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Printing Presses Of Olden Time

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The printing room does notgive a just idea of its old iraportance. What here remains is as it was in 1576, but the space then occupied for printing must have been very much larger. Plantin's inventory, taken after his death, showed that he had in Antwerp seventy-three fonts of type, weighing 38,131 pounds. Now seven hand presses and their tables occupy two sides of the room, and rows of type cases and stands fill the remnant of space. How petty these presses seeml How small the impression surface, h w rude all the appliances! Yet f rom these presses came the great "Royal Polyglot," the Roman Missal, still bright with solid black and glowing red inks, and thousands of volumes written by great scholars, many jf them enriched with designs by old Flemish masters. "The man is greater than the machine," and Plantin was master over his presses. From these uncouth unions of wood and stone, pinned jther with bits of iron, he made his pres' .nen extort workmanship which has been te admiration of the world. Plantiu had tluó work done at small cost. His account books show that the average yearly earnings of expert compositora were 142 florins, and of the pressmeu 105 florins. The eight hour law was unknown. Work began at 5 o'clock ín the morning, but no time is staled for its ending. His rules were hard. One oL them was that the compositor who set three words or six letters that were notintheco.. should be fined. Another was the prohibition of all discussions on religión. Every workman must pay for his entrance a bienvenue of eight sous as drink money, and give two sous to fhe poor box. At the end of the month he must give thirty sous to the poor box and ten sous to his comrades. This bie ivenue was as much an English as a Flemish cnstom, asone may soe in Franklin's


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