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قراءة كتاب A Brief Account of the Educational Publishing Business in the United States

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‏اللغة: English
A Brief Account of the Educational Publishing Business in the United States

A Brief Account of the Educational Publishing Business in the United States

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 7

general use about 1860, though the Harpers used electrotyping in 1840 to duplicate wood cuts; that wood engraving was used in Europe in 1830, but much earlier in China; that copper engraving was used as early as 1450; that steel engraving was invented by Perkins, of Newburyport, Mass., in 1814; that the three-color process plate was first made by Frederick Ives of Philadelphia in 1881, but that the development of color work in schoolbooks has been within the last forty years.

You recall the fact that the Adams or flat press was largely used until 1875; that the first flat-bed cylinder press used in America was a Napier brought from England in 1825; that in 1860 William Bullock began to experiment on a rotary self-feeding or web printing press, and finally achieved success in 1865. The web rotary press, as we know, can turn out about ten times as much work in a given time as the flat-bed cylinder press. Considering the fact that many millions of textbooks are now printed annually, requiring the service of high power rotary presses to print their sheets in season for use, is it not indeed fortunate for the educational world that human skill has perfected such a really wonderful instrument as this great machine, so splendidly equipped for the accomplishment of this gigantic task?

The binding of books until a comparatively recent date was entirely done by hand. The process was so slow that only a few books could be bound in a day, even by the largest establishment. Folding machines were not used by binders until 1875, rounding and backing machines until about 1888, sewing machines and case-making machines until about 1890, gathering machines until about 1895, casing-in machines until about 1900. It is well known to you that a modern bindery in which up-to-date machinery is installed is able to produce per day from 20,000 to 60,000 three-hundred-page sewed books of octavo size. It is therefore evident that there has been as wonderful an improvement in the method of binding books in the last century as in the method of printing them, and that the output of a modern bindery is now so enormous that it would have made the heads of the early hand binders dizzy just to think of it.

The New England Primer was, of course, bound by hand. Its covers were of thin oak that cracked and splintered badly with use, in spite of the coarse blue paper that was pasted over the wood. The back was of leather. Neither back nor sides had any printing on them. Yet, despite its ugly appearance, this book has had a sale of at least two million copies since Harris first printed it in or before 1691.

The binding of the old Blue Back Speller until 1829 consisted of back of leather and sides of thin oaken boards pasted over with a dull blue paper. “Blue paper of a somewhat brighter tint,” says Johnson, “was used on the later editions, which gave rise to the name Blue Back.” This book, as you know, has enjoyed a sale larger than that of any other schoolbook ever made in this or any other country—a sale which Mr. Appleton has recently told me has reached the stupendous figure of sixty-four millions of copies.

Adams’ Arithmetic, which I have shown you, you observe was covered with leather pasted over a very thin pasteboard. It had no headbands, and its sheets were stitched by hand. Leather binding on the larger books, Dr. Vail tells us, persisted for a number of years after the beginning of the nineteenth century. This gentleman informs us that the First Reader of the original McGuffey series made a thin 18mo book of 72 pages, having green paper covered sides.

Peter Parley’s Method of Telling About Geography, published in 1829, was a thin, square little book with leather back and flexible pasteboard sides. His National Geography, published in 1845, was the earliest to take the large, flat quarto shape. This form enabled it to include good-sized maps and do away with the necessity for a separate