Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4
Inventions, Processes, and Wrinkles
Inventions, Processes, and Wrinkles.
A coat of varnish can be printed over a sheet in the same manner as ink. Use gloss varnish and a block instead of ink and type.
Paste that will Keep.—
Dissolve a teaspoonful of alum in a quart of water. When cold stir in as much flour as will give it the consistency of thick cream, carefully beating up all the lumps. Stir in half a teaspoonful of powdered rosin. Pour on the mixture a teacup of boiling water, stirring it well. When it becomes thick pour in an earthen vessel. Cover and keep in a cool place. When needed for use, take a portion and soften with warm water. It will last at least a year. If you wish to have a pleasant odor stir in a few drops of oil of wintergreen or cloves.
Photo-Etching on Hard Metals.—
An invention of great importance has been worked out and is now in actual use by a trading company of Berlin—the Electrochemische Graviranstalt. The etching of metals hitherto considered impracticable, and far more suitable than zinc for printing purposes, is affected in an acid bath through which a galvanic current is passed. The etching solution varies according to the nature of the metal or alloy used. The process is quite successful, and is applied to curved or cylindrical surfaces as well as to ordinary plates.
To Varnish Unsized Paper.—
The following recipe from the American Lithographer and Printer (in answer to a correspondent) may be of value to some of our readers:— « A mixture of one hundred parts of thin litho. varnish and one part of water-glass (silicate basic potassa) printed on top of the paper (it is not unsized bat slightly sized) will enable you not only to varnish the paper, but it will also result in a saving of fifty per cent, of gloss varnish, and will at the same time produce a superior gloss: as a matter of course, all printing must be finished before all this can be done.
New Brass Rule.—
Our American exchanges this month describe and illustrate a new invention in brass rule, by Mr E. P. Powers, a practical printer, of St. Paul, Minn., for which a patent is pending. It is not easy to describe without diagrams, but some idea may be gained when we state that the rule, instead of being type height, is only about a long-primer high, grooved at the side, and fitted into grooves and dove-tails on specially-designed supporters. These are set in their appropriate places, and the rule is carried across the top of the quads and leads. All the pieces are made to even points. It is described as less expensive than ordinary rule, and as « time and labor-saving, » but we imagine the scheme is too scientific altogether for the ordinary comp.
New System of Spaces.—
Messrs Marder, Luse, & Co., have struck out a new line in spaces, which, henceforth, no matter what the body of the type may be, are to be cast to even points, and in the smaller sizes, up to pica, to half-points. While this is an improvement on the present system, it falls far short of what is required. Take the largest size in the scheme, for example—72-point. The spaces are 72 (em), 36, 21, 18, 12, and 6. The hair-space is a nonpareil thick, and the gradations are by nonpareil! To remedy this deficiency, however, the firm have carried out Typo's suggestion, made two years ago, and supply for all the large sizes of type, (if specially ordered) brass hair-spaces of 1 and 2-point. Provided with these the happy comp may at last dispense with scissors and paper-scraps.
Pending the introduction of the 21-hour system, and to obviate the clumsy « a.m. » and « p.m. » and the disagreeable whites they involve, the Central Foundry has introduced the system of distinguishing « p.m. » figures by heavy-faced characters, and has brought them out both in old and new styles, in all useful sizes. The effect is a great improvement on the present system, not only as regards neatness and compactness; but in the way that the « p.m. » figures stand out from the rest. This is the style of the table (we use our own types—not the Central's—in illustration):
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The Central Typefoundry has introduced an excellent idea, the credit of which is due to the ingenious Mr St. John, by which all manner of special accents may be used in jobfounts, without any extra trouble either to typefounders or printers, without the cost of special matrices, or the expense of keeping a great variety of extra sorts, rarely used, and not always to be found when wanted. The notion is so simple that it is a wonder it was not thought of before. The vowel is cast with a slot reaching nearly to the top of the letter; the loose accent is cast on an even-point body to fit, so that the same lower-case letter may be used without accent at all, or interchangeably I with any in the series. (Nothing is said of the i, which must for this purpose be cast without the dot.)
The most important invention we have seen recorded for a long time is described in our exchanges this month. The boon for which machine-minders have sighed so long— a practicable automatic feeder—seems to be near at hand. Ingenious pneumatic and electrical contrivances have been devised; but they have not only been costly, but have had defects which debarred them from general use. Messrs Cleathero (engineer) and Nichols (printer) have patented an attachment which is described in some of our home exchanges, and figured in the B. and C. Printer and Stationer, which in conjunction with the now familiar flyer, renders a Wharfedale or similar machine entirely automatic. No change is made in the machine beyond the removal of the ordinary feed-board. India-rubber revolving disks are brought to bear on the edge of the paper, and these draw out slightly the top sheet. By an ingenious motion, corresponding with that of the layer-on when he « fluffs » the paper, the sheet is sent back a little, curving it and causing it to be separated from that immediately below it by a current of air. To get it into the grippers afterwards is simple enough. Thick or thin papers may be fed equally well, a simple system of weights giving the requisite adjustment, so that no time is lost in changing from a heavy job to a light one, or vice versa.