Dan Wybrant has a collection of photos with descriptions of the typesetting and paste-up techniques used by a campus daily in 1970. We bitch about InDesign crashing, but we don’t have to type blind with a machine that punches holes onto paper tape. There’s also a lot of fun to be had with a wax machine if you happen to come across one.
This recent image of typesetters, from Shorpy, reminded me of a photo that I took at the National Print Museum in Dublin awhile back. It was of a boy’s indenture agreement to serve as an apprentice compositor in a Letterpress shop. Highlights of seven years service include: no fornicating, gambling or frequenting of ale-houses. I’ve transcribed the document and made the text available.
The Practice of Typography: Modern Methods of Book Composition by Theodore Low de Vinne is available in its entirety online. Originally published in 1904, the book is a treatise on typesetting and the arrangement of pages in books.