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The Colonial Printer


The Colonial Printer
Lawrence C.Wroth
368 pages, February 1995
Dover Publications
ISBN : 0486282945

Exhaustive historical study on the history of printing in the United States under the British government. The style is sparing, not really exciting, but the book is complete and well documented.

This definitive study of the American printer and his craft explores every aspect of the printing trade from 1639, when the first press was established in the Colonies, to the end of the Colonial period, about 1800. It reflects the dedicated scolarship of a man considered by many to be the most knowledgeable authority on the subject.
All the tools, materials and conditions involved in America’s early printing trade are covered - presses, type, ink, paper, bookbinding, shop procedures, working conditions, labor issues, remuneration and more. In the final two chapters, Mr Wroth deals extensively with both the content and look of the finished books, pamphlets and papers published by the Colonial presses. Throughout, finely reproduced illustrations show presses and pressmen, typefaces and type foundries, printed pages, a paper mill, decorated bindings and more.
The book covers presses, that were established not only in the thirteen original colonies, but also in the states emerging at the turn of the 19th century - Florida, Maine, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi among them. For everyone interested in how printing began in America - historians, bibliophiles and typographic artists as well as those with a
general interest in books - here is a book to savor, a classic created with the soundest knowledge, the most sensible judgement, and the happiest spirit and taste.

I. Introduction
II. The first presses of the colonies
III. The colonial printing house
IV. The colonial printing press
V. Type and type founding of the colonial period
VI. Printing ink
VII. The paper of the colonies
VIII. The journeymen and apprentices
IX. General conditions of the trade
X. Bookbinding in colonial America
XI . The product of the colonial press : the content
XII . The product of the colonial press : external characteristics

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