صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

not yet complete; its proper thickness cannot be determined by the mould alone, and the back is therefore shaved down in a peculiar kind of machine, which acts in the same manner as a plane, taking the back off perfectly smooth.

The very best casting cannot prevent occasional defects in the face of the plate. It requires, therefore, to be minutely examined by a workman called a picker. It is his business to remove the small globules of metal which occasionally fill up such letters as the a, and the e, to insert a new letter, which he can do by soldering if any one be broken; and what is a still more delicate operation, to remove with his grarer any impurities which fill up the lines of a wood-cut. To execute this latter duty properly he ought to be in some degree an artist, and possess the keen eye and steady hand of an engraver.

The advantages of stereotyping for the advancement of literature are incalculable. It makes knowledge cheap, by giving publishers the power of issuing any number of editions of a work without the expense of resetting the type, which enables them to publish at lower rates. The inherent difficulty of the business of a publisher consists in the mistakes he may make in calculating the demand for any particular book. The demand for articles of physical necessity does not greatly vary. The demand for books depends in a certain degree upon fashion, and the prevailing current of public opinion. In books of a merely temporary interest, or which are addressed only to particular classes, or deal with particular modes of thought, a publisher often loses very considerably by over printing; but with the advantages of stereotyping, a small edition of any work can be worked off in a few days, and, as it is sold, the stock can be replenished. The investment of capital thus saved can be used in other works, and the mass of our literature cheapened and vastly extended.

folded the pages will come in their proper places, upon a large "imposing-stone," made of marble or cast-iron. After having been arranged correctly, strips of metal called "furniture," of the requisito width to give the margin of white paper required, are placed around them, and, with the aid of irop bevelled "side” and “foot-sticks” running the width and length of one side only, they are “locked up” in a “chase,” with quoins. The chase is a wroughtiron frame about half an inch thick and an inch broad, and is made of different sizes to suit the different forms of pages required. The forms are of different sizes, the largest containing forty-eight pages, and the smallest four pages, or quarto. They are generally called after the number of pages used: as 12mo. twelve pages; 16mo. sixteen pages; 32mo. thirty-two pagos; and octavo, or eight pages. The form of the "Lady's Book" is a 12mo., or superroyal octavo, and the weight, when set in type, is about three hundred pounds. In order to facilitate the transmission of these heavy forms from the composing-room to the press-room, a large hoistingmachine is arranged which is worked by steam, and runs from the cellar to the garret, boxed completely in, with a door at each story. When the pages to be printed are stereotyped, a requisite number of blocks made for the purpose are locked up in a form in the same manner as if they were type. These blocks are an eighth of an inch less in height than type, so that when the stereotype plate is fastened upon them they will be of the exact height of type, which is very essential, as the heavy pressure of all presses is calculated for the type to be seven-eighths of an inch high, and any deviation from that height would prevent a correct impression being made. The edges of stereotype plates have a bevel, which is so made in order that they may be clamped on to the block by means of a set of two small clamps, which are attached to all blocks, for that purpose; 80 that the same blocks can answer for the pages of any book of the same size.

The form being locked up and sent by the hoistingmachine to the press-room, the foreman who has charge of the press-work of the “Lady's Book” takes it in hand. We would here remark that much of the looks of a work depends upon the quality of the paper and ink used in its production, and it is not always a proof of a want of skill in the engraver or printer if the work should not look well, but is in most cases attributable to the quality of ink and paper used. The presses used by the Messrs. Colins are from the manufactories of Adams, and of Tufts, and are considered the best in use for book work. The following engraving will give an idea of one of these presses. The blank paper is placed upon & frame on the top of the press in front of the attendant, who takes a sheet and places it on the receiving-board; here it is caught by nippers constructed for that purpose, and carried to its position or the form between the bed and platon, where it

PRESS-ROOM DEPARTMENT. After the pages have been submitted to the skill of the stereotyper, they are again returned to the printing-office, there to receive the attention of the pressman and his fair assistants—the Messrs. Col. lins employing, besides a sufficient number of men, about twenty-five young women in this department of their office. This room is in the second story of the building, and is also in the shape of the letter U, and contains fourteen power-presses, which are worked by steam, and seven hand-presses. This room is an object of special attraction to those strangers who, through the courtesy of the proprietors, are allowed to inspect the operations of their extensive establishment. We cannot say whether the attraction is in the beautiful working of the machinery, or in the faces of the bevy of industri. ous working girls who attend there.

When the pages of any work are not stereotyped, the type is “imposed,” or arranged so that when

[merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

manner the inking and printing go on as long as the press is kept in motion. These presses are capable of throwing off seven hundred and fifty printed sheets in an hour.

One of the most important inventions relating to speed in printing-presses is that of the "compositionroller.” The old plan of inking a form was by two “balls," or large pads stuffed with wool and covered with chamois skin, which were used by an assistant, generally a man, as much strength was required. The mode of using them was necessarily a slow operation, as they were taken, one in each band, somewhat after the manner of a mince-meat chopper, upon a surface covered with ink: they were then used in a similar manner upon the face of the types. The composition" now in use is made of glue and molasses boiled to a certain consistency, and then cast in a round copper cylinder of the diameter required. In the centre of the cylinder is placed a “stock,” which is a solid round piece of wood, in each end of which is inserted an iron pivot, in order that the roller, when finished, may be made to revolve on an axis, and therefore obtain an equal distribution of ink upon its surface. When the rollers are finished they are placed in an iron frame, in pairs generally, which frame has a handle long enough for the roller-boy to propel the rollers over the whole extent of the form of type. When drawn back from the operation of inking, the rollers rest upon a wooden cylinder six or eight times their diameter, which is turned around with the left hand of the roller-boy by a crank, the right hand being used in giving the rollers a side motion of about six inches. This operation secures to the face of the rollers an equal surface of ink, which gives a regu

larity to the impression taken by the press. This mode is only used upon band-presses; in powerpresses, it is accomplished by mechanism. Some few years since an improvement was made even upon hand-presses, so that a beautiful mechanical contrivance, worked by steam-power, now supersedes the use of a roller-boy in many offices. All the hand-presses in the office of the Messrs. Collins are supplied with this patent “roller-boy,” which is the idea of the elder Mr. Collins.

In the printing of colors the same process is required; with this difference, that all sheets printed in black require but one passage through the press, those in colors requiring just as many as there are colors. Experiments are now being made, however, and with some success, in which many colors can be impressed upon a sheet of paper at one time. For a specimen of the skill exercised in printing colors in this establishment, our readers are referred to the model cottages and other colored plates in the back numbers of the “Lady's Book.”


After the sheets come from the bands of the pressman, they are taken by the warehouseman, who hangs them upon “racks” to dry. In this room, occupying the whole of the upper portion of the building, an immense number of sheets, the work of the twenty-one presses, are hung up daily. The racks are arranged two deep, and about two feet apart throughout the whole of the fourth story, and a part of the third. The sight of this room, with its thousands of sheets, strikes the beholder with astonishment at the vast amount of capital and labor required to conduct this extensive establishment.

From the drying-room the sheets are carried into another room, where they are put between pressboards and submitted to a heavy pressure, by hydraulic and other power, and are then sent to the binders to be made in numbers, from whence they are placed in the hands of the public.

As an evidence of the amount of paper used in this establishment, we will state that about two thousand reams of white paper are the stock generally on hand, of the value of about $10,000.

Editors of the country press, or subscribers to the “Book” who may be on a visit to the city, will find this office an object of great interest, and they are here, by authority of the proprietors, cordially in;

vited to visit it. It is situated in Lodge Alley, three or four doors above Seventh. Lodge Alley is the first cross street above Chestnut.

In the full page engraving of the interior of the office, only one-third of each department is given; owing to the peculiar shape of the rooms, they could not fully be represented in one view.

We will here remark that all the improvements of the day tending to facilitate business or personal comfort are adopted in this model printing-office. We are under many obligations to the proprietors and their assistants for many of the facts here collected, and we tender them our thanks for their attention and courtesy.

[graphic][merged small]

In some future number we will give an extended index of goodness of heart, which his every action history of the invention and progress of the art of proves. The business portion of the labor of the printing, and the manufacture of paper.

office falling upon him, has rendered their establishAs we have before stated, the office at which the ment prosperous in the extreme, from his uniform composition and press-work of the “Lady's Book” attention and obliging disposition. Rising from the are done, is the largest in the city, and one of the humblest walks of life into a position of wealth and largest in the country, and belongs to the brothers influence, we feel that a short history of their lives Collins, two men who, in their character, habits, and would be interesting to their numerous friends, and friendship, are more like the “brothers Cheeryble” acceptable to our readers. Their great-grandfather of Dickens than any two in this country. Kind and on the father's side was an Irishman, who emigrated benevolent in their feelings, gentlemanly and affable to this country when it was a colony, and located in their manners, they are venerated by the hands himself in Rhode Island. The great-grandfather in their employ, and respected by all who have the on the mother's side was a Welshman, and was a pleasure of their acquaintance. The round, good lawyer by profession, and resided on an island in humored countenance of the elder brother is a sure the Delaware called White's Island, which he owned.

In returning to Wales, he was shipwrecked and lost. After his death, the island was taken possession of by those to whom it did not belong. The family not being able to prosecute a suit at law, it was never recovered by the rightful owners. The father of the brothers Collins was a native of Cranston, R. I., and was a sailor by occupation: the mother came from the neighborhood of Trenton, New Jersey. The father dying when the boys were quite young, the mother was left poor with them to struggle for.

The elder brother, TILLINGHAST K. Collins, was born on the 14th October, 1802, in the city of Philadelphia. At the age of thirteen, he became errandboy for the late MATHEW CAREY, whose well-known benevolent qualities no doubt laid the foundation, by example and precept, of the eminent good qualities we have before spoken of in Mr. Collins. There is indeed a remarkable similarity in the habits of the two men; the one, whilst living, striving to be a benefit to his follow-man, and the other now follow



ing him in the same benevolent purpose. Mr. Carey was, during the latter part of his life, the proprietor of a large printing establishment, scattering the seeds of knowledge over the land, and Mr. Collins is now engaged in the same business, and for the same laudable purpose. After being some length of time with Mr. Carey, he went an apprentice to Mr. James MAXWELL, one of the best printers of his day, and who then had one of the largest establishments in the city. Mr. T. K. Collins commenced in the wareroom, and progressed up gradually through the different branches of the business—compositor, pressman, &c.—and, when of age, was considered one of the best pressmen in the city. After his apprenticeship was over, he went to Washington and worked for Peter Force for some time. He then worked for Gales & Seaton, and afterwards for Duff Green. Whilst in the city of Washington, he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which relation he has continued for twenty-five years. At the age of twenty-one he was married, and has since

reared a large family, who all partake of the sound qualities of the father. One of his sons is following the profession of his father, and another is a bookseller. In the year 1831, Mr. Collins commenced the printing business in a small way, having but one band-press, and no capital but his own industry, perseverance, and integrity. The hardships which he bad undergone in his youth taught him a lesson, which induced habits of frugality and economy, which have made him now the proprietor of an extensive office, having fourteen power and seven hand-presses, and employing in its various departments over one hundred hands.

Mr. Philip G. COLLINS was born in Philadelphia on the 9th of June, 1804, and also learned the printing business with James Maxwell, and was one of the best compositors in the city, and an excellent pressman. He married young, and has bad but one child, a son. He was taken into partnership with his brother two years after he started business. The

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



(Sce Plate.)

The Great I AM from Sinai spake:

I am the Lord thy God, alone; No graven image shalt thou make,

No gods set up, before My Throne;
No star in heaven's canopy,

No creature of the earth or air,
No idol of the nether sea,
My jealous honors e'er may share.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Incline

Our hearts to keep Thy Law Divine! The Heavenly Name on careless tongue

Thou shalt not take, in utterance vain; For vengeance doth to Him belong

On those His worship who disdain. To children's children shall descend

The sentence of His broken law;
While thousands shall his love attend,
Who keep His word, in sacred awe.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Incline
Our hearts to keep Thy Law Divine!

Remember that His Sabbath day

Thou sacred keep from servile toil; Pass not in sloth its hours away,

Nor of true rest thy soul despoil.
His altar in thy dwelling raise,

Let home be happy in His fear;
For He hath promised length of days
To those their parents who revere.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Incline

Our hearts to keep Tby Law Divine! Pursue no other to his death

No pleasure follow to thine own; Defraud not; nor with slanderous breath

Breathe on thy neighbor's fair renown. Desire or covet no man's pelf,

But rather of thine own impart;
Love thou thy neighbor as thyself,
And love thy God with all thy heart.

Have mercy on us, Lord! Incline
Our hearts to keep Thy Law Divine!

« السابقةمتابعة »