Imágenes de páginas

in Holland; Strasburg in Alsatia ; and Mayence in Germany.

The man whose name is most commonly connected with the art of printing was called Gutenberg. At first raised letters were carved on a solid piece of wood, but as these letters could not be moved, printing was then rather a clumsy affair. Gutenberg afterwards succeeded in making movable letters, or types," as they are called.

He had an assistant named Faust, who carried out a plan for casting types in metal, each one being separate from the other, and capable of being moved about.

A printer now keeps thousands of each letter. When a book is to be printed a workman picks up, one after another, the letters he requires, and places them in their proper order in a wooden frame, called the " composing stick,” so as to form words.

These words are formed into lines of the required length, and the lines into pages.

The pages are placed firmly in an iron frame called a “ form;" forms are


of different sizes, according to the size of the proposed book.

The form is then taken to a press and covered with a thick ink, which we call “printer's ink,” and a rough impression is “pulled,” or printed. This impression or proof” is passed to a workman called the “ reader.”

There are certain marks, or signs, which these men understand, by the use of which the “ reader ” points out what is wrong. He makes these marks upon the part of the paper which we call the margin; that is, the blank space or edge of the page where there is no printing. You see that there is a white space left at each side of this page.

The reader gives the paper back to the compositor, to alter anything which may be wrong. Then another impression is “pulled ” and sent to the man who wrote the book, that he may see if there is anything he would like changed. This proof is called the “Author's proof.

When this proof has been sent back, and all corrections are ended, as many

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

more copies are printed as the writer orders.

The next part of the work is called folding, and is done by women and girls. The large sheets on which all the pages are printed, are folded into the size of which the book is to be. These sheets are all sewn together at the back, and a cover is put on.

If a cheap book is wanted, the cover is formed of paper only, but most books are bound, and now comes the binding.

Formerly the leaves were flattened and smoothed by being well beaten on a stone with a heavy hammer ; now they are passed between smooth rollers under strong pressure.

If this were not done the leaves of the book would not lie closely together, and the book would be thick and clumsy; the words too are plainer and more easily read after this smoothing.

When the sheets have been folded into pages, they are strongly joined at the back with very fine twine, and a paste-board cover is fastened on. The ends of the twine are strongly sewn


into the back of the cover, and glue is added to make it firm and safe.

The edges of the leaves are then cut smooth, and sometimes are gilded, and sometimes sprinkled with marble pattern.

Lastly, an outside covering of coloured paper, or cloth, or leather, is firmly and neatly fastened upon the pasteboard cover.

Cat-er-pil-lar Pro-ject
Chry-sa-lis Shel-ter-ed
Cu-ri-ous-ly Trans-pa-rent.


“Look! Charlie, at that green caterpillar creeping so fast across the road; take care, do not tread upon him. I ,

I like to see the quick rate at which the little fellow is going.

“I wonder what is the matter with him ? He has seen something perhaps



that frightened him; for the caterpillar has eyes as we have, and he has sixteen legs, which ought to help him on pretty fast, though his legs are short, and he has a long body to drag along."

“Do you mean to say, Tom, that those little dots of eyes are like ours?"

“No: although the caterpillar can see very well, I do not mean that his eyes are formed like ours. We have eyelids to our eyes, and he has none; and we can move our eyes about, but his are quite fixed.

“However, his eyes are very curiously formed, and project a good deal. so that he can see far better than we should have thought possible.”

“Poor green caterpillar, if you have no eyelids,” said Charlie, “what could niake you choose to cross this dusty road ? The dust will get into your eyes and blind you.'

“I will tell you how it is, Charlie," said Tom; “those little dots of eyes are protected by the hard transparent skin which covers them, which is like horn, and as clear as glass.

« AnteriorContinuar »