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Re: uncut book pages



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A good source for information about Book Pages is in Bernard Middleton's "A
HISTORY OF ENGLISH CRAFT BOOKBINDING"  -- See "Edge Trimming", Chapter VIII.
He discusses various cutting methods that were used including the Plough.
Then, in the 1840's, the Guillotine was adapted for bookbinding.
Note: according to Mr. Middleton, the English were using a similar principle
two hundred years before Dr. Louis Guillotin suggested this device to the
French legislature (c.1792).
I could not find a reference, but I vaguely remember reading (and saying to
students) that the edges of some books were probably not trimmed before the
use of the guillotine because of the time factor. Imagine trimming the head
and tail of hundreds of books with a plough. Any enterprising bookbinder
might see the financial benefit of having, as I have seen ---
 "Your Christmas Book is bound in the time honored way of the early
bookmakers. The foredge has not been trimmed in order to preserve the
original beauty of the deckle edge paper used in this book. As a result, some
pages are uncut. They may be carefully cut with an ordinary letter opener, as
it was done during earlier days."
---- from a card inserted into each Cuneo Christmas Book published through
the 1970's.

Bill Minter

William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
4364 Woodbury Pike
Woodbury, PA   16695
814-793-4020
fax 814-793-4045

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