Webster’s Dictionary Pictorial Video
Click the link above to see a video of a fascinating story about 13,000 old-fashioned engravings used in Websters Dictionary and how they were printed in a new book titled …
Pictorial Websters Dictionary
John Carrera organized the collection into categories. What I find most interesting is the process of making the actual books; setting the type on a Linotype machine, and binding by hand. So many decades ago was when “adding leading” meant adding real slices of lead! For instance, in specifying type, 10/12 means 10 point type over 12 point leading. If the type in a column needed to be adjusted to 10/14, you would have to add 2 points of lead.
Many Modern Changes in the World of Typography and Book Printing
I started out in the world of in 1971, using Compugraphic equipment, which is so antiquated now. But, performing like rockets in terms of using an old Linotype machine. A field trip to The Seattle Times when I was in grade school left an impression on me. I was fascinated to see the men (yes, all men in those old days) putting type together. It was very much like this video. However, engravings were not used, but black and white photos. It wasn’t all that many years ago that the Wall Street Journal changed their iconic style from use of engravings to photographs.
The Quercus Press printed each signature of this book, one at a time. And, then comes the binding process. Watch the video as the signature folds and slices by hand, then folds again, and slices by hand. An entire crew of bookbinders could only bind 50 books in a weekend.
If you love books the way we do, you will really enjoy this video. It is not surprising that the books are pricey. But, not only are you getting a book manufactured so authentically and laboriously, but you are getting a real collector’s item. Star Print Brokers had nothing to do with the manufacture of Pictorial Websters Dictionary. We appreciate all the work that went to its creation, and are thankful books are not printed in this manner any longer!