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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

[miscellaneous paragraphs]

The well-known firm of Field and Tuer (the Leadenhall Press) has been dissolved, Mr Field retiring. We note an alteration in the monogram. The « FT » has given place to the monogram « LP, » with « ress » in small letters in square form.

« Tachytypy » is the name of a new German process for the prompt production of designs in black or white for typographic work. It is brought out by Messrs Fisher and Krecke, of Bielefeld, and they show some excellent blocks produced type-height in fifteen minutes from the completion of the drawing. The results resemble those produced by Baker's stereographic process, and are probably obtained by somewhat similar means.

There is matter for reflection in the brief outline history of the Auckland press, published in this issue. In that most dismal age of literature, the last century, when piety was to a large extent of the charnel-house order, meditations among the tombs were considered as the most profitable occupation for the mind. To read the article in which are enumerated the names and ages of the Auckland papers, is suggestive of a walk through a cemetery. The list is not complete; it designedly excludes the smaller fry of ephemeral publications—yet what a record of newspaper mortality in a single city is disclosed in this fifty years' record! Infantile diseases appear to have been the most fatal—few ventures completed their first year, and many were cut off from the first to the third month. Of some the very names are forgotten. The author writes to us: « There is a paper which has baffled me as to name, though I am trying to find it out; but as a number of journals only reached half-a-dozen issues, they are not even registered at the Supreme Court, so that my task is a herculean one. This particular paper was published about 1870, the proprietors being Sydney Smith, chemist, and Dr J. Wood, a retired army-surgeon. Smith was about three months getting up the first number, and having exhausted all his original articles and matter in the first issue, the new journal never reached a second! » The Daily News is another instance of a forgotten name, as well as of the disadvantage of giving old and hackneyed titles to new papers. The writer consulted numerous old residents, who remembered the paper, but not could be certain as to its title. One said it was the Tribune, another, the Advocate. At last he thought of searching the Supreme Court register, and there discovered the name. The list does not take account of country papers, nor does it include the mosquito fleet of « comic » and story-papers depending on pirated matter—four or five Punches, Entertainment, Motley, Charivari, Tomahawk, Colonists' Family Herald, Mosquito, &c. One of these, the Graphic, which issued about five numbers, and came out in three different sizes and styles, is worthy of note as having contained the first published work of Sam Begg, now on the staff of the London Pictorial World.

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In a remote region in Michigan is published the Munith Tidings. The editor is also the minister, undertaker, and furniture dealer, which, as the Adrian Press remarks, proves that « it is possible for one man to become a trade union. »

Among the papers laid before Parliament during the late session, was the first annual report of the Registrar of Patents, Designs, and Trade-marks. He makes the following suggestion: « As the New Zealand Gazette is the only journal in which particulars of applications for Letters Patent and registration of trade-marks, and other matters connected with the Patent Office are published, and it has not an extensive circulation amongst those likely to be interested in or benefited by such publication, I think it worthy of consideration whether the time has not arrived for the issue of a weekly or fortnightly supplement, to be devoted solely to Patent Office notices, and to be supplied separately to any who may choose to subscribe specially for it. Later on this will probably develope into a separate Patent Office Journal, similar to those published in England, Canada, and the United States. »

Andrew Carnegie remarks that the college-graduate is scarcely to be found in high positions in the business world. The graduate entering at twenty, he says, has not the slightest chance against the boy who swept the office or who began as shipping clerk at fourteen. Mr Carnegie is right, and strange as it may appear, the same holds good in the literary sphere. The B.A. or M.A. in the colonies, either in practical journalism or literature proper, is nowhere beside the boy who graduated as P.D. Many thoughtful colonists are wondering what will be the outcome of our educational system. Practically, it is certainly only a very qualified success. Far too many scholars are led to regard a « pass » as the object of their training, and too often to suppose that the sum of human knowledge is to be found in Standard VI. For the practical work of life they are less fitted than the boys of thirty years ago who went barefoot and looked after the cows; and in the very intellectual qualities that school-training might be expected to sharpen—the literary faculty and critical discernment—they are, if anything, inferior.

Another historic New Zealand press is referred to in the first of the series of interesting articles in the N.Z. Methodist, by the Rev S. Ironside (now of Hobart), entitled « Missionary Eeminiscences in New Zealand. » Mr Ironside relates how, on their first arrival (in 1839) he and his wife sojourned for two months at Mangungu with Mr and Mrs Hobbs. He says: « There was a small wooden box of a printing-office, of which Mr Hobbs had charge. It was fitted up with an old-fashioned press, worked by hand, and a few cases of type. It was all primitive, but serviceable. Mr Hobbs, clever at everything he took up, had one or two native youths as helpers. I put myself under his directions, and spent some hours each day in the office. Thence was issued hundreds of copies of our Maori prayer and hymn-book. Mr Turner was translating some of the narrative portions of Old Testament history, which were issued in pamphlet form, as soon as printed and stitched. » —The Rev W. Colenso, who has some of these Wesleyan mission productions in his valuable collection of early New Zealand books, is of opinion that this press is the one brought out and used by Mr W. Woon (a trained printer) for the mission. Mr Hobbs was not a printer, but may have assisted, in amateur fashion, as did Mr Ironside himself.

It is pretty generally known that the Maori people have representatives of their own in the New Zealand Parliament. The qualifications which recommend a Maori candidate to his people are not exactly those advanced by European aspirants, and the following address, issued in the Maori language, by a candidate for the Western Maori district, is something of a curiosity. In one respect—that of brevity— it is a model:— « To all the men of the Western seaboard.—This is a notice to all the men of each and every settlement, to all the hapus (families) of the Western sea coasts of Aotearoa. Vote for me, O friends, and I will bear the burdens of your troubles—the annoyances you have hitherto suffered and borne from year to year. When will you obtain a little redress? Make an effort. Give me your vote, and though my back be small to carry the weight, the strength has descended to me from my ancestors. Was not Pokeke the less sent to Moeatoa by the small people? O orphans, O widows, O the poverty-stricken, vote for me to be returned. O, ye chiefs, vote for me. O all ye tribes of Aotearoa, do not have two hearts on this matter. Am I not the grandson of Mango Tarangatahi, the grandchild of Kaihamuwahamaua, the grandchild I am of Raurukikotahi, and the descendant of Maniapoto and of Auekaha? Be strong, therefore, to lift me through to the poll, and prove thereby that all the Maori people are in one canoe. This is all from Tatana Whataupoko, for the western seaboard of Aotearoa."

Mr E. Tucker sends us the following extract from the letter of an English correspondent; not that it has any bearing on the Craft; but that it may help us in the colony to « see ourselves as others see us. » — « Have I ever mentioned to you a nephew of mine who went to Christchurch some seven or eight years ago, intending to settle there? He was in the drapery line, and gave up a large and lucrative business in Derbyshire on account of his health. His sojourn in New Zealand was satisfactory as far as his health was concerned. He has returned with all his family (nine in number), with not at all a favorable opinion of the colony. 'Extravagant and gambling officials, logrolling legislators, monstrous taxation, high price of all manufactured articles, insolent and incapable dependents'—these are only some of the disabilities he mentions in connexion with the place! » This is a very one-sided account of New Zealand. There is a little to be said on the other side. The finest climate in tbe world; the lowest death-rate; the most productive colony in proportion to population; the most uniform distribution of land and other wealth to be found in the world; a minimum proportion of pauperism, mendicancy, and crime; a well-educated and generally intelligent population; and eight-hours' standard of labor. Even without discounting the alleged disadvantages—as we fairly might—the balance is on the right side.

The inspectors of weights and measures would do well to test the balances used in Her Majesty's Postal Department. We presume that the postal officers take the trouble to weigh letters and parcels before inflicting fines for deficient postage. If so, the scales in the different offices are not only untrustworthy, but diverse. Twice when in Napier, we had complaints of fines inflicted for short postage on parcels which we had not only carefully weighed ourselves, but as an extra precaution had tested and passed as correct at the post-office counter. By last San Francisco mail we were fined on a letter from a home correspondent, which anyone accustomed to handle correspondence at all could unhesitatingly declare to be under weight. The single rate is half-an-ounce. The precise weight of this particular letter was one scruple over ¼oz. We used a chemists' weight as the only one at hand small enough to balance the minute excess. Our contemporary the Gutenberg Journal, is generally taxed a penny on delivery. Sometimes it comes free for weeks together, then the yellow label again appears. The weight of the paper is uniform—the diversity is with the department. The postal regulations are plainly framed for packets « not exceeding » the specified weights. It is the usual and inexcusable custom to tax letters that barely balance. Full-weight letters are nearly always taxed. A case came under our knowledge once where a batch of book-packets posted overnight and surcharged were found in the morning, according to the official scales, to be well within the weight. The explanation was that having been posted damp from the press, they had lost weight to that extent by evaporation in about twelve hours! We accuse the department of inexcusable meanness and downright sharp practice in this matter. Every printer in the colony can bear us out in our complaint, and we hope that our contemporaries will take the subject up and demand a reform.

The book-fiend is becoming an important and unpleasant factor in our social system. The adventures of the Picturesque Atlas men would fill a book bigger than the two ponderous volumes of that much-execrated work. Mr L. H. Bowerman, one of the gentlemen connected with the Atlas, has been committed for trial for shooting at one George Forsyth, a farmer, at Portobello, on 9th October. He endeavored to deliver some of the parts at the house, but like the celebrated « blind mice, » found it necessary to « run from the farmer's wife, » who drove him up against a stone wall, where she assailed him with a volley of stones. The farmer then advanced to throw him over the wall, when the « fiend » produced a loaded revolver and fired, completely routing the enemy.—At Featherston the delivery agent for the same work was asked to attend a meeting of subscribers, and was guileless enough to accept the invitation. In the course of the proceedings the genuineness of the orders was impugned, and he went to his hotel to produce the order-book and cover the subscribers with confusion. On his way back he was seized, a sack thrown over him, and his order-book and documents, including cash and cheques, forcibly taken from him, as also a seven-chambered revolver (which appears to be part of the regular outfit of a Picturesque man). Next day he found the cash near the scene of the outrage, and also a large pot of tar, and a quantity of feathers, but the order-book had disappeared. This somewhat serious case has been made the subject of police inquiry; but without any result so far. In the district, where the Atlas is decidedly unpopular, the incident has caused « mingled laughter and indignation. » —There is also great tribulation in connexion with the Early History of New Zealand. We have already mentioned that summonses against a hundred subscribers were issued in Christchurch. In Dunedin, two hundred and fifty summonses are being issued.