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Re: [BKARTS] Skinny Signatures/Gatherings



In a message dated 1/29/03 2:12:12 PM, africa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

<< When and why did the practice of printing skinny gatherings arise?
That is to say, printing thick books in gatherings of bifolia (or what ever
you want to call them-4 leaves, 8 pages).  >>

Dorothy,
A good question. I look forward to hearing the answer. However, I do have a
thought.
I have worked on a number of copies of Johnson's Dictionary -1756(?). That
book is all SINGLE SHEET signatures (4 pages) with over 600 pages (150
signatures) in a volume. Typically the book is sewn on 6 raised cords, and
each signature is sewn at ONE station -- THEREFORE, it is sewn "7-on". Its a
horrendous book to deal with if one wants to sew it thru the fold -- as I
did. The leaves were joined (guarded with water-torn Japanese paper) as 12
page (6 leaf) signatures, but still too much swelling. The two volume set was
broken into a total of 4 volumes.
MY THEORY:  Obviously, a Dictionary requires many, many of the same letter
(pieces of type). Since the type was cast by hand (?), preparing more type
for an additional sheet for imposition was probably out of the question --
just too costly. So, it was easier for the typesetter to prepare just four
pages while four other pages were being printed. Again, just my theory. I
look forward to an expert opinion.
Bill Minter

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

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