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Re: women/men in book arts



Lets for a moment consider women who work or who have worked in commercial
letterpress. My grandmother handset type for a weekly in 1905 in Cayuga IN
and my mother ran the weekly newspaper while my father fought in WWII.
    Very few pursuits are really gender specific, historically or currently.
Women have been printers from the start.
   Hang me for saying this, but in last century, obviously more compositors
were men, but must have been easier for a woman to set 6 point all day long
-- just as child labor is used in garment industry for some work because
smaller hands are more easily adept at certain sewing and handling.
   Anyway, I was born a few hours after my mother finished the weekly edition
-- handfeeding a drum-cylinder Babcock press. And have been in many shops
where women are at ease running presses or Linotypes. And too, after hot
metal was pushed aside by, first, photoset, most weeklies were mostly staffed
by women.
    Most men were not overly excited about changing heavy brass magazines
full of mats on a Linotype, and obviously, women were less excited about the
chore. Maybe because of the lead component of letterpress, and the anyway
traditional outlook that women were better left in charge of the home, men
were dominent in printing shops and industry in general. But when industry
needed to exploit women and children, it was just fine by society to have
women leave the home.
Some Monday morning rambling,
Mike-ThePrinter--monthly for letterpress

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