wishes a sheet to be printed in the centre, he has only to place the right edge of his paper at the right end of the printed line on the tympan, and mark on the sheet at the left end of the same line, and fold the remainder into one-half, marking the tympan at the left edge of the sheet to be printed. This does away with mistakes and guess-work. [We think most pressmen follow this plan.—Typo.]
(From the Pacific Printer.)
To Copy Printed or Written Matter.—Printed matter may be copied on any paper of an absorbent nature, by damping the surface with a weak solution of acetate of iron, and pressing in an ordinary copying press. Old writing may also be copied on unsized paper if wet with a weak solution of sulphate of iron mixed with a small solution of sugar syrup.
Harmony of Tints.—Gray sets off a color better than either black or white. White, gold, or black will serve as an edging to any color. A white ground has a tendency to make colors upon it appear darker, while a black ground has a contrary effect. In the association of two tones of one color, the effect will be to lighten the light shade and darken the other. The fact that incongruous colors are often harmoniously combined in nature is no guarantee that they may be similarly applied in art.
Spirits of Wine for cleaning off Copyable Ink.—To clean rollers used for printing copying inks, it is best to avoid water, which, it is claimed, weakens them, Spirits of wine proves much more efficient: it takes the ink off immediately, does not injure the rollers, and as it vaporizes almost instantaneously they may be used directly.
To Thin Copying Ink.—When copying-ink becomes hard or thick, as it will do on exposure to the air, it can readily be reduced to proper consistency by the addition of a few drops of glycerine. Add slowly, and test till right.
Basis for Ground Tints.—To make a good ground tint, use three pounds of magnesia ground up in a half a gallon of plate oil. This forms a transparent mass from which, by the addition of colors, as black, vermilion, lemon-yellow and bronze blue, innumerable tints may be manufactured, such as green, brown, lead, gray, buff, salmon, flesh-pink, purple, &c.
(From Austin Wood's Typographia.)
To find the Lay of the Type.—Fold a sheet of the paper and page it backwards, that is, page one on the back and page eight on the front.
When Cutting hard Paper and Boards, rub the edge of the knife with soft soap.
To put on a new Parchment.—Lay the tympan-frame upon it, cut out where the hooks and point-slides come, damp the edges two inches all round until limp, paste on as tight as possible. When the paste is dry sponge the parchment with a good drop of water; this prevents the parchment getting slack in damp weather.
To Prevent Electrotype Blocks from Warping.—To prevent electrotype blocks from warping, shrinking, or swelling, place them in a shallow pan or dish, cover with kerosine, and let them so soak as long as possible, say three or four days. Then wipe dry and place in the form. After the first two or three washings they may swell a little; if so, have them carefully dressed down, and after that you will have little or no trouble with them, and can leave them in the form just as you would if they were solid type.
Glaze Printing Inks.—In order to give printing inks a rich bronze-like appearance the following may be adopted: Take twelve ounces of shellac and dissolve in half a gallon of spirits of wine of a strength of ninety-five degrees. After standing for twenty-four hours, add seven ounces of aniline red, and leave it standing for a few hours. The liquid will then be ready for use, and may be added in small quantities to good black, blue, or other dark ink.
The Chicago Electrotype Journal last to hand contains some good specimens of engraving by photo-zincography: a batch of calendars (a specialty of Messrs Zeese & Co.) and some pretty and original floral and other ornaments. The remainder of the number is occupied with several series of beautiful vignettes and two-color initials of German design.
Conner's Typographic Messenger, New York, is a good number. The text, by a strange whim, is set in an original style called « Cosmopolitan, » which, though an effective letter for a line or two of display, is dazzling and distressing to the eyes when used as a body fount. There is a good show of plain and useful styles, and a sprinkling of eccentric faces,—« Puritan, » « Anglican, » « Mediæval, » « Nubian Condensed » (a striking letter), and the aforesaid « Cosmopolitan. » There is a « Rose » border and a « Cactus » border—both of very limited application—the latter in particular. The chief display is made with an architectural border, the work of the unrivalled typographic artist who designs for Messrs Schelter & Giesecke. Messrs Conner secure most of the designs of this firm as they appear. An original series of Ribbon Ornaments is shown, so designed as to work in combination with Schelter and Giesecke's « Schildschrift » series. A series of « illustrated corners » completes the number. As usual with the Messenger, much skill is shown in the rulework, and general display of the novelties exhibited.
Julius Klinkhardt, of Leipzig, sends us the Fifteenth section of is specimen book. The new styles of letter shown are for the most part American faces. The principal feature of this issue is the grand « Germania » architectural combination, designed by Professor Hugo Ströhl of Vienna. In this one series, the chief features of former architectural designs are combined. It is divided into four sections, and contains 414 separate sorts. A complete minimum fount weighs about 60lb! It is needless to say that fine effects can be produced with so elaborate and artistic a design. But effects too distressing to contemplate are also possible in unqualified hands. A beautifully printed supplement shows the border worked out in color and ground-tints. We have also a light « Renaissance » border, a series of flourishes, nine series of initials, some of great beauty, and numerous electro blocks—arms of all nations, &c.
Messrs Baber & Rawlings, of Auckland, agents for the Fann-st. Foundry, London, have sent us a parcel of specimens of Sir Chas. Reed & Sons' novelties. These include some neat borders, for one and two colors, space ornaments, headpieces and mortised blocks, and also several fine series of initials—the latest of which is in three sizes with corner ornaments to correspond. The largest of this series is nine-line pica, and with a corner ornament 36 ems deep, would have an imposing effect. We notice that the prices are much lower than those of American productions of similar size.
From the Parsons Paper Company, Holyoke, Mass, we have a parcel of samples of high-class linen papers, for bonds, bank-note printing, ledger and record work; also of tinted writings and Bristol boards. There are no « cheap lines » in this parcel, but the quality is the best we have yet seen. The higher class papers are exquisite in color and finish, and the samples are made up in handy and attractive form.
The Queen City Printing Ink Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, deserve to succeed. They have sent out a small specimen book of printing inks, of the most useful colors and shades. The quality is excellent, and the prices are within the reach of the ordinary printer, comparing very favorably with the charges of some of the other American ink factories. Inks at $24 and $32 per lb may not be dear when the cost of the coloring matter is taken into account—but how many printers could afford to use them?
Mr George Clowes, the eminent printer, of the firm of William Clowes & Sons, died on the 3rd November, 1886. He was the last surviving son of William Clowes, the founder of the vast establishment, who died in January, 1847. Mr G. Clowes married in 1837 the eldest daughter of Charles Knight, whose labors in the diffusion of useful knowledge are so well known.
Mr Fredrick Pitman, the well-known phonographic and music publisher, and brother of Mr Isaac Pitman, the inventor of phonography, died on the 21st November, 1886. Mr Pitman was one of the fastest short-hand writers of his time. He had been in failing health for some years.
Keep your trade journals. They increase in interest as the years pass on. Keep them in good order, and bind them in annual volumes. Our own back volumes of the leading periodicals in the printing trade—in some cases complete from the commencement—are among the most highly-prized of our books.
« One Thousand Quaint Cuts, from Books of Other Days, » is the title of a curious book issued by Messrs Field & Tuer, London. There are really about 1150 miscellaneous blocks, chiefly from old spelling-books, nursery rhymes, chap-books, &c., which are very interesting. Some of the prettiest are by the Countess Spencer (1793) on p. 89; the most hideous are the modern imitations of old work (pp. 131-149.)
It looks like an anachronism (writes Ægles in the Australasian) to read at the top of a telegraph form of the Kingdom of Greece
—and yet it is to the language of Homer that we are indebted for the word which symbolises one of the most wonderful of modern inventions of utility.
Reviewers are sometimes caught napping, and the Yankee story of the Western editor, who, on receiving a copy of Paradise Lost fresh from the press, wrote: « John Milton would do better to return to his legitimate newspaper sphere: in our opinion he is a very poor poet »—could almost be matched in actual fact. An American paper to hand last mail, noticing a fine-art edition of Dora, writes: « The elevation of Alfred Tennyson to the peerage has carried him far out of reach of his favorite muse, judging from the one of his creations now before us. Dora is possessed of a poverty of poetical thought unknown among his earlier writings, and is but a simple little story in blank verse, simply told. It is redeemed, however, by the hand of the artist, the skill of the engraver, and of the bookbinder. » (!) This is not bad, when we remember that the poet's « English Idylls » has been more than fifty years before the world, and that Dora is one of the best known and most admired of his minor poems. Not long since, the well-known and clever poem by Benjamin Franklin on « Paper, » appeared in an English trade organ, but without the writer's name. It was speedily copied by a transatlantic paper, which duly placed the name of its English contemporary at the foot of the verses. The editor of an important American paper was evidently unacquainted with Franklin's Essays.
Comp.—We're out of spaces, sir.
Employer—Can't afford to get any more—in these days of competition we must be economical. Break up full-points, and leave them out after all contractions and initials.
Comp.—There are no hyphens.
Employer—Then grind down small e's and s's. For en quads, break any superflous letters approaching the size; the same with em quads and thick spaces; u's you can invert for n's, and so on, provided you don't go so far as to displease the public.
Comp. (to himself)—Good job I'm on time!
A Western farmer, aged ninety-one years, walked nine miles to renew his subscription to a newspaper. It is the general impression among publishers that there are a number of subscribers who are waiting until they are ninety-one years old, to come and pay for their paper.
The editors of a number of Japanese vernacular papers have been fined for neglecting to give credit for extracts from another journal. If this rule were carried out in this country (says the Pacific Printer) all the Chicago editors would be bankrupt, and some of our esteemed contemporaries in this State would be without small change.
« There! » triumphantly exclaimed an enterprising backwoods editor, as a bullet came through the window and shattered the inkstand, « I knew that the new 'Personal Column' would be a success. »
There is a man in our town and he is wondrous wise; whene'er he writes the printer man he dotteth all his i's. And when he's dotted all of them with great sang froid and ease, he punctuates each paragraph, and crosses all his t's. Upon one side alone he writes, and never rolls his leaves: and from the man of ink a smile, and mark « inserts » receives. And when a question he doth ask (taught wisely he hath been), he doth the goodly penny stamp, for postage back, put in.
A printer out West, whose office is two miles from any other building, and who hangs his sign on the limb of a tree, advertises for a devil. He says, « a boy from the country preferred. »
« Can you tell me what sort of weather we may expect next month? » wrote a farmer to the editor of his country paper, and the editor replied as follows: « It is my belief that the weather next month will be very like your subscription bill. » The farmer wondered for an hour what the editor was driving at, when he happened to think of the word « unsettled. » He sent a postal note.
As we desire to make our paper as complete a local press record as possible, we shall be glad to receive from correspondents duly authenticated personal items—appointments of editors, managers, &c,, and changes of proprietary; also notes of new periodicals and other publications, enlargements, or discontinuances.
A Book Hunter.
A cup of coffee, eggs and rolls
Sustain him on his morning strolls;
Unconscious of the passers-by,
He trudges on with downcast eye;
He wears a queer old hat and coat,
Suggestive of a style remote;
His manner is preoccupied—
A shambling gait, from side to side.
For him the sleek bright-windowed shop
Is all in vain—he does not stop.
His thoughts are fixed on dusty shelves
Where musty volumes hide themselves—
Rare prints of poetry and prose,
And quaintly lettered folios—
Perchance a parchment manuscript,
In some forgotten corner slipped,
Or monk-illumined missal bound
In vellum with brass clasps around;
These are the pictured things that throng
His mind the while he walks along.
A dingy street, a cellar dim,
With book-lined walls, suffices him,
The dust is white upon his sleeves;
He turns the yellow, dog-eared leaves
With just the same religious look
That priests give to the Holy Book.
He does not heed the stifling air
If so he finds a treasure there.
He knows rare books, like precious wines,
Are hidden where the sun ne'er shines;
For him delicious flavors dwell
In books as in old Muscatel;
He finds in features of the type
A clue to prove the grape was ripe.
And when he leaves this dismal place,
Behold, a smile lights up his face!
Upon his cheeks a genial glow,—
Within his hand Boccaccio,
A first edition worn with age,
« Firenze » on the title page.
Eighth Year of Publication.
Harding's 1887 Almanac
New Zealand Year-Book and East Coast Local Guide
Has taken the Leading Position among the Annual Books of Reference published in New Zealand.
This useful publication still maintains its character for full and useful information, and excellence of design and workmanship. As a specimen of the typographic art it is a credit to the colony.—Temperance Herald.
Not alone is the work well arranged and tastefully got up, but it teems with useful and valuable information of every description, and will prove a great convenience to the public, especially the commercial community. The directory is very complete.—Poverty Bay Herald.
This work is probably one of the most complete of its kind published anywhere, and contains Jewish, Danish, and English Calendars, with a great variety of general information of the most useful as well as interesting nature. The letter-press workmanship is of special excellence, and the publication is one its printer may justly feel proud of.—Evening Press.
Harding's Almanac for 1887, the production of the enterprising and tasteful Napier printer of that name, is to hand, and bears evidence of still further improvement both in printed matter and the display of fancy type. As a useful and comprehensive almanac, replete with condensed information, the work cannot be excelled, whilst the assortment of type and the general arrangement of the advertisements are all but faultless.—Independent (Gisborne.)
Two Shillings. Sent post-free to any address in New Zealand.
He Himene mo te Karakia ki te Atua.
This popular Shilling Maori Hymnal has been for some time out of print. A large edition is now in the press, and will be issued at an early date. All rights in connexion with this work have been secured by the Publisher. The Trade supplied.
The Great Volcanic Outbreak at Tarawera.
The best account published. Sixpence, or with two plates, One Shilling.
Potona: a sensational Tale of the West Coast. ⅙.
R. Coupland Harding
Printer and Publisher, Napier.
Napier, New Zealand. Printed and Published by Robert Coupland Harding, at his registered Printing Office, Hastings-street.—January, 1887.