Printer’s Manuals: From Moxon to the PIA

Printer's Manuals from Moxon to the PIA

Publisher: Kirkwood : The Printery
Year: 2002
Description: x, 50 p. : ill., port, facsims. ; 20 cm.

A talk delivered by Alexander S. Lawson as part of the Heritage of the Graphic Arts Lecture Series. Limited edition of 100 copies.

Publisher’s Comments
Alexander S. Lawson, noted authority on the history, design, and development of printing types, delivered two talks as part of Doc Leslie’s s “Heritage of the Graphic Arts Lecture Series.” The first talk was titled “Printing Education” and the second is the subject of The Printery’s latest book: Printer’s Manuals: from Moxon to the PIA.

This previously unpublished talk traces the history of English language printer’s manuals from 1683 up to the middle nineteenth century where entire passages from Moxon still appear verbatim. The texts continues on into the twentieth century and concludes with the PIA’s 1953 publication of A Composition Manual. Professor Lawson’s prose is authoritative, succinct, and eminently readable.

Title pages from thirteen of the principal manuals have been reproduced and a short-title bibliography of all 53 manuals cited in the text has been added. Scenes from the interiors of a “Letter Foundry” and a “Printing House” from The Universal Magazine for 1750 and 1752 are reproduced on the endpapers.

This 64 page monograph is set in Bulmer and printed letterpress in five colors in an edition of 100 copies. The paper, Kelmscott Text, is an early twentieth century handmade sheet with a Pierpont Morgan Library provenance.

Ninety copies are quarter bound in cloth with marbled paper sides at $175.00 each. Ten copies, quarter bound in leather with gilt spines and marbled paper sides, are $215.00 each.

Printer’s Manuals is set in Bulmer types with Cleland Ornaments for the title page and the openers. An edition limited to 100 copies was printed on a handpress in five colors on Kelmscott Text, an English handmade laid sheet produced a bout a century ago. The edition is quarter-bound with paper sides marbled by Iris Nevins. The binding is by The Campbell-Logan bindery.

The title pages have been reproduced from the original printer’s manuals with the exceptions of Moxon, which is from the Theodore Low De Vinne 1896 reprint for members of the Typothetae of the City of New York, and Van Winkle, which is from the facsimile printed at The Lakeside Press in 1970 for Sun Chemical Corporation. The reduction of each title page to fit the format of this book is indicated in the “List of Works Cited.”

The Letter Foundry and Printing House that appear as endpapers are from original engravings in The Universal Magazine for 1750 and 1752 respectively. The two halves of the hand-mold in the foreground of the Letter Foundry are exact reproductions from diagrams shown in Moxon.

The frontispiece portrait of Alexander S. Lawson originally appeared in Twenty Years of the Frederic W. Goudy Award published by Rochester Institute of Technology in 1988 and appears here through the kindness of the artist, Mary Jo Scott-Koeck.