The British Printing Society (see their website www.bpsnet.org.uk) circulates material printed by members, known as ‘the bundle’, to the membership each month, . The leaflets reproduced here were printed for that purpose, and as most of the information may still be of some use to (chiefly letterpress) printers, are reproduced from scanned copies. A few issues were on topics not relevant here so have been omitted.
The leaflets were all (except number 14 about Monotype, which was set by the printer on a Monotype machine) hand-set, and printed on a hand-fed treadle platen press, later on a powered hand-fed Autovic platen press, mostly in runs of about 2000 copies. They are all A5 or A4 in size.
Note on the reverse of number ten.
Abbey Mill has long since ceased production. ‘Letterpress’ papers are no longer produced - they were soft, bulky papers, but don’t suit modern litho or digital processes. However, the general point about looking for ‘interesting’ papers still applies.
‘Nitromors’ has changed formula and is no longer as effective, though not entirely useless.
Modern papers are mostly less distinctly ‘two-sided’ than the old letterpress papers.
The Penrose Annuals of the 50s to 70s hd much on letterpress, but later issues inevitably have much less.
The blocks used above were all ‘zincos’ in metal: modern blocks are usually photopolymer, which makes no difference to the end result. Prices have of course changed…
The situation on obtaining type is now very different: the foundries listed have all gone (though some European ones still operate as a group). I do not have details of extant US sources, and a few small operators of Monotypes in UK supply type, though not any of the decorative faces shown here.
This Broadsheet was A3, reducing the image to fit has made the text too small for legibility. The two halves are shown in larger scale below.