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Printing workmen (from the title page of Paris, 1550)





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On the left are two pressmen working together. One, the beater, is
putting ink, made with varnish and lampblack, onto the type with the two ink
balls, leather pads stuffed with wool or horsehair and mounted in wooden cups.
The other, the puller, is pulling the platen down onto the damped paper
over the inked type to make the impression. The two compositors on the right are
setting rows of type from the cases in front of them into composing sticks, ready
to be put together in a galley and then transferred to the bed of the press to be inked in their turn


Text kindly provided, especially for this exhibition, by Sandra Bailey