02 September 2009

type lice & other memories

in case you don't read comments here's something Jim McCrary left:

what a world...when i think of the blue wax stencils we typed for mimeo here in lawrence in the 60's...and hanging out with Paul Mariah in Glen Ellyn learning how to set type on his 1857 letterpress...it was pretty funny what with the wine, dope and dsylexia trying to set type upside down and backwards. He was a good friend at a time when I was having lots of trouble.....miss him. so yes, Alex, we struggle on with this new business.

so many memories. blue stains all over face & hands from working with mimeo stencils. & being exposd to the whole world of typesetting. have any youngsters out there experiencd type lice?

at Commercial Press in Kent I once had a try at working a linotype machine. & on campus for a journalism class I struggld with setting type. in Dean Keller's basement I workd his antique Chandler & Price. & all those years of correcting galleys. how few still know that special shorthand indicating mistakes & corrections.

this nostalgia shdn't imply I'm against progress or that I don't embrace what new technologies offer. it's all amazing. only a few years separate the scalawag mooning a xerox machine & the tsunami of sexting. but sometimes I feel bad for a generation who haven't blackend their fingers in the dance from type drawer to composing stick.

1 comment:

Bill Fogle said...

I kied the smell of the "spirit duplicator" that produced the light navy blue pop quizzes and hand-outs we had in elementary school (c. late 1960s).

I've never worked in any other field that publishing, always as a low-paid proofreader slash copyeditor (to this day). From my first year of "real" employment in 1983, we have moved from the physical aspects, what used to be called "boards" with many different versions of information on acetate overlays, and genuine galley strips, to (of course) 100% computerized everything.

I miss the mark-up language, too. The symbols and the careful training and observance of good marking. I learned and knew it, but by mid-1990s it was no longer needed.

My "WORD VERIFICATION" in order to post this today is "fogio."