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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3

23rd May, 1889


23rd May, 1889.

Meeting one of our M.P.'s the other day, I said, « Good day, sir, how's the printing business doing just now? » « Oh, things have brightened very much during the month, and prospects are fair, judging from the jobs on the file. » I am happy to say that this answer puts the case correctly. Half-time has ceased at the Government Printing Office, and some extra hands have already been taken on. Not only does the trade appear bright, but I find that Typo is growing in the affections of my fellow-craftsmen. On every hand I hear words of praise in regard to this journal. I do not now hear the cavillings which were wont to be made, and there is no reservation as to the merits of our only monthly. These expressions of opinion are pleasant to me, and doubtless to you also, Mr Editor—especially when accompanied by a subscription.

A report is current that the New Zealand Times has changed hands, the new proprietor (or-tors) taking possession next month, but I have been unable to ascertain the name of the person or party. Mr Chantrey Harris is the present owner. Various rumors are in circulation as to the new proprietory. One says that it is an Auckland man of means, or syndicate; another has it that a wealthy merchant of this city is the man; while a third has it « on good authority, » that a prominent politician, who was at one time a printer, then a journalist, member of Parliament, and a Cabinet Minister, is the man, acting for a company. I hope that the latter is the case, as it is well known that the Times has not been conducted in a popular or enterprising spirit, and if any man can put a dash of energy into a news-paper, the ex-minister is the man.

I hinted recently that there were to be some improvements in the appearance of the Evening Press of this city. I have « been placed in possession of the facts of the case, » to quote the special's style. The paper is to appear in a bran-new suit of type, which will be Miller & Richard's broad-face minion. The one size of type will be maintained throughout, with a leaded leader. The proprietors have also made an arrangement with Cassell's whereby the Press will have the sole right for the North Island to publish their latest works of fiction. Commo-dore Junk, by the popular Manville Fenn, will be the first of the series, and they will run through every evening's issue. Mr Wakefield will also send letters containing his impressions of the localities at which he touches during his trip, which will be all the places on the line leading through New York, London, and Paris. From the latter city he will send descriptions of the Exhibition. These letters are being eagerly looked forward to. Mr Wakefield had an early opportunity of sending a « special, » as he was a passenger on board the Mariposa when she put back into Auckland on her last trip, owing to the outbreak of fire.

I have not heard anything further about the Weale-Redwood compensation case, and I understand that Mr Weale has left our colony. Probably the dispute has been settled quietly.

It is said that the firm of Messrs Bock & Cousins, printers, litho-graphers, and engravers, are undergoing some change, one of the partners retiring (not Mr Bock) and his place being filled by a gentleman from Melbourne, who has had some connexion with Messrs Cowan & Co., papermakers. Mr A. G. Cousins, who has held the position of foreman, has just left the establishment, and taken his departure for Sydney. Mr Cousins (who is no relation to the partner of that name) has been with the firm for four or five years, and has done much by his skill as a job printer to give the house the good name it has held for its artistic printing. Mr E. Thornton, late a member of the Times companionship, has taken the foremanship of the office. This gentleman served his time as a pressman at the Christchurch Press office, and must have « picked up » case-skill afterwards.

The above firm have finished their splendid piece of chromo-litho-graphy and typography, the Album of the Flora of New Zealand, although the subject is by no means exhausted in the three volumes published.

Mr David Jones, jobbing foreman of the Wanganui Chronicle, and who has been connected with that paper for eighteen years, has left the staff to engage in another line of business. On the 27th ult. Mr Carson, in the presence of the staff, handed Mr Jones a present of a set of theological works, and made reference to his long and faithful service. Mr Jones, in reply, expressed his attachment to his old office. Sir Julius Vogel's novel has had a large sale in New Zealand, especially considering the high price for a book no larger than an average Shilling Shocker. The unusual demand is not attributable to the literary qualities of the work—for it is generally voted to be rubbish, and, moreover, the author is freely charged with plagiarism—but from a curiosity as to what shape the latest development of our imaginative politician's fancy had taken. A Dunedin firm has placed 1000 copies in our bookstalls, and Messrs Lyon & Blair, of Wellington, have disposed of the same number.