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    <section id="cover-page">
        <h1>A history of the old english letter founderies
            <small>with notes</small>
        </h1>
        <p id="author">Talbot Bainers Reed</p>
        <div id="editor">
            <p>London</p>
            <p>Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.C.</p>
            <p>1887</p>
        </div>
   </section>
   
   <section class="chapter" id="introductory-chapter">
       <h1><small>Introductory Chapter</small> The Types and Typefounding of the First Printers</h1>
   
   <p class="pfirst">For four centuries the noise of controversy has raged round
   the cradle of Typography. Volumes have been written,
   lives have been spent, fortunes have been wasted, communities
   have been stirred, societies have been organised,
   a literature has been developed, to find an answer to the
   famous triple question: “When, where, and by whom
   was found out the unspeakably useful art of printing
   books?” And yet the world to-day is little nearer a
   finite answer to the question than it was when Ulric Zel indited his memorable
   narrative to the <i>Cologne Chronicle</i> in 1499. Indeed, the dust of battle has added
   to, rather than diminished, the mysterious clouds which envelope the problem,
   and we are tempted to seek refuge in an agnosticism which almost refuses to
   believe that printing ever had an inventor.</p>
   
   <p>It would be neither suitable nor profitable to encumber an investigation of
   that part of the History of Typography which relates to the types and type-making
   of the fifteenth century by any attempt to discuss the vexed question of
   the Invention of the Art. The man who invented Typography was doubtless
   the man who invented movable types. Where the one is discovered, we have
   also found the other. But, meanwhile, it is possible to avail ourselves of
   whatever evidence exists as to the nature of the types he and his successors used,
   and as to the methods by which those types were produced,
   and possibly to <span class="xxpn" id="p002">{2}</span>
   arrive at some conclusions respecting the earliest practices of the
   Art of Typefounding
   in the land and in the age in which it first saw the light.</p>
   
   <p>No one has done more to clear the way for a free
   investigation of all questions relating to the origin
   of printing than Dr. Van der Linde, in his able essay,
   <i>The Haarlem Legend</i>,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn1"
   id="fnanch1">1</a> which, while disposing ruthlessly of
   the fiction of Coster’s invention, lays down the important
   principle, too often neglected by writers on the subject,
   that the essence of Typography consists in the mobility of
   the types, and that, therefore, it is not a development of
   the long practised art of printing from fixed blocks, but
   an entirely distinct invention.</p>
   
   <p>The principle is so important, and Dr. Van der Linde’s words are so
   emphatic, that we make no apology for quoting them:―</p>
   
   <p>“I cannot repeat often enough that, when we speak of Typography and its
   invention, nothing is meant, or rather nothing must be meant, but printing with
   <i>loose</i> (separate, moveable) types (be they letters, musical notes, or other figures),
   which therefore, in distinction from letters cut on wooden or metal plates, may be
   put together or separated according to inclination. One thing therefore is certain:
   he who did not invent printing with moveable types, did, as far as Typography
   goes, invent nothing. What material was used first of all in this invention; of
   what metal the first letters, the patrices (engraved punches) and matrices were
   made; by whom and when the leaden matrices and brass patrices were replaced
   by brass matrices and steel patrices; .&#160;.&#160;.&#160;.&#160;. all this belongs to the secondary
   question of the technical execution of the principal idea: multiplication of
   books by means of multiplication of letters, multiplication of letters by means
   of their durability, and repeated use of the same letters, <i>i.e.</i>, by means of the
   independence (looseness) of each individual letter (moveableness).”—P. 19.</p>
   
   <p>If this principle be adopted—and we can hardly imagine it questioned—it
   will be obvious that a large class of works which usually occupy a prominent
   place in inquiries into the origin of Printing, have but slight bearing on the
   history of Typography. The block books of the fifteenth century had little
   direct connection with the art that followed and eclipsed them.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn2" id="fnanch2">2</a>
   In the one
   respect of marking the early use of printing for the instruction of mankind, the
   block books and the first works of Typography proper claim an equal interest;
   but, as regards their mechanical production, the one feature they possess in
   common is a quality shared also by the playing-cards,
   pictures, seals, stamps, <span class="xxpn" id="p003">{3}</span>
   brands, and all the other applications of the principle of impression which had
   existed in one form or another from time immemorial.</p>
   
   <p>It is reasonable to suppose that the first idea of movable type may have
   been suggested to the mind of the inventor by a study of the works of a
   xylographic printer, and an observation of the cumbrous and wearisome method
   by which his books were produced. The toil involved in first painfully tracing
   the characters and figures, reversed, on the wood, then of engraving them,
   and, finally, of printing them with the frotton, would appear—in the case, at any
   rate, of the small school-books, for the production of which this process was largely
   resorted to—scarcely less tedious than copying the required number by the deft pen
   of a scribe. And even if, at a later period, the bookmakers so far facilitated their
   labours as to write their text in the ordinary manner on prepared paper, or with
   prepared ink, and so transfer their copy, after the manner of the Chinese, on to the
   wood, the labour expended in proportion to the result, and the uselessness of the
   blocks when once their work was done, would doubtless impress an inventive
   genius with a sense of dissatisfaction and impatience. We can imagine him
   examining the first page of an <i>Abecedarium</i>, on which would be engraved, in
   three lines, with a clear space between each character, the letters of the alphabet,
   and speculating, as Cicero had speculated centuries before,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn3" id="fnanch3">3</a>
   on the possibilities
   presented by the combination in indefinite variety of those twenty-five symbols.
   Being a practical man as well as a theorist, we may suppose he would attempt
   to experiment on the little wood block in his hand, and by sawing off first
   the lines, and then some of the letters in the lines, attempt to arrange his little
   types into a few short words. A momentous experiment, and fraught with the
   greatest revolution the world has ever known!</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>No question has aroused more interest, or excited keener discussion in the
   history of printing, than that of the use of movable wooden types as a first
   stage in the passage from Xylography to Typography. Those who write on the
   affirmative side of the question profess to see in the earlier typographical works,
   as well as in the historical statements handed down by the
   old authorities, the <span class="xxpn" id="p004">{4}</span>
   clearest evidence that wooden types were used, and that several of the most
   famous works of the first printers were executed by their means.</p>
   
   <p>As regards the latter source of their confidence, it is at least remarkable
   that no single writer of the fifteenth century makes the slightest allusion to the
   use of wooden types. Indeed, it was not till Bibliander, in 1548,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn4" id="fnanch4">4</a>
   first mentioned
   and described them, that anything professing to be a record on the subject
   existed. “First they cut their letters,” he says, “on wood blocks the size of an
   entire page, but because the labour and cost of that way was so great, they devised
   movable wooden types, perforated and joined one to the other by a thread.”</p>
   
   <p>The legend, once started, found no lack of sponsors, and the typographical
   histories of the sixteenth century and onward abound with testimonies confirmatory
   more or less of Bibliander’s statement. Of these testimonies, those only
   are worthy of attention which profess to be based on actual inspection of the
   alleged perforated wooden types. Specklin<a class="afnanch" href="#fn5" id="fnanch5">5</a>
   (who died in 1589) asserts that he
   saw some of these relics at Strasburg. Angelo Roccha,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn6" id="fnanch6">6</a>
   in 1591, vouches for the
   existence of similar letters (though he does not say whether wood or metal) at
   Venice. Paulus Pater,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn7" id="fnanch7">7</a>
   in 1710, stated that he had once seen some belonging to
   Fust at Mentz; Bodman, as late as 1781, saw the same types in a worm-eaten
   condition at Mentz; while Fischer,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn8" id="fnanch8">8</a>
   in 1802, stated that these precious relics were
   used as a sort of token of honour to be bestowed on worthy apprentices on the
   occasion of their finishing their term.</p>
   
   <p>This testimony proves nothing beyond the fact that at Strasburg, Venice,
   and Mentz there existed at some time or other certain perforated wooden types
   which tradition ascribed to the first printers. But on the question whether any
   book was ever printed with such type, it is wholly inconclusive. It is possible
   to believe that certain early printers, uninitiated into the mystery of the punch and
   matrix, may have attempted to cut themselves wooden types, which, when they
   proved untractable under the press, they perforated and
   strung together in lines; <span class="xxpn" id="p005">{5}</span>
   but it is beyond credit that any such rude experiment ever resulted in the production
   of a work like the <i>Speculum</i>.</p>
   
   <p>It is true that many writers have asserted it was so. Fournier, a practical
   typographer, insists upon it from the fact that the letters vary among themselves
   in a manner which would not be the case had they been cast from a matrix in a
   mould. But, to be consistent, Fournier is compelled (as Bernard points out)
   to postpone the use of cast type till after the Gutenberg <i>Bible</i> and Mentz <i>Psalter</i>,
   both of which works display the same irregularities. And as the latest edition
   of the <i>Psalter</i>, printed in the old types, appeared in 1516, it would be necessary
   to suppose that movable wood type was in vogue up to that date. No one has
   yet demonstrated, or attempted seriously to demonstrate, the possibility of
   printing a book like the <i>Speculum</i> in movable wooden type. All the experiments
   hitherto made, even by the most ardent supporters of the theory, have
   been woful failures. Laborde<a class="afnanch" href="#fn9" id="fnanch9">9</a>
   admits that to cut the 3,000 separate letters
   required for the <i>Letters of Indulgence</i>, engraved by him, would cost 450 francs;
   and even he, with the aid of modern tools to cut up his wooden cubes, can only
   show four widely spaced lines. Wetter<a class="afnanch" href="#fn10" id="fnanch10">10</a>
   shows a page printed from perforated
201
   and threaded wooden types<a class="afnanch" href="#fn11" id="fnanch11">11</a>; but these, though of large
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   size, only prove by their <span class="xxpn" id="p006">{6}</span>
   “naughty caprioles” the absurdity of supposing that the “unleaded” <i>Speculum</i>,
   a quarternion of which would require 40,000 distinct letters, could have been
   produced in 1440 by a method which even the modern cutting and modern
   presswork of 1836 failed to adapt to a single page of large-sized print.</p>
   
   <p>John Enschedé, the famous Haarlem typefounder, though a strong adherent
   to the Coster legend, was compelled to admit the practical impossibility, in his
   day at any rate, of producing a single wood type which would stand the test of
   being mathematically square; nor would it be possible to square it after being
   cut. “No engraver,” he remarks, “is able to cut separate letters in wood in
   such a manner that they retain their quadrature (for that is the main thing
   of the line in type-casting).”<a class="afnanch" href="#fn12" id="fnanch12">12</a>
   Admitting for a moment that some printer may
   have succeeded in putting together a page of these wooden types, without the
   aid of leads, into a chase: how can it be supposed that after their exposure to
   the warping influences of the sloppy ink and tight pressure during the impression,
   they could ever have survived to be distributed and recomposed into another
   forme?<a class="afnanch" href="#fn13" id="fnanch13">13</a></p>
   
   <p>The claims set up on behalf of movable wood types as the means by which
   the <i>Speculum</i> or any other of the earliest books was printed, are not only historically
   unsupported, but the whole weight of practical evidence rejects them.</p>
   
   <p>Dismissing them, therefore, from our consideration, a new theory confronts
   us, which at first blush seems to supply, if not a more probable, certainly a more
   possible, stepping-stone between Xylography and Typography. We refer to
   what Meerman, the great champion of this theory,
   calls the “sculpto-fusi” <span class="xxpn" id="p007">{7}</span>
   characters: types, that is, the shanks of which have been cast in a quadrilateral
   mould, and the “faces” engraved by hand afterwards.</p>
   
   <p>Meerman and those who agree with him engage a large array of testimony
   on their side. In the reference of Celtis, in 1502, to Mentz as the city “quæ
   prima sculpsit solidos ære characteres,” they see a clear confirmation of their
   theory; as also in the frequent recurrence of the same word “sculptus” in the
   colophons of the early printers. Meerman, indeed, goes so far as to ingeniously
   explain the famous account of the invention given by Trithemius in 1514,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn14" id="fnanch14">14</a>
   in the
   light of his theory, to mean that, after the rejection of the first wooden types, “the
   inventors found out a method of casting the bodies only (fundendi formas) of all
   the letters of the Latin alphabet from what they called matrices, on which they
   cut the face of each letter; and from the same kind of matrices a method was in
   time discovered of casting the complete letters (æneos sive stanneos characteres)
   of sufficient hardness for the pressure they had to bear, which letters before—that
   is, when the bodies only were cast—they were obliged to cut.”<a class="afnanch" href="#fn15" id="fnanch15">15</a></p>
   
   <p>After this bold flight of translation, it is not surprising to find that Meerman
   claims that the <i>Speculum</i> was printed in “sculpto-fusi” types, although in the
   one page of which he gives a facsimile there are nearly 1,700 separate types, of
   which 250 alone are <i>e</i>’s.</p>
   
   <p>Schoepflin, claiming the same invention for the Strasburg printers, believes
   that all the earliest books printed there were produced by this means; and both
   Meer­man and Schoep­flin agree that engraved metal types were in use for many
   years after the invention of the punch and matrix, mentioning, among others so
   printed, the Mentz <i>Psalter</i>, the <i>Catholicon</i> of 1460, the Eggestein <i>Bible</i> of 1468,
   and even the <i>Nideri Præ­cep­tor­ium</i>, printed at Stras­burg as late as 1476, as “literis
   in ære sculptis.”</p>
   
   <p>Almost the whole historical claim of the engraved metal types, indeed, turns
   on the recurrence of the term “sculptus” in the colophons of the early printers.
   Jenson, in 1471, calls himself a “cutter of books” (librorum exsculptor).
   Sen­sen­schmid,
   in 1475, says that the <i>Codex Jus­tin­ianus</i> is “cut” (insculptus), and that
   he has “cut” (sculpsit) the work of <i>Lombardus in Psalterium</i>. Husner of Strasburg,
   in 1472, applies the term “printed with letters
   cut of metal” (exsculptis <span class="xxpn" id="p008">{8}</span>
   ære litteris) to the <i>Speculum Durandi</i>; and of the <i>Præceptorium Nideri</i>, printed in
   1476, he says it is “printed in letters cut of metal by a very ingenious effort”
   (litteris exsculptis artificiali certe conatu ex ære). As Dr. Van der Linde points
   out, the use of the term in reference to all these books can mean nothing else
   than a figurative allusion to the first process towards producing the types, namely,
   the cutting of the punch<a class="afnanch" href="#fn16"
   id="fnanch16">16</a>; just as when Schoeffer, in 1466, makes his <i>Grammatica
   Vetus Rhythmica</i> say, “I am cast at Mentz” (At Moguntia sum fusus in urbe
   libellus), he means nothing more than a figurative allusion to the casting of the
   types.</p>
   
   <p>The theory of the sculpto-fusi types appears to have sprung up on no firmer
   foundation than the difficulty of accounting for the marked irregularities in the
   letters of the earliest printed books, and the lack of a theory more feasible than that
   of movable wood type to account for it. The method suggested by Meerman
   seemed to meet the requirements of the case, and with the aid of the very
   free translation of Trithemius’ story, and the very literal translation of certain
   colophons, it managed to get a footing on the typographical records.</p>
   
   <p>Mr. Skeen seriously applies himself to demonstrate how the shanks could
   be cast in clay moulds stamped with a number of trough-like matrices representing
   the various widths of the blanks required, and calculates that at the rate
   of four a day, 6,000 of these blanks could be engraved on the end by one man
   in five years, the whole weighing 100 lb. when finished! “No wonder,” Mr.
   Skeen naïvely observes, “that Fust at last grew impatient.” We must confess
   that there seems less ground for believing in the use of “sculpto-fusi” types as
   the means by which any of the early books were produced, than in the perforated
   wood types. The enormous labour involved, in itself renders the idea improbable.
   As M. Bernard says, “How can we suppose that intelligent men like the
   first printers would not at once find out that they could easily cast the face and
   body of their types together?”<a class="afnanch" href="#fn17" id="fnanch17">17</a>
   But admitting the possibility of producing type
   in this manner, and the possible obtuseness which could allow an inventor of
   printing to spend five years in laboriously engraving “shanks” enough for a single
   forme, the lack of any satisfactory evidence that such types were ever used, even
   experimentally, inclines us to deny them any place in the history of the origin
   of typography.</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>Putting aside, therefore, as improbable, and not proved,
   the two theories of <span class="xxpn" id="p009">{9}</span>
   engraved movable types, the question arises, Did typography, like her patron
   goddess, spring fully armed from the brain of her inventor? in other words, did
   men pass at a single stride from xylography to the perfect typography of
   the punch, the matrix, and the mould? or are we still to seek for an intermediate
   stage in some ruder and more primitive process of production? To this question
   we cannot offer a better reply than that contained in the following passage from
   Mr. Blades’s admirable life of Caxton.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn18" id="fnanch18">18</a>
   “The examination of many specimens,”
   he observes, “has led me to conclude that two schools of typography existed
   together .&#160;.&#160;. The ruder consisted of those printers who practised their art in
   Holland and the Low Countries, .&#160;.&#160;. and who, by degrees only, adopted the
   better and more perfect methods of the .&#160;.&#160;. school founded in Germany by
   the celebrated trio, Gutenberg, Fust, and Schoeffer.”</p>
   
   <p>It is impossible, we think, to resist the conclusion that all the earlier works
   of typography were the impression of cast metal types; but that the methods of
   casting employed were not always those of matured letter-founding, seems
   to us not only probable, but evident, from a study of the works themselves.</p>
   
   <p>Mr. Theo. De Vinne, in his able treatise on the invention of printing,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn19" id="fnanch19">19</a>
   speaking with the authority of a practical typographer, insists that the key to
   that invention is to be found, not in the press nor in the movable types,
   but in the adjustable type-mould, upon which, he argues, the existence of
   typography depends. While not prepared to go as far as Mr. De Vinne
   on this point, and still content to regard the invention of movable types as the
   real key to the invention of typography proper, we find in the mould not only
   the culminating achievement of the inventor, but also the key to the distinction
   between the two schools of early typography to which we have alluded.</p>
   
   <p>The adjustable mould was undoubtedly the goal of the discovery, and those
   who reached it at once were the advanced typographers of the Mentz press.
   Those who groped after it through clumsy and tedious by-ways were the rude
   artists of the <i>Donatus</i> and <i>Speculum</i>.</p>
   
   <p>In considering the primitive modes of type-casting, it must be frankly
   admitted that the inquirer stands in a field of pure conjecture. He has only
   negative evidence to assure him that such primitive modes undoubtedly did
   exist, and he searches in vain for any direct clue as to the nature and details
   of those methods.</p>
   
   <p>We shall briefly refer to one or two theories which have been propounded,
   all with more or less of plausibility.</p>
   
   <p>Casting in sand was an art not unknown to the
   silversmiths and <span class="xxpn" id="p010">{10}</span>
   trinket-makers of the fifteenth century, and several writers have suggested that some of
   the early printers applied this process to typefounding. M. Bernard<a class="afnanch" href="#fn20" id="fnanch20">20</a>
   considers
   that the types of the <i>Speculum</i> were sand-cast, and accounts for the varieties
   observable in the shapes of various letters, by explaining that several models
   would probably be made of each letter, and that the types when cast would, as is
   usual after sand-casting, require some touching up or finishing by hand. He
   shows a specimen of a word cast by himself by this process, which, as far as it
   goes, is a satisfactory proof of the possibility of casting letters in this way.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn21" id="fnanch21">21</a>
   There are, indeed, many points in this theory which satisfactorily account
   for peculiarities in the appearance of books printed by the earliest rude Dutch
   School. Not only are the irregularities of the letters in body and line intelligible,
   but the specks between the lines, so frequently observable, would be accounted
   for by the roughness on the “shoulders” of the sand-cast bodies.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn22" id="fnanch22">22</a></p>
   
   <p>An important difficulty to be overcome in type cast by this or any other
   primitive method would be the absence of uniformity in what letter founders term
   “height to paper.” Some types would stand higher than others, and the low
   ones, unless raised, would not only miss the ink, but would not appear at all in
   the impression. The comparative rarity of faults of this kind in the <i>Speculum</i>,
   leads one to suppose that if a process of sand-casting had been adopted, the
   difficulty of uneven heights had been surmounted either by locking up the
   forme face downwards, or by perforating the types either at the time of or after
   casting, and by means of a thread or wire holding them in their places. The
   uneven length of the lines favours such a supposition, and to the same cause Mr.
   Ottley<a class="afnanch" href="#fn23" id="fnanch23">23</a>
   attributes the numerous misprints of the <i>Speculum</i>, to correct which
   in the type would have involved the unthreading of every line in which an error
   occurred. And as a still more striking proof that the lines were put into
   the forme one by one, in a piece, he shows a curious printer’s blunder at the end
   of one page, where the whole of the last reference-line is put in upside down,
   thus:―</p>
   
   <div><span class="xxpn" id="p011">{11}</span></div>
   
   <p>A “turn” of this magnitude could hardly have occurred if the letters had
   been set in the forme type by type.</p>
   
   <p>Another suggested mode is that of casting in clay moulds, by a method
   very similar to that used in the sand process, and resulting in similar peculiarities
   and variations in the types. Mr. Ottley, who is the chief exponent of this
   theory, suggests that the types were made by pouring melted lead or other soft
   metal, into moulds of earth or plaster, formed, while the earth or plaster was in
   a moist state, upon letters cut by hand in wood or metal; in the ordinary
   manner used from time immemorial in casting statues of bronze and other
   articles of metal, whether for use or ornament. The mould thus formed could
   not be of long duration; indeed, it could scarcely avail for a second casting, as it
   would be scarcely possible to extract the type after casting without breaking
   the clay, and even if that could be done, the shrinking of the metal in cooling
   would be apt to warp the mould beyond the possibility of further use.</p>
   
   <p>Mr. Ottley thinks that the constant renewal of the moulds could be effected
   by using old types cast out of them, after being touched up by the graver, as
   models. And this he considers will account for the varieties observable in the
   different letters.</p>
   
   <p>In this last conjecture we think Mr. Ottley goes out of his way to suggest
   an unnecessary difficulty. If, as he contends, the <i>Speculum</i> was printed two
   pages at a time, with soft types cast by the clay process and renewed from time
   to time by castings from fresh moulds formed upon the old letters touched up
   by the graver, we should witness a gradual deterioration and attenuation
   in the type, as the work progressed, which would leave the face of the letter,
   at the end, unrecognisable as that with which it began. It would be more
   reasonable to suppose that one set of models would be reserved for the
   periodical renewal of the moulds all through the work, and that the variations
   in the types would be due, not to the gradual paring of the faces of the models,
   but to the different skill and exactness with which the successive moulds would
   be taken.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn24" id="fnanch24">24</a>
   <span class="xxpn" id="p012">{12}</span></p>
   
   <p>The chief objection urged against both the clay and sand methods as
   above described is their tediousness. The time occupied after the first
   engraving of the models in forming, drying and clearing the mould, in casting,
   extracting, touching up, and possibly perforating, the types would be little
   short of the expeditious performance of a practised xylographer. Still there
   would be a clear gain in the possession of a fount of movable types, which, even
   if the metal in which they were cast were only soft lead or pewter, might yet do
   duty in more than one forme, under a rough press, roughly handled. On the
   xylographic block, moreover, only one hand, and that a skilled one, could labour.
   Of the moulding and casting of these rude types, many hands could make
   light work. M. Bernard states that the artist who produced for him the few sand-cast
   types shown in his work, assured him that a workman could easily produce
   a thousand of such letters a day. He also states that though each letter required
   squaring after casting, there was no need in any instance to touch up the
   faces. M. Bernard’s experience may have been a specially fortunate one; still,
   making allowance for the superior workmanship and expedition of a modern
   artist, it must be admitted that, in point of time, cost and utility, a printer who
   succeeded in furnishing himself with these primitive cast types was as far ahead
   of the old engraver as the discoverer of the adjustable mould was in his turn
   ahead of him.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn25" id="fnanch25">25</a></p>
   
   <p>There remains yet another suggestion as to the method in which the types
   of the rude school were produced. This may be described as a system of what
   the founders of sixty years ago called “polytype.” Lambinet, who is responsible
   for the suggestion, under cover of a new translation of Trithemius’s wonderful
   narrative, explains this to mean nothing less than an early adoption of stereotype.
   He imagines<a class="afnanch" href="#fn26" id="fnanch26">26</a>
   that the first printers may have discovered a way of moulding a
   page of some work—an <i>Abecedarium</i>—in cooling metal, so as to get a matrix-plate
   impression of the whole page. Upon this matrix they would pour a liquid metal,
   and by the aid of a roller or cylinder, press the fused matter evenly, so as to
   penetrate into all the hollows and corners of the letters. This tablet of tin or
   lead, being easily lifted and detached from the matrix, would then appear as a
   surface of metal in which the letters of the alphabet stood out reversed and in
   relief. These letters could easily be detached and rendered mobile by a knife or
   other sharp instrument; and the operation could be repeated a hundred times
   a day. The metal faces so produced would be fixed on wooden shanks, type
   high; and the fount would then be complete. <span class="xxpn" id="p013">{13}</span></p>
   
   <p>Such is Lambinet’s hypothesis. Were it not for the fact that it was endorsed
   by the authority of M. Firmin Didot, the renowned typefounder and printer of
   Lambinet’s day, we should hardly be disposed to admit its claim to serious
   attention. The supposition that the Mentz <i>Psalter</i>, which these writers point to
   as a specimen of this mode of execution, is the impression, not of type at all,
   but of a collection of “casts” mounted on wood, is too fanciful. M. Didot, it
   must be remembered, was the enthusiastic French improver of Stereotype, and
   his enthusiasm appears to have led him to see in his method not only a
   revolution in the art of printing as it existed in his day, but also a solution of
   the mystery which had shrouded the early history of that art for upwards of
   three centuries.</p>
   
   <p>It may be well, before quitting this subject, to take note of a certain phrase
   which has given rise to a considerable amount of conjecture and controversy in
   connection with the early methods of typography. The expression “<i>getté en
   molle</i>” occurred as early as the year 1446, in a record kept by Jean le Robert of
   Cambray, who stated that in January of that year he paid 20 sous for a printed
   <i>Doctrinale</i>, “<i>getté en molle</i>.” Bernard has assumed this expression to refer to the
   use of types cast from a mould, and cites a large number of instances where,
   being used in contradistinction to writing by hand, it is taken to signify
   typography.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn27" id="fnanch27">27</a></p>
   
   <p>Dr. Van der Linde,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn28" id="fnanch28">28</a>
   on the other hand, considers the term to mean, printed
   from a wooden form, <i>i.e.</i>, a xylographic production, and nothing more, quoting
   similar instances of the use of the words to support his opinion; and Dr. Van
   Meurs, whose remarks are quoted in full in Mr. Hessel’s introduction to Dr.
   Van der Linde’s <i>Coster Legend</i>,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn29" id="fnanch29">29</a>
   declines to apply the phrase to the methods
   by which the <i>Doctrinale</i> was printed at all; but dwelling on the distinction
   drawn in various documents between “en molle” and “en papier,” concludes that
   the reference is to the binding of the book, and nothing more; a bound book
   being “brought together in a form or binding,” while an unbound one is “in
   paper.” <span class="xxpn" id="p014">{14}</span></p>
   
   <p>It is difficult to reconcile these conflicting interpretations, to which may be
   added as a fourth that of Mr. Skeen, who considers the phrase to refer to the
   indented appearance of the paper of a book after being printed. In the three
   last cases the expression is valueless as regards our present inquiry; but if we
   accept M. Bernard’s interpretation, which seems at least to have the weight of
   simplicity and reasonable testimony on its side, then it would be necessary to
   conclude that type-casting, either by a primitive or a finished process (but having
   regard to the date and the place, almost certainly the former), was practised in
   Flanders prior to January 1446. None of the illustrations, however, which M.
   Bernard cites points definitely to the use of cast type, but to printing in the
   abstract, irrespective of method or process. “Moulées par ordre de l’Assemblée”
   might equally well apply to a set of playing-cards or a broadside proclamation;
   “mettre en molle” does not necessarily mean anything more than put into
   “print”; while the recurring expressions “en molle” and “à la main,” point to
   nothing beyond the general distinction between manuscript and printed matter. In
   fact, the lack of definiteness in all the quotations given by M. Bernard weakens his
   own argument: for if we are to translate the word <i>moulé</i> throughout in the
   narrow sense in which he reads it, we must then believe that in every instance he
   cites, figurative language was employed where conventional would have answered
   equally well, and that the natural antithesis to the general term, “by hand,” must
   in all cases be assumed to be the particular term, “printed in cast metal types.”
   For ourselves, we see no justification for taxing the phrase beyond its broad
   interpretation of “print”; and in this light it appears possible to reconcile most
   of the conjectures to which the words have given rise.</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>Turning now from the conjectured primitive processes of the ruder school
   of early Typography, we come to consider the practice of that more mature school
   which, as has already been said, appears to have arrived at once at the secret of
   the punch, matrix and adjustable mould. We should be loth to assert that they
   arrived at once at the most perfect mechanism of these appliances; indeed, an
   examination of the earliest productions of the Mentz press, beautiful as they are,
   convinces one that the first printers were not finished typefounders. But even if
   their first punches were wood or copper, their first matrices lead, and their first
   mould no more than a clumsy adaptation of the composing-stick, they yet had
   the secret of the art; to perfect it was a mere matter of time.</p>
   
   <p>Experiments have proved conclusively that the face of a wood-cut type
   may be without injury impressed into lead in a state of semi-fusion, and thus
   produce <i>in creux</i> an inverted image of itself in the matrix. It has also been
   shown that a lead matrix so formed is capable, after being
   squared and justified, <span class="xxpn" id="p015">{15}</span>
   of being adapted to a mould, and producing a certain number of types in soft
   lead or pewter before yielding to the heat of the operation.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn30" id="fnanch30">30</a>
   It has also been
   demonstrated that similar matrices formed in clay or plaster, by the application
   of the wood or metal models<a class="afnanch" href="#fn31" id="fnanch31">31</a>
   while the substance is moist, are capable of similar
   use.</p>
   
   <p>Dr. Franklin, in a well-known passage of his Autobiography, gives the
   following account of his experiences as a casual letter-founder in 1727. “Our press,”
   he says, “was frequently in want of the necessary quantity of letter; and there
   was no such trade as that of letter-founder in America. I had seen the practice
   of this art at the house of James, in London; but had at the time paid it
   very little attention. I, however, contrived to fabricate a mould. I made use of
   such letters as we had for punches, founded new letters of lead in matrices
   of clay, and thus supplied in a tolerable manner the wants that were most
   pressing.”<a class="afnanch" href="#fn32" id="fnanch32">32</a>
   M. Bernard states that in his day the Chinese characters in the
   Imperial printing-office in Paris were cast by a somewhat similar process. The
   original wooden letters were moulded in plaster. Into the plaster mould types of
   a hard metal were cast, and these hard-metal types served as punches to strike
   matrices with in a softer metal.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn33" id="fnanch33">33</a></p>
   
   <p>In the Enschedé foundry at Haarlem there exists to this day a set
   of matrices said to be nearly four hundred years old, which are described
   as leaden matrices from punches of copper, “suivant l’habitude des anciens
   fondeurs dans les premiers temps après l’invention
   de l’imprimerie.”<a class="afnanch" href="#fn34" id="fnanch34">34</a>
   By <span class="xxpn" id="p016">{16}</span>
   the kindness of Messrs. Enschedé, we are able to show a few letters from types
   cast in these venerable matrices.</p>
   
   
   <p>Lead matrices are frequently mentioned as having been in regular use in
   some of the early foundries of this country. A set of them in four-line pica
   was sold at the breaking up of James’s foundry in 1782, and in the oldest of the
   existing foundries to this day may be found relics of the same practice.</p>
   
   <p>At Lubeck, Smith informs us in 1755,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn35" id="fnanch35">35</a>
   a printer cast for his own use, “not
   only large-sized letters for titles, but also a sufficient quantity of two-lined
   English, after a peculiar manner, by cutting his punches on wood, and sinking
   them afterwards into leaden matrices; yet were the letters cast in them deeper
   than the French generally are.”</p>
   
   <p>When, therefore, the printer of the <i>Catholicon</i>, in 1460, says of his book,
   “non calami styli aut pennæ suffragio, sed mirâ patronarum formarumque
   concordiâ proportione ac modulo impressus atque confectus est,” we have not
   necessarily to conclude that the types were produced in the modern way from
   copper matrices struck by steel punches. Indeed, probability seems to point to
   a gradual progress in the durability of the materials employed. In the first
   instance, the punches may have been of wood, and the matrices soft lead
   or clay<a class="afnanch" href="#fn36" id="fnanch36">36</a>; then the attempt might be made to strike hard lead into soft; that
   failing, copper punches<a class="afnanch" href="#fn37" id="fnanch37">37</a>
   might be used to form leaden matrices; then, when the
   necessity for a more durable substance than lead for the letter became urgent,
   copper would be used for the matrix, and brass, and finally steel, for the punch.</p>
   
   <p>Of whatever substance the matrices were made, the first printers appear early
   to have mastered the art of justifying them, so that when cast in the mould
   they should not only stand, each letter true in itself, but all true to one another.
   Nothing amazes one more in examining these earliest printed works than
   the wonderful regularity of the type in body, height, and line; and if anything
   could be considered as evidence that those types were
   produced from matrices in <span class="xxpn" id="p017">{17}</span>
   moulds, and not by the rude method of casting from matrices which
   comprehended body and face in the same moulding, this feature alone is
   conclusive. We may go further, and assert that not only must the matrices
   have been harmoniously justified, but the mould employed, whatever its form,
   must have had its adjustable parts finished with a near approach to mathematical
   accuracy, which left little to be accomplished in the way of further
   improvement.</p>
   
   <p>Respecting this mould we have scarcely more material for conjecture than
   with regard to the first punches and matrices. The principle of the bipartite
   mould was, of course, well known already. The importance of absolute
   squareness in the body and height of the type would demand an appliance
   of greater precision than the uncertain hollowed cube of sand or clay; the heat
   of the molten lead would point to the use of a hard metal like iron or steel;
   and the varying widths of the sunk letters in the matrices would suggest the
   adoption of some system of slides whereby the mould could be expanded or
   contracted laterally, without prejudice to the invariable regularity of its body
   and height. By what crude methods the first typefounder contrived to combine
   these essential qualities, we have no means of judging<a class="afnanch" href="#fn38" id="fnanch38">38</a>; but were they ever so
   crude, to him is due the honour of the culminating achievement of the invention
   of typography. “His type mould,” Mr. De Vinne remarks, “was not merely
   the first; it is the only practical mechanism for making types. For more than
   four hundred years this mould has been under critical
   examination, and many <span class="xxpn" id="p018">{18}</span>
   attempts have been made to supplant it. .&#160;.&#160;. But in principle, and in all
   the more important features, the modern mould may be regarded as the mould
   of Gutenberg.”</p>
   
   <p>It may be asked, if the matrices were so truly justified, and the mould so
   accurately adjusted, how comes it that in the first books of these Mentz
   printers we still discover irregularites among the letters—fewer, indeed, but of the
   same kind as are to be found in books printed by the artists of the ruder school?
   To this we reply, that these irregularities are for the most part attributable
   neither to varieties in the original models, nor to defects in the matrix or the
   mould, but to the worn or unworn condition of the type, and to the skill or want
   of skill of the caster. Anyone versed in the practice of type-casting in hand-moulds,
   is aware that the manual exercise of casting a type is peculiar and
   difficult. With the same mould and the same matrix, one clever workman may
   turn out nineteen perfect types out of twenty; while a clumsy caster will scarcely
   succeed in producing a single perfect type out of the number. Different letters
   require different contortions to “coax” the metal into all the interstices of the
   matrix; and it is quite possible for the same workman to vary so in his work
   as to be as “lucky” one day as he is unprofitable the next. In modern times,
   of course, none but the perfect types ever find their way into the printer’s hands,
   but in the early days, when, with a perishable matrix, every type cast was of
   consequence, the censorship would be less severe,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn39" id="fnanch39">39</a>
   and types
   would be allowed to <span class="xxpn" id="p019">{19}</span>
   pass into use which differed as much from their original model as they did from
   one another. Let any inexperienced reader attempt to cast twenty Black-letter
   types from one mould and matrix, and let him take a proof of the types
   so produced in juxtaposition. The result of such an experiment would lead
   him to cease once and for all to wonder at irregularities observable in the
   Gutenberg <i>Bible</i>, or the Mentz <i>Psalter</i>, or the <i>Catholicon</i>.</p>
   
   <p>With regard to the metal in which the earliest types were cast, we have
   more or less information afforded us in the colophons and statements of the
   printers themselves; although it must be borne in mind that the figurative
   language in which these artists were wont to describe their own labours is apt
   occasionally to lead to confusion, as to whether the expressions used refer to the
   punch, the matrix, or the cast types. We meet almost promiscuously with
   the terms,—“ære notas,” “æneis formulis,” “chalcographos,” “stanneis typis,”
   “stanneis formulis,” “ahenis formis,” “tabulis ahenis,” “ære legere,” “notas de
   duro orichalco,” etc. We look in vain for “plumbum,” the metal one would
   most naturally expect to find mentioned. The word <i>æs</i>, though strictly
   meaning bronze, is undoubtedly to be taken in its wider sense, already familiar
   in the fifteenth century, of metal in the abstract, and to include, at least, the
   lead, tin, or pewter in which the types were almost certainly cast. The
   reference to copper and bronze might either apply to the early punches or the
   later matrices; but in no case is it probable that types were cast in either
   metal.</p>
   
   <p>Padre Fineschi gives an interesting extract from the cost-book of the
   Ripoli press, about 1480,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn40" id="fnanch40">40</a>
   by which it appears that steel, brass, copper, tin,
   lead, and iron wire were all used in the manufacture of types at that period;
   the first two probably for the mould, the steel also for the punches, the copper
   for the matrices, the lead and tin for the types, and the iron wire for the mould,
   and possibly for stringing together the perforated type-models.</p>
   
   <p>It is probable that an alloy was early introduced; first by the addition to the
   lead of tin and iron, and then gradually improved upon,
   till the discovery of <span class="xxpn" id="p020">{20}</span>
   antimony at the end of the fifteenth century<a class="afnanch" href="#fn41" id="fnanch41">41</a>
   supplied the ingredient requisite
   to render the types at once tough and sharp enough for the ordeal of the press.
   There is little doubt that at some time or other every known metal was tried
   experimentally in the mixture; but, from the earliest days of letter-casting,
   lead and tin have always been recognised as the staple ingredients of the
   alloy; the hard substance being usually either iron, bismuth, or antimony.</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>Turning now from type-casting appliances to the early types themselves,
   we are enabled, thanks to one or two recent discoveries, to form a tolerably
   good idea as to their appearance and peculiarities. We have already stated
   that, with regard to the traditional perforated wooden types seen by certain old
   writers, the probability is that, if these were the genuine relics they professed to
   be, they were model types used for forming moulds upon, or for impressing into
   matrices of moist clay or soft lead. We have also considered it possible, in
   regard to types cast in the primitive sand or clay moulds of the rude school, that
   to overcome the difficulties incident to irregular height to paper, uneven bodies,
   and loose locking-up, the expedient may have been attempted of perforating
   the types and passing a thread or wire through each line, to hold the intractable
   letters in their place.</p>
   
   <p>This, however, is mere conjecture, and whether such types existed or not
   none of them have survived to our day. Their possessors, as they slowly
   discovered the secret of the punch, matrix and mould, would show little veneration,
   we imagine, for these clumsy relics of their ignorance, and value them only
   as old lead, to be remelted and recast by the newer and better method.</p>
   
   <p>But though no relic of these primitive cast types remains, we are happily
   not without means for forming a judgment respecting some of the earliest types
   of the more finished school of printers. In 1878, in the bed of the river Saône,
   near Lyons,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn42" id="fnanch42">42</a>
   opposite the site of one of the famous fifteenth century printing-houses
   of that city, a number of old types were discovered which there seems
   reason to believe belonged once to one of those presses, and were used by the
   early printers of Lyons. They came into the hands of M.
   Claudin of Paris, <span class="xxpn" id="p021">{21}</span>
   the distinguished typographical antiquary, who, after careful examination and
   inquiry, has satisfied himself as to their antiquity and value as genuine relics of
   the infancy of the art of printing.</p>
   
   <p>It has been our good fortune, by the kindness of M. Claudin, to have an
   opportunity of inspecting these precious relics. The following outline profile-sketches
   will give a good idea of the various forms and sizes represented in
   the collection. There is little doubt that they were all cast in a mould. The
   metal used is lead, slightly alloyed with some harder substance, which in the
   case of a few of the types seems to be iron. The chief point which strikes the
   observer is the variety in the “height to paper” of the different founts. Taking
   the six specimens shown in the illustration, it will be seen that no two of the
   types correspond in this particular. No. 4 corresponds as nearly as possible
   to our English standard height. No. 3 is considerably lower than an ordinary
   space height. No. 2 approaches some of the continental heights still to be met
   with, while Nos. 1, 5, and 6 are higher than any known standard. It is easy to
   imagine that an early printer who cast his own types would trouble himself
   very little as to the heights of his neighbours’ and rivals’ moulds, so that in a
   city like Lyons there might have been as many “heights to paper” as there
   were printers. It is even possible that a printer using one style and size of
   letter exclusively for one description of work, and another size and style for another
   description, might not be particular to assimilate the heights in his own office;
   and so, foreshadowing the improvidence of some of his modern followers, lay in
   founts of letter which would not work with any other, but which, as time went
   on, could hardly be dispensed with. Then, when the days of the itinerant
   typesellers and the type-markets began, he might still further add to his
   “heights” by the purchase of a German fount from one merchant, a Dutch from
   another, and so on.</p>
   
   <p>The type No. 3, though lower than all the rest, has yet a
   letter upon its <span class="xxpn" id="p022">{22}</span>
   end. But it seems likely that the old printers cut down their worn-out letters
   for spaces, not by ploughing off the face, but by shortening the type at the
   foot. So that No. 3 (presuming the bodies to have corresponded) might stand
   as a space to No. 4, or No. 4 to No. 1. At the same time, the collection
   includes a good number of plain spaces and quadrats (the latter generally
   about a square body), which may either have been cast as they now appear, or
   be old letters of which the face and shoulder have been cut off.</p>
   
   <p>The small hole appearing in the side of type No. 4 is a perforation, and the
   collection contains several types, both letters and spaces, having the same
   peculiarity. Whether this hole was formed at the time of or after casting; whether
   the letters so perforated were originally model-types only, or types in actual use;
   whether the hole was intended for a thread or wire to hold the letters in their
   places during impression; or whether, for want of a type-case, it was used for
   stringing the types together for safety when not in use, it is as easy to conjecture
   as it is impossible to determine. The perforated types which we examined certainly
   did not appear to be older, and in most cases appeared less old than those not
   perforated,—the outline of type No. 4 itself shows it to be fairer and squarer
   than any of its companions.</p>
   
   <p>Another peculiarity to be noted is the “shamfer,” or cutting away of one
   of the corners of the feet of types 2, 5, and 6. This appears to have been
   intentional, and may have served the same purpose as our nick, to guide the
   compositor in setting. None of the types have a nick, and types 1 and 3 have
   no distinguishing mark whatever. The two small indentations in the side of
   type 2 are air-holes produced in the casting.</p>
   
   <p>With regard to the faces of the types, there are traces in most of the letters
   of the “shoulders” of the body having been tapered off by a knife or graver
   after casting, so as to leave the letter quite clear on the body. In most cases
   the letter stands in the centre of the body, which is, as a rule, larger than
   the size of the character actually requires. In point of thickness, however, the
   old printers appear to have been very sparing; and a great many of the letters,
   though possessing ample room “body-way,” actually overhang the sides, and
   are what we should style in modern terminology “kerned” letters. The
   difficulty, however, which would be experienced by printers to-day with these
   overhanging sorts, was obviated to a large extent in the case of the old printers
   by the numerous ligatures, contractions, and double letters with which their
   founts abounded, and which gave almost all the combinations in which an overhanging
   letter would be likely to clash with its neighbour.</p>
   
   <p>One last peculiarity to be observed is the absence of what is known as the
   “break” at the foot of the type. The contrivance in the
   mould whereby the <span class="xxpn" id="p023">{23}</span>
   foot of the type is cast square, and the “jet,” or superfluous metal left by the
   casting, is attached, not to the whole of the foot, but to a narrow ridge across the
   centre, from which it is easily detached, was probably unknown to the fifteenth
   century typefounders. Their types appear to have come out of the mould with
   a “jet” attaching to the entire foot, from which it could only be detached by a
   saw or cutter. The “shamfer” already pointed out in types 2, 5, 6, if produced in
   the mould, may indicate an early attempt to reduce the size of the jet, which, if
   attaching to the entire square of the foot of a type the size of No. 2, would involve
   both time and labour in removal. M. Duverger, in his clever essay to the
   invention of printing,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn43" id="fnanch43">43</a>
   gives an illustration of the manner in which he imagines
   the old types would be detached from their jets; and considers that in the three
   points only of the want of a breaking “jet,” the want of a spring to hold the
   matrix to the mould, and the absence of a nick, the mould of the first printer
   differed essentially from that of the printer of his day.</p>
   
   <p>Such are some of the chief points of interest to be observed in these venerable
   relics of the old typographers. It is to be hoped that M. Claudin may
   before long favour the world with a full and detailed account of their many
   peculiarities. Yet, curious as they are, they prove that the types of the fifteenth
   century differed in no essential particular from those of the nineteenth. Ruder
   and rougher, and less durable they might be, but in substance and form, and in
   the mechanical principles of their manufacture, they claim kinship with the
   newest types of our most modern foundry. <span class="xxpn" id="p024">{24}</span></p>
   
   <p>The old Lyonnaise relics are not the only guide we have as to the form and
   nature of the fifteenth century types.</p>
   
   <p>M. Madden, in 1875, made a most valuable discovery in a book printed by
   Conrad Hamborch, at Cologne, in 1476, and entitled <i>La Lèpre Morale</i>, by John
   Nider, of the accidental impression of a type, pulled up from its place in the
   course of printing by the ink-ball, and laid at length upon the face of the forme,
   thus leaving its exact profile indented upon the page. We reproduce in facsimile
   M. Madden’s illustration of this type, which accompanies his own
   interesting letter on the subject.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn44" id="fnanch44">44</a></p>
   
   <p>A similar discovery, equally valuable and interesting, was made not
   many months ago by the late Mr. Henry Bradshaw, of Cambridge, in a copy
   of a work entitled
   <i>De Laudibus Gloriosæ Virginis Mariæ</i>, <i>sine notâ</i>, but printed
   probably about 1468 at Cologne.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn45" id="fnanch45">45</a>
   We are indebted to Mr. Bradshaw for
   the present opportunity of presenting for the first time the annexed
   facsimile of this curious relic, <span class="xxpn" id="p025">{25}</span>
   photographed direct from the page on which it occurs.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn46" id="fnanch46">46</a>
   These two impressions are
   particularly interesting in the light of the old Lyonnaise types still in existence.
   Like them, it will be seen they are without nick, and tapered off at
   the face. They are also without the jet-break. The height of both types (which
   is identical) is above the English standard, and more nearly approaches that of
   No. 2 of the Lyons letters; and M. Madden points out as remarkable that this
   height (24 millimètres) is exactly that fixed as the standard “height to paper”
   by the “réglement de la libraire” of 1723. The body of the types (assuming
   the letter to be laid sideways, of which there can be little doubt) is about the
   modern English, and so corresponds exactly to the body of the text on which
   it lies.</p>
   
   <p>The chief point of interest, however, is in the small circle appearing in
   both near the top, which M. Madden (as regards the type of the <i>Nider</i>) thus
   explains: “This circle, the contour of which is exactly formed, shows that the
   letter was pierced laterally by a circular hole. This hole did not penetrate the
   whole thickness of the letter, and served, like the nick of our days, to enable the
   compositor to tell by touch which way to set the letter in his stick, so as to be
   right in the printed page. If the letter had been laid on its other side, the
   existence of this little circle would have been lost to us for ever.” It would,
   however, be quite possible for a perforated type, with the end of the hole
   slightly clogged with ink, to present precisely the same appearance as this, which
   M. Madden concludes was only slightly pierced; and were it not for the fact
   that the pulling-up of the letter from the forme is itself evidence that the line
   could not have been threaded, we should hesitate to affirm that either of the
   types shown was not perforated. The sharp edge of the circumference in the
   type of the <i>De laudibus</i>, leaving, as it does, in the original page, a clearly embossed
   circle in the paper, makes it evident that the depression was not the result
   of a mere flaw in the casting, although it is possible (as we have satisfied ourselves
   by experiment) for the surface of the side of a roughly-cast type to be
   depressed by air-holes, some of which assume a circular form, and may even
   perforate a thin type. Indeed, at the present day it is next to impossible to cast
   by hand a type which is not a little sunk on some part of its sides; and this
   roughness of surface we can imagine to have been far more
   apparent on the types <span class="xxpn" id="p026">{26}</span>
   cast by the earliest printers. We doubt, therefore, whether, in types liable to
   these accidental depressions of surface, a small artificial hole thus easily
   simulated would be of any service as a guide to the compositor. A more
   probable explanation of the appearance seems to be that the head of a small
   screw or pin, used to fix the side-piece of the mould, projecting slightly on the
   surface of the piece it fixed, left its mark on the side of the types as they were
   cast, and thus caused the circular depression observable in the illustrations.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn47" id="fnanch47">47</a></p>
   
   <p>Before leaving this subject it may be remarked that the clear impression of
   the printed matter, despite the laid-on types, which must in either case have been
   a thin sort, is strong evidence of the softness of the metal in which the fount
   was cast. The press appears to have crushed the truant types down into the
   letters on which it lay, and, unimpeded by the obstacle, to have taken as good an
   impression of the remainder of the forme as if that obstacle had never existed.</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>The quantity of type with which the earliest printers found it necessary
   to provide themselves, turns, of course, upon the question, did the first printers
   print only one page at a time, or more? M. Bernard considers that the
   Gutenberg <i>Bible</i>, which is usually collated in sections of five sheets, or twenty
   pages, containing about 2,688 types in a page, would require 60,000 types
   to print a single section; and if sufficient type was cast to enable the
   compositors to set one section while another was being worked, the fount
   would need to consist of 120,000 letters. Others consider that two pages,
   requiring, in the case of the Gutenberg <i>Bible</i>, only 6,000 types, were printed at
   one time. But even this estimate has been shown to be opposed to the
   evidence afforded by a considerable number of the incunabula, respecting which
   it is evident only one page was printed at a time. On this point we cannot do
   better than quote the words of Mr. Blades. “The scribe,” he says, “necessarily
   wrote but one page at a time, and, curiously enough, the early printers here
   also assimilated their practice. Whether from want of sufficient type to set up
   the requisite number of pages, or from the limited capability of the presses,
   there is strong evidence of the early books from Caxton’s press having been
   printed page by page. .&#160;.&#160;.&#160;. Instances are found of pages on the same side
   of the sheet being out of parallel, which could not occur if two pages were
   printed together. .&#160;.&#160;. A positive proof of the separate printing of the pages
   may be seen in a copy of the <i>Recuyell of the Histories of
   Troye</i>, in the Bodleian; <span class="xxpn" id="p027">{27}</span>
   for the ninth recto of the third quaternion has never been printed at all,
   while the second verso (the page which must fall on the same side of the sheet)
   appears properly printed.”<a class="afnanch" href="#fn48" id="fnanch48">48</a></p>
   
   <p>What is true of Caxton’s early works is also true of a large number of other
   fifteenth century printed books. Mr. Hessels, after quoting the testimony
   of Mr. Bradshaw of Cambridge, and Mr. Winter Jones of the British Museum,
   refers to a large number of incunabula in which he has found evidence that
   this mode of printing was the common practice of the early typographers.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn49" id="fnanch49">49</a></p>
   
   <p>Assuming, then, that the first books were generally printed page by page, it
   will be seen that the stock of type necessary to enable the printer to proceed was
   but small. 2,700 letters would suffice for one page of the forty-two-line <i>Bible</i>;
   and for the <i>Rationale Durandi</i>, about 5,000 would be required. It is probable,
   however, that, as Bernard suggests, the printers would cast enough to enable one
   forme to be composed while the other was working, so that double these
   quantities would possibly be provided. Nor must it be forgotten that a
   “fount” of type in these days consisted not only of the ordinary letters of the
   alphabet, but of a very large number of double letters, abbreviations and
   contractions, which must have seriously complicated the labour of composition,
   as well as reduced the individual number of each type required to fill the typefounder’s
   “bill.” This feature, doubtless attributable to the attempt on the part of
   the early printers to imitate manuscript as closely as possible, as well as to the
   exigencies of justification in composition, which, in the absence of a variety of
   spaces, required various widths in the letters themselves, was common to both
   schools of early typography. M. Bernard states that, in the type of the forty-two-line
   <i>Bible</i>, each letter required at least three or four varieties; while with
   regard to Caxton’s type 1, which was designed and cast by Colard Mansion at
   Bruges, before 1472, Mr. Blades points out that the fount contained upwards of 163
   sorts, and that there were only five letters of which there were not more than one
   matrix, either as single letters or in combination. Speaking of the <i>Speculum</i>,
   Mr. Skeen counts 1,430 types on one page, of which 22 are <i>a</i>, 61 <i>e</i>, 91 <i>i</i>, 73 <i>o</i>,
   37 <i>u</i>, 22 <i>d</i>, 14 <i>h</i>, 30 <i>m</i>, 50 <i>n</i>, 42 <i>s</i>, and 41 <i>t</i>; besides which there are no less than
   ninety duplicate and triplicate characters, comprising one variation of <i>a</i>, 15 of <i>c</i>,
   7 of <i>d</i>, 3 of <i>e</i>, 9 of <i>f</i>, 10 of <i>g</i>, 3 of <i>i</i>, 7 of <i>l</i>, 2 of <i>o</i>, 3 of <i>n</i>, 2 of <i>p</i>, 10 of <i>r</i>, 9 of <i>s</i>,
   9 of <i>t</i>, varying in the frequency of their occurrence from once to eleven times,
   leaving but 541 other letters for the rest of the alphabet,
   including the capitals; <span class="xxpn" id="p028">{28}</span>
   and of these last, from three to twenty would be the utmost of each required.
   Altogether, calculating 138 matrices (<i>i.e.</i>, two alphabets of twenty-four letters
   each, and ninety double and treble letters) to be the least number of matrices
   required to make a complete fount,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn50" id="fnanch50">50</a>
   the highest number of types of any
   one particular sort necessary to print a single page would be ninety-one. The
   average number of the eleven chief letters specified above would be about forty-four,
   while if we take into calculation the minor letters of the alphabet and the
   double letters, this average would be reduced to little more than ten. It will
   thus be seen that the founts of the earliest printers consisted of a small quantity
   each of a large variety of sorts. Mr. Astle, in his chapter on the Origin
   and Progress of Printing,<a class="afnanch" href="#fn51" id="fnanch51">51</a>
   is, we believe, the only writer who has dwelt
   upon the difficulty which the first letter-founders would be likely to encounter in
   the arrangement of their “bill.” This venerable compilation was, he considers,
   made in the fifteenth century, probably by the ordinary method of casting-off
   copy. If so, it must have experienced considerable and frequent change
   during the time that the ligatures were falling into disuse, and until the printer’s
   alphabet had reduced itself to its present limits.</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>Of the face of type used by the earliest printers we shall have occasion to
   speak later on. Respecting the development of letter-founding as an industry,
   there is little that can be gathered in the history of the fifteenth century. At
   first the art of the inventor was a mystery divulged to none. But the sack of
   Mentz, in 1462, and the consequent dispersion of Gutenberg’s disciples, spread
   the secret broadcast over Europe. Italy, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands,
   Spain, England, in turn learned it, and after their fashion improved it. Italy,
   especially, guided by the master-hands of her early artists, brought it to rapid
   perfection. The migrations of Gutenberg’s types among the early presses of
   Bamberg, Eltville, and elsewhere, have led to the surmise that he may have sold
   matrices of his letter.<a class="afnanch" href="#fn52" id="fnanch52">52</a>
   In 1468, Schoeffer put forward what may be considered
   the first advertisement in the annals of typography. “Every
   nation,” he says, in <span class="xxpn" id="p029">{29}</span>
   the colophon to <i>Justinian’s Institutes</i>, “can now procure its own
   kind of letters, for he (<i>i.e.</i>, Schoeffer himself) excels with
   all-prevailing pencil” (<i>i.e.</i>, in designing and engraving all kinds
   of type).<a class="afnanch" href="#fn53" id="fnanch53">53</a>
   For the most part printers were their own founders, and
   each printer had his own types. But type depôts and markets, and the
   wanderings of the itinerant typographers, as the demands of printing
   yearly increased, brought the founts of various presses and nations
   to various centres, and thus gave the first impulse to that gradual
   divorce between printing and typefounding which in the following
   century left the latter the distinct industry it still remains.</p>
   
   <hr class="hrblnk" />
   
   <p>Such is a brief outline of the chief facts and opinions regarding the processes,
   appliances and practices of the earliest typefounders. It may be said
   that, after all, we know very little about the matter. The facts are very few, and
   the conjectures, in many instances, so contradictory, that it is impossible to
   erect a “system,” or draw any but general conclusions. These conclusions we
   very briefly summarise as follows.</p>
   
   <p>Accepting as a fundamental principle that the essence of typography is in
   the mobility of the types, we dismiss, as beyond the scope of our inquiry, the
   xylographic works which preceded typography. Passing in review the alleged
   stepping-stones between the two arts, we fail to see in the evidence adduced as to the
   use of movable wooden perforated types anything to justify the conclusion that
   the earliest printers printed books by their means. Such types may have been
   cut experimentally, but the practical impossibility of cutting them square
   enough to be composed in a forme, and of producing a work of the size and character
   of the <i>Speculum</i>, is fatal to their claims. With regard to the sculpto-fusi
   types—types engraved on cast-metal bodies—the evidence in their favour is of
   the most unsatisfactory character, and, coupled with the practical difficulties of
   their production, reduces their claims to a minimum. The marked difference of
   style and excellence in the typography of certain of the earliest books leads us
   to accept the theory that two schools of typography existed side by side in the
   infancy of the art—one a rude school, which, not having the secret of the more
   perfect appliances of the inventors, cast its letters by some primitive method,
   probably using moulds of sand or clay, in which the entire type had been
   moulded. Such types may have been perforated and held together in lines by a
   wire. The suggestion that the earliest types were produced by a system of
   polytype, and that the face of each letter, sawn off a
   plate resembling a <span class="xxpn" id="p030">{30}</span>
   stereotype-plate, was separately mounted on loose wooden shanks, we dismiss as purely
   fanciful.</p>
   
   <p>Turning now to the processes adopted by the typographers of the
   more advanced school, we consider that in the first instance, although grasping
   the principle of the punch, the matrix and the adaptable mould, they
   may have made use of inferior appliances—possibly by forming their matrices
   in lead from wooden or leaden punches or models—advancing thence by
   degrees to the use of steel punches, copper matrices, and the bipartite iron
   mould. We hold that the variations observable in the early works of this
   school are due mainly to uneven casting and wear and tear of the types. As
   to the metal in which the type was cast, we find mention made of almost
   every metal, several of which, however, refer to the punches and matrices,
   leaving tin, lead, and antimony as the staple ingredients of the type-metal. Of
   the types themselves, we find these in most essential particulars to be the same
   as those cast at a later date. We see, however, evidence of perforated, mould-cast
   type, and, in the absence of a nick, a “shamfer” at the foot, from which the
   jet appears to have been sawn or cut, instead of being broken. We remark a
   great irregularity in the heights of different founts, the average of which height is
   beyond any modern English standard. The accidental impression of a type in
   two early German books, proves that about the year 1476 types were made
   differing only in the two points of the want of a nick and the want of a jet-break
   from the types of to-day. The quantity of types required by the earliest printers,
   we consider, would be small, since they appear in most instances to have printed
   only one page at a time; but the number of different sorts going to make up
   a fount would be very considerable, by reason of the numerous contractions,
   double letters and abbreviations used.</p>
   
   <p>Finally, we consider that the art of letter-founding rapidly reached maturity
   after the general diffusion of printing consequent on the sack of Mentz; and
   that when the writer of the <i>Cologne Chronicle</i>, in the last year of the 15th century,
   spoke of “the art as now generally used,” he spoke of an art which, at the close
   of the 19th century, has been able to improve in no essential principle on the
   processes first made use of by the great inventors of Typography.</p>
   
   </section>
   
   
   <ul id="list-footnote">
   
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch1" id="fn1">1</a>
           <i>The Haarlem Legend of the Invention of Printing by
           Lourens Janszoon Coster, critically examined.</i> From the Dutch by J.
           H. Hessels, with an introduction and classified list of the Costerian
           Incunabula. London, 1871. 8vo.</li>
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch2" id="fn2">2</a>
           Xylography did not become extinct for more than half a
           century after the invention of Typography. The last block book known
           was printed in Venice in 1510.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch3" id="fn3">3</a>
           “Hic ego non mirer esse quemquam qui sibi persuadeat
           .&#160;.&#160;.&#160;. mundum effici .&#160;.&#160;.&#160;. ex concursione fortuitâ! Hoc qui existimet
           fieri potuisse, non intelligo cur non idem putet si innumerabiles
           unius et viginti formæ litterarum, vel aureæ, vel qualeslibet, aliquò
           conjiciantur, posse ex his in terram excussis, annales Ennii, ut
           deinceps legi possint, effici” (<i>De Nat. Deor.</i>, lib. ii). Cicero was
           not the only ancient writer who entertained the idea of mobile letters.
           Quintilian suggests the use of ivory letters for teaching children
           to read while playing: “Eburneas litterarum formas in ludum offere”
           (<i>Inst. Orat.</i>, i, cap. 1); and Jerome, writing to Læta, propounds the
           same idea: “Fiant ei (Paulæ) litteræ vel buxeæ vel eburneæ, et suis
           nominibus appellentur. Ludat in eis ut et lusus ipse eruditio fiat.”</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch4" id="fn4">4</a>
           <i>In Commentatione de ratione communi omnium linguarum et
           literarum.</i> Tiguri, 1548, p. 80.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch5" id="fn5">5</a>
           In <i>Chronico Argentoratensi</i>, <i>m.s.</i> ed. Jo. Schilterus,
           p. 442. “Ich habe die erste press, auch die buchstaben gesehen, waren
           von holtz geschnitten, auch gäntze wörter und syllaben, hatten löchle,
           und fasst man an ein schnur nacheinander mit einer nadel, zoge sie
           darnach den zeilen in die länge,” etc.</li>
           
           
           
           <li>
               <a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch6" id="fn6">6</a>
           <i>De Bibliothecâ Vaticanâ.</i> Romæ, 1591, p. 412.
           “Characteres enim a primis illis inventoribus non ita eleganter et
           expedite, ut a nostris fieri solet, sed filo in litterarum foramen
           immisso connectebantur, sicut Venetiis id genus typos me vidisse
           memini.”</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch7" id="fn7">7</a>
           <i>De Germaniæ Miraculo</i>, etc. Lipsiæ, 1710, p. 10.
&#160;.&#160;.&#160;.&#160;. ligneos typos, ex buxi frutice, perforatos in medio, ut zonâ
           colligari unâ jungique commode possint, ex Fausti officina reliquos,
           Moguntiæ aliquando me conspexisse memini.”</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch8" id="fn8">8</a>
           <i>Essai sur les Monumens Typographiques de Jean Gutenburg.</i>
           Mayence, an 10, 1802, p. 39.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch9" id="fn9">9</a>
           <i>Débuts de l’ Imprimerie à Strasbourg.</i> Paris, 1840, p.
           72.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch10" id="fn10">10</a>
           <i>Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst.</i> Mainz, 1836. Album, tab.
           ii.</li>
           
           
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           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch11" id="fn11">11</a>
           The history of these “fatal, unhistorical wooden types”
           is worth recording for the warning of the over-credulous typographical
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           antiquary. </li> 
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<!--            
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch12" id="fn12">12</a>
           Van der Linde, <i>Haarlem Legend</i>. Lond., p. 72.</li> -->
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch12" id="fn12">12</a>
           Skeen, in his <i>Early Typography</i>, Colombo, 1872, takes up the challenge thrown down by Dr. Van der Linde on the strength of Enschedé’s opinion, and shows a specimen of three letters cut in boxwood, pica size, one of which he exhibits again at the close of the book after 1,500 impressions. 
           <!-- But the value of Skeen’s arguments
           and experiments is destroyed when he sums up with this absurd dictum:
           “Three letters are as good as 3,000 or 30,000 or 300,000 to demonstrate
           the fact that words are and can be, and that therefore pages and whole
           books may be (and therefore also that they may have been) printed from
           such separable wooden types.”—P. 424. -->
          </li>
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          <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch13" id="fn13">13</a>
            Van der Linde, <i>Haarlem Legend</i>. Lond., p. 72.</li>
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           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch14" id="fn14">14</a>
           <i>Annales Hirsaugienses</i>, ii, p. 421: “Post hæc inventis
           successerunt subtiliora, inveneruntque modum fundendi formas omnium
           Latini Alphabeti literarum quas ipsi matrices nominabant; ex quibus
           rursum æneos sive stanneos characteres fundebant, ad omnem pressuram
           sufficientes, quos prius manibus sculpebant.” Trithemius’ statement, as
           every student of typographical history is aware, has been made to fit
           every theory that has been propounded, but it is doubtful whether any
           other writer has stretched it quite as severely as Meerman in the above
           rendering of these few Latin lines.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch15" id="fn15">15</a>
           <i>Origines Typographicæ</i>, Gerardo Meerman auctore. Hagæ
           Com., 1765. Append., p. 47.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch16" id="fn16">16</a>
           The constant recurrence in more modern typographical
           history of the expression “to cut matrices,” meaning of course to
           cut the punches necessary to form the matrices, bears out the same
           conclusion.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch17" id="fn17">17</a>
           <i>Origine et Débuts de l’Imprimerie en Europe.</i> Paris,
           1853, 8vo, i, 38.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch18" id="fn18">18</a>
           <i>Life and Typography of William Caxton.</i> London, 1861–3, 2
           vols, 4to, ii, xxiv.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch19" id="fn19">19</a>
           <i>The Invention of Printing.</i> New York, 1876. 8vo.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch20" id="fn20">20</a>
           <i>Origine de l’Imprimerie</i>, i, 40.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch21" id="fn21">21</a>
           Mr. Blades points out that there are no overhanging
           letters in the specimen. The necessity for such letters would be, we
           imagine, entirely obviated by the numerous combinations with which the
           type of the printers of the school abounded. The body is almost always
           large enough to carry ascending and descending sorts, and in width,
           a sort which would naturally overhang, is invariably covered by its
           following letter cast on the same piece.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch22" id="fn22">22</a>
           It is well known that until comparatively recently the
           large “proscription letters” of our foundries, from three-line pica and
           upwards, were cast in sand. The practice died out at the close of last
           century.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch23" id="fn23">23</a>
           <i>An Enquiry Concerning the Invention of Printing.</i> London,
           1863, 4to, p. 265.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch24"
           id="fn24">24</a> In a recent paper, read by the late Mr.
           Bradshaw of Cambridge, before the Library Association, he
           points out a curious shrinkage both as to face and body
           in the re-casting of the types of the Mentz <i>Psalter</i>,
           necessary to complete the printing of that work. The
           shrinking properties of clay and plaster are well known,
           and, assuming the new type to have been cast in moulds of
           one of these substances formed upon a set of the original
           types, the uniform contraction of body and face might be
           accounted for. If, on the other hand, we hold that the
           types of this grand work were the product of the finished
           school of typographers, the probability is that the new
           matrices (of the face of the letter only) were formed in
           clay, as suggested at
           p. <span class="nowrap"><a href="#p015" title="to page 15">15</a>,</span>
           and that the adjustable mould
           was either purposely or inadvertently shifted in body to
           accommodate the new casting.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch25" id="fn25">25</a>
           In connection with the suggested primitive modes of
           casting, the patent of James Thomson in 1831 (see Chap. iv, <i>post</i>),
           for casting by a very similar method, is interesting.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch26" id="fn26">26</a>
           <i>Origine de l’Imprimerie.</i> Paris, 1810, 2 vols., 8vo, i,
           97.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch27" id="fn27">27</a>
           <i>Origine de l’Imprimerie</i>, i, 99, etc. The following
           are the citations:—“<i>Escriture en molle</i>,” used in the letters of
           naturalisation to the first Paris printers, 1474. “<i>Escrits en moule</i>,”
           applied to two Horæ in vellum, bought by the Duke of Orleans, 1496.
<i>Mettre en molle</i>,” applied to the printing of Savonarola’s sermons,
           1498. “<i>Tant en parchemin que en papier, à la main et en molle</i>,”
           applied to the books in a library, 1498. “<i>Mettre en molle</i>,” applied
           to the printing of a book by Marchand, 1499. “<i>En molle et à la main</i>,”
           applied to printed books and manuscripts in the Duke of Bourbon’s
           library, 1523. “<i>Pièces officielles moulées par ordre de l’Assemblée.</i>
           Procès verbaux des Etats Généraux, 1593.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch28" id="fn28">28</a>
           <i>Coster Legend</i>, p. 6.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch29" id="fn29">29</a>
           <i>Ibid.</i>, p. viii.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch30" id="fn30">30</a>
           A calculation given in the <i>Magazin Encyclopédique</i> of
           1806, i, 299, shows that from such matrices 120 to 150 letters can be
           cast before they are rendered useless, and from 50 to 60 letters before
           any marked deterioration is apparent in the fine strokes of the types.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch31" id="fn31">31</a>
           Several writers account for the alleged perforated wooden
           and metal types reputed to have been used by the first printers, and
           described by Specklin, Pater, Roccha and others, by supposing that they
           were model types used for forming matrices, and threaded together for
           safety and convenience of storage.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch32" id="fn32">32</a>
           <i>Works of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, consisting of
           his Life, written by himself</i>, in 2 vols. London, 1793, 8vo, i, 143.
           It is a very singular fact that in a later corrected edition of the
           same work, edited by John Bigelow, and published in Philadelphia in
           1875, the passage above quoted reads as follows: “I contrived a mould,
           made use of the letters we had as puncheons, struck the <i>matrices in
           lead</i>, and thus supplied in a pretty tolerable way all deficiencies.”
           Whichever reading be correct, the illustration is apt, as proving the
           possibility of producing type from matrices either of clay or lead in a
           makeshift mould.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch33" id="fn33">33</a>
           <i>Origine de l’Imprimerie</i>, i, 144.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch34" id="fn34">34</a>
           From this method of forming the matrices (says a note
           to the Enschedé specimen) has arisen the name Chalcographia, which
           Bergellanus, among others, applies to printing.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch35" id="fn35">35</a>
           <i>Printer’s Grammar.</i> Lond., 1755, p. 10.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch36" id="fn36">36</a>
           It has been suggested by some that wood could be <i>struck</i> into lead or pewter; but the
           possibility of producing a successful matrix in this manner is, we consider, out of the question.
           In 1816 Robert Clayton proposed to cast types in metal out of <i>wooden</i> matrices punched
           in wood with a cross grain, which has been previously slightly charred or baked.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch37" id="fn37">37</a>
           In the specimen of “<i>Ancienne Typographie</i>” of the Imprimerie Royale of Paris, 1819,
           several of the old oriental founts are thus noted: “les poinçons
           sont en cuivre.”</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch38" id="fn38">38</a>
           In the 2nd edition of Isaiah Thomas’ <i>History of Printing
           in America</i>, Albany, 1874, i, 288, an anecdote is given of Peter
           Miller, the German who printed at Ephrata in the United States in 1749,
           which we think is suggestive of the possible expedients of the first
           printers with regard to the mould. During the time that a certain work
           of Miller was in the press, says Francis Bailey, a former apprentice
           of Miller’s, “particular sorts of the fonts of type on which it was
           printed ran short. To overcome this difficulty, one of the workmen
           constructed a mold that could be moved so as to suit the body of any
           type not smaller than brevier nor larger than double-pica. The mold
           consisted of four quadrangular pieces of brass, two of them with
           mortices to shift to a suitable body, and secured by screws. The best
           type they could select from the sort wanted was then placed in the
           mold, and after a slight corrosion of the surface of the letter with
           aquafortis to prevent soldering or adhesion, a leaden matrix was cast
           on the face of the type, from which, after a slight stroke of a hammer
           on the type in the matrix, we cast the letters which were wanted. Types
           thus cast answer tolerably well. I have often adopted a method somewhat
           like this to obtain sorts which were short; but instead of four pieces
           of brass, made use of an even and accurate composing-stick, and one
           piece of iron or copper having an even surface on the sides; and
           instead of a leaden matrix, have substituted one of clay, especially
           for letters with a bold face.” De Vinne describes an old mould
           preserved among the relics in Bruce’s foundry at New York, composed
           (with the matrix) of four pieces, and adjustable both as to body and
           thickness. Bernard also mentions a similar mould in use in 1853.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch39"
           id="fn39">39</a> A curious instance of this occurs in the
           battered text of the <i>De Laudibus Mariæ</i>, shown at
           p. <span class="nowrap">
           <a href="#fg06" title="to Fig. 6">24</a>,</span>
           where the rubricator has added his red dashes to capital
           letters at the beginning, middle and end of a palpably
           illegible passage.</li>
           
           
           <li title="anchored page 19">
           <a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch40" id="fn40">40</a>
           <i>Notizie storiche sopra la Stamperia di Ripoli.</i>
           Firenze, 1781, p. 49. <i>Prezzi de’ generi
           riguardanti la Getteria (letter foundry).</i></li>
           
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch41" id="fn41">41</a>
           It would be more correct to say the discovery of the
           properties of antimony, which were first described by Basil Valentin
           about the end of the 15th century, in a treatise entitled <i>Currus
           triumphalis Antimonii</i>.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch42" id="fn42">42</a>
           Printing was practised at Lyons in 1473, three years only
           later than at Paris. From the year 1476 the art extended rapidly in
           the city. Panzer mentions some 250 works printed here during the 15th
           century by nearly forty printers, among whom was Badius Ascensius. The
           earlier Lyons printers are supposed to have had their type from Basle,
           and their city shortly became a depôt for the supply of type to the
           printers of Southern France and Spain.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch43" id="fn43">43</a>
           <i>Histoire de l’Invention de l’Imprimerie par les
           Monuments.</i> Paris, 1840, fol., p. 12.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch44" id="fn44">44</a>
           <i>Lettres d’un Bibliographe.</i> Paris, 1875, 8vo, Ser. iv,
           letter 16.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch45" id="fn45">45</a>
           Begins “<i>Incipit Liber de Laudibus ac Festis Gloriose
           Virginis Matris Marie alias Marionale Dictus per Doctores eximeos
           editus et compilatus</i>”; at end, “<i>Explicit Petrus Damasceni de laudibus
           gloriose Virginis Marie</i>.” The book is mentioned in Hain, 5918. The
           drawn-up type occurs on the top of folio b 4 verso.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch46" id="fn46">46</a>
           It will be understood that in each case the outline of the
           types being merely a depressed edge in the original, the black outline
           of the facsimiles represents shadow only, and not, as might appear
           at first glance, inked surface. M. Madden’s facsimile is apparently
           drawn. In the photograph facsimile of the “<i>De laudibus</i>” type, the
           distribution of black represents the distribution of shadow caused by
           the somewhat uneven or tilted indentation of the side of the type in
           the paper.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch47" id="fn47">47</a>
           Such projections or “drags” in the mould are not unknown
           in modern typefounding, where they are purposely inserted so as to
           leave the newly cast type, on the opening of the mould, always adhering
           to one particular side.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch48" id="fn48">48</a>
           <i>Life of Caxton</i>, i, 39. Later on (p 52), Mr. Blades
           points out, as an argument against the supposed typographical
           connection between Caxton and Zel of Cologne, that the latter, from an
           early period, printed two pages at a time.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch49" id="fn49">49</a>
           <i>Haarlem Legend</i>, p. xxiii.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch50" id="fn50">50</a>
           Mr. Skeen (<i>Early Typography</i>, p. 299) speaks of 300
           matrices as constituting a complete fount; he appears accidentally, in
           calculating for two pages instead of one, to have assumed that a double
           number of matrices would be requisite for the double quantity of type.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch51" id="fn51">51</a>
           <i>Origin and Progress of Writing.</i> London, 1803. 4to.
           Chapter ix.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch52" id="fn52">52</a>
           The cost-book of the Ripoli press contains several entries
           pointing to an early trade in type and matrices. In 1477 the directors
           paid ten florins of gold to one John of Mentz, for a set of Roman
           matrices. At another time they paid 110 livres for two founts of Roman
           and one of Gothic: and further, purchased of the goldsmith, Banco of
           Florence, 100 little initials, three large initials, three copper
           vignettes, and the copper for an entire set of Greek matrices.</li>
           
           
           
           <li><a class="afnlabel" href="#fnanch53" id="fn53">53</a>“Natio
            quæque suum poterit reperire caragma<br>Secum nempe stilo præminet omnigeno.”</li>        
           
   </ul>
   


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