Saturday, November 10, 2012

Print Shop

When John Taylor purchased his home, he also purchased the properties on both sides.  The one on the left was a store but since he was the editor of the newspaper, he thought it would be a good place to move the print shop. 

It had been in the basement of a building down the street, but it was so small, cold, and damp that people were getting sick.  In fact, Don Carlos Smith had come down with pneumonia and died while working there.  That property now belongs to the Community of Christ Church and has not been restored but you can see how small it was.

Originally, the print shop was on the second floor.  It must have taken a lot of work to get those big heavy printing presses up there, but there is a door up there on the back side.
Two newspapers were printed here in Nauvoo.
 The "Nauvoo Neighbor"  was a weekly paper, similar to our little hometown newspaper, and had announcements of meetings, practical advice, poems, stories, and national and world news.
The "Times and Seasons" was the official church publication, similar to the "Ensign" of today.  It included counsel from Church leaders, letters from missionaries, literary works, and accounts of revelations received by the Prophet.
The print shop also did custom jobs like printing handbills and flyers.
Doing a tour of the print shop is really fun because you get to do a demonstration of how the printing process worked. 
They would only work on one paragraph at a time, and make a "proof" so they could read it and make any corrections that needed to be made, then move on to the next paragraph.  We relate this to repenting of our little mistakes every day - before they turn into big ones. 
There are a lot of terms that we use all the time but I had no idea they came from the printing business.  For example:  Upper case letters were stored in an "upper case" - lower case letters were stored in a "lower case". 


A "ding bat" is a pretty little thing that takes up space.
"Furniture" (little blocks of wood - not tables and chairs) and "spacers" are used to hold the type in the "chase" (cut to the chase) and the "quoin key" tightens it all up (quoin a phrase).

Everything has to be secured in the "chase" upside down and backwards.
When it's ready, you carry it to the press and "lay it to rest" on the "coffin".
 Use a "dauber" to dab ink onto the type.
Put a damp sheet of newsprint paper over it and fold the "frisket" down over the "tympan".  Roll it all under the "platen" and pull the lever to lower the "platen".  The paper is pressed against the inked type to make an impression. 
Then, raise the "platen", roll it back, lift the "frisket" and take the sheet of paper off, hang it up to dry for 24 hours or so, and then start all over with the reverse side. 
And don't forget to mind your "p's & q's" or they'll end up looking like "d's & b's".




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